Brennan: Too much Kavanaugh

By Tom Brennan |

If anybody ever tries to nominate you for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, run away. It could ruin your reputation.

At this writing it appears that the final decision on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s candidacy for the high court won’t be made by the Senate anytime soon, which guarantees that the news media will continue its weeks-long focus on ‘all-Kavanaugh, all the time’ until our brains fall out. The Senate Judiciary Committee threw up its hands on Friday after a contentious hearing featuring a woman who claimed Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school 40 years ago. It seems likely that the FBI will investigate accusations made against Kavanaugh by several women.

The arguments on both sides have been sometimes heart-wrenching and occasionally downright boring, way more than you wanted to know about the judge, those who are making accusations about him or the political foibles of those doing the questioning. After a while you just want to change the channel but it’s hard to find one that isn’t focused on the drama in Washington.

Many guys in the audience have been trying to remember if they did anything in their teen years that they wouldn’t want mentioned to a committee of Congress or a national television audience. I would tell you about mine but my wife reads this column.

I’m unlikely to be offered a seat on the Supreme Court anyway. That rarely happens to English majors. But my lawyer friends might want to limit their ambitions within the legal system. If they want to retire from lawyering, the best bet these days seems to be either to run for public office or get appointed to a government job.

This column was originally supposed to be about the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s historic visit to Cook Inlet in 1778. Only problem there is that my math was a little off (English major, remember) and the 250th anniversary of Captain Jimmy’s visit to the Inlet won’t come until 2028. That gives us all another 10 years to get ready. On the other hand, it’s never too early to begin celebrating an important event.

Lots of things have been named for Captain Cook around here, including the inlet that keeps Anchorage from bothering Wasilla. (That billion-dollar Knik Arm Crossing made a lot of people nervous until it was canceled.)

In doing research for this column I did find out that 250 years ago last Wednesday Her Majesty’s Ship Endeavour ran out of beer and Captain Cook made his crew switch to wine for their daily rations until they could resupply. Just in case, the wily captain held back two casks of beer, either for a crew celebration or perhaps some other occasion, perhaps for personal needs.

The Endeavour had only been at sea for about a month at that point, so it wasn’t a matter of great privation. For me switching from beer to wine wouldn’t be much of a problem. I did that a number of years ago even though at one time I used to make my own beer in the basement of our old house on the Park Strip in Anchorage. The house was built by a furrier and had a huge vault in the basement where he stored his furs. The temperature in that vault was perfect for aging beer.

We never learned the combination to the vault’s metal door but I didn’t really need to lock my beer up. My two sons were teenagers and generally well-behaved, though I do remember at least once when I was forced to have a parental conniption because some prize-winning beer went missing.




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