Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist and author
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In a speech announcing her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) reminded me of some of the great orators of the past. Her speech was measured in tone, substantive in content and delivered with conviction. Collins is no conservative. She has voted in favor of abortion and same-sex marriage while towing a more moderate line on economics. Her speech supporting Kavanaugh and denouncing the smears against him and the distortion of his judicial record was as good as any delivered by her more conservative colleagues.
Who believes another FBI investigation of Brett Kavanaugh will be the end of it? If the FBI finds nothing to support Christine Blasey Ford's testimony that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party, will it be enough for Democrats to vote to confirm him? Republicans say the investigation is limited to her charge and that of a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, whose allegations, detailed in a sworn affidavit, claim she was the victim of gang rape. How many more will come forward?
At times Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh sounded rehearsed and overly cautious in their “exclusive” interview with Fox News host Martha McCallum Monday night. Brett Kavanaugh repeated verbatim lines about defending his character and allowing the “process” to play out. He said he would not withdraw in the face of unsubstantiated charges against him. At times their answers seemed coached, but then it is likely that when Christine Blasey Ford testifies Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she, too, will provide answers that have been well rehearsed.
The Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus announced last year it was closing after a 146-year run, largely because of high operating costs, costly legal battles with animal rights groups and declining ticket sales, especially after elephants were retired from the show. Brett Kavanaugh's embattled nomination for the Supreme Court has become a circus, and it's time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider closing it to the public.
The woman who alleged in a confidential letter that as a high school student in Maryland in the '80s Brett Kavanaugh "pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it" has now revealed her identity to (surprise!) the Washington Post.
Since Robert Bork’s “borking” 30 years ago, Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for a high court nominee by a Republican president have become predictable. Democrats, who favor a “living Constitution,” meaning whatever they think the founding document ought to say, are pitted against “originalists,” who believe the document speaks for itself and should be taken as something only slightly less compelling than holy writ.
Sexual scandals and inappropriate behavior are as old as the Bible. I give you (1 Corinthians 5:1) in which Paul writes: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife.” In more modern times, there have been sex scandals involving TV evangelists from Aimee Semple McPherson in the '20s to Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart in the '80s. And there have been more recent examples, too, Ted Haggard, Bob Coy, Bill Gothard.
Finding someone in Washington who is nonpartisan and puts the nation’s interests ahead of their own is so rare these days that he or she, if found, might well qualify as an endangered species. But once in a while — call it the law of averages — someone speaks the truth. It happened last week when Mark Penn, former adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, wrote a column for The Hill newspaper in which he claimed there is a big difference between how Hillary Clinton and President Trump have been treated when it comes to allegations of criminal behavior.
If you are frustrated by wait times to see your doctor, the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, just wait until there may be no doctor to see. NBC News recently broadcast a story about how fewer young people are entering the medical profession. The network cited a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges that “projected a shortage of 42,600 to 121,300 physicians by 2030, up from its 2017 projected shortage of 40,800 to 104,900 doctors.”
What does a white boy from the white suburbs of Washington, D.C., have to say about the passing of soul singer Aretha Franklin? At 16, I was a DJ on a local radio station, playing the rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop recordings of the day. Many of the artists were black. Richard Penniman (aka “Little Richard”) tells a funny story about white kids back then. In “Hail, Hail, Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the 1987 documentary about Chuck Berry, Little Richard noted that white kids would have Pat Boone’s albums on the top of their dressers to fool their parents, but the records of black artists hidden inside the dresser drawers.
Where have we seen this play before: A woman comes forward to accuse a conservative of inappropriate behavior in hopes of harming him sufficiently so he will be unable to achieve his policy objectives? People with even short memories will recall “act one” was Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, who in 1991 accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Ultimately, it was Hill’s word against Thomas’ and he was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Senate vote of 52-48.
Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the sci-fi movie classic “The Matrix,” which depicts powerful machines attempting to subdue the human race. Sometimes art imitates life, and sometimes it’s the other way around. On occasion, art can be prophetic. “The Matrix” is such a film. It warns of a future in which the power and worth of the individual is subsumed into one giant interconnected world run by a tiny elite, who rob individuals of their liberty and ability to think freely.
Every president since George Washington has suffered from a critical press. John F. Kennedy canceled all White House subscriptions to the New York Herald Tribune because of coverage he regarded as unfavorable. President Obama, who was almost universally adored by mainstream media, sometimes complained he wasn’t getting all the credit he thought he deserved for his policies; never mind that in many cases — Obamacare is just one example — liberal media rarely criticized him when those policies faltered.
For the current generation, sometimes referred to as millennials, it appears one thing is more seductive than sex -- and that's socialism.Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, winner of a New York Democratic primary, are the old and new faces of socialist America. Their platforms, it appears, hinge on the concept of shared wealth, in other words, handing out free stuff to just about everyone.
If Alexander Hamilton had been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court today, Democrats would likely oppose him. About the court, Hamilton said: “[A] limited Constitution ...can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing. ..To deny this would be to affirm...that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid...”
Much of Europe was asleep, or in denial, when the Nazis took power and began rebuilding their military in violation of the Versailles Treaty that brought World War I to an end. Now, after years of virtually unlimited migration from predominately North African and other Muslim regions, some European nations are awakening to what this could mean for their countries and are responding, hoping it's not too late.
Bob Corker, the outgoing Republican senator from Tennessee, recently compared supporters of President Trump to members of a cult. The Washington Post quoted Corker as saying: “It's becoming a cultish thing, isn't it? It's not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of -- purportedly -- of the same party.”
As a longtime resident of Virginia, I am well aware of its sordid history when it comes to slavery, racism and discrimination. I can still remember "colored only" restrooms, water fountains, poll taxes and African Americans forced to ride in the back of the bus. Virginia public schools in the 1950s were mostly segregated, as they had been since first established in 1870.
The Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, and FBI Director Christopher Wray claim the 500-plus-page report found no "documented" evidence that political bias at the FBI directly influenced the findings in the Clinton investigation or the Justice Department's decision not to prosecute the former secretary of state. People in "flyover country" are more likely to believe pigs can fly than they are to accept that political bias did not expose a clear intent to damage presidential candidate Donald Trump.
I have often thought that tributes to those we love are best made when the object of our affection is still with us, rather than at their funerals. I do not know Charles Krauthammer well, though we would occasionally see each other at Fox News when I worked there and at Washington Nationals baseball games. Others have commented on his brilliance, his dry wit and his skill at deconstructing arguments made by his political opposites.