Ethics Warm-Up, 2/8/2019: Coming Out Of My Green New Deal-Induced Coma Edition

Good afternoon!

Sorry; this was all set to go up by 10 am until I read the Green New Deal, and it sent me back to bed.

1. Green New Deal-related, he typed warily: Let’s see if the news media and pundits are as scrupulous about transparent flip-flops when they come from a cute socialist. During an interview with NPR, host Steve Inskeep pointed out to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez how much government involvement it would take to implement the so-called Green New Deal,” She responded,

“It does, it does, yeah, I have no problem saying that. Why? Because we have tried their approach for 40 years. For 40 years we have tried to let the private sector take care of this. They said, ‘We got this, we can do this, the forces of the market are going to force us to innovate.’ Except for the fact that there’s a little thing in economics called externalities. And what that means is that a corporation can dump pollution in the river and they don’t have to pay, but taxpayers have to pay.”

Then, a few hours later, Chuck Todd that same day asked Ocasio-Cortez about the same issue: wouldn’t this require a massive government take-over of private enterprise? This time, she resorted to Authentic Frontier Gibberish and said:

“I think one way that the right does try to mischaracterize, uh, what we’re doing as though it’s, like, some kind of massive government takeover. Obviously, it’s not that, because what we’re trying to do is release the investments from the federal government to mobilize those resources across the country.”

When the truth proves unpalatable, resort to double talk. There is no reason to trust anyone who does this. They are trying to deceive you.

2. But—But–I thought putting Kavanaugh on the Court meant that abortion was doomed, since all the justices appointed by Republicans vote in lockstep! The issue was whether a Louisiana law that required doctors to have admitting privileges in hospitals before they could provide abortions should be stayed pending a Supreme Court challenge. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh wanted to deny the stay, with Kavanaugh writing in part,

[E]ven without a stay, the status quo will be effectively preserved for all parties during the State’s 45-day regulatory transition period. I would deny the stay without prejudice to the plaintiffs’ ability to bring a later as-applied complaint and motion for preliminary injunction at the conclusion of the 45-day regulatory transition period if the Fifth Circuit’s factual prediction about the doctors’ ability to obtain admitting privileges proves to be inaccurate….

The law has not yet taken effect, so the case comes to us in the context of a pre-enforcement facial challenge. That means that the parties have offered, in essence, competing predictions about whether those three doctors can obtain admitting privileges….

Before us, the case largely turns on the intensely factual question whether the three doctors—Doe 2, Doe 5, and Doe 6—can obtain admitting privileges. If we denied the stay, that question could be readily and quickly answered without disturbing the status quo or causing harm to the parties or the affected women, and without this Court’s further involvement at this time…. [D]uring the 45-day transition period, both the doctors and the relevant hospitals could act expeditiously and in good faith to reach a definitive conclusion about whether those three doctors can obtain admitting privileges….

Roberts joined the four Democratic appointees—the liberal wing, natch—to allow the stay. Conservatives are horrified, but all this means is that he’s evaluating the case on its merits as he sees it, not following a pre-determined ideological script in lock-step fashion, like, say, the four liberal justices he voted with.

It’s called integrity and independence. Good for Roberts. Maybe he can persuade other justices to view their roles similarly.

3. If hate were a country, my hate for this kind of stunt would be China…

Caption: ATTENTION: Due to the EXTREME COLD weather, all criminal activity and acts of stupidity and foolishness has been cancelled. Even Elsa has been placed under arrest by Hanahan Police Department in South Carolina with NO BOND until further notice. Thank you for your attention and understanding to this matter. Respectfully, the McLean Police Dept.

See. the police are arresting, Elsa, the Snow Queen from Disney’s Frozen! HAHAHAHAHA-Ugh, ack, gag, yecchh!

Law enforcement is not a joke, and neither are frivolous arrests. This goes in my special Ethics Alarms Police Hi-jinks file, with along with April Fools Day arrests and stopping motorists to give them turkeys

4. Frank Robinson has died. You don’t know who Robinson is? Shame on you: get ye to a baseball park, as Hamlet sort of said. Frank Robinson is probably the second most important African American baseball player, Better than Jackie, he was fiercely competitive and independent, and refused to be treated with less than the respect his skills and achievements deserved. His defiant but never disruptive attitude paved the way for more flamboyant black stars like Reggie Jackson, and his leadership was recognized when he became, in 1975, the first black manager (and the last player-manager…in his first regular season game, he put himself in as a pinch-hitter, and hit a home run.) Robinson also became the first black man to win Manager of the Year, and had 16 years at the helm of various teams. When he died, at 83, he was still an executive with Major League Baseball.

Boy, did he kill the Red Sox…

5. Being a billionaire doesn’t make you an asshole, but there sure are a lot of asshole billionaires. It is thge mark of a billionaire asshole to try to leverage financial resources into outsized political influence and power: see Soros, the Kochs, and Donald Trump. Tom Steyer, however, has placed himself in a special category by trying to get President Trump impeached through sheer wealth, and the willingness to spend it like a drunken sailor. A politically ignorant drunken sailor. Now Streyer, none of whose “reasons” to impeach Trump pass logical, legal or historical tests, is threatening Democratic leaders if they don’t do his bidding.  “There’s a gigantic cost to not listening to your constituents,” Steyer said in an interview with POLITICO. “There’s a gigantic cost to thumbing your nose at democracy.”

Actually, setting out to find phony and contrived reasons to impeach a President because he dared to defeat that candidate you preferred is “thumbing your nose at democracy.” Trying to manipulate the legislative process because you can hand out more crypto-bribes than the average voter is “thumbing your nose at democracy.”

Worst of all, perhaps, Steyer makes the socialists’ war on rich people seem reasonable.




11 thoughts on “Ethics Warm-Up, 2/8/2019: Coming Out Of My Green New Deal-Induced Coma Edition

  1. Frank Robinson. Without peer. What an elegant player and guy. He sure looked good in those great ‘sixties flannel unis. Impeccable. In a class by himself. And what a great scowl.

  2. Thanks for the Frank Robinson comment. My grandmother took me to many O’s games at Memorial Stadium. We could only afford the 50 cent bleacher tickets and Frank was just a holler away in right field.

    So was Tony C when the Sox were in town.

  3. My fave Frank Robinson moment was when he was managing the Giants. Rookie pitcher on the mound getting shelled at Wrigley. The kid keeps looking in at Robinson and being more and more demonstrative about wanting to be relieved. The Cubs plate 9 in the first, there is either one or no outs. Robinson is unmoved. He makes the kid retire the side. Afterwards the kid throws a tantrum in the dugout. He never returns to the majors. Priceless.

  4. Frank Robinson brings back so many memories. I was a big Orioles fan when I was a teen; back then some of the players besides Frank were: Boog Powell, Paul Blair, Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, Davey Johnson. And then there was the pitching staff, Dobson, Palmer, McNally and Cuellar. I never recovered 🙂 from 1969 (Mets) and 1971 (PIrates). I thought they were a lock in ’71 with 4 20 game winners – we’ll never see that again.

    Yes, Frank Robinson was one of the all time greats. MVP in both leagues.

  5. I have real concerns about Tom Steyer. I am of the belief that his calls for impeachment are to disguise his real motivation.

    Tom Steyer rapidly shifted his hedge fund portfolio from coal and other fossil fuels to “green” industries during the Obama administration. Trump’s energy policy stands in the way of Steyer’s desire to supplant existing oil barons with himself as the primary oligarch of green industries. I believe it is this that drives Steyer’s hatred of Trump. When people live in the world of stratospheric incomes they gauge their worth based on who among them made the most.

    Tom Steyer’s behavior is a clear indication that he is a threat to republican democracy. We might want to evaluate whether Steyer is circumventing campaign finance laws by targeting a candidate/elected person rather than an issue. I would like to tell Mr Steyer that his misinformation campaign is no less troublesome than Russian bots attempting to influence our elections. His money is no different than any oligarch inside our outside our sovereign borders.

  6. Here is something.

    State Rep. Daniel Didech (D–Buffalo Grove) suggests that the law is necessary because too many people with “mental health issues” are buying guns. That’s a debatable claim, but at least it’s within the realm of realism. Where Didech goes off the rails is supposing the state authorities could identify dangerous people simply by looking at their social media presence, and that this determination would be sufficient to deny them their First and Second Amendment rights.

    When New York proposed this, the excuse was that gun permit applicants might be gang members.

    Now it is mental illness?

  7. Regarding #3: presuming this was a staged arrest and not a use of actual police force, I have no problem with it. It is PR and involved no actual abuse of power. April Fool’s Day, turkey give-aways, staged wedding proposals? That is an abuse of power; it is dangerous and is likely one Terry stop violation away from ending the practice; once a drug smuggler gets released because his turkey stop was invalid, you might see a change.

    But, a photo-shoot of arresting Elsa? Acceptable PR. Police and Firefighters are public servants. Public Relations has a role in their duties. Firefighters visited my daughter’s school for fire safety; I also took her to tour a fire station; police visited my school when I was young (the station was half a block from the school). It’s all public outreach.

    Again, all of that is presuming it is a staged arrest.


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