Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/7/18: Post Gently-Lapping Bluish Eddy Edition

Good morning!

Prelude: I guess I’m glad that I don’t have to face the dilemma I described in the previous post. Giving my Facebook friends the in-the-face-rubbing they so richly deserved—yes, it genuinely ticks me off to be accused of taking talking points from Sean Hannity when I point out really, really bad arguments by any objective standard—would have been wrong, but it would have felt so, so good. Actually, I could still justify some nyah-nyahing, because the “resistance” and the Democrats failed miserably last night, but they won’t admit it, and it’s hard to get those who have technically won to admit that, in fact, they lost.

But they did. Let me reiterate, in case there is any confusion, that nothing could make me vote for Donald Trump, now or ever. It is a national tragedy that someone with his temperament and ethical deficits is in the White House. He is an ethics corrupter, like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barry Bonds, and many others, but the entire Democratic Party has become an ethics corrupter of far more consequence and danger to the country. There are too many factors to balance and weigh, but I think the reason there was no “blue wave” last night is that much of America understands the latter as well despite no illusions about President Trump.

All the Democrats had to do was to be fair, civil, and rational over the past few months, and their dreams might have come true. That they couldn’t do it suggests to me that they are incapable of being fair, civil, or rational, and who wants to trust such individuals with power? As I wrote in a comment this morning,

“All the hate, all the anger, all the boycotts and obscenity, all the fake news, all the legal harassment, all the Sally Yates/James Comey sabotage, all the judicial partisan blocking, all the one-way ridicule on the comedy shows and the bullying on social media, all the Republican retirements, all the NeverTrump tantrums from people like Flake, McCain, George Will and others, the late attacks and threats by right-wing wackos—all of that, and the Democrats picked up a lousy 35 seats or so, with a President who (probably) has an approval rating under water?”


“Mid-terms are always examples of regressions to the mean. Everyone once thought that the GOP would lose both Houses and the White House in the last election. Trump behaves like a baboon,and even while his policies are working, people like me are embarrassed to have an ass like this representing the country. The Left’s tactics didn’t work; they played into Trump’s hands.”

This can’t be spun, though the news media will try: In Obama’s first mid-term, the GOP picked up 63 seats. In Clinton’s first, the flips were 54.

1. Speaking of spin, which is the process of misleading the public about events for partisan purposes (it’s unethical) …it’s fun/depressing to consider some of the various headlines linked at RealClearPolitics:

  • “Split Decision: Divided Government Returns to D.C.”  Carl Cannon, RealClearPolitics

(The government was already divided. Trump’s not a Republican, and Republicans within his administration were and are working against him.

  • “For Democrats–and America–a Sigh of Relief” —Frank Bruni, New York Times

(What a great tell.  It’s adorable that to the Times and its resistance pundits, the only Americans they acknowledge are the ones that agrees with  The Times.)

  • “Democrats Won the House, But Trump Won the Election”— Ed Rogers, Washington Post


  • “Trump’s Political Strategy Is Failing” —Ezra Klein, Vox

Klein and Vox are hilarious. I wonder what color the sky is on their planet?

  • “Voters Want Balance, Not Resistance”— Josh Kraushaar, National Journal

I think that’s a fair analysis, but will it stop House Democrats from spending most of their time trying to “get” Trump? Of course not.

  • “Kavanaugh Fight Was the Turning Point for Republicans”— Byron York, DC Examiner

Not just Republicans, but fair and reasonable  Americans. But the ethics corrupting Democratic party has minimized the number of such Americans. Here is part of a letter in the New York Times magazine, extolling an article about the travails of a convicted felon trying to get a law license after serving time for a robbery at gunpoint he committed when he was 16:

“This article left me in tears both for Betts’s years long effort to become a lawyer despite his rehabilitation and for the continued battle to make life fair for brown-skinned people in America. I couldn’t help thinking that our government just voted to allow an alleged sexual predator, and clearly a very angry white man, to the Supreme Court for life….”

Hey, Amy Gittleman (that’s the letter-writer’s name), I’m accusing you of sexual assault. Now you are exactly as much an “alleged sexual predator” as Brett Kavanaugh. Are you angry about that? Of course Kavanaugh was angry: he was smeared in public by a 30-year-old discovered memory alleging his misconduct as a minor. But you think that a conviction of a felony while a black man was a minor shouldn’t be a bar to practicing law, while an unsupported accusation of unreported misconduct as a minor that surfaces with a political agenda should be a bar to joining the Supreme Court if the accused is a “white man.” Got it. You’re an idiot. Who or what made you this way?

  • “Democrats’ Health-Care Revenge”—Jeff Spross, The Week

Classic example of spin. Pick what you want the Democratic House gains to mean, and say that they mean that.

“Dems’ Victory in House Provides Crucial Protection for Mueller”—Elie Honig, CNN

Another tell. The mainstream news media narrative is that the Mueller investigation really, really, really is going to find impeachable acts by the President. It should be obvious that it’s not, and that if an Evil Traitorous Trump had any reason to fear Mueller, he would have fired him long ago. Mueller needs no protection, just a sympathetic and partisan ethics panel.

But this is CNN.

  • “Exit Polls: Majority Say Russia Probe ‘Politically Motivated'” —Philip Klein, DC Examiner

This is because the Russia probe was and is politically motivated. “You can fool some of the people…”

2. But enough about the elections…Let’s talk about our future military leaders and animal cruelty. At West Point, before the annual rivalry football game, two cadets kidnapped two Air Force Academy falcons, the football team’s mascots, threw sweaters over them and stuffed them into dog crates. Aurora, a two-decade old bird, bloodied her wings from thrashing inside the crate, and sustained life-threatening injuries. Army officials  apologized and promised a full investigation.

“We are taking this situation very seriously, and this occurrence does not reflect the Army or USMA core values of dignity and respect,” the academy said in a statement.

The two cadets have the judgement of an Adam Sandler character, and should be kicked out after a hearing. That’s all we need is military officers with that level of sensitivity and common sense.

3. “Walking Dead” ethics. I once regarded the AMC show as the best ethics drama on TV. Indeed, it still has flashes of that: one of the speeches a dead character gave to Rick Grimes in a fevered dream last episode was a wonderful description of ethics. (If only I could find the video clip…. ) But a few seasons ago (this is Season 9) the show started cheating, making the audience believe a favorite character had died horribly by deceptively framing the scene, having the executions of main character Rick Grimes and his son prevented at the last minute by a huge Bengal tiger that was somehow invisible until he pounced on the would-be murderer, and now, strike three, “Rick Grimes’ final episode.”

For weeks, we were told that main character Rick, played by Andrew Lincoln, would finally get chomped or otherwise killed, joining most of the other characters that started out with him in a desperate effort to survive a zombie apocalypse. We even saw him apparently blow himself up, char-broiling hundreds of zombies in the process in a final heroic act, since he was fatally wounded anyway having impaled a kidney on a steel construction rod, bleeding non-stop, and being on the verge of shock trauma.  And then–surprise! At the end of the episode, we see Rick miraculously alive, winging off to somewhere in a helicopter. You see, said the producer on the weekly post-episode show, “Talking Dead,” it was Rick’s final episode on THIS show, but the character survived to emote another day, in a movie, or a spin-off, or maybe even “Walking Dead” after its fans get over being lied to once again.

39 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/7/18: Post Gently-Lapping Bluish Eddy Edition

  1. The only real problem with this election is that the House in ‘resistance’ hands, nothing is going to get done except by Executive Order. If Ginsburg dies (likely) Trump will get to pick another Justice (who will have been found to have had sex with the neighbors goat) who will be confirmed no matter what.

    • But, at least Hillary is going to be civil now.

      But, on your other point, it will be interesting. Trump is a hard-headed blowhard, but he is not an ideologue. if he needs the House to pass his agenda, he may prove his ability to compromise. In that sense, he may prove to be a more capable politician than Obama.

      Reagan could work with the other side; Clinton did; Bush 43 tried, but was not as successful as Clinton or Reagan. Obama never tried. And, when he lost the House, he basically let Reid run interference and nothing got accomplished.

      Trump might do better.


      • The Democrats are in a perfect position to ram rod legislation. Trump at his heart is still a slightly left of center pragmatist. He’ll play their game if it gets him “wins”. And the GOP Senate will bowl over like it always does during split governments.

        Wait and see.

  2. “Another tell. The mainstream news media narrative is that the Mueller investigation really, really, really is going to find impeachable acts by the President. It should be obvious that it’s not, and that if an Evil Traitorous Trump had any reason to fear Mueller, he would have fired him long ago. Mueller needs no protection, just a sympathetic and partisan ethics panel.”

    I am officially waiting with baited breath for the Mueller report. I’m hearing rumblings that it will be out in the next month or so, and quite frankly, if there was any “there” there, it would have leaked. The FBI mysteriously acts about as airtight as a colander when the information is damaging to Republicans.

  3. “Voters give Trump a tempered rebuke.” The lede in the Boston Globe’s email this morning. Give me a break. Spinning is one way to dig a hole.

  4. Summary from Colorado:

    Here in Colorado, the voters acted SANE on every statewide ballot issue but I have new local taxes for Fire Protection, Urban Drainage & Flood Control, and a giant Bond for my local public school district. All of which are “fine”.

    However, when it came to the politicians, Colorado is now 100% Blue in every state office or body. The democratic party secured Governor (& Lieutenant Gov) Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Senate and State House. With all that said, I’ll just say that the largest group of voters in Colorado is “Unaffiliated” and the turnout of Unaffiliated last night was more than Republicans but less than Democrats.

    We have 7 US House Reps and 1 seat flipped from Republican to Democrat. Mike Coffman lost to Jason Crow. Our delegation is now 4 Dems & 3 Reps. Next up is US Senate in 2020, currently held by Republican Cory Gardner.

    On the statewide issues:
    Amend73 – Income Tax Increase to fund Schools – FAILED
    Amend74 – Property Devaluation Awards – FAILED
    Amend75 – Expand Campaign Fund Limits – FAILED
    Amend A – Prohibit Slavery – PASSED (no slavery for punishment of crime)
    Amend V – Reduce Assembly Age Minimum to 21 – FAILED
    Amend W – Revise Process for Judge Retention Vote – TOO CLOSE
    Amend X – Redefine Industrial Hemp – PASSED (def. becomes statutory)
    Amend Y – Congressional Redistricting – PASSED
    Amend Z – Assembly Redistricting – PASSED
    Prop 109 – Bonded Debt for Highways – FAILED
    Prop 110 – Sales Tax for Transportation – FAILED
    Prop 111 – Cap on Payday Loan % & Fees – PASSED
    Prop 112 – Oil & Gas 2,500ft Setbacks – FAILED

        • That may actually be a good thing. The caveat is that they must budget 30% of their income for housing, 15% for food, 15% for medical care, 10% for federal income taxes, 7.5 % for FICA and a percentage for state tax withholding. The remainder is their discretionary income. Perhaps it’s a teachable moment.

        • Actually, now that I read the amendment — I’m not a lawyer, but it looks to me like it says they cannot imprison people at all. Is that not what involuntary servitude mean? And that is now banned in Colorado.

          Help me out here, folks.

          • Nope. Involuntary servitude and slavery are a class designation of workers, which means, forced work. Imprisonment and confinement are separate and unrelated. If prisoners don’t want to participate in a work-detail during their incarceration, I think they’re now fully permitted to opt-out of such programs.

              • For some of them, I’m sure there’s restitution that they can never hope to pay back, so working for them is a lose lose situation….though, the incentive is that it helps to pass the time and break up the monotony. But if your only available work assignment is scrubbing toilets or something else nasty, perhaps you figure it’s just best to stay in your cell.

  5. “Mueller needs no protection, just a sympathetic and partisan ethics panel”

    I don’t understand this, can someone clarify it for me?

    • I think he has probably violated more than one ethics rule, regarding prosecutorial conduct and conflicts of interest. Hence the comment, which was tongue in cheek. Government prosecutors have to virtually torture witnesses and manufacture evidence before any ethics panel would sanction them.

  6. It looks like the Democrats have not learned anything from the less-than-impressive election results. Here is Yahoo News’ lead story:

    That includes a Mock Mount Rushmore gathering of Waters, Schiff, and
    Cummings standing strong against a ghosted image of Trump. Nice.

    There is a bunch of talk that Beto is the future of the Democrat party (an amusing thought just presented itself to my Dr. Pepper deprived mind: can you imagine a Beto and Ocasio-Cortez ticket in 2020? Let the fun begin.).
    However, he spent over $73M in ads and other endorsements but still came up short. Straight-ticket voting helped him, especially in Houston/Harris County, gutting the state county and district court judgeships (Texas allows straight ticket ballots and judges have to identify with a political party [most Democrat or Republican], even though the races are supposed to be non-partisan) and many well-qualified and well-respected judges lost. We will now have a 27 year recent law school graduate assuming the position of Harris County Judge, defeating incumbent Ed Emmett.

    Now, remember that the Harris County Judge isn’t really a judge; it is akin to the county mayor, overseeing emergency management matters – simple things such as hurricane/disaster relief efforts or flooding. What, pray tell, does a recent law grad know about that? Oh, I forgot. She’s Latina so that’s all that matters. The local news is celebrating that Harris County now has its first Latina county judge. Let’s see what happens next spring when the expected as-of-yet-unnamed torrential rain wreaks havoc over the county. Will she have the experience, resources, and connections to deal with the problem?


    • Beto and Ocasio-Cortez ticket in 2020?


      Prop bet? O’Rourke doing a makeover, moving to Louisiana and becoming Beteaux.

  7. Can we talk about the election results here in California, which just took a giant leap even further to the Left? I can’t wait to see much longer they can continue to pat their voters on the head and assure them that the best way to dig out of this hole is to keep paying for bigger shovels.

    • They have an essential monopoly on the tech sector, with a handful of exceptions. As long as the entire nation keeps buying tech, California will keep rolling in the dough and keep being able to prop up what would be an unsustainable system if it was isolated.

  8. “…but the entire Democratic Party has become an ethics corrupter of far more consequence and danger to the country.”

    True and succinct. But hard to explain to people. Whoever follows Trump on the Republican side isn’t going to call anyone “horse face” or give speeches like a 3rd-grader reading his book report. Trump in an anomaly. What’s going on with the Democrats is permanent. They’re just socialists now.

    • True and succinct. But hard to explain to people. Whoever follows Trump on the Republican side isn’t going to call anyone “horse face” or give speeches like a 3rd-grader reading his book report. Trump in an anomaly. What’s going on with the Democrats is permanent. They’re just socialists now.
      This begs the question of how the Democrats became this way. It is as if they lost faith in traditional Democratic leadership.

  9. Stacy Abrams promotes her duncedom within the ethics train wreck of the DNC through her “concession” speech where she claims the entire system is corrupt. We already know the Democrats hate the constitutional system. I just wish one of them somewhere liked it.

    Especially disingenuous given the shenanigans the DNC is desperate to pull nationwide to make their blue drip look a little better.

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