Winging off to San Diego in a couple of hours, so be on the alert for an Open Forum while I’m in the air. It’s amazing: I’m going to spend two and a half days of air travel and hanging around a hotel and airports to give a 75 minute legal ethics presentation, albeit to a mob of over 600 lawyers.
1. From the Ethics Alarms double standards files…
Let’s see: this film has gross black stereotypes and a man in drag, but not in a good, transgender way. I assume nobody will disagree that if this film was made by a white man, it would be received with horror and declared racist, and the white filmmaker would be apologizing to everyone and everything in sight.
2. The return of Plan C! As most recently noted here, Plan C is the obscure and outdated Emoluments Clause. In a series of tweets reviving the specious accusation President Trump is violating the Constitution by owning businesses while he is President, something never anticipated by the Founders and an issue that was barely discussed by the news media during the campaign, Walter Shaub, a former director of the Office of Government Ethics who long ago declared himself a “resistance” ally,condemned the Embassy of Kuwait’s decision to celebrate its National Liberation Day at the hotel on Feb. 27. He wrote,
“Kuwait got the message. Turkey got the message. Saudi Arabia got the message. The Philippines got the message. The question is: Which of our allies will stand with the American people, and which will seek to enrich our corrupt President? We will watch. We will remember.”
Oh, eat a bug. Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8) stipulates that no federal officeholders “shall receive gifts or payments from foreign state or rulers without the consent of Congress.” But payments obviously means pay-offs, and payment for services isn’t a gift. Not are Trump organization receipts payments to the President. I note that Shaub is now a fellow at The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which I used to write about more before I got sick of it. It is the political equivalent of Media Matters, posing as an ethics watchdog when it’s agenda and biases are flagrantly partisan. I regard Shaub using his prior position as authority a breach of ethics: he’s posing as an objective analyst, and he’s not. Indeed, resorting to the silly Emoluments Clause to attack Trump is signature significance.
3. Not ethics, just interesting. Althouse quizzed her readers today on the most streamed Beatles song, saying that if you thought about it, the answer made sense. The answer (although not according to all sources) is “Here Comes the Sun,” which, it is true, is often played on radio and TV stations to start the day. This sparked an orgy of Althouse commenters citing their lists of favorite Beatles song, including an idiot who praised “Imagine,” which is neither a Beatles song nor worthy of anything but abuse.
But not one of the comments (last I looked) mentioned the song that topped the Sirius-XM Beatles channel listener polls ranking the group’s top 100 songs both times a poll was held. (#2 was also the same both times: “In My Life.”) It is also the song I predicted would by #1 before the first poll, and the song I have always thought transcended all the others in originality, dramatic impact, and artistic risk.
What is that song? (No fair answering if you know how the polls turned out.)
4. Our political parties have got to stop acting like the Communist Party. A Missouri county GOP committee disinvited Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) from the a local GOP Lincoln/Trump Day Dinner, scheduled for April 6 , because he voted against President Trump’s controversial emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
I stumbled upon Laura Ingraham on Fox News as she was saying, “Do we really have free speech in this country if people are afraid of being punished for saying what they believe?” That applies to our representatives as well. They should be free to vote their consciences without being punished for not being in lockstep with party leadership. Let the people vote against them, if they don’t like how he does the job.
“I am so disappointed in you now that I can hardly speak,” Wanda Martens, the party committee’s events chairwoman, wrote in an email to Blunt’s office obtained by The Kansas City Star. “Why could you not support my president in the emergency declaration? President Trump tried every available means to work the Senate to resolve the border issue and build the much needed wall. He is well within his presidential powers to do this.”
- Because it has yet to be determined whether he is “well within his presidential powers to do this.” Technically, he isn’t: the authorization isn’t his Constitutionally defined powers, but an act of Congress.
- Because he was elected Senator, and you weren’t.
5. Facebook wars update: Well, I’ve found the Ethics Alarms post that apparently got the blog banned on Facebook: it was this one: “Bill Robinson, Fred Astaire, And The Good “Blackface”
Of course, there is nothing contrary to Facebook’s “community standards” in this post (though Facebook claimed there was), but the platform’s software is in thrall to political correctness, and therefore stupid. There is no way to contact a human being at Facebook, so this idiotic move (and I have reason to believe that Ethics Alarms was already on some kind of watch list) can’t even be challenged effectively.