This has been more ethics drama than I could stand every week; I sure hope the rest of the year isn’t like this. First the Superbowl is won by an NFL team whose fans do the tomahawk chop. Then the Iowa Caususes self-destruct in an orgy of incompetence and finger-pointing as the Democrats blame white people and Trump. Nancy Pelosi makes Joe “You lie!” Wilson look civil, the Left has a conniption over Rush Limbaugh being honored, the Senate acquits the President, and most notable of all, the Boston Red Sox named Alex Cora’s bench coach, Ron Roenicke, its new manager.
Since the Sox are under investigation for their own alleged cheating scandal, this was a fascinating choice. The team must have done its due diligence, questioning Cora, Roenicke and others to be 100% sure that Roenicke had no hand in whatever it was the Red Sox were doing to steal signs in 2018, if they were. If they didn’t, they are, to be blunt, morons with a death wish.
1. OK, I’m getting paranoid now, but what the heck is up with the new voice of Tony the Tiger? After decades of the startling bass of voice artist Thurl Ravenscroft growling “They’re GRRRRREAT!” (Ravenscoft is the one who sings “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!” in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”), Tony now sounds like an accountant. If they wanted to find a tiger-like voice, or even a Ravenscoft imitator, Kelloggs easily could have, just as Warner Bros. has been able to find passable (though inferior) replacements for Mel Blanc. Am I being conspiratorial to think this is more woke cultural indoctrination by Madison Avenue, with the kinder, gentler, wimpier Tony avoiding toxic male aggressiveness? In the new Life cereal commercials, you know, “Mikey” is now a girl.
2. “Yet” arrives. In a post a couple of days ago, I wrote that the Democrats and news media hadn’t blamed the President for the Iowa Caucus implosion “yet.” Long time commenter Neil Doerr helpfully passed this along:
Supporters of President Donald Trump inundated a hotline used by Iowa caucus precinct leaders to report their tallies, contributing to significant delays in the final tally, Iowa Democratic Party officials said….NBC News reported on Thursday that the party’s hotline number was repeatedly posted on the online message board 4chan as voting took place on Monday night. Its users, who are anonymous and have trolled and harassed the president’s political opponents, urged others to call in. “Uh oh how unfortunate it would be for a bunch of mischief makers to start clogging the lines,” one user wrote, according to NBC.
4Chan is a pro-trolling progressives group. It is wants to promote chaos, not Trump. The callers were anonymous; they cannot be called “Trump supporters” just because they wish the Democrats ill. (Nobody knows this mind set better than I.) Moreover, the phone lines appear to have been the least of the Iowa Democrats problems. The DNC has even called for a do-over, and it is beginning to look like there will never be definitive and reliable results. This is the fault of the Democratic Party. Nobody else.
Meanwhile, Nicole Fleetwood, a Rutgers American studies and Art History professor, tweeted on the Night They Tore The Caucus Down, “Watching the Iowa Caucus is a sickening display of the over-representation of whiteness.”
That’s a irremediably racist statement. If the country is going to get proactive about eliminating ideological poisoning in our institutions of higher learning, insisting on the removal of unapologetic racists from faculties is a modest but necessary start.
3. At what point will respectable Democrats conclude that Nancy Pelosi is an embarrassment? The desperate Democratic party apologists/Trump Derangement sufferers on Facebook were trying to argue that Pelosi’s staged tearing of the State of the Union text was the ethical equivalent of President Trump refusing to shake hands with a woman who has orchestrated ad hominem attacks on his character for years. They are not equivalent: the snub was not staged for cameras, was not part of the official event, and was subtle enough that some even deny that it was intentional. Pelosi’s mimed “Up yours, Mr. President!” was on a different level entirely. It lapped Rep. Joe Wilson’s universally criticized “You lie!” disruption of an Obama State of the Union message, in part because it was a more egregious display of disrespect, and mostly because Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, and has a duty to maintain the decorum of the event. Her conduct was indeed a breach of the House Code of conduct, which begins,
“A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
Far from being chastened, Pelosi is apparently determined to make that requirement a dead letter. In her weekly press conference, for example, she said of the President before his speech, “It looked to me like he was a little sedated. He looked that way last year, too.” Nice.
As long as they submit to being led by an official who engages in those kinds of slurs, the Democrats are estopped from expressing outrage at Trump’s unpresidential rhetoric.
4. Here’s how the poll on the President’s snub is going...
5. Oh, shut up, Your Holiness. Pope Francis lectured participants in a Vatican seminar organized by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.that..
“Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development,” Francis said, claiming that the meeting “the poor increase around us.” This is a theme with the Pope; he said last June, that “the poor are always poorer, and today they are poorer than ever.”
This is untrue. A 2018 Brookings Institution report concluded that the world is currently experiencing “the lowest prevalence of extreme poverty ever recorded in human history — less than 8 percent,” and that poverty is falling every year. Less than 10% of the global population lives in extreme poverty today, when just 30 years ago (1990), 37% of the world was in extreme poverty. The global poverty rate has been falling across every single poverty category, whether the bar is set at $1.90 a day or $10 a day.
So it seems that the Pope has chosen to adopt one of the most prevalent BIg Lies being wielded against the President by “the resistance,” but on a grand scale: Big Lie #5: “Everything is Terrible.”
Boy, if you can’t trust the Pope, who can you trust?