The Judicial committee went to a vote, and then something happened. Jeff Flake flaked out, and predicated his floor vote on a FBI investigation. True to form, he was hot boxed by the Democrats on the committee at the last minute and was convinced by them to insist on this as a condition for his vote. It appears that the Democrats thought they pushed him to only vote yes in committee if this was agreed upon. Then he once again flipped and indicated that he would vote to take the issue to the floor of the Senate, but would not vote in the affirmative on the floor if a FBI investigation does not take place.
That was a lot of flaky flip flopping to take place in a few hours. He first said he would vote to confirm, then apparently with Democrat pressure led them to believe that he would not let it get out of the committee unless there was a FBI investigation. Then with his Republican associates looking sternly at him, he flipped again and indicated he would vote the issue to the floor, but would not vote for Judge Kavanaugh on the floor unless an investigation occurred. That is probably a world record for flip flopping!
The Democrats were smart! They knew that the weakest link on the committee was Jeff Flake, and at the last minute they ambushed him into what they thought was an agreement to vote in the negative if a FBI investigation was not initiated. He did disappoint on that level, but he still hurt the process.
Now Graham and McConnell are tracking down Senators Collins and Murkowski to see if they will vote in the affirmative. If so, there will be no FBI investigation and the vote will happen early next week. If not, we will see another delay for the FBI, and what else?
The Democrats are not done with Kavanaugh. Most likely they have more accusers in the wings, to be sprung into the mix during any investigation. If so, they will get what they wanted all along, and push the confirmation to after the mid-terms. They will also hope that this will endear them to the #me too movement, and women will abandon the Republicans and seal for them the Red Wave that they have been praying for. If this happens, we will in effect have a lame duck Presidency, a broken Supreme Court, and the Democrats will have visions of taking over the Presidency in 2020.
Except for a 45 minute meeting I had at noon, I spent the entire day watching the Senate Judicial Committee Hearing with Dr. Ford and Judge Cavanaugh. The hearing was powerful. Dr. Ford was for the most part credible. Her testimony was obviously heartfelt and believable. So too was Judge Cavanaugh’s testimony, even though his was in direct conflict with hers. In the end, the real story was not finding out who is right and who is wrong, but to what depths Democrats will go to destroy any conservative SCOTUS candidate.
The agenda was set as giving Dr. Ford unlimited time for opening remarks. Afterwards, each panel member was given 5 minutes to ask their questions. The questioners rocked back and forth, with every other questioner being of the opposing party. The same procedure was used with Judge Cavanaugh.
Rachael Mitchell was picked to cross-examine Dr. Ford by Republican panel members waiving their time to her, mostly to eliminate the initial objection by the Democrat panel members that said it was unfair for “old white men” to be asking the questions. The Democrats also objected to this tactic, indicating that in their minds, using a professional prosecutor was also unfair. Ms. Mitchell was very kind in her questioning, kept the questions relatively narrow, and used most of her 5 minute sessions to ferret out the truth. When she got close to some sore spots, Dr. Ford’s attorneys jumped in to shield her.
The Democrats used most of their 5 minutes each to give speeches about how brave, how patriotic, and how honorable Dr. Ford has been. They dumped countless praise on her. The few questions that were asked by them were of the “softball” variety. In contrast, Rachael Mitchell methodically asked her questions, eventually leading to gaps and some interesting discovery in Dr. Ford’s story.
Rachael Mitchell found out that Dr. Ford allegedly did not know that the Judicial Committee was willing to fly out to California to depose her at her home. According to her she knew nothing of the offer, either through contact with the committee, through her lawyers, or even through the news. Hard to believe because every news station did cover that as an offer to her when they were told that she could not fly because of her PTSD from the alleged attempted rape. Also, it came out that she actually flies all the time, and actually is a world traveler, going to Europe, Hawaii, Central and South America, among some of the places she has visited in the last few years. We also found out that she had flown out to the East Coast to attend her grandmothers funeral, visiting relatives, and interviewing lawyers. The contention that she could not fly was obviously a lie.
In discovery we also found out that she is not paying for her legal defense, or her polygraph test. The legal firm was a recommendation by Dianne Feinstein’s office, during a period when supposedly her letter defining her account of the alleged crime was to be held as confidential. Subsequently, the letter, or a verbal version of it was leaked, possibly by her lawyers, or Dianne Feinstein’s office, or the office of her local Congressman, who she originally gave the letter to.
Rachael Mitchell finished her cross asking Dr. Ford a few interesting questions. First, she had her acknowledge that cross-examining in 5 minute increments is not a reliable way to get at the truth. Dr. Ford agreed. She then indicated that a forensic examination one on one, face to face, is the best way to arrive at the truth, and to that Dr. Ford agreed. Then she indicated that this professional psychologist, who knew that a forensic examination was probably the only real way to determine truth from conjecture, instead flew to the East Coast for a funeral, was given a polygraph test in her hotel, and then hired a team of lawyers instead of doing the right thing. That was a powerful close.
When it was Judge Kavanaugh’s time, he gave a very powerful, emotional statement defining his innocence, his opinion that this process is a sham, and identified statements by Democratic Senators made in public that depicted him as evil, as a nightmare, and other disparaging descriptions. He described what is happening as a political hit job, pure and simple.
He succinctly put it that these toxic tactics poison the well for qualified people in the future to come forth to serve our country in high positions. He also depicted how his reputation and his family have been permanently damaged, and how Dr. Ford in his viewpoint is also an unwitting victim in this process, and that his family is praying for her and her family. He let the Democrats know that they may vote him away, but he never, ever will consider quitting. His statement was strong, and also very credible.
The subsequent questioning period was as anticipated. The Democrats were all accusing him of attempted rape, and having a serious drinking problem, seldom giving him enough time for a proper rebuttal. Senator Feinstein even opened up a pandora’s box that I’m sure the rest of the Democratic panel wished she would not do, and that was bringing up Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, both of whom are very questionable characters. Judge Kavanaugh quickly dismissed their accusations.
Every Democrat questioner pushed the point that the Judge did not insist on an FBI investigation. The answer was the same each time, and that was he would do anything that the Judicial Committee would ask, including that. Senator Graham and others reminded them that all that would have been done if they did not sandbag Dr. Ford’s accusation until the 11th hour, that there could have been at least 1.5 months of investigation time. It was made clear that this was not done to find the truth, but just to hold up the nomination. Their hope was that they may take over the Senate and make it impossible for the President to appoint any conservative judge. Yes, this was shown to be a political “hit job”, and at the end of the day, both witnesses were credible. But one was more so than the other.
Dr. Ford was shown to be certain in her allegation, but without a time frame, without a place, without a real explanation of how she escaped the house, and without any recollection of how she got home, which was a 20 minute drive from the party, her credibility simply revolved around her certainty that Judge Cavanaugh was the one that assaulted her. She had no one coming forth that she named as being at the scene, even her best friend to say that this happened, or even that they remember any party. She had no one to turn to for any collaboration.
Judge Cavanaugh was certain of his innocence. He, along with Republican questioners, did a good job of proving that the Democrats were more interested in scuttling his appointment rather than the protection of women. His collaborating evidence of moral responsibility and respect for women was spot on, with 65 of his former high school female acquaintances signing an affidavit that he was always a gentleman and friend was very telling. Others that he has worked with over the years presented letters testifying to his moral center and respect for women. He also had his day timer from that period that identified where and when hes was that summer. At the end of the hearing, it was apparent to me that although both he and Dr. Ford were credible, he was more credible than her.
We will find out in the next few days if Judge Kavanaugh gets out of committee and out of the Senate. If he does, the President will appoint him to the position. Even then, the Democrats, with their cynical tactic of “total destruction” will hang their accusations like a cloud over his head for the rest of his life. These Democrats should be ashamed of themselves, but instead they are shameless. They have shown that they will do anything to win, even to ruin a decent man and his family.
All of us that were adults on 9/11/2001 have our own stories of that day. Those of us that were too young or not yet born do not. That came to me as a revelation at school this morning. I’m recently retired and go to college for fun. I engaged fellow classmates in conversation before class, and many did not know the significance of this day in history, and heard about it for the first time with amazement. It made me think about how history is repeated if history is not learned. Everyone old enough to remember has a story. For those that do not know this history, it is important that those that do share theirs. This story is mine.
It was a warm morning in September. As a early riser, I decided to drive to Chicago that day instead of flying. The drive is 5 hours, the flight 1 hour, with an hour to get to the airport and check in, and then another hour to get out of O’Hare and find a rental car. For the extra 2 hours I got to use my own vehicle, and could leave anytime I desired. I also saved company money driving, so it was an easy decision.
I left at 5:30 am. and was on the Ohio Turnpike minutes later. My house in Hudson Ohio was close to the turnpike. I would be in Chicago by 10:30 am. with plenty of time to make my first appointment at noon. I was listening to news radio at the time and at 8:46 am. it was reported that a private plane had just crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. A dark shadow of dread came over me. I called my boss in California, woke him up from a dead sleep and asked him to turn on his TV. After a few choice words, he agreed to do so, just in time to see the South Tower get hit at 9:03 am. I told him I was shutting down our Ohio operation as soon as we were off the phone, and he did the same on his end.
Now almost in Chicago, I called my salesman to see if our meetings were still on. He verified that we had a line review at Ace Hardware Corporation, and a dinner meeting with True Value Hardware Corporation that night. I continued on my journey, occasionally screaming as loud as I could to release the pain I felt for those dying in New York.
Minutes later the radio announced that US airspace is now closed down indefinitely. The radio also barked that an unknown number of other commercial planes have disappeared from the air traffic control system, and at least one of these planes has also been hijacked. Shortly after the Pentagon was hit, and then another plane, United Airlines flight #93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. There was some conversation about the passengers fighting the terrorists and deliberately crashing the plane, which was headed to our nations capital, possibly to crash into the White House. I let out a loud primordial scream, one that came from deep inside my broken heart.
As I head into Chicago, the towers fell, and at once, over 3,000 lives were lost in those moments. Every radio station on the dial is now reporting that we are at war. The military is now on high alert, and airports around the world are shut down for the foreseeable future. My cellphone rings, my salesman tells me that our meetings are cancelled and I can now turn around and go home. I’m emotionally exhausted, and cannot fathom driving another 5 hours, so I check into the O’Hare airport Marriott.
As I exit my van and capture my luggage from the back of the vehicle, I notice a strange quiet. In this normally bustling area, no planes were taking off, the nearby freeway, usually jam packed this time of day, hardly a soul was driving. It was if the world had come to a eerie stop. I enter the lobby to the hotel, and people are sleeping all over the floor. Since the airport closed, the rooms were full but the hotel let those stranded use the lobby for their lodging. As I check in, the counter person informed me that I had the last room available, and my $145 rate was a bargain, as they were selling un-booked rooms for as much as $750 before they ran out of inventory.
Heading to the elevator to get to my floor, I run into neighbors of mine, stranded and needing a place to sleep, shower, and transportation back to Ohio. My room had 2 double beds and a fold-out couch bed, and I now had 4 roommates. We spent the evening in the bar downstairs contemplating the day and what was to come.
The next morning we all loaded up in my Chrysler Town & Country van. We drove home barely mouthing a word. We were done, we had enough, our emotions were shutting down. As we drove home, caravans of firefighters from Indiana and Ohio were speeding down I-80, with their sirens blaring and their lights flashing danger. They were headed to hell, they were speeding to destiny in Manhattan. My friends and I cried, not just for the dead, but for those brave men that were headed into that maelstrom of destruction.
Subsequent days after the attack air travel resumed, but with very tight security controls. Flying now was a chore, with checkpoints and with passengers eyeing each other with suspicion. There were “no fly” zones around our biggest cities, with fully armed fighter planes on standby to eliminate anyone entering these spaces. It was now a paranoid new world where we were now giving up freedom for safety.
We were now in 2 different shooting wars, now debatable but then touted to eliminate those that would do us harm. Our boys once again were dying in far off places like Kabul and Baghdad. Saddam Hussein was tracked down and hanged. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were being destroyed, and Osama Bin Laden was in hiding.
Since then, Osama Bin Laden has met his demise at the hands of our Navy Seals. We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both countries are a big mess. Flying is still uncomfortable due to security implemented by the Transportation Security Administration. That one day in September changed us forever.
Now, 17 years later many in our country do not remember that day, many were too young or not yet born. Some of our politicians are cynically using 9/11 as political props on this solemn day. New York, the Pentagon and an empty farm field in Shanksville, PA are having ceremonies honoring the dead. Today, I honored those dead by giving my fellow classmates a history lesson that they will never forget.