Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/18/2019: Paranoia, Pettiness, Pirro, Provoked Applicants, Piqued Students, Posturing And Progressives

Good Morning, Pacific Time Zone!

I’m heading to San Diego tomorrow to talk about “Five Looming Ethics Issues for Lawyers  and  Their  Corporate Clients”  to a group of over 600 lawyers. THEY don’t think my analyses of ethics issues violate community standards…okay. I admit it, I’m getting paranoid. Despite a lot of, I humbly believe, useful, timely and well-presented content, the weekend traffic was terrible, and comments were sparse, if excellent. This year, so far, is lagging behind last year, which seriously trailed the year before. What’s going on here? Has Google secretly joined Facebook in its efforts to keep the posts here from reaching an audience? Of could it be that I just suck? Maybe Donald Trump really has killed all belief in ethics…that’s the ticket! Blame the President!

1. Pettiness and vindictiveness vanquished. Good. The Judicial Council of the 10th U.S. Court of Appeals  has affirmed its December decision to reject 83 ethics complaints against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, all filed by bitter partisans who are determined to hurt the newest Justice because the Democrats’ slimy and unethical ambush tactics failed, as they should have. In a 6-1 decision, the judicial council affirmed its earlier finding that the federal law governing misconduct complaints against federal judges does not apply to justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Many of the complaints filed against Kavanaugh argued he had made false statements under oath during hearings on his nominations to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2004 and 2006 and to the U.S. Supreme Court last year—you know, like having an innocent recollection of what “boof” meant in his completely irrelevant high school year book.  Other complaints accused Kavanaugh of making inappropriate partisan statements in his inappropriately partisan hearings, or claimed he treated members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with disrespect, or as I would put it, the disrespect they deserved for attempting to smear his good name and reputation through demagoguery and calls to reject the presumption of innocence.

Let me remind everyone that Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in her confirmation hearings, stated under oath that she had no pre-formed opinions that would affect her objectivity in abortion cases. Nobody filed any ethics complaints.

2. Fox News does the right thing; the President doesn’t understand. Fox News suspended host Jeanine Pirro  following comments she made earlier this month about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Pirro’s show, “Justice with Jeanine,” did not air Saturday evening.  During her March 9 show, the former New York politician suggested that Omar’s religious beliefs were at odds with the U.S. Constitution. “Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested.” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” Said the network in a statement,

“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”

That’s exactly right: professional news organizations should not tolerate outright religious slurs and unsubstantiated accusations against elected officials, or anyone. If only CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC understood this basic principle of ethical journalism. (Pirro, by the way, is awful: strident, unprofessional, doctrinaire.)

Someone else who doesn’t understand the basic ethical principle: President Trump, who tweeted,

“Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country.”

It’s an abuse of power and position for the President of the United States to issue demands to news networks, if that’s what this stupid tweet is. If it’s just an expression of fandom, then the tweet is degrading, reducing the President to the level of a teary teenybopper who begs for a favorite character on “The Waking Dead” to be resurrected.

3. College admission scandal update! I LOVE this! Rejected college applicants have filed a class action lawsuit demanding  the return of their admission fees  to the eight colleges involved in the  cheating scandal. The suit was filed  the day after federal prosecutors announced charges against 50 people in the  bribery scheme, including coaches and 33 parents accused of paying the bribes. The  ringleader, William “Rick” Singer, has already pleaded guilty.

The  lawsuit argues that if students known admissions at the defendant schools were an “unfair, rigged process,” they would not have applied to Georgetown, Stanford, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of San Diego, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest and Yale.

Love it.

4.  Or, they could sue because they were not aware that higher education itself is a scam. Sarah Lawrence College students calling themselves ” the Diaspora Coalition” issued a list of demands, including  scholarships that  white students would be ineligible to receive, firing a member of the faculty because the group doesn’t like his opinions, special benefits for “first-generation students,” mandatory training sessions for all students on “intellectual elitism and classism,” and demands for free food, free laundry detergent,  free student storage, and “at least three more courses offered in African diasporic studies taught by Black professors.”

Nice.

Any administration response other than “these demands demonstrate a disturbing lack of comprehension of the Bill of Rights and academic freedom, as well as immature and dangerous arrogance, bias and ignorance that this institution is obligated to attempt to address” will be incompetent, and enable hate, bigotry, racism, and the totalitarian drift of the far left. Knowing Sarah Lawrence as I do, however, I assume the chances of a responsible response is nil.

5. From the Ethics Alarms flat learning curve files: Left-wing website Paste Magazine thinks a good approach to defeating Beto O’Rourke in his quest to be the Democratic nominee for President is the one that worked so well for Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. Following this logic, it has published a rant called  “Beto O’Rourke Is the Candidate For Vapid Morons.”

Not that he might not be right, but calling the supporters of any candidate nasty names is both uncivil and unpersuasive. He makes a good case that there is no there there with Beto, but that’s too easy. He also demonstrates that his political analytical skills are wanting, claiming that Beto could win. No, no white male can possibly get the nomination without splitting the Democratic Party, and if one does by some miracle, he’s toast. The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner this time. I doubt they can safely nominate a male, and the New York Times seems to be betting that Kamala Harris is a lock because they can’t nominate a non-person of color, either. Read the article though. It’s fun.

In other Democratic Presidential candidate news, Former Vice President Joe Biden told attendees at the Delaware Democratic Party dinner that he has the “most progressive record of anybody running,” then quickly  said, “anybody who would run” …I didn’t mean it.”

Perfect! Biden enters the race with a verbal gaffe, which is his career trademark, after a lie. Joe is a centrist, and if he has the”most progressive record of anybody running,” it’s because he’s older than dirt, and the candidates to the left of him haven’t had time to out-progressive him. (When Trump says things like this, he is immediately fact-checked.) This is deceit, if one doesn’t consider Bernie Sanders, and an outright lie if one doesn’t.  Given the well-established state of Biden’s brain, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he forgot about Bernie.

16 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/18/2019: Paranoia, Pettiness, Pirro, Provoked Applicants, Piqued Students, Posturing And Progressives

  1. 2. Pirro

    It’s an abuse of power and position for the President of the United States to issue demands to news networks, if that’s what this stupid tweet is. If it’s just an expression of fandom, then the tweet is degrading, reducing the President to the level of a teary teenybopper who begs for a favorite character on “The Waking Dead” to be resurrected.

    This is the tragedy of Trump in a nutshell. He is unable to restrain himself from saying things that make him look like a total idiot, literally a 70-year old with the mind of a 15-year old. His Twitter narcissism is astonishing in it’s boundlessness.

    3. College scandal

    The lawsuit argues that if students known admissions at the defendant schools were an “unfair, rigged process,” they would not have applied to Georgetown, Stanford, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of San Diego, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest and Yale.

    I love it too, but it has no chance of success. But it sure makes great copy.

    4. Sarah Lawrence College

    Any administration response other than “these demands demonstrate a disturbing lack of comprehension of the Bill of Rights and academic freedom, as well as immature and dangerous arrogance, bias and ignorance that this institution is obligated to attempt to address” will be incompetent, and enable hate, bigotry, racism, and the totalitarian drift of the far left.

    These are the people, these students, driving the Democrat party’s bus. One of these days, a college is going to adopt such a recommendation without reservation. Maybe this one, who knows?

    And if we continue to elect people on the Left, they’ll find a way to enable all of it, constitution or no. Like by packing the courts with leftist judges who will find “penumbras” in the First Amendment that allows such speech restrictions and find a justification for discrimination against cis white people.

    5. Democratic nominee

    No, no white male can possibly get the nomination without splitting the Democratic Party, and if one does by some miracle, he’s toast. The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner this time.

    Can they even nominate a white woman anymore? Maybe if she’s gay, I guess, but a white, middle-class cis woman like Klobuchar, Warren, or Gillibrand ought to be D.O.A. Well, maybe not Warren, after all she’s at least 1/1024th Native American…

    • And if we continue to elect people on the Left, they’ll find a way to enable all of it, constitution or no. Like by packing the courts with leftist judges who will find “penumbras” in the First Amendment that allows such speech restrictions and find a justification for discrimination against cis white people.

      This would effectively be the full repudiation of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the best recruiting tool the Stormfront White Nationalist Community could ever dream of.

  2. Re: Trump. I am reminded of something Great Britain’s ambassador to the US – Cecil Spring Rice – once communicated about Theodore Roosevelt, “You must remember always that the President is about six.”

  3. #5 It is a fun article. He’s criticizing Beto from the Left, with all the caveats that entails, but I agree with his argument that Beto is all surface. He compares his youthful infatuation with Obama to what people see in Beto nowadays, a blank slate unto which you can project all your hopes and dreams. Beto just looks cool (although I would like to know what “cool” is, if Beto is cool) to some folks, and that may well be enough for them. They’ll just approach the DNC with a shorthand, of who is young-ish, hip, and would be fun to get a drink with at the bar (that’s why AOC is popular). I agree that you shouldn’t demean voters, but the author is clearly a socialist in his political leanings, so he probably believes everyone is a moron who hasn’t signed up for socialism. It’s because they have false consciousness and are acting against their own interests, which happen to be socialism, duh.

  4. To be honest, I am half-heartedly rooting for Sarah Lawrence to fully play along with the demands just so the world can see what leftism hath wrought. Show the world how division and divisiveness is somehow the way forward in the name of false unity. It will highlight their idiocy, racism and inability to think critically. The, hopeful, natural result will be insolvency and one less institution of its kind. The plus is a warning to others considering knuckling under to this and girding them to fight this kind of non-sense.

  5. 1) No problem, the goal now is to just win the Presidency and Congress and expand the Supreme Court and pack it with activist justices.

    So far, the Left wants to abolish the Electoral College (but touts it’s strength when it swings their way). They want to abolish the Senate because it isn’t representative (but love when they control it, because then it is a wise body checking the wretched passions of a House in the hands of Republicans). Locally, until the EC is abolished, they are eager to submit their own location’s electoral votes to whoever California votes for. Now they want to lower the voting ages down to literally the least informed and most emotion-driven voters (essentially the kind of people who vote for leftist utopianism).

    Is there any good system the Left doesn’t want to destroy in order to gain total power?

    • Unfortunately, no. As I’ve written a few times (which is why I write less now, to avoid saying the same thing over and over again), the left really has no principles except the will to power and no standards except double standards. They’re happy to work within the law if they can, but just as happy to work around it or ignore it if they can’t work within it. They justify it by saying that these extreme measures you just ticked off are the only way to prevent fascism from taking over. The thing is, anyone who isn’t blinded by Trump Derangement Syndrome can see that Trump is not a fascist in any sense of the word. He may be a big mouth who only sometimes thinks things through and often shoots from the hip, but he’s no tyrant. He may be a populist who came to power because too many people decided they were being ignored and the only way for them to get anyone’s attention was to throw the proverbial brick through the window, but he’s no dictator.

      Anyone who isn’t so blinded can also read the not-so-very-long-ago history of the Reid Rule, which made it that much easier for Obama to nominate judges and have them moved quickly through the Senate with a minimum of resistance from the opposition. At the time the Democrats hailed it with “41 senators can no longer wield veto power.” What they were really saying was “Yaaay! We came together and pushed those old fogey Republicans out of the way so that His Hipness and Coolness can have it all his own way!” Not two years later they found themselves on the other side of their own policy, and had the temerity to ask incoming Majority Leader McConnell to restore the filibuster. He said they had an interesting sense of humor, but no. Two years after the candidate they thought was a lock failed. Suddenly the policy they created to grease the rails for anticipated huge numbers of liberal judges to be appointed for life began to move conservative judges the same way, and the precedent they set for changing the rules was turned against them, putting two more conservative justices on the SCOTUS, probably to be joined by one more when all’s said and done (it’s a race between the end of Trump’s time in the White House and RBG’s health giving out). This is the world they created on the presumption that they were going to be forever in the majority. That turned out to be a bad presumption.

      Now their answer is to push still more ham-handed changes to every structure of the American system that they’d never tolerate if the other side floated them. You can also bet your last dollar that they will screech like harpies if those changes go against them. If Trump were to propose splitting some states into more than one Federal district, resulting in more judicial spots, the left would scream bloody murder, that he was trying to stack the courts. If direct popular election of the president backfired, because conservative voters in previously solidly blue states got more fired up than liberals in solidly red ones, you’d hear them screaming that democracy was two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch and this result needed to be thrown out. I’m also sure they’ll be happy to use the same emergency declaration powers that they decry Trump using to build a border wall now to declare gun violence a public health emergency and take extreme steps like NZ is probably about to take.

      The fact is that the left has a “pro wrestling” mentality where their side are the “faces” and the GOP are the “heels.” I’m ashamed to admit I was a fan once, and I’m all too familiar with the mentality that goes with booing and yelling “hey ref, are ya blind?” when someone like a Ted DiBiase (regarded as the greatest pro wrestling villain of all, but, like Mr. T, in real life a devout Christian) or Abdullah the Butcher (in reality a Canadian named Larry Shreve who never spoke because his voice was too high for the character he was playing) broke the rules, but cheered when larger-than-life hero Hulk Hogan (born Terry Jean Bollea) strangled someone or loudmouth American patriot “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (actually an articulate college graduate who turned to wrestling when knee problems led to the failure of his dreams to play for the Atlanta Falcons) hit somebody with a 2 x 4 or knocked someone cold with a studded coal miner’s glove he’d hidden in his trunks. It’s not ok when the bad guys break the rules, because that’s just one more example of what bad guys they are, but it’s perfectly ok and even praiseworthy when the good guys break the rules, because they’re on the right side and sometimes you have to use some dirty tactics to ensure the right prevails. To the left, they’re the faces, and the right will forever be the heels, which no tactic is too low or too dirty or too anything to use against.

  6. The Sarah Lawrence children are demanding free food and laundry detergent; I say give them an unlimited Tide Pods buffet. Two birds, one stone.

  7. 3) Can’t wait for the higher education bubble to burst and watch it all come crashing down on itself. With just enough time to regain credibility and actual value, at a much more market-driven lower price, for my children to begin attending college. They’ll get excellent educations (as the thick and fetid dross will have been scraped off by then) at an excellent cost.

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