Day 593 Tuesday September 4, 2018 985 Days to Go
Let’s talk dickishness.
I’m not sure how the Urban Dictionary or anyone else defines it, but it is certainly a “I know it when I see it” kind of thing. To me it’s a kind of meanness. Oftentimes passive aggressive, with the other person not present, that usually embodies a lie and an action that is uncalled for, is callous, petty, and mean spirited. It is outside the norms of politeness and consideration; in fact it is the antithesis of that.
Donald Trump’s attitude toward John McCain after he was dead; Trump’s raising the flag from half mast, to not saying anything about McCain’s death when asked are examples of dickishness. His firing of Andrew McCabe a day before he was due to get his pension – dickishness.
So now we get to today’s “Profiles in Dickishness.” Number one) Ted Cruz and the Republican Party in Texas. Yeah, I know, anyone following what Ted Cruz does is watching a trail of dickishness. ( I still don’t know why he wasn’t arrested for trespassing when, after closing down the government and reading Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor, he went to the WWII Memorial that was closed and trespassed. )
Turns out the Republicans and Cruz have dredged up old arrest records on his opponent Beto O’Rourke and they have accused him of using the name “Beto” to get in good with Hispanics. These are dickish moves. First off, the stuff Beto did when he was 22 are the kind of stuff lots of us have done when we were young and stupid (as opposed to old and stupid like Cruz). Secondly, Robert has been called Beto since he was a kid. Why would a Republican say he did it to get in good with Hispanics? Because it’s the kind of dick move they would do.
Let’s move on to the biggest dickishness of the moment – the nomination of Bret Kavanaugh to Supreme Court Justice. Let’s go Dragnet style “Just the facts.”
1. Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy
2. Kavanaugh is nominated to replace Kennedy
3. Kavanaugh worked in the W Bush White House
4. Kavanaugh was in that White House during their rationalizing torture
5. Kavanaugh said his duties did not include anything to do with that
6. Kavanaugh said that to the Senate under oath when he was up for a Federal judgeship in DC
7. It came to light after that testimony that he did in fact have something to do with the torture program. He was in attendance at meetings about “enhanced interrogation.”
8. It is suspected that he wrote memos about “enhanced interrogation” during that time.
9. The Senate was so sure that he had lied to them that they wrote a letter to the Justice Department to investigate.
10. The letter was answered by the Justice Department and said there was not sufficient evidence for criminal investigation. The response letter was signed by the Principal Deputy Assistant AG, Brian Benczkowski.
11. Becnczkowski was hired by AlfaBank to clean up their image after servers were discovered in Trump Tower talking directly to AlfaBank.
12. Those servers were registered to the Trump Organization and were set up in a very unusual way. A way that no expert had ever seen before. They were so set up that they could only talk to AlfaBank. It was the report of those servers that first brought up the connections between Russia and the Trump organization. Those servers were very active before Republican primaries and before the Republican Convention.
13. AlfaBank is headed by a man with close ties to Vladimir Putin and is a money laundering operation for Russians.
14. Benczkowski is now head of the criminal division of the FBI. His confirmation was very troubling to many.
15. Benczkowski would be the one in charge of looking at any wrong doing by Kavanaugh.
16. Kavanaugh worked on the Special Prosecutor’s office of Kenneth Starr that looked into the Whitewater allegations against the Clintons.
17. Whitewater was a land deal that the Clintons invested in that went bust. Their partner years after being involved with the Clintons did some illegal things, which fourteen years after the Clintons had been involved with him, the Republicans decided to pressure the Justice Department to investigate. This dragged on for years until it was discovered that Bill Clinton had a sexual liaison with a twenty one year old staffer. Brett Kavanaugh wrote a 130 page memo listing questions to ask then President Clinton. He was demanding the most salacious details, which had nothing to do with Whitewater.
18. Kavanaugh is on record as saying that the Nixon decision was wrongly decided. The unanimous decision by the Supreme Court to force Nixon to release the tapes, which proved his criminality. The reason given by the Supreme Court was that “no man is above the law.”
19. Kavanaugh is on record as being opposed to Roe v Wade, which made abortion legal in this country.
20. Kavanaugh was one of three judges to hear the case of the 17 year old immigrant who wanted an abortion and was being held in a detention center and not being allowed to go to a doctor to get her legally entitled abortion. Kavanaugh tried to delay her getting the abortion until she hit 20 weeks at which time Texas law says you can’t have an abortion. (Why is Texas allowed to have such a law if abortion is legal?)
21. How did Kavanaugh do this? The girl was 15 weeks pregnant. She had all ready been held against her will by the government for three weeks. The government argued that she should get a sponsor and if when they found a sponsor and she still wanted her to get the abortion then she could go get it. (Getting a sponsor could take months with no guarantee of finding one. In fact, they had all ready been looking for a sponsor with no success.) Kavanaugh ruled that she should go back to try and get a sponsor that she should then go to the lower court that had handed this up to Kavanaugh and that he would at that time decide whether she could get the abortion.
22. The whole court overruled Kavanaough and he was pissed. He wrote a “blistering” dissent.
23. The most recent survey (by Fox) puts the American public 71% opposed to Brett Kavanaugh being on the Supreme Court.
24. Kavanaugh’s disapproval is higher than Robert Bourke’s. Bourke was the guy who finally pulled the trigger for Nixon and fired everyone in what has been called The Saturday Night Massacre.
25. Democrats have been trying to get the White House papers on Kavanaugh to see what he had to do with the torture program; its policy and the making of that policy, and to see if Kavanaugh lied to the Senate in 2006 during his confirmation at that time. Republicans have blocked those requests. These are normal requests for any nominee. (Why they can be blocked is beyond me.)
26. The few papers the Democrats have been able to get show that Kavanaugh did in fact have something to do with the torture policy.
27. One Senator had asked Kavanaugh to recuse himself from any cases involving torture policy. ( It’s a common practice for a judge to not rule on a policy they had something to do with in the crafting of that policy. ) Kavanaugh has never responded to that request, and he’s never recused himself.
28. Any decision on Guantanamo would have gone through the court in which Kavanaugh has sat for the last eleven years.
29. Kavanaugh’s ratings with women is -19%. That means 19% more women oppose his nomination than approve.
30. His confirmation hearing begins today.
In a show of real dickishness, Mitch McConnell is going ahead with the confirmation process, despite not giving the Democrats the papers they asked for, despite the fact that there is an election coming up (remember that stuff about not letting Obama’s guy get a hearing because it was an election year?), and despite the majority of the country and an overwhelming majority of women not wanting him on the Supreme Court.
985 Days to Go
PS Storm Clouds gathering, Avon, NC