This is a mercurial story, several in fact, but one of its most valuable uses is to allow us to sort out various individuals and institutions for their trustworthiness and character based upon their words and conduct regarding the multiple scandals hurtling around Washington.
- Fool: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Mn). Bachmann is talking impeachment, which has signature significance: any elected official who brings up impeachment now or anytime before hard evidence turns up proving that President Obama personally delivered a bag of gold to the IRS leadership to make sure proprietary tax information was leaked is an utter, irresponsible dolt. 1) No President has ever been convicted after their impeachment, and heaven knows we have had multiple Chief Executives factually guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” It is a waste of time, an all-encompassing political warfare glut that this nation can’t afford at this point, especially when the U.S. Senate is in control of the same party the impeached POTUS belongs to. Yes, I agree with the principle that corrupt Presidents should be punished; I’m glad Bill Clinton got his just desserts, but I also know that if he and the rest of the government had been concentrating on what was going on in the world rather than hiding blue dresses, the Twin Towers might be standing today, and 3000—10,000?—-Americans wouldn’t be dead. Impeachment is like using a nuclear bomb: it’s a useful threat, but the reality is too horrible to permit. 2) Anyone who thinks making Joe Biden President is a solution to anything is certifiable. 3) There is nothing at this point that would support a legitimate impeachment. 4) Putting the scandals in that context just supports the agreed-upon White House and media spin that this is all about politics. Shut up, Michele.
Filed under Character, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Heroes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Public Service, Philanthropy, Charity, Rights, War and the Military, Workplace
1. “The Scandal Trifecta” may be gaining traction in D.C. and in the news media as the hot term to handily describe the Obama Administration’s three instances of serious and significant misconduct: the Benghazi deceptions, the I.R.S. harassment of conservatives and conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s surveillance of Associate Press reporters. It should be rejected. I know conservatives and Republicans are especially smug and gleeful right now to have their suspicions and warnings confirmed, but this is a national crisis, at a time of dire challenges to the nation, and tragic in many ways. It is not a game, and should not be likened to one. Nor should the three situations be lumped together, though they have, to some extent, common seeds. They are each important in and of themselves, and packaging them like stop-light peppers risks allowing all or some of them receive less than the individual attention they must have. This is the first and last time I’m using the term, and I urge everyone, in the media or out of it, to similarly drop it. Labels matter, in this is a bad one.
2. Here’s someone Democrats and the rest of us can blame, in part: the left-biased news media. You see, knowing that the news media is looking to expose them when they make mistakes, blunder, show corruption and otherwise do a bad job when entrusted with the welfare of the greatest nation on earth makes our leaders better, more responsible, more objective, and more competent, out of fear, if nothing else. The media does nobody any favors when it lets its biases take over and lies down on the job—not the public, not Republicans, certainly; not the nation, not their profession, but also not even those they are desperately trying to help succeed. Continue reading
I am teaching this morning, so a more substantial post will be appearing later. In the interim, those who haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s meltdown over the scandal avalanche exposing the ineptitude and ethics blindness in the Obama Administration should go here. I suspect much of the mainstream media that has been abdicating its role of objective reporter for the pat four years is reacting in much the same way; in fact, I know it is, based on the sudden confluence of op-eds, columns, and on-screen rants about the President’s disinterest in management, oversight, and, you know, governing, as if this was a new phenomenon.
Stewart expresses his horror that after the revelations of the last couple of weeks, the burden of proof will now be on the government to show it is worthy of being trusted to impose ourselves on our lives, and the concerns of those who distrust the expansion of government power can no longer be dismissed as paranoia and conspiracy theories. In truth, nothing has changed, for this always has been the case. That is why our nation’s founding documents are both written from the perspective of those who are wary of the inherent corruption and abuse that government power always risks, based on the tragic lessons of history.
The remarkable thing isn’t that these most recent examples occurred, but that otherwise intelligent people like Jon Stewart seem to be genuinely surprised by it.
This doesn’t make either of you look very good, guys….
Back when hitch-hiking was in vogue and both hitch-hikers and drivers were being warned about the various horror stories that the transportation transaction had led to through the years, I used to wonder if a murderous hitch-hiker ever got into the car of a homicidal driver, and what ensued. This tale from Riverdale High School (yes, the same school Archie and Veronica go to, apparently), in Georgia is a little like that, though no slaughters were attempted. An ethically inert school principal grossly abused her power in response to a gratuitously cruel student. I suspect this happens rather more often than my hitch-hiking hypothetical.
Student Keandre Varner, on a lark, decided to check and see if a mug shot existed for his high school principal, Jamille Miller Brown. Sure enough, he found one, so he thought the fair, kind and responsible thing to do was 1) post it on Instagram, and 2) suggest that the mugshot arose from a DUI arrest. Continue reading
“It’s OK…the King is sorry.”
- Scandal: Obama, Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Hillary and the State Department meticulously lying about the cause of the Benghazi attack during an election campaign
Media Response: “Bah! Old news [about something the press never treated as news at all]! Politics! A ‘conservative story’!”
Media Response: “Oh, Please!—a typical conservative conspiracy theory…what? It really happened? Well, the public doesn’t care about it, and “Pigford” is a funny name, so no harm…”
Well, let’s try something really new. I wonder if the IRS admitting that it targeted and harassed conservative non-profit groups in an election year qualifies as a scandal that calls into legitimate question the ethics and competence of the Obama Administration, in the eyes of our fair and objective press, the guardian of our freedoms. Is there any depth to the media’s complicity with this government’s misconduct? I suppose we’ll find out.**
From the Associated Press: Continue reading
Sen. Baucus and, uh, staff…
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) has announced that he won’t be seeking re-election in 2014, and the alert national media has spun this into many themed stories: how it further endangers the Democratic Party’s chances of holding the Senate; how it will remove one of the purported experts on the tax code from possible tax reform efforts; how, as Washington Post columnist Stephen Stromberg put it, Baucus has a chance to leave “an admirable tax-reform legacy” by negotiating a deal on a carbon tax. All of this misses the Tyrannosaurus in the room, and worse than that, leaves the impression that it doesn’t matter. Baucus is one of the most corrupt and untrustworthy members of the Senate, which is no small accomplishment, if not exactly an admirable legacy. He should resign now, as he should have resigned years ago. The fact that his colleagues didn’t force him to resign (like his former, similarly corrupt Republican colleague, Sen. Ensign) shows just how unworthy of the American public that body is.
Since he was last elected by the good people of Montana, Baucus…
- Carried on an inter-office, and adulterous, affair with staffer Melodee Hanes
- Blatantly favored her in the course of business, giving her an excessive raise and taking her along with him on costly junkets
- Nominated Hanes to be a U.S. attorney, a plum job Hanes withdrew herself from consideration for after their clandestine affair was revealed
- Probably pulled strings to get her a high-ranking job in the Justice Department, after the couple divorced their respective spouses and got married in 2011… Continue reading
Let’s stop being mild and measured, shall we? Heads need to role, messages need to be sent, and a culture needs to be saved.
Fire Brandi Hutto.
If she can’t be fired because a union insists that fools and hysterics be allowed to abuse our children and warp our culture, then parents have to boycott the school, while flooding local papers with letters and petitions protesting the lunatic who is running the Garden Gate Elementary School in Cuperino, California. That is, unless this silly, incompetent, stupid, stupid woman gets down on her knees and begs forgiveness from young Braden Bandermann and his family, while also apologizing to his class and the schools itself for making the child feel like a criminal and trying to turn all the other children into trembling, terrified, weenies.
Fire Brandi Hutto. Continue reading
From Lenore Skanzy’s useful and fascinating blog Free Range Kids comes a report from a mother whose Middle Schooler’s science fair project was summarily disqualified after he devoted months of work on it because it involved Airsoft guns, the realistic-looking gun replicas that shoot plastic pellets—toys, though expensive ones, much favored by pre-teen and teen-aged boys. The Airsoft was not physically featured in the project display; apparently the boy was punished for having the bad taste to use anything that looked and behaved like a gun in any activity related to school. According to the mother, his experiment, involving the spin on propelled objects, received a high enough score to send him and his experiment to the regionals, had he not been slapped down for daring to use a toy gun at his own home.
What is going on here? What is going on is a concerted, widespread nation-wide, ideologically-motivated and unethical effort by teachers, administrators and school districts to create a pervasive anti-gun, anti-gun ownership, anti-Second Amendment and pro-gun confiscation culture in the schools, ensuring, through cultural reinforcement, that future generations emerge from public education thoroughly phobic about guns no matter what their purpose. This abuse of power, a particularly stupid, sinister and ignorant abuse of power, is being encouraged by elected officials and the news media, and it is the tip of a very ugly iceberg.
This isn’t about guns, though they are the target this time. It is about school personnel and schools using their influence to implant ideology and political policy views in children, which is neither their job nor the appropriate role of public education. Continue reading