A really low blow (among the other low blows, like the jerk who accused me of getting all of my ideas from Drudge) came from a former commenter here, who accused Ethics Alarms of being an “echo chamber.” That truly ticks me off. If the Trump Deranged don’t have the wits or open minds to test their biases where intelligent, informed, articulate adversaries are likely to respond, that’s not my fault, and it’s exactly what the left side of the blog’s commentariat did. They didn’t rebut the position here, proven correct, that the Justice Department’s handling of The FISA warrants were part of a dangerous effort to undermine the Trump campaign and his election: they just accused me of “drinking the KoolAid” and quit, or were insulting. They never tried to argue away the smoking gun evidence of the soft coup plans A through S that I have meticulously documents since 2016, they just act as if the current impeachment excuse is justified and offered in good faith, when it is so clearly not. It’s all denial, spin, dishonesty and mob mentality. I ended up in today’s piranha tank by pointing out to a lawyer that the the fact that Trump was intemperate at a meeting of generals was not sufficient to trigger the 25th Amendment, and that lawyers, like her, shouldn’t be misleading the public by making such lame arguments. I posted the amendment, and said that “Unable” to perform the duties of the office doesn’t mean, as she and others are arguing, “Unable to perform the duties that way she and other would prefer them to be performed” and stating that approval polls do not reflect the degree to which the impeachment charade is helping to re-elect Trump.
These are the smart Deranged. Imagine what the others are like.
1. Resistance porn. “A Very Stable Genius” is the latest “tales out of school” anti-Trump book. In this it is no different from those that have gone before, from Omarosa’s tell-all on up the ethics evolutionary scale. This one was authored by Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, so naturally the news media is celebrating it as if it is somehow different. What it is a collection of mostly anonymous accounts of people who have axes to grind and scores to settle against Donald Trump, and are violating basic professional ethics to do it. Are all of the stories true? I’m sure some are, maybe most—they don’t sound out of line with what we knew about this President before he was elected. Yet they are by very nature distorted by the theme of the book and the presumed anti-Trump bias of the book’s audience. What is so alarming about Trump’s eagerness to have a meeting with Putin? So what if he questions why U.S. businesses shouldn’t be allowed to engage in bribery abroad, when it is the accepted norm in many countries? There’s an answer to the question, but it’s not a dumb question; in fact, its one international ethicists still debate. And do you really think Trump saying to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, “It’s not like you’ve got China on your border” wasn’t a joke? Taking it as otherwise is classic conformation bias and disrespect. It sure sounds like a typical Trump joke to me.
I’ve had some terrible bosses and some terrific ones, and I could tell damning stories about all of them—and those stories, by themselves, would be completely unfair and distorted pictures of what they were really like. I won’t tell those stories in public, though, because people could do the same to me, it would be unfair for them to violate my trust that way, and this is a pure Golden Rule matter.
2. Is it unethical for Mike Bloomberg to spend a billion dollars to defeat Trump? Bloomberg’s chance of being nominated are nil, being as he is a charisma-challenged, dictatorial, nanny-state advocate who promoted discriminating against blacks and Hispanics as NYC mayor. However, he has pledged to spend like a drunken billionaire to defeat Donald Trump no matter who the Democrats nominate. The Koch Brothers-George Soros approach certainly exploits a loop-hole in the capitalism-democracy-First Amendment system we have, but a) I doubt that Bloomberg shouting from the sidelines—remember, he can’t legally coordinate with the Democratic Party under election laws–will have a decisive effect, b) thanks to the fact that the Supreme Court refused to allow censorship of political speech, there will be plenty of money and opportunity for groups to counter Bloomberg’s propaganda, and c) don’t you think the repulsive spectacle of a mega-billionaire trying to brain-wash voters will cause serious backlash?
Yes, I think it’s unethical, but then, so is Mike “I ordered my news service not to criticize me or my campaign” Bloomberg.
3. This is how one side dictates what is “correct” ideological bias. The Committee on Codes of Conduct of the U.S. Judicial Conference is proposing that it be regarded as a breach of judicial ethics for a judge to be member of the conservative Federalist Society, the scholarly conservative organization with chapters at law schools that sponsors programs exploring various political and judicial issues.
A “January 2020 exposure draft for review and comment” that was sent to federal judges, concludes,
“In sum, the Committee advises that formal affiliation with the ACS [American Constitution Society] or the Federalist Society, whether as a member or in a leadership role, is inconsistent with Canons 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the Code,” says the draft. The American Constitution Society is a liberal legal group created to counter the Federalist Society, though as we’ll explain it is far more active politically….Official affiliation with either organization could convey to a reasonable person that the affiliated judge endorses the views and particular ideological perspectives advocated by the organization; call into question the affiliated judge’s impartiality on subjects as to which the organization has taken a position; and generally frustrate the public’s trust in the integrity and independence of the judiciary.”
Of course, so does membership in the increasingly left-wing American Bar Association, but the Committee, in what I view as an indication of bad faith, picked a minor liberal legal group, The American Constitution Society , as phony balance to the larger, more prestigious and more influential Federalist Society.
I would advocate barring judges from any participation as members or speakers in any organization regarded as a having a political or ideological footprint, and that includes law schools and universities. [Pointer: Jim Kelly]
4. Running long here, but attention must be paid. Yesterday the Hall of Fame announced that Derick Jeter, the great Yankee shortstop, and outfielder Larry Walker, the very deserving outfielder for the Expos and Rockies, have been elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
- Being elected unanimously by the over 350 qualified baseball writers who vote is regarded as a special honor, though it is absurd that no player—not Babe Ruth, not Cy Young, not Willy Mays–achieved that distinction until last year’s election of Mariano Rivera. Jeter obviously deserved that distinction, yet a single writer didn’t include him among the ten votes he was permitted. What a jerk.
- King steroid cheat Barry Bonds didn’t reach the 75% of ballots required for election again. Neither did Roger Clemens, nor Manny Ramirez. GOOD.
- Walker is an example of how Bonds and the other cheats harmed innocent players. Since he played in the so-called “steroid era,” he was judged by many as guilty by association. though there is no evidence that he used performance enhancing drugs to hit all those home runs. (He was also penalized for playing in Denver, where the high altitude made slugging just a little bit easier.)