Category Archives: Government & Politics

Tales of The Corrupted: David Ignatius’s Hillary E-mail Scandal Whitewash

This is how the world ends. The ethical world, anyway...

This is how the world ends. The ethical world, anyway…

I am charting the Clinton Corruption of the Democratic Party and how it spreads to other populations, like progressives, feminists, journalists and voters. I fear that a map of the projected progress will look like one of those scary plague or zombie computer progressions in scenes from movies like “Outbreak,” showing the entire nation turning blood red over a series of progressions beginning with a single carrier in Montana or someplace. “We have 72 hours, gentlemen, until the whole nation is infected!”

Still, there is hope. Last week I was struck by the sad cast of Clinton surrogates that her campaign trotted out to argue that it is ridiculous for anyone to think that a Secretary of State should be expected to follow her own department’s best practices, take proper steps to protect sensitive communications or tell the truth. The most raving was Howard Dean, who essentially adopted the Big Lie approach employed by James Carville. “Look,” Dean told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd last week, “this is, in fact, manufactured partly by a press that’s bored and partly by the Republicans….She can’t be blamed for this. So I look at this as the usual press frenzy, the pack journalism, and I think it’ll go away, because there’s no sense to it.” Dean should have also mentioned the bored FBI, the bored judges, and the hundreds of bored lawyers I have discussed the issue with in ethics seminars. If there is one of the latter group who agrees with Dean (who isn’t being paid by the Clintons), he or she hasn’t had the guts to say so out loud. Then Hillary sent a sacrificial lamb to Fox News, a poor ex-Bill Clinton State official named Ellen Tauscher who looked terrified…

Tauscher

….spoke in a shaky voice,  stumbled and stuttered and made no sense at all, teeing up junk like this…

TAUSCHER: Look, Secretary Clinton has former foreign service officers, civil servants. I did as undersecretary too, that make sure all of this information is protected. It is physically impossible to move things from the classified system to the unclassified system. We are only talking about the classified system, unclassified system. Everything on the classified system is where it belongs and there is no question about that. The Federal Records Act makes very clear that the person that transmits the information is responsible for the classified — classification of the information. And is it possible that Secretary Clinton was passed something by somebody and somebody and somebody? Yes. That would have been true if it had been on the state dot-gov e-mail system. But I mean, I think that we all understand that Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard. But let’s get it straight. Let’s be lawful and let’s be smart about this. We’re talking about unclassified e-mails. We’re not talking about classified e-mails, we’re talking about unclassified e-mails and they are clearly subject to what people interpret…. And there are differences between the State Department and the intelligence community right now.

As Olsen Johnson said in response to Gabby Johnson’s “authentic frontier gibberish” in “Blazing Saddles,” “Now who can argue with that?”

My impression was that no articulate, honest, credible Democrat was willing to defend Clinton, hence the campaign’s reliance desperate resume peddling hacks like Tauscher and principle-free madmen like Dean and Carville.

This week, it was more of the same. On “This Week With Martha Raddatz Pretending To Be George Stephanopoulos,” Hillary’s designated liar was a state senator I had never heard of who refused to answer Raddatz’s questions. My favorite exchange: Raddatz asked her about polls showing that a majority of the public believes that Hillary lies and isn’t trustworthy, and whether this wasn’t a serious concern for the campaign?

“Well, I certainly don’t feel that way!” the surrogate answered, with that frozen smile these people get when they have to stick to talking points and admit nothing.

Still, the Clinton Corruption Contagion (CCC) is spreading to the thoughtful and credible. The venerable Cokie Roberts, on the ABC roundtable today, has embraced the deceptive and misleading media spin that the only issue is whether the e-mail revelations ultimately costs Clinton significant support. No, that’s not the issue at all, at least not the one the news media should be concerned with. The issue is what Clinton did and what she said, and whether being incompetent, conflicted, reckless with sensitive communications and lying about it repeatedly, plus destroying evidence, disqualifies a former Secretary of State from being considered as a legitimate Presidential contender. Cokie Roberts’ analysis has now deteriorated into “Will Hillary’s lies and blame-shifting work?”

Hearing her talk like that is like watching Dana Wynter open her cold, inhuman eyes post-podding in “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers.”

Then there is David Ignatius, one of the Washington Post’s more trustworthy pundits, who authored an op-ed some CCC infected staffer headlined “The Hillary Clinton e-mail ‘scandal’ that isn’t.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Law vs. Ethics: A Snatched Bar Mitzvah Gift, A Leaky AG, An Embarrassing Scoreboard, and”OINK”

Oink

I try to keep my legal ethics seminars up-to-the-minute, so while preparing for yesterday’s session with the Appellate Section of the Indiana Bar, I came across a bunch of entertaining stories in which the ethics were a lot clearer than the law, or vice-versa. All of them could and perhaps should sustain separate posts; indeed, I could probably devote the blog entirely to such cases.

Here are my four favorites from the past week’s legal news, involving a mother-son lawsuit, a brazenly unethical attorney general, a college scoreboard named after a crook, and police officer’s sense of humor: Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Family, Finance, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Marketing and Advertising, Professions, Rights, Sports, U.S. Society

Ethics Observations On The WDBJ Shooting

Shooter

As you know by now, a reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed Wednesday on live TV in Roanoke, Virginia. The shooter was a a former reporter at the same station his victims, 24-year-old WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old photographer Adam Ward, worked for. Another woman was shot at the scene and apparently will recover. The shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, fatally shot himself in his car after fleeing. He had used Bryce Williams as his professional name.

Later it was learned that Flanagan had successfully sued the station (it settled), which had fired him in 2013 after he had worked there briefly. Earlier he’d been employed at several other stations across the country, and had sued some of them as well. He tweeted prior to his rampage that Parker had used a racist term in his presence.

ABC then reported:

“A man claiming to be Bryce Williams called ABC News over the last few weeks, saying he wanted to pitch a story and wanted to fax information. He never told ABC News what the story was.This morning, a fax was in the machine (time stamped 8:26 a.m.) almost two hours after the shooting. A little after 10 a.m., he called again, and introduced himself as Bryce, but also said his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan, and that he shot two people this morning. While on the phone, he said authorities are “after me,” and “all over the place.” He hung up. ABC News contacted the authorities immediately and provided them with the fax.”

The 23 page fax included such comments as…

  • “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS. Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15”
  • “What sent me over the top was the church shooting,” referring to June’s mass shooting at the  Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
  • “And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”
  • “As for [Charleston shooting suspect] Dylann Roof? You [censored]! You want a race war [censored]? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …[censored]!!!”
  • “I was influenced by [ Virginia Tech shooter] Seung–Hui Cho….That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.”

A few observations: Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

Translation: “OK, Lying And Denying Responsibility Haven’t Worked; Let’s Try Lying And Accepting SOME Responsibility.”

Said Candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign stop in Iowa:

“I know people have raised questions about my email use as secretary of state, and I understand why. I get it. (1) So here’s what I want the American people to know: My use of personal email was allowed by the State Department. (2) It clearly wasn’t the best choice. (3) I should’ve used two emails: one personal, one for work. I take responsibility for that decision, and I want to be as transparent as possible, which is why I turned over 55,000 pages (4), why I’ve turned over my server (5), why I’ve agreed to — in fact, been asking to — and have finally gotten a date to testify before a congressional committee in October. (6) I’m confident that this process will prove that I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified. (7).

Notes: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Science & Technology, The Internet

All Right, News Media, Now You’ve Made Me Defend Donald Trump Twice In Less Than 24 Hours…CUT IT OUT!

(If I believed in karma, which I don’t, I’d swear this has happened because I mocked my old school chum Dr. Peter Canaday for his comment proving that he was the exception to the rule—and it IS a rule—that supporting Donald Trump for President proves that a parasite has eaten your brain and defecated out your sense and values.)

During his Iowa press conference yesterday, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos insisted on asking questions (a.k.a. “making a speech”) of the current GOP front-runner for the nomination without waiting to be called on—-this is consistent for Ramos, who also feels that Mexicans should be able to jump ahead of legitimate immigration applicants and just enter the country at will…same principle, really—and when he refused to sit down, Trump had him removed.

OK, I’m settling my gorge, swallowing twice, wiping my brow, but…

Good for Donald Trump.

Continue reading

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Filed under Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

Ethics Mystery: What Was So Wrong With Curt Schilling’s Muslim Tweet?

schilling-tweet

ESPN pulled former baseball pitching star Curt Schilling from its Little League broadcast team yesterday after becoming aware of his tweet above, saying in a statement:

“Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective. We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration.”

Schilling then tweeted this apology: “I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.” This appears to be a #1 on the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale...“An apology motivated by the realization that one’s past conduct was unjust, unfair, and wrong, constituting an unequivocal admission of wrongdoing as well as regret, remorse and contrition, as part of a sincere effort to make amends and seek forgiveness.” 

If I had delivered it, however, it might have been a #7: “A forced or compelled version of 1-4, in which the individual (or organization) apologizing may not sincerely believe that an apology is appropriate, but chooses to show the victim or victims of the act inspiring it that the individual responsible is humbling himself and being forced to admit wrongdoing by the society, the culture, legal authority, or an organization or group that the individual’s actions reflect upon or represent.”

What was it exactly that Schilling’s tweet showed, implied, suggested or stated that was” completely unacceptable,  in no way represent ESPN’s  perspective, and that justified his employer’s action? Curt Schilling is an inquisitive, politically active and opinionated man, and has always annoyed sportswriters because 1) he’s openly conservative 2) he’s a devout Christian, and isn’t shy about talking about it, 3) he can write and speak coherently and was capable, while playing, of challenging their criticism, and 4) he’s a lot smarter than most of them. I am assuming in this inquiry that nothing in Schilling’s contract or agreement with ESPN restricted his right to express non-sports opinions on his own time.

Here are some possibilities: Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Social Media, Unethical Tweet, War and the Military, Workplace

To The Unethical And Biased News Media: There Are Plenty Of Legitimate Ways To Expose Donald Trump, So Why Are You Cheating?

"Go visit that Loughner guy and see if you can get him to endorse Trump...

“Go visit that Loughner guy and see if you can get him to endorse Trump…

I’m really getting annoyed at unethical hacks—you know, journalists—forcing me to defend Donald Trump. Really, guys, if you can’t do this jerk in by reporting the facts and doing fair commentary, it’s time to send an application to Home Depot.

The fact that someone at a Donald Trump rally shouted out “White Power!” is no more significant or newsworthy than if someone shouted “Give peace a chance!”,  “Kilroy was here!” or “Tippecanoe and Tyler too!” One person? Or even if it was six, or ten, so what? Maybe he was a Democratic plant. Maybe he was a Rand Paul plant. Maybe he was nuts, and maybe he was a white power advocate, so what? What control does Trump have over who comes to his rallies? Yet the news media is treating this one shouted idiocy like it’s a smoking gun. 

Now the game is to see how many loathsome individuals the news media can find who will say they support Trump. using basic cognitive dissonance against him rather than facts, substance, or legitimately relevant issues.  The Daily Kos looked under a rock and found a David Duke nod to Trump: pathetic. “Have you no sense of decency?” Pure guilt by association, and the worst kind: there isn’t even any real association there. Let’s see who else they can get to endorse Trump. Dylann Roof? Bernie Madoff? Jared Fogel? Lance Armstrong? George Zimmerman? Casey Anthony? Satan? Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media