Patterico's Pontifications


SCANDAL!!!1!!!!11!! Kavanaugh Bought Baseball Tickets

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

The Washington Post has this incredible scandal regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. It sounds pretty bad in this headline: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says:

Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh incurred tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt buying baseball tickets over the past decade and at times reported liabilities that could have exceeded the value of his cash accounts and investment assets, according to a review of Kavanaugh’s financial disclosures and information provided by the White House.

White House spokesman Raj Shah told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh built up the debt by buying Washington Nationals season tickets and tickets for playoff games for himself and a “handful” of friends. Shah said some of the debts were also for home improvements.

In 2016, Kavanaugh reported having between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt accrued over three credit cards and a loan. Each credit card held between $15,000 and $50,000 in debt, and a Thrift Savings Plan loan was between $15,000 and $50,000.

Wow. He “built up” debt that exceeded his assets. Quite irresponsible! Bad judgment!

I doubt Raj Shah said Kavanaugh “built up” the debt, because (as we will see) that did not happen. (Which means, of course, that Raj Shah does not exist, because he was possibly misquoted and people who were possibly misquoted do not exist.)

You have to pull apart the facts here to understand that there is no story. The headline (“piled up”) unjustifiably suggests that Kavanaugh accrued this credit card debt over time, for expenses he and his family irresponsibly incurred himself. The story adds to the “piled up” narrative with phrase “built up.” But let’s read on to see how this debt “piled up” and “built up” over time:

The credit card debts and loan were either paid off or fell below the reporting requirements in 2017, according to the filings, which do not require details on the nature or source of such payments. Shah told The Post that Kavanaugh’s friends reimbursed him for their share of the baseball tickets and that the judge has since stopped purchasing the season tickets.

Shah did not provide the names of the friends or additional details about the tickets. Kavanaugh, who is known to be a Nationals fan, declined to comment.

Shah said the payments for the tickets were made at the end of 2016 and paid off early the next year.

“He did not carry that kind of debt year over year,” Shah said.

So he bought expensive tickets in bulk for himself and his friends — no doubt due to bulk discounts — and then was quickly reimbursed.


Where does this “built up” and “piled up” nonsense come from? The need for drama. That’s all. The editors are asking themselves: how do we even justify publishing this nonsense? And the answer is: make it sound worse than it really is.

The worst part of all is that trifles like this distract from a far more serious lapse in judgment — one that, in a sane world, would end Kavanaugh’s nomination immediately:

At Yale, the judge was highly regarded among his classmates, his friends say. He spent nights working on the Yale Law Journal, where he served as notes editor. He made those late shifts “palatable” with a constant stream of jokes, said Brochin, who also worked on the journal.

But when it came to food, the future Supreme Court pick found hardly anything palatable, Christmas said. Kavanaugh was a “bland eater,” his roommate explained, who never ate his pasta with anything more exotic than tomato sauce or ketchup on top. At visits to Yorkside Pizza following late nights at Toad’s Place — the friends did not go often, Christmas said, as Kavanaugh had “limited dance moves” — the judge’s pizza had to be plain cheese, or sometimes just pepperoni.


This shows an unforgivable lack of judgment.

It’s not too late to get Barrett. We might have little idea how she would actually behave as a judge, but she would trigger the libs — and I bet she would never put ketchup on pasta.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

43 Responses to “SCANDAL!!!1!!!!11!! Kavanaugh Bought Baseball Tickets”

  1. I’ll bet he drank beer at Nationals games. Unfit.

    Paul Montagu (91b6ad)

  2. Patterico, the awful problem is that most people will only read the headline. Team D will exclaim “See—Kavanaugh is terrible.” Team R will yell: “This can’t be true; FAKE NEWS!”

    But neither group will have done what you just did: bother to read and analyze the report.

    I call it “bumper sticker politics” for a reason. And I am sad about it.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  3. there’s a culinary tradition what uses ketchup and butter for to make a simple pasta dish

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. No Simon we look at the evidence.

    Narciso (8195d6)

  5. built up the debt

    what boyfriend built up was credit card points

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  6. Actually, narciso, many, many people do not. Including some posters to this blog.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  7. I can’t support anyone who would spend money on the Nationals. They are so like the government — lot’s of spending for mediocre returns.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  8. i’ve tried this recipe for jewish spaghetti

    it’s quite precise about which tomato sauce to use but given that one also adds sugar it’s not hard to see substituting ketchup for the tomato sauce/sugar components

    if I remember i liked it fresh but once it cooled off you became rather too aware of how much butter you were eating

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  9. Going to Yorkside and never getting the spinach & feta pizza is pretty close to criminal.

    KenB (1ad56f)

  10. I’m outraged! I want to see his credit card points account, too. There’s something very suspicious gong on there.

    Also, why hasn’t he submitted his veterinary doc’s records? Dog on top of car? The favorite tactic of Republican monsters.

    Patricia (3363ec)

  11. 5, true dat…how the hell do you think you end up with a bunch of gift cards every Christmas?

    urbanleftbehind (fab96f)

  12. What would Jesus do? I dunno, lets go ask a Jesuit. Jerry Brown and Kavanaugh have that in common.
    What the Jesuits don’t spend much time on is what Jesus didn’t do. Did Jesus make sure all of Palestine was hunger free, in cheerful good health, wealth redistributed, peaceful and serene? No. Because Jesus didn’t do all that.

    I saw the photo of Kavanaugh feeding the homeless and went “uh oh”. I’ve volunteered for that many times and its got its good points, but feeding the homeless can have negative effects on everyone and everything around the feeding site and the do-good, feel good folks just view that as acceptable collateral damage in the course of doing their higher calling.
    In SF and LA there have been connections made connections to rising crime in areas surrounding homeless feeding areas before and after the meal. Vandalism goes up, violence like fistfights go up, burglaries and theft go up, drug use goes up, urination and defecation is public, sex in public all on the periphery away from the eyes of the feeders. I used to live near a park where churches fed the homeless and sure the churches would clean up their section of the park, but the homeless would trash the remainder as well. Syringes, crap, trash, fights all happen at the other side of the park and when the homeless would leave walking down side streets, they’d take everything that wasn’t nailed down on their way back out to their encampments.

    Some decided that feeding the homeless in the already blighted neighborhoods was the answer, but that plan just increases the blight, it just isn’t as noticeable.

    Anyway all this to say I think Kavanaugh will be a squish and Trump will regret the appointment.
    I hope I am wrong and instead find that Kavanaugh sees what he does as the churches role and doesn’t give the state power to be a nanny

    steveg (a9dcab)

  13. Levin thinks so.

    Narciso (459ac7)

  14. who never ate his pasta with anything more exotic than tomato sauce or ketchup on top.

    What the f.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  15. it’s not hard to see substituting ketchup for the tomato sauce/sugar components

    shut up

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  16. no really cause these kinds of dishes aren’t “sauced” the way we think of

    the butter and sauce are mixed into the pasta and the pasta soaks it up and … done

    it’s not like the italian way where you plate the pasta then ladle on sauce

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  17. Not with Heinz 57. Not on my watch. Better dead than red

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  18. At least he didn’t put ketchup on a hot dog. {shivers

    James (5ca9c0)

  19. He probably only ordered plain cheese pizza–OH the Horror.

    Rochf (877dba)

  20. hf

    Do the jews have no sense of decency? My goodness. they control the weather, finances, entertainment, politics and more, but they put ketchup like products on their spaghetti? No wonder God made them wander around the Sinai chasing clouds

    steveg (a9dcab)

  21. What strikes me is that the Political Left could save a great deal of time and energy NOT having hysterics about a non-issue that is in any case none- of their freaking business, for the same result they are going to get this way. If this is what they have against him, the man is going to get posted to the Supreme Court.

    Is this the most promising way they have of expending their remaining Political Capitol?

    C. S. P. Schofield (0b343f)

  22. Totally agree about the homeless situation , steveg. Virtue signaling. I thought oh no he’s one of Those Catholics. Not a danger sign but just sad

    Patricia (371d8f)

  23. He’s a poor, no poors in government.

    Really, that isn’t a terrible thing, he’s a typical upper middle class guy, he’s got a pension instead of 401k, but most of his wealth is tied up in his house, and he lives relatively close to his spending. $220k sounds like a lot of money, and it is generally, but in DC it really isn’t, and again, he does have a federal pension, that’s a big deal. His wife makes $66k in local government, which probably pays for child care. He’ll get a $30k raise, and be eligible for big paydays in speaker’s fee’s, which is always nice.

    I pay for Cincinnati Reds season tickets on my credit card, I’m not walking up to the ticket office with for 4 seats @ $6800 a pop in cash, who would?

    RogueVal (6e7a1c)

  24. but they put ketchup like products on their spaghetti

    the filipinos use banana ketchup for their spaghetti

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  25. Patricia (371d8f) — 7/12/2018 @ 2:40 pm

    I’ve been called “one of those Catholics” by a friend who asked why I going to miss one of our nightly poker games. He asked me why I was a not coming, and I replied that I was going to the city center to volunteer to help out with the evacuees of the hurricane. Which prompted his “What? Are you one of those Catholics.”

    I asked him what he meant by that, and he replied that I was “virtue signaling.” This saddened me because He missed the irony of the moment. That he did not realize that my charity had garnered not approbation, but opprobrium. I also found it insulting that he would cast doubt on my intentions, considering I only mentioned it because he demanded an explanation.

    Now, I have seen such a charge lobbed at Pelosi when she appeared at a soup kitchen during a campaign. I thought it unfair even when I was informed that she had no history of doing such things on a regular basis. So maybe this is what you mean about Coach K. If he has no such charitable history, then I can see why you would say this. But I still think it unfair to Catholics. I would, on the other hand agree with a charge of “hypocrite” if it were true.

    felipe (023cc9)

  26. Many Christian denominations have the same mantra of “time, talent, and treasure.” The idea being that the whole person is to act out their faith, as in observation of the Commandment to love the Lord with all “your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. This can take one a considerable amount of time and spiritual growth before being able to live by it. I do not fault anyone who has not reached this laudable goal.

    Only volunteering time is not enough. Placing only your talent at the disposal of those who would benefit from it is not enough. Cutting a check, alone, also is not enough. I see coach K well on his way as he has demonstrated all three criteria. Of course, Jesus would still say “now, go and sell all your belongings and give to the poor.” Yikes, Christianity is hard!

    felipe (023cc9)

  27. Well I don’t think that is a prerequisite, Jesus meant to do not makes idols of anything else which is what the pursuit of money power prestige devolves intom

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. narciso (d1f714) — 7/12/2018 @ 3:41 pm

    Quite right! Thus it is a means (not and end in itself) in combating those pursuits.

    felipe (023cc9)

  29. Although I was quoting Deuteronomy, just as Jesus was.

    felipe (023cc9)

  30. The theologian in me (OCD?) compels me to correct myself:

    Although I was quoting Deuteronomy, just as Jesus was is.

    felipe (023cc9)

  31. From Moses to Isaiah to Jeremiah to Jesus, we keep missing the message.

    Narciso (6a1927)

  32. 26… I would’ve sternly rebuked teh reprobate, felipe. Your patience and tolerance is commendable!

    Colonel Haiku (5fd258)

  33. Thanks, Colonel, that means a lot to me.

    felipe (023cc9)

  34. Good grief what a fool that fellow was, noe if you volunteered for amnesty or Greenpeace he would have no objection, again the issue of idol building.

    Narciso (6a1927)


    Forget it, there goes my vote.

    Bored Lawyer (88bf82)

  36. Our esteemed host wrote:

    The editors are asking themselves: how do we even justify publishing this nonsense?

    As nearly as I can tell, The New York Times and The Washington Post have no editors. They are letting reporters and writers get away with publishing [insert slang term for feces here] these days that Abe Rosenthal and Ben Bradlee would have put the kibosh on immediately. Articles are poorly sourced — unless you’re talking about Ali Watkins, who made sure that she got to know her sources very closely — and bogus statistics are given as simple declarative sentences, with no proof and are apparently just pulled out of their asses thin air.

    It’s pretty bad when blogs such as this fine site do everything that they can to research and cite their sources, while the credentialed media do not.

    The non-journalist Dana (8a2cfa)

  37. Brett and Trump think alike
    Ketchup is their common delight
    Whether pasta or steak
    They think that it’s great
    For the rest of us it is a fright!

    The Limerick Avenger (8a2cfa)

  38. how can anyone
    put ketchup on well done steak
    impeach him for this!

    The Haiku Avenger (8a2cfa)

  39. Does anyone know how much Nats season tickets cost? Their website talks about a $300 deposit now, and paying in 10 easy installments, for 2019 season tickets but does`not give an overall figure that I can find.

    kishnevi (54fe57)

  40. Mr nevi asked:

    Does anyone know how much Nats season tickets cost? Their website talks about a $300 deposit now, and paying in 10 easy installments, for 2019 season tickets but does`not give an overall figure that I can find.

    Does anyone know how anyone can spend 81 days between April and September at the ballpark, unless they actually work there?

    The kind of busy Dana (8a2cfa)

  41. “Does anyone know how anyone can spend 81 days between April and September at the ballpark, unless they actually work there?”

    You don’t. You attend the games you can and try to sell your unused tickets. At least, that’s how my friends with Cubs season tickets handle things.

    Amiable Dorsai (e08c30)

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