At least, that’s what I’ll be saying later today, as I arrive in the Texas capital to give my country music ethics seminar, sung by the remarkable Mike Messer, to a group of over a thousand corporate lawyers. It’s certainly better than lying around coughing, which is what I’ve been doing lately.
1. Update: Facebook still won’t accept Ethics Alarms links. This is seriously depressing me. I can’t get Facebook to respond or explain, and so far WordPress hasn’t been any help either. In the past, posts here have attracted tens of thousands of Facebook shares; most got at least a couple. Now there are none. This affects traffic, it affects everything. On one level, I’m tempted just to leave Facebook entirely. It’s not a very pleasant place these days, and the company is despicable. That doesn’t solve the problem though. After all the work and time I have spent trying to develop the blog, watching its readership and circulation go backwards is infuriating. I also don’t know how paranoid I should be about all of this.
2. State of the Union notes. The speech is always political theater, and largely irrelevant unless it is botched or something weird happens, like “You lie!” or Obama attacking the Supreme Court. I find it amazing that so many pundits couldn’t keep their cognitive dissonance in check, and give some semblance of an honest, if grudging, analysis of what one would have to call an excellent performance—and that’s all the SOTU speech is, a performance— by Donald Trump standards, and a wise performance from a Presidential perspective. At a time of near maximum divisiveness, the speech was upbeat, optimistic, and patriotic. You have to really, really hate the man to condemn that speech….and that’s how most of journalists and pundits feel. I especially liked Salon’s “Donald Trump 2019: Same lying racist he was last year.” CNN’s Van Jones was also self-indicting, saying, “I saw this as a psychotically incoherent speech with cookies and dog poop. He tries to put together in the same speech these warm, kind things about humanitarianism and caring about children, and at the same time he is demonizing people who are immigrants in a way that was appalling.” On the other side of the wacko divide, Ann Coulter called the speech “sappy” and was upset because Trump didn’t talk more about the wall. Is there anyone other than Coulter than wants him to talk more about the wall? We need a special confirmation bias clinic for these people. Also:
- Speaking of theater, singing “Happy Birthday” to the synagogue massacre survivor was terrific touch. Funny comment on the web: “Worst Nazi President ever!”
- Who convinced female legislators that dressing the same sends anything but the message that they still think they are in high school, or the Congress is a sorority? Personally, I was embarrassed for them.
- Here’s typical “objective reporting,” a “Fact check” from NPR:
- I don’t care what Nancy Pelosi was reading during the President’s speech: it was disrespectful and rude. I’m sure her “resistance” supporters would have been happy to see her sticking her tongue out and crossing her eyes while the President was speaking too, but there is no excuse for this. I refuse to believe that Democrats acting like assholes wins more votes than it loses, but obviously Pelosi et al. disagree.
3. Should a rehabilitated murderer be allowed to be a lawyer? I was tempted to write a full post about the odd story in the Times about a Tulane law grad who raises the question, but I don’t have much to say, other than “No.” Apparently murderers have been admitted at least a couple of times; one I know of was ultimately disbarred. I could argue that murder has less relevance to honesty and integrity than some other crimes lawyer have committed before being admitted. Georgetown Law Center has a law professor who served time for multiple bank robberies, for example. Depending on the circumstance surrounding the murder, I might trust the murderer over the robber.
4. “Rent” spent. I just learned that Fox’s “live” performance of the musical rent wasn’t live, because a lead actor broke a bone right before the scheduled telecast, and, incredibly, there was no understudy. Fox showed a taped dress rehearsal in place of the live performance, except for the last scene. This is stunningly unprofessional; it is standard practice to have an understudy ready for such contingencies, which are completely predictable in theater. It shows how little Fox is committed to the product and the art. The network just wanted ratings, and as cheaply as possible.
5. I can’t let this pass. The Washington Post released this, her registration card for the State Bar of Texas:
Warren has denied that she ever attempted to use her claims of Native American heritage to gain any advantage in employment or career advancement, or that she ever claimed to be a “person of color.”