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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 19 July, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: Who is Brett Kavanaugh?

Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. How Russia helped swing the election for Trump 

President Trump Returns to the White House after United Nations General Assembly Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Donald Trump says that Russia played no role in putting him in the Oval Office. But this article says that there is evidence from analysis of online activity in 2016 that makes a case for targeted cyberattacks.

(New Yorker, approx 36 mins reading time)

Democracies around the world, she told me, have begun to realize that subverting an election doesn’t require tampering with voting machines. Extensive studies of past campaigns, Jamieson said, have demonstrated that “you can affect people, who then change their decision, and that alters the outcome.” She continued, “I’m not arguing that Russians pulled the voting levers. I’m arguing that they persuaded enough people to either vote a certain way or not vote at all.”

2. The inside story of Trump’s transition team

Michael Lewis, who wrote Moneyball and the Big Short, on Trump’s ‘shambolic’ transition team.

(The Guardian, approx 22 mins reading time)

The first time Trump paid attention to any of this was when he read about it in the newspaper. The story revealed that Trump’s very own transition team had raised several million dollars to pay the staff. The moment he saw it, Trump called Steve Bannon, the chief executive of his campaign, from his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, and told him to come immediately to his residence, many floors above. Bannon stepped off the elevator to find Christie seated on a sofa, being hollered at. Trump was apoplectic, yelling: You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my fucking money! What the fuck is this?

3. American football, dad’s dementia and me

shutterstock_1119528554 Source: Shutterstock/Flamingo Images

Holly Patton’s father has dementia, and doctors say that his football career was to blame. So the pair of them took a trip to the schools where he learned the sport.

(GQ, approx 13 mins reading time)

When we finally reach the football field, it’s completely barren. B-roll for The Walking Dead. The field, or what was left of it, is overrun with dead grass, cotton plants, and the remains of some air-conditioning units hurled off the roof of the school. Dad’s just standing there quietly, taking it all in. “This is sad,” Dad says.

4. Who is Brett Kavanaugh?

By now you know that Brett Kavanaugh is Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, but that allegations of sexual misconduct have emerged against him. But who is he? Here’s a primer. 

(BBC, approx 12 mins reading time)

The president said of him on the day of his nomination: “Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law. 

“There is no-one in America more qualified for this position and no-one more deserving.”


5. I walked 1,200 miles from Wales to Poland

shutterstock_651948307 Source: Shutterstock/WITSALUN

When Michal Iwanowski saw graffiti in Cardiff that said ‘Go home, Polish’, he did just that.

(The Guardian, approx 6 mins reading time)

“I saw the project as a way of thinking about the idea of home,” he says, “not least because it would take me from the place I have lived in for 18 years to the place I come from. And I would be doing it at a time when Brexit had made the idea of home, identity and belonging a very politicised subject.”

6. Bradley Cooper does not want to be interviewed

A Star Is Born is going to be one of the year’s biggest films. So why does its director Bradley Cooper find interviews so hard?

(New York Times, approx 28 mins reading time)

He created Jackson Maine in that image: an earnest, rootsy, behatted rock star whose weary, substance-compromised heart can’t bear to see the star-making machinery overtake a sincere, poetic message — a character from another time who is reminiscent of Neil Young or John Fogerty or Cher-husband-era Gregg Allman, but is none of those guys exactly.


In 1997, Charles P Pierce wrote a profile of the then 21-year-old Tiger Woods. He is, it turns out, a fan of some very risqué jokes.

(GQ, approx 33 mins reading time)

He was rolling now. The women were laughing. They were also still flirting. The clothes were sharp, and the photographer was flirting away like the last machine gunner at Passchendaele. And Tiger told jokes. Tiger has not been 21 years old for a month yet, and he tells jokes that most 21-year-olds would tell around the keg in dormitory late on a Saturday night. He tells jokes that a lot of arrested 45-year-olds will tell at the clubhouse bar as the gin begins to soften Saturday afternoon in to Saturday evening.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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