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Brett Kavanaugh under Fire


Look, let us take a deep breath. Let us see what is happened over the last week with regards to the Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. As expected, Kavanaugh had a bruising and contentious hearing. He had stuck to a well-worn playbook in which you basically say nothing. This is the playbook that he helped develop over the last 20 to 30 years. Then, comes a story that kind of bubbles up from the background. Some lady, someone we have never heard of before, accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when he was a teenager. Does his behavior as a teenager reflect on the man that he is now? Maybe? Many of my friends that follow me on Facebook, or people that I have been friends with for over 40 years. They know that we did dumb and somewhat embarrassing stuff when we were kids. Yet, I think this is important, how you defend yourself now reflects on not who you were 30 years ago but what kind of man you are now. You are about to be appointed to the highest court in the land. This is the time when you can show us, Americans, exactly who you are. Is it possible that you are roundly accused? Of course it is. Stand up and face your accuser. Do not go on Fox News and hide behind the beautiful anchorwoman who is throwing softball questions. We all remember David Vitter who stated that he loved his wife and would never be associated with a DC Madam. We remember Larry Craig who, with his wife standing beside him, denied the allegations of propositioning a male police officer in an airport bathroom. Brett Kavanaugh had an opportunity to clear his name. He could have and would have been granted an opportunity in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. All he had to do was ask Charles Grassley for a fair hearing. Not a kangaroo court but a fair hearing where witnesses from both sides could be heard. He is Brett Kavanaugh. He is not just a lawyer. He is one of the super lawyers in our country. He could have and should have presented a marvelous defense of his character. Instead, like a drunken sailor, he keeps swinging wildly at as a target. Well practiced phrases like “outrageous” and “twilight zone” roll off of his lips.

All of this should have been anticipated by the White House. We are currently living in the #MeToo movement. It was hard if not impossible not to anticipate that some female was not going to come out of Brett Kavanaugh’s past. The problem is, it appears that they have allowed the president to handle the media coordination and statements. Deny, deny and counter deny may work if you are a reality TV star. You cannot use the same media playbook if you are being nominated to the Supreme Court.

Here is the real problem, conservative Democrats now, cannot support Brett Kavanaugh in any way. Female Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have a real problem. In the past, they have spoken out in favor of women’s issues. Now, can they support Brett Kavanaugh? Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination is really in trouble. The math to confirm him is really turning against him. To me, the turning point was when a woman who supported Brett Kavanaugh and then found her own name being disparaged in his yearbook and she withdrew her support. That was the turning point.

Let me be clear, I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a smart, gifted conservative lawyer. I believe that he is bad for our country. Yet, I do want him to have a fair hearing. I never, ever want to see anyone be publicly dismantled like this. It is sad. No man should be put through such scrutiny but this is the political process that we live with. This is what happens in a democracy. We now live in an environment of no holds barred democracy. This is the environment that help create Donald Trump. Changing our environment is going to be difficult. I pray for our democracy.

By |2018-09-26T21:39:36-04:00September 26th, 2018|Congress, Domestic Issues, Party Politics, Supreme court|Comments Off on Brett Kavanaugh under Fire

Gorsuch – No, Not Today

No. I am sorry. I cannot support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court of the United States. It is not that he is unqualified. This guy is plenty qualified. He is the Peyton Manning of law. He has the pedigree. He has clerked for all the right people in all the right places. He went to the right schools – high school, college, law school, and postgraduate education. The point is not whether or not he is qualified. Neither is the point whether I agree with his ideology. I do not. Instead, we should be focusing on the fact that Neil Gorsuch is all about process.

President, let me underscore this, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Mister Garland is eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. Yet, empowered by purely partisan politics, the GOP-led Senate decided to make up their own criteria about whom they are going to vet and whom they are not. This is all about the Democrats’ deciding that it is time to grow a backbone. Sometimes, you need to draw a line in the sand and say, “This is about principle.”

We can go into all the ins and outs behind why the Republicans were 100% wrong about not even granting a hearing to Merrick Garland. They were wrong. They knew that, were they actually hold hearings, Merrick Garland would come off as someone who was thoughtful, intelligent; and, God forbid, Supreme Court material. So they decided to obstruct and thwart Garland in every way. Now, if we allow Neil Gorsuch to move forward, we have rewarded the Republicans for obstructionism. This cannot happen.

Every now and then, you must stand up for what you believe. Do you believe in the Constitution? Do you believe that we are a land of laws? If so, you must admit that we have no choice but to force the Republicans, and Donald Trump, to nominate Merrick Garland, even if they decide to vote him down. He must go through the process. It is the right thing to do. It is the American way.

By |2017-03-04T01:25:15-04:00February 5th, 2017|Domestic Issues, Senate, Supreme court, Trump administration|Comments Off on Gorsuch – No, Not Today

The Fall of Dennis Hastert

There was a time in the not so distance past when Dennis Hastert was just a few steps away from the presidency. Now, the former Speaker of the House is in a world of badness and hurt.

First, remember Congressman Mark Foley and Dennis Hastert? I covered the issue pretty well – here, here and here. Talking Points Memo has a nice summary – Ever since yesterday’s shocking revelations, it seemed like news like this would come out as the underlying bad act behind Denny Hastert’s public downfall. Because of that, the almost decade old Mark Foley scandal has rushed back into the minds of everyone who covered that story at the time. To review, if you weren’t around at the time, in September 2006, in the death throes of the old Republican majority, it emerged that Congressman Mark Foley had had sexual interactions with male members of the Congressional page program, i.e. high school age students. Foley was not out as a gay man, though I think it was widely known or at least assumed that he was gay.

It now appears that the former Congressman paid $3.5 million in hush money to have some of his old sexual misconduct swept under the rug.

Hastert was indicted Thursday on charges of structuring bank withdrawals to avoid federal reporting requirements and lying to the FBI about those withdrawals. The former speaker allegedly had withdrawn $1.7 million in cash out of $3.5 million he agreed to pay an unidentified individual in compensation for “prior misconduct” on Hastert’s part that had occurred years earlier.

I really will not be posting much on this story. This is a personal tragedy.

By |2015-06-03T19:08:56-04:00June 2nd, 2015|House of Representatives, Party Politics|Comments Off on The Fall of Dennis Hastert