Tag Archives: sexual assault

It was a ‘job interview,’ not a criminal proceeding

I am going to revisit an issue I once declared was done. I’ll be brief, so bear with me.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh went through a grueling confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee because of an accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford, who said when the two of them were teenagers, he sexually assaulted her.

Kavanaugh denied it in the strongest terms possible. Most of the Senate believed him, despite Ford’s compelling testimony that it happened.

Was the justice applying for a lifetime job on the highest court in the land or was he being grilled in a criminal investigation,  you know, by prosecutors and cops. Well, it was the former. He was seeking to be confirmed after Donald J. Trump nominated him.

I, too, have been able to interview applicants for jobs. I was able to hire individuals who worked under my supervision. I have had to let a couple of them go over time. It’s not fun.

Here’s the question of the day: Were I to hear of an allegation of a sex crime leveled against someone who wanted to work for me, would I presume them to be innocent until they are proven guilty? No. I would consider that a disqualifier. I would be under no obligation to presume anyone’s innocence if I perceived the allegation to have a lick of credibility.

That appeared to be the issue facing Judiciary Committee members and then the full Senate when they pondered Kavanaugh’s fitness for the job he was seeking.

I want to circle back to a point I made in an earlier blog post. Justice Kavanaugh’s position as a “job applicant” did not rise to the level of criminal defendant. He wasn’t answering questions in a courtroom. He wasn’t being grilled by cops. He was being questioned by politicians who were considering whether to hire him for a lifetime job on the nation’s highest court.

Well, it all went for naught. Kavanaugh was confirmed. He’s now on the court. He’ll be there for the next umpteen years, making decisions on the constitutionality of some of the most controversial issues of our time.

Did he do the terrible things his accuser said he did? We’ll never know … will we. As a former employer, I would not want to live with such uncertainty hanging over someone who works for me.

Time to move on from Kavanaugh fight

I cannot guarantee it, sign it in blood or put my name on a sworn document, but this might be my final blog post … on the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation conflict.

The man is now on the U.S. Supreme Court. He will take his oath of office yet again in a prime-time TV event at the White House. The president will be there, no doubt to crow about the victory he and his fellow Republicans scored in securing Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

The road to confirmation was rocky in the extreme. You know how I feel about, so I won’t belabor the point.

I guess this is my way of saying that because I was a bit late in concluding Kavanaugh didn’t belong on the court I won’t keep fighting a battle that’s been lost.

The other side won. I’ll leave the on-going fight to others.

I do intend to watch Justice Kavanaugh’s record on high court ruling and plan to comment on those rulings as they develop.

The fight for the rights of sexual assault and sexual abuse victims overall, of course, is worth continuing. I’ll keep my head in that fight, too, as it goes on.

However, my commentary on whether Brett Kavanaugh is fit for service on the high court has come to an end.

More than likely.

Oh, as for the man who nominated Justice Kavanaugh to that post — the president of the United States? I intend fully to stay engaged in that discussion over his fitness — or lack thereof — for the job he occupies.

Trump shows how low he can go

When he relies on his own instincts, rather than reading text off a Teleprompter, Donald J. Trump is fully capable of demonstrating how rank, vile and moronic he can sound.

Take his Mississippi campaign rally Tuesday night when he decided to mock Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers.

Did the president give this serious and grave issue the serious and grave treatment it deserves. Heavens no! He decided to mock the accuser.

According to The Washington Post:

In his most direct attack on Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while both were teenagers in Maryland, Trump sought Tuesday night to highlight holes in the account Ford gave in sworn testimony to the Judiciary Committee last week.

“ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ ‘Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it?’ ‘I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,’ ” Trump said of Ford, as he impersonated her on stage.

“ ‘I don’t remember,’ ” he said repeatedly, apparently mocking her testimony.

Trump makes light of serious charge

Isn’t that guy just uproariously funny? Umm. No. He isn’t. He’s disgusting. Then again, that’s must my view.

On the other side of the great divide, we have Americans who just think Trump is the best thing to happen to politics since pockets on shirts. His campaign rally crowd Tuesday night laughed right along with the jokes and the mocking behavior he exhibited toward Christine Ford.

I have to agree with the view of conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who said that as much as Trump’s idiotic behavior motivates Democrats to vote against Republicans in the midterm election, it also motivates Republicans to stand by their candidates.

The question now rests on which side is more motivated and which side will produce the most voters on Election Day.

Is it entirely possible that the moronic rhetoric we hear from Donald Trump is a winning formula for the political party he leads? Before you dismiss it out of hand, just remember: This clown got elected president of the United States.

This is how you define ‘comprehensive’?

Let’s see how this plays out.

Donald J. Trump said he wants the FBI to conduct a “comprehensive” investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford and the allegation of sexual assault that Ford has leveled against Kavanaugh.

That’s good … so far.

Then we hear that the FBI isn’t going to talk to either of them. Kavanaugh, the president’s nominee to join the U.S. Supreme Court won’t be interviewed by the FBI. Ford gets a pass, too.

My question, then, is this: How “comprehensive” can an FBI investigation be when the agency doesn’t interview the two main principals in this on-going political drama?

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might cast a full vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court as early as Friday.

It appears that those of us who want a thorough and “comprehensive” probe are getting the bum’s rush.

POTUS does it again: creates ‘fake news’

Donald J. Trump called a press conference today to talk about a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, but of course he took questions about Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

Then he did what he has become (in)famous for doing: The president deflected attention from himself and his embattled SCOTUS nominee to some unnamed Democratic U.S. senator.

It was weird, man.

Trump went off on a riff about a mystery Democrat who he said has gotten himself into some unspecified trouble. I am presuming whatever he refers to is something of a sexual nature. I mean, Judge Kavanaugh is accused of sexual assault against Professor Ford when the two of them were in high school; two other women have surfaced to level similar charges against Kavanaugh.

What in the name of truth-telling is Trump referring to here? It’s a standard dodge the president uses to deflect criticism. He’s done so many times before. The media hear this stuff and they might challenge him in the moment. When the dust clears, the noise goes quiet, the media then let the president’s assertion about unnamed public officials or so-called “friends” go unanswered.

Meanwhile, Trump’s base loves it. Their guy, the president, is “telling it like it is,” they contend.

Actually, he is making things up. He is, dare I say it, fomenting “fake news.” You know: Barack Obama was born in Africa; “millions” of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016; he watched “thousands” of Muslims cheering as the Twin Towers fell on 9/11.

So, he is doing it again with this assertion — without evidence — of some senator “on the other side” who has gotten himself into the kind of trouble that just might resemble the potential difficulty that has ensnared Brett Kavanaugh.

Shameful.

Sen. Flake admits it: Lame-duck status enabled compromise

Jeff Flake has admitted something many of us knew already but it still is a bit of a surprise to hear him actually acknowledge it out loud — and on national television to boot!

Sen. Flake, an Arizona Republican, appeared tonight on “60 Minutes” in the wake of his stunning proposal to delay a Senate vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. He pitched the idea that the FBI needs to conduct a week-long investigation into allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when he and the accuser were teenagers.

The senators agreed with him. Flake then voted “yes” along with his 10 GOP colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to recommend Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Then came the question from “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley: Could he have made that proposal were he running for re-election? Flake said “no.” There was no chance he could — or would — do such a thing, he said. The mood on Capitol Hill just doesn’t allow compromise. The mood is too toxic, too divisive.

Flake announced several months ago that he would leave the Senate. Since his announcement he has become a staunch critic of Donald Trump and many of his fellow Republicans. He blames the president for fomenting the politics of anger and lays blame on congressional Republicans for refusing to stand up to the president.

He talked about his week-delay compromise with a good Senate friend, Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware.

This is how it has come down. Senators and House members are having to declare their intention to retire from public life for them to show the kind of courage they ought to show even when they must face the voters at election time.

It’s a sad time, ladies and gentlemen.

How would ‘Justice’ Kavanaugh handle this?

Brett Kavanaugh’s future as a possible U.S. Supreme Court justice is in doubt. However, his nomination to the court is far from a dead duck.

The FBI is conducting an investigation into at least two of the accusations that Kavanaugh assaulted women sexually many years ago. The U.S. Senate will then get to vote on whether to confirm him.

Suppose, then, he becomes Justice Brett Kavanaugh. What happens when the court gets a case involving the constitutionality, say, of a court ruling involving a case involving sexual assault?

Might that happen? Well, it damn sure could. Given all the attendant publicity that has erupted around Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation process, I doubt seriously anyone down the road is going to forget what we’ve heard about what allegedly occurred when Kavanaugh was a high school student. That he allegedly pinned a young woman to a bed, sought to disrobe her, sought to have his way with her sexually.

How does a Supreme Court justice with that kind of accusation hanging over his head rule on a future case involving a similar circumstance?

Trump’s amorality on full display

Donald J. Trump has earned the title of Most Amoral President in U.S. History.

It is with that dubious distinction that I find it amazing, astonishing and altogether outrageous that this president can speak to any issue involving sex, sexual assault or sexual harassment.

It’s all on the front burner these days as the U.S. Senate considers whether to confirm a Trump nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Brett Kavanaugh is under some intense scrutiny these days as he seeks confirmation to the highest court after at least three women have accused him of assaulting them sexually.

I am left to wonder: What has become of our moral compass?

An admitted sexual assailant was elected president in 2016; he once bragged about grabbing women by their “pu***” because his “celebrity status” allowed him to get away with it. He acknowledged walking in on half-dressed women during his days as proprietor of a beauty pageant.

Now he has nominated someone to the high court who stands accused of attacking a woman when they were both teenagers. Judge Kavanaugh has denied the accusation in the most fervent manner possible. The FBI is now looking into the pending accusations before the Senate will consider voting on whether to confirm him.

I keep circling back to the president. He has attacked the credibility of one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, much as he has done with the many women who have accused him of groping them. He stands foursquare with men who have faced credible charges by women who accuse them of sexual misbehavior; he is doing so yet again with Judge Kavanaugh.

And then we have the likes of the Rev. Franklin Graham, one of Trump’s more ardent evangelical supporters, saying something truly astonishing, that what Kavanaugh allegedly did to Christine Blasey Ford doesn’t really matter because they were teenagers at the time.

What in the name of sexual assault is Rev. Graham talking about?

I’ve long thought of the Republican Party as an organization that stood tall and firm on the side of moral rectitude. Yet, Republican No. 1, the president of the United States, assumed office after blazing a career-long trail of sexual misconduct.

Dear reader, we have entered a strange new world. Man, oh man. I need to find a way out of here.

Jeff Flake: profile in courage

Jeff Flake’s demonstration of political courage almost made me rethink my long-standing opposition to term limits for members of Congress.

I’ll reiterate: almost.

Flake is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that on Friday recommended the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the Supreme Court. Flake is not running for re-election this year. Thus, his lame-duck status has enabled him to grow a pair of, um, stones that he otherwise likely wouldn’t have grown.

You see, Flake — after announcing his decision to support Kavanaugh’s nomination — came back to the committee hearing room and asked that the Senate delay a full confirmation vote for a week to allow the FBI to do an additional investigation into some serious allegations leveled against Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her. They were teenagers when the even allegedly occurred. She presented a compelling case against Kavanaugh. Ford persuaded me that her allegation is credible enough to disqualify Kavanaugh from obtaining this lifetime judicial appointment.

Flake was cornered in a Capitol Building elevator by two women — sexual assault survivors, apparently — who demanded that he “listen” to the concerns of other victims.

Flake responded by making his request of the Senate. The Senate agreed. The president then called on the FBI to conduct a limited probe into the allegations. It should take about a week or so to complete.

I applaud Sen. Flake for his political courage, although the courage is watered down a bit by the fact that he isn’t facing Arizona voters this fall. He is free, therefore, to speak from his heart. He did so.

If only other members of the Senate and the House of Representatives could demonstrate such guts when they have to face the voters as they seek re-election.

Having said all that, I remain committed to the notion that voters in each state and House district have it within their power to boot out scoundrels at election time.

Flake, though, must have emerged as a GOP hero in this ongoing — and terribly frustrating — political battle of wills.

‘Look at me when I talk to you!’

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake got a first-hand lesson today on the value of “constituent service.”

He walked into an elevator and was accosted by two women who just couldn’t understand why the Arizona Republican would support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

They pleaded with Flake to stand up for the victims of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh has been accused of committing by Christine Blasey Ford.

Flake then came back to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room and, prior to voting “yes” on recommending Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the entire Senate, asked for a one-week delay on the full Senate vote, pending the outcome of an FBI investigation into the allegations leveled against Kavanaugh.

Now, I don’t know if the women who scolded Flake were actual Arizona constituents; they likely weren’t.

But … the point is that these women had something important to say to the lame-duck Republican senator and one of them implored Flake to “Look at me when I talk to you!”

Flake did look at her and he seemingly listened to what she had to say.

The Senate has agreed to hold off for a week before voting on whether to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination. Donald Trump has issued an order to the FBI to conduct a limited investigation into the specific allegations leveled against the man he wants to seat on the nation’s highest court.

This is representative democracy at work!