About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The High Stakes For America In The Midterm Election

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Over the past several months I have winced every time I heard or read a column by a conservative pundit saying that Democrats have nothing to run on in the November midterm elections.  These pundits feel victorious because under Trump the economy is booming with 4.2% GDP growth in the second quarter & an initial estimate of 3.5% growth in the third, unemployment is down to a near 49 year low, Black, Hispanic, & Asian unemployment rates are @ all time lows, women's unemployment is @ a 65 year low, the tax cuts & regulation reduction have produced a much better business climate for sustained growth, two excellent Supreme Court justices have been appointed, peace may be @ hand with North Korea, defense build-up has been revivified, the ISIS caliphate has virtually been eliminated, & the U.S. officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel & relocated our embassy there. 
Now that is an impressive record & the Democrats fought all of the above accomplishments every step of the way with near unanimity.
So why do I wince? 
It is not because I don't appreciate the above list of accomplishments because I do think they are marvelous; but because the conservative pundits then go on to recite most of the Democrat-Socialist planks as if they have been dismissed by the voters.
In fact, there is substantial evidence that socialism in America has gained momentum (mass times velocity in politics just like in physics) to the point that American-socialists do not care about the state of the economy or any of the items on the above list.  These people would rather have a rotten part time job & benefits from a government welfare program or two with plenty of time off.  The goal of democrat socialists is to eliminate capitalism because they see capitalism as an infringement on their freedom & leisure time that requires them to go to work to earn a living.
Hillsdale College recently wrote that our young people don't understand our nation's heritage of liberty – nor what is required to preserve it.  I add that millennials don't care about this since they take the freedom they have in America for granted, assuming with no thought, that they would have it no matter where they go or what system of government is put in place in the U.S.
In the 2016 presidential primary, Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, was the choice of 72% of Democrat primary voters aged 17 to 29, & 45% of his total votes came from college graduates.  Hillsdale reports that twenty thousand of Bernie's followers who share his vision for America have already committed to running for political office @ all levels – school boards, city councils, state legislatures, & Congress.
And Socialists are winning.  In 2017 the Democrat Socialists Of America (DSA) backed candidates who won 21 of 32 local & state elections in Minnesota, Tennessee, Montana, & Virginia.  In 2018 four candidates backed by DSA won their local primary races in Pennsylvania & of course 28 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came from out of nowhere last June 26 to beat the powerful ten term incumbent Joe Crowley in a NYC primary in an extremely low turnout election.
But its not just millennials - the Democrat Socialists have offered plenty of planks that anyone of any age attracted to the 126 government welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute will find appealing.
Democrats can run on single payer universal healthcare, or any of its current sister forms – Medicare for All or just defending & keeping ObamaCare with its coverage of pre-existing conditions requirement, free college, or $15 per hour minimum wage demands.  These could certainly be winning issues in America's mixed economy that has been more than 50% socialist for decades.
But Democrats also have a visceral hatred for President Trump caused by the fact that Trump's election in November 2016 made Democrats realize they are fish on a hook fighting for their politically correct lives.  Saving their progressive statist hides, @ the expense of everyone else, is the cause they are really fighting for.
Democrats are willing to propose the preposterous in hopes of making their points.  For instance prominent Democrats have proposed abolishing the electoral college, the Supreme Court, the Senate, ICE, private schools, the police, student debt, the Department of Homeland Security, the first & second amendments, & capitalism.
Now if Democrats are finally in a mindset to cut some government let's @ least do it constructively so that we get a real benefit out of it. 
Several years ago Ann Coulter recommended the elimination of the Departments of Health & Human Services, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, HUD, Transportation, the EPA, the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, & the progressive income tax & instituting a flat tax.  At the time, I seconded Ann's recommendation except I recommended eliminating the progressive income tax & replacing it with the FairTax.  I also recommended 1) replacing the current Medicare system (parts A, B, & D) that is  75% funded by the federal government with one of premium support where the government provides a nominal dollar demogrant for beneficiaries to purchase private insurance; 2) reducing the initial benefit of Social Security so that the initial benefit is calculated based on the CPI instead of the wage rate thereby effectively dealing with the Social Security solvency problem meaning the elimination of the inevitable 23% reduction in benefits coming in 2034; & 3) implementing the "cut, cap, & balance" plan in which federal spending would be controlled so that projected borrowing is cut in half next year (not 10 years from now), federal government spending would be capped @ 18% of GDP (it was 24% in 2012), & under a balanced-budget amendment the president would be required to submit a balanced budget within the foregoing guidelines that call for super congressional majorities to raise future debt limits or tax rates.
All predictions are that this midterm election will shatter voter turnout records for a midterm – raising turnout from a typical 40% midterm rate to over 60% – a rate only seen in presidential elections or the Tea Party route of 2010.
But please look @ the graphic above to get a grasp on the dynamics @ play.  The turnouts for the categories of Democrats, Women, Hispanic, & Ages 18 - 34 are all way up from the turnouts in either the 2010 or 2014 midterms.  All of these categories have historically voted Democrat.  The turnouts for White, Black, & Ages 65 or over are up somewhat while Men & Republicans are actually down from their high points.
While we should only expect the Democrats high interest in the midterm election to be for the purpose of reversing all of the accomplishments listed above there is a chance that Women, Hispanic, Ages 18 – 34, Black, & Ages 65 or over will realize the benefits presented above & vote to keep the Trump agenda for America going forward.  Trump has approval ratings with Blacks of 29% compared to 6% who voted for Romney & 29% for Hispanics compared to 27% who voted for Romney.  The question: is this increase in Black & Hispanic support for Trump what is driving the high interest in the midterm election - this is the unknown tug of war that will culminate on November 6.
But the stakes are greater than GDP growth versus $15 per hour minimum wage jobs, or Black unemployment versus free college, or defense buildups versus single payer healthcare.
The high stakes for America in this midterm election entail changing the politically correct mindset that is ruining America unless it is reversed – & quickly.  Items like eliminating the fallacious destructive anchor baby claim to birthright citizenship, settling the incompatible relationship of Muslims who follow Sharia law taking a U.S. citizenship oath, banning people from Muslim countries prone to terrorism from entering America until we know that immigrants & refugees from these countries are not terrorists, ending sanctuary cities & states, & restoring the enforcement of immigration laws – are all bedrock matters that must be settled before issues like tax reform, healthcare, climate change, the national debt, the budget deficit, or even adequate national defense are addressed. 
Without Trump none of the politically incorrect issues listed above would have ever been brought up @ all by any other person running for office & for this every lover of America should thank Trump whether or not they hate him for any or every other reason.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Part 2 - The Economic Growth & Prosperity The American Middle Class Has Been Cheated Out Of

This is Part 2 of the subject post.
Meanwhile the U.S. Census Bureau's annual report for 2018 entitled Income & Poverty in the United States: 2017 was released on September 12 & highlighted that median household income was $61,372 in 2017, an increase in real terms of 1.8% from the 2016 median of $60,309 (2017 CPI-U-RS adjusted income).  This measure includes both private & public sector incomes & reports the composite for the country – i.e., the higher incomes of the public sector as described above will raise the income levels indicated in this report.
A good portion of the 2016 – 2017 increase in household income was the result of more Americans working longer hours as the U-6 unemployment/underemployment rate dropped as more part-time part-year workers found year-round full-time work.
From 1978 to 1999 the inflation-adjusted median household income rose @ a pitiful annual compound rate of 0.70% per year from $52,089 to $60,062 – both years in 2017 dollars.  Since 1999 the median household income, in constant 2017 dollars, never surpassed the 1999 level until 2016 as indicated above – a miserable annual compound rate of 0.36% per year over this 38 year period.  Please note that household incomes did go up & down during these years – the annual compound rates are calculated for illustration only to show the effective growth rates from the start of the periods considered to the end points.
The above described phenomenon continues to play out – the Labor Department reported that private-sector hourly wages rose 2.9% in August compared to a year earlier while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 2.7% for the same period.  Also, the fiscal year 2019 defense appropriations bill includes a 2.6% military personnel pay raise meaning that members of the military will lose purchasing power if the CPI continues to increase @ the August pace. 
Now there have been many posts on RTE over the years regarding income mobility – i.e., it is not the same people in the top quintile every year or the bottom quintile.  As older higher paid workers retire each year (currently 10,000 per day) they are replaced by younger lower paid workers so even though the median household income growth was pathetic, as indicated above, many people did see good income growth as they moved from the bottom quintiles when they started work toward the top quintiles as their careers' progressed & then back down the rungs as they entered retirement.
There are boom periods & recessions but over a person's working lifetime (say 22 to 62) their income typically takes about 40 years to double in real inflation adjusted terms – an annual compound increase of 1.8% per year in real terms - the increase realized between 2016 & 2017 for the median household.  The higher your starting salary the higher your final salary & standard of living by this measure. 
Say you started work in 1978 @ a salary of $10,000 per year when you were 22 years old.  If you retired in 2018, @ age 62, you would have been making $76,800 if you doubled your starting salary in real inflation adjusted terms. 
Stop & think of the purchasing power & standard of living in 1978 of a $20,000 annual income – they were very good.
Because of the U.S. skills gap – i.e., not enough qualified Americans to fill the number of job openings - many firms have changed the compensation type paid.  See the following graphic that shows wages & salaries increased 22.6% from 2009 to 2018.  During that time inflation increased 17% so the real wage gain per year was a little less than one third the 1.8% per year average annual figure needed to double your salary over a lifetime of work.  But companies have shifted compensation toward benefits, as indicated in the graphic below, & away from baseline salaries except for employees deemed strategically important, so total compensation is a better measure of how workers are doing.  For instance, from 2009 to 2018 the inflation adjusted value of bonuses & supplemental pay increased over 7 times greater than the inflation adjusted value of wages & salaries.
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The following graphic shows the effect of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 is in line with the above change in compensation trends – namely, companies continue to minimize additions to their fixed labor costs (i.e., permanent payroll – wages & salaries).
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The above information shows the history, that is where we have been the past several decades regarding wage, salary, & total compensation growth for both the public & private sectors. 
To see where we could have been please look @ the following graphic & in particular focus on the increasing slope of the green line (earnings of men) from 1960 to 1973, after which it declined & then leveled off for the next 44 years.  Yes, the real median annual earnings for men has never been higher than it was in 1973 measured in 2017 dollars. 
Using the data from Table A-4 of the aforementioned Census Bureau's 2018 annual report I calculate that the growth in real median annual earnings for men between 1960 ($38,991) & 1973 ($55,317) was 2.75% per year.  Had this growth rate continued @ the same rate the typical male worker would today be making over $182,400 per year.
So now we know where we have been, where we are, & where we could have been.  To find out all the reasons why the American middle class was cheated out of the economic growth & prosperity they were on track to achieve 44 years ago click on the referenced post below.
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Reference Post:  An Explanation Of The Deterioration Of America's Middle Class


Part 1 - The Economic Growth & Prosperity The American Middle Class Has Been Cheated Out Of

"I strongly oppose eliminating the pay raise for civilian federal employees & will work with my colleagues to have the pay raise included (in spending bills).  Our public servants have been getting shortchanged for years." – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) who is in a tight reelection campaign in the northern Virginia suburbs right outside of Washington, D.C.
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The above graphic shows that federal government civilian workers continue to do just fine, as they have for decades, compared to private sector workers – so Congresswoman Comstock doesn't have to worry about their compensation.  Average total compensation (i.e., wages & benefits) for a full-time year-round civilian with a high school or less education working for the federal government clocked in @ over $100,000 per year.  The above graphic shows that it is not until the professional degree/doctorate level that the private sector total compensation exceeds federal government civilians' total compensation.
The Bureau Of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that in 2016 federal government civilian workers had an average annual wage of $88,809 - about 50% more than the $59,458 annual average wage that private sector workers earned in 2016.  See graphic below that shows the wage growth & widening wage gap since 2000 – excludes the U.S. Postal Service.
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According to BEA data, in 2016, the average annual total compensation for federal government civilian workers was $127,259 - 80% more than the $70,764 annual total compensation for private sector workers.  See graphic below.
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Long time readers of RTE will remember the following graphic that I presented in previous posts over the years.  The compensation gap has been somewhat reduced for the private sector versus federal government civilian workers as indicated above.  The compensation gap for the almost 20 million state & local government workers has been reduced also – it was 42% on average in 2016 substantially lower than the 76% shown on the graphic below.
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The above described compensation gap is rooted in the fact that federal government workers are a powerful special-interest group with effective lobbyists.  Federal government unions actively oppose legislators who support restraining worker pay – just ask Congresswoman Comstock (see quote above) as she campaigns for reelection in her northern Virginia district that has a large number of federal government civilian workers. 
See graphic below that shows the growth of the membership in public employee unions from less than 20% of the total in 1973 to the majority in 2009.  As recently as the 1950s there were no unions for government workers.  In 1962 JFK signed executive order 10,988 which allowed unionization of the federal workforce – this also was the genesis of the unionized public work force in many states & cities.  This led to the large membership growth of public employees unions such as The American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), & the National Education Association (NEA).
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We don't have to think long or hard to see the problem the 114 million private sector workers, who pay the salaries & benefits of the the 22 million federal, state, & local government employees, are having with the above described compensation gap. 
Private sector workers can work decades longer @ lower wages than many public sector employees.  It is common for private sector workers to still be working in their 60s, 70s, & 80s & paying taxes that support inflation adjusted pensions plus lifetime free healthcare benefits of much younger public sector employees who retired in their early 50s.  It is only human nature for this development of events to cause resentment of people's fellow neighbors – unless they do an honest evaluation of their own culpability or ask themselves why they didn't join a public sector employer if they thought this seeming gold mine employment could continue for a lifetime of work.
But of course there are problems because the consistent creation of the richness of wealth under a growing dominant public sector regime cannot be maintained as the graphic below shows.
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The above graphic shows that from 2001 to 2016 employer's contributions to state & local pensions increased four fold while for the same period the funding ratio dropped from fully funded to below three quarters funded meaning that accrued liabilities increased faster than the growth of the economies in many states including NJ, IL, CT, NH, & KY.  These states, & many others, would have to raise billions of dollars more, mostly through taxing the private sector – either individuals or corporations, to even have a chance to adequately fund the promised pension benefits.
Robert J. Sartorius ASA, MAAA, FCA, provides the latest egregious example of private sector taxpayer abuse by local government when he writes in the WSJ "nowhere in the free marketplace can such guarantees be made" referring to the matching of the assumed funding rate of pensions by taxpayers if the actual rate earned on employee contributions is below the rate set by New York City in their pension funding calculations.  That is, if the current assumed 7% investment funding rate of return is not met on employee contributions taxpayers make up the difference.  This NYC taxpayer liability is an example of the creative exploitation politicians can foist on the private sector.
This concludes Part 1 of this post.  See Part 2 for the conclusion.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Kavanaugh Confirmation Vote Turns On Speeches By Senators Graham & Collins

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The above photo of Brett Kavanaugh & his wife & children was taken @ a private swearing in ceremony within hours of Judge Kavanaugh being confirmed by the Senate on October 6 as the 114th Supreme Court Justice.  President Trump had signed Kavanaugh's commission on Air Force One on his way to a MAGA rally in Kansas.  Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Constitutional Oath, shown above, & retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the Judicial Oath.
The public ceremonial swearing in took place Monday night in the East Room of the White House on national TV.
Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation process, including an additional hearing devoted to sexual assault charges by Professor Christine Blasey Ford against Kavanaugh, had many lowlights as described in the last post but the following two highlights will not soon be forgotten – they are what the confirmation vote turned on.
1.  South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stopped the hearing in its tracks with a speech (notice the body language of Kavanaugh on the split screen) that can only have been inspired by or learned from Graham's close working relationship with President Trump. 
Graham actually said the things that everyone in the hearing room & across the country, for that matter, knew was going on - but before Trump's election would have been afraid to say.  Graham could not have been clearer in unmasking the destructive political correctness theme of the hearing & exposing the Democrats' deliberate delay strategy in the hope to gain power.  It set the stage for all Republicans except Murkowski to vote for Kavanaugh. 
In summary, Lindsey Graham was politically incorrect, just like Trump, & that was exactly what was called for. 
2.  The day before the Senate's confirmation vote Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins gave the speech of her life on the Senate floor in which she detailed the time consuming process she went through in deciding to vote in Kavanaugh's favor. 
In her speech Collins mentioned the Constitution three times & said she was informed by The Federalist No.76: Hamilton – this was not only refreshing for me to hear but should be a model for every senator.
With regard to the sexual assault charges levied against Kavanaugh by Ford, Collins said that she believed Professor Ford had been sexually assaulted @ some point in her life.  Collins said that the debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial but that certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence, & fairness prayed on her thinking & she could not abandon them.  Accordingly, for virtually all of the reasons listed in the last post regarding lack of corroborating evidence Collins said that Ford's charges could not fairly prevent Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court.
Collins found Kavanaugh's 12-year record on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, including his more than 300 opinions, his speeches, & law review articles very much in line with what she expected from a Supreme Court Justice – i.e., she "fully expect(s) them to be able to put aside any & all personal preferences in deciding cases that come before them."
Collins spent three hours discussing legal matters with Kavanaugh personally & called on attorneys from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service to assist her in evaluating Kavanaugh's extensive record.  Collins spoke with people who knew Kavanaugh personally such as Condoleezza Rice & Lisa Blatt who clerked for & is an ardent admirer of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
During this extensive review Kavanaugh was able to satisfy Collins' liberal points of view regarding 1) the protection of people with preexisting conditions under ObamaCare, 2) the belief that no president is above the law, 3) the right of same sex couples to marry, 4) the treatment of homosexuals with dignity & worth, 5) the availability of birth control services for women while minimizing the involvement of employers with religious objections, 6) the protection of abortion rights under Roe v. Wade, 7) the practice & tradition of precedent in judicial policy, & 8) the Trump campaign pledge to nominate only judges who would overturn Roe.
On October 4, the night before Senator Collins floor speech, Senator Graham sparred with a protester about the entire Kavanaugh matter & summed it up this way:  "It will never be enough.  If you don't believe he is a gang rapist, if you don't believe he is a stumbling bumbling drunk, serial sexual predator, maybe you'll believe he lied about how much he drank in high school, that he threw ice in a bar, or that he doesn't have the temperament – he didn't handle being destroyed well.  Enough, enough already.  Let's vote."

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Two Down, Two To Go

"My personal beliefs are not relevant to how I decide cases." - Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh responding to a question from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley regarding whether or not Judge Kavanaugh ever followed Supreme Court precedent when it conflicted with his personal beliefs.
"You have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach.  If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong." – Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch – on what makes a good judge -  quoting the late Antonin Scalia, who Gorsuch replaced on the Supreme Court in 2017.
"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." – Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking @ the University Of California, Berkeley in 2001 when she was an appeals court judge.  The speech that contains this quote was published in 2002 by the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.
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With the Senate confirmation of U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, by a vote of 50 to 48 Saturday afternoon, to be the next Supreme Court Associate Justice, President Trump has now appointed two associate justices to the Supreme Court that have moved the court to the more conservative side of the above graphic.
Now it is not just that the justices on the graphic to the right of Roberts are more conservative than the four on the more liberal side of the graphic but that they are more likely to judge cases in accordance with their oaths of office.
Supreme Court Justices take two oaths before they may execute the duties of their appointed office; namely, 1) the Constitutional Oath that all federal officials must take swearing to support the Constitution, & 2) the Judicial Oath in which the justices swear they "will administer justice without respect to persons, & do equal right to the poor & to the rich, & that (they) will faithfully & impartially discharge & perform all the duties incumbent upon (them) as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court under the Constitution & laws of the United States.  So help me God."
Based on the above quotes it is easy to see how Kavanaugh & Gorsuch feel about honoring their oaths & virtually impossible to see that Sotomayor had any intention of honoring hers.  Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate 68 to 31 in August 2009.
As most long time RTE readers learned in junior high school (or before) we are not looking for a conservative or liberal justice – we are expecting a constitutional purist to be nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate, & then appointed by commission prepared & signed by the president.  Most of us learned in 9th grade civics classes that purity to the Constitution is the one & only criteria to be used by senators in the confirmation process of a Supreme Court nominee.
From 1789, when George Washington nominated John Jay to be the first chief justice, to the mid-1950s, public confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominees were rare, meaning there were few, if any, occurrences in the first century & a half of our Republic like the bitter Senate Judiciary Committee hearings last month when Democrat senators felt no compunction or shame as they showboated their arrogance & presented their 2020 presidential anti-Trump qualifications by taking cheap shots with one gotcha question after another that had nothing to do with nominee Kavanagh's constitutional purity.  Lowlights of the hearings included the nominee's young daughters being escorted from the room when they became afraid of protesters or when children from Parkland High School who are not old enough to vote were brought in to testify against the nominee.  How humiliating & rude.
Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee ran from September 4 through 7 with a committee vote scheduled for September 20.  On July 30 Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein, the ranking committee member, had received a letter written by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford alleging a sexual assault by Kavanaugh on Ford @ a drinking party in a private home when they were teenagers – but Feinstein kept the letter secret for over six weeks.  The letter did not become public until September 12.  The committee vote was delayed in order to have both Ford & Kavanaugh appear before the committee on September 27.
This additional step by the committee was taken even though Ford had not offered a consistent account of the alleged sexual assault – where it happened, when it happened, who was present, how many people were present, how she got there, how she got home, why she hid in a second floor bathroom after the alleged assault rather than run downstairs where there were other people to protect her, why she said she struggled academically in college due to the alleged assault but made no claim of struggling through her final two years of high school, & the witnesses that Ford identified either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.
In short, Ford's claim came across as weak as a specific allegation against Kavanaugh & failed to meet even the lowest standard of evidence to even obtain a search warrant according to Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor who questioned Ford on September 27 before the committee. 
Had Feinstein handed Ford's letter over to the FBI in July, or conducted her own investigation, or even asked Kavanaugh about possible sexual assaults or drinking parties during her private meeting with Kavanaugh or during the committee hearing the disgraceful process that riveted much of the nation the past several weeks could have been avoided.
On September 23 a second allegation was brought to the New York Times against Kavanaugh by Deborah Ramirez when Kavanaugh & Ramirez were freshmen @ Yale.  The NYT interviewed several dozen classmates of Ramirez & found no one with first hand knowledge of her alleged account so they didn't publish the story.  The New Yorker did.
Kavanaugh's nomination was favorably voted out of committee on September 28 with the stipulation that a supplemental FBI background investigation would be conducted during the next week.  The FBI cleared both the Ford & Ramirez allegations & Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate as indicated above in a hateful process that was very unfair to Judge Kavanaugh & his family.
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins said in her floor speech on Friday that Kavanaugh's confirmation process "has hit rock bottom" & "looked more like a caricature of a gutter level political campaign than a solemn occasion."  To me the confirmation process, & most pointedly the committee hearings, were an angry, shameful, abusive, slanderous, unthinkable character assassination by the Democrats on the committee that had nothing to do with the Constitution or Kavanaugh's ability to follow it.
When the Democrats tried to paint Judge Kavanaugh as a drunken gang rapist it was so contrary to the 30 years of his very public working life, all of which was within a few miles of where he grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland & included six FBI background checks for the various high level government positions he has held, that it reached the point of absurdity.  To defeat Kavanaugh's nomination Democrats were willing to drop the presumption of innocence until proven guilty principle claiming that Ford & Ramirez should be believed simply because they were women – a very dangerous position for every female to take who has a husband, son, father, friend or neighbor of the opposite sex.
Following the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 BO had the constitutional duty to nominate a replacement & so he did in Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.  Enter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who said he would not bring Garland's nomination forward, even into committee, because he thought the next president, after the 2016 presidential election, should have the privilege to make the nomination of his or her choice - eleven months later.
Please note that McConnell's idea to delay a confirmation vote was not original – he was following the idea of New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer who in July 2007 said that no Bush nominee to the Supreme Court should be considered because of the upcoming presidential election in 2008 – Schumer said this 18 months before a new president took office.
With the polls all through 2016 strongly showing Hillary Clinton as the next president, McConnell's clever gambit seemed destined to produce a worse nominee (one far less pure to the Constitution) than Garland, who would no doubt vote with the four justices on the more liberal side of the above graphic in deciding cases.
The Democrats' realization of the cancellation of their planned future Supreme Court nominees poured salt in an open wound when Trump won the presidency without winning the popular vote – although there is no official way to tabulate the popular vote result because it has no meaning in the Constitution. 
Not only has Trump nominated & appointed Neil Gorsuch instead of Garland but now Trump has successfully appointed his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Cavanaugh, which moves the court toward the more conservative side of the above graphic with the younger Gorsuch replacing the equally conservative but elderly Scalia & Kavanaugh replacing the more liberal Kennedy.
Liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 & a half years old & has been seen falling asleep on television more than once & Stephen Breyer turned 80 last August meaning that Trump may have more nominees to the Supreme Court in the very near future as these people finally retire after decades on the Court.
Two down, two to go.