January 23 is a big day in ethics, good and bad. In 1964, poll taxes were finally banned via the 24th Amendment. In 1973, peace was finally declared in the Vietnam War (though it was hardly the “peace with honor” President Nixon called it.)In 1977, “Roots” debuted as a TV mini-series, helping to educate millions of Americans who knew very little about slavery. In 1988, the Challenger exploded as a result of an engineering ethics breakdown. On this day in 1998, Bill Clinton looked America in the eye and denied having sex with Monica. Of course, he wasn’t lying, because he meant “sexual intercourse.” Sure. And finally, in 1989, Ted Bundy was electrocuted. Good.
1. Impeachment notes. I will not watch the trial, but these kinds of things that come to my attention cannot be ignored:
- This is KABOOM!-worthy, and a “Have you no decency?” moment. The mendacious Rep. Schiff really and truly said this yesterday:
Instead, we are here today to consider a much more grave matter, and that is an attempt to use the powers of the presidency to cheat in an election. For precisely this reason, the President’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box—for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won. In corruptly using his office to gain a political advantage, in abusing the powers of that office in such a way as to jeopardize our national security and the integrity of our elections, in obstructing the investigation into his own wrongdoing, the President has shown that he believes that he is above the law and scornful of constraint.
a.) How do you cheat in an election that is more than a year away, when the candidates haven’t been determined? You can’t. b) Every President uses his powers to enhance his popularity, give him an edge with voters, and help him and his party win. This is apparently only illegal when done by Trump. c.) By Schiff’s logic, every “October surprise” is an impeachable abuse of power. d.) Uncovering genuine corruption by any candidate for high office so voters are informed is not “cheating.” e.) The suggestion that a phone call with a foreign leader justifies being suspicious of a Presidential election is a new low, even for Schiff, and is laying the groundwork for yet another refusal by the democratic party to accept the results of an election.
Meanwhile, the networks are calling Schiff “brilliant” and “dazzling.”
Fact check: He’s a lying, Machiavellian, enemy of democracy whose words and conduct disgrace the House.
- Speaking of fact checks, CNN fact check reporter Daniel Dale fact only checked claims made by President Donald Trump’s lawyers during the first day of the Senate’s impeachment trial, but did not fact check those of any of the Democratic impeachment managers. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias.
2. And now, in memory of Monty Python’s Terry Jones, who died yesterday, for something completely different. The National Archives Museum altered a photograph of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, blurring out the ext of protest signs that read, “God Hates Trump” and “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women”…
Morons. Everyone connected with this historical airbrushing should be fired. The excuse given by the staff was that the anti-Trump statements were censored in order to avoid “current political controversy,” and that the photograph was for display, rather than being a historical record, or something. Fire whoever was responsible for this garbage, including the spokesperson.
Finally the Archives issued an apology and vowed to undergo “a thorough review” of its policies. Who’s responsible? In addition to the Archives staff and management, President Trump and his simpering lackeys share responsibility, just as they shared responsibility when White House officials, reportedly without checking with the President, told the Navy to cover up the name of the USS John McCain and give its crew who wear hats bearing that name the day off when President Trump was coming by for a visit.
3. But even when they have a legitimate reason to criticize, the “resistance” and the news media are incapable of playing it fair and straight. Writing about the scandal, David M. Perry the senior academic adviser to the history department at the University of Minnesota—no profession has debased itself more since November 2016 than historians—asked, “As a historian I worry about how many other altered documents the Trump administration has buried in our records. Will we ever know?” No, and we’ll never know what altered documents the administrations of Presidents Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman…need I go on? Perry marked himself as a hack with that statement, implying wrong-doing with no evidence whatsoever.
Oh, he has more, invoking Big Lie #3: “Trump Is A Fascist/Hitler/Dictator/Monster”:
The historian Ian Kershaw coined the phrase “working toward the Führer” as a way to explain how fascist regimes work. Hitler was not a bureaucrat, but a skilled rhetorician able to articulate his values to his administration and countless other Germans, who then on their own worked to figure out how put his ideals into action.
Oddly, this wasn’t called “working toward Obama,” though Perry was silent when a far more dangerous, sinister and consequential example of the phenomenon affected the 2012 Presidential election. Obama’s IRS “figured out how put his ideals into action” by illegally obstructing the advocacy activities of conservative groups during the campaign. The mainstream media, however, furiously defended that President against any suggestions that he passively encouraged the conduct.
I’ll have more about Perry later today.
4. I’ve been meaning to mention…a few days ago, on a whim, I decided to count the number of mixed race couples portrayed in TV commercials. It was almost 40%. That may have been a two-day anomaly, but this wildly misrepresents U.S. demographics, in which all mixed race marriages comprise slightly less than 10%. A U.S. society where love is racially blind would be a positive development, but I am uncomfortable with TV and Hollywood using their power to push public attitudes where they think it should go. It’s a form of stealth propaganda, and there’s a lot of it on all sorts of topics.