Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/28/2017: The Worst Defense Of Roy Moore Ever!

Good Morning!

1 The Dumbest Moore Defense Ever Told! Debating with Chris Cuomo on CNN yesterday morning, Breitbart senior editor Joel Pollak made the following argument in defense of  Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore:

“You know, in 1973 Ringo Starr hit number one on the Billboard charts with the song, ‘You’re 16, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine,. He was 30-something at the time singing about a 16-year-old — you want to take away Ringo Starr’s achievement?”

He really did.

2. Sally Yates and James Comey are happy, anyway. Leandra English, the deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, argues that the Dodd-Frank Act makes her the lawful the acting director of the agency in a lawsuit she has filed  against President Trump, who also has the law on his side. He appointed Mick Mulvaney, currently Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, as acting director to replace Richard Cordray, who appears to have resigned explicitly to foil the President’s ability to appoint his own choice to head the CFBP. Now there is mess triggered by a rare, genuine example of two statutes with authority over the same situation.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a legal opinion that says the Dodd-Frank Act does not displace the President’s authority to appoint under the Vacancies Reform Act. Either statute can be invoked. “We cannot view either statute as more mandatory than the other,” the opinion says. “Rather, they should be construed in parallel.”

Of course, employees of the Executive Branch are ethically obligated to defer to the President of the United States, but this President is handicapped by a thick muck of arrogant holdovers from the Obama Administration, who think it is appropriate to sabotage and undermine a leader whom they do not approve of. This is indefensible.

The lack of the basic deference and respect all elected Presidents should be able to depend upon that so many of the previous administration’s personnel have displayed is an indictment of the Democratic Party’s principles, integrity, fairness, patriotism and respect for process. This is how this story should be reported, too, and would be, by a competent and ethical news media.

3. Witch Hunt Update.

It isn’t just Piven who is being hurt by CBS’s move: an entire cast and crew is now out of a job before any of Piven’s accusers have been shown to be legitimate.Somewhere in the #MeToo stampede, innocent people are going to be hurt by precipitous and panicked action by employers and leaders who just want to avoid controversy, and justice can go suck an egg.

  • On ABC’s “This Week,” NPR’s Cokie Roberts announced that: “every female in the press corps knew” that it was wise to avoid being in an elevator with Rep. John Conyers,  and has apparently known about this “for years.” Nice. Did any of these alleged journalists think that there might be a news story suggested by this proclivity, and do some digging? No, because Conyers is a good Democrat and black , and thus was guaranteed protection by the complicit and cowardly press corps.

Let me be more specific. I hate to keep evoking the disgusting, hypocritical 2012 Democratic National Convention that proclaimed that there was a Republican “war on women” (while simultaneously celebrating Bill Clinton) but how dare these journalists tell us now that while they were writing glowing raves about this cynical feminist charade, they had first hand knowledge  that leaders of the party were serial gropers? I’m a long-time fan of Roberts, but there is no excusing this. Shame on her, shame on all of them.

  • Meanwhile, Al Franken continues to set new records for self-indicting explanations and bad apologies. Yesterday he tried to mitigate the claims of the latest group of women who have accused him of having the same favorite magician as George H. W. Bush and “copping a feel” during photo ops.  This time, Franken said,, absurdly, “I take thousands and thousands of pictures, sometimes in crowded and chaotic situations.”

Comments the reliably sharp Allahpundit, quite fairly,

“Franken has two options here, ‘fessing up or claiming that the three women are lying. But both present big problems. If he confesses he’ll come under intense pressure to resign and will lose the respect of many Democrats (until his reelection campaign begins). If he accuses the women of lying he’s essentially deploying the “nuts and sluts” defense to misconduct, a cardinal sin of the #MeToo moment. He’s trapped so he’s forced to resort to some inane third possibility in which his hand accidentally made contact with women’s asses, possibly due to him being jostled by a third party out of frame, and all three women misinterpreted incidental contact as him having his hand “wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”

4. From the “Ugh. What an idiot!” Files: At an event honoring Native American Code Talkers who served in World War II, President Trump told the assembled, “You were here long before any of us were here, although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”

Actually, they call her Fauxahontas, but why, why, why would the President’s brain conclude that this gratuitous sideswipe at Senator Warren was appropriate, witty, or anything but self-destructive? This is the political equivalent of hitting yourself over the head with a baseball bat, and the President does it routinely.

Then, predictably, handed an easy win on a platter, Democrats and the news media overplayed their hand. Isn’t everyone getting sick of this cycle? Senator Elizabeth Warren declared that “Pocahontas” is a racial slur.  No, it’s a term that mocks someone who pretends to be of Native American heritage. From the White House press briefing:

Q: Does he see political value in calling people out racially?

SARAH  HUCKABEE SANDERS: I’m sorry?

Q Does he see political value in calling people out racially? Why use that term?

It is not “calling someone out racially” when the target isn’t a member of the race being referenced.

As for the answer to “Why?”, it apparently is “because the President enjoys hitting himself over the head with a baseball bat.”

5. Wow. A Fake News Headline Denying Fake News! The  New York Magazine’s headline of a story by Jonathan Chait:

“Conservative Tries to Prove the Washington Post Is Fake News, Proves Opposite by Mistake”

This refers to yesterday’s revelation of a botched “Project Veritas” effort to trick the Washington Post into publishing a false accusation against Roy Moore. To begin with, this was a stupid and unethical stunt, even by James O’Keefe’s miserable standards. How would a fake accusation undermine other accusers, except for those inclined to disbelieve Moore’s alleged victims no matter what, and those with cognitive deficiencies? However, the fact that the Post didn’t fall for one hoax proves….that the Post didn’t fall for one hoax. How can it possibly prove that past Post stories weren’t “fake news”? The headline is an outright lie by the magazine, or evidence that the headline writers and editors there also have cognitive deficiencies.

The headline is literally itself “fake news.”

34 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Race, Workplace

34 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/28/2017: The Worst Defense Of Roy Moore Ever!

  1. 1. The Ringo Starr defense would be even sillier if there weren’t people calling out Starr and the song on exactly those grounds.

    • When my theater company revived “Hellzapoppin,” I included a gag that involved the song. I have seen a PBS special in which old singers from the 50s and 60s sang their hits in front of an even older audience. The original artist sang “You’re Sixteen,” and it was super-creepy, since he looked like the Crypt-keeper. So in the show, I had a wonderful performers who was in his late Sixties, with a twisted leer and lecherous demeanor, sing the song, whenever possible right at a yiung woman in the audience. It stopped the show every night; it was the single number everyone still talks about.

      And I’d do the song today. Especially today.

  2. Glenn Logan

    No. 2:

    Now there is mess triggered by a rare, genuine example of two statutes with authority over the same situation.

    Exactly. This is precisely what the courts are for.

    Of course, employees of the Executive Branch are ethically obligated to defer to the President of the United States, but this President is handicapped by a thick muck of arrogant holdovers from the Obama Administration, who think it is appropriate to sabotage and undermine a leader whom they do not approve of. This is indefensible.

    Yes, but the President makes it easy for them to rationalize by his own handicap of thick muck. Alas.

    Think of how much more damning this would be against a normal Republican president.

    No. 3:

    Did any of these alleged journalists think that there might be a news story suggested by this proclivity, and do some digging? No, because Conyers is a good Democrat and black , and thus was guaranteed protection by the complicit and cowardly press corps.

    Can’t we make looking the other way a “conspiracy” to sexual harassment when it is done by a person who is ostensibly duty-bound to root out and report it?

    No. 4:

    Actually, they call her Fauxahontas, but why, why, why would the President’s brain conclude that this gratuitous sideswipe at Senator Warren was appropriate, witty, or anything but self-destructive?

    Well, I think most of us know why. Trump loves to appeal to the basest human instincts and share thoughts most of us would confide only to like-minded, close friends with the public at large, unwelcome though it may be. To the like-minded, it sounds like he is speaking not only for them, but in defiance of the thought-policing establishment like some kind of Robin Hood of political correctness.

    To those of us with a brain and a sense of decorum, like minded or no, he sounds like a 12-year old in a locker room telling us all who he would give “what-for” if he were president.

    It is not “calling someone out racially” when the target isn’t a member of the race being referenced.

    Come now, Jack. We all know that “racist” hasn’t meant that since Obama got elected. Today, racism means whatever the Left wants it to mean at that particular instant.

    Get with the program, please.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    1. Dumb, dumb, dumb, and an attempt to place the song in the worst possible context. I might write song lyrics from the standpoint of a WWI soldier, that doesn’t mean I was actually there.

    2. I would normally say this is for the Federal courts to resolve, but I don’t even trust them anymore, given certain Obama-appointed judges’ obviously political rulings designed to hamstring and hamper the President which have gotten slapped down by the SCOTUS (but that takes time). As for the thick muck of Obama holdovers, part of it is just a new guy coming in after eight years of the last guy hiring and firing to his liking, but a big part of it is indeed those who dislike Trump refusing to give him even the slightest deference and not having the integrity to resign. It IS legitimate to tender your resignation and say you can’t or won’t work with the new leadership. It is illegitimate to work against it, despite rhetoric hailing those who “change the system from within.”

    3. a. Completely unfair, however, that’s life in the Hollywood culture where the untouchable can and do get away with everything until they can’t and don’t.
    b. Also goes with the DC culture where the same holds true.
    c. Franken is a liar. I have been in a fair amount of photo-ops, some with some VERY attractive performers. I knew damn well when I was acting respectfully, like just standing next to one singer, and when I was taking advantage of the situation, like putting both arms around two of the singers in a group (one on each side) and squeezing them both very tightly, with a broad grin that said Nope, neither of these lovely fish is getting away!” Grabbing someone’s butt, however, is a bridge too far, and never accidental.

    4. Trump knows the other side will overplay its hand, and that’s why he says things like that, that deliver red meat to his supporters.

    5. Same as #4 – the right knows the left will just keep shooting itself in the foot, so it keeps playing these games.

    • La Sylphide

      Steve, on #1 I totally agree with you.

      There is a video however, produced in 1978 that had a 38 year old Ringo Starr singing to, and fawning over, a 22 year old Carrie Fisher – who played the 16 year old girl. Ringo sports a full beard, regular dress, and looks every bit his 38 years. Carrie Fisher is dressed in a high school cheerleading uniform. Watching the video through today’s lens, it is more than little creepy. He should have left the song on the radio and to everyone’s imagination

      It was still a ridiculous defense of Moore. Don’t get me wrong.

  4. Jack,
    With all the BS that’s happening I just don’t know how you keep this up every day. You search out the rotten ethics apples in the daily harvest of crap in our screwed up society and display your choices here for all to see. How the hell do you choose from all the rotten ethics apples, there are so damn many these days that it seems that the entire crop is lost, it’s got to be a bit depressing. Your perseverance astounds me.

    Me; I’m rapidly approaching the point of being like my wife and wrapping myself up in a nice warm blanket of apathy; there’s something to be said for the psychological shield of “I don’t give a damn”.

    Maybe it’s just today, sincere lack of sleep, long term project requiring massive amounts of focused concentration, or other annoying things in life but that apathy blanket is looking quite comfortable these days.

    Motivation isn’t optional, everyone is motivated to do nothing or to do something, either negatively or positively; someone motivate me.

    • “someone motivate me.”

      At the end of the day, we have but to tend our gardens; no one else will.

      A Preacher was walking past a well-tended farm. He noted admiringly the fences were secure, the hedges neatly trimmed, the expansive lawn well-manicured, the buildings were all in good repair; a place for everything and everything in its place.

      Preacher: “The Lord has surely blessed you with a marvelous property.”

      Farmer: “Thanks Preacher, but you should have seen the place when he had it all to Himself.”

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        Good one, Paul. [2 thumbs up + a prayer for Zoltar]

        I saw this on Facebook just yesterday:

        On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence.

        One day, two little boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing up the nuts. “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me,” said one little boy.

        Several nuts dropped and rolled down toward the fence. Another little boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.” He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off.

        Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. “Come here quick!” said the boy, “you won’t believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!” The man said, “Get on outta here boy, can’t you see I can hardly walk!”

        But the boy insisted, and so the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me…”

        The old man whispered, “Boy, you’ve been tellin’ me the truth. Let’s see if we can see the Lord.” Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter, as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

        At last they heard, “One for you, one for me; that’s all. Now let’s go get those nuts down by the fence and we’ll be done.”

        They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.

  5. #1 Why do people like Joel Pollak make such fools of themselves with these kind of ludicrous references.

    FYI: Before the stupid Social Justice Warriors latch their illogically obsessed hive mind wrapped around this nonsense, in Ringo’s defense here’s some more of the songs lyrics, “But I was a mere lad of sixteen I’ve aged a year since then”.

  6. #2 The impeach crowd are going to latch on to this one and never let it go.

  7. luckyesteeyoreman

    #1 – at this point, I don’t know why the President doesn’t just tweet a part of an echo of Nancy Pelosi, and call Roy Moore “an icon in Alabama.”

    Sorry, Jack. I don’t mean to be giving anyone ideas on what to tweet.

  8. # 4 Warren could put this all to rest without a DNA test, a test I’m sure has already been secretly completed yet whose results will never see the light of day.

    Guess why?

    How could she settle it? she could stop refusing to meet with Tribal Leaders including, but not limited to, Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2012/05/cherokee-genealogist-to-elizabeth-warren-tell-the-truth/

    Anyone wonder why the disgraced former Professor Ward Churchill (Chief Sitting Bull Shit) hasn’t weighed in.

    Me either.

    How real members of the Cherokee Tribe see her is not pretty.

    • I’ve got a notable and verifiable percentage of Cherokee in my DNA and I think Warren is at best a twit and at worst a complete political hack, do I count too?

      • ”do I count too?”

        Since you don’t boast any “protected species” designation or occupy a rung on the Grievance Ladder, you’ll understand that the burden of proof is substantially steeper.

        Do you have any accolades like “Harvard Law’s 1st Woman of Color” we might authenticate?

        On not passing the smell test:

        “Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes has discovered an August 17, 1906 article from the Muskogee (Oklahama) Times Democrat which states that John H. Crawford, the great-grandfather Elizabeth Warren claims was part Cherokee, shot and probably mortally wounded an Indian who had attacked his son.”

        The article identifies Crawford as a “white man.”

        https://legalinsurrection.com/2012/10/elizabeth-warrens-white-great-grandfather-shot-an-indian/

      • “Reporter and writer Joshua Green met Thomas Begay, one of the code talkers honored Monday, on his way out of Washington, D.C. Green asked him about the event. Begay said he was ‘puzzled’ about the comment but not offended.

        Begay: ”The Marines made us yell ‘Geronimo’ when we jumped out of planes and that didn’t offend me either.” (bolds mine)

        TOO funny!! Wither the SJWs to inform Begay that his culture has been attacked?

        • In “Hot Shots, Part Deux,” Geronimo jumps out of a plane and shouts, “MEEEEE!”

          • Now I MUST see that movie!
            “MEEEEE!” makes me imagine a party of explorers, arriving at a remote Pacific island…spotting a rusted aircraft hulk mostly hidden in the jungle – and in the next moment, being ambushed by a spry, obviously spunky but elderly woman running toward them [who arrives quickly square in front of the group, panting, and says excitedly, “Hello and welcome…I’m Amelia…I FOUND MYSELF!!”]

  9. Wayne

    I sincerely hope the good people of Minnesota will see through Franken’s bullshit apology and start writing some curt letters urging him to resign. The “the comedian” can recreate his Stuart Smalley character and do what he does best.

  10. # 3 You want suffocating hubris? We got suffocating hubris…on steroids!

    With a straight face and not a hint of the monumentally staggering hypocrisy, HRC on WaPo with Jonathan Capehart:

    (bolds mine throughout)
    ”I think what’s happening is a moment that we have to make sure becomes conventional wisdom, is accepted and causes changes and behavior.

    “There’s nothing new to these stories, they go back to the beginning of time** I suppose.

    “But what is new is that women feel empowered and courageous enough to step forward with these stories. And it does take a lot of courage. Because very often in the past it wasn’t even an option.

    “And today still, although there’s a more receptive audience, it’s not all that clear that there won’t be some form of disadvantage on all these women who’ve spoken up.”

    **Might we interpret that to mean the beginning of hubby’s time as AR Governor & AG?

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