Are you pro-life? Really? CNN's Chris Cuomo offers a primer, challenge on Pope Francis and the death penalty.
Pope Francis has approved a change to Catholic teaching, ruling the death penalty inadmissible in any case, Chris Cuomo said on CNN Thursday night. Cuomo, who clearly knows his Catholic catechism, took a moment to explain what that means, and why non-Catholic Americans might care what the pope does. "Even a person who does something horrible can be redeemed, deserves dignity, that's the point that he's making," he explained.
"This is smart on one level, stunning on another," Cuomo said. "The smart part is squaring the logic of being pro-life: If you believe that you don't mess with life in one area, you don't mess with it, period. It's logical, and it plays to an inconsistency that we see here in America," where "many who call themselves pro-life are also pro–death penalty," a contradiction that's "always struck me as odd," he added. "For believers, either the Big Man calls the shots of who lives and who dies, or we do — which is it?"
The "stunning" part is the scope of the pope's consistent embrace of life. When he was called Jorge Bergoglio in Argentina, Pope Francis "wasn't only a huge opponent of the death penalty, but of inequities of how we treat the living," Cuomo said. "His argument has always been that if you are pro-life, you are pro–all life, equally. So the question for you is, are you pro-life?" If you answered yes, he had some pointed follow-up questions. "The pope is just as strong on respecting those lives as he is an unborn baby," he said. "Are you?" You can watch his entire argument and decide below; Cuomo said he wants your feedback, too. Peter Weber
They don't call Bob Williams of Long Grove, Iowa, the "Candy Man" for nothing.
Every day, the 94-year-old retired high school teacher and World War II veteran passes out Hershey's chocolate bars to people he meets around town. He got the idea 15 years ago, after reading in the newspaper about random acts of kindness and paying it forward. He has always eaten half a chocolate bar every day, and started buying a few extra to hand out to people he comes across during the day. Over the last 15 years, Williams has given out more than 6,000 candy bars. "You'd think I'd given them keys to a new car," he told the Des Moines Register. "Honest to God, these people were thunderstruck."
Williams keeps his refrigerator stocked with the candy bars and also buys two cases a week. His wife of 69 years, Mary Elizabeth, died six years ago, and he visits her memorial bench every day, where he always hands out a chocolate. Over the years, just three people have declined his gift, he told the Register. "One was a little girl in the store with her dad," he said. "On the way out, I complimented her father for training her right — to suspect old men." Catherine Garcia
On Sunday evening, just as The New Yorker published an article by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer with a second allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Democratic lawyer Michael Avenatti said on Twitter he represents a third "woman with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge," Kavanaugh's high school friend and alleged witness to what Christine Blasey Ford says was an attempted rape in the early 1980s. Avenatti dropped some clues about the ugly and salacious nature of the allegations on Twitter and said he has "specific evidence" that Kavanaugh and Judge "would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs" for sex in high school. He did not provide any proof.
Avenatti told Politico he represents a group of individuals who can corroborate allegations involving Kavanaugh and Judge, but he would describe just one of his clients as a victim. "I represent multiple clients, they are witnesses" to events "not out of character from what Dr. Ford said," Avenatti told Politico. "They went to schools in the same general areas. These house parties were widely attended." Kavanaugh and Judge have denied or said they have no recollection of specific allegations and general sexual misconduct.
Does Avenatti really have the goods? For what it's worth, he kicked things off with a pre-emptive warning: "I do not bluff. I deliver." Which, whatever you think of Avenatti, he mostly has in the showdown between his client Stormy Daniels and President Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Peter Weber
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend, Mark Judge, has said he "can't recall" boys ever "rough-housing" with girls when they were teenagers, but a former college girlfriend of Judge's tells The New Yorker that's not what he told her.
Kavanaugh and Judge attended Georgetown Prep in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the 1980s. Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, and that Judge was in the room, encouraging Kavanaugh but also telling him to "stop." Kavanaugh has denied the allegations and Judge, a conservative writer, told The New Yorker he has "no recollection" of this. He was more abrasive when interviewed by The Weekly Standard, calling the accusation "just absolutely nuts." When asked, he said he remembered "rough-housing with guys. I don't remember any of that stuff going on with girls."
Elizabeth Rasor, who was in a relationship with Judge for three years at Catholic University, told The New Yorker he'd shared "a very different story" about the culture at Georgetown Prep. "I can't stand by and watch him lie," she said, adding that he once ashamedly described how he and several other boys took turns having sex with a woman who was drunk. He appeared to think this was a consensual experience, Rasor said, but did not tell her who else was involved and she does not know if Kavanaugh was there. Judge's attorney said he "categorically denies" the incident took place.
Another woman who attended high school in the 1980s in Montgomery County told Ford's lawyers and The New Yorker that she would see boys, including Georgetown Prep students, engaging in sexual misconduct at area house parties. The woman, who requested anonymity, told The New Yorker that the boys would get girls "blind drunk" off a grain alcohol–Hawaiian Punch concoction, then try to take advantage of them. "It was disgusting," she said. "They treated women like meat." Catherine Garcia
Following new misconduct allegations, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls for delay in Kavanaugh hearing
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent Sunday night, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked for an "immediate postponement of any further proceedings" regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
On Sunday, The New Yorker published an article where Deborah Ramirez, a classmate from Yale University, said while they were at a party freshman year, Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face. Earlier this month, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were both teenagers. Ford is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
In her letter, Feinstein, the committee's ranking Democrat, also asked that "the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims." Should the White House not ask the FBI to launch an investigation, then the Senate Judiciary Committee "must subpoena all relevant witnesses," Feinstein added. "It is time to set politics aside. We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward." Catherine Garcia
Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship on Sunday, giving the golfer his 80th career PGA Tour victory and his first since 2013.
Woods won by two shots over Billy Horschel, and with this win, he's now second in the FedEx Cup standings, behind Justin Rose. He will receive $3 million for his second place finish, and on Monday, will enter the top 15 in the world rankings.
"I had a hard time not crying on the last hole," Woods told reporters. "I just can't believe I pulled this off. It's been tough. Not so easy the last couple years. I've worked my way back, and I couldn't have done it without the help of everyone around me." In April 2017, Woods had spinal fusion surgery, and he was arrested for DUI a month later. Catherine Garcia
Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, The New Yorker reported Sunday night.
Deborah Ramirez, 53, was one of Kavanaugh's classmates at Yale University, and she told The New Yorker that during their freshman year in the early 1980s, they were at a party where both were inebriated. Kavanaugh allegedly put his penis in Ramirez's face, causing her to touch it as she pushed him away. Kavanaugh told The New Yorker this "did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so."
At least two Democratic senators are investigating the incident, after receiving information from an attorney, The New Yorker reports. Ramirez, who was contacted by the magazine, said she was reluctant to discuss the alleged incident because she could not fully remember the party, where she was encouraged to drink heavily. She spent six days going over her memories and speaking with an attorney. The New Yorker contacted dozens of classmates, and one, who asked to remain anonymous, said he heard about the incident after it happened and was "100 percent sure" he was told it involved Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh's freshman roommate, James Roche, said Ramirez was a close close friend and she was "exceptionally honest and gentle. I cannot imagine her making this up." He said he never saw Kavanaugh engaging in sexual misconduct, but he was "frequently, incoherently drunk," and it is "definitely" believable that Kavanaugh could be part of a "group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like" Ramirez. One of the classmates Ramirez said was at the party told The New Yorker he didn't think the incident happened and another said, "I have zero recollection." Other Kavanaugh friends from Yale released a statement saying "with confidence" the incident did not happen because "we would have heard about it." Read more at The New Yorker. Catherine Garcia
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham seems to have made up his mind about Christine Ford's testimony before it even happens
Christine Ford isn't expected to testify about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until Thursday — but Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) already seems to have made up his mind.
"You can't bring [her allegation] in a criminal court; you would never sue civilly; you couldn't even get a warrant," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?"
"Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this," Graham continued, before adding that Ford "should have her say" and will be "respectfully treated." Watch Graham's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian