Skimm'd while being reminded why midterms matter

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2018


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Skimm'd while being reminded why midterms matter


"Influencer Halloween Costume" – Urban Outfitters is selling leggings and a sports bra for people to "channel Instagram style." Nothing says 'I'm hip' like paying $59 for something that you probably already own.


The Story

Yesterday, SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh and CA psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford were given a platform to speak. The nation watched.

I've been busy, let's refresh.

Ford accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in the '80s. Since her story came out earlier this month, at least three other women have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against him. The Senate Judiciary Committee – the group in charge of giving the first thumbs up in his confirmation process – delayed its committee vote to hear from Ford. Yesterday, that day came.

So…how'd it go?

It was a spectacle. Intense emotions, personal questions, senators trying to one-up each other, a president waiting on edge, and people glued to their TVs.

What were the highlights?

Ford's testimony...Her opening statement was quiet, emotional, and steady. She said she's 100% certain it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her. She was upfront when she didn't remember parts of the alleged incident. And she doubled down when she did. She showed off her knowledge of cognitive science. She said the most distinct memory she has is of Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge laughing when she was underneath Kavanaugh. She said she testified because she believes "it is my civic duty" to say what happened. She was asked about her political motives and said she's "no one's pawn."

Kavanaugh's testimony…His opening statement was fiery and he was visibly upset. He said he's 100% certain the allegations against him aren't true. He was emotional when talking about the reaction his 10-year-old daughter had during this ordeal. He answered questions about his calendar, his high-school yearbook, and his fondness for beer. He was passionate in defending his name and reputation. He said the allegations are an "orchestrated political hit" from Democrats who are still angry about President Trump's win in 2016. He said he will not be forced out of the confirmation process.

The senators...Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said if Kavanaugh isn't "afraid", he should pause the hearing and call for an FBI investigation himself. Kavanaugh dodged the question but said he'd do "whatever the committee wants." Then Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) jumped in, fired all the way up. He called this hearing a "sham" and said that if this is the new normal for treating SCOTUS noms, Dems should "watch out" when they throw a candidate in the ring. Some of the most tense moments of the day.

Sooo I was confused about Rachel Mitchell's role...

You're not alone. Reminder: She is the female sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona who was brought in by Republicans to question Ford and Kavanaugh on their behalf. But Republicans took back the mic during Kavanaugh's testimony. And she herself said this process didn't seem like the best way to get at the truth.

Magic 8 Ball. What's gonna happen?

If only we knew. But today, the committee will vote on whether to recommend Kavanaugh to the rest of the Senate. Unclear if Republicans have enough 'yay' votes to give him the go-ahead.


The question is: do the 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the committee believe what they heard yesterday from Ford. Or from Kavanaugh. The American Bar Association is calling for the FBI to look into the allegations, and for the vote to wait until an investigation is done. Either way, both sides of the aisle are stirred up...and more divided than ever.


What to say when you're still shook from the hearing…

We don't blame you. But here's what else is going on: yesterday, the SEC (aka Securities and Exchange Commission) sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk for fraud. Last month, Musk tweeted that he had the "funding secured" to take the company private at $420 per share – the largest corporate buyout, ever. But it turns out that wasn't true – he had only discussed the idea with an investor. And the price they allegedly talked about was $419. Musk allegedly rounded up because of "the number's significance in marijuana culture" and because he thought his gf would find it funny. You know what's not funny? Getting sued for making up info that misleads investors. Musk's tweet has been self-driving shareholders crazy. Now, Tesla's stock is taking a hit and the SEC is asking a federal judge to bar him from being the officer or director of a public company.

PS: Can't get enough Musk? Our in-app audio episode goes deep. Get it here.

What to say to your friend who watches "The Affair" as their guilty pleasure…

You're not a criminal. Yesterday, India struck down a colonial-era law on adultery that treats women like "chattel." 158 years ago, India decided it was illegal to have sex with someone's wife without permission…from the husband. Not exactly an idea of consent that flies today. The punishment a man gets for violating the bro code? Up to five years in prison. Now, India's Supreme Court is saying scratch that, because the law treats the husband as "the master" of his wife. This isn't the first time India's current Supreme Court took a pen to outdated gender-based laws. See: dropping its ban on gay sex, outlawing a form of instant divorce, and deciding that sex with an underage wife constitutes rape. But not everyone's happy with the court's latest edits – Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is all about the sanctity of marriage and still into the idea that adultery should be a crime for both men and women. Because fairness.

What to say when you get your flu shot…

Get on my level. Yesterday, the CDC said last winter was the worst flu season in decades. About 80,000 Americans died from it. And it wasn't just older people who suffered: all age groups were affected.

What to say when your manager reschedules your performance review...

Great, more time to sweat it.

What to say when your friend lands a new job…

Balloons for you and Eric Reid.


"The Masterpiece" by Fiona Davis

Did you know there was an art school inside NYC's Grand Central Terminal in the 1920s? Decades later, a woman stumbles upon the remains of the abandoned school and finds a painting hidden there. Cue a quest to learn more about the mysterious artist. All aboard intrigue. Get it here.

PS: Want to see all our Skimm Reads in one place? Here you go.


For when there's a political chill at the dinner table...

Midterms are coming. Warm yourself up for the showdown with a No Excuses sweatshirt. It says "Vote Me In, Coach" and you want in on it. All our proceeds go toward a nonpartisan charity focused on increasing the number of women in politics. Get it here.*

For when you wear the first thing you try on...

Objects in mirror are as cute as they appear. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that helps you style through the seasons. Outfits are curated based on your needs (think: petite, maternity, in a rut, etc.). Keep what you want and send back what you don't. Plus, first-timers get a free styling credit. S'cute.*

*PS This is a sponsored section, which means if sign up, theSkimm may get something in return.


* indicates Skimm'bassador. Hammer time.

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