Judge Kavanaugh update: the real and the fake
If the letter from Kavanaugh’s accuser had been made public, say, in July, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein actually received it, we wouldn’t have to quickly try to make sense of the crazed rush of stories about it RIGHT NOW, before the committee vote scheduled for just a few days away. This calculated delay –- we know that’s what it was –- practically ensures there will be so much fake news, we won’t know what to think about it all and will therefore just have to delay the Senate vote.
But first, the real news: Now that the accuser has identified herself, Kavanaugh has released a statement that reads, “This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes --- to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”
The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, now a professor of sociology at Palo Alto University in California, has said she wants to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the White House supports that. “She should not be insulted; she should not be ignored,” Kellyanne Conway said. “She should testify under oath and she should do it on Capitol Hill.” That could come as early as Tuesday, and the scheduled vote on Kavanaugh could still happen on Thursday.
As long as they’re taking testimony, they really should include Mike Judge, the other man (then a boy) who was identified in Ford’s letter as someone else who was in the room at the time and would have been a witness to the “attack.” “I never saw anything like what was described,” he told The New York Times. He said it would have been out of character for Kavanaugh. “It is not who he is,” said Judge, calling him a “brilliant student” who played sports and was not “into anything crazy or illegal.”
When asked, he couldn’t even remember an incident of rough-housing that a girl might interpret as being aggressive.
“I never saw Brett act that way,” he said, according to The Daily Caller. He said the incident never happened and, in fact, was “just absolutely nuts.”
On Monday, Ford’s attorney Debra Katz called the incident “attempted rape,” which reportedly was not the way it was originally described in Ford’s letter. More details here.
Something else that’s real news: Sen. Chuck Grassley has released a statement about trying to set up questioning of Ford; he says Feinstein’s office is refusing to cooperate. It reads in part, “Sen. Feinstein...has had this information for many weeks and deprived her colleagues of the information necessary to do our jobs...Over my nearly four decades in the Senate I have worked diligently to protect whistleblowers and get to the bottom of any issue. Dr. Ford’s attorney could have approached my office, while keeping her client confidential and anonymous, so that these allegations could be thoroughly investigated. Nevertheless, we are working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.”
But Ford’s attorney didn’t do that, and Feinstein held the letter until just a few days before the scheduled vote. If the reason Feinstein didn’t act was to protect the identity of the woman, well, that’s now been blown, anyway. The goal here doesn’t seem to be “getting to the bottom of these claims”; it seems to be delaying or preventing the Kavanaugh vote. That’s what Senate Democrats really care about.
So much for what we can be reasonably sure is the real news. There were also a few fake stories going around that got played up quite a bit before being discredited. A story about Ford’s parents’ foreclosure case being presided over by Kavanaugh’s mother turned out not to be relevant; that case was dismissed before the judge would have ruled. A story about Ford’s horrible teacher evaluations turned out to be about another teacher coincidentally named Christine Ford; it was retracted. Yes, Ford’s brother did work for the law firm that reps Fusion GPS, but that was seven years before Fusion GPS was formed, so there appears to be no connection.
We as conservatives need to be careful about jumping too quickly on stories that may not have been verified for accuracy and/or relevance. That’s what liberals do –- the Steele “dossier” comes to mind as perhaps the ultimate example –- and they’re the ones, by and large, who keep “fake news” in business. On the other hand, when Democrats deliberately throw last-minute firebombs that send everyone scrambling, it’s understandable that stories such as these catch a spark. They soon burn out, because we (unlike some I could name) are looking for truth.
The Carolinas continued to be lashed with heavy rain from Hurricane Florence over the weekend, and the flooding isn’t likely to end anytime soon. The latest death toll stands at 17, after a three-year-old child was killed in Dallas, North Carolina, when a large pine tree fell onto a mobile home Sunday. I hope that everyone will pray for the victims and their families, and for all those who are still in danger from the storm, especially the brave emergency workers who are risking their own lives to save others.
If you are in the path of the flooding, please don’t leave your home unless ordered to evacuate. And if you have to leave, take your pets with you. Here are some shocking stories of what can happen to pets left behind, and the heroic efforts made by rescue workers to save them.
#Metoo movement threatens Kavanaugh nomination
The Washington Post dropped a bombshell over the weekend by printing an article revealing Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s 11-1/2 hour accuser and her claim against him. At the link is the original letter that Sen. Diane Feinstein sat on until the last minute. The (REDACTED) parts are that it was written by Christine Blasey Ford, a Northern California research psychologist and Palo Alto University professor, and the other boy she claims was in the room was Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge. (Warning, this contains upsetting adult content.)
And here’s some good analysis and background of the charge and its political aspects from Fox News:
It’s a serious charge that, if true, was surely traumatic for a young woman. On the other hand, it’s also an unsubstantiated allegation made about a then-teenage boy, 36 years after the fact, backed by no evidence, no witnesses (the only other person she claims was in the room, Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, also denies that it happened.) And she admits that she didn’t mention it to anyone else for nearly 30 years.
Ford claims she sought “medical treatment” for the incident, but that actually means she brought it up during a couples counseling session over 30 years later, so there are no contemporaneous medical records to prove any assault. And the counselor’s notes show she didn’t mention Kavanaugh’s name even then, just that she was at a party with some prep school boys who’d been drinking (there are also some discrepancies between those notes and the story she’s telling now, which she attributes to the counselor writing it down wrong.)
The source and timing also raise inevitable questions, such as why she never brought this up in nearly four decades as Kavanaugh rose to the level of DC Appeals Court Judge and went through numerous FBI background checks and a previous Senate confirmation vetting. The accuser is on the record as an adamant Trump opponent and Bernie Sanders contributor, and her attorney is also a liberal activist with a history of dismissing claims of sexual impropriety against Democrats such as Bill Clinton and Al Franken for lacking hard evidence.
Naturally, this has Democrats demanding that Kavanaugh withdraw or his confirmation vote be postponed pending a thorough investigation (although how you can investigate a 36-year-old “he said/she said” allegation with no witnesses or evidence is unclear.) Some Republicans such as Arizona's Jeff Flake, the GOP’s top Trump critic, said they would withhold their votes, but they might have been planning to do that anyway. If the investigation can be dragged on long enough, and Democrats can take over the Senate, then Kavauagh’s confirmation can be killed and his career derailed based on an 11th-hour blindside allegation with no evidence. “Social justice warriors” might celebrate that, but I fail to see how it would represent justice in any form.
As with all the MeToo allegations, this is a delicate matter. I never discount out of hand allegations of sexual assault, which should always be treated with the utmost seriousness. I also try never to let partisanship dictate my responses. In the cases of both Roy Moore and Al Franken, I said that if they were guilty, they should own up and face the consequences, but if they pleaded innocent, then both deserved due process. There are good reasons why we have the rule of law, due process protections and statutes of limitations on allegations of crimes for which evidence degrades and memories get fuzzy over time. In this case, the FBI simply passed the letter on the White House because they recognize that a 36-year-old allegation with no evidence or witnesses would be inadmissible in any court.
It’s also impossible not to question the motives of Kavanaugh’s opponents, who made it clear that they intended to stop any Trump appointee by any means necessary, even before they knew who that nominee would be. Their hypocritical opportunism couldn’t be on more obvious display if there were a spotlight on it outside Grauman’s Theater: DNC head Tom Perez, who is righteously demanding a full investigation of Kavanaugh, has had little to say anything about his fellow DNC official and Democratic candidate for Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, who is accused of much more recent domestic violence.
At this link, David French lays out the details very well, including why certain people such as Bill Clinton, due to their long histories of questionable sexual behavior, are less deserving of the benefit of the doubt than someone like Brett Kavanaugh, who is accused of behavior as a high school boy that seems completely out of character with the way he’s lived his entire life.
No denying where Sinema stands
Now, this is an example of how a political figure’s past can come back to haunt them, based on actual proof. In the Arizona Senate race, Republican Martha McSally is neck-and-neck in the polls with Democratic Rep. Krysten Sinema. McSally’s campaign had slammed Sinema for her history as an anti-war activist who denigrated US troops in the Middle East as terrorists. But Sinema’s campaign weathered that by denying it and claiming that while she opposed the war, she's a moderate who has always supported US troops.
That just became a much harder sell after the world’s biggest “permanent record,” the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” that archives long-deleted web pages, yielded some fliers made by an anti-war group run by Sinema in the early 2000s. It’s the kind of stuff that makes Michael Moore look mealy-mouthed: rants against “Bush and his fascist, imperialist war;” slogans such as “My President Is A Psychopath” and “We Burn Stuff” (written on an American flag); and most disgusting of all, a cartoon of a US soldier as a skeleton with the caption, “You can help us push back U.S. terror in Iraq and the Middle East.”
Sinema’s campaign insists the charges of her not always supporting the troops are false allegations and the issue is settled. Unfortunately for them, among stuff that doesn’t burn are the records retained forever on the Internet.
Mark your calendar: the creators of the Internet sensation “Clinton Cash” have a new film coming out called “Trump @ War,” chronicling the media and DC establishment war against the Trump Administration. This Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST, the Western Journal is hosting a free online showing before it goes to theaters. But you’ll need an invite code to see it, and at this writing, only 4000 of the 10,000 available are left. To get yours, and to see the trailer, hurry now to https://www.westernjournal.com/trumpatwar/
The RNC should send former Present Jimmy Carter a thank-you card for his in-kind contribution to reelect Republicans. Speaking at Emory University, Carter issued a blanket condemnation of President Trump, saying he would change every single policy initiated by him. I’m fairly certain any Democrat would do the same. So remember, if you want to exchange a booming economy, lots of jobs, national security, improving trade deals and strength against our enemies for the way things were under Jimmy Carter, just vote the Democrats back in.
Incidentally, for all you young people who don’t remember just how popular Jimmy Carter’s policies were with Americans, here’s a little reminder from “The Simpsons.”