This was never going to trial. Thursday September 27, 2018 was the only chance to ask Christine Blasey Ford questions about her accusation against Brett Kavanaugh. And Republicans punted.
There is no “other time.” It is over. Democrats seized the opportunity with her. Asking her softball questions, and she treated them like a home run derby. Undoubtedly, she knew exactly what Democrats would ask her. Undoubtedly, she was trained on how to answer those questions.
Republicans punted. Let a Prosecutor question her. No cross examination. No hard questions. In fact, it started out with the Prosecutor ensuring Christine Blasey Ford that she, the prosecutor, would not present questions regarding her actual accusation. Then. What. In. The. Hell. Are. We. Doing. Here.
Let’s talk about it.
I do not fully blame the Prosecutor for the awful performance today. What could be expected when every 5 minutes you must stop questioning and allow someone else to question for 5 minutes? By the time she could start questioning again, she needed to build momentum. She needed to refocus the questions. When you are the questioner, in this situation, you ask question A to get to question B to get to question C, etc, etc. She never had this opportunity.
With that being said, there is no reason that there were no hard questions asked. If you thought Democrats were going to help us get more information, you were foolish. Why would they? How would that help them in this situation? If you thought Kavanaugh would answer your questions, you must have forgot that he is denying all claims. He is saying he wasn’t there. If he wasn’t there, how can he provide more information? He can’t. The only way we were going to be able to dig deeper into this allegation would be if Republicans – or their representatives – would have asked the questions and dug deeper. But #MeToo scared them. The Prosecutor ensured Ford at the beginning that she would not pry into her allegations of Kavanaugh. Instead she wanted to test her memory surrounding the events. While testing the memory is important, with all due respect, we do not have time for that. If this were a criminal trial, then go for it, but this is a hearing where you have 5 minutes to make a point. And the people listening just want information. There needed to be more of testing facts and statements against her memory. Instead of, do you remember A? Do you remember B?
Here is what I still want to know, and questions I want followed up on, after this hearing:
What were Ford’s drinking habits surrounding this time?
If she was the type of drinker that the people were that she was with that day, are we to believe that she was sober during this event? Alcohol could lead to her memory issues, considering the amount that she cannot remember at this point. Not to mention, there are plenty of reports that students from Ford’s school were big into drinking alcohol.
Sticking to memory – why can she not remember, when she took her polygraph, who paid for it or whether she paid for it, whether it was video recorded, or even who was in the room?
This is an extraordinary memory issue considering this is just days/weeks ago. But we are to believe that she can remember something 36 years ago.
She claimed she could not remember if she shared her notes from therapy with the Washington Post when she discussed this story with them. Why?
This is also just days/weeks ago. She cannot remember if she showed private, medical records to a major news outlet during a meeting that just happened – but she can remember what happened 36 years ago?
What types of interactions did she have with Kavanaugh prior to this alleged assault?
This would shine light on her familiarity with Kavanaugh prior to this event. If these interactions were limited, or this is the first extended interaction, there is a much higher chance that she is mistaken. Especially considering that she had not seen Kavanaugh since.
She said that, when she was able to escape, she ran out of the room and across the hallway, into a bathroom and locked herself in. She also said that during the attack, the music was so loud that nobody could hear her scream. However, after she locked herself in the bathroom, she says she heard Kavanaugh and Judge walk down the stairs, laughing about the attack, and she heard them begin having conversations with other people.
My question: If the music was so loud nobody could hear you scream; how could you hear all of that when locked in the bathroom? You can’t have it both ways. The music was either so loud, not a scream could be heard, or quiet enough you could hear a typical conversation through a door, down a hallway, and down stairs.
Ford says that when the incident was over, she came out of the bathroom, walked downstairs, through the living room, and out onto the street. When she made it to the street, what did she see? What did other houses look like? Were there other people outside? Or was this a summer party where people only stayed inside of the house? What did she do? Where did she go?
This is important because this could help us understand where this happened. This could help us get an idea of how many people were at this party when she left.
She says that when she left the party, she did not talk to her friend Kiser prior to leaving. How long after that did she talk to Kiser? What was the reason to give to Kiser for leaving the party unexpectedly?
This could be used to help gauge the veracity of her claim. Kiser has said she does not remember any party she was at with Kavanaugh – but maybe she can remember what Ford told her all those years back.
Ford said she saw Judge about 6-8 weeks later. She said she entered a store and Judge was there working. Ford said when she saw Judge, she said “hello.” Ford said Judge turned pale. This led to two major follow up questions: (1) you saw someone who was involved in allegedly sexually assaulting you, in such a violent matter that you thought they might inadvertently kill you, and the first time you see them – albeit unexpectedly – you say “hello” and choose to start up a conversation? This is the same event that you claim you avoided talking about for about 30 years. The same event that has caused you severe emotional distress. But the first time you face one of your assaulters, in a time and place you did not know you would, you invite a friendly conversation? In describing this event, Ford gave great detail. She said that she went to the store with her mother, but “wanted to enter a different door than her.” So, Ford used a different door. When she entered, she saw Judge working. She knew the store. She knew exactly what Judge was doing. She described Judge flawlessly. She knew how she got there. She knew how she left. Why does she remember all of this detail, but so little about the actual assault? To compound all of this: Ford remembers exactly why she entered a door to a store 36 years ago, but does not remember the following: how she arrived at a party weeks before that where she was almost killed, how she left such party, how many people were there, when this party took place, where this party took place, what day she took a polygraph a few weeks ago, if that polygraph was video recorded, if she even paid for that polygraph.
None of these should be treated as ‘gotcha moments.’ Instead these are fact finding, record creating questions that test Ford’s accusation. Which was the entire purpose of the hearing.
This foolishness was a product of the #MeToo movement. Republicans are scared of it. To that I say, be more fearful of unemployment. You are there to do the job we want you to do. We want answers. There is no sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or whatever that should be treated differently when making these types of accusations – except maybe children. But the fact that Ford is a female, should make no difference. To say that you should believe her no matter what, means you should not believe him no matter what – and that is flat out disgusting and terrifying. Belief is evidence based. If you want to be believed, show us why we should believe you. That goes for everyone. Male. Female. Black. White. Hispanic. Nobody life is allowed to be destroyed simply because you say it should.
In my internship at the Public Defender’s Office, the female attorneys that I was shadowing were representing a young man in a rape trial. The ‘victim’ was cross examined by the attorney I was shadowing. In that cross examination, the attorney flushed out everything. She was tough on the ‘victim’ but in a respectful way. All the questions that were needed to be asked, were asked. The verdict was not guilty. Why? Because reasonable people who understand the value of information, just want the information. Reasonable people expect that, if you make a claim that can permanently alter someone’s life, you need to answer tough questions about it. To be clear, these questions would not have made a difference for people already on the right or left. It would have made a difference for those in the middle. If you don’t think those people exist, refer to the 2016 election.
This #MeToo gloves were a questionable strategy. If you do not believe me, ask yourself what new information you know now that you did not know Tuesday night? What claims of Ford’s have been flushed out?
Ask yourself, what came from this hearing? More division. More opportunity for grandstanding. The committee scheduled this hearing because the thought it was the right thing to do, not to get answers. We did not get those. If Kavanaugh would not have come out guns a’ blazin’ than this would have been the end of his career. His reputation is already gone, and it is never coming back.
At the end of the day, if Republican Committee members wanted answers, they missed their chance. And because of that, this will hang over Kavanaugh for the rest of his life. If he becomes a SCOTUS Justice, Democrats will run campaigns about his impeachment.
Ford may have been a victim in her past, but Kavanaugh was the victim on Thursday.
If it can happen to Kavanaugh, it can happen to you…..
That is a truth that you should drill into your head. We are living in a time when, to ruin your career and your reputation, all someone has to say is “[you] did ______________ to me.” Then it is over for you. Evidence be damned. Your kids see/hear it – probably get teased at school. Maybe they look at you different from now on. Your parents see/hear it. This isn’t the kid they raised, they know it isn’t you – but their neighbors voted for the other candidate and they want your blood. And for the rest of your life it follows you. Nobody cares if it is true, as long as they get what they want out of it.
Let’s talk about it.
Some say let’s investigate. Some say Kavanaugh should no longer be considered. Some already call him a rapist – even though that is not even close to what the allegations are.
To those who say we should investigate, exactly what the hell do you want the investigators to do? Mrs. Ford (Ford) does not know the following: when it happened, where it happened, who was there, how she got there, or how she got home. Oh, and this ‘happened’ 36 years ago. Still don’t think that is an impossible investigation? Let’s play a game called ‘what would happen in the investigation’:
Investigator: What happened?
Ford: Kavanaugh did these things to me
Investigator: Ok, when did they happen?
Ford: About 36 years ago but I don’t know when.
Investigator: Ok, who was there?
Ford: Kavanaugh and Mike Judge and maybe some other people.
Investigator: Kavanaugh and Judge said this didn’t happen. Can you remember these “other people?”
Ford: …… No.
Investigator: Ok, where did this happen?
Ford: I don’t remember
Investigator: See ya around Mrs. Ford
Get the point? Not exactly a lot the investigators can do.
But here are some questions that can be answered:
But what would we get from a hearing? Is Kavanaugh going to admit to it? Absolutely not. He has already categorically denied it. Are we going to test Ford’s veracity by seeing if she will stick to her story? Well, according to her therapist’s notes, it has already changed. Is a witness going to show up and confirm Ford’s story? No, the only “witness” according to Ford is Mike Judge – and he already said this was “absolutely nuts.” How will we gauge credibility? Does Kavanaugh need to hammer the desk with his fist as he denies these allegations? What type of tone would be needed to get the mobs off his front yard? How ‘victim’ does Ford need to sound? If she cries, does that mean its true? Spoiler alert: we will learn nothing from a hearing. Instead it will be unbearable grandstanding by ole’ Spartacus himself – the real rulebreaker here.
Maybe we need to look closer at Ford. Who is Ford? She is a registered Democrat, who has donated to causes supporting Democrats. She has actively protested Trump. She was among a group that spoke out against children being separated from their families at the border – blaming it on Trump. She actually wore one of those hats that look like vaginas, while protesting Trump – apparently that is how sane people show us we are crazy for voting for Trump….. Anyways…. People who think logically call these things “motive.”
She also wiped all of her social media accounts prior to coming out as the accuser. That’s odd. That could be the equivalence of someone burning evidence or it could be someone tired of social media warriors and just unplugging. We will never know which one. We can only consider the timing, at best, mysterious. What kind of anti-Trump, anti-Conservative, anti-Kavanaugh material was on there? Were there things there that could diminish her credibility? These are just more questions that will be left unanswered here.
But here are 3 kickers about her and regarding this situation.
(1) Ford had already taken a polygraph test. She took it in August. Democrats did not tell her to take it, she took it on her own accord. Now, let’s think about this for a second. She wrote a letter to a Senator asking to remain anonymous, but, before she became no longer anonymous, she took a polygraph about the issue that nobody was ever supposed to know she was involved in – AND it wasn’t at the request of the people she was reporting this to. Why would you, on your own accord, take a polygraph about something nobody else was ever going to know about? Seems like, maybe, you had bigger plans for that letter.
(2) She hired a democratic activist lawyer before her letter was ever turned over to the FBI. Feinstein had kept her letter locked away for more than a month – with no end in sight – and she hired a lawyer. But remember, at the time she wanted to remain anonymous and had no plans of this becoming public information. Let’s call this ‘strange.’
(3) Her husband was apparently present during her meetings with the therapist that Ford ‘detailed’ these allegations to. Not surprisingly, he repeats her in saying the therapist got it wrong in her notes (the therapist notes state that there were more than 2 guys in the room, but Ford’s story is now that there were 2). But here is the weird detail – Ford says she never mentioned Kavanaugh’s name. Ford says she was assaulted by young men “from an elitist boys’ school” who would become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” Her husband, however, says she said Kavanaugh’s name specifically. Yikes. Probably should have been on the same page with that.
What do I think happened? Well regarding the whole 36 years ago thing, I have no idea. You have no idea. I’m 29. This thing is 7 years older than me. Well, maybe it is – Ford can’t remember.
But I can tell you what I think is happening right now. This is a political hit job. Democrats, stupidly, wasted their political capital fighting Justice Gorsuch. Think about that. At the time we would be replacing Justice Scalia – one of the all-time most conservative judges – with a less conservative judge in Gorsuch. That is basically a win for Democrats. But no. They lost their minds and here we are. They still have no majority and midterms are coming fast. They literally have no way to stop the confirmation. Don’t be naïve, this is a political hit job.
Want some more evidence? Ok.
Senator Feinstein received this letter in July. Held onto it for nearly 2.5 months. Twice Kavanaugh came into her office to meet with her. Twice she questioned him during the confirmation hearing. One time she had him answer questions in written format. Zero times did she ever ask him about this letter/accusation. Why? She was holding onto it. Break glass in case of emergency. She held onto this letter for nearly 2.5 months but doesn’t release it until a week or two before the final vote? C’mon man.
Here is a list of the evidence against Kavanaugh:
It’s all hyperbole. Democrats are telling you that they want answers, yet Kavanaugh agreed to an immediate phone conference to answer questions – and Democrats declined to be apart of it. Why? Because they don’t care about answers. They care about votes.
They want your vote, and they think you’re stupid. They want your vote so bad, that they are willing to destroy a man’s legacy, reputation, career, and family to get it. If this can happen to Kavanaugh, just like this – no corroborating evidence – it can happen to you. And don’t say “no it can’t because I would never do something like this.”
Because that is what Kavanaugh is saying, and it doesn’t seem to matter.
Has the definition of “Sacrifice” changed?
Nike tells us that Colin Kaepernick has sacrificed everything because he believed in something. At best, Nike underappreciated the word. At worst, they have given credence to all those who were pissed off about him kneeling during the flag and slapped those in the face who truly sacrificed.
Let talk about it.
Apparently, Colin Kaepernick sacrificed everything. In the NFL, he made – from contracts alone -- $43 million. He currently, pre-Nike deal, has a net wroth of $20 million. So, the guy has $20 million, essentially, in the bank. How much did Mahatma Gandhi have in the bank? Rosa Parks? Harriet Tubman? Why doesn’t Nike endorse their family, and put their faces on that advertisement? Why doesn’t Nike start using random service heroes in those advertisements?
Never mind, let’s move on.
Kaepernick, during his NFL career, made $7 million, on average, every year. Your average soldier makes $33k. Your average police officer makes $48k. Who sacrifices more?
I know what you’re thinking – “Caleb, this isn’t about money, this is about true sacrifice. You know, everything that isn’t money.” Ok, ok. While jet skis are pretty expensive, and I have never seen someone mad on a jet ski, but let’s talk about the things money doesn’t provide.
Did he sacrifice a career? His last 2 seasons in the NFL, his record was 3-16. Both of those seasons he had a completion percentage below 60% -- which is considered the minimum of where you should be. Those last to seasons he had a QBR (Quarterback Rating) of 43.4 and 49.3. A QBR of 50 in considered “average.” Not to mention he was benched and beat out in training camp for Blaine Gabbert. Yeah, Blaine Gabbert. Pretty sure the Browns wouldn’t even play Blaine Gabbert.
Even though all of those stats were on Kaepernick’s resume, John Elway tried to acquire Kaepernick. John F*ckin Elway. The 49ers and Broncos had a trade worked out. Broncos wanted Kaepernick to restructure his contract to make the trade official. Kaepernick said no. Kaepernick was not taking a pay cut to play in the NFL. He was scheduled of make $16 million, and he wasn’t going to sacrifice any of that to play in the league. Apparently, he didn’t believe in being a QB in the NFL to sacrifice anything.
Then he opted out of his contract completely. The 49ers did not release him. He quit the team. Let that sink in. He had one of the 32 NFL jobs, going to get paid $16 million. But quit. Not sacrifice. Quit.
Kaepernick didn’t sacrifice his career. He chose not to have one.
Since Colin Kaepernick began “sacrificing everything,” 74 military members have been killed in action or training. Since Colin Kaepernick began “sacrificing everything,” 398 police officers have been killed in action. Those are the same police officers Kaepernick slapped in the face when he wore socks with police depicted as pigs, but that type of hate and disrespect is somehow alright. Notice, this list doesn’t include officers and military members who have lost limbs, in action, or suffered PTSD. Those types of things prevent those individuals from providing for their families. Those types of things prevent mothers and fathers from being there for their children. Those types of things are true sacrifice. Don’t believe me? Ask Taya Kyle, wife of Chris Kyle – THE American Sniper. He was killed trying to help a fellow veteran with PTSD. Maybe ask Mr. Kyle’s family what they sacrificed so he could sacrifice.
This isn’t about Kaepernick taking a knee anymore. Him and all NFL players have that right because they live in our great country. This has somehow become a heroic narrative about Kaepernick ‘sacrificing everything’ that Nike is shoving down people’s throat, and it’s gone too far.
If you truly want to be known as a hero, be like the people who sacrificed everything so Colin could ‘Kaepernick.’ Go ahead, Colin, Just do it.
Let me first start by saying I fully believe that it is a person’s right to peacefully protest however they choose to do it. “Peaceful protest” is not altered because people are angered by it. If NFL players taking a knee pisses you off, that is a YOU-problem. I wish they would not do it, but they have that right. Secondly, congratulations to Mr. Kaepernick on the big Nike contract – this is what capitalism is all about.
However, I am confused about the issues now. First it was police brutality, then it was social injustice, now it is what?
Let’s talk about it.
This movement has taken a lot of turns.
This all began on August 26, 2016 when Colin Kaepernick decided to sit during the national anthem. After the game he said "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Then within a week, he wore socks that depicted police officers as pigs – which happens to be derogatory in nature. He associated those socks with “rogue cops.” Which is what these police officers who shoot unarmed people are – rogue. Every profession, ethnicity, community, etc … has bad apples; police officers are not immune to it. Kaepernick also followed this up with the revelation that he does not vote and that he had not, to that point, donated any of his money to help causes he is protesting.
To sum it up, Kaepernick protested, then wore derogatory socks that portrayed a community as a whole but tried to say it was only meant for the few, then said he doesn’t vote, and then sad he doesn’t donate money – but he wants people to fix the problems. I’m confused too.
Then it was showtime. Kaepernick began defending Fidel Castro’s policies. He said that Castro put more money into the education system than the prison system. That could be because Cuba did not need a prison, seeing as how they would assassinate you in your house, in front of your kids – but, apparently, that type of oppression can be overlooked if we throw a little extra money into the school system. Now I’m even more confused.
Whether you agree or not, this made Kaepernick the face of the NFL protest. Now it doesn’t matter how well Malcom Jenkins handles it, this is Kaepernick’s battle and it always will be.
Kaepernick claims to be “fight oppression of all kinds globally.” Just go look at his website.
Nike’s checkbook may have changed that stance, though.
In August 2018 a class action suit was filed against Nike by women. Among the allegations were:
What about those Nike sweatshops? Since the 1990’s Nike has used Chinese sweatshops to create their products. The workforce there, which is mostly women, works 60-84 hours a week, roughly 16 hours a day – but “earn” on average $62 a week. These shops have been criticized for using children in their factory’s and working them at the same rates for even less money. That sounds a little bit like slavery.
How does Nike think they can be forgiven the quickest? Maybe sign Colin Kaepernick because he “fights oppression.”
But let me ask you this Mr. Kaepernick, what about that oppression against “women and minorities?” Is it just about the money? What about Nike taking advantage of children in China to save a few dollars in the U.S.? Adidas and Puma were recruiting you for the same thing, why choose Nike when they have this type of systematic oppression going on in their own building? I thought we were fighting all social injustice here?
A lot of this is confusing.
But I do know one thing, if signing a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal with Nike is “sacrificing everything,” sign me up.