…as the Mueller report lets the sunshine in…
1. Thank goodness judges don’t bake cakes…the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility have issued Formal Opinion 485. It holds that judges who perform marriages, either as an obligation of their office or by choice, may not refuse to do so for same-sex couples. The opinion emphasizes that regardless of their backgrounds, personal views or philosophies, judges must follow the law and act impartially, free from bias or prejudice.
I’d say the opinion is unassailable for a judge who regularly performs marriages as a mandatory part of his or her job. A judge who is not so required, presumably, can choose not to perform any marriages at all. I bet some judge will challenge the proposition, however, that a religion-based refusal to perform an optional civil wedding is per se “bias or prejudice.” [Source: Legal Ethics in Motion]
2. Welcome to my world...This week I am doing several ethics programs, one of which (not in legal ethics) I have presented over many years. Last year, I was told that the 2 hour program I had been presenting to the group only needed to be 90 minutes, so the materials I prepared and submitted indeed covered that amount of time, as did my presentation. This year, I again prepared for 90 minutes. Now, looking at the conference’s two-day program, I see that my seminar is listed in the program as two hours again. That’s a mistake, but it’s too late to correct it: the attendees plan on getting professional credit. So what is my most ethical response? I could…a) stretch the material to two hours, but that’s a 30 minute stretch. b) At my own expense, create an additional 30 minutes of material, copy the materials, distribute them, and never mention that the conference manager, my long-time contact, screwed up. c) Use this crisis as leverage to negotiate a supplement to my fee for the necessary upgrade. d) End after 90 minutes, tell the attendees why, and suggest that they take up the matter of the missing credit with the conference organizers. e) Do the upgrade, present it, and then bill the conference for my time.
Oh, heck, you know what I’m going to do: the one that gives the attendees what they expect, avoid embarrassment for the organizers, and makes me no money. That’s the ethical course, but I don’t have to be happy about it.
3. AOC weighs in. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez amplified the Bizarro World that so many Democrats and progressives reside in these days while retweeting a clueless tweet by George Takei. Sulu, who studied nothing but acting in school and has done virtually nothing but act in his career, and not all that much of that since the original “Star Trek” ended, decades ago has all the political expertise and civic acumen of Alyssa Milano. He tweeted,
“Let’s say Trump goes down in disgrace from Mueller or the SDNY or Congressional investigations. We’re left with a big question: How did a guy like that get elected? Why do so many still support him? We can’t just say “Fox News” or “Russians.” We have serious issues to sort out.”
This is part of the Big Lie “resistance” tactic. With what other President have people assumed, absent any substance that he is certain to “go down in disgrace”? Then we get into evidence of pathological cluelessness and delusion. Seriously, Sulu? You and your kith really don’t have any idea how Trump got elected? He got elected because the incumbent Democratic President was a flop and an empty suit, because Democrats rigged the nomination and nominated a spectacularly bad candidate and pathological liar who was caught red-handed intentionally violating national security regulations, because a large chunk of the American public was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it any more, and because Trump’s straightforward opposition to illegal immigration was refreshing and necessary. Wow. If Democrats are still asking this question after three years, they really must exist in a parallel universe.
AOC’s reaction is instructive:
“This is the REAL conversation we need to have as a country. As horrific as this president is, he is a symptom of much deeper problems. Even foreign influence plays on nat’l wounds that we refuse to address: income inequality, racism, corruption,a willingness to excuse bigotry.”
The “horrific President” trope is another Big Lie. Essentially Democrats argue that the President is “horrific” because they say so and don’t like him; it’s like saying Obama isn’t a citizen. Opposing pet progressive policies doesn’t make a leader objectively “horrific.” As for the rest, what and who is she talking about? “Income inequality” is only a “wound” to a socialist. Her party is the one that endorses race-based hiring and college admissions, and also the one that endorses Black Lives Matter. Corruption is a bipartisan problem: do Ocasio-Cortez and George really not know about the lucrative influence peddling by Hillary’s foundation while she was Secretary of State? Excusing bigotry—wait, I’m confused: which party demoted its loud-mouthed white supremacist House member, and which refused to condemn the openly-anti-Semite in its ranks? Then OAC really goes all in, tweeting,
“He can stay, he can go. He can be impeached, or voted out in 2020. But removing Trump will not remove the infrastructure of an entire party that embraced him; the dark money that funded him; the online radicalization that drummed his army; nor the racism he amplified+reanimated.”
1) Good little totalitarian that she is, I’m sure OAC would love to make sure the US had one party system. 2) The Republicans never “embraced” Trump, they were just forced to nominate him, or thought they were. They support him now because, well, look at the alternative. 3.) Dark money? What “dark money?” Trump funded his own campaign to a substantial extent, and spend a fraction of what Hillary and the Democrats did. 4) What “online radicalization”? If there’s one thing Trump voters weren’t, it’s radical. 5) And, of course, again the racism lie, because beginning in 2008, opposing Democrats meant that you were a racist. Or is Trump a racist for wanting to enforce our immigration laws? (I just covered this canard, here, and here—not that reality matters to race-baiters.) [Pointer: Sara Harkins]
“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president…The popular Georgia Democrat, who at age 45 is 31 years younger than Biden, would bring diversity and excitement to the ticket — showing voters, in the words of a close source, that Biden “isn’t just another old white guy. But the decision poses considerable risk, and some advisers are flatly opposed. Some have pointed out that in a Democratic debate, he could be asked why no one on the stage would be a worthy running mate. Advisers also know that the move would be perceived as a gimmick.”
- I don’t understand: how does the identity of his VP show the Biden isn’t an old white guy?
- Wait: I thought it was Republicans who were bigoted…
- Stacy Abrams has four qualifications for executive leadership in Democratic Party terms: she’s black and she’s a female, she’s an experienced race-baiter, and she emulates Hillary Clinton by refusing to be a graceful loser. She’s a tax attorney.
- Watch out, though: you know how the news media will relentlessly question her level of experience to be a Presidential understudy, like they did with Sarah Palin. Hey—I managed to type that without dissolving in laughter and falling on the floor!