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Thursday, December 6, 2018

A sort of confessional

Over the past year, maybe two.  I've made some really bad decisions.   I made them because I felt the need for change, I felt that I was not getting the recognition that I deserved...or that somehow I was planning for the future. 

In each case, I made an error.  A mistake, a lapse in judgement.

All that ends on Monday.   Starting on Monday, December 10, 2018 I start working for New York Life.  I'm a salaried employee with some really fantastic benefits.  A 100% matching 401K up to 6%, then it matches the next 4% at 50%.  Plus they have a pension plan.  They will pay my medical in full.

I'm completely vested within 1 year.

Frankly you don't see these types of benefit packages any more.   It is simply to good to pass up, or to lose.

I fully plan to go into work, give them 100% every single day then go home.  I'm going to try my best to be thankful.  To shut the hell up.  To not rock the boat.

Even though I've managed to keep my head above water and not have to dip into my savings account, although I've had to recently and for the first time in a very long time, I've not exactly managed things as well as I had hoped.

So it's back to the dole of the steady paycheck.   It's back to the grind.

I'm not seeing this as a failure, I also know that the years will pass quickly.  I just hope that I have it in me to shut the hell up for once and actually do my job without being miserable.




Friday, November 16, 2018

If Trump goes down, what does that mean for the Republican party?

I follow politics.  I'm a junky that way.   I'm tuned into the "Beeb", to NPR, to CNN and a variety of different news sources.  Generally, with the recent exceptions of CNN,

Yes, I'm a liberal and have considered myself a "Democratic Socialist" in the past, although now I consider myself more of a Social Democrat and there are differences between the two! 


It should be noted that the most prominent "Socialist" today, Bernie Sanders, is more of a Social Democrat than strict Socialist but most people won't bother to learn the subtle but important differences and that's not an argument I'm here for.   


What I am here for is President Trump.   Now that the Dems control the House, their will be investigations, some on the left are already calling for Impeachment, but that's a dangerous path that I don't believe is worth following at this time.  The news of day is reporting that Robert Mueller's investigation is either wrapping up, or preparing for a new round of indictments.  

I'm not going to get into that mess, but I do believe that Trump is guilty of something and he's certainly acting like he is.    

So what happens if he goes down?

That an impeachment does happen?  Or that he resigns?  The later doesn't seem likely to me knowing his combative nature, but he could simply "declare victory" and resign.

What happens to the Republican party?   When you look at the results of the election, it was both a victory for Trump, and a defeat.

He lost the House, however those that remain are fiercely loyal to the President.  He was able to maintain the Senate, and even have a bit of a cushion he didn't have before, but  now he's open to investigations and is unlikely to get much of anything done in the last two years.   However he will be able to affect the US court system for the next 30 to 50 years by placing conservative judges into positions of influence.   

In fact, that might be his only legacy.

So lets look at some things:  1)  He collude with the Russians to win in 2016.    I'm not a constitutional lawyer but I can honestly say this is uncharted territory for the country I think.  The question then becomes, what part did the Republican party play?   Who, if any, high ranking official knew about this and when did they know?  

If true, then what happens?   

Let's say, hypothetical, that Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell knew.  That they knew early in the election but did nothing to prevent it.   Then I would think the Republican party would be no more.  No one would want to be associated with it and you could see a more Center party taking it's place, with a very hard line towards Russia in the future.

If the Republican party played no rule, then their close association with Trump taints them, and although they would abandon him like rats from the Titanic, you could pretty much give the Dems control of the country for 10 or more years.   

2)  He commits Perjury.  .Out of all the possible scenario's I think this is most likely going to be the one that sinks Trump.   The question for me however is would the Republican party rally around him or let him be impeached?

Honestly it depends on exactly how he commits that crime.   According to some stories I've heard (and I will admit that I can not find the source so this is rumor only), one of the reasons why Muller had to submit questions to the President in writing is because Trump's lawyers refused to have Trump answer questions in person.   For fear that he would commit perjury.  

If true, that's basically admitting that his own lawyers acknowledge Trump has a problem with the truth.   Think about that for a second.  His own lawyers don't trust him.

If it is not serious, then don't expect the Republican party to suffer much if at all.   The party will circle the wagons and try to defend him.

If it is serious, as in clear cut crime and obstruction of justice, then I could see some "solid republicans" falling over themselves to either distance themselves or lose races outright.   Marco Rubio comes to mind, which would hurt Texas deeply.  

3)  Obstruction of Justice:   This is likely as well.  It seems clear to the common man on the street that Trump has something to hide, it's probably cheating on taxes or something boring like that.   However if he fires Muller or obstructs justice in some way...it's not likely that the Republicans would leave him unless the fire was very hot.  

The modern Republican party has moved further and further right over the years, and would likely try to circle the wagons here.  Trump can motivate the average Republican voter like no other and the recent mid terms showed, if you run from Trump you probably will not win.  That crime would have to be pretty serious to cause that to change.

So what does this all mean?

Nothing really.   I don't see any change to the current party.   Which is both a good thing and a bad thing.   The bad thing is that the slow decline of the Republican party will continue.   The good news is that the slow decline of the Republican party will continue.   

Image result for bye felicia meme

Saturday, November 10, 2018

My take on the Midterms -

I watched this election with a combination of hope and dread.  I am, and will continue to be a Progressive Democrat.   This election, according to the media at least, was a battle for the soul of America.  A referendum on Trump.  The next 1000 years would be determined by what lever you pulled in a small box...etc.


So...my take on what happened.  About 4 days later. 

Here in Florida at least we are living up to our reputation as a state that can fuck up any election.  As three state wide races are going into recount mode.  Two of which, for Governor and Senator have national significance.  The last doesn't matter that much to the outside world, but it does mean a seat in the state's legislature which does matter locally.

The Senate seat battle between former Corrupt Governor Scott and Useless Incumbent Nelson is heading for a hand recount as he leads by less than 15,000 votes.   Florida law demands a recount by machine if the winning percentage is under 0.5% and by hand if under 0.2%.

Scott won, but he didn't win in the cities, not did he do very well in the county where I live - Pasco, just north of Tampa or in the Lakeland area.  Lakeland is a larger city than people give it credit for.   In fact, the Map shows a traditional Republican problem.  They tend to do very well in rural areas but not in cities and (increasingly so; suburbs). 

That's were places like Lakeland  start to enter the mix.  Roughly 1 out of every 6 people in Polk county live in Lakeland, that means if the city goes Democratic, than the county will too.   Dems are winning in places like that.  Further south is Sarasoto.  That will probably also go blue as the city grows. 

Scott fears a recount simply because he understands that shift away from the rural areas to the more suburban and urban areas of Florida favor Dems.


If fact, we saw that happening more and more this election.  Women went Democratic, so did Hispanics (although not to the numbers many expected).  That's got to scare Scott.   

Scott, for his part, did not hitch his wagon to Donald Trump and I will give the man credit for his work during the Hurricane last year.   While corrupt, he generally did little to harm the state of Florida overall.    I could do a couple of pages on why I don't care for Scott, but lets move on.


So what if Scott, a Republican, wins?  The Senate is already in Republican hands.

That's very true, and that means that Republicans can pretty much stack the courts any way they wish, and probably confirm another SCOTUS judge in the next 2 years. 

However if Scott wins than that means the Republicans will have a slightly larger majority than they did.   They can afford to lose 2 or 3 votes and still pass things.   That's life. 

However, since the Dems now hold the House, a thinner advantage for Republicans in the Senate does two things:

A)  It help gives cover to moderate Republicans.   Yes, there are still a few. 

There are some Republicans that would love to work with some Dems on bipartisan bills.   Something like infrastructure for example.   We all need bridges and roads right? 

There are some Republicans that have been critical of their parties leadership but don't wish to step out of line or step on toes unless it makes sense for them to do so.   Remember we are dealing with politicians here, they don't have spines or morals like normal people.  A thin margin allows them to "express concern" while having some cover to do so.

B)  It reigns in Trump even more.   When he was first elected I was willing to give the man a chance.  In the last two years he's made a mockery of the office.

A thinner margin of Republicans in the Senate means that if, and this is a big if,  Trump does something like obstruct the Justice Department, or somehow breaks the law in other ways...the Republicans may be more willing to break ranks.

I personally don't think Impeachment at this time is a good idea, because despite all the circumstantial evidence that this man is scum....you need rock solid proof.   Proof that even Fox News could not deny.  Frankly I don't think we are at that stage yet.

Besides, students of history will tell you that Clinton became even more popular after his impeachment, which was largely seen as "just being political."    Any move to impeach our dumpster fire of a President without a "smoking gun" would appear to be "just political" and likely backfire.

More on this later. 







Sunday, November 4, 2018

TV, Philosophy and the Big "G" word - armchair philosophy

Lately it's occurred to me that Philosophy, and more precisely, Religious Philosophy has been getting a good run on TV.

There are actually 3.5 shows that I want to talk about.  Those shows are "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS, a spin-off called "Young Sheldon" also on CBS (and since it's a spin off, I'm counting it as a 1/2 show), "The Good Place" on NBC, and finally, "God Friended Me" also on CBS.  As they say check your local stations for times and episode listing.


**WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD!!!  WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***

I'm going to start with The Good Place for a few reasons.   For one thing much has been made of its use of moral philosophical questions that are the premise of the show.   Indeed, what "makes a good person."  

For those of you that may not be familiar with the show, the main character wakes up dead.  She finds herself in the "Good Place" (Heaven) only she feels that there is a mistake.  Not wanting to go to the "Bad Place" (Hell).  She hooks up with a moral philosophy professor to teach her how to be good.

Comedy ensues.

As the show progresses however we quickly learn that Heaven is actually Hell. For example, in moral philosophy there is what is called the trolley problem.  Imagine you are at the controls of a train.  You are out of control and can see a "Y" before you.   You can pull the train to a safe stop at either junction. 

However in so doing you will accidentally kill either 1 man working to the right.  Or 5 men working to the left.

In either case you are responsible for someone dying.   What lever do you pull?

It gets even more fun as you add in layers of complexity. 



Frankly you don't expect a comedy show to get involved with complex layers of ethics.  Quote Kierkegaard or discuss the failings of Deontological ethics.

In the first part of this video, the character of Chidi is a philosophy professor.  He chooses not to pull any levers.   Since murder is always wrong in Deontological ethics, he can not be held morally responsible, even though his inaction the 5 workers die painfully.   Of course, in choosing not to act...he still has made a choice.  He's responsible for "not acting." 

Make sense? 

As the show states "This is why people hate moral philosophy."

The Big Bang Theory has been around for a while, and as the show grew in popularity it became less and less about "Geek Culture" and more about the relationships of the people.   Mining the same ground as 1001 other sitcoms before it.

Where the Big Bang differed however was they touched upon subjects like "A belief in God", and Nietzche's "Master - slave morality.

I'm going to tackle the "Master - slave" morality first because of Sheldon Cooper's atheism ties into the Young Sheldon show as well.

The Sheldon Cooper character is originally all ego.  All pride and power.  In fact, he goes so far as to have a bathroom schedule he adheres to; maintaining as much power as he can over his body and outside world.  His inability or unwillingness to tell a lie or keep secrets and his enhanced sense of self worth all play into this archetype. 

Many people have, correctly or incorrectly, identified Sheldon Cooper as autistic.  He does seem to exhibit some form of Asperger's.  Or perhaps even OCD.

I'll give into that theory to a great degree, having known people with Asperger's.  Most of them have gone on to lead successful lives.   However the Cooper Character is more than that.   His desire to "bend the world" to his desires seems more Ubermench.  

The show does deal with a few other philosophical issues.   It's discussed ethics, relativism, the philosophical basis of science and subtly touched upon issues of racism and sexism in that field as well.

Sheldon Cooper is also the only openly atheist character that I can think of in the history of television.  One that one subject he has not changed is world view.

In the show Young Sheldon, they have explored this a bit more.  They often make his mother the butt of jokes when it comes to here religious beliefs (She is Baptist) but also expose some complex arguments in doing so. 

One episode in particular had Mary, his mother, explaining that God was all loving and would forgive sinners...only to explain that God would also forgive sinners by sending them to hell in the next sentence.  Missing the contradiction completely.

They do a whole episode on religion, where they poke good fun at Baptists, Catholics and Jews.  The jokes were fast, very funny and spot on for the most part.  The part about Jews living in Texas was very pointed as well.

The biggest issue I have with this however is that Sheldon is 10.  I am struggling with my agnosticism at 52, and it took me a long time to accept the idea that there may be no God.

Which brings us to the last show.  God Friended Me. 

The premise is pretty simple and has been done on other shows before.   Something magical happens, in this case God befriends an atheist on Facebook.   Please note that God does indeed have a Facebook account, but it's not the same God.   I'll have to IM him and see if he's a consultant or not...but I regress.

God sends Friend suggestions to our helpless hero, who then goes out and tries to help these various people reconnect with lost loves, parents, kids, etc.  Nothing big, like saving a bus load of kids from driving over a cliff.   Which, honestly, I commend the show for.   It's a little more believable this way.

The show is only 6 episodes into its first season and it's not really dealt with any philosophical issues yet.   The main character, Miles, is opening up to the idea that he might be dealing with a divine being...while keeping open the idea that he is being hacked for some notorious purpose.  His hacker friend, Rakesh, sees it as a technical challenge.

Well not great TV, the show is more about connections and learning to talk to each other instead of at each other.   For that reason alone it's worth watching.   Who knows if it will get into any philosophy, such as "fate and destiny" and "free will. "

However the reason I wanted to write about these 3.5 shows is simple. 

WE live in interesting times.   We are questioning exactly what the "truth" is.  We are questioning both political parties, what it means to be "American" in this country. 

WE are having a debate about how to talk to each other.  What is our "moral" compass?

I'm not stating that TV can show us a way, but the fact that we are even seeing shows that deal with these things is interesting.   Entertainment is often a reflection of a societies moral center.  In looking into questions like these, we are asking ourselves "what" we want to be.

I welcome it.






Thursday, September 27, 2018

The rock in the lake

I've not been happy at my job for some time.

Wait, that's not true.  I like my job, I like helping people.  I like finances and hearing stories.  I like knowing that a wife, or a mother is taken care of when someone dies.  Or that someone can rest easy knowing that a medical procedure is paid for.


We are not blood sucking leaches.  We really are there to help.

However I left a job where I was making my sales goals pretty consistency and making a good solid paycheck for a job that offered me a little less up front (actually a lot less up front) but had a better 401K and retirement program.  That matters when your 52 and know that retirement is only a blink of an eye away. 

Sadly though I wasn't hitting my sales goals.  They were lower than the job I left.  For a while I could caulk it up to learning new products and new regulations.  To having to prove myself on the crap leads first, etc.   Things would get better.

Six months in, I only hit my sales goals once.  I was being penalized for not hitting the goals, and even though I was keeping my head above the proverbial waterline....what used to be "belly button" height became chest high and then shoulder high.

The water was rising and I was forced to consider some options.

A long time ago I remember reading or hearing the following proverb.  I don't know what it's from or even where, but it somehow sounds Taoist to me   I've read the Tao Te Ching several times and even considered myself Taoist...so I found it profound.

When you through a stone into the lake, the stone affects the lake,  It causes ripples to reach out to every shore ebbing back back-and-forth.  Eventually, the lake would return to its placid self...but the stone remained, just below the surface. 

 Disruption is part of the journey.

I also had to consider some other things.   My father is not doing well, my mother will need help.  Sue's mother is showing signs of early onset Alzheimer's disease.  Our home is for sale.

Disruption is part of the journey

I found myself facing some hard facts.   This time of the year people are gearing up for the Annual Enrollment Period.   To try and give you an idea of how big it is, imagine making about 1/3 of your annual salary for 2 months of work.

It happens in the world of insurance.

However if I was not making my sales goals during the year, would I be likely to hit them come AEP?   I was getting frustrated with my job, I was starting to be rude to people.  Generally speaking I'm not rude to people! 

I asked myself what changed?  If I was able to make a decent living before, hit and exceed sales goals before...what happened?  Outside things?  Something I was doing?  In which case my supervisor needed to help me change.

If it's not something that I'm doing?  Then it must be something else.

Maybe it was a combination of things.  Something needed to change...and besides, I have been in sales all my life.

It was time to throw a rock.

Friday is my last day.   I start a new adventure on Monday. 




Sunday, September 23, 2018

Rocky Bleier - The Play

To quote someone in the attached video "If someone had come to us with the Rocky Bleier story as a work of fiction, we would have found it to far fetched."




Rocky Bleier is, for those either not interested in or those that don't follow sports, perhaps one of the greatest living Pittsburgh Steelers of all time.  He played on the dominating teams of the mid and late seventies where he won four Super Bowls and was elected into the football Hall of Fame.

Susan won tickets during a giveaway at a local watering hole where we will go and watch the games with other "Yinzers" and Pittsburgh sports fans.

He was also awarded the Purple Heart in Vietnam for the injuries he suffered in the battle field, where a grenade severely damaged his right foot and a bullet damaged his thigh.

"The Rock's" comeback story is inspirational and sometimes hard to believe.  He was told he never walk again...much less play football.   He was told he never be good enough to make the first team, he was actually cut by the Steelers several times, yet he fought back. 

Even after catching a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, the words out of the announcer's mouth were "He's not that good of a player."

What surprised me in the play, if you indeed can call it a play....think of it as more as a one man's life story seen through the eyes of sports....and how sports reflects on culture. 

1)  Bleier was born and raised Catholic.  While he doesn't swell on his Catholicism, actually not bringing it up much at all, he's really not thanking some higher power.   Concentrating more on chance and probability.  "What," he asks "are the chances of a football deflecting just right and into the outstretched arms of a man of Italian American history being in just the right place at the right time?   Or that of a grenade rolling off the back of my commanding officer to land, unexplored, between my feet?

2)  Being a Vietnam veteran and suffering so, Bleier has the right to go on an anti-war triad if he wants so, it's the only political moment in the play and is handled with honor and respect.  "The country chose amnesia over history" he states. 

Bleier's story is remarkable in a lot ways, even if he had never played football for the Steelers. It is also something that is truly unique to Pittsburgh in a lot a ways. Not the tropes about some blue collar kid doing good.  Or when life knocks you down,you get up and move on.  The biggest disappointment you can ever have is not believing in yourself.

When people ask me, "Why do Pittsburgher's love their Steelers?"  You can point to Rocky in a lot of ways.   Rocky Bleier's The Play is a talk about his life, and in a lot of ways a story about rebirth and renew. 

Pittsburgh was a dirty steel town, so dark it's been said that the streetlights never turned off.  Then the citizens said, "No more" and it wasn't.  The Pittsburgh Renaissance started in 1947 and continued all the way through till 1973.  That's when the mighty steel mills started to shut down, unemployment started to run rampant.   I was 7 at the time, and although I don't remember my family suffering much...I know there was suffering.

I do know that as I was growing up, into the late 70's and early eighties one beacon of hope was the Mighty Steelers, and I also remember the city investing in things like Education, something new called "robotics" and how we, as a city, were building towards the future.   Oh yes, we were knocked down...but we win in the end.

Pittsburgher's shyly smile at each other because we know, that no matter where we go those three rivers run in our blood.   That you can strength in teamwork, in building for the future.  In hard work and dreams and sweat.

You make your own probabilities.




Saturday, September 22, 2018

3 things that I find interesting - Kavanaugh, memory and Republican risk taking

I don't update this very often.   Mostly because this is for me, it's not really meant to be put out into the public realm.  If someone finds it and reads it, great!  If they agree or disagree with me that's cool.

Truth is that I know I'm not going to change minds, or make an impact.  In a world that moves faster and faster, I'm an anomaly.  I'm someone that wants to step and analyze, reflect, review.  Everything that I think or write about is gone in a blink of an eye.

The recent questions around Kavanaugh, who supposedly tried to rape a girl at a party back in the 1980's when they were teens has me wondering about memory, and can someone be held accountable for something that happened 30 years ago?

I'm not defending the man.  I don't believe that he would be a good judge mostly because of his writings concerning Presidential power, the fact that he was part of the Starr Report, which started out as a legitimate investigation into a shady land deal but later became a political issue.   Clinton, the President at the time, was a slimy bastard...and it's true that history is written for the winners.  Clinton won in the end.

That was twenty years ago and frankly I don't trust my memory on it at the time.  It was lurid in its details and Clinton was a popular President at the time.  Leaks and other problems at the time, such as a feeling that Ken Starr was somehow "out to get Clinton" as parts of the Starr report were later found to be falsehoods or based on flimsy evidence at best.

Kavanaugh had a role to play in that report, if he was aware of the falsehoods and flimsy evidence but did nothing to voice his concerns, what does that mean if a similar case comes before him?  Their is a good case that several lawsuits involving Trump will come before the courts as well, I don't like the President, but I do believe that the rule of law should be above any man, including the President.  Kavanaugh's past is just to political for me to believe he would put the law before politics.

It does make me wonder though.  Thirty years ago I was a young man in college.  I know that I've personally said and done things in high school and college that I now regret as as older man.  I've slapped a pretty ass or two when I should not have.  I've said one or two things that I've regretted.  Of course that is not rape or attempted rape.  That is never acceptable.

For those things however that I've done and said....I am sorry.

However I can understand how a combination of hormones, alcohol and general stupidity can lead to problems.  I may have upset a woman somewhere in my life, hopefully I've not caused any personal and lasting damage to any woman that I've known in my life.  Although logically, I probably have.

I can understand the psychological reasons why someone might block out a stressful incident like an attempted rape.  Having seen some of the consequences first hand, a college friend of mine was raped at a fraternity party.  She did report it and I witnessed firsthand some of the hell she went through during that process.

So yes, I think I can understand why someone might repress a memory.  Or somehow find a way to live with it for 10,20,30 years until they are finally ready to say "Stop."


Their are some that question the timing of the accusations,   Their are those that believe her and those that don't.   I have mixed emotions about it....I was not their obviously, but again, I've done things that I regret that are no where near the level of attempted rape.

To a great extent I also believe that this may be a one off event if it did happen, after all, would not a rapist repeat his crime?  Would not their be a history of abuse or rape charges filed?   Or at least he would have developed a reputation over time as someone "dangerous"?  The sad fact is that rape is common. 

There is a often reported study that stated 1 out of every 5 female college students is a victim of rape or sexual assault. While not everyone agrees if that number is accurate, everyone agrees that it happens and it needs to be fixed...the question is how?

That's why Kavanaugh is such a risk to Republicans.

Actually he was a smart and well though out risk before but the sexual assault charges have made him a very dangerous risk to them now. 

So why was he a "good risk" before?

1)  Abortion rights - He's stated that Roe v Wade is settled law.  It pretty much is.  Yes, the religious right wrings it hands, the Republicans play into it...but the courts have pretty much drawn a line in the sand on what restrictions a state may place on it and since then that line has never been crossed.  Kavanaugh knows that, but was just enough to the right that many conservatives believe he would reverse the court decision if he could.   They forgot however that the longer a law is in effect the more likely it would not be overturned.   Roe v Wade has been in effect for nearly 50 years, it would be political suicide for the Republicans to reverse it and they know it.  In another 10 to 25 years it will cease to be a political issue. 

2)  A white man in power - It's something that really has not been discussed but in an era where optics matter, having a white man on the court just reaffirms privilege.  Out of the 8 currently on the court, you have 3 women and 1 back man.  At a time when, "some white men" feel threatened, this is a silent reassurance that they are still in control. 

3)  He would tip the court to conservatives - At it's best the court should be apolitical, putting the law before politics and generally it has throughout it's history.  Sometimes a "conservative judge" will vote against the wishes of the Conservatives for example; Antonin Scalia was very liberal when it came to issues of privacy, freedom of speech and property rights.  You never know which way a judge will vote, but the smart money had Kavanaugh on the right.


He's more of a bad risk now.  

1)  If the Republicans push him through without giving the accuser her day in court they will lose what little chance they have to keep the Senate - The Republican party expects to lose the house and are expected to keep the Senate currently, although by a razor thin margin.   Why fuel a already pissed off Democratic base this close to an election?  It also only takes two Republicans to vote "NO" and Kavanaugh is sunk.  It was unlikely that would happen before, now it's more likely, in close races like Ted Cruz finds himself in....he's got to be thinking a "NO" vote might help him with women voters.

2)  Trump being Trump - A recent tweet questioned why his accuser did not report the sexual assault when it occurred, despite 2 our of every 3 crimes going unreported.  In attacking her, he exposing himself to alienating even more women.  It's bad optics.  It's a bad decision, and it gives at least two Republican woman more pressure to vote NO.  Virginia Senator Barbara Comstock for example, is fighting for her political life...and that pressure to vote NO is now hanging over her head.

3)  Moderates - The GOP has had an exodus of somewhat Moderate voices over the last two years.  Rodney Frelinghusen recently announced his retirement from Congress.  It would not be that noticeable accept that he's the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.  He's the latest in a long line of "Moderates" to retire or out and out leave the party.   While part of this is surely generational, he has served for 12 plus years, it is also a growing concern that the "Traditional Republican" has no place in the party of the future.   If Kavanaugh is pushed through, or does try to overturn abortion rights...expect a greater exodus of "moderates".  Again, this close to the election, it's probably a bad thing to rush the vote.

4)  A white man in power - Very little has changed when it comes to things like sexual assault and other issues. It just confirms the status quo.


Overall, I don't expect Kavanaugh to be appointed.  I think that the Republicans are betting on two things, that they will lose the House but keep the Senate after the midterms.  If they do, then that means they can vote Kavanaugh through at that time.  Or more likely, appoint someone else.

OR...if they do lose the Senate (unlikely but possible), then they can turn their attention vilifying Democrats (something they do very well) and live with a divide court for the next 2 years or so.  Knowing history shows that the incumbent is often re-elected after a spanking in the mid-terms.

OR...in the unlikely, but possible outcome of a split Senate (50 - 50) then it's the Vice President that breaks any ties.  That would allow Pence to confirm Kavanaugh, or more likely someone else.

Expect the proverbial can to be kicked down the road.