1. The best explanation ever composed to explain why baseball helps keep us ethical, by preserving our ability to give a damn—-for in the end, the most important of the virtues, the one that makes all the others matter—is caring.
Roger Angell, from his 1975 essay “Agincourt and After,” about the ’75 World Series and Carlton Fisk’s iconic homerun in Game #6 (yes, I was there):
It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look—I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring—caring deeply and passionately, really caring—which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naïveté—the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball—seems a small price to pay for such a gift.
2. Some Democrats are displaying integrity and patriotism...This morning’s Ethics Hero: Rep. Jim Himes ( D-Ct), who disappointed MSNBC’s hack-fest Morning Joe by deploring his colleagues who are sorry the Special Counsel did not find collusion with Russia by the President. They need to think, he told Joe and Mika, pointing out that he fact that a sitting President is not found to have traitorously conspires with a foreign power to pervert an election is cause for celebration, not regret. Hey, do you think he reads Ethics Alarms? [Pointer: VinnyMick]
3. But most are not, especially this guy: Martha MacCallum had Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) on her Fox News show last night. Along with Adam Schiff, he has been one of the worst offenders in asserting as fact, without evidence, that the President committed impeachable acts . True to form, Swalwell told his host that nothing in the salacious and unverified dossier had been proven “not factual.” I am also hearing this Bizarro World legal standard being endorsed by some commenters and, naturally, the Facebook Borg. In this country, people don’t have to prove themselves innocent, even people like Donald Trump, who seem especially ethics-impaired. Allegation,s rumors and accusations are not enough; in fact, they aren’t anything until they have been confirmed. The Steele Dossier is literally not anything, although it was used deceptively and probably illegally to justify spying on the Trump campaign.
I don’t know what it will take to rouse the somnolent and ignorant slugs we allow to vote to react to the danger of permitting this fad perversion of justice championed by Democrats. We saw it during the Kavanaugh hearings, and in the reign of terror of the #Me Too vigilantes and the campus star chambers encouraged by the Obama Administration.
4. On “obstruction of justice.” Now the grieving Democrats want to try Door Number 2 ( and Impeachment Plan G). The theory that someone can be prosecuted for obstruction because 1) he performed a legal act 2) that supposedly obstructed an effort to uncover a non-existent crime should be self-evidently ridiculous. I’ve written about this before, but let’s be clear: if the President knew he had committed no crimes, and he would know, and believed that the investigation was a contrived and unconstitutional effort by members of Congress and the judicial branch to interfere withe the Presidency and pursue a virtual coup (which, I believe, it was), his efforts to defeat that plot were not merely legal and ethical, but obligatory. Moreover, there cannot be “obstruction of justice” when there was no crime, unless an independent crime was committed in the process. This is how poor Scooter Libby ended up in jail over the weird Plame Affair, lying to protect his boss, when his boss, Dick Cheney, had nothing to hide.
5. DOUBLE spin from unexpected sources! Prof Orin Kerr got mad at me already once for pointing out his use of false equivalence to try to do some whitewashing for Bill Clinton. And look! Here he is doing it again! He tweeted,
“Imagine if the Starr Report had been provided only to President Clinton’s Attorney General, Janet Reno, who then read it privately and published a 4-page letter based on her private reading stating her conclusion that President Clinton committed no crimes.”
To which Clinton victim/accessory Monica Lewinsky replied, while retweeting it, “If…fucking…only.”
- Clinton did commit a crime, in fact several. Trump did not.
- A Special Counsel and an Independent Counsel are not the same thing, as Kerr, a lawyer, should know, and maybe does. Starr was required by law to present his report to Congress. The Independent Counsel was independent from the Department of Justice.. Democrats changed the rules after Clinton’s impeachment requiring Special Counsels to report only to the Attorney General.
- Kerr’s tweet is supposed to impugn the integrity of Attorney General Barr, who has seen the report, and Kerr hasn’t.
- The full Mueller Report, or close to it, is going to come out.
- Now write me another wounded comment about how you “expect better” of me, Professor.
5. Snopes isn’t worth another full post...but here is one more smoking gun that the site is untrustworthy and biased when covering anything related to politics. Blogger Scott Johnson, who has been investigating and tracking the weird story about Rep. Omar’s apparent marriage to be own brother, discovered that Snopes debunked his work while saying that he has never responded to their questions—and it appears that he was never sent any. Then, after he solicited the questions, they misrepresented his answers in an update.
6. Yes, well, the Big Lie tactic works. Apparently the first new poll since the Mueller Report shows no uptick in President Trump’s approval rating. I’m not surprised, for a couple of reasons. The Big Lie that the President was a traitor and tried to steal the election has been hammered and repeated by elected officials, celebrity shills and journalists for almost three years. A single event, no matter how persuasive, isn’t going to reverse the effects of that propaganda overnight. Second, the news logically should cause the public to have a lower opinion of the news media and Democrats rather than a better opinion of Trump, although I think eventually cognitive dissonance will work in Trump’s favor.
It would help if he just shut up about the Mueller Report and let the facts speak for themselves, of course. It would also help me if I developed the power to travel using telepathic translocation, but that’s not going to happen either.
7. Today’s “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias” note: Newsbusters ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored the President’s executive order mandating campus freedom of speech, giving extensive coverage instead to New Zealand’s semi-automatic gun ban. Fox News was the only outlet to cover the freedom of speech order in detail.
This, of course, is because the networks, staffed almost entirely by progressives and Democrats, favor gun-banning, and aren’t so enthusiastic about freedom of speech, unless it’s theirs, or agrees with them. This is a sub-set of fake news: burying or not reporting news that is important, but that does not advance the news media’s own political agenda. Choosing a measure passed half the globe away that has no immediate or likely impact on Americans over a significant Presidential executive order affecting the United States is an especially egregious example, and a stupid one.
But then, bias does make you stupid, and if you are not too bright to start with, it makes you even stupider.