Category Archives: Incompetent Elected Officials

Post “Hands Up!” Race-Baiting Accountability Sagas: Antonio French and Taraji P. Henson

French

Thanks to three related factors…

1. The uncritical acceptance of Dorian Johnson’s false characterization of Mike Brown’s shooting by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, leading to a society-wide condemnation not only of Wilson but police departments across the country and white Americans as racially hostile to young black men, and

2. The fact that police officers have been shooting and killing an awful lot of unarmed black men, young or not, and

3. Inflammatory and irresponsible rhetoric from national and local leaders and elected officials

….we are in a dangerously unstable environment of virulent racial distrust, where the police are regarded as immediately suspect and placed in a defensive posture with a presumption of racism and excessive violence virtually any time an African American is the object of police action, regardless of the circumstances or justification. This is being exploited by those arrested, their families, civil rights activists, elected officials, protest organizers and the news media.

Here are two ugly sagas that illustrate the problem: Continue reading

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Filed under Law & Law Enforcement, Family, Incompetent Elected Officials, Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee

Flat Learning Curve Update: Yet Another Jaw-Dropping Leadership Fail From President Obama

curve-flat

In the midst of yet another flashing neon display proving beyond all reasonable doubt that Barack Obama has the worst grasp of the Presidential leadership of any POTUS in over a century, a cheerful CNN/ORC poll found that 50% of those polled assert that Obama tenure has been a success, and 53% believe that things are peachy in the United States. It is beyond comprehension.

WARNING!

IMPULSIVE RANT FOLLOWS! SKIP TO MAIN BODY OF POST FOR RETURN TO RESTRAINED ETHICAL ANALYSIS! Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Around the World, Leadership, Citizenship, Incompetent Elected Officials, Character, Ethics Train Wrecks

Unethical Quote of the Week: Sen. John McCain, and also “WHAT????”

U.S. Senator John McCain gestures as he arrives to address the third session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

“It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm. I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.”

—- Sen. John McCain (R-Az) to Politico, explaining and making excuses for 47 Republican Senators injecting themselves into sensitive U.S. negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapon development..

1. I am speechless. Luckily, I can type.

Well, sort of.

2. The silver lining: at least the Senator just made those regretting President Obama’s election in 2008 feel better. We were spared embarrassing moments like that of President McCain, asked why he sent missiles to destroy Toronto, explaining, “Yeah, I was watching “Family Feud,” had to run to the can, and was distracted. Hey, it happens.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership

Iran Letter Ethics Q and A: Senate Heroes, Blame, Trust And Captain Queeg

Question:  Are the seven GOP Senators who did not sign the Iran letter Ethics Heroes?

Answer: I almost designated them as such, but that would have been a mistake. There are too many non-heroic and even unethical reasons Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Senate Foreign Relations Chairman might have chosen to refuse to go along with their colleagues. Based on the explanations I’ve read, that seems to be the case. Collins, for example, says that she didn’t think the letter would work. Wrong answer: the reason to reject the letter is because it’s a flat-out violation of legislative limits imposed on the Constitution. Similarly, Flake says that he didn’t think the letter was necessary, whatever that means. It is also likely that some of the seven felt they could have their cake and eat it too: they want the letter to undermine U.S. diplomacy, but don’t want to take the criticism that goes with signing it.

Question: Do I blame President Obama for the letter?

Answer: A friend who is such a knee-jerking Obama enabler and excuser that it’s a miracle he can walk posted yesterday’s  Thirteen Ethics Observations On The GOP’s Letter To Iran on his Facebook page, and one of his knee-jerking friends wrote, “Typical: blame Obama.” I did not and do not blame Obama for the fact that the Republican Senators engaged in a foolish, dangerous and bright-line violation of the separation of powers, and anyone who could read the post otherwise is so deranged by bias that their faculties are impaired…or they just aren’t very bright.

I did write, and it is true, that the President shares significant responsibility for the poisonous and dysfunctional relations with the Congress that led to this fiasco. He is at the top of the government; it’s ultimately his job to make the government and the system work. Obama and his enablers reject accountability at every turn, but the unavoidable facts are that he is in charge, he took the job voluntarily, and whatever doesn’t work, including the government itself, is on his record. He never made a good faith, sincere, dedicated effort to work with the Republicans in Congress; he never worked to develop the negotiation, compromise, horse-trading, cajoling, quid pro quo skills that successful, competent Presidents have used to deal with the same levels of political opposition that he has found impossible to cope with. He took no steps to build trust in Congress, and engaged in serial conduct that was guaranteed to destroy trust, and has.

Finally, his illegal immigration executive order (the illegal accurately modifies both “immigration” and “order”) and his unilateral alterations to his own, incompetent and sloppy, health care law showed exactly the same contempt for constitutional limits as the Senate letter.

Obama is not to blame for the letter. He is absolutely and ultimately accountable for the conditions that prompted the letter and the decision to send it.

Question: Is there an ethical justification for sending the letter? Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, War and the Military

Thirteen Ethics Observations On The GOP’s Letter To Iran

Letter to IranFrom the Washington Post:

“An already heated battle between the White House and Republicans over negotiations to curtail Iran’s nuclear program grew more tense Monday when 47 Republican senators sent a letter to Iran designed to kill any potential deal.

The White House responded by accusing the Republicans of conspiring with Iranian hard-liners, who oppose the delicate negotiations, and suggesting that their goal was to push the United States into a military conflict.”

Observations:

1. The letter cannot be defended as anything other than an effort to sabotage sensitive international negotiations. As such, it is direct interference with the President’s ability to do his job. The fact that Republicans, like Israel, have abundant evidence that President Obama is likely to do that job, in this case, badly and even dangerously is no justification for this unethical, unconstitutional, arrogant and offensive act. The American people elected Obama president, and with that came the authority to conduct foreign affairs and oversee negotiations with foreign governments. The letter is wrong in every way.

2. It does not matter, and should not matter, to any American whether or not they believe that a breakdown in negotiations with Iran would be preferable and safer than the kind of deal this President is likely to produce. It does not matter. The letter is per se a breach of the separation of powers, and as precedent, endangers the nation’s entire governance structure.

3. Anyone who defends this atrocious, reckless and unprofessional conduct is fully embracing “the ends justifies the means” as a principle of democratic government.

4. If he was not aware of it and did not approve it, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell is obligated to condemn this action, and punish all signatories,  stripping them of committee assignments related to foreign affairs.

5. He won’t. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership

Hillary Clinton and the E-mails: A Case Study In Ethics Corruption

corrupted

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of days now, but haven’t had the heart. Frankly, I am really sick of having to make the same point about the Clintons over and over again—they never learn, and will never change—knowing that so many people will just immediately turn off their brains and run for the rationalizations dispensary any time dishonesty, hypocrisy, deceit or misconduct by one of them is uncovered.

This happens, you see, because the Clinton are perhaps the most prominent among a particular harmful species of individual in our culture, the ethics corrupter. Ethics corrupters are popular, powerful, successful and famous people who, because they are popular, powerful, successful and famous, many citizens conclude that they must also be good and wise, and therefor trustworthy. Since they are (many believe) good and wise, what they choose to do must also be good, and when they are accused of doing wrong, even when the evidence is unavoidable that they have done wrong, there can be only two explanations to those vulnerable to correuption. The first is that the evidence, no matter how strong, cannot be believed, and those wielding it are in fact enemies of right, good, honesty and fairness. The second is that if these good and wise people did it, then what they did cannot be wrong, or can be justified, usually by “the ends justify the means.”

Thus by gaining the trust and admiration of good people, usually through clever use of dishonesty, deception and manipulation, ethics corrupters set their admirers and supporters up to have their own values weakened or destroyed. Richard Nixon caused honest people to defend the covering up of crimes. Charlie Rangel caused people with integrity to support accepting bribes. Bill Clinton made feminists excuse exactly the kind of sexual harassment they persuaded Clinton to sign a law prohibiting, and inspired lawyers to excuse perjury because “everybody lies about sex.” Lance Armstrong made parents who once taught their children not to cheat to defend cheating, because he had a foundation with a noble cause. Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly made TV viewers excuse lying by journalists.

Ethics corrupters make their supporters worse parents, friends, employees, employers and human beings; in turn, those corrupted supporters make society less ethical and more cynical as well. These are genuine cultural polluters; indeed, they are cultural pollution.

Hillary Clinton is an ethics corrupter, and the response to the revelations of her use of exclusively personal e-mails proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

There is no benign interpretation of her conduct regarding her State Department e-mails. It was not a mistake; one cannot claim that it was accidental. Since it was intentional, there must have been a purpose, and the only conceivable purposes are unethical ones. According to the 2009 National Archives and Records Administration regulations in effect when Clinton took office, “Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that Federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency recordkeeping system.”  With a private e-mail account and only using that for official correspondence, Clinton did not have a system that ensured such preservation. She, not the system, determined what would be preserved. Anything not preserved or left on her private account would not be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Is there any explanation for having a private account only, an justification that is simultaneously responsible, plausible and does not suggest that Clinton wanted to control which of her communications could come before the public and the press?

No.
Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Leadership, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunces: The Republican “Base”

National religion

Public Polling Policy surveyed 316 Republican primary voters—the hard core— from February 20th to 22nd to measure their attitudes and policy views, as well as their current preferences for President. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 5.5%. The results are here.

The headlines will be about the candidate rankings, which are meaningless at this point. The valuable revelation, especially for Democrats who want to mercilessly mock their Republican friends, if they have any, and Republicans who want to drown themselves out of hopelessness and shame are…

A. The graphic above, showing that 57% of the Republicans polled want to establish a national religion, Christianity, and

B. The fact that only 37% believe in evolution. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, Science & Technology, U.S. Society