Late Morning Warm-Up, 1/22/2020, Because I Wasted Two Hours Arguing With Trump Deranged Lawyers On Facebook, And Yes, I’m An Idiot

That’s me. The bee is Facebook…

Bah!

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.

Ethics notes:

  • 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.)

16 thoughts on “Late Morning Warm-Up, 1/22/2020, Because I Wasted Two Hours Arguing With Trump Deranged Lawyers On Facebook, And Yes, I’m An Idiot

  1. Which position of mine did you find offensive and unreasonable? That I supported the Clinton impeachment? That I believe that the Presidency requires honor, duty, and a moral obligation to set aside personal gain? That there is clear evidence (even if we don’t have all of it) that the President abused the office for personal political gain? My husband frequently says, “If you look around a room and you can’t find the crazy person, then the crazy person is probably you.” My circle of friends is made up of highly intelligent lawyers who work in all branches of government for this President. They are Republicans and Democrats. The spat you had today was with a career Government ethicist — someone who was a Republican for most of his life and is now a moderate. We’ve all located the crazy person in the room Jack. You pointed the finger at everyone but yourself. And as for the mud-slinging, you gave as good as you got — even if I think little good comes from it.

    • I have pointed out at many times that ethicists have disgraced themselves since Trump’s election SS, along with historians, psychiatrists, judges, scholars, journalists, and especially lawyers. That he can look at this impeachment and conclude anything but that it’s a dishonest, bad faith application of double standards and bias, then he fits right in. That he’s a career government ethicist or a Republican cuts no ice with me, not one bit. Richard Painter was Bush’s ethics counsel, and he advocated impeachment before Trump was nominated.

      You see, I can prove I’m not moved by bias—I detest Trump and believe having someone like him as the US leader is a cultural disaster, but I am not willing to junk the Constitution, the Separation of Powers, due process and elections to get rid of him. If you are referring to the guy who pulled the cheap Drudge talking point slime, that’s all I need to know. That was unethical—he’s no ethicist as far as I’m concerned.

      The Facebook Borg don’t want to listen to substance, and in fact they could learn something from me if they did.They’d rather make ridiculous arguments about how the 25th Amendment applies to saying rude and stupid things. (That’s truly a sign of TDS.)

      Nope. It’s mob mentality, and that’s all it is.Some previously intelligent people reinforcing emotion over ratioanality, and trying to bully and intimidate anyone who calls them on their bias and fanaticism. You should have the sense and integrity to defuse it, not cheer it on.

      Here’s the secret in a nutshell: the fact that people think an elected President isn’t fit to lead is just too damn bad. Win elections. Instead, people like that “ethicist” are validating the anti-democratic strategy of targeting that “unfit” leader and searching for something, anything, that will excuse a non-election removal. That’s wrong, per se, and enabling it and supporting those engaging in it is wrong.

      You know, I studied prosecutorial ethics and was briefly an assistant DA, and one thing I learned that I agreed with strongly was that a prosecutor targeting anyone that way was nascent totalitarianism, dangerous, and could not be tolerated. That’s what I see, I see it because it’s evident, and not seeing it is willful blindness. You actually played the absurd “wrong side of history” card today. I recommend, in respect and concern, that you get on the right side of democracy and ethics.

      • “I have pointed out at many times that ethicists have disgraced themselves since Trump’s election SS, along with historians, psychiatrists, judges, scholars, journalists, and especially lawyers.”

        Bingo. You are not Sir Thomas More, you are the crazy person in this room. Your analysis has been clouded by near blinding emotions regarding the Press and Democrats. And even though you are not wrong that the Press can and should do better and that politics are evil, none of that changes the fact that the President abused his power. Republican and Democrat ethicists, historians, judges, scholars, journalist, and yes — especially lawyers — are able to separate out this analysis. You can not.

        • Nor does it change the fact that “abuse of power” is a subjective standard prone to unethical manipulation, as in this case. That’s a very sane opinion; I have the history to back it up, both Professor Dershowitz and Prof. Turley agree with me, and I came to the correct conclusion before they did. The fact that a lot of people have allowed their bias to cause them to adopt an unethical and dangerous position devised fin bad faith does not make them right.

        • All you just said equates to “the other inmates all agree with me, and since you do not we will call you the crazy one.”

          Objective truth exists, despite you and all your ‘highly educated’ friends deciding it does not.

    • I believe that the Presidency requires honor, duty, and a moral obligation to set aside personal gain?

      Point of order: Exactly how did the Clintons, or the Obamas, set aside personal gain? They all left the White House with an order of magnitude greater net worth than the salary the people -their employers!- paid them. Just how, pray tell, did that happen?

      Sounds like they gained quite a bit personally.

      When you say obviously propaganda like this, it destroys the rest of what you wrote.

      • The only recent President who meets SS’s standard is Jimmy Carter, and even he gave ambassadorships to donors. To cite a cliche I’m sick of reading but that is nonetheless fair, “Trump is different because shut up.”

  2. 4. I’m glad you mentioned the Hall of Fame voting. As a fellow fan of the game, I was watching it closely. I was thrilled for Larry Walker – he deserved enshrinement. Sure he played an awful lot of games in Denver, but Colorado wasn’t his only home and he hit well everywhere. He was a very smart base-stealer, his numbers did not fall off a cliff with age, and he was a crack defender with an arm that mimicked a cannon.

    I’m not upset that Derek’s tally wasn’t unanimous, though coming up one vote shy is too bad. But that just puts him level with guys like Ruth, Gehrig, Aaron, Cobb – every elite player not named Mariano Rivera.

    I am also thrilled that Bonds and Clemens were kept out. They haven’t been found guilty in a court of law, but we know – pretty much beyond a reasonable doubt – they are guilty of steroid abuse. If someone accuses me of unethically “declaring an innocent man guilty”, I counter with, “If my accusation was something that would send either of them to jail, you would have a point. But this about the Hall of Fame, not prison, and the standard should not be the same for both.

    • Oh…I have to ask…

      Did you ever spend any time reading the FireJoeMorgan.com website? It’s been dark for 10 years or so (though it’s still visible). Several writers would critique really bad sports journalism – it started with panning Joe Morgan and all the silly things he said and wrote – but branched out from there. I found the site hysterical and still go there from time to time for a good old-fashioned laugh.

      • I did read it. I defended Joe. On inside baseball, on the field stuff, he was excellent. Like Harold Reynolds today and many other ex-players, his positions on statistical tools were almost comically ignorant.

        What I criticized Joe for was not being willing to manage while baseball was embarrassingly lacking in black managers. (Still is.) Joe would have been a terrific one, and he could have done a lot of good by taking a shot, even for just a couple of years.

    • I’m afraid Bonds and Clemens (Roger has barely plausible claim of innocence, Bonds has none) will eventually make it in, at which time I’l never reference the Hall again. Only an organized boycott by correct members can stop it. As I wrote a couple of years back, the door will be opened by David Ortiz, wrongly implicated in a leaked test result that the Players Association promised would be confidential, where his positive result could have easily resulted from tainted supplements in the Dominican Republic—indeed, that was one of the issue that prompted the voluntary test. Nonetheless, David was permanently tarred by that episode, so when he is admitted, as he will be, that will give the Ethics Dunces among the baseball writers the precedent they need to vote Bonds in.

      I hope I’m wrong.

      • I hope you’re wrong, too! I may be way off base, but I believe that if Bonds and Clemens get in, somebody owes Pete Rose an apology.

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