Looks Like Brett Kavanaugh’s Yearbook Has Become Part of His Permanent Record

When I edited my high school yearbook in 1987, I was occasionally struck by the thought that folks would be looking at this annual record for the rest of their lives.  That was a fairly self-congratulatory thought for the editor of the high school yearbook to have, but this week’s news about Brett Kavanaugh has proven my high school self right.

Last night, the New York Times ran a story about Brett Kavanaugh’s personal page in his high school yearbook from Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit school for boys located in the DC suburb of Bethesda, Maryland.  It’s a real doozy.  I didn’t go to Georgetown Prep, I went to a public high school in Chicago’s south suburbs, but, yep, I sure as a scrunchie recognize the type that Brett Kavanaugh appears to have been in those years.

As it turns out, Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook page has become part of his permanent record.

Georgetown Prep gave their students the freedom to author their own yearbook pages, which, as it turns out, provide more than a few clues as to that student’s character, personality, and self-image as they entered the realm of adulthood.  Kavanaugh was, it seems, a bro amongst bros.

For those who lack context, a Catholic boys high school is a very particular culture.  Sports are king in this environment, even at a Jesuit (known for their scholarship and intellect) institution.  I met a mom last year who did not enroll her kindergarten age son in the local Catholic school that her older daughter attends because he was more of an artist than an athlete and even at the tender age of 5, she knew he would be an outcast there.

Let that sink in for a moment.

So we know that Kavanaugh was the captain of the basketball team and played football for four years.  Got it.  He was in the inner circle, if you will.  Looks like there are also lots of inside jokes he references, too, because what is high school but a four year parade of inside jokes that you either get or not get?

Looks like BK got ’em.  He was part of the “bowling alley assault” and treasurer of the Keg City Club — “100 kegs or bust,” yo.  We are learning from former classmates that Kavanaugh drank heavily in high school and college.  His freshman roommate at Yale gave an interview yesterday and characterized him as “aggressive and belligerent” when “very” drunk, which was, apparently, often.

Most troubling, though, are the references to a social peer, Renate, who attended a neighboring girls Catholic high school.  Renate is Renate Schroeder Dolphin, who was mentioned, per the NYT article, 14 times in the Georgetown Prep 1983 yearbook.  Kavanaugh refers to himself as a “Renate Alumnius,” as did a dozen other of his classmates.  The inference is clear, despite what BK says today about his virginal teen years.  Having been unaware of the yearbook comments about her high school self until just recently, in a statement provided to the New York Times, Ms. Dolphin comments:

“I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”

Why 13 separate boys were allowed to reference Renate conquests on their personal pages is beyond me.  Well, actually, it’s not.  It’s understandable, woeful as it may be.  It has been part of the tolerated culture for far too long.

A teacher employed by Georgetown Prep saw these references, approved of them, and went on with their day.  Done and done.  Except, it’s not done, and 35 years later the woman referenced as the collective conquest amongst the 1983 varsity football team of Georgetown Prep, immortalized in its yearbook that, yes, is now part of Brett Kavanaugh’s permanent record, is feeling the impact.

Kavanaugh’s lawyer, Alexandra Walsh, released a statement yesterday about this yearbook page and the references to Renate specifically, “The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else.”

That’s gaslighting right there, done by a woman in service to a powerful man working hard to distance himself from his own actions, and it is despicable.  Any reasonable person would look through that yearbook and see the numerous references to Renate Schroeder and come away with the assumption that she had dated the Georgetown Prep football team.  For a good time, call Renate.  It’s clear as day and read as it was intended to be read.

Finally, note the references to boofing, the Devil’s triangle, and celebrating the FFFFFFFourth of July.  Urban Dictionary is a good source for seeing what this particular future SCOTUS nominee was up to in high school.

Do bros ever stop being bros?  I don’t know.  I think it is possible.  I think there is a case to be made for youthful indiscretion and all that, but sexual assault is not a youthful indiscretion.  It is a criminal act.  And a toxic, alcohol fueled, misogynistic youth is not a rite of passage that all boys go through.  Most of the bros I knew in high school and college, if Facebook is any indication, are still very much bros.  I avoided them in the 80s and I still avoid them.  And, full disclosure, I am pretty much the same person I was in high school.  Still awkward, still shy, still political, still a wee bit sanctimonious.

If boys will be boys, seems like bros will be bros.  None of that belongs on the Supreme Court.

If You’re Having a Miscarriage, Don’t Expect Walgreen’s Pharmacy to Help You

Last week I mentioned that I am angry all the time these days.  All.  The.  Time.  Today’s outrage comes after a casual perusal of the news.  I just learned that an Arizona woman, after being told by her physician that her body was in the midst of miscarrying her fetus, was given the option of having a surgical procedure, or taking a prescription to expel the no longer developing fetus from her body.  The woman opted for the medication.  Her pharmacist refused to fill the prescription for moral and ethical reasons.

Think about that, ladies.  Since I read about it, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  A woman was informed that her body was rejecting her pregnancy, that her fetus had no heartbeat and had stopped developing.  She would miscarry her pregnancy.  This was what was happening, regardless of anyone’s morals or ethics.  The fetus would never grow into a baby.  It is a brutal loss.

I have had four miscarriages.  One happened very, very early into the pregnancy, before I had even been to the doctor.  The other three were after I was in a doctor’s care, but all during the first trimester.  Those last three miscarriages were discovered during routine ultrasounds, when, just like this Arizona woman, the doctor detected no heartbeat.  I went in, happy and excited, I left wrecked.  Those experiences were devastating to me.

Two of my miscarriages required a D & C, dilation and curettage, a surgical procedure, per my physician.  The last one was allowed to pass through my body naturally.  Miscarriage is something I don’t write about often, but I am often surprised by how many women have experienced one, even when we don’t talk about it.  They are a painful and unacknowledged loss for many.

A day after learning that her pregnancy was not viable, which, by the way, is how the medical folks describe it in their notes, the Arizona woman made the decision to take the medication to enable her body to fully expel the undeveloping fetus.  She went to her local Walgreen’s to pick up her prescription, her seven year old son by her side.  The pharmacist on duty, after asking her if she was pregnant, refused to fill the prescription.  He explained that he was opposed to giving her the medication on ethical grounds.  The woman tried to explain her situation, despite it being none of his damn business, but he still refused.

What in the Handmaid’s Tale is happening here, ladies?

Under Arizona law, a pharmacist can decline to fill prescriptions for moral or ethical objections, but Walgreen’s has stated that if they do so, they are supposed to refer the prescription to another pharmacist on duty.  Walgreen’s has acknowledged that the pharmacist did not follow corporate protocol, as when the Arizona woman requested another pharmacist on duty help her, the man refused, instead saying he could phone the prescription in to another Walgreen’s.


BAH!  Some days I feel like I am going mad.  I hope this makes you angry.  Please tell me this makes you angry.  Ultimately, the woman got her prescription, but at a different pharmacy and on a different day.  The least of it was that she was inconvenienced.  More significant was that her grief and trauma of miscarriage worsened when a man, under legal protection, decided that a woman using a legally prescribed medication, could not miscarry her already non-viable pregnancy using pills he deemed immoral to provide.  It is madness, this America in 2018.

Where does it end?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I sure as hell know that every day is looking more and more like an America I no longer recognize.  Last week I was griping about the fact that my insurer was bought out by CVS Pharmacy, a corporation that no longer will allow me to have my prescriptions filled at Walgreen’s, my preferred pharmacy.  If I want coverage, I now need to get that at the corporation that owns my insurer.  Today, that bothers me a little less, reading about this man who made life harder for a woman in the midst of a miscarriage, but the truth is that all of it is wrong, and, increasingly, we are just rolling with the punches.

So, yeah.  Another day, another outrage.  I’m getting pretty used to this, and that terrifies me.


You can read more about this breaking news story HERE or watch an interview with the Arizona woman HERE.

America Just Got Trolled By the First Lady

If you’ve spent even a moment on social media today, you must be aware of #jacketgate.  This morning it was announced that First Lady Melania Trump would be making a surprise visit to a child detention center in Texas to see, firsthand, the conditions in which Central American children who have crossed the border into America were being detained.  She chose to wear this jacket:

FLOTUS wearing a $39 Zara jacket.
FLOTUS wearing a $39 Zara jacket.

All the nope.  No.  Cue the outrage.  Cue my outrage.

This is not just a jacket FLOTUS decided to wear on an 85 degree day in Washington, DC., with temperatures even hotter in Texas.  No.  This is trolling.  Of the highest order.  Her behavior is shameful, but completely representative of America in 2018.

Melania Trump is a former fashion model.  She is a beautiful woman who dresses and grooms herself with exacting precision.  Any soul who has watched even a single episode of America’s Next Top Model knows that it is drilled into those who pose for a living that what they wear and how they wear it matters.  I posit that our FLOTUS knew exactly, with calculation and forethought, what she was doing.

Let’s start with some facts.  FACT:  A woman who lives in a literal gilded tower does not shop at a store like Zara, where $39 statement jackets are sold to the masses.  FACT:  This jacket is from last season, so it’s been around the block.  FACT:  The jacket was worn onto the plane in DC and again off of the plane in DC.  It did not see the light of day in Texas.  FACT:  The trip was announced this morning and, like any good model, FLOTUS knew there would be photographers there.

Instinct tells me this was trolling behavior on Melania’s part, something she has occasionally engaged in, despite her “Be Best” mantra.  Initially I thought she was trolling Americans who do not align with her husband’s politics.  POTUS tweeted out that his wife was trolling the press, or “fake news” as he prefers to call them.  Others online have suggested that she was trolling her husband.

Listen up, ladies, as it makes not a damn bit of difference who Melania was trolling.  Whether it was her husband, the press, or Americans, in the bright light of day, the First Lady of America thought it appropriate to wear a jacket emblazoned with the words, “I REALLY DON’T CARE.  DO U?” while she was flying to visit a detention center filled with traumatized children.

She decided that trolling was appropriate behavior on the backs of these terrified kids.  That right there is vile and shameful and yes, I am happy to go there, deplorable.

I happened to be on Twitter when the news broke this morning and I thought it was a joke.  How could it be possible that the First Lady could be so heartless as to be using her visit with traumatized children to broadcast her displeasure with either the press or her fellow Americans or her disgrace of a husband?

But, no, it wasn’t a joke.  It was verified by outlet after outlet within minutes.  Twitter was on fire this morning.

Here are a few hot takes of mine:

  • Men don’t get it.  They don’t get fashion.  They don’t understand that women can use fashion as a means of expression.  They don’t get the mechanics of a $39 message jacket from a fast fashion outlet is something being extremely out of character and declasse for a wealthy Manhattan wife of a billionaire, let alone the President of the United States.  Many have fully underestimated the hateful intention behind this fashion choice.
  • White women are the first to suggest that Melania was sending a message to her husband, her own personal form of resistance.  Some have characterized the jacket as a sign of strength, a signal of sorts, that she sees him for what he is, mainly a horrible human being.  Nope.  Do not give this woman a pass here, sisters.  Be best!  Know that a moment in the company of traumatized children, when all eyes are on you, is not the moment to troll, regardless of who your target may be.  Show some respect and awareness and sensitivity.
  • Some have suggested that the jacket was used as bait for the media, an attempt to create the latest outrage du jour for the liberal Democrats that are infesting America.  This, of course, is entirely possible, but inexcusable.  Again, I can’t believe I have to say it, but a First Lady is in no position to be trolling anyone.  It is not part of the job description and cheapens all of us.  If Michelle Obama who was consistently referred to as a monkey, a gorilla, a man, obese, and on and on and on could abstain from lashing out, Melania can, too.
  • There is no compare and contrast between the outrage people have felt over this jacket today and the outrage expressed by the Fox News crowd over Obama’s tan suit or Michelle’s bare arms or shorts on vacation.  There is no comparison, period.  FLOTUS’ spokeswoman says there were no hidden messages with the jacket, and I fully agree.  Melania’s message was clear AF, worn on her back, graffiti style, for all the world to see.  She makes her lack of caring obvious on a regular basis.

Part of me cannot believe I am writing about this.  Am I taking the bait?  Fulfilling every stereotype of who Democrats are in 2018 America?  Falling for the superficial outrage while this administration is systematically tearing our democracy to shreds?  Possibly . . . probably, on all counts.  The truth is that I am outraged.  Every day.  All day.

Make no mistake about it.  You’ve been trolled today.  By the First Lady of America.  The outrage is merited.  Regardless of what your politics are, regardless of whether or not you support she and her husband.  Regardless of how you vote.  Because today, the First Lady of America thought it was a good idea to express her disdain for all of us by broadcasting how very little she cares about any of it, most especially migrant children far away from home, terrified and traumatized and warehoused, in no small part under order of her husband.

God bless America.