Here is Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement in response to the allegation that he committed sexual assault against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

What do I think? I think that if we manage to turn our nation around Kavanaugh’s statement will stand out as a significant milestone. Here a brave man stood up to character assassination by members of a panel of senators, some of the most powerful people in the world. Kavanaugh called those senators out for THEIR BAD CONDUCT. The United States is one of the few places in the world where such a thing can still happen.

My view, however, is not share by all. See for yourself.

One of the things that amazes me is that some Democrats appear to believe that Republicans WANT to put a would-be rapist on the Supreme Court. If Kavanaugh was guilty of anything, Democrats had ample time to prove it, but they sat on Dr. Ford’s letter. Obviously, they did not believe the lady. Yet Democrats now want an FBI investigation? When Republicans call this charade a delaying tactic, that obviously makes more sense.

Sadly, Liberal Democrats appear to be lying. It isn’t Kavanaugh they have a problem with. Their problem is with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

We have an election scheduled for November 6, 2018. I hope voters will listen to Judge Kavanaugh and think about what Democrats have done to the man. Because Kavanaugh respects the Constitution, Democrats have done everything they could, including peddling malicious gossip, to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. When are we going to punish these people at the polls?


  1. This whole disgusting episode is pure partisan play, that’s all. Senator Feinstein has known about these accusations for months and yet did nothing except refer Dr. Ford to a well know far left lawyer and then wait until Kavanaugh’s nomination was all but a done deal before dropping the bomb. I”m embarrassed both as a woman and a resident of California who Feinstein represents in the Senate.

    I don’t find Ford to be very credible at all. None of her accusations have panned out as all the witnesses have directly rebuked her words and she contradicted herself many times during the hearing. No one can seem to remember a party even happening let alone where or when and if Kavanaugh attended. The R’s should have question her much more sharply.

    Flake got taken for a ride by Acorn type activists who harrassed him in an elevator after the hearing and caused him to call for the extra delay for the FBI to probe further. It’s all about delaying this until after the mid terms, it’s stunning to me that so many people can’t see this.

    1. @Tricia

      The Supreme Court has made lots of decisions in recent decades that some people don’t want to see overturned. Those decisions were not honorable. The people fighting Judge Kavanaugh are not honorable. The truth does not matter much to them.

      Are all the people opposing Kavanaugh crooked? No. Many, perhaps most, have been taken in by the news media. Still, it is not that difficult to know the truth.

      1. More of the conservative “It’s so obvious” fact checking again? How do you even know until the FBI or someone investigates to find the truth? And in fact, the investigation may not even find any solid truth. So then it’s a he said/she said and toss a coin… and move on.

        1. Doug, Kavanaugh has been vetted something like 6 times already by the FBI and he has 20 years of experience as a sitting judge with an impeccable reputation who no one has challenged. You don’t drag someone through a tumultous investigation based on mere accusations and that’s all Ford has got. Nothing she has accused him of has been corroborated, zero, zilch, nada.

          As I said above, all the so called witnesses she’s fingered completely rebutted her testimony and she had trouble answering basic questions during the hearings. She seems mentally imbalanced at best which the Democrats have used to their full advantage.

          There is no reason for further delay on this.

          1. Oh Tricia… the whole affair is a nonsense crap storm. It’s loaded with politics on both sides; the GOP wants him approved ASAP for fear the election my shift the majority.. and I am sure the Dems want to delay it all until the election in the hopes the majority shifts. The problem with both sides is that the public is consumed with it all on many levels… those that dislike Trump in general, women into the #MeToo , Evangelicals hoping Kavanaugh will save unborn babies, Graham showing off for some future cabinet position, Kavanaugh himself screaming like a Trumpian wannabe by screaming the fault is the Clintons, and the entire selection process is literally an abortion in itself.

            It’s going to play out not in committee or in the Senate… but by the public. And I honestly don’t care because Roe, LGBT, and the Second are NOT my priorities.

      2. Oh I completely agree Tom. And yes many regular people who are opposing Kavanaugh do so in good faith because the MSM is outright lying to them. The politicians on the other hand I don’t lend such credence to, I think most of them know exactly whats going on and it all has to do with Roe V Wade..

        1. Exactly… this who damn thing is all about Roe v Wade, LGBT rights, and Second Amendment. Why, oh why, has these three things come to define America? The first two are religious morality.. the last one is just there in case the first two aren’t “fixed” enough so that there is some option to overthrow the government.
          It’s all nuts.

          1. @Doug

            You just agreed that Ford accusation is not relevant. When people in authority use false accusations to shred their opponents’ character, don’t you think that is a serious problem?

          2. Of course what Ford has accused is relevant.. but only if it can be proven, and only so far as it’s important to the selection process.
            The much greater relevance is Ford’s claim as it relates to the social struggle of women in calling attention to having been victims of sexual abuse.

          3. @Doug

            So we have to make an example out of Kavanaugh? Destroying the reputation of an innocent man is good for women? How about we just focus on justice and skip the anti-justice of social justice? How would you like to be accused of something and have a bunch of rabid activists trying to hang their cause on proving you guilty.

            It is apparent the only person who believes Ford is someone who is unwilling to consider the absence of evidence. Her memory does not seem to work, and no one, not even her friend, backs up her story. There is no reason to believe her and lots of reasons to suspect her motives.

          4. Oh heck, Tom.. I can’t answer for the #MeToo people in all this. That’s taking on a life of its own. If the FBI reveals nothing that can be factual I have no issue with Kavanaugh, if he not lied in his testimony. Whether or not he’s the road to repealing Roe, the LGBT rights, or Second Amendment nonsense (yes, it’s gone way overboard) is to be determined way down the road. Sometimes these people shift their opinions over time.

            Between you and I.. these are some notable items…

            1. Kavanaugh is not the unknowing, unwitting victim in all this. He had to have known that accepting this appointment in such a volatile political atmosphere was going to be the battle of his own career… and his family would get involved. If he did not know this.. or had some naive idea of some non-partisan selection process, that ill-prepared ignorance alone should disqualify him.

            2. As it relates to point one above… getting pissed and defensive when it was his turn to testify following Ford was strategically wonderful as it played to the guttural Neanderthal delight of Trump and Trump’s base. To the rest of the world it showed poor demeanor.. and if he had any notions that the selection process was going to be non-partisan.. he dashed all that to hell and back when he adopted the traditional Trumpian stance of blaming deep state democrats and the Clintons in his “poor me, my career is ruined” remarks. That just confirmed to the rest of the world how political he could be. He put his career on the line in accepting the nomination as any nominee would. There are no guarantees. He said he wrote his dissertation alone.. maybe he should have cleared it with a strategist first.
            Was he entitled to defend himself? Absolutely. Heck, even bring into the picture his family and personal sacrifice… a few tears, great. But he went on the entire time in defensive, combative tone. .. and to me I saw a “cry baby” line being crossed. That surely didn’t win friends anywhere except Trump and his base. Bottom line… sure, he defended himself, but there were other ways to do that.

            3. This became a totally performance-based visual and far less about a selection. Ford gave her testimony and right away it was her performance. People suggested BK was toast after that. Why? Why was this entire thing a public display for winning an Oscar? More like the old “Queen For A Day” TV show.. where female contestants had to sell their tale of woe to the audience who then had to applause to the saddest story to establish the winner. This wasn’t anything resembling an objective selection process. What it was, was a stage for #MeToo. The two women who confronted Flake in the elevator assumed Flake should vote against BK simply on the idea that Ford accused him of assault.. without any foundation to suggest it might be true or not. It was all about #MeToo at that point.

            4. To point 3 above, if the FBI investigation supplies little or no affirmation one way or the other that a) Kavanaugh lied in his testimony, and/or b) the accusation has merit, then to me the he said/ she said cancels each other out ONLY as it relates to the selection process. If there’s #MeToo issues as a result of all this then fine. But the public is in a feeding frenzy in wanting to assign some level of guilt without evidence to BK… and that just adds to the already anticipated objections by the left to Kavanaugh’s appointment.

            Ugh. I’m done with this Kavanaugh thing. He makes it or he doesn’t.

          5. @Doug

            It is absurd to say Kavanaugh is entitled to defend himself and then criticize him for doing so. So he sounded partisan. The hearings are just about as partisan as they could be. The people trying to destroy Kavanaugh, his family, his friends, and his associates are partisans. If that is your idea of neutrality, it does not make much sense.

          6. I never once said the process or the politics governing the process was neutral at all. I am saying, the facade during these things is we all want to appoint a neutral justice.. but that Kavanaugh’s personal defense rants surely did not support any sort of personal political neutrality.

  2. This is something that I read in “the failing” NYT that, although not specifically on topic to the Kavanaugh nomination, normatively addresses a Christian role in the broader question of the partisan tribalism that is at the heart of this political maelstrom:

    It is the first that I have heard of Reverend Timothy Keller, but this editorial has intrigued me to read his entire essay and perhaps his other books.

    As a news and politics junky, I fear that I get so caught up in the drama and the need to take a political stand on each frame of this fast moving reality TV series that I should instead climb to an altitude where I can be more contemplative of the broader picture – nothing does this for me better than reading actual books by learned scholars and experts who don’t just emote in sound bites, but that’s just me.

  3. @ Tom,

    Frankly, I believe Trump called it right to order the FBI to check out Kavanaugh within a time limit.

    If the Senate approved him after smearing his credibility and he is sworn in, his judicial opinions on any decision he makes will always be never-ending accusations of him being unfit for his appointment.

    No one really knows what the FBI involvement will bring to light on a 35-year-old occurrence without witnesses or proof.

    Again, why he is being accused of something he may or may have done as a minor, is beyond my comprehension.,

    I wonder if he can sue Ford if he is not appointed because of her unprovable accusation?

    Regards and good will blogging.

    1. If this were a real investigation, the FBI would be looking into Dr. Ford too. I have a hunch she would be able to withstand the kind of scrutiny Kavanaugh has already withstood.

  4. I’ve mentioned this above, but since it might’ve been lost in the long thread I’ll mention it again. I don’t think the attacks on his character or reputation were terribly surprising to Kavanaugh (though the out of the blue 35 year assault allegation probably shocked him some). I think a great deal of his “meltdown” (if someone wants to call it that…I wouldn’t) was a reaction to the attacks against his family. The USSC is a high-profile position, but it’s not a position where one would expect rape threats against his daughters. He’s not a Kardashian. This was really over the top.

    1. I”m reminded of the way high ranking officer’s wives are sometimes attacked. An officer is a public servant, not a celebrity family. A USSC justice is a public servant, not a celebrity family. If the expectation for these jobs is no privacy and attacks on the family, we’re going to have some problems getting good public servants…
      Do we really want a public servant who doesn’t care about his/her family?

  5. Ctom-

    WP arbitrarily decides who should be unfollowed, and I don’t like it! Happening on a regular basis as u are the latest victim.

    Anyway, the whole hearing thing is why good people stay out of politics. The elevator ‘thing,’ ‘set up’ or whatever it was is enough. The leftist propaganda machine knows no shame.

    1. @ColorStorm

      Don’t worry about it. I don’t pay much attention to who follows my blog. Too many spammers. It is comments like yours that interest me.

      Politics requires a thick skin. It also require the recognition that our spouse and children need thick skins too. Imagine that. A child with a thick skin.😥

      This is a bad period in our history. I hope we are at the nadir, but I honestly expect it to get worst before it gets better.

  6. I personally found both witnesses believable, although I found Dr. Ford more credible. Arguably, it is just the natural reaction of a man wrongfully accused, but Judge Kavanaugh did his credibility no good (with my wife and I at least) by being evasive, angry and disrespectful. Especially, after his more tempered Fox News interview days before, Kavanaugh‘s partisan screed, heartfelt though it appeared, seemed to belay an inability to be judicially apolitical going forward. Kavanaugh‘s sudden righteous indignation has the appearance at least of fanning the fires of hatred in the Republican base. Also, given Kavanaugh‘s ruthless role in destroying Bill Clinton’s reputation for a sexual dalliance, he came off as someone crying when he becomes the victim of his own game. Despite the partisan grandstanding by Graham, the Republicans may have irreparably broke this process when they held up Garland’s nomination for a year – claiming that Democrats are guilty of unfair delay tactics just reeks of hypocrisy. Who really first “sowed the wind” and who is now “reaping the whirlwind”? There is guilt enough to go around in both Political Parties.

    That said, I just don’t know what to do with this. The compromise of more investigation makes sense to me, but I’m not sure. It is unlikely to clear Kavanaugh and it will probable just create more doubt about his story that he was not sometime an imperfect high school boy. (Tom, you’re the only one I know that fits that bill).

    That said, I agree with what Flake said about the fact that this has no perfect resolution. There will always be doubt. If I were a Senator, I wouldn’t vote for Kavanaugh, but the decision has no black and white answer, I don’t blame the Republicans who do vote for him. I also agree with much of what Rudy wrote here, and Doug.

    1. Well, T, I might suggest this entire “process” has a number of different levels to it. My quotes illustrate that what we’ve seen unfold on TV is not just the Senate advise & consent selection process but also a social process piggybacking on the #MeToo spirit. Here’s a way to work though it.

      1. First there’s the Senate process. The committee vetted BK’s qualifications and they appeared sound in that respect; he’s got a stellar legal and public servant career. Now a number of accusations have come forward suggesting he’s guilty of sexual assault, et al. The prominent accuser was allowed to testify before the committee her story. To that point there has been no formal investigation of the events. Compelling as her story was, and as compelling as his testimony in his own defense was, there is no immediate corroboration to support the accusation… from the primary accuser. In that purest of fact as it relates to the selection process, her accusation and his denial cancel each other out.. again, as it relates to the selection process.

      2. Second is the vitriol political bias between the Dems and the GOP Senators, which is simply an extension of the greater tribal divisiveness in the country. One can argue the the intent of the advise & consent committee process should be non-partisan, the goal being the selection of a non-biased legal super-person to be a Justice on the Court. Obviously the reality suggests the process is anything but non-partisan. Given that, there is strong support for Kavanaugh is as great as strong dissension against selecting him. This lends itself to the traditional fingerpointing back and forth on the conduct of the process and any other political “dirty tricks” from both camps. So the political noise is very loud in this entire process.

      3. Third is the social process, or the public interpretation of all the imagery and emotions of the moment, and the public trying to pigeon-hole it all into peripheral social issues. There’s the public splitting hairs on the divisive politics of it all; anti-Trumpers, pro-Trumpers, Conservative vs. Liberals… etc. There’s the #MeToo public who are assigning Dr. Ford’s testimony as a frontline event in the battle of pushing their victimization from sexual assault. There’s that imagery of Sen. Flake being confronted in the elevator by that emotional victim of abuse.. her cry seemed all too obvious to her… Dr. Ford was more “convincing” in her testimony and on that alone Flake should vote against BK’s selection. All these elements are emotional reflections of the country’s current public issues… all exploding during this selection process.

      So.. seems to me we all have to decide for ourselves what in these three avenues is the most important to the selection of Kavanaugh… and what in these three demands our attention to the other important social issues. Points 1 and 2 above can be very related, given that BK qualifies for the job on credentials alone… but a decision to support or reject him is then down to political ideology.

      Point 3 becomes an issue in the selection process simply from the accusation alone fomenting a popular outcry already seething within the country. It seems to me that IF the FBI investigation reveals some culpability on the part of Kavanaugh then point 3 becomes very applicable to the selection process. If the FBI report reveals nothing solid one way or the other.. then point 3 means nothing to the process… in spite of having a huge social impact to the country in coming to grips with sexual assault.

      Anyway.. this is how I break it down for “clarity”.

      1. Doug,

        I mostly agree with all that, especially the interconnectedness of it all. It is naive to assume that partisanship plays no role in the hollowed halls of the Supreme Court, however, it is still important to our confidence in that institution that the SCOTUS appear, as much as possible, to be above the most tribal prejudices of the partisan fray.

        And, although it is a more political institution, the Senate can either contribute to constitutional institutional confidence or harm it by being less more or less tribally partisan in this process. This is something that they have actually managed to do in the past.

        As I’ve tried to explain to Tom, decent people can honestly have strong opinions on different interpretive methodogies for the Constitution without the hubris of thinking their methodogy is the perfect good and that an opposing methodogy is the perfect evil. Thus jurists can have intellectual ideological differences without resorting to open, hostile and hateful tribal warfare that damages or destroys the constitutional institutions that they claim to love.

        Finally, as to larger social movements affecting your other two points, I agree. Just as the Anita Hill hearing resulted politically in “the year of the woman” in the following elections, this situation will have political, social and ideological ramifications and lasting reverberations that may not really be predictable by either political Party. However, I don’t see these things in the linear fashion that Tom does, with one wrong or right path naturally leading to another, but instead I see this as a complex three dimensional multifarious web of vectorial pressures, and sometimes random occurrences. This interrelated complexity and unpredictability makes it silly and unrealistic to just say with perfect accuracy that this caused this or that this will cause this, much as we all would love to have such morally and rationally unambiguous deterministic opinions about everything.

          1. Given how old I am, I’m not sure that that is a compliment Doug, but for the sake of my fragile ego, I’ll take it that way.😇

    2. I might also add a final point…

      4. A fourth point… “The country is ripping apart.” Senator Flake’s observation when making his remarks to delay the vote for the FBI investigation. Anyone wrestling with the other points I listed above might also be venting this exact feeling. This also enters into the process “noise” dilemma as an overall frustration of the day that can get in the way of how we try and process all this confusion within ourselves. I see this as essentially a condition of spirit more than a true condition of reality. This might be the easiest of all the points to work through. Simply stated… the country is not “ripping apart” but rather “adapting to an influx of social and political change” as I would view it. While it’s all exploding in front of us on our TV screens all at once.. we can address these things slowly… and our nature suggests that we will. Not to worry.

    3. @tsalmon

      Matthew 11:16-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

      It does not make any difference what Kavanaugh says to Liberal Democrats. You don’t want to hear anything he says. At best you just complain about the way he said what he said.

      So you found Dr. Ford more credible? Why? Because she made all the right noises at the right time? If I watch a movie and the murderer’s performance is “credible”, does that mean he actually killed someone? Would it hurt to have a little evidence that a crime actually took place? Would it hurt to have a little evidence that the accused is guilty?

      Democrats have no evidence and no hope of finding any. That’s why Kavanaugh is angry. This is not about advice and consent; it’s about search and destroy. It is deliberate attempt claim there is a fire when all there is is a bunch of propagandists blowing smoke.

      Kavanaugh has every right to be concerned and ANGRY about what has been done to his reputation and the reputation of his associates, but in your world only Democrats are allowed to be righteously indignant and fight back.

      Should Kavanaugh be ashamed of his role in catching Bill Clinton screwing with his interns? That’s funny! Clinton actually did have sex with his intern, and the evidence was indisputable.

      Are Democrats obligated to punish Republican nominees because Republicans refused to vote on Garland? No. Why don’t you look up the Biden Rule (=> https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/02/22/biden_in_1992_bush_should_not_name_a_nominee_until_after_the_november_election.html)?

      1. “It does not make any difference what Kavanaugh says to Liberal Democrats. You don’t want to hear anything he says. At best you just complain about the way he said what he said.”


        I am uninterested in your tribal affiliations and your knee jerk partsanship. You are so caught up in your own party propaganda that you don’t know what truth and ambiguity looks like anymore.

        Reread what I wrote. Find something that I said that I claimed was unvarnished truth and dispute it with logic and facts rather than platitudes and meaningless insults and partisan throwaway lines.

        “So you found Dr. Ford more credible? Why?”

        Well, first of all, she was in demeanor, unaffected composer and temperament, which is how any jury tests credibility, Just very credible to me. Even your Republican Senators thought so. Even your party’s Dear Leader thought so.

        Second of all, she had everything to lose and little to gain by doing this. Like Kavanaugh, it has wrecked her previously unassuming life and imperiled herself and her family.

        Third, a professional prosecutor was unable to poke any meaningful holes in her story, her professional reputation and her civic motivations.

        Fourthly, she was truthful about the facts she did not know as well as the facts she was certain of. I’ve crossexamed witnesses. Like I said before, it is difficult to sustain a lie (even for professional con men like Trump) under such intense press and partisan scrutiny.

        Fifthly, the timeline of her increasely anxious attempts to convey this information matches with a terrified but courageous victim whose motivations are civic rather than partisan.

        I could go on, but you tell me why you, unlike the many of your most partisan loyalists, didn’t find her credible?

        “Are Democrats obligated to punish Republican nominees because Republicans refused to vote on Garland?“

        Who said they were? Not me. I just said that, for this reason, complaints by grand standing Republicans about Democratic stalling reek with hypocrisy. Democrats can be pretty hypocritical too. Happy to point out several instances if you like. Tribalism, hypocrisy and pride by both sides is destroying the nation.

        Why don’t you just substitute an ounce of humility for the tons of partisan sound and fury signifying nothing you rage here, and realize that I said that there really is no right answer to this at this point. I don’t blame you or anyone else for feeling Kavanaugh should be confirmed. I just wouldn’t vote for him if I were a Senator because I believed her. All we have is our own imperfect opinions that we think way too highly of and we put our nation and our souls in jeopardy by so doing. Rudy has the only viewpoint here that at least seems to lack such grand pretensions.

        1. @tsalmon

          I am uninterested in your tribal affiliations and your knee jerk partsanship. You are so caught up in your own party propaganda that you don’t know what truth and ambiguity looks like anymore.

          Your second sentence contradicts your first.

          Dr. Ford’s credibility is a joke. She has this supposedly hugely traumatic event. So there are all these gaping holes in her memory. And now, just before her alleged assailant is about to be confirmed to the Supreme Court she comes forward? And her lawyers are Democrat activists recommended by Feinstein? Do you have any idea how much effort Feinstein’s lawyers have probably put into coaching the witness? But the poor little victim is so credible.

          All Dr. Ford does is repeat her exciting little story about her escape from a drunken Brett Kavanaugh. No details to get tangled in. She does not remember anything else, and no one tells her anything else. Poor dear.

          You have never interrogated a witness like that. What would be the use? None of the people she named knows what she talking about. Yet politics and a blatantly biased news media has too many people convinced we have to take THE LADY seriously.

          Tribalism, hypocrisy and pride by both sides is destroying the nation.

          Yeah! If we just give in to all the Democrats demands and let the news media run the country, that will solve all our problems. We would all be gloriously humbled too, no doubt. Nevertheless, I would rather let other people run their own lives and be allowed to run my life. Presumptious? I suppose so, but there are these “experts” telling us that Trump doesn’t know what he is doing. So why would we want to put the government in charge of things it does not need to be in charge of?

          1. “Your second sentence contradicts your first.”

            And your failure to realize that it doesn’t is the real problem of pride.

          2. @tsalmon

            You ought to count the number of times you have used some form of the word “tribal”. All it is is way of attacking the man instead of the argument. Kind of stupid too. All you are saying is you don’t like my my affiliations and beliefs. So I should adopt yours? Otherwise, I am too prideful?

            Why is this even a discussion? Liberal Democrats are the party of BIG GOVERNMENT. When people have a diversity of beliefs and allegiances, that gets in the way when the almighty state wants to be in charge of everything.

          3. Tom,

            A professional prosecutor tried to impeach Dr. Ford with exactly the same attack that you are making, and in my opinion (and the opinion of the Republican Senators too, it would seem), she failed. Why a professional female prosecutor? Because in their political cowardice (or perhaps newly woke feminist sensitively), the all male Republican Senators on the committee didn’t like the re-election optics of making this case against the victim themselves.

            But you’re absolutely certain that Dr. Ford is some evil political pawn. I don’t claim any such certainty, either for Ford or against Kavanaugh. I’m just going by the indicia of credibility or lack thereof that I witnessed. She seemed open and as transparent as she could be. He seemed evasive and belligerent. His wild partisan conspiracy attacks predict for me a less than unbiased judicial temperament.

            As for the other witnesses besides Judge, Dr. Ford says that there is no reason they should remember an uneventful (for them) gathering 35 years ago. Her friend, however, has told reporters that she believed Dr. Ford.

            Mark Judge who is alleged to be, not only a witness but an accomplice, says he does not remember but he also wrote a whole book about his High School drinking escapades with Bart O’Kavanough. Judge’s old girlfriend also reported that Judge told her about gang banging an intoxicated girl in his younger days. Judge specifically did not want to testify on behalf of his old high school drinking buddy, Kavanaugh.

            Even if 17 year old Kavanaugh actually did this to 15 year old Ford, I would believe him when he says that he does not remember it – it may have appeared as uneventful teenage sexual roughhousing to him in his intoxicated mind, but it could be life changingly terrifying to her.

            None of this unambiguously proves that Kavanaugh is lying or that Dr. Ford is telling the truth. It comes down to the fallible opinions of Senators and the constituents they represent. Unlike you, I don’t cast mere opinions with divine certainty. This pride and vanity of each our own perfect partisan righteousness and the cartoonish demonizing of the other party is tearing the country and our democratic institutions apart.

          4. @tsalmon

            Divine certainty? The best we do is a reasonable doubt, and that we give to the accused.

            If Ford’s story was credible and Democrats so responsible, why did they sit on it? Don’t we know? Is there a reasonable doubt?

            Your big bugaboo is tribalism. So why did the Republicans in the Senate hire a woman to interrogate Ford? That’s a mystery? Who doesn’t know Democrats want to pit women (supposedly the ones who roar) against men? In addition to using Ford’s allegations as an excuse for delaying the vote on Kavanaugh, don’t we know Democrats wanted clips of mean old white men picking on a poor little sex crimes victim, one who just happened get her story ready in time to achieve the maximum amount of publicity?

            This charade may be quite entertaining, but you and I both know there are so many holes in Ford’s story no prosecutor would pursue it. Look at you! To justify yourself, you have to use high school year books and gossip as “evidence”.

            So Mark Judge did not volunteer to testify. He just denied Ford’s story. What else could he do? How would offering himself up to the Senate Democrats help anyone? Those hearings revolve around our political wars. If justice is served, it is only because God wills it so.

            Look at what the Democrats have done to people like Bork, Thomas, and Kavanaugh. The have made it abundantly clear they don’t want Conservatives or anyone who supports them in that hearing room. Yet you have the audacity to complain about tribalism. Republicans may not vote for Liberal Democrat judges, but when have Republican senators tried to destroy their reputations?

            We say we want politicians and the news media to talk about issues, but they rarely do. Sifting through the muck is something we should leave to lower forms of life, but we don’t.

            Who drags us to the muck? No one. It seems we are a lower form of life.

          5. “So I should adopt yours? Otherwise, I am too prideful?”

            No Tom. I’m saying that, when we make mere affiliations our beliefs, and we pretend to give party affiliation and belief, both very human categories, a patina of divine certainty while constantly disparaging our fellow Americans who merely disagree with us as the diabolical and evil others, it is vanity and pride that makes us do it, not humility, not love.

            “Why is this even a discussion? Liberal Democrats are the party of BIG GOVERNMENT.“

            Forgive me, but this meaningless platitude seems irrelevant to either Ford or Kavanaugh’s credibility about an attempted rape, unless you are saying that having rapists on the SCOTUS is less important than your literal crusade against against this supposedly evil organization of your diabolical fellow Americans.
            (I feel like we are living in a Marvel Comic these days)? The jingoistic sloganeering may inspire you to hatred, but given simple facts, it rings hollow. When the Republicans actually have power, aren’t they the Party of Medicare expansion, and new government expansion like the EPA, the TSA and the Dept of Homeland Security (and now Space Force-we are living in a comic book). In actual modern history, are not the Republicans the Party of exploding deficits?

            There is nothing wrong with an intellectual debate about differing very human opinions on philosophies of government. Such discourse is healthy and necessary in government. The pendulum swings until it goes too far and then it centers. Often the parties actually switch sides. However, when either side has so much pride
            in the divine infallibility of their very human governmental theories that they actually believe that only the total destruction of the evil other party is necessary, even if it destroys our democratic institutions, then we are in Cain and Able territory and the tyranny of the one party, one right thought, one right speak State is on the rise.

          6. @tsalmon

            That is a might fine bunch of words, but they have nothing to do with what is actually going on. Democrats run around screaming tribalism, making other accusations, and harassing their opponents. Then you write this? When there is very little doubt, certainly not reasonable one, that Democrats are just using Ford to keep Kavanaugh off the Court and to score political points, you posture all you want, but I am not inclined to take your posturing seriously.

            You got caught. You second sentence does contradict your first.

        2. The most non-credible claim she made was the 100 percent certainty that the culprit was Kavanaugh 35 years ago. Even a person with a casual knowledge of psychology would know better. With her specific background, she is either lying outright, or a very poor “doctor” of psychology.

          I think Kavanaugh was likely more prepared for politically motivated attacks against himself, less for those against his family (is anyone really prepared for rape threats against your 10 year old daughter?).

          Finally, we’re doing some house renovations and I noticed the stuff that comes from California has a hazard (might be harmful to one’s health) label on it. Yesterday we installed baseboards with those labels. No, they didn’t have lead paint on them….they simply put these labels on everything just in case. Know what happens when everything is labeled harmful? Everyone starts to ignore it.

          What California has done for the warning label, Feminists have done for the sexual assault claim. Great job ladies!

  7. One of the things that amazes me is that some Democrats appear to believe that Republicans WANT to put a would-be rapist on the Supreme Court.

    So you would oppose Kavanaugh, if the rape attempt allegations turn out to be true? Do I understand you correctly?

    I am asking, as that would put you into the minority camp (by a small margin) amongst Republicans. A recent Marist poll found, that a sllim majority (54% of the Republicans and 48% of Evangelical Christians) do want to put Kavanaugh on the SC, even if the rape attempt allegations turn out to be true. The general publc has about two thirds opposed to affirming a would-be rapist and one third wanting to affirm anyway. This ratio holds roughly true, when you split up by gender, race or place of living, the only outliers being the above mentioned Republicans and Evangelical Christians.

    1. @marmoewp

      I don’t take opinion polls seriously. Almost never talk about them.

      What does the news media do with opinion polls? For the most part they use them to read minds, to justify what they want to believe about themselves and their enemies.
      The only mind I know well is my own, and there are days I think I still need to be introduced to myself.

      As Senator Graham pointed out, if Kavanaugh had been a sexual predator in high school, what happened? How did he change so completely? Of course, there is also the absence of any evidence Kavanaugh sexually abused anyone.

      1. I don’t take polls too seriously either. But we do know that the vast vast majority of Democrats are perfectly willing to vote for a proven serial rapist.

        1. Liz,

          When did Trump become a “proven serial rapist”? I thought he was just a confessed sexual assaulter. And why would Democrats say they would vote for Trump?

          I joke. However, there is a bigger point here about how we blur the lines between unambiguous truth and our own very ambiguous opinions, between fact and ideology, between direct and circumstantial evidence.

          1. I think the days are gone when the cheeky trend was promoting “I’m ok, you’re ok.”. We are now at the “I’m ok and you suck and I’m gong to make sure you know it.”.
            I think we might wanna worry when the phrase becomes, “Feel lucky, punk?”. 🙂

          2. Just finished “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder. Tom’s and my older sister gave it to me and it made the best seller rounds a few months ago. Although Snyder’s comparisons of Trumpism to Fascism may be over the top, he makes an interesting case, and the demise of truth is a big part of it. To quote Snyder:

            “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectical. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.”

            And later, “Post-truth is pre-fascism.”

            Both sides are guilty of confusing mere opinion with certainty, but with Trump as their Dear Leader, it is a false equivalency to say that the Republican side isn’t more guilty. It seems to me that, if we want to prevent a rise in tyranny by either the Trumpist Right or a reactionary anti-trumpist Left, we all should be more careful about guarding truth by making sure we do not spread mere opinion as certainty and conspiracy theory as fact.

          3. The singular most important thing keeping America from getting on the edge of violence is the roaring economy, low unemployment and the desire to maintain a status quo. In other words, thank capitalism.
            Now for the greater question, how do we build on that to return to some level of political sanity?
            I also have a nagging voice in my head (no, the other one).. that once the voters clean up Trump and the residual wayward GOP domination in Congress in the coming election or two… what happens to Trump’s base now that they’ve had a taste of conservative euphoria? They going to just fade to black, back to the old days?

          4. @tsalmon

            How unreal! Have you ever figured out what your party stands for? Or you too busy imagiining as standing above the fray? By attacking Trump.

          5. I don’t know Doug, but I can’t say that I disagree.

            Revolution often happens, it seems, either because things are so desparate that people have nothing left to lose or because things have started going so well that people have the luxury of entertaining their worst emotional impulses, there worst magical thinking. To quote Yeats:

            “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
            Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
            The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
            The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
            The best lack all conviction, while the worst
            Are full of passionate intensity.”

            A scholarly General once said that majorities don’t spark revolution, but instead it is passionate minorities that come to power. Liz doesn’t believe in polls, but the fact that those currently in power were not elected by the majority of voters and that those in power adamantly defy the majority opinion on every major issue from minimum wage increases to gay rights does not bode well.

            Everyone thinks that democracy is the “God given” natural state of mankind, that it inexorably blossoms deterministically into sunlight if just allowed, but history and current reality says otherwise. The Neocons thought that if we just removed Saddam Hussein, Jeffersonian democracy would just spring forth from the arid Islamic earth and grow, but reality showed that instead democracy is a lot of accident and endless hard work.

            I think democracy is a rare thing precariously propped up by its own credibility and a steadfast dedication to a myriad of complex institutions from a free press to the rule of law to constitutional checks and balances on power. Like fish, we are suspended in the watery reality of democracy on the molecules of millions governmental actions and institutions from something as simple as stop lights to the complexity of corporate governance law. We swim in the sea of democracy, but we no longer see the water or appreciate its complex importance, until our confidence is undermined by the magical thinking that truth is flexible, that all opinions are equally valid, that we somehow know better than institutional experts, that we don’t see the water, we can drain away the obstacle to our swimming freely, and then it is gone like a dream, and we’re left to flop about and gasp and wonder what happened.

          6. Very good and I would find it difficult to disagree with you… although it’s natural for me to cling to a bit more optimism for democracy, although I am by NO means seduced by what it can do because it’s the nature that it can’t do it forever.

            Speaking of quotes, I ran across some words that were written in 1960 and could be very appropriate for today. The last sentence provides a clue as to the author.

            “The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill – and suspicion can destroy – and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own – for the children – and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is – that these things cannot be confined – to the Twilight Zone.”

            (Episode -closing-: “Monsters Are Due On Maple Street”, aired March 4, 1960)

          7. Wow. Well….it’s early and there’s a LOT to respond to on this.
            I’m sure I can’t even begin to (for starters, I like the way Neocons were blamed for democracy failure in developing countries….which would require sleeping through the 90s, and from 2008-2016).
            I’ll just take this bit:
            “Liz doesn’t believe in polls, but the fact that those currently in power were not elected by the majority of voters and that those in power adamantly defy the majority opinion on every major issue from minimum wage increases to gay rights does not bode well.

            Yeah, gay rights and minimum wage present the span of really really important issues. Now that the unimportant things like ISIS, trade deals, illegal immigration, nuclear proliferation, and the economy are getting handled hopefully we can get to the really big stuff like those issues.

            If Trump had no results, and all we had were the annoying tweets, we would be having a different conversation. True, the lesbian theory poetry majors aren’t happy. But military is and businesses are.

            Per the rest….how does one build a winning team? What produces a successful community? The answer to the former is some combination of trust, belief, and hard work. The answer to the latter is interdependence and trust, essentially.
            How NOT to foster trust:
            Cultivate and environment where it is impossible to effectively defend against any charges. Interpret everything said as a micro-aggression, dog whistle code, or some sort of harassment.

          8. From Global guerrillas:
            “It’s becoming clear that the US doesn’t have a shared Narrative anymore. A narrative, combined with rituals and traditions, that provides us with us the basis of fictive kinship.
            A kinship, not based on DNA, that allows us to trust each other rather than as strangers/enemies.
            A shared understanding of moral and ethical conduct (the soft elements that make it possible for a legal and regulatory system to work).
            An understanding that we are better off together than apart.
            Where did our fictive kinship go?

            We killed it. We didn’t alter it, adapt it, or evolve it. We strangled it and the rising sociopolitical incoherence we are seeing is the result.”

            TSalmon, you mention laws and institutions….well, laws without enforcement are just wishes on paper. in order to have a minimally civilized society:

            1)Communities must find ways to muster enough force to suppress predatory violence and curtail the incentives to use it. It’s true of everything from the local school-yard to economics to geopolitics. The basic function of governments of all varities, and failing at this results in a failed state.
            ALSO, and more importantly:

            2) there can never be enough of such force if the vast majority of a society doesn’t share and independently adhere to certain values about right conduct. This is where the Narrative is important.

            We moved to Colorado because we like Colorado values. I see the influx of people fleeing California and attempting to bring all the problems (steeped in their value systems) that drove them out, here. This is not unlike immigration. It’s as true of third world countries as it is states. It is not anymore racist to note this about third world countries, than it is to note it about white liberals from California.

          9. @Liz

            Lived in Colorado Springs in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The Californians had already started fleeing the Democrats Utopian nightmare. Hate to think what they have done to Colorado by now. You would think that after wrecking California they would have learned something, but northerners coming to Virginia have not wised up. Why aren’t we content when we lcan run our own lives? Why do we have to be busybodies?

          10. Because I just spoke with a person who went to Iceland recently…
            A few years back I spoke with a person from the Netherlands who was working in Iceland. He told me burger flippers at McDonalds make 15 dollars an hour in Iceland.
            Price of a dozen donuts in Iceland= 22 dollars.

            [sarcasm]Yes, this is what we need![/sarcasm]

          11. Ha, ha, ha. I do love your snark.

            “I’m sure I can’t even begin to (for starters, I like the way Neocons were blamed for democracy failure in developing countries….which would require sleeping through the 90s, and from 2008-2016).”

            As for the 90’s, I can’t go into details so let’s just say I was around and engaged. In the last 12 years, I was flying for a major airline and doing union work, so you may have a more active insight into the debacle that is our Middle East policy that I. Be assured, however, I wasn’t asleep. So, other than the snarky implication that anyone who doesn’t view that history your way must have been unconscious, do you have an actual truth to relate?

            “True, the lesbian theory poetry majors aren’t happy.”

            Ya, no homophobic “dog whistle code” in that line.😆

          12. “So, other than the snarky implication that anyone who doesn’t view that history your way must have been unconscious, do you have an actual truth to relate?”

            It’s not “my view of history” it is actual history. Our intervention for “democracy” started in the 90s….the reason for developing all those military contacts around the globe. When we were camping out in tent city in Saudi. But Haiti shouldn’t be forgotten…where we “restored democracy” as you must recall if you weren’t sleeping. And then there’s virtually the entire middle east that has been collapsing like a stack of dominoes when Obama and his pick for SoS oversaw things.

          13. Heh, lesbian theory poetry major is an actual thing. Bet if I took a gander at that classroom not a single MAGA hat wearer among them. Lots of softball players though (dogwhistle, dat). 😉

            FWIW, linky:

            It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to
            remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to
            promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that

          14. Liz,

            As for your second comment, I agree with much of what you say, and would add that institutions are only as real as the confidence we place in them, and when that confidence is gone to corruption, then pure corrupt force is all that will make people grudgingly comply, and not even then, if we think no one is looking.

            Most of us unconsciously stop at stop lights even when the police are not around and there is no other traffic in sight. American faith in the simple institution of stop lights is not propped up by american traditions of WASP patriarchy. And it, does not grow greater by putting hundreds of police at each light. Institutional confidence will not suddenly collapse when Lesbians, blacks, Hispanics or Muslims are suddenly, openly allowed to share the streets. On the other hand, that confidence does collapse to some extent every time someone is stopped and searched at a stop light just for the crime of driving while black or driving while wearing a turban.

            Now climb up to 40 thousand feet and view this dilemma with regard to all our most cherished democratic institutions. You are not a white nationalist bigot because you are a conservative who sees value in maintaining in our traditions, but for most of us, liberals and conservatives alike, bigotry isn’t such a bright line, and the problem of conflicting rights don’t have cliche answers. The bigotry for both sides is when we talk in such platitudes, when we hyperbolically proclaim ideological certainty in the clear face of ambiguity, when we cynically define mere opinion as a God given absolute.

          15. ”Institutional confidence will not suddenly collapse when Lesbians, blacks, Hispanics or Muslims are suddenly, openly allowed to share the streets. “

            And you mention hyperbole in this same post.

          16. Liz,

            You of all people should know the difference between using hyperbole for obvious satirical persuasiveness and the Trump’s very serious demagogic superlative mendacity.

          17. “He’s a perpetual supernumery wrapped in a behemothic pasquinade of pompous palaver.”

            Whew! That’s a mouthful Doug. Why not just call him a troglodyte?

            Just read slate star codex, speaking of tribalism, California, values, et al (and some satirical hyperbole). Nails it (and he’s a liberal Jewish physician who lives in California). The topic is YIMBYers (yes in my back yarders, a liberal movement)
            “4. Holdouts who oppose development are inexcusably selfish, or hate poor people, or are racist

            If you want to see real loathing, don’t ask a communist about the rich, or a Trump voter about immigrants. Ask a YIMBY what they think of landowners in a nice quiet part of the Bay who don’t want San Francisco spreading to their area, or who don’t want the BART light rail line connecting their city to San Francisco.

            And if you want to see great acting, don’t go to Hollywood or Broadway. Wait for a YIMBY to start monologuing their impression of what these people are like. The exact script differs from person to person, but always includes liberal use of phrases like “the poors”, “brown people”, and “I’ve got mine”.

            But I sympathize with these landowners. San Francisco is easy to hate. Even a lot of the people who already live there hate it. They hate the streets piled with discarded needles and human waste. They hate the traffic (fifth worst in the world) and the crime (third most property crime in the US). They hate living five people to a three-bedroom apartment. They hate having aggressive people scream incomprehensible things at them on the sidewalk. They hate the various mutually hostile transit systems that interlock in a system I would call byzantine except that at least you could get around medieval Constantinople without checking whether the Muni and CalTrain were mysteriously failing to connect to each other today. They hate that everyone else in the city hates them, from visible KILL ALL TECHIES graffiti on their commute to work, to a subtle mood of seething resentment from everyone they meet. They hate the omnipresent billboards expecting them to have strong opinions on apps.

            I’m not saying everyone in San Francisco hates it. There are people who like all sorts of things. Some people like being tied up, whipped, and electrocuted by strangers. And a disproportionate number of these people live in San Francisco. I am just saying this isn’t a coincidence.”


          18. To quote an old Vulcan saying…

            “Infinite diversity; infinite combinations.”

            (Yeah… it’s likely just the rambling of an author who wrote a screenplay for a TV show… it applies.)

          19. Yea, let’s take the world laughter at Trump’s opening line at the UN as an example. How does one respond to that:

            A) they were laughing with him because they knew Trump was unseriously exaggerating for comedic purposes.

            B) What Trump said was serious and true, and they all should be destroyed for laughing at our great national savior.

            C). It was all just the harmless puffery of a salesman turned politician. We shouldn’t take anything the President of the United States says seriously.

            D) They were laughing at Trump’s blatantly over the top mendacity. Trump is a worldwide embarrassment to the Presidency and the country. He should be laughed out of office.

          20. Weird that international folks would feel comfortable laughing at someone like Hitler. Are they afraid?!?
            Like I said, results matter.
            Results so far are much better than the results of the last eight years.

          21. For an incompetent, inept boob….wow, this guy sure keeps getting lucky!
            Maybe he’s not such an inept boob?

          22. “Like I said, results matter.
            Results so far are much better than the results of the last eight years.” That one doesn’t make sense, but I’ll presume that by the last eight years, you just mean the Obama years, or did you you think that one of the longest running periods of economic growth started last week. Are you going to give Trump credit for eradicating polio too just because it continues to be eradicated under his presidency? Lies are irrelevant. Only unsubstantiated hyperbolic proclamations of the best, most, greatest results ever actually matters.

          23. If you would diversify the news sources you use it would help you discern the fact Trump is doing a good job. Instead, you just insult the man with silly stuff, generally taken put of context.

          24. “For an incompetent, inept boob….wow, this guy sure keeps getting lucky!
            Maybe he’s not such an inept boob?”

            Even a broke frozen clock is right at least once a day.

          25. “That one doesn’t make sense, but I’ll presume that by the last eight years, you just mean the Obama years, or did you you think that one of the longest running periods of economic growth started last week.”

            It’s not just the economy. Yes, there’s that. ISIS is gone. Things look far better with North Korea than they have in a long while. And I don’t believe anyone in here follows South Korean politics as closely as I do.
            How long of a list would you like?

          26. “It’s not just the economy. Yes, there’s that. ISIS is gone. Things look far better with North Korea than they have in a long while. And I don’t believe anyone in here follows South Korean politics as closely as I do.
            How long of a list would you like?”

            I’m willing to give credit where credit is due. We can argue over decisional blowback in the Middle East that goes back to the colonialism before WWI and continues to this day, but as to Trump, it seems to me that he has just continued what Obama started. However, if you seriously think that Trump has solved Middle East fundamentalist religious extremism, then I’m retired now, so please don’t bogart that stuff you’re smoking.😎

            As for North Korea, I operated in that AOR for a few years decades ago, but I’m no expert. However, it seems to me that NK still has nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles to deliver them to our cities and the cities of our allies. For now at least, all I’ve actually seen is that Trump just legitimized that status quo. That may be reality, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? What does it say to other brutal dictatorial rogue regimes about our determination to stop nuclear proliferation to them? Is it fair for Trump to just declare victory at this point? The other day, I actually heard Trump claim applauses because he himself did not start a nuclear war. By that theory, I should get a medal for not crashing my airplane.

            I’ll await your more informed list though.

          27. “If you would diversify the news sources you use it would help you discern the fact Trump is doing a good job. Instead, you just insult the man with silly stuff, generally taken put of context.”

            We can compare reading lists if you want. I read you, don’t I?

            However, I’ll admit to a lack of omniscience. Trump is doing a good job compared to what? Or more, importantly whom? (He says he’s doing a better job than Lincoln!). I guess it’s all arguable and depends upon your subjective ideology rather than anything objective. But what about simple morality?

            How good a job does he have to do for it to be ok with you that he lies constantly in large and small ways? And that is just one element of how Trumpism, not just practices, but promotes corruption. You know it’s indefensible as well as I do, and that’s why you don’t even try.

            Trump’s obvious, almost pathological, mendacity is somehow the media’s fault? Yea. Trump robbed a bank, but the lame stream media didn’t report that bank robbing is ok for rich folks who are otherwise doing a good job as our ideologues see it. This is how such moral exceptions eventually lead to the tyranny of corruption. We are all sinners, but when our leaders’ sins somehow become sacred, we should pause and think.

          28. @tsalmon

            When you voted for Obama twice and Hillary once, have you considered how hollow your complaint about Trump’s lies sound? And that’s all you have, complaints. You have about as much corroboration as Dr. Ford. Meanwhile, it is not difficult to find evidence that Trump is doing a good job and trying hard to keep his campaign promises.

          29. My list (this isn’t all…but it should make the point):

            -Small businesses are doing very well. This is an important measure because it means things are looking good for the “little guys” not only corporations and big business. NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index
            is higher than it has been the Index’s history (dating back to 1975)…the tax cuts have been cited as one significant reason.

            -According to the Bureau of labor statistics data, unemployment rates are the lowest they’ve been in over ten years.

            -Trump is cracking down on child sex trafficking.

            -We moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and some other countries are following suit.

            -ISIS is defeated. In the excluded middle fallacy land invoked by thee, not me, this would mean there can never and will never be Islamic extremist terrorism again. But in my world, the defeat of ISIS is a good thing and we have a lower likelihood of ISIS-style terrorism today than in 2016. Fewer live, punitive public burnings/maimings/et al would seem to me a good thing.

            -What we are seeing in the DPRK is no status quo. KJU left the DPRK to attend a meeting with the US president in Singapore. This is unprecedented…although the dictator(s) of the DPRK have offered to meet before, they did not agree to do so on neutral ground. He offered de-nuclearization, with free access for inspectors. That too is not the status quo. Will he go through with it? Time will tell. But as of today we are less likely to be hit by a nuclear weapon than when KJU was lobbing missiles over Japan. We also just finished a negotiation with the ROK and they have agreed to share more of the cost burden for our military alliance.

          30. Just to add, please take a look at the “max” chart for the link to small business optimism above. It shows around 2010 a nadir that hadn’t been reached since the Carter years.

          31. Don’t know if I mentioned this before, but there’s a wing in Idaho that sponsors Singapore pilots and every year for their national day (independence day) they have a huge parade. The wing commander and his spouse were invited to the last one and they told me it was just a phenomenal experience. Apparently they have a huge parade and change up the national anthem and ask everyone to sing it…they’ll say “1989” or some such, and the crowd belts out that version. Everyone seems to know all the words by heart, for each year. They said they couldn’t believe the level of patriotism and nationalism there….it was one of the most energizing, phenomenal experiences of their life watching a country swell with pride about their own nation.

            Funny how so many leftists seem to think only Nazis display this sort of nationalism….
            or they associate it with being dumb.
            These are the same leftists who might swell with pride rooting for some college football team, not seeing the paradox….that spirit and pride in accomplishment is unifying. The “we suck” paradigm is a recipe for poor outcome.

          32. Oops…need and edit.
            Wanted to clarify that the parade is in Singapore, not Idaho.
            The whole nation celebrates bigly.

          33. While I’m having my morning blab, I’ll add something on the subject of “magical thinking” since it was mentioned.
            In the morning, sometimes I don’t feel like running. But when I put on my running shoes and walk around in them a bit…I start to feel more like running. Is this “magical thinking?” Sometimes doing=thinking, not the other way around.
            We are creatures of habit. Good habits create good outcomes.
            This is why morale and all that are very very important.
            Yes, smiling makes you happier…that magical thinking too?
            Put the word “magical” in the description all you like. That doesn’t magically (heh) make it wrong.

          34. @Liz

            I think the habit of getting out of bed every morning is important. It is the good habit that is necessary for all the other good habits. No doubt about it, however. On some mornings it requires magical thinking to get out of bed.

          35. I’ve found that the best magic is that which has allowed us simple humans to admire the beauty around us as well as the beauty from within.

  8. Tom, Doug

    I have written a few posts about this sad affair.

    The only redeeming aspect is hopefully, young men and women will think twice of what could and does happen when teenagers underage, illegal, attend unsupervised private home parties where alcohol and drugs are being used by both males and females party.

    This sad affair happens thousands of times every day and will continue to happen even more when legalized recreational marijuana becomes more available to the underage users, in my opinion.

    Who to believe is a question that only comes about after a folly.

    Wisdom is what was needed 36 years ago, but obviously, both Ford and Kavanaugh were adolescents at the time where wisdom is a scarce commodity when peer influences, common sense, and boiling hormones are main drivers at that age..

    The CDC warns people who take the time to read their warnings, they warn not to ingest alcohol or drugs before sex to prevent HIV etc. etc.. ]

    The hypocrisy of our society indignation of this issue is folly if we consider the influence of TV, movies, and pornography available on the internet to screw up the morals and brains of teenagers. and what happens every day in college towns and dormitories.

    Ford was lucky she escaped some drunk or doped up adolescent boy. I am certain untold numbers do not every day in our society.,

    Regards and good will blogging.

    1. Rudy.. I have been reading your recent posts, as many others. It’s been a wild time with blogs active all over the place the last few days given the political events.

      I realize your religious bias tends to assign our human shortcomings to more spiritual and domestic solutions to some of our social problems and I suppose that does have a place. I tend to be a little more pragmatic. I don’t happen to share your contention that Ford was lucky she “escaped” her drunken assailant’s assault, Kavanaugh or not… if in fact we accept her story at face value. He was a drunken teenager who got carried away under the influence.. and it never got to a point where clothes were even removed.
      BUT… the important thing here is that SHE perceived the threat to her life and physical well-being as very real. The “crime” was surely real regardless.. but if she actually reported it, it likely would have been adjudicated as two minors.. and not an adult crime. Our sexual assault laws in most states don’t always try the assailant as an adult if they are underage unless it was violent rape.
      And that itself is a problem as we as a nation have many ill-defined definitions for what constitutes sexual abuse (example, how many guys have ended up on the national sex offender register for simply getting caught urinating against a tree at night?) We have a long way to go. Cases should be decided on their own merits… not with emotional zero tolerance.laws that do not reflect practical application. But that’s just part of the problem.
      As always, I push the national mental health policy.

      1. Doug, you stated,

        “The “crime” was surely real regardless. but if she actually reported it, it likely would have been adjudicated as two minors.”

        The hypocrisy Is that everyone realizes the truth of your statement, yet no Senator will stand up and admit it while the cameras on him for fear he or she will offend the “Me Tooo’ers.”

        The truth hurts after a folly. The missing element in this scenario is the absence of a Senator on camera standing up and telling the truth. The truth being that what took place was what can happen when underage minors engage in alcohol and drugs when they disobey the laws of their parents and nation.

        And then stating that both have indeed “escaped” from their teenage years being a teenager and somehow survived in a society that allows everyone to be exposed to the realities of life.

        The realities being that we are all making choices while walking on paths in life in a world where alcohol, drugs, sex, are being advertised as pleasures and remedies to “escape” the boredom and rules of life that lead to success..

        We are all “fugitives” making choices to “escape” the realities of what can happen when we choose to disobey the laws of God and man.

        The other reality is sometimes we become victims of bad choices of others even when we obey.

        That’s life and the hypocrisy is when our Senators do not stand up and tell the only redeeming truth on camera of this sad scenario taking place in our nation for fear it will hurt their political party in the next election.

        Regards and good will blogging.

    2. @Scatterwisdom

      Well said.

      Your comment made me think about one of the few real differences between Nazis and Communists. NAZIS justify their tyranny as “righteous” because they are of the superior race. Communists justify their tyranny in the name of vengeance for victims. Since their justifications for their tyrannical ways were in direct opposition, I suppose no one should have been surprised when Hitler and Stalin immediately went to war. Yet I guess Stalin was. He probably did not realize Hitler actually believed his own propaganda.

      So are you a white male? As stupid as it sounds to a Liberal Democrat you are some kind of Nazi. It is in your genes. Therefore, as a white male, you are the natural enemy of the people.

      Sound absurd? Then why Nazis and the Communists? Think about how angry you get, how much — how pleasant it can be — to have someone else to blame, to hate, for all your troubles?

      Hitler gave the Germans the Jews to hate. Marx gave the poor the rich to hate. Liberal Democrats give “victims” white males to despise.

      All we can do is pray for each other. We are all victims. We are all our own worse enemies. We are all victims of own pride. We all need to repent of our own sins and turn to Jesus, and it is our self, not someone else, that holds us back.

      1. Tom

        We are indeed all victims of the wise or foolish choices made in our society, sometimes even those who obey all the rules of God and man, as I explained to Doug,

        Regards and good will blogging..

  9. I replied on another blog to another author who remarked to me about my apparent “could care less” attitude regarding the SCOTUS selection process. I replied to him below…

    Don’t mis-interpret my “I don’t care” stance regarding the process. I accept BK has the qualifications and experience and apparently the vetted ethics we expect our Justices to have. The rest is all politics… meaning the Dems would love to hold up the process until after the election when “presumably” the Dems will control the House and maybe the Senate. To them it’s all about limiting Conservative control of the Court, with some anti-Trump mixed in for good measure. The GOP wants their guy in simply because of what I stated… to them it’s all about Roe v. Wade, LGBT rights, and the occasional Second Amendment… which is.. politics… and I think there’s more important issues. Everyone wants an unbiased Justice but biased to want they want to see on the Court. Loony tunes.

    The human side to this? I have always said and still think BK will be appointed. But no question it’s a gauntlet. BK’s opening remarks.. well, it’s already been asserted that he vented and ranted with an eye to make sure Trump was still on his side. For the idea of at least showing on the outside that he was a non-biased pick, he pretty much blew that image out of the water with his totally Trumpian rant against the Dems reciting line and verse from the Conservative scream book… it’s all the fault of the Dems, deep state conspiracies, and of course the Clintons.

    I have no issue if he wanted to vent the process as being tough on his life, his family… and letting loose with emotion. I was sensitive to all that. But I also made a bit of a note that the “nearly crying” thing seemed to go a bit too far… of course I believed his sincerity… but.. at that moment I texted to a friend that “This guy is nearing a nervous breakdown.” He pulled through, but makes me wonder how much stress he can actually take… although a SCOTUS judge doesn’t seem all that stressful outside of wrestling with legal opinion and Constitutional interpretation. Bottom line here… he should have expected the worst when he signed on to be part of the process. I feel sorry for his experience… but that only goes so far. It’s politics and it sucks… and anyone thinking of doing this better damn well consider the family going through all this as well because ALL lives will be affected.

    The Dr. Ford accusation…? Until the FBI comes back with something.. and they may not… I personally think their respective stories cancel each other out as far as the appointment/job interview process goes. Can’t prove the accusation then the process must ignore it and move on. Now…….. public opinion, which is HUGE in all this… has decided that Dr. Ford’s accusation is now the new frontline in the #MeToo struggle. This is the third element in all this, beside the GOP agenda and the Dem’s agenda. I felt sorry for her after her testimony, no question. Although I have MANY #MeToo related questions regarding her particular assault because I have some academics in this kind of thing, but that’s for another time… and that’s the essence of the problem in general.. there’s a lot to digest and people are being pissed off everywhere for all kinds of things.

    I believe the both of them are conveying testimony they both believe is true. I can’t say I see anyone overtly lying. There are some who think that some investigation will show one or the other is outright lying, hence someone goes to jail for that. There’s a third possibility… one of them has simply an inaccurate memory of an event 36 years ago.

    Unless the FBI uncovers something that points a finger, I’m guessing BK gets his appointment.
    I just do not place all that much importance to a SCOTUS selection in general. Yes.. the advise & consent process is necessary (if they ever fix the damn process).. and the required vetting. If the person is qualified then make the appointment. My contention is that for the rest of their lives as a Justice they are very likely going to change and gradually perceive their responsibility is far more than party ideology.

    1. @Doug

      Please keep in mind that the Supreme Court (via the Dred Scott decision) helped to precipitate the Civil War. The court, as the third branch of government is suppose to have a stabilizing role. When enough people believe the Court cannot be counted upon to be just, that is all by itself a major crisis.

      If you look into the history of the process, you will discover that the politics that surround Supreme Court picks is fairly recent. Regardless of who the president was, controversy use to be relatively nonexistent. Even after the Civil War everyone still expected the judges to stick to the Constitution.

      What people expected from the Supreme Court started to change noticeably when FDR decided his New Deal was constitutional even though the Court (and the Constitution) said it was not. Fortunately, FDR’s court packing scheme failed. Unfortunately, FDR still managed to use the Great Depression to bully the Court. He also nominated quite few judges.

      When the Court does not stand by the Constitution, the principal means we have for protecting our rights and resolving our differences cannot work properly. All we can do then is try to vote out the rascals who appointed and confirmed the bad judges. That is part of what is happening now. Hence we are seeing the ugly attacks on Judge Kavanaugh.

      Myself? I have the highest respect for Kavanaugh. Perhaps it’s is difficult to appreciate the pain he and his family are going through. I don’t know. I just know what it is like to be bullied, and that is what the Democrats and the news media are doing to the Kavanaugh’s.

      Why did he accept the nomination? The man already had a secure lifetime job and plenty of respect. He also is no fool. He knew the Democrats would do their best to shred his reputation to stop him from getting on the Court. Yet he accepted the nomination anyway. Was it about his ego or serving his country? I think it was the latter.

      Has Kavanaugh cried? Yeah! People do that. Sometimes they cry over their own wounds. Kavanaugh, however, cried over the hurts of others.

      1. Kavanaugh cried over the hurts of others?? Is that like… he’s Messiah-like? I’ve cried over the hurts of others too in my past. Do I qualify?

        But that’s irrelevant. The Nine are no different than the rest of government… all made up of human beings… all have personal opinions… all susceptible to the current winds of change. You can interpret history in any way you wish, as we all can. I know you’re sensitive to someone being bullied and for reasons you’ve shared before. I can’t answer to that because I’ve not walked the mile in your shoes. I don’t happen to vilify the press like conservatives do. I do think that if anyone has experienced some level of social bullying by being a victim of a sex crime has been Dr. Ford.

        1. @Doug

          If you have loved someone, you have cried over their hurts. And yes, Jesus cried over our hurts. What ties people together is their willingness to share each other’s burdens.

          Are the nine any different? They have a different job. Their job is to resist the current winds of change, to stick to the law, not some man’s whims.

          What Ford experienced we can only guess. Whatever it was her memory of it is too unreliable to warrant an investigation. Where would you start? Effectively, Democrats have made a mockery of believing the woman. That’s why no one did the obvious. Since there is no statute of limitations for the alleged crime, all Dr. Ford had to do was file a police report. Then the local police would have investigated the matter, if they could. But where would they start?

        2. @CT
          @ any body else interested

          I hope Tom does a post isolated to the floor speech of Ms. Collins. She singularly, powerfully, truthfully, and unapologetically lowered the boiling point of the frenzy by the leftist mob. (yes , including not only the ELEVATOR sideshows, etc, but the ravaging beasts in the same room)

          The effect was instant, the results immediate. She pretty much proved you could (my words) hate someone, while at the same time admit they are good at what they do. This is the distinction that the leftists refuse to see. His behaviour against being called a killing rapist,…..and how he SHOULD behave was ludicrous.

          What other nominee was ever put in THAT position to have to defend the unfounded ignorant ALLEGATIONS of fools? Never. Collins agreed with me in that HOW and WHY we judge a person based on fraudulent charges should never have been brought to the Senate in the first place.

          The presumption of innocence was not given Kavanaugh; he was already guilty and hung in the courts of public opinion. So the point by the left is always ‘how many Repubs’ will vote no,’ but you never hear ‘how many Dems will vote yes?’ It is all scripted. It is all disgusting.

          Collins gave a Hallmark speech. It was all true. She also quieted the knuckledheads of CNN who were awestruck at her civil approach. Her ‘soft answer turned away much wrath.’ And the left is now resigned to stop the sideshow and go home.

          1. @ColorStorm

            It has been a sideshow. It has been frightening too. If all I had was a belief in this life — in Man — I would be in despair. Massive numbers of people are getting more and more indifferent to the rights of others. Man makes a pathetic God.

            I have read about the lady’s speech. Have not listened. Guess I should.Thank you.

          2. Yes. Do listen. The visual effect of her sobriety was awesome.

            She actually talked about Kavanaugh’s ability to judge, based on things he defended, and written, as opposed to talking about light or dark beer. lol

            Truly impressive CT, and I’m not easily impressed.

          3. Well, CS.. not sure we are on the same planet. I read your remarks/recommendation here, then turned to my better half and ask if she thought the Collins speech was notable, as I heard only bits and pieces yesterday but found nothing significant from it. My GF said what she heard seemed to be “bureaucratic and boring”, but qualified further by stating she did not hear the whole thing either. So.. in checking around with other news geeks no one really sat through the entire speech, but pretty much shrugged it off.
            Now.. due to technical difficulties in my own life yesterday and having only caught bit and pieces I turned to CNN later.. and other than a reference to Collins’ vote and snippets of her remarks, her speech was not featured as some great example of sage political reflection that affected the nation. I guess one had to have been there?

            Personally, since Kavanaugh gave his rant I was of the opinion that unless some evidence surfaced regarding the accusation or that he lied in some way under oath, he seemed just fine to me as an appointment as he vetted the “smart & experienced” judge stuff just fine. But when he did his rant is where I changed my mind.. he went totally Trumpian in blaming the Clintons and Democratic conspiracies costing millions thus pointing directly at his leaning toward a political biased when under stress using the typical Trump-base diatribe… but most important… his decorum went right out the window. I agreed with former Justice Stevens’ in that his rant was not in form of what a SCOTUS justice should practice.

            But in the end I also am under no illusions that he will not be selected. Vote is today and I expect no miracles.

            The takeway from all this… the selection process is broke… and.. #MeToo is picking up speed and is going to be an issue in the voting booth.

          4. Tkx for taking the time to respond doug.

            I stand by my initial observation though that it was in fact notable, especially in seeing the aftermath, such as was pointed out, the newsfolks (Gloria, Jeff, Coop, etc) held a balloon that was deflated. It was remarkable to see, really.

            Not sure if others were clapped, but I think members did so for her. She brought the issue back to reality, citing how the nominee ruled in the past, surprising some, while disappointing others, and that is the issue on the table. Could this man be fair while showing emotion as he was accused?

            Seems no small affair to be accused and expect to sit idly by. Would you? But the genius of Collins included her respect for Ford, she said SOMETHING happened to her, but that there was no EVIDENCE that pointed to Kav. Apparently, the FBI report convinced her, things we do not know.

            Collins in her slow careful manner, was like a skilled surgeon dismantling all the bad parts…………..I can understand how many did not think she was any different than her colleagues, but rest assured, she was at the moment, a giant among all in the chamber.

          5. If you say so. 🙂

            Regarding this “he was defending himself against accusations” thing… he is obviously not stupid given he’s gotten to this point. If the President came up to me and asked if I wanted to serve on SCOTUS and enter the selection process… I could never fathom in my wildest dreams that it would be a cakewalk. Also.. given the huge polarizing times we live in.. the most divisive in modern American history… and I was being asked to serve by the most divisive President in modern history… and given the politics of it all simply wreaks of Roe v. Wade… there would be NO way I would expect anything less than what Kavanaugh went through. This is NOT an “Oh, poor Kav.” empathy moment here. He’s a big boy and should have known this crap would fly all over him and splash onto his family. That’s politics… even on a good day. He get NO sympathy from me on that.

            I do realize, however, that Trump’s base loves this fighting back with fire & fury crap… no negotiation-take-no-prisoners guttural Neanderthal antics. What made me lean away from Kavanaugh is exactly what Trump’s conservatives endeared him to them.

            And life moves on.. and Roe is likely not going to change anytime soon because it’s been around for so long. If anything it might get whittled down. Now we have a SCOTUS with two justices accused of sexual abuse toward women. Yep.. we are making America great for sure!

          6. I do say so.

            But really, watch her presentation in it’s entirety, then see if you change your mind as to my assessment that it was strong as iron, as opposed to the weak and vapid attempts by people who constructed detours to try to derail a decent man.

            Sorry, doug, THAT is not politics, that is numbskullery.

          7. “If the President came up to me and asked if I wanted to serve on SCOTUS and enter the selection process… I could never fathom in my wildest dreams that it would be a cakewalk.”

            Ah, is it traditional for a process of serving on the SCOTUS to expect rape threats toward one’s family? Yes, just a part of the new fine tradition of service. Should lead to some great outcomes.

          8. No surprise eh liz. Especially when ‘tradition’ for instance, includes the redefining of a time tested word such as ‘marriage’ to make it mean whatever one wants.

            Astute people were perhaps not surprised. Still, some ugly business that did not have to be.

          9. Sorry, Liz.. the fine tradition of service begins and ends with the people appointed to serve.. and the measures by which they are selected, not with the public venting their opinions. dire and as life threatening they can be.; the law should handle anyone if they go too far.

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