Kavanaugh’s Rage Is Not Evidence of His Innocence

October 4, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Judicial Misjudgment, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

Photo in 1887 of the actor Richard Mansfield, by Henry Van der Weyde (1838-1924; London,

 

There is intense disagreement about Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness to become one of the Justices on the Supreme Court.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on September 27, 2018, the committee and the world tried to decide whether to believe Christine Blasey Ford’s assertion that a drunken Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a party when she was 15 years old, or whether to believe Kavanaugh’s denial.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh showed strong emotions during the hearing.

This post is about the interpretation of Kavanaugh’s rage, frustration, and dread.

Some Senators and others have interpreted Kavanaugh’s rage as evidence of his innocence. It is not.

About the diverse interpretations, see this article by Lori Rozsa , Brittney Martin and David A. Farenthold.

Kavanaugh’s rage is because the unwritten rules of entitlement that he absorbed as a teenager were violated: he was not allowed to escape being held accountable for acts for which only the less privileged were supposed to be held accountable.

Those rules said that anyone of his social class, of his wealth, with his connections, with his accomplishments and talent, would never suffer the consequences of breaking the rules that apply to lesser mortals.

These unwritten rules are exposed by Shamus Khan, in a revealing article in the Washington Post. Khan explains why Kavanaugh lies so readily, and so self-righteously.  Khan also notes that privilege also makes some kids callous – a notable feature of Kavanaughs judicial rulings, of his work for George W. Bush. It would also lower his internal barriers to sexually abusing others. As noted in an article by Suniyah S. Luthar, those same unwritten rules, combined with greater resources, explain the surprising fact that rich kids are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than are middle class kids or disadvantaged kids. That was another striking feature of the Kavanaugh’s behavior during high school and college.

Parenthetically, similar violations of expectations of special status underlie the rage of white supremicists and of male supremicists.

Kavanaugh also exhibited frustration. Based on media reports and on the current distribution of power between the two political parties, Kavanaugh had become convinced that his bid for a judgeship on the Supreme Court was unstoppable. But now his ascension to the Supreme Court is leaking away, and he doesn’t know how to stop the leak.

At the hearing, Kavanaugh also radiated dread. He knows that his wife and his daughters will no longer look up to him and trust him. He knows that friends and colleagues will re-evaluate him.

It is not just Kavanaugh’s past behavior that is at issue. His present behavior is problematic.

During the Senate hearing, Kavanaugh lied repeatedly, while under oath.

Eugene Robinson and David Ignatius give valuable insights about Kavanaugh’s lies and character.

 

Molly Roberts shows why it is quite believable that Christine Blasey Ford vividly remembers who attacker was, and who was laughing, while having difficulty remembering other details about the party at which Kavanaugh assaulted her.

Kavanaugh tried to evade answering inconvenient questions by attempting to change the subject (as Trump does). Kavanaugh tries to change a troublesome question about himself into an analogous question about his questioner.

Here is an example of his Kavanaugh’s deflection of an inconvenient question, as quoted from an article in the Washington Post by Sarah L. Kaufman

“He went back to being combative, even at times overly hot, inappropriate and rude. He challenged Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on her questions about whether he’d ever drunk so much his memory was affected. “Have you?” he said.”

A qualified judge would never have put up with a deflecting, topic-changing non-answer like that.

Kavanaugh also tried to claim that the accusations against him were part of a conspiracy. That was another misleading attempt at changing the subject. The time-line of Ford’s accusation refutes Kavanaugh’s claim, as is demonstrated by an editorial in the Washington Post.

Altogether, Kavanaugh’s behavior at the hearing was behavior he would not tolerate from any party who was appearing before him at a trial at which he was the Judge.

Kavanaugh lied repeatedly during the Senate hearing. He lied while under oath. E.J. Dionne Jr. has provided a superb account of Kavanaugh’s lies, and why Kavanaugh is unfit to be a judge. His article has links to extensive compilations of Kavanaugh’s lies. Eugene Robinson also has a penetrating account of Kavanaugh’s lies at the hearing, and how it shows Kavanaugh’s unfitness for serving as a judge.

Kavanaugh’s unjustified sense of entitlement, his lies in the Senate hearing, and his tactic of avoiding answering unwelcome questions by trying to change the subject, are all un-judgelike. They disqualify him from the Supreme Court.

His presence on the Supreme Court would further degrade respect for the Supreme Court’s decisions.

His defects also disqualify Kavanaugh from serving a a judge on any court, including the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is the court he now serves on.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, why have you so sullied your judicial legacy, by recommending someone as unfit as Brett M. Kavanaugh?

Disloyal Americans in Congress

August 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the 114th Congress.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the 114th Congress.

In a recent Congressional hearing, Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) shouted at Rod Rosenstein, “Why are you keeping information from Congress?”. This question referred to Robert Mueller’s special investigation of Putin’s interference in the Presidential election in 2016. Mueller’s investigation had been approved by Rod Rosenstein.

Jim Jordan’s question was loaded, like “When did you stop beating your wife?”

A question is loaded if it is being used as a vehicle for making an un-proven assertion, usually a derogatory assertion. The question is being used in a sneaky attempt to implant the assertion into the minds of those who hear the question.

Jim Jordan’s question was dishonorable. Indeed, Jim Jordan is both dishonorable and disloyal.

Jim Jordan is posturing at due diligence in Congress, in part to deflect attention to the fact that he either did not exercise sufficient due diligence to learn about Richard Strauss’ widely known sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State University , or else that he knew about it but chose not to do anything about it.

Here are some legitimate questions. They are not loaded questions, because they assert about Jim Jordan only what his actions have proved about him.

– Jim Jordan, why are you opposed to the investigation of the well-established fact that Putin interfered in the Presidential election in 2016?

– Jim Jordan, why are you opposed to the United States and it allies learning from Mueller’s investigation how we and our allies can combat Putin’s future attempts at manipulating public opinion and elections in our country?

Your opposition amounts to obstruction of justice, and delays the improvement of our cyber-defenses.

– Jim Jordan, why are you obstructing justice?

– Jim Jordan, since you are obstructing justice, and are delaying the US’s defense against Putin’s manipulations, why should anyone believe your claim that you didn’t know about Richard Strauss’ sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State University?

– Jim Jordan, when did you cease to be a patriotic American?

As an institution, Congress is worthy of respect. But not all Congressional Representatives are worthy of respect.

Jim Jordan is not worthy of respect.

The same is true of the notorious Devin Nunes, and of Bob Goodlatte, Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz, who collude with Jim Jordan.

Each of these disloyal Americans in Congress proritizes partisan advantage over justice, and also proritizes partisan advantage over the election-based legitimacy of the United States Government.

This has been eloquently stated by Kathie Sowell and by Beth Kreydatus in their letters to the Editor of the Washington Post.

These disloyal Americans in Congress are opposed to investigating attacks on our electoral integrity, and therefore on the legitimacy of our government.

They are opposed to obtaining the information that is needed for developing defenses of our electoral integrity, and therefore of the legitimacy of our government.

Their loyalty is to their party, in its current degenerate form. Their loyalty is not to their country.

They are colluding in a Trump-Putin disinformation campaign.

None of them merit security clearances.

None of them deserve to be re-elected next November.

They should be impeached, or at least censured.

A “Freedom Caucus”? They are the exact opposite.

Disloyal Americans in government are also found outside of the House of Representatives: Rand Paul in the Senate, by President Chump, Rudi Giuliani (formerly a hero, now a heel), and their cronies in the Administration.

The headline of a Washington Post article by Max Boot: “Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11 … we are at war without a commander in chief.

An astute and careful commentator, E.J. Dionne Jr., notes “And Republicans should bear in mind that disrupting Robert S. Mueller III’s probe serves Putin’s interests, not just Trump’s.

In an insightful article about the attempt by Jim Jordan and cronies to impeach Rod Rosenstein, Jennifer Rubin quotes Norman Eisen (a former White House ethics counsel ) and Fred Wertheimer (founder of Democracy 21): “Key House Republicans are abusing their offices and the public trust to blindly provide protection for [President] Trump. They are doing so instead of working to get to the bottom of the worst foreign attack on American elections in our history.

In an update that is included in the online article, Jennifer Rubin then noted: “In case it wasn’t clear that this is all about Jordan’s political aspirations, he [Jim Jordan] indicated today that he is running for speaker[of the House of Representatives].”

You may remember Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who uncovered crucial information about the break-in at the Watergate by Nixon’s team. Margaret Sullivan, of the Washington Post, reports that “Earlier this month, Bernstein said on CNN that he had never seen anything like the political reaction to Trump’s kowtowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference following their Helsinki meeting: “We’ve never had a moment in our history like this where serious people of both parties are questioning the loyalty of the president of the United States. Unprecedented.””

The GOP, AWOL as the U.S. is attacked“. That is the headline of an important article by Joe Scarborough in the Washington Post. Scarborough’s article is well worth looking at. It is a masterful concise summary that includes all of the most important facts.

The active disloyalty of Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz, and their ilk must be distinguished from the passive disloyalty of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. The passively disloyal deliberately refuse to legislatively forestall Trump’s likely attempt to fire Mueller, much as he fired Comey over “the Russian thing”, and removed Brennan’s security clearance to silence a voice that was pointing out Trump’s errors.

If There Were an NRA for Automobiles

May 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Dysfunctional Politics, Fairness | 3 Comments
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A Leclerc-IMG 1744 battle tank, photographed by Rana.

A Leclerc-IMG 1744 battle tank, photographed by Rana.

If there were an NRA for automobiles, what would it do?

Basing its statements on the freedom of travel that is implicit in the inter-state commerce clause of the Constitution, It would oppose any
– licensing of drivers,
– registration of cars,
– tests of driving skills and of the knowledge of traffic laws,  (Indeed, it would oppose the very existence of traffic laws.)
– requiring insurance,
– the legality of speed limits,
– the installation of traffic signals, and the requirement that they be obeyed,
– rules of the road.

It would insist that horse riding and carriage driving had no licensing and no restrictions, so automobiles should not, either.  After all, an automobile is to a horse-drawn carriage as a large-magazine assault rifle is to a 22 rifle.

On that basis, it would insist that anyone be able to buy – with no public record of the purchase – any car, any truck, any bus, any snow plow, and any battle tank.

Wayne LaPierre at a political conference in Orlando, Florida, on 23 September 2011.  Photo by Gage Skidmore, rotated for this blog posting.

Wayne LaPierre at a political conference in Orlando, Florida, on 23 September 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore, rotated for this blog posting.

At every possible opportunity, its leader, Weenie DaPebble, would gruffly repeat his slogan: “Cars don’t kill people, bad drivers kill people”.  He might add, “Cars don’t drive themselves, you know”, and “If cars with machine guns were illegal, only criminals would have cars with machine guns.”

To evaluate any assertion by the NRA, ask yourself whether it would be reasonable to apply the same assertion to cars.

Applying this test, it becomes obvious that hunters and other sportsmen are not the NRA’s real focus.  Although those communities are good sources of recruits, the NRA’s real priorities are self defense and preserving the ability to revolt, and the short-term economic interests of the gun manufacturers who fund the NRA.

Paranoia drives the NRA, not sport, and not patriotism.  In fact, the NRA’s underlying agenda is nearly the antithesis of patriotism.  It claims to base its positions on the Second Amendment to Constitution, but that is only because the NRA has tricked others into viewing the Second Amendment through a distorting lens.  The NRA really accepts only the Declaration of Independence, and not the Constitution.

To put into perspective the position of the NRA and the gun manufacturers, ask yourself: would it make sense to require auto dealers to keep records of car buyers, but never to share that information with the police, nor with any other government agency?

Two recent articles in the Washington Post provide encouragement that sensible, balanced laws on guns will eventually be enacted: an article by Philip Rucker and Paul Kane, and an article by E.J. Dionne Jr.

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