Ethics Update : Donald, Hillary, Ted and Bernie


It’s time once again to examine the latest ethics escapades of our four front-runners to be the next President of the United States:

Donald Trump

Well, what do you know? Despite turning the last Republican debate into a “Bush lied, people died” bloodbath of accusations right out of and asserting that his judgment is superior because he opposed the Iraq invasion “from the start,” Donald Trump in fact did support the war “from the start.” Newly re-discovered tapes from the Howard Stern show reveal the shock jock asking Trump, “Are you for invading Iraq?” and Trump replying, “Yeah, I guess so.” Asked at town hall forum by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper about the statement,  Trump responded: “I could have said that.”

Well, it’s on tape, Donald; you did say that.

Trump then insisted that his past support for the war did not matter because “by the time the war started I was against it.”

Oh, after the war started you were against it! 1) Prove it. 2) If someone makes public statements on all sides of controversies, does that allow them to pick whichever one turns out to be correct after the fact? Or does it just mean that the individual is an untrustworthy, dishonest, feckless hack?

It’s a rhetorical question.

Trump blew up the last debate and wounded his entire party based on a misrepresentation.

What utter scum this man is!

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sanders’ entire claim to foreign policy expertise is based on his vote against invading Iraq 14 years ago. That’s it. That’s the most current asset he has in that part of the debate regarding Presidential qualifications. Yet a far left commentary publication points out that Bernie had previously been an anti-Iraq hawk:

“Bernie Sanders himself voted twice in support of regime change in Iraq. In 1998 Sanders voted in favor of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which said: “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”

Later that same year, Sanders also backed a resolution that stated: “Congress reaffirms that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic  government to replace that regime.” These measures gave congressional backing for the CIA’s covert plan to overthrow the Hussein regime in Baghdad, as well as the tightening of an economic sanctions regime that may have killed as many as 500,000 Iraqi children. The resolution also gave the green light to Operation Desert Fox, a four-day long bombing campaign striking 100 targets throughout Iraq. The operation featured more than 300 bombing sorties and 350 ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles, several targeting Saddam Hussein himself.”

Boy, wouldn’t it be great if there was some competent, trustworthy institution in the U.S. that contained objective investigators who would check on these thing, report them to the public and ask candidates about them?

Sen. Ted Cruz

The latest slimy Cruz campaign strategem is a photoshopped image of a smiling Marco Rubio shaking the hand of President Obama with text that reads: “After more than seven years of the destructive policies of President Obama, we shouldn’t replace him with his Republican clone.” The faked photo (under the headline above) appears on the website,, which is paid for by Cruz’s campaign.  Cruz’s slimy staff initially denied that it would ever do such a thing, insisting the photo must be genuine. Unfortunately, this eliminates what I thought would be their planned response, which is “Oh, come on, that’s obviously a metaphorical photo: nobody would think it’s real. The wash? The left-handed handshake?” That response, the old “if the lie is so ridiculous nobody believes it, it’s not a lie” trick, is more typical of Cruz and his campaign. But no: they actually denied it…and the photo used for the fake is a matter or record:

Fake photo model

You can see how Rubio and Obama ended up shaking hands with each other lefty.

I can only repeat what I wrote about one of Cruz’s other cheats:

You know what a candidate who [ approves such tactics]  is? He is a dishonest, manipulating, principle-free candidate who will say or do anything to win, and who believes that the ends justify the means. No other kind of candidate will [tolerate such tactics], or would fail to fire any staffer who even suggests using such a deceptive device. Most important of all, a candidate who will lie to get elected will lie after he is elected. A candidate who will abuse people to get their support, will abuse them  when he has power, if it suits his ends.

…Cruz lied because he thought it would work. There is no recovery from this. Apologies don’t mean anything: Cruz is in his forties, and if his ethics alarms don’t sound… I really don’t care if he’s sorry after it blows up in his face.

This is signature significance for a dishonest, untrustworthy man, unworthy of high office.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton, since she has been speaking, has been lying.

During an interview with CBS News, Hillary was asked about her honesty.

“You’re asking me to say, ‘Have I ever [lied]?’ I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever will. I am going to do the best I can to level with the American people,” Clinton told anchor Scott Pelley.

The episode was like that famous conundrum about the village with two races: the Truth-tellers, who always are truthful,  and Liars, who always lie. If you ask the question, “Are you a truth-teller?” you will get the same answer from members of either group.

Hillary has uttered obvious  lies recently, including her answer to Pelley. For example, Clinton’s  answer to Anderson Cooper’s question about her decision to accept $675,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs was,“That’s what they offered.” It wasn’t what they offered. It was what she demanded: $225,000 is her standard speaking fee. She spoke three times, and they paid what she requested. You know, I have a standard fee too: my typical three hour legal ethics seminar costs $4000. That’s the price I cite them: it isn’t their “offer.” They accept my price, just as as Goldman Sachs accepted Hillary’s.

She lied then, and of course she lied when she said she never lies.


Sources: The Guardian NationalMemo

15 thoughts on “Ethics Update : Donald, Hillary, Ted and Bernie

  1. “Boy, wouldn’t it be great if there was some competent, trustworthy institution in the U.S. that contained objective investigators who would check on these thing, report them to the public and ask candidates about them?”

    You mean, like The Fourth Estate should be?

  2. Clinton’s wide-eyed expression as she’s answering the question is classic.

    Ironically, the correct answer would be, “I’ve served as Secretary of State of the United States. Of course I lied at times. If I hadn’t people would have died.”

    • Exactly. An honest person would admit that they sometimes lie. A person who has the reputation of being a liar needs to figure out a better answer to the inevitable questions about it.
      Admitting that lying is sometimes part of the job of Secretary of State is just common sense. She could also say that sometimes she shades the truth a little when it’s convenient for her purposes. It would be refreshing and sound honest. People know that politicians lie. I doubt it would hurt her reputation which is retrievable only with a post hole digger.

      • I must protest. Yes, “People know that politicians lie.” However, this does not mean that politicians should lie or that all politicians lie on a regular basis. I also disagree that “lying is sometimes part of the job of Secretary of State.” I certainly hope that it’s not in the official job description. There are plenty of ways to keep secrets and save lives without attempting to deceive one’s enemies and the American public. “I have no comments on that topic” works wonders.

        Of course, I agree that “Clinton’s wide-eyed expression as she’s answering the question is classic.” I was surprised. Somebody must have told her about her tell. She usually looks down to the right and avoids looking directly at the camera when she’s lying.

  3. It might have been even more effective if they had Photoshopped a picture of Rubio giving an ambrosio to El Presidente de Mexico. Still Ted Cruz’s campaign went too far on this dirty trip. I’m not that it makes him unqualified to be the next POTUS. Still, all our front runners seem to be a bunch of liars.

  4. I missed the fact that the photoshop also makes Rubio look like Mickey Rooney—he’s not THAT short. (His official height is listed at 5’10”—I don’t believe it.) Lack of height is a big handicap to aspiring leaders, especially in the TV age: post Civil War there have been very few POTUSes much under 6 feet: Harrison, who lost the popular vote, and Truman, who was an accident. Carter’s short for a President, but he was kind of an accident too.

    Bernie is only 5′ 8″, just an inch taller than Hillary, who is short for a POTUS, but tall for a woman.

  5. One day at a time my hopes for the future of the United States of America are being stripped away. We are heading down a political path that doesn’t lead to peace and prosperity for our citizens.

    “I still believe in a place called hope”; however, I think that place was a suburb of Pompeii.

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