Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/18/18: McCabe, Brennan, And “Fighting Joe” Hooker

Good Morning!

1 McCabe Ethics. If you want a starting place to find smoking guns regarding the stunning bias of the mainstream media, one need look no further than the overwhelming sympathy being expressed for Andrew McCabe, the senior FBI official just fired by AG Jeff Sessions.

 Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that McCabe misled investigators about his role in directing other officials at the FBI to speak to “The Wall Street Journal” regarding his involvement in a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Horowitz’s report on McCabe was referred to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the career officials there recommended McCabe’s termination.That means McCabe had to be fired. I never had a job in which I wouldn’t have been fired if an internal investigation showed I had lied on the job. Have you? In a law enforcement job, this is an even worse offense. Firing for cause is virtually mandatory. Of course it is. But here, for example, is “The Atlantic”:

“Andrew McCabe, a former acting and deputy FBI director who had drawn the ire of President Trump, was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday evening, a decision that raises troubling questions about the independence of both the Justice Department and the FBI.”

What? It raises no “troubling questions” at all! McCabe had to be fired. The fact that the President had criticized him is 100% irrelevant. He would have had to be fired if the President said he was the salt of the earth. He would have to be fired if the President said he was the spawn of Hell. McCabe lied. The internal investigation said so. He was fired. Good.

There were plenty of other reasons to be suspicious of McCabe. NBC News reported,  for example, that when McCabe’s wife, Jill, ran for the state Senate in Virginia in 2015, she accepted a donation from a political action committee controlled by then Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, one of the Clintons’ closest allies. Then, in 2017, McCabe became a key official in the investigation of Hillary’s e-mail tricks. He should have recused himself: it’s called the appearance of impropriety. James Comey should have forced him to recuse himself. Never mind: the lies alone were enough to mandate a firing.

The news media, many believe (including me), support McCabe because he was a source for leaks—in other words, he violated the law and legal ethics to pass along confidential information. For that, if it could be proven, McCabe ought to be disbarred and prosecuted.

To read my progressive Facebook friends’ rants, as their IQ and integrity declines further every day, the current outrage is over the fact that McCabe was fired a mere day before he could take early retirement. Again, good. A high-ranked FBI official who lies on the job must be fired, not allowed to escape accountability by retiring. Once he retired, the only recourse for the Justice Department would be to indict him. It doesn’t matter that he was a day away from retiring. So what? What if he was a month away? A year? A minute? He lied. He deserved to be fired, not to be allowed to retire. The quick retirement dodge was how the Obama Administration justified letting IRS officials that criminally misused the agency for partisan warfare escape accountability.

2. And this is why the President of the United States shouldn’t tweet like a junior high school student, or like Larry Tribe  Here is former CIA Director John Brennan’s tweet in response to McCabe’s firing”

When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.

It is unprofessional, uncivil, misleading and unethical. However, when the President of the United States’ daily habits make such tweets a Presidential norm, this is what you get: not just a Nation of Assholes, but a government of assholes.

Kudos to journalist Sharyl Attkisson for tweeting the perfect response to Brennan’s thuggishness:

“A guy like this would never misuse intel or his authority—would he?”

3. Funny! But stupid.. From the state of my birth, a classic and hilarious/depressing example of the Niggardly Principle! The Ethics Alarms Niggardly Principles, which you should review, were inspired by a jaw-droppingly idiotic episode in the Washington D.C. government many years ago, where an employee was fired for using the term ” niggardly”—meaning stingy or penurious—in an office discussion. Someone complained that this was a racial slur, and even though the offending employee’s only crime was that he was more erudite than the typical D.C. public schools grad, he was canned anyway. An explosion of outrage and ridicule in the press got his job back, and the First Niggardly Principle was born:

“No one should be criticized or penalized because someone takes racial, ethnic, religious or other offense at their conduct or speech due to the ignorance, bias or misunderstanding by the offended party.”

Now we have this: Massachusetts State Rep. Michelle DuBois (D-Plymouth) called for the removal of a Massachusetts Statehouse sign that reads “General Hooker Entrance,” so named because it faces  a statue of Civil War general “Fighting Joe” Hooker, son of Hadley, Mass:

DuBois, an idiot, says the sign is an affront to “women’s dignity.” “Female staffers don’t use that entrance because the sign is offensive to them,” DuBois told a reporter. 

If the General’s surname offends them, then they need to go back to the sixth grade. Is William Shatner’s old cop show “T.J. Hooker” now to be banned because his character’s surname offends ignorant feminists? Is Anthony Weiner’s name so offensive that he can’t be mentioned in polite society? I have a good friend whose maiden name was “Teats.” I think my favorite cretinous name-censorship fiasco was the plight of three-year-old Hunter Spanjer, who is deaf, and was told that by school officials that he couldn’t use the sigh-language symbol for his first name, since it required making a finger gun.

These are your people, your zealots, your representative, progressives! Be proud…or do something about them and the ideology that nurtures this nonsense,

DuBois said, as part of her brief for removing the sign, that she had heard teen boys joke with teen girls that they were “general hookers” while using the door. Oh! Well that’s different! By all means, lets censor the public square so teenage boys don’t tease girls any more. That will work!

Writes Jon Keller at CBS Boston,”There are all sorts of benign words in our language that sound like words unfit for polite company,” also referencing the planet Uranus.. “And they offer us an opportunity to teach snickering kids about Civil War history or outer space—and about showing respect for others while avoiding making fools of ourselves.”

You would think this is obvious, but increasingly, progressive zealots seem to have no compunction about making fools of themselves if they can signal their virtue in the process. Hey! Maybe Debbie Wasserman Schultz should coordinate a “Children’s Crusade” to have those cruelly teased girls walk out of school and go on CNN to protest the sexism and the patriarchy represented by General Hooker’s name, not to mention Abraham Lincoln for putting such a misogynistically named general in command of the Army of the Potomac.

Nonetheless, I am grateful for the wonderful Niggardly Principle exhibit. I’m almost tempted to change it to “The Hooker Principle.”

Oh: Dubois gets an official Ethics Alarms Incompetent Elected Official of the Month.

One sour note: in writing about this embarrassment at “Reason”, Elizabeth Nolan Brown initially stated that Hooker had “famously defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee in battle,” thus proving that nobody ever taught HER about the Civil War. Hooker was a very successful Union general, but he is most remembered for his epic defeat BY Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. Every American should know this stuff. They don’t because our public schools stink, and because the vital importance of citizens knowing their nation’s history is neglected in our culture.

If you wonder why Civil War monuments are being pulled down because they “celebrate racism,” this kind of mass ignorance is the reason.

26 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, U.S. Society

26 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/18/18: McCabe, Brennan, And “Fighting Joe” Hooker

  1. Paul W. Schlecht

    3- Welp, you sent me to Mr. Google with the “Hooker” reference as I recalled an interview with a woman in the…um…business trying to explain the origin of the term.

    Myth: ”(Hooker’s) female camp followers (ladies of ‘negotiable’ affections), (were) known as Hooker’s women, or Hookers, for short.”

    Fact: “the word is recorded several times before the Civil War.”

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-hoo4.htm

  2. Emily

    3 – I have some (female) friends who share a surname and lineage with the illustrious general. They’re proud of their name, and also have an excellent sense of humor about it.

    • Paul W. Schlecht

      I had a client (since passed) whose maiden name was Hooks AND who lived on Hooker Avenue. She had a delightful sense of humor about it as well.

      What’s in a name? I have clients whose last names are Outhouse and Best-Butts.

      • Prince John: Such an unusual name, “Latrine.” How did your family come by it?

        Latrine: We changed it in the 9th century.

        Prince John: You mean you changed it TO “Latrine”?

        Latrine: Yeah. Used to be “Shithouse.”

        Prince John: It’s a good change. That’s a good change!

      • John Billingsley

        Best buddy in the Air Force whose wife’s maiden name was Frostdick. A brave guy if I ever saw one.

      • Paul W. Schlecht

        HT & JB; Heh!

        I shouldn’t make light, Schlecht in German means (adjective) “bad, poor, wicked, wretched” (adverb) ”poorly.”

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Clapper’s thugishness? James Clapper looked like a thug, but I don’t think he’s otherwise mentioned in the post.

    • Chris Marschner

      Steve, I am sure he meant Brennan. It should also be pointed out that Brennan put forth the narrative the all 17 intelligence agencies confirmed the perspective that Russia wanted to harm HRC and supported Trump.

      It should also be noted that both Brennan and Clapper are working with noted Hollywood progressive activist Rob Reiner to investigate Russian collusion. My question is are they doing so to compete with the ultimate fact finders within the government.

    • Oops. I get the thugs mixed up sometimes. One Clapper snuck in there—I fixed it. Typo.

  4. Chris

    I never had a job in which I wouldn’t have been fired if an internal investigation showed I had lied on the job…

    McCabe lied. The internal investigation said so. He was fired. Good…

    James Comey should have forced him to recuse himself. Never mind: the lies alone were enough to mandate a firing…

    He lied…

    You said he lied four times, which is four more times than either Horowitz or Sessions have publicly said that. We don’t actually have Horowitz’s report yet. All we have is a statement by Jeff Sessions–a known liar who lied under oath–saying that McCabe “lacked candor.” We have zero specifics and zero evidence. I didn’t see you so readily accepting the conclusions of the U.S. government that Russia meddled to help Trump, so I’m not sure why you’re just accepting this as fact.

    Sessions lied on the job. Trump lies on the job on a daily basis, and even bragged about lying to Trudeau a few days ago, and they still have their jobs…not saying that’s a reason McCabe should have stayed, as that would be a rationalization, but it is not a rationalization to point out that your outrage is selective.

    There were plenty of other reasons to be suspicious of McCabe. NBC News reported, for example, that when McCabe’s wife, Jill, ran for the state Senate in Virginia in 2015, she accepted a donation from a political action committee controlled by then Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, one of the Clintons’ closest allies. Then, in 2017, McCabe became a key official in the investigation of Hillary’s e-mail tricks. He should have recused himself: it’s called the appearance of impropriety.

    This is so tenuous as to be ludicrous. When the claim was that McCabe’s wife received donations from Hillary Clinton herself, as Trump falsely tweeted on two separate occasions, I could see the problem, and would have agreed that he should have recused himself. But now it’s a conflict of interest for him to work on the Hillary Clinton case because his wife received campaign donations from a Clinton ally? No. That’s absurd.

    And again I must point out the selective outrage: where is your concern that Sessions firing McCabe was a conflict of interest? Even if McCabe deserved to be fired, Sessions is a Trump flunky who has reason to be desperate to please his boss given Trump’s history of using Twitter to undermine Sessions. He has a vested interest in pleasing his boss by firing one of the people Trump has targeted on Twitter. That’s a conflict of interest. “Investigator’s wife got money from someone who likes the person he’s investigating” isn’t.

    • Greg

      Sessions said that he made his decision “based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official.” Unless I am mistaken, the Department’s senior career official is Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, McCabe’s successor in the job. Neither the IG, the OPR nor Rosenstein has disputed Sessions’ characterization of their recommendations.

      Chris asks why we are not concerned about Sessions’ failure to recuse himself in the decision to fire McCabe. I believe that he could not recuse himself, since he cannot delegate to a lesser official his authority to do the firing. If he had been able to recuse himself, however, the decision would have fallen to Rosenstein, who concurred with Sessions’ decision. If Rosenstein had not concurred, I doubt that Sessions would have taken the action that he did.

      Chris is correct that the OPR’s finding that McCabe “lacked candor” is not equivalent to a finding that he lied. It is, in a sense, a technical term, because it is the relevant standard for whether a Justice Department employee may be dismissed for cause. It could mean anything from a bald-faced lie to a truthful but incomplete or misleading statement. However, the OPR stated that some of the less-than-candid statements were made under oath, which does suggest that they are talking about actual perjury, not some lesser lack of candor.

      • Chris

        Good point, Greg.

        The problem as I see it is that Trump has created appearances of impropriety all over the place here. As with Comey, there may be dozens of reasons to fire McCabe, but that doesn’t stop this from looking like a politicized act of vengeance due to the president’s irresponsible comments.

  5. Andrew V

    Good to see my state rep make another appearance on EA. It was only a year ago that Michelle DuBois posted a Facebook warning of an impending ICE raid: https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/03/29/incompetent-elected-official-of-the-month-massachusetts-state-rep-michelle-dubois-d-plymouth/

  6. What do you expect? These people are the kind of peniaphobic lobcocked philatelists who would masticate while handling some niggardly thespian’s crampon. Disgusting!

  7. Andrew Wakeling

    John Brennan’s tweet clearly relates his opinion, which may be honestly held. If so how can it be unethical for him to express it? His action may be ‘unprofessional, uncivil and misleading’ (that being your opinion which you are entitled to hold and express) but by your principles, Brennan is not being ‘unethical’ – unless you know something I don’t – like that he believes otherwise and is being paid to stirr the pot – or perhaps that he is a ‘bot’?

    • Chris

      Honestly held opinions can of course be unethical, either because of the manner in which they’re expressed, or the appropriateness of a certain person expressing them at a certain time.

      That said, I see nothing unethical in Brennan’s tweet; every word of it is true, and necessary to say at this point in time.

  8. Would the offended women prefer an alternative entrance labelled “Specific Hooker Entrance” or “Particular Hooker Entrance”?

    Biting lip….eyes watering….

  9. Pennagain

    I wonder if part of Debbie’s problem might not be that grown-ups sniggered at the Wasserman family for carrying the name of the (then) well known antibody test for syphilis. That’s a fun one to explain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.