Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I just heard a funny (and relevant) argument...

Two co-workers were talking about Adrian Peterson (or I might suggest that they were arguing). One of my co-workers suggested that the year Peterson ran for over 2000 yards was the year "after" he got back from his dreaded ACL surgery. The other suggested that he ran for 2000 yards a couple of years before he got hurt.

Before they decided to look this up on that thing called the internet, they placed a bet of twenty dollars.

It turns out that Adrian Peterson did win the rushing title the year he got back from surgery with over 1400 yards, but obviously it was not his 2000 yard season. In fact he had rushed for that 2000 yard season two years before the injury, exactly as one of the two had suggested. Argument settled.

So what's the point?

The point is that both of these people had "different memories" of Adrian Peterson's football career. They both absolutely believed that they were right. If you had hooked both of them up to a polygraph machine, they would have both passed with flying colors.

Neither of them were "lying" - yet one of them had to be wrong.

Proof positive that once you have established a particular memory of events in your mind, you will simply believe it, even if it isn't true. But no matter how convincing it is that  you believe it, it won't change the facts. Now in the case of Adrian Peterson, you can simply look up the facts on the internet and settle the argument.

But in the case of a 36 year old memory with no documented evidence or no witnesses to corroborate, nothing can ever be settled. So it technically will not matter how convincing Ford is or how convincing Kavanaugh is, there is no way to "look it up on the internet" and see who was actually right. The best you can do is basically guess, and there is little question that there will be no consensus surrounding these guesses.

I suspect even liberals deep down know that a disputed "guess" should not ruin a person's career and life.

Flake and Corker both say to proceed with vote if Ford doesn't testify on Monday...

Flake was the first Republican to step up and basically state that he would probably not vote "yes" unless he heard from Ford first. Corker was probably the second to make the same sort of statement. Together, they have been two of the most vocal Republicans in favor of hearing from the accuser, and quite possibly the most likely to vote no because of it. Both are anti-Trumpers on their way out, and neither have much to lose if they decided to rock the boat. 

Moreover, Flake is on the judicial committee and which means that Kavanaugh would never see a full Senate vote without Flake's support in committee. 

So quite obviously, support for a vote from both Flake and Corker would be a big boost for Kavanaugh's confirmation chances. Collins seems very upset with how this whole thing was handled by the Democrats and appears poised to provide Kavanaugh with her vote as well. Her suggestion yesterday that Kavanaugh's attorney be allowed to cross examine Ford was probably designed in part to intimidate her and fully call her bluff.  There has been no indication that Murkowski or anyone else was wavering before the allegations surfaced... it would be unlikely that the allegations alone (without testimony) would change anyone's mind.

The real controversy brewing?


We demand that the Senate hear from Christine Ford!!!
We demand that the Senate hear from Christine Ford!!!
We demand that the Senate hear from Christine Ford!!!
We demand that the Senate hear from Christine Ford!!!
We demand that the Senate hear from Christine Ford!!!

We cannot allow Senate Republicans to traumatize Christine Ford by forcing her to testify about her allegations. But we are willing to cooperate in any other manner that works to delay the process.

Face it liberals. You've been had. Ford originally stated she wanted to stay anonymous, even as she wiped her social media of any political information and hired an activist liberal attorney. Then she stated that she needed to come forward and tell her story, daring the Senate to allow for hearings. Now it would appear that Christine Ford had neither the intention of staying anonymous or going on record and testifying in any sort of Senate hearing. 

In a situation where credibility and honesty are the only thing that matters, Christine Ford has shown herself to be incredible and dishonest. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Go figure!!! Democrats call for delays!!

Dems make new demands on Kavanaugh hearing
Democratic senators on Tuesday escalated their demands regarding a hearing to examine the sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh -- suggesting Monday's scheduled public session with the Supreme Court nominee and his accuser is not enough, calling for more witnesses and more time for the FBI to dig into the allegations.
In letters Tuesday, Democrats on the committee said Republicans were “rushing forward” and the FBI should first perform a background investigation as it did in 1991 when then-nominee Clarence Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill. Thomas was eventually confirmed.

Look, there really should not be anyone seriously believing that this is anything but a stall tactic from the Democrats. That has been the plan with this all along. Plain and simple. It's why Feinstein waited till when she did. It's why we are seeing the proverbial moving goal posts.

Reports are now coming out that Professor Ford is in hiding, and has hired private security to guard her.  Her circus clown attorney is not returning phone calls or emails from members of the Senate regarding the planned hearing. 

While I still find it almost inconceivable that Ford would have her attorney tell everyone that she would testify and then back out, I am actually starting to wonder if that was indeed a bluff. Perhaps they never really expected that the Republicans would actually invite her to testify. Perhaps they simply expected some other form of investigation, hearings, or other delay that could actually take place without her.

(Note: Rumors are floating that the attorney (Katz) will be demanding that other action is taken before her client will testify)

Reality check. Her testimony is all there is.
Either she shows on Monday or the vote goes on.

The cold hard fact is that the FBI had done everything that they will be able to do with this. Which is actually next to nothing. It's not their jurisdiction or responsibility to look into decades old allegations. Even if an alleged teen party grope session was a federal issue (and it's not) there is no jurisdiction for "any" law enforcement after 35-37 years.

More to the point, there is no actual tangible allegation to investigate. The accuser doesn't have a year, much less a date for her allegation. She has no clue where this supposed party was, how she got there, or how she got home.  There are no corroborating witnesses, no physical evidence, no... well no nothing. Even her own recollection of events has dramatically changed just since 2012.

All there is is "her story". Period. Either she is willing to tell it or she isn't.

What exactly would anyone expect the FBI or other law enforcement to do here?

Love this idea!

The sinister genius of Susan Collins

Why is this such a great idea? Well first, because Professor Ford's attorney will have almost nothing to ask Judge Kavanaugh. Since he literally is not recalling "anything" to do with this, how can you trip him up?
"Previously you said you don't recall, now you say you can't remember. Which is it? Can't you get your story straight?"
Whereas on the flip side, the counsel for Kavanaugh would have a field day cross examining Professor Ford. An experience attorney trying to discredit the 36 year old memory of a Democratic activist? Shooting fish in a barrel.

But what makes the plan so genius is that it would take the GOP Senators off the hook. Everyone expects an attorney to be hard core, so he or she wouldn't look any worse for wear by asking the tough questions. But which GOP Senator really wants to take a shot at the alleged sexual harassment victim, who 36 years later, apparently is still in shambles.

This is how it will work...

  • The Republicans will politely listen to the 36 year old accusations from Christine Blasey Ford. 
  • They may or may not probe her on some of the murky details that seem inconsistent.
  • The Republicans will politely listen to the denials from Brett Kavanaugh. 
  • They may or may not probe into more specifics of those denials. 
  • Short of some new-found evidence or proof that Kavanaugh is lying, the Republicans will vote to confirm him (as they should).

All this being said, I have no idea what stunts the Democrats will pull. I doubt that they will politely listen and let things play out respectfully to all parties involved. That sort of defeats the whole purpose of this. More likely than not, they will put most of their energies into demands of more testimony, more investigations, more hearings, more time. The bottom line to them is to delay the vote by any and all means possible. The "truth" in these regards is irrelevant to them (as well as fundamentally impossible to determine).  

Whether or not you are a fan of the whole #metoo movement, the reality is that even the best of causes can be used for the worst of intent. I have no doubt that there are some people who simply believe every allegation to be true, until proven false beyond all shadows of any doubts (and then they still think it's half true). But I think most people in this case will understand the need to weigh the reputation of a Brett Kavanaugh against out of the blue allegations from 36 years ago, that offer no shred of evidence to back them. 

There is a fine line between encouraging women to come forward and giving them the benefit of the doubt, and allowing any and all allegations of sexual assault to be used as a blunt social and political weapon to "bring someone down". Once you cross that line, it undermines everything that the #metoo movement is about. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Accuser goes public?

Christine Blasey Ford

On one hand, the allegations have some credibility. She made the claim (or so it is being reported) to a therapist in 2012. While Kavanaugh's name does not appear to have been used, the description certainly matches in a generic sense. It also seems unlikely that there would have been some preemptive attempt to create evidence for something she planned to "make up" down the road. She obviously believes something happened.

On the other hand, there are certainly inconsistencies with her story.  In therapist notes, she claims it was four boys who took part in the incident, but she now suggests two. There is also a description regarding the friend(s) standing aside "laughing" and another instance where she claims that another friend repeatedly "jumped on the pile". Apparently she doesn't recall how she ended up at this Party or even when she met Brett Kavanaugh.

Secondly, the only witness (Mark Judge) is siding with Kavanaugh on this. While one would expect that someone would not "admit" to witnessing such an event, the fact is that nobody is backing her side of the events. So even though Judge is a "bad" witness, he is still the only witness.

UPDATE: The credibility of someone reporting this story to a member of congress under the guise of anonymity is hard to accept. Clearly if Ford wanted to remain anonymous, then she simply doesn't say anything to anyone. She had to know that by going to a politician that the story would come out (and in fact, that was likely the point). Hiring an attorney (especially an attorney who specializes in political public relations issues and is considered highly partisan) makes no sense if your goal was to remain anonymous. Ford knew all along that she was going to come forward when the timing was right. For that tidbit of dishonesty, her credibility takes a hit.

Ford has also been wiping her social media pages. Apparently she has removed any and all forms of political opinions or information from Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. This is not the behavior of someone attempting to be upfront and honest.  

On the flip side, there is no real good reason to believe that Brett Kavanaugh has any sort of credibility problem. In any "he said/she said" situation, it's always more than fair to consider any and all sorts of motivations, behaviors, or anything being done that is even slightly dishonest. All of these are strikes against Ford. 

Bottom line:

Most importantly this event took place over thirty years ago. Certainly decades old memories of events are more difficult to rely on than something that happened last week. Kavanaugh might not remember exactly what happened, and may have even subconsciously downplayed the events (if there were indeed any events). Ford may not remember exactly what happened, and may have subconsciously exaggerated what happened over time or even changed the identity of the accused. They may "both" believe 100% that their recollection of events are correct.

Either way, we will not garner the truth. Without that truth I think it simply goes back to the credentials and qualifications of Brett Kavanaugh. By all accounts he exists in 2018 as one of the most respected jurists, a devout family man, and apparently an all around good guy. I am not sure this sort of thing "changes" any of that. Remove the politics and ask the question: should a sudden (and unproven) allegation from decades ago, really disqualify someone/anyone for a job or promotion?

I guess we will find out.

As for the politics. I cannot imagine that Republicans will "delay" the vote. It will move forward one way or the other. If Kavanaugh loses support over this, then Trump will have to pull the plug and nominate someone else (my guess is that he already has someone on speed dial). There is certainly still time to hold hearings for a new candidate, and get that person confirmed in 2018.

Secondly, I think it was a big mistake for Ford to hire Debra Katz as her attorney. If this was going to work, it needed to look non-political. When you know people will start digging into Ford (she is a registered Democrat with a long list of political donations), it seems to be a serious strategic mistake to hire someone who is known as an activist and part of the Trump "resistance".