Why the FBI Should Investigate ‘Boofing’ – POLITICO Magazine

As the FBI reopens its background check investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, the scope of its review must go beyond the serious allegations of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez. For its investigation to be comprehensive, the FBI must also get to the bottom of what “boofing” means.
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The term was one of several raunchy references in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook. When questioned at last week’s hearing about the meaning of these inside jokes, Kavanaugh conveniently had an innocent explanation at the ready for each. None, however, was credible.
“Devil’s Triangle”? Kavanaugh said it was a drinking game, not the sexual reference that a simple Google search suggests.
“Ralph Club”? That, Kavanaugh said, referred to how his weak stomach often could not handle spicy food, not vomiting caused by excessive drinking.
And “boofing”? Kavanaugh said it referred to “flatulence.” The answer prompted laughter in the hearing room, and Kavanaugh leveraged the moment to try to belittle the entire line of questioning. “You want to talk about flatulence at age 16 on a yearbook page?” he sneered at Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). “I’m game.”
Under normal circumstances, Kavanaugh might be right to consider it overreach for the world’s most deliberative body to be grilling a Supreme Court nominee about crude jokes in his high school yearbook.
But in Kavanaugh’s case, the yearbook references are relevant. Since facing sexual assault allegations, Kavanaugh has tried to cast himself as a choir boy during his high school and college years, stressing his time spent attending church and performing service projects. But the yearbook offers a glimpse of the Kavanaugh that Ford and Ramirez remember—a young man who drank to excess and found humor in the disrespecting of women.
Kavanaugh’s answers to the Senate about the meaning of these yearbook references defy credulity—and directly undermine his credibility. They suggest he is unwilling to admit the truth about even the smallest of matters.
In another such instance that arose during his Senate hearing, Kavanaugh was asked about a reference to a female friend, Renate Dolphin. Kavanaugh called himself a “Renate alumnius” in his yearbook, seeming to imply that he had slept with her. That, at least, is how Dolphin interpreted it. Upon being shown the yearbook in recent days, she declared herself betrayed and hurt by the false inference Kavanaugh was making.
But when quizzed about it, Kavanaugh did not own up to making a cruel joke at Dolphin’s expense. Instead, he claimed the reference was entirely innocent. It simply conveyed she was part of his social circle, he said, and he blamed the media for mischaracterizing it as a reference to sex.
The answer, like the others, just didn’t pass the laugh test.
Here is where the FBI should come in. As part of its probe this week, the FBI must obviously seek to get to the bottom of the highly credible allegations made by Ford and Kavanaugh’s other accusers.
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There is a chance the FBI might uncover additional evidence or testimony that further corroborates these women’s claims. But if not—especially as reports suggest that the White House is narrowing the scope of the probe and hamstringing investigators’ ability to get to the truth of these allegations—the FBI still must examine Kavanaugh’s credibility and candor.
FBI agents will not provide a conclusion or judgment about Kavanaugh’s credibility, but they can—and must—look to his Senate testimony and present senators with evidence that refutes or corroborates it.
For example, FBI investigators should ask Kavanaugh’s football teammates—many of whom also dubbed themselves “Renate alumni” in their own yearbook entries—exactly what the reference meant. They should ask Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, whose yearbook entry also referenced boofing, if he agrees—under oath—that it means what Kavanaugh said it does. They should find the friends who supposedly played Devil’s Triangle with Kavanaugh.
Regardless of whether such petty lies could ever to amount to perjury, they provide glimpses into Kavanaugh’s character and candor. As Kavanaugh well knows, in our legal system, even small lies matter. In jury trials, there is a standard instruction to jurors that if they conclude a witness is lying about any matter, they have the right to dismiss that witness’ entire testimony as potentially untruthful.
Kavanaugh’s own mother was a judge, and he has described her judicial philosophy as this: “Use your common sense, what rings true, what rings false.”
Senators weighing Kavanaugh’s fate should apply the same standard. To date, many of them have tried to dismiss Ford’s allegations as a case of “he said, she said.” But any proof that Kavanaugh lied under oath should cause senators to err on the side of believing her over him.
Furthermore, anyone prone to such casual lying is not fit to serve a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court.
After all, if Kavanaugh can’t be trusted to tell the truth about even the minor stuff, why should we trust him on anything else?

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Documentary “Love, Gilda” recalls the beloved comedian’s all-too-brief life

“Saturday Night Live” launched the careers of some of comedy’s biggest stars, including Gilda Radner. Remembering the comedian is the mission of a new documentary, “Love, Gilda.” Her brave but losing battle with cancer still inspires countless fans, including our Dr. Jon LaPook:
Gilda Radner was one of television’s most beloved comedians. Back in the ’70s, she was the very first person hired for “Saturday Night Live.”
Baba Wawa at Large – SNL by Saturday Night Live on YouTube “She had this joy that surrounded her when she performed,” said Amy Poehler. “She just felt like she was a lovely person who happened to be insanely talented.”
Poehler should know. Like Radner, this veteran comedy star made her mark on “SNL.” “It’s really easy to talk about Gilda, for me, because she was such a formidable presence in my life, and probably the first female comedic role models that I aspired to be like,” she said.
Poehler appears in a new documentary about Radner’s life, “Love, Gilda.” It’s an intimate portrayal featuring Gilda’s own diaries.
“I am fascinated with boys but never wanted to be one.”
And never-seen-before home movies. One of its narrators is Gilda herself.
“When I think back on my life, I always felt that my comedy was just to make things be all right.”
“She was uniquely herself all the time, even though she played these amazing characters,” Poehler said. “What I would say to young people who don’t know her work is, she just influenced so many people. And the funniest people thought she was the funniest.”
“SNL” writer Alan Zweibel knew her well; he met Radner on the very first day of “Saturday Night Live,” and hit it off.
“We just started making each other laugh and turning it into characters and sketches. Emily Litella was based on a nanny that Gilda had named Dibby and who was hard of hearing and would get some things wrong.”
Weekend Update: Emily Litella on Television Violins – SNL by Saturday Night Live on YouTube Zweibel proposed using one of her most memorable characters as a consumer reporter. “Not unlike Rose Ann Scamardella, who was a local WABC newsperson,” he said. “And Gilda said, ‘Yeah, can we name her Roseanne Roseannadanna?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah!'”
Zweibel said, “And Richard Feder from Fort Lee, who wrote these letters, well, he’s my brother-in-law.”
Weekend Update: Roseanne Rosannadanna on Smoking – SNL by Saturday Night Live on YouTube Zweibel said, “She would want to make you laugh at all costs, you know? No matter what it was, just like a kid would.”
He recalled a sketch in which Gilda played the grieving widow of Howdy Doody, a marionette named Debbie Doody. “And it went into the toilet. It was just not funny. But Gilda made it work because she knew she was dying out there on live TV.
“She bumped into Laraine Newman and just wound her up and just entwined the two of ’em. It wasn’t the intended laugh, but she wanted to make sure you went away laughing.”
After five seasons on “SNL,” Radner moved on. She met and married Gene Wilder, and found a new kind of contentment.
But it wasn’t to last. At age 40 Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and life as she knew it screeched to a halt. The documentary offers a glimpse of her despair:
“I thought I was supposed to be the jester. I end up somehow being the beggar.
“I feel like some fighter who keeps getting knocked down to the floor. Well, this time I’m having a little bit of trouble getting up.”
“She says, ‘I have ovarian cancer, Zweibel. And I need you to help me get through this part of my life.’ And I went, ‘What should I do?’ And she said, ‘Make me laugh!’ She felt that her humor was the only weapon that she had against this disease.”
“I kept thinking there must be a purpose to this somewhere, that a comedian who does Rosanne Rosannadanna and all this stupid stuff, gets the most unfunny thing in the world. How am I gonna get people to laugh about it? To be able to speak the words? To be able to not be afraid to be treated for it?”
With help from friends and family, and crucially from a support group, Gilda Radner rediscovered her old self. For a time her cancer went into remission, and as chronicled in “Love, Gilda,” she characteristically turned it into a punch line.
[sings]
I am well, I am wonderful,
I am cancer-free.
No little cancer cell
is hiding inside of me.
But if some little cancer cell is sneakily holding on,
I’ll bash and beat its f***ing head and smash it till it’s gone.
She and Alan Zweibel crafted what would be her final moments on camera, a guest appearance on a program he co-created, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.”
“These 300 people, who she was afraid wouldn’t remember who she was, they went nuts,” Zweibel said.
Garry: “Don’t milk the applause like that.”
Gilda: “I’m sorry, Garry. I haven’t been on television for a while.”
Garry: “What was wrong?”
Gilda: “Oh, I had cancer. What did you have?”
Garry: “I, uh, just had a series of bad career moves.”
Gilda Radner in her last TV appearance on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.”
Showtime Cancer would eventually claim her life, but it couldn’t take her legacy. It lives on in a bestselling memoir, “It’s Always Something,” and in Gilda’s Clubs across the country … centers where people confronting cancer can find support.
Zweibel said, “She became a symbol of what you can do and how you can live your life, even though you’ve got this disease.”
Amy Poehler said, “There’s a huge percentage of women that I came up with in comedy who think about her all the time. I don’t know if I carry the Gilda torch. But I certainly carry her lessons with me. And I remember her songs. I remember the laughter. I do remember it with Gilda.”
“So, it’s the laughter we will remember,” said LaPook.
And when she had the audience at her one-woman show sing along the words to “The Way We Were,” LaPook said, “That’s the line of all lines that she wanted the entire audience to sing when she was doing her one-woman show.”
To watch a trailer for “Love, Gilda,” click on the video player below.
Love, Gilda – Official Trailer by Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing on YouTube See also:
Almanac: Gilda Radner (“Sunday Morning,” 05/20/18)
For more info:
“Love, Gilda” (Official site), in theatres and available On Demand
Gilda’s Club NYC
Cancer Support Community
Story produced by Reid Orvedahl.

Read More…

Documentary “Love, Gilda” recalls the beloved comedian’s all-too-brief life

“Saturday Night Live” launched the careers of some of comedy’s biggest stars, including Gilda Radner. Remembering the comedian is the mission of a new documentary, “Love, Gilda.” Her brave but losing battle with cancer still inspires countless fans, including our Dr. Jon LaPook:
Gilda Radner was one of television’s most beloved comedians. Back in the ’70s, she was the very first person hired for “Saturday Night Live.”
Baba Wawa at Large – SNL by Saturday Night Live on YouTube “She had this joy that surrounded her when she performed,” said Amy Poehler. “She just felt like she was a lovely person who happened to be insanely talented.”
Poehler should know. Like Radner, this veteran comedy star made her mark on “SNL.” “It’s really easy to talk about Gilda, for me, because she was such a formidable presence in my life, and probably the first female comedic role models that I aspired to be like,” she said.
Poehler appears in a new documentary about Radner’s life, “Love, Gilda.” It’s an intimate portrayal featuring Gilda’s own diaries.
“I am fascinated with boys but never wanted to be one.”
And never-seen-before home movies. One of its narrators is Gilda herself.
“When I think back on my life, I always felt that my comedy was just to make things be all right.”
“She was uniquely herself all the time, even though she played these amazing characters,” Poehler said. “What I would say to young people who don’t know her work is, she just influenced so many people. And the funniest people thought she was the funniest.”
“SNL” writer Alan Zweibel knew her well; he met Radner on the very first day of “Saturday Night Live,” and hit it off.
“We just started making each other laugh and turning it into characters and sketches. Emily Litella was based on a nanny that Gilda had named Dibby and who was hard of hearing and would get some things wrong.”
Weekend Update: Emily Litella on Television Violins – SNL by Saturday Night Live on YouTube Zweibel proposed using one of her most memorable characters as a consumer reporter. “Not unlike Rose Ann Scamardella, who was a local WABC newsperson,” he said. “And Gilda said, ‘Yeah, can we name her Roseanne Roseannadanna?’ And I said, ‘Well, yeah!'”
Zweibel said, “And Richard Feder from Fort Lee, who wrote these letters, well, he’s my brother-in-law.”
Weekend Update: Roseanne Rosannadanna on Smoking – SNL by Saturday Night Live on YouTube Zweibel said, “She would want to make you laugh at all costs, you know? No matter what it was, just like a kid would.”
He recalled a sketch in which Gilda played the grieving widow of Howdy Doody, a marionette named Debbie Doody. “And it went into the toilet. It was just not funny. But Gilda made it work because she knew she was dying out there on live TV.
“She bumped into Laraine Newman and just wound her up and just entwined the two of ’em. It wasn’t the intended laugh, but she wanted to make sure you went away laughing.”
After five seasons on “SNL,” Radner moved on. She met and married Gene Wilder, and found a new kind of contentment.
But it wasn’t to last. At age 40 Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and life as she knew it screeched to a halt. The documentary offers a glimpse of her despair:
“I thought I was supposed to be the jester. I end up somehow being the beggar.
“I feel like some fighter who keeps getting knocked down to the floor. Well, this time I’m having a little bit of trouble getting up.”
“She says, ‘I have ovarian cancer, Zweibel. And I need you to help me get through this part of my life.’ And I went, ‘What should I do?’ And she said, ‘Make me laugh!’ She felt that her humor was the only weapon that she had against this disease.”
“I kept thinking there must be a purpose to this somewhere, that a comedian who does Rosanne Rosannadanna and all this stupid stuff, gets the most unfunny thing in the world. How am I gonna get people to laugh about it? To be able to speak the words? To be able to not be afraid to be treated for it?”
With help from friends and family, and crucially from a support group, Gilda Radner rediscovered her old self. For a time her cancer went into remission, and as chronicled in “Love, Gilda,” she characteristically turned it into a punch line.
[sings]
I am well, I am wonderful,
I am cancer-free.
No little cancer cell
is hiding inside of me.
But if some little cancer cell is sneakily holding on,
I’ll bash and beat its f***ing head and smash it till it’s gone.
She and Alan Zweibel crafted what would be her final moments on camera, a guest appearance on a program he co-created, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.”
“These 300 people, who she was afraid wouldn’t remember who she was, they went nuts,” Zweibel said.
Garry: “Don’t milk the applause like that.”
Gilda: “I’m sorry, Garry. I haven’t been on television for a while.”
Garry: “What was wrong?”
Gilda: “Oh, I had cancer. What did you have?”
Garry: “I, uh, just had a series of bad career moves.”
Gilda Radner in her last TV appearance on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.”
Showtime Cancer would eventually claim her life, but it couldn’t take her legacy. It lives on in a bestselling memoir, “It’s Always Something,” and in Gilda’s Clubs across the country … centers where people confronting cancer can find support.
Zweibel said, “She became a symbol of what you can do and how you can live your life, even though you’ve got this disease.”
Amy Poehler said, “There’s a huge percentage of women that I came up with in comedy who think about her all the time. I don’t know if I carry the Gilda torch. But I certainly carry her lessons with me. And I remember her songs. I remember the laughter. I do remember it with Gilda.”
“So, it’s the laughter we will remember,” said LaPook.
And when she had the audience at her one-woman show sing along the words to “The Way We Were,” LaPook said, “That’s the line of all lines that she wanted the entire audience to sing when she was doing her one-woman show.”
To watch a trailer for “Love, Gilda,” click on the video player below.
Love, Gilda – Official Trailer by Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing on YouTube See also:
Almanac: Gilda Radner (“Sunday Morning,” 05/20/18)
For more info:
“Love, Gilda” (Official site), in theatres and available On Demand
Gilda’s Club NYC
Cancer Support Community
Story produced by Reid Orvedahl.

Read More…