Day 628 Saturday October 6, 2018 953 Days to Go
There are certain things that I remember happening and I remember where I was when I heard about them.
I remember where I was when I heard Kennedy was shot.
I remember where I was when the news reported that there had been a break-in at the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate Hotel.
I remember what was playing on the radio when I first kissed a girl.
I think I’ll remember where I was when I heard Susan Collins give her speech in defense of her vote for Brett Kavanaugh.
At first, I thought it was Amy Klobuchar that was speaking. It seemed well reasoned, at first. Then it became clear it was not Klobuchar as Collins began to wander into how Kavanaugh had assured her that Roe v Wade was settled law and how he would not overturn it. She then went on to talk about the FBI supplemental background investigation and how there was no corroborating evidence to any of the claims made by the women.
I have said that Senator Collins is one of the dumbest Senators there is. I take that back. There are ones who are much dumber. I have also said she is one of the most naive. I stand by that. And that may not be the best word to describe her. She allows herself to be hoodwinked and lied to again and again and she believes those who do it to her over and over again.
When she was saying there was no evidence in the FBI supplemental report to corroborate the stories of sexual assault I’ll have to take her word and the word of others because we haven’t been shown the report. It’s worth noting that in the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails the FBI released those reports. Something they rarely, if ever before that time, have done.
I wanted to scream at the radio, “OF COURSE THERE WAS NO CORROBORATING EVIDENCE IN THE FBI REPORT. IF YOU DON’T ASK THE PEOPLE WHO CAN CORROBORATE THERE WON’T BE ANY CORROBORATING EVIDENCE.” I hold that truth to be self-evident.
There are TWENTY people who said they have corroborating evidence of Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault behavior. There are ANOTHER TWENTY who say they have evidence of Kavanaugh’s drinking to excess, blacking out, becoming nasty and belligerent when drunk, and being at parties where gang rapes occurred. Yet, NONE OF THESE WITNESSES WERE INTERVIEWED.
Collins was the clean up hitter for the Republicans who wanted to jam through Kavanaugh’s appointment. She hit every point they wanted to make. The optics were great too. They had two women sitting behind her when she spoke on the Senate floor. Hey, why not Hatch and Cronin? Or Grassley?
It appears we will now put on the Supreme Court a man with no judicial experience and by that I mean a lawyer who has never tried a case in court, any court. He was a law clerk. He was the hit man in the Starr investigation. That’s where he met Rod Rosenstein, who was for his nomination.
Kavanaugh was very clear in his Senate Judicial Committee opening statement that he will take revenge on his accusers. He is well known to hate the Clintons. He spoke of a hit job by the left and the Clintons. He swore to take revenge. He will now be on the Supreme Court.
The first case they have to hear involves the idea that a president can not pardon someone who is being charged by a state for a crime. That is now up for review. Imagine what will happen if that is overturned? I predict within 48 hours Trump will be pardoning himself, his kids, and everyone else he can think of.
If Kavanaugh is approved we will now have seen the corruption of the Congress, the presidency, and now – the judiciary.
There was a piece on last night talking about how an Illinois politician who had never lost an election, was at the time of the Thomas nomination a Democratic Senator, who promised George Bush that he would vote for Thomas. He did and he lost his seat to a woman, Carol Moseley Braun. She was in the Senate for one term, six years, and then lost to a Republican man. Clarence Thomas is still on the Supreme Court where has has only asked one question in his decades of being on the bench. Yet, he is known for being quite chatty outside of the courtroom. His wife has been very active in many right wing causes.
I was in the bookstore yesterday. I was getting the new book The Apprentice, which deals with the Russian subversion of our democracy. I also got Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk, which deals with the Federal workers under the Trump administration. It outlines how no one showed up from the Trump administration, or if they did they knew nothing about the job they had to do, and showed little interest or capacity to do it. I left “Football For A Buck” the story of the USFL and the prominent role Donald Trump played in it. (Trump hired Doug Flutie to play for his team, paying him a huge salary. He tried to get the other owners to pay for Flutie. This was Trump’s Wall before he had a Wall. He also threw the whole league under the bus when he told Pete Roselle that he really just wanted an NFL team. Roselle told Donald he would never get a team as long as he was commissioner. This is the real reason Trump has so much animus toward the NFL.)
While I was at the book store I also ran across Ken Starr’s book about his investigation about the Clintons and Watergate. The book claims that the Clintons played “fast and lose with the law.” Oh yeah? Boy oh boy, what would you say now about Trump or Kavanaugh? Can you imagine how many investigations the Republicans would have launched if those two were Dems? I paged to the index and looked up Kavanaugh. He’s mentioned three times. First, as the guy who wordsmithed the abuse of power allegations. Clinton had according to Starr “improperly used the powers of his office.” The second reference was Starr’s lament that he was too old to be picked for the Supreme Court in his late fifties and that it went to Brett. The third reference was to another word smithing job.
Collins in her argument for Kavanaugh said that we had to go with the presumption of innocence. that there wasn’t enough evidence to do otherwise. To which many have said, “No you don’t.” this isn’t a criminal trial. It’s a job interview. But for naive Collins the fact that Ford said she was 100% certain that Kavanaugh held her down against her will and the fact that Kavanaugh says he didn’t do it is enough.
I’m reminded of Tim Allen saying that in prison everyone in there claims to be in the joint as a mistake. Every criminal says they didn’t do it. Yet, that’s enough for Collins. This is particularly interesting because when Al Franken was accused of sexual misconduct by trumped up accusations by a woman who was trying to gain notoriety for her news show and was an associate of Roger Stone’s. Collins demanded that he resign without an investigation by the Senate. The sexual misconduct included such evidence as a poorly doctored photo of Franken being too close to a woman and her claim that he grabbed her flesh around the waist. But hey, isn’t that the same thing as a line of guys standing outside a bedroom door waiting to take their turn fucking a drunk girl?
W. Bush won the White House because the Supreme Court gave it to him. The election hung on the results in Florida, which ultimately was decided by less than 500 votes. Of course, the votes weren’t properly counted in time. When they were Gore won the state. However, there was an interesting wrinkle to that story, which I just learned the weekend before last.
The county where Fort Lauderdale is located had an election supervisor who decided to order pre-punched ballots. These are ballots that you can use a pointed object to knock the piece of paper out. That piece of paper that is knocked out is called a chad. This type of ballot is used to be sent to people overseas where they don’t have access to a voting machine. In a regular voting machine scenario you are given a piece of paper with no prepunching. When you insert the paper into the machine and press down on your choice it makes a clean cut hole, no question.
The election supervisor in Fort Lauderdale; she’s the famous one, decided to order all her ballots as the pre-punched type. Her reasoning was that her constituents were old and frail and might not be able to make a clean punch with the regular paper. By having the ballot pre-punched it would make it easier for them.
Election supervisors in Florida have little to do with the running of an election. Their job is to make sure they have ballots and machines and polling places. The actual running of any election is done by their assistants.
The problem with the prepunched ballot is that they aren’t designed to be run through a machine. When they are run trough a machine some of the chads that weren’t punched can become partially torn out; hence, a “hanging chad.” If you rerun the ballots through the machines again, the situation gets worse.
This election supervisor was told this. She was forewarned. She insisted that all her ballots be pre-punched, all 124,000. When they ran the ballots through the machines they got a margin of error. When they ran them through again, the margin of error got worse. Fort Lauderdale is heavily Jewish, heavily Democratic. By throwing out ballots as being spoiled the count was suppressed.
When W came into office he got to pick two Supreme Court justices. Now Trump is going to pick two. These presidents and these justices are out of step with the majority of people in this country. Brett Kavanaugh is rated as the most unqualified nominee ever. He had no trial experience. 2500 law professors say he is unqualified, 650 lawyers say he is unqualified, one former Supreme Court justice says he is unqualified and yet it seems he will be appointed and may serve long after most of us our dead.
He has said that what comes around goes around. He now has a list of 2500 law professors and 650 lawyers who oppose his nomination, plus the Clintons, and any progressive democrat. He, as a Supreme Court justice, does not have to recuse himself from anything.
He has shown himself to be opposed to a woman’s right to choose. He has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of how contraception works, and he has said that pivotal cases that are now settled law were wrongly decided.
It’s going to be a tough fifty years.
The ABA is considering disbarring him. Wouldn’t that be interesting, a Supreme Court justice with little real legal experience, disbarred, deciding pivotal cases for the rest of us?
953 Days to Go
PS Headless People wandering around, “Agora” by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Chicago.