Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/23/2018: Signature Significance And The Spin Zone [UPDATED]

Good..er, Afternoon!

1  Signature Significance 1. You are a major political party. You have been repeatedly embarrassed in recent months and frequently outmaneuvered by a President who your base considers a compulsive liar fascist moron. In a moment of mass madness, you decide to pander to your most extreme Left base by forcing a government shut-down over the handling of non-citizens, the so-called “Dreamers.” As most semi-conscious observers predicted, your party, not the other one, was bound to be blamed for the shutdown, which was epically stupid like all the shutdowns, which the other party had crashed and burned trying multiple times. When even your unethically allied mainstream media supporters, like the New York Times, failed to support your crazy scheme, you abandoned it in record time, looking foolish, and angering that base you tried to suck up to.

Who do you send out to try to spin the fiasco on CNN?

If your answer is  “Why, that esteemed former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, who even in her prime was noted for the most brazen lying possible, who lost her job as a result of a scandal in which she was found to be, if it hadn’t already been obvious, rigging the nomination for Hillary Clinton, and who her successor as DNC chair just accused in a book of allowing. illegally,  the whole party mechanism to become an arm of the Hillary campaign before Bernie Sanders’ campaign had gotten out of the gate,! Debbie Wassermann Schultz, of course!” you are a) an idiot or b) the Democratic Party.

Could there be a worse spokesperson for the Democrats now? She is not only a habitual liar, but a bad liar. Appearing on Brooke Baldwin’s show, she began her spin by arguing that the shut-down was worth doing because it had the “potential for momentum.” What does that even mean? As always, Wassermann Schultz makes Kellyanne Conway seem like Cicero. Host Brooke Baldwin looked completely puzzled, and responded,

“I know Americans are listening, and they heard you say ‘potential for momentum,’” Baldwin said. “And they’re thinking, ‘Potential for momentum. Was that really worth shutting the government down for?’ The potential for something?”

Whereupon Debbie, predictably, lapsed into her trademark Authentic Frontier Gibberish:

“Republicans should be asking themselves that question because they shut that down. This is the Trump shutdown, Brooke. They control the White House, the House, and the Senate. They have the full ability to pass the budget, done whatever they wanted, and they couldn’t because they know that the way they’re trying to approach funding the government is irresponsible, and they could not get all of their own members to vote for it.”

And so the lie, the same lie emailed to me by Tom Perez and the current DNC, the same lie I saw my ignorant Facebook friends cite again and again, because if a progressive, “resistance” friend or blogger tells them so, it must be true. No, the Republicans could not pass a spending bill by themselves, because the filibuster is in effect. They needed 60 votes, not 51. The Democrats voted for the shutdown, and the Republicans voted against it. As soon as enough Democrats flipped their votes ( Bernie, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker, all determined to capture the Leftist/ resistance/ wacko vote in 2020, still voted to make the rest of the country suffer because the “Dreamers” are more important). the shut-down ended. Quick now, pop quiz: who does that suggest had control?

A party that voluntarily uses someone with the negative credibility of Debbie Wassermann Schultz to speak for it in the national media cannot complain about Donald Trump’s lies without provoking nationwide hilarity.

By the way, is her district really going to send her back to the House for two more years? How could the justify that? How could they look themselves in the mirror?

2. Signature Significance 2 So dependent are Democrats and the Left on the mainstream media manipulating the news to bolster their political agenda that when a particular distortion is a bridge too far, some progressives abandon all semblance of rationality. Here was MSNBC partisan hack Joy Reid on Twitter:

Boy, ain’t it the truth? All through the 2016 campaign, all those articles, editorials and news stories were promoting Donald Trump. And before that, for eight long years, it was as if poor Barack Obama couldn’t do anything right!

A pundit, commentator, or journalist who would express such a counter-factual opinion should be disqualified for employment in journalism or punditry. Either Reid is lying in order to spin for Democrats ( and should be fired) or her perception is so warped that it is irresponsible to allow Reid  a platform to mislead the public (and she should be fired.) There is no third choice. By continuing to employ someone who says or believes that the media is pro-GOP, MSNBC demonstrates contempt for the truth as well as its audience.

UPDATE: The initial version of this Warm-Up was dated 12/23. It was posted late, but it wasn’t THAT late. I apologize, and thanks to the many readers who alerted me.

24 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

24 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/23/2018: Signature Significance And The Spin Zone [UPDATED]

  1. Other Bill

    “Potential for momentum.” Gotta love it. I didn’t know DWS is a high school physics teacher in her spare time. Glad you took the time to take her down. I cracked up when I read it. Of course, explicating her jumbled talking points (maybe she’s dyslexic?) is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. But hey, even fish in a barrel need to be shot from time to time.

    • Other Bill

      And how’s this for some Authentic Frontier Gibberish?

      “The FBI has informed [the Department of Justice] that many FBI-provided Samsung 5 mobile devices did not capture or store text messages due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.”

      • Sounds a lot like this…

      • Rich in CT

        That is not gibberish. That is an explanation as to why text-messages were not archived on government-issued phones. (It is not a particularly good explanation).

        • Other Bill

          Sounds like obfuscation to me, Rich. The follow up question would be: “So was any of this intentional? Grossly negligent?”

          • As Rich said, it’s not a particularly good explanation. It essentially boils down to “We have a standard suite of apps that we load on devices before we give them to people. Our IT department didn’t account for the fact that apps and OSs sometimes get updated, and allowed the installation of versions that didn’t work correctly together (or possibly needed to be loaded in a different order to work together).”

            It’s the sort of mistake that happens when managing mobile device deployment (it’s happened to me while managing a few dozen devices at my job), especially if you do it rarely, and automatically assume you always want to have the newest version of the apps loaded (or purchase an MDM solution which automatically assumes that).

            So, if the FBI is being honest about the source of this problem, where does that leave us with answering your questions?

            Intentional? Probably not, since it would mean that all devices issued around the same time would also suffer this issue (the whole point of MDM provisioning is that the bulk of everything on group devices will be the same). There’s no certainty you wouldn’t lose important things in addition to stuff you would want to hide… and it would also require you knowing you were going to have things you wanted to hide.

            Grossly Negligent? Maybe. Depends on how widespread the issue was, how many times you’d had cause to realize that it was an issue, and what, if any, actions you took to fix it. We’d need more data about the problem and how widespread it was, and reporting procedures to be able to determine that.

            Manifestly incompetent? Absolutely. Google searches and the documentation to most MDM software will warn about the potential of updates screwing up your deployment strategy, and usually, once it happens once, you document the issue, test and find a solution that works, and then make a note to use that one. Additionally, if you’re using your MDM resources right, you can fix all the devices that were deployed with a bad setup by giving the software a few commands and telling it to redeploy those devices.

            Now, if it comes out that ONLY these phones were affected? The analysis switches significantly, to things being almost certainly intentional, and the reason given almost certainly being a lie.

            • And for anyone who thinks I’m being unfair, in describing others as being manifestly incompetent for encountering an issue I also did at one point: I’m just a guy working in a library who had to teach himself how to manage some devices when the library got a grant for them.

              I am presuming the FBI’s IT department (or whatever they call it), is capable of hiring people significantly more competent and trained than I am. It’s like the difference between a layperson not knowing where their gall bladder is and a thoracic surgeon not knowing where it is. Only one of the two is actually incompetent.

        • Steve

          DoD still uses BlackBerry, the archive was both on the phone and remote. Maybe the FBI can take a page from DoD as those of us issued a BlackBerry were occasionally audited, not just for content but also usage, if it had been dead or no data usage for several weeks then maybe you don’t need one. If your primary data usage and content is web surfing or texting your old lady you may not need one.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      No different than the Common Dreams site talking about Dennis Kucinich’s campaign for president as “driving the engines of history” even though he didn’t have a prayer in the world of being elected. Of course, what else would she say? “Yeah, we miscalculated on this one?” Probably not.

      That said, she could have said “The Republican Party outmaneuvered us this time. However, it is only a tactical defeat and only a temporary one. They need us to pass a budget, and they need to pass a budget in a few weeks or they are right back where they were Friday. You saw the polls. The majority of citizens polled are going to blame the Republicans no matter what, since they are the party in power. The Republicans know that. The Republicans also know that there’s a big blue wave building up right now with the potential to sweep them out of power this November. They can’t afford anything that’s going to make the citizenry any madder at them than they already are. We are passionate on this issue and we are determined to see it through. Each time the Republicans kick it down the road moves us closer and closer to when a shutdown would be more and more consequential. Do they really want a shutdown that’s going to ground planes, silence bands, shutter museums, and padlock national parks at the height of vacation season with a lot of families holding non-transferrable, non-refundable tickets? Who do you think the single mother secretary at the Department of the Interior trying to keep her kids fed or the mechanic in the FBI garage saving his pennies so his kids can drive those cars one day rather than fix them are going to blame when their paychecks stop coming? It’s not going to be the party that has consistently stood with the American worker. We’ll wait. The next move is theirs.”

  2. John Billingsley

    Joy Reid, another grad showcasing the benefits of a Harvard education.

  3. dragin_dragon

    Is Joy ANY relation to Harry? Yeah, yeah, I know.

  4. Chris

    Could there be a worse spokesperson for the Democrats now?

    1) Donna Brazille
    2) Zombie Ted Kennedy
    3) Howard Dean’s Actual Scream
    4) Hillary Clinton’s Private Server, Made Sentient
    5) Ben Ghazi

  5. Reflex/congenital/serial/inveterate liars (like HRC & DW-S) remind me of a scene from 1974’s “The Trial Of Billy Jack”

    Jean Roberts (Delores Taylor): ”Y’know, I really feel sorry for your children.”

    Prosecuting attorney: ”You feel sorry for *my* children?”

    Roberts: ”Yes, and for you too. You know me… and you know I don’t lie. It must be terrible to make it seem that way just to earn your money.”(bolds mine)

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