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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

News Roundup – Rangers fail, Kevin McCarthy cannot speak, Watching Failure

It is unclear how it could have been much worse. The Texas Rangers reportedly have one of the best bullpens in major league baseball. They are leading 10-6, at home. It is the top of the ninth inning. The Texas Rangers and their fabulous bullpen give up five runs and end up losing to the Los Angeles Angels, 11-10. It was an epic failure. It is unclear how a team comes back from such a devastating loss.

Kevin McCarthy is running for John Boehner’s old job. He has made several recent television appearances which simply did not go that well. His speaking style is somewhat difficult to understand. I am not sure whether he has dyslexia or has word-finding difficulties or what. He is difficult to understand. I mean, he really cannot speak the English language. This begs the question, how did he get elected to Congress if he cannot communicate effectively? Personally, I find it sad that he cannot communicate. He did manage to mumble and bumble himself into a huge pickle when he stated that the Benghazi Committee was specifically formed in order to hurt Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

There was a time when we really did not focus on failure in the United States. We could watch television and look for excellence. The Gong Show was the first show that I remember in which Americans would wait for contestants to fail. That was funny. That was riveting. Now, with reality TV, we look for people to fail all the time. Sure, American Idol can find some absolutely fabulous talent, but at the same time many Americans tune in to those early shows to watch folks crash and burn on national TV. There is this new show on the NFL network called Undrafted. In this show we follow NFL hopefuls. These folks were drafted and, for the most part, their prospects for making the NFL are somewhere between slim and none. I am sorry, but I do not find this compelling TV. I find it sad. On the Golf Channel, we can see the same type of thing. Web.com participants battle low-ranking PGA participants for 50 PGA cards. We can see young and up-and-coming golfers make it on the PGA tour but at the same time we can see somebody like Jhonattan Vegas, a one-time rising star who is battled injuries, struggle and then flame out.

By |2015-10-04T13:32:30-04:00October 3rd, 2015|Party Politics, Sports|Comments Off on News Roundup – Rangers fail, Kevin McCarthy cannot speak, Watching Failure

The deeply dishonest Republican Budget

I’m  currently making my way to a trauma conference. I have internet access – sort of. Currently, I’m “enjoying” in-flight internet access which is kind of like getting access to the internet and kinda not. What makes the internet great is access to content – videos, original documents and the like. With this in-flight thing, I really can’t download big files and uploading smaller files to Dropbox has proven problematic. So, I’m not going to be able to get the work done that I had planned on doing. This means that I can (should be able to), I hope, post to my blog. 

The House and Senate Republican budget plans are so deeply dishonest that they are laughable. Sure, Democrats have pushed “pie in the sky” budgets but anyone could look at the budget and understand the nuts and bolts of the budget. The GOP has decided that we need more mystery in our lives. So, this budget, like several before, doesn’t spell out where a lot of the budget cuts are coming from. One of the most laughable items in the budget has to do with repealing ObamaCare. It seems that Republicans not only want to kill ObamaCare, but they want to cut Medicare on top of that. All of the revenue generators that were added to ObamaCare in order to control costs would be cut, of course.

More from CBPP:

  • Balance the budget in ten years through massive cuts in domestic programs, with no revenue contribution;
  • Hit programs for low- and moderate-income Americans exceptionally hard, with about two-thirds of its budget cuts likely coming from programs for the less fortunate, thereby exacerbating poverty and inequality;
  • Repeal health reform and cut Medicaid deeply on top of that, likely causing tens of millions of people to become uninsured or underinsured;
  • Essentially balance the budget only on paper, with the help of two huge “magic asterisks” that are as large as Chairman Price’s — about $1.2 trillion in entitlement cuts over ten years that are left essentially unspecified, and about $1 trillion from the repeal of health reform’s revenue-raising measures without any identified replacement (as explained below);
  • Cut funding below the already-damaging sequestration levels in the years after 2016 for non-defense discretionary programs — the part of the budget that funds education, job training, early intervention programs for children, basic scientific and medical research, and transportation, all of which are important to increasing opportunity, raising productivity, and boosting long-term economic growth;
  • Shrink federal spending to stunningly low levels, measured as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), that are unprecedented in modern America and far below the levels in recent decades, including the Reagan years; and
  • Eliminate a 2007 Senate rule that creates a point of order against budget reconciliation bills that increase deficits over the coming ten years, such as the 2001 and 2003 reconciliation bills that included huge tax cuts without any measures to offset the costs.

Come on. I’m happy to debate conservatives on supply-side economics. This is not debateable. This is a half-budget or maybe not even that much. Oh, this kind of craziness is new. This isn’t a “they all do it” kind of thing. If you take our democracy seriously then this can’t be tolerated. (Dear GOP, please complete this budget. Insert the magic numbers and tell us what you are planning on doing. If you can’t do that, can you simply admit that you hate the poor and most of the middle class and be done with it?)

By |2015-03-22T22:49:35-04:00March 22nd, 2015|Budget, Congress|Comments Off on The deeply dishonest Republican Budget
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