Lunch time Ethics Warm-Up, 3/19/19: Madea, Plan C, And More.

Yum yum!

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 The return of Plan C! As most recently noted here, Plan C is the obscure and outdated Emoluments Clause.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.”

Answers:

  • 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.

 

13 thoughts on “Lunch time Ethics Warm-Up, 3/19/19: Madea, Plan C, And More.

      • It was not my intention to gaslight you. I just remember your Facebook problems beginning around the time you posted the “Miracle on 34th Street” post and thinking that surely Facebook wouldn’t consider that particular post offensive.

        I’m sorry I inadvertently caused you to second-guess your link. I should have been more clear in my first post.

  1. The 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.”

    No federal officeholder — “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under” the United States. That’s the thing that makes the whole “emoluments” attack on Trump so preposterous. It may be true that no previous president has had business dealings with foreign governments. But there have surely been thousands of congressmen, senators, cabinet members and other people holding offices of profit or trust who owned businesses or stakes in businesses that did business with foreign countries. Nobody ever accused any of those people of violating the emoluments clause. Like so many other rules these days, this one applies only to Donald Trump and not to anybody else.

  2. I’m gonna take a guess with Yesterday. It’s not my personal favorite, but it is two minutes of pure beauty.
    Hell, the 10th or 15th best Beatles song from any list is still better than the vast majority of what’s come before or since.

    –Dwayne

    P.S. If not that one, then it’s got to be Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?….

  3. 1. Madea

    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.

    Engaging disagreement protocols… **FAILURE** **UNRECOVERABLE ERROR**

    Apparently I will not be disagreeing with this one.

    2. Emoluments

    I regard Shaub using his prior position as authority a breach of ethics: he’s posing as an objective analyst, and he’s not.

    Yeah, I can see how perpetrating what amounts to honest services fraud could be considered unethical.

    Yesterday, the Fourth Circuit Court of appeals panel was hearing arguments in Maryland and DC’s emoluments case. To say that it got a chilly reception is an understatement. To say that media coverage of that was sparse is to say I technically have hair on the top of my head, even if you need a magnifying glass to find it. More than one of the judges seemed to suggest judicial impropriety in the fact it even got to them.

    Plan C may will hopefully die a brutal death. I dare even hope for a judicial rebuke of both the attorneys and the trial judge from the appeals panel.

    3. Beatles

    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.

    Harsh, Jack. I’m not a fan, but sappy “let’s all love each other and reject conflict” has been a staple of pop music all my life. “Love train” by the O’Jays is a perfect example without the rejection of religion.

    As to #1, my first guess was “All You Need is Love,” and my wife also. When I found out it was “A day in the Life,” I was surprised. My other pick, “Penny Lane,” was #18, but I knew it wasn’t on top.

    4. Commies

    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.

    So both parties are becoming fans of suppressing speech, I guess. Typical.

    5. Facebook

    I’m sorry you’ve been victimized by the rainbow jackboots at Facebook, but therein lies a pretty good lesson — you either write for yourself to your standards of ethics and propriety, or you write to the standards of others for the purpose of distribution.

    This is the new “free speech” in America, where corporations have subverted the Constitution by effectively holding the printing press hostage to virtue signaling.

    Forget it Jack. It’s Facebook.

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