Archive for the ‘Kavanaugh, Brett’ Category

OMG: Is Spartacus’ presidential bid doomed?

September 21, 2018

By his own account, Booker is guilty!

Here’s a gut-check for for Democratic moralists.

I initially wrote “integrity check” but quickly realized how silly that would sound.

Let’s assume for a moment that Kavanaugh is guilty of the unproven and unsubstantiated allegations.

And, let’s accept the premise that unwanted groping is – at any age – attempted rape.

And, let’s conclude that attempted rape is disqualifying for the highest offices in the U.S. government.


OK, that disqualifies Kavanaugh for the SCOTUS.

But, it also disqualifies Sen. Booker for the presidency.

Here’s the story


Scientifically speaking, should the accuser be expected to remember when and where?

September 20, 2018

First, the disclaimers: On balance, I support Kavanaugh for the SCOTUS (though he wasn’t my first choice) … and, I’m not a psychologist.

But, over the years, I’ve done a lot of reading on how  brains work … largely focused on how students students learn – cognitively and mechanically.

So, politics aside, I found the accuser’s story (as reported to the WaPo) to be curious … mostly because of the self-admitted memory gaps … e.g what year the alleged  incident took place? where the incident took place? who else was present?


The cable coverage has been predictably biased on the question of how much an accuser should be able to recall … cherry-picking folks who fit their respective narratives.

CNN/MSNBC have rolled out experts arguing that memories of traumatic events are usually vague, fragmented and incomplete. Think: fog of war.

FOX has presented rape victims who claim precise recall of all sights, sounds and smells from start-to-finish. Think: mechanical evidence gathering.

Note: I do channel-switch to hear both sides.  If you don’t, try it to get a more complete picture.

I wanted a more scientific treatment, so I did some digging.

Here’s what I found…


A simple, fast way to move forward on the Kavanaugh allegations…

September 19, 2018

Let’s recap …

The Dems wanted her story told.

GOP said okay. Put it on next Monday’s schedule – public or private.

Dems say: not until a full FBI investigation is conducted.

Say, what?

FBI has already said that’s outside their scope and isn’t going to happen.

So, what to do?


Here’s my idea…


Justice Amy Coney Barrett ?

September 17, 2018

Dems may win the battle but lose the war … vice versa for the GOP


It’ll be an interesting couple of news cycles as the Kavanaugh accusations either get substantiated or vaporize.

My initial take:  the allegations are serious but the case details are sketchy and the timing is suspicious.

In a court of law, I’d rather be Kavanaugh’s attorney since (a) the allegations go back 35 years (to high school!); (b) the accuser’s memory is fuzzy (e.g. where was the party held?) (c) no corroborators have stepped forward or have been discovered (who else attended the party?); (d) no other accusers have stepped forward to implicate a pattern of behavior; (e) first disclosure was made 30 years after-the-fact to a marital counselor.

But, in the court of public opinion – where accusation and verdict are synonymous and facts are fungible – I’d rather be the accuser’s attorney.

The quasi-legal situation should play out in warp speed over the next couple of days.

Today, let’s look at the politics…


What will be remembered about the Kavanaugh hearings?

September 13, 2018

Now that the dust has settled a bit, let’s pause and reflect on what happened last week.

I think it’s commonly accepted that no votes were changed … GOP senators will vote ‘yea’; Dems will vote ‘nay’ (save for the couple of Trump-state Dems running for re-election) … and Kavanaugh will fill the vacant 9th spot on the SCOTUS.


Historically, SCOTUS hearings have only 1 or 2 memorable takeaways.

For example, Robert Bork was uncivilly ‘Borked’ … though most people can’t recall the incendiary issue.

Answer: Bork was characterized as being callous to protecting people’s privacy (think: wire taps)

Clarence Thomas was characterized as “Long John Dong” — a misogynist who alleged told dirty jokes in the presence of women.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been cited in every subsequent hearing for the “Ginsburg Rule” that shields judicial candidates from answering hypothetical questions or ones related to cases that may come before the court.

So, what will be remembered about the Kavanaugh hearings?


Ben Sasse rises above the fray…

September 10, 2018

He and Kavanaugh seemed like the only adults in the room last week.

Not sure if that’s a benefit or a liability of being retired, but I had the TV on for much of the Kavanaugh hearings last week.

Save for the hilarity of Sen. Booker’s “Spartacus Moment”,  most of the proceedings were predictable histrionics and talking points (from both sides).

I was impressed with Kavanaugh’s ability to “take a punch”. (<= one of my highest commendations).

The only other “actor” who made me spin my chair around was Sen Ben Sasse.


I’d barely noticed Sasse before … but his opening remarks resonated with me.

Rather than laundry-listing political talking points, Sasse took Congress to task for failing to address difficult issues and “punting” rather than legislating.

Here are a couple of snippets from Sasse’s opening remarks…