Full Remarks Sen. Susan Collins

Made to Explain Why She’s a Yes on Kavanaugh

Sen. Susan Collins delivered these remarks on the Senate floor Oct. 5 to explain why she had decided to vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 

Mr. President, the five previous times that I have come to the floor to explain my vote on the nomination of a justice to the United States Supreme Court, I have begun my floor remarks explaining my decision with a recognition of the solemn nature and the importance of the occasion.

But today we have come to the conclusion of a confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional it looks more like a caricature of a gutter-level political campaign than a solemn occasion.

The president nominated Brett Kavanaugh on July 9th. Within moments of that announcement, special-interest groups raced to be the first to oppose him, including one organization that didn’t even bother to fill in the judge’s name on its pre-written press release—they simply wrote that they opposed “Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

A number of senators joined the race to announce their opposition, but they were beaten to the punch by one of our colleagues who actually announced opposition before the nominee’s identity was even known.

Since that time, we have seen special-interest groups whip their followers into a frenzy by spreading misrepresentations and outright falsehoods about Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record.

Over-the-top rhetoric and distortions of his record and testimony at his first hearing produced short-lived headlines, which, although debunked hours later, continue to live on and be spread through social media. Interest groups have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination.

Our Supreme Court confirmation process has been in steady decline for more than 30 years.  One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit rock bottom.

Against this backdrop, it is up to each individual senator to decide what the Constitution’s “advice and consent” duty means.

Informed by Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 76, I have interpreted this to mean that the president has broad discretion to consider a nominee’s philosophy, whereas my duty as a senator is to focus on the nominee’s qualifications as long as that nominee’s philosophy is within the mainstream of judicial thought.

I have always opposed litmus tests for judicial nominees with respect to their personal views or politics, but I fully expect them to be able to put aside any and all personal preferences in deciding the cases that come before them.

I have never considered the president’s identity or party when evaluating Supreme Court nominations. As a result, I voted in favor of Justices [John] Roberts and [Samuel] Alito, who were nominated by President [George W.] Bush; Justices [Sonia] Sotomayor and [Elena] Kagan, who were nominated by President [Barack] Obama; and Justice [Neil] Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Trump.

So I began my evaluation of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination by reviewing his 12-year record on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, including his more than 300 opinions and his many speeches and law review articles. Nineteen attorneys, including lawyers from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, briefed me many times each week and assisted me in evaluating the judge’s extensive record.

I met with Judge Kavanaugh for more than two hours in my office. I listened carefully to the testimony at the committee hearings. I spoke with people who knew him personally, such as Condoleezza Rice and many others. And I talked with Judge Kavanaugh a second time by phone for another hour to ask him very specific additional questions.

I have also met with thousands of my constituents, both advocates and many opponents, regarding Judge Kavanaugh.  One concern that I frequently heard was that Judge Kavanaugh would be likely to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. I disagree with this contention.

In a dissent in Seven-Sky v. Holder, Judge Kavanaugh rejected a challenge to the ACA on narrow procedural grounds, preserving the law in full. Many experts have said his dissent informed Justice Roberts’ opinion upholding the ACA at the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, Judge Kavanaugh’s approach toward the doctrine of severability is narrow. When a part of a statute is challenged on constitutional grounds, he has argued for severing the invalid clause as surgically as possible while allowing the overall law to remain intact.

This was his approach in his dissent in a case that involved a challenge to the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (PPH v. CFPB). In his dissent, Judge Kavanaugh argued for “severing any problematic portions while leaving the remainder intact.”

Given the current challenges to the ACA, proponents, including myself, of protections for people with pre-existing conditions should want a justice who would take just this kind of approach.

Another assertion I have heard often is that Judge Kavanaugh cannot be trusted if a case involving alleged wrongdoing by the president were to come before the court. The basis for this argument seems to be twofold.

First, Judge Kavanaugh has written that he believes that Congress should enact legislation to protect presidents from criminal prosecution or civil liability while in office. Mr. President, I believe opponents miss the mark on this issue. The fact that Judge Kavanaugh offered this legislative proposal suggests that he believes that the president does not have such protection currently.

Second, there are some who argue that given the current special counsel investigation, President Trump should not even be allowed to nominate a justice. That argument ignores our recent history.

President [Bill] Clinton, in 1993, nominated Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg after the Whitewater investigation was already underway. And she was confirmed 96-3. The next year, just three months after independent counsel Robert Fiske was named to lead the Whitewater investigation, President Clinton nominated Justice [Stephen] Breyer. He was confirmed 87-9.

Supreme Court justices have not hesitated to rule against the presidents who have nominated them. Perhaps most notably in United States v. Nixon, three Nixon appointees who heard the case joined the unanimous opinion against him.

Judge Kavanaugh has been unequivocal in his belief that no president is above the law. He has stated that Marbury v. Madison, Youngstown Steel v. Sawyer, and United States v. Nixon are three of the four greatest Supreme Court cases in history. What do they have in common? Each of them is a case where the court served as a check on presidential power.

And I would note that the fourth case that Judge Kavanaugh has pointed to as the greatest in history was Brown v. Board of Education.

One Kavanaugh decision illustrates the point about the check on presidential power directly. He wrote the opinion in Hamdan v. United Statesa case that challenged the Bush administration’s military commission prosecution of an associate of Osama bin Laden.

This conviction was very important to the Bush administration, but Judge Kavanaugh, who had been appointed to the D.C. Circuit by President Bush and had worked in President Bush’s White House, ruled that the conviction was unlawful.

As he explained during the hearing, “We don’t make decisions based on who people are, or their policy preferences, or the moment. We base decisions on the law … ”

Others I met with have expressed concerns that Justice Kennedy’s retirement threatens the right of same-sex couples to marry. Yet, Judge Kavanaugh described the Obergefell decision, which legalized same-gender marriages, as an important landmark precedent.

He also cited Justice Kennedy’s recent Masterpiece Cakeshop opinion for the court’s majority, stating that: “The days of treating gay and lesbian Americans or gay and lesbian couples as second-class citizens who are inferior in dignity and worth are over in the Supreme Court.”

Others have suggested that the judge holds extreme views on birth control. In one case, Judge Kavanaugh incurred the disfavor of both sides of the political spectrum for seeking to ensure the availability of contraceptive services for women while minimizing the involvement of employers with religious objections.

Although his critics frequently overlook this point, Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent rejected arguments that the government did not have a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception. In fact, he wrote that the Supreme Court precedent “strongly suggested” that there was a “compelling interest” in facilitating access to birth control.

There has also been considerable focus on the future of abortion rights based on the concern that Judge Kavanaugh would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. Protecting this right is important to me.

To my knowledge, Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition, but rooted in Article III of our Constitution itself.

He believes that precedent “is not just a judicial policy … it is constitutionally dictated to pay attention and pay heed to rules of precedent.” In other words, precedent isn’t a goal or an aspiration; it is a constitutional tenet that has to be followed except in the most extraordinary circumstances.

The judge further explained that precedent provides stability, predictability, reliance, and fairness. There are, of course, rare and extraordinary times where the Supreme Court would rightly overturn a precedent.

The most famous example was when the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, correcting a “grievously wrong” decision—to use the judge’s term—allowing racial inequality.

But someone who believes that the importance of precedent has been rooted in the Constitution would follow long-established precedent except in those rare circumstances where a decision is “grievously wrong” or “deeply inconsistent with the law.”  Those are Judge Kavanaugh’s phrases.

As Judge Kavanaugh asserted to me, a long-established precedent is not something to be trimmed, narrowed, discarded, or overlooked. Its roots in the Constitution give the concept of stare decisis greater weight such that precedent can’t be trimmed or narrowed simply because a judge might want to on a whim.

In short, his views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly.

Noting that Roe v. Wade was decided 45 years ago, and reaffirmed 19 years later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, I asked Judge Kavanaugh whether the passage of time is relevant to following precedent. He said decisions become part of our legal framework with the passage of time and that honoring precedent is essential to maintaining public confidence.

Our discussion then turned to the right of privacy, on which the Supreme Court relied in Griswold v. Connecticut, a case that struck down a law banning the use and sale of contraceptives. Griswold established the legal foundation that led to Roe eight years later.

In describing Griswold as “settled law,” Judge Kavanaugh observed that it was the correct application of two famous cases from the 1920s, Meyer and Pierce, that are not seriously challenged by anyone today.

Finally, in his testimony, he noted repeatedly that Roe had been upheld by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, describing it as “precedent on precedent.” When I asked him would it be sufficient to overturn a long-established precedent if five current justices believed it was wrongly decided, he emphatically said “no.”

Opponents frequently cite then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to nominate only judges who would overturn Roe. The Republican platform for all presidential campaigns has included this pledge since at least 1980.

During this time, Republican presidents have appointed Justices O’Connor, Souter, and Kennedy to the Supreme Court. These are the very three justices—Republican president appointed justices—who authored the Casey decision, which reaffirmed Roe.

Furthermore, pro-choice groups vigorously opposed each of these justices’ nominations.  Incredibly, they even circulated buttons with the slogan “Stop Souter Or Women Will Die!”  Just two years later, Justice Souter co-authored the Casey opinion, reaffirming a woman’s right to choose. Suffice it to say, prominent advocacy organizations have been wrong.

These same interest groups have speculated that Judge Kavanaugh was selected to do the bidding of conservative ideologues, despite his record of judicial independence.

I asked the judge point blank whether he had made any commitments or pledges to anyone at the White House, to the Federalist Society, or to any outside group on how he would decide cases. He unequivocally assured me he had not.

Judge Kavanaugh has received rave reviews for his 12-year track record as a judge, including for his judicial temperament. The American Bar Association (ABA) gave him its highest possible rating. Its Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary conducted an extraordinarily thorough assessment, soliciting input from almost 500 people, including his judicial colleagues.

The ABA concluded that “his integrity, judicial temperament, and professional competence met the highest standard.”

Lisa Blatt, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other woman in history, testified: “By any objective measure, Judge Kavanaugh is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. … His opinions are invariably thoughtful and fair … ”

Ms. Blatt, who clerked for and is an ardent admirer of Justice Ginsburg, and who is, in her own words, “an unapologetic defender of a woman’s right to choose,” said that Judge Kavanaugh “fit[s] in the mainstream of legal thought.”

She also observed that “Judge Kavanaugh is remarkably committed to promoting women in the legal profession.”

That Judge Kavanaugh is more of a centrist than some of his critics maintain is reflected in the fact that he and Chief Judge Merrick Garland voted the same way in 93 percent of the cases that they heard together. Indeed, Chief Judge Garland joined in more than 96 percent of the majority opinions authored by Judge Kavanaugh, dissenting only once.

Despite all this, after weeks of reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s record and listening to 32 hours of his testimony, the Senate’s advice and consent role was thrown into a tailspin following the allegations of sexual assault by professor Christine Blasey Ford. The confirmation process now involves evaluating whether or not Judge Kavanaugh committed sexual assault, and lied about it to the Judiciary Committee.

Some argue that because this is a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the public interest requires that doubts be resolved against the nominee. Others see the public interest as embodied in our long-established tradition of affording to those accused of misconduct a presumption of innocence. In cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee.

Mr. President, I understand both viewpoints. This debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. But certain fundamental legal principles—about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness—do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them.

In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy.

The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record. I worry that departing from this presumption could lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary and would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process moving forward.

Some of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important. I am thinking in particular not of the allegations raised by professor Ford, but of the allegation that, when he was a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape.

This outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others. That such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our American consciousness.

Mr. President, I listened carefully to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee. I found her testimony to be sincere, painful, and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life.

Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred; none of the individuals professor Ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of that night.

Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. Mark Judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault.  P.J. Smyth, another person allegedly at the party, denied that he was there under penalty of felony.

Professor Ford’s life-long friend Leland Keyser indicated that, under penalty of felony, she does not remember that party. And Ms. Keyser went further. She indicated that not only does she not remember a night like that, but also that she does not even know Brett Kavanaugh.

In addition to the lack of corroborating evidence, we also learned some facts that raised more questions. For instance, since these allegations have become public, professor Ford testified that not a single person has contacted her to say, “I was at the party that night.”

Furthermore, the professor testified that although she does not remember how she got home that evening, she knew that, because of the distance, she would have needed a ride—yet not a single person has come forward to say that they were the one that drove her home or were in the car with her that night.

And professor Ford also indicated that even though she left that small gathering of six or so people abruptly and without saying goodbye and distraught, none of them called her the next day—or ever—to ask why she left, is she OK. Not even her closest friend, Ms. Keyser.

Mr. President, the Constitution does not provide guidance as to how we are supposed to evaluate these competing claims. It leaves that decision up to each senator. This is not a criminal trial, and I do not believe that claims such as these need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of “more likely than not” as our standard.

The facts presented do not mean that professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night—or at some other time—but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the “more likely than not” standard. Therefore, I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court.

Let me emphasize that my approach to this question should not be misconstrued as suggesting that unwanted sexual contact of any nature is not a serious problem in this country. To the contrary, if any good at all has come from this ugly confirmation process, it has been to create an awareness that we have underestimated the pervasiveness of this terrible problem.

I have been alarmed and disturbed, however, by some who have suggested that unless Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is rejected, the Senate is somehow condoning sexual assault. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every person—man or woman—who makes a charge of sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect. The #MeToo movement is real. It matters. It is needed. And it is long overdue.

We know that rape and sexual assault are less likely to be reported to the police than other forms of assault. On average, an estimated 211,000 rapes and sexual assaults go unreported every year. We must listen to survivors, and every day we must seek to stop the criminal behavior that has hurt so many. We owe this to ourselves, our children, and generations to come.

Since the hearing, I have listened to many survivors of sexual assault. Many were total strangers who told me their heart-wrenching stories for the first time in their lives. Some were friends I have known for decades, yet with the exception of one woman who had confided in me years ago, I had no idea that they had been the victims of sexual attacks.

I am grateful for their courage and their willingness to come forward, and I hope that in heightening public awareness, they have also lightened the burden that they have been quietly bearing for so many years. To them, I pledge to do all that I can to ensure that their daughters and granddaughters never share their experiences.

Over the past few weeks, I have been emphatic that the Senate has an obligation to investigate and evaluate the serious allegations of sexual assault. I called for and supported the additional hearing to hear from both professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. I also pushed for and supported the FBI supplemental background investigation. This was the right thing to do.

Christine Ford never sought the spotlight. She indicated that she was terrified to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she has shunned attention since then. She seemed completely unaware of Chairman Grassley’s offer to allow her to testify confidentially in California.

Watching her, Mr. President, I could not help but feel that some people who wanted to engineer the defeat of this nomination cared little, if at all, for her well-being.

Professor Ford testified that a very limited number of people had access to her letter. Yet that letter found its way into the public domain. She testified that she never gave permission for that very private letter to be released. And yet, here we are. We are in the middle of a fight that she never sought, arguing about claims that she wanted to raise confidentially.

One theory I have heard espoused repeatedly is that our colleague, Senator Feinstein, leaked professor Ford’s letter at the 11th hour to derail this process. I want to state this very clearly: I know Sen. Dianne Feinstein extremely well, and I believe that she would never do that. I knew that to be the case before she even stated it at the hearing. She is a person of integrity, and I stand by her.

I have also heard some argue that the chairman of the committee somehow treated professor Ford unfairly. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chairman Grassley, along with his excellent staff, treated professor Ford with compassion and respect throughout the entire process. And that is the way the senator from Iowa has conducted himself throughout a lifetime dedicated to public service.

But the fact remains, Mr. President, that someone leaked this letter against professor Ford’s express wishes. I suspect, regrettably, that we will never know for certain who did it.

To that leaker, who I hope is listening now, let me say that what you did was unconscionable. You have taken a survivor who was not only entitled to your respect, but who also trusted you to protect her, and you have sacrificed her well-being in a misguided attempt to win whatever political crusade you think you are fighting.

My only hope is that your callous act has turned this process into such a dysfunctional circus that it will cause the Senate—and indeed all Americans—to reconsider how we evaluate Supreme Court nominees. If that happens, then the appalling lack of compassion you afforded professor Ford will at least have some unintended positive consequences.

Mr. President, the politically charged atmosphere surrounding this nomination had reached a fever pitch even before these allegations were known, and it has been challenging even then to separate fact from fiction.

We live in a time of such great disunity, as the bitter fight over this nomination both in the Senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. It is not merely a case of different groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them.

In our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as Americans. When some of our best minds are seeking to develop ever more sophisticated algorithms designed to link us to websites that only reinforce and cater to our views, we can only expect our differences to intensify.

This would have alarmed the drafters of our Constitution, who were acutely aware that different values and interests could prevent Americans from becoming and remaining a single people. Indeed, of the six objectives they invoked in the preamble to the Constitution, the one that they put first was the formation of “a more perfect Union.”

Their vision of “a more perfect Union” does not exist today, and if anything, we appear to be moving farther away from it. It is particularly worrisome that the Supreme Court, the institution that most Americans see as the principal guardian of our shared constitutional heritage, is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens.

Mr. President, we’ve heard a lot of charges and countercharges about Judge Kavanaugh. But as those who have known him best have attested, he has been an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father.

Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions and so that public confidence in our Judiciary and our highest court is restored.

Mr. President, I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

The Kavanaugh setup becomes clear

By Patricia McCarthy

With each passing day and with each bit of information that seeps out about Christine Blasey Ford, it is clearer and clearer that what the Democrats have done to Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been a setup from the outset.

Most of us are relatively naïve, ready to believe what our news outlets put forth.  We have open minds and were ready and willing to listen to Ford’s testimony and consider for ourselves if it was believable.  It was not.  Her testimony was obviously scripted, practiced, massaged, and fabricated out of whole cloth.

Ford may have seemed like a victim, not of Kavanaugh, but perhaps of her Democrat operatives.  Over the past days, however, what is nearer to the truth is that she was and is part of a faction of anti-Trump activists bent upon destroying Kavanaugh in order to deny Trump another nominee to the Supreme Court.

They have badly misjudged the wisdom and sentiment of the American people.  These Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are so deluded by their belief in their own intellectual superiority that they felt comfortable publicly, derisively attacking a man with a reputation finer than any of those who sat in judgment.  This was like Salieri sitting in judgment over the music of Mozart – preposterous.

At first, those of us paying attention were anxious to hear Ford’s story.  The bits of news that preceded her appearance before the Judiciary Committee were titillating.  Was it possible that this man, Brett Kavanaugh, with a thirty-years-plus record of impeccable judicial service to his country, had a dark side?  Then we heard Blasey Ford “testify.”  How anyone who listened to her practiced, phony childish act could believe that this was not calculated is a mystery.  She was obviously scripted, coached, and performing.

Perhaps she did not expect to have to appear before the committee.  She and her handlers may have assumed that the taint of her accusation would bring about his withdrawal from the nomination or that Trump would withdraw it.  Guess they have not been paying attention to how Trump operates or who Kavanaugh is.  They guessed wrong.

Given the numerous falsehoods of the FBI and DOJ we now are aware of – the “two front doors” lie, the fear of flying lie, the claustrophobia lie, her polygraph lies – what seems credible now is that this was a manufactured, orchestrated setup at the outset.  They used Mark Judge’s book as a template and contrived a tall tale.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh, and the left shifted into overdrive; he would be defeated by any means necessary.  Schumer said as much twenty minutes after Trump announced his nomination.  From that moment on, they would dig down deep into the reservoir of radicals willing to go to the mattresses.  Schumer likely began the plan with Feinstein.  They knew that Katz and Bromwich would come aboard.  Blasey Ford most likely volunteered her services.  Ford’s lifetime friend, retired FBI agent Monica McLean, may have been on board to help write that ridiculous letter that ended up in Feinstein’s hands.  Schooled, allegedly, in psychology, hypnosis, and all the attending versions of mind manipulation, Ford probably felt confident she could pull off the charade; she would use her baby voice to appear fragile and vulnerable.  But she did not pull it off.  There is a mighty chorus of Americans who pay attention to these issues and events.  They were not fooled.

The “narrative” of her alleged groping was vague enough to provoke doubt but wholly without corroboration.  That the persons involved in this farce thought she would be convincing without a shred of evidence is comical.  They really do think all of us outside their bubble of leftist groupthink are imbeciles.  They actually thought we would all fall for Ford’s absurd performance.  Sure, the dupes on the left loved every moment of it.  They don’t need evidence or witnesses.  They believe survivors.  Survivors of what?  Nothing.

Ford now looks like a liar and a fraud.  There is most likely a real journalist out there right now who will dig deep and write the book about this travesty a few radical leftists perpetrated on all of us.  It was all a lie.

These people feel so entitled to force their agenda upon all of us that they have lost all moral sense.  They will lie, cheat, and steal to win in the end.  That is exactly what they did.  They lied, cheated, and stole Brett Kavanaugh’s reputation, his life’s work, his love of teaching and coaching girls’ basketball.  They did it without a moment’s thought for what it meant to him or to those of us out here in this great nation.

What we saw at that hearing Thursday last week was an abomination.  It was Kafkaesque, the shameful, purposeful attempted destruction of a fine man without a kernel of evidence.  And they knew what they were doing.  Our left today is monstrous.  Leftists learned well from the Clintons’ politics of personal destruction.  It has always worked before; why not now?  Not now because of Trump.  He fights back.  And Kavanaugh stands tall.

*******************************

Feinstein is a menace, as are Schumer, Blumenthal, Harris, Booker, Whitehouse, and Klobuchar.  They need to be voted out of office; they do not seem to have this nation’s best interests at heart.  That should be clear to everyone by now.  It is but for those hordes of paid-by-Soros protesters [that were] haranguing Republicans to vote against Kavanaugh.

If there were ever in the last forty-one years, since they kept Robert Bork off the Court, a man who should be confirmed as a justice, it is this man, Kavanaugh.  Anyone the left is this viscerally frightened of belongs on the Court.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are indeed at a crossroads.

[..] Conservative mortals, join the mighty chorus. [..]vote Republican on November 6.

Healthy Shame Woefully Absent in Washington, DC

By Brian C. Joondeph

Righteous and appropriate indignation was on full display at last week’s Senate hearing over sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  From the Democrats, it was the usual outrage they have had since Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016.  From Judge Kavanaugh, we witnessed a heartfelt human reaction to a good and decent man being accused by the despicable left of being a serial rapist in high school, between his time studying, going to church, and playing sports.

How did the Senate process of “advise and consent” deteriorate into a Supreme Court nominee having to detail his teenage sexual chastity on an international media stage?

Shaming a guiltless person before others inflicts humiliation, disgrace, and disrepute on an entire family – shame without guilt.  This is what the left has been throwing at Judge Kavanaugh and his family for weeks, shaming him through allegations and insinuations of being a sexual predator, a rapist, an alcoholic, even a pedophile, along with death threats to him and his family.

Ironically, these claims are diametrically opposed to the impression millions of Americans have after hearing Kavanaugh’s opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Or from the scores of Kavanaugh’s friends and classmates who have rallied to his defense.  Or from his former law clerks and legal associates.

Is it any surprise that he came out swinging before the Senate committee?  He was shamed on an international stage, humiliated and disgraced over bogus, politically motivated, and unsubstantiated accusations of sexual impropriety.  Imagine any of us being in his position, or any of our sons, fathers, husbands, or brothers.  A weaker person than Judge Kavanaugh would go into seclusion or commit suicide under the withering attacks occurring on a daily basis, blasting from every television and newspaper.

What is obvious is that the American left has no shame, no conscience.  From Democrat senators Blumenthal, Feinstein, and Booker to Republican counterparts Flake, Collins, and Murkowski, all are happy to participate in the destruction of a decent man and his family to protect abortion or for revenge against a president they don’t like – followed in lockstep by the media, driven by a rabid obsession to destroy anything and everything related to President Trump.

And don’t forget NeverTrump Republicans, happy to sit quietly on the sidelines while everything they have embraced for decades is thrown on the scrap heap, as long as Trump’s agenda suffers.  Where are Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney?  Wasn’t Kavanaugh on top of their list of Supreme Court nominees if they won the White House in 2012?  Why aren’t they leading the charge to defend Kavanaugh?

What drives such hatred and lack of healthy shame, conscience, or human decency?

Committee Democrats, channeling their inner teenage mean girl personas, nitpicked over 30-year-old entries in Kavanaugh’s calendar, suddenly interested in each and every word or expression from a teenage boy’s diary of events at the time. They accused him of being a passing-out drunk, not remembering the rape train parties that were part of his Jesuit high school life, between football practice and church.

Not finding the smoking gun they sought, some senators preferred to bloviate.  One in particular stepped in it big time, based on his own personal life story.  His words illustrate clearly his own lack of healthy shame and represent so much of what’s wrong in Congress and the Deep State.

Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal is best known for repeatedly lying about serving in Vietnam.  Even far-left Snopes confirmed Blumenthal’s “handful of false and misleading statements.”  Perhaps this is an affliction of New England senators, as John Kerry also misrepresented his Vietnam war activities, and his tall tales backfired on him during his unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2004.  And don’t forget the late Ted Kennedy, another New England senator.

During the Kavanaugh hearings last week, Senator Blumenthal invoked a legal concept, “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.”  Translated, this means “false in one thing, false in everything” – that a witness who is untruthful in one portion of his testimony is not credible in any matter.  The one falsehood disqualifies any further assertions, regardless of the veracity of any further testimony.

Senator Blumenthal, forgetful of his previous Vietnam falsehood, stepped in it bigly, actually impugning himself during his remarks.  Trying to impugn Judge Kavanaugh, he actually disqualified himself from rendering judgment on virtually anything.  False in one thing – his Vietnam service – false in everything – his arguments against the Kavanaugh confirmation.

This was the same Senator Blumenthal who, like most of the Hollywood hyenas, was convinced that Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Ford, was credible before ever meeting her or hearing a word she had to say.

Will the media notice this?  No way.  Instead, they are apoplectic over Kavanaugh’s heartfelt self-defense, believing that Republican men deserve scorn and derision simply because they live and breathe.

The hypocrisy is lost on the hypocrites.  Smarmy Senator Blumenthal legalistically destroyed his own credibility over his previous whopper of a lie.  There is also Senator Cory Booker, sitting in judgment of Judge Kavanaugh and allegations of sexual impropriety when Booker himself admitted to sexually groping a high school classmate in 1992.

There is also Senator Feinstein, with more Chinese connections than even the Clintons, daring to render judgment on Justice Kavanaugh – much like those senators who lionized Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton despite their long history of sexual indiscretions and worse.  Those same senators are now screaming “j’accuse” at Brett Kavanaugh, without any sense of hypocrisy or shame.

Now these senators demand another FBI background check, the seventh for Kavanaugh, a background check that many of them would not pass.

As an aside, did anyone notice that President Trump had no reluctance or objection to another FBI background check – that in fact, he seemed eager?  Such investigations can go both ways.  The accusers may also find themselves investigated, as well as those who financed and abetted them.  What if the FBI uncovers some surprises or perjury?

As author Sarah E. Ball put it, “Healthy Shame is a balance between knowing what is morally right or wrong and having remorse for our actions and taking responsibilities for our mistakes.”  Going farther, she says, “a person with zero shame is a sociopath.”

Sociopathy has been on full display from the Democrats and the media ever since Donald Trump was elected president, escalating to the point where they are happy to go scorched earth, destroying a decent and accomplished man, a longtime public servant, someone who worked hard and arrived at the top of the legal profession.

All because they can’t abide losing the 2016 election to someone they deem unfit for the presidency – with no regard for the short- or long-term damage they are doing to the country and the Constitution.  No shame, indeed.

 

There Are Trillions Of Pieces Of Floating Plastic In Our Ocean

 If We Don’t Stop All Marine Life Will Eventually Be Dead

We are filling up our oceans with trillions of extremely small pieces of plastic, and in the process we are literally killing off entire ecosystems.  But because it is a very gradual process, most people aren’t really too alarmed by it.  Every single minute, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into our oceans, where it joins all of the plastic that is already there.  You see, the plastic that is already in our oceans never goes away.  Instead, it just gets turned into smaller and smaller pieces.  It is being projected that the total amount of plastic in the oceans of the world will exceed the total weight of all fish fish by the year 2050, and when we get to that point our oceans will probably be permanently beyond the point of recovery.  Sea creatures are the very foundation of the global food chain, and once we lose that foundation we will see global famine on a scale that is absolutely unimaginable.

Much of the plastic in our oceans collects in giant swirling areas of water known as “garbage patches”.  The most famous of these is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic sit in our oceans, and we add millions more each year. That plastic never goes away or degrades; it just breaks into smaller pieces and becomes even more dangerous. Right now, much of that plastic is concentrated in a region known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which currently contains some 350 million tons of trash.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches over a vast area between the west coast of the United States and Hawaii.  It is approximately twice the size of Texas, and it has been estimated that it contains somewhere around 1.8 trillion pieces of floating plastic.

And remember, that is just one of the many garbage patches in the oceans of the world.

Every year, 12 million tons more plastic garbage is added to our oceans, although that number will inevitably go up as our population continues to grow.

So how does all of this plastic get into the oceans?  Here is a brief summary from USA Today

Plastic waste washes from roads into culverts, to streams and finally rivers where it enters the ocean. Or it’s dumped over the side of ships or from sewers that feed directly into the sea.

The trash enters the water from coastal countries, with the majority coming from Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Developing economies that don’t have garbage and recycling programs that can keep up with their increasing use of disposable plastic are responsible for an outsized proportion of the trash that enters waterways, according to research published in the journal Science in 2015.

Of course the U.S. needs to take a lot of the blame as well.  We produce approximately 70 pounds of plastic garbage per person every year, which is the largest amount per capita on the entire planet.

Once all of this plastic gets into the ocean, it stays there forever, and it slowly but surely kills off marine life

Over time much of the plastic is broken down into tiny pieces, known as “microplastic,” by the wind, waves and sun. These pieces can be the size of a fingernail to the size of a grain of rice, or smaller. Because they are made of plastic they will never decompose, only become smaller and smaller.

This material is carried by global currents into one of the five “garbage gyres,” vast areas of ocean, sometimes hundreds of miles across, where slowly swirling currents gradually concentrate it into waters infected with a “smog” of micro plastic amid larger pieces and discarded nets, buoys and other industrial fishing gear.

Marine life that comes into contact with this plastic can become entangled and cut by the larger pieces, or have their stomachs filled with inedible plastic as they mistake the smaller pieces for food, causing them to die of starvation because they can’t get enough nutrition.

If we completely stopped putting more plastic into our oceans today, things would probably be okay.

But if we continue on the path that we are on, we are truly going to be facing an apocalypse.

Right now, approximately 25 percent of all ocean life lives in coral reefs, and our plastic is extremely toxic for coral…

The likelihood of coral becoming diseased increases from 4% to 89% after coming in contact with marine plastic. It also damages the skin of coral, allowing infection. Coral reefs are home to more than 25% of marine life.

And studies have shown that various forms of ocean life are gobbling up small pieces of plastic at an astounding rate

There is more plastic than natural prey at the sea surface of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which means that organisms feeding at this area are likely to have plastic as a major component of their diets. For instance, sea turtles by-caught in fisheries operating within and around the patch can have up to 74% (by dry weight) of their diets composed of ocean plastics.

Something must be done, and one organization is taking unprecedented action

The Ocean Cleanup is equipped with a 2,000-foot-long floating boom, which carries a large screen below to trap trash. Plastic trash will naturally pile up against that screen, making it easier for follow-up expeditions to clean it out. That is, assuming the device works as intended.

There are plenty of questions surrounding this plan, such as how well the tubing holds up in storms, whether it can maintain its effectiveness over a period of months or years, and whether it has an impact on marine life. This upcoming test run, which is scheduled to last for the next year, is intended to answer these questions.

Unfortunately, this will only clean up plastic that is right on the surface, and it will only make a very, very small dent in the overall problem.

Once our oceans are dead, future generations will look back on us as “the crazy plastic people” that ruined the planet.

We have got to stop being so selfish, and we have got to get things turned around before it is too late.

I know this is old news, It’s really too bad those who voted for Obama did not pay attention to what he said – day in/day out, then he probably couldn’t have done the damage he did do while serving as the only black American President of the United States.

The following is a narrative taken from a 2008 Sunday morning televised “Meet The Press.” From Sunday’s 07 Sept. 2008, 11:48:04 EST, Televised “Meet the Press,” THE THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag.

General Bill Gann, USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.  The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171…

During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart, or, at the very least, “Stand and Face It.”

Senator Obama replied :

“As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides. There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression… The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.”

Obama continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing.’ If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love.

It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of warring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails, perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments.”

“When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”.

“Of course now, I have found myself about to become The President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside . I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black   Family. Indeed

So sad.