Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/22/2020: Well, It’s Morning To ME!

Got out of bed at 2:30 pm.

And going back as soon as I get this post up.

1. For God’s sake Amy, the narrative! Read your talking points!  The sudden front-runner to be Joe Biden’s VP had an opportunity to display some character, but whiffed. During an April 7 interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish on SiriusXM, Senator Klobuchar was questioned about the controversy surrounding hydroxychloroquine. Klobuchar Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) admitted her husband went from  COVID-related pneumonia that had him  coughing up blood to “one day, he just got better,” after he was treated with hydroxychloroquine. Did the Senator come to the Presidents’ defense thisweek when he was being accused of everything from stupidity to recklessness for taking an FDA approved drug? Of course not.

Too bad. That would make her a real asset to a Biden ticket: a shred of integrity.

2.  Attacking the messenger… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response to allegations that he had sought to have an Inspector General fired for investigating Pompeo’s various abuses of his position was to  attack Sen. Bob Menendez.

Pompeo said  that the allegations had been “leaked” to the media by staff members of Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I don’t get my ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted, a man for whom his Senate colleagues, bipartisan, basically said that he was taking bribes. That’s not someone I look to for ethics guidance,” Pompeo said.

Wow, Talk about a lame deflection. Pompeo should address the allegations against him rather than relying on ad hominem attacks on his critics.

3. From the junk science, hindsight bias files: The New York Times published the results of a study, and reported, “Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show…Even small differences in timing would have prevented the worst exponential growth, which by April had subsumed New York City, New Orleans and other major cities, researchers found.”

[Oops. Couldn’t make it through. Back to bed. I’ll be up after the jump…]

This is fake news, No study can say with certainty what would have happened had a different course been taken. These are despicable rear-view mirror projections that cannot be called “findings.” At best, they can be called theories, and they are theories not susceptible to proof. It is affirmatively misleading to describe such a study as “finding” anything with certainty.

4. CNN just doesn’t care, apparently. I wrote a long time ago about how inappropriate it was for Chris Cuomo to interview the New York Governor, his brother. I’d find it, but there have been so many other examples of the younger Cuomo’s miserable journalism ethics that it would take more time and energy that I have right now. This was the low, however: this week, Chris Cuomo interviewed  Gov. Andrew for the 10th time since the  pandemic began. His hardest-hitting question? Were the Wuhan virus testing swabs are too small for Andrew’s huge nose? “[The nurse told me] that I have a little button nose,” the governor countered. AHAHAHAHA!  As with previous fake arguments over which brother is mom’s favorite, who would win a fight, and where the tomato sauce recipe went, CNN just allowed this to continue, as if there weren’t real, urgent  questions to ask Cuomo. The disastrous decision the governor made to send infected seniors to nursing homes , for instance, resulted in unnecessary deaths. 

I’d say that’s a bit mote newsworthy than the size of Andrew’s nose.I know it’s not funny, but  the news media is supposed to hold leaders responsible for their actions. If Chris Cuomo can’t do that when his big brother is the topic, then he needs to pass on the responsibility to a less conflicted journalist. If there is one at CNN…

5. Good one, Joe! Biden was in repair mode today for suggesting in an  interview that African-Americans unsure about whether to support him or President Trump “ain’t black.” The remark came when his aides tried to end a contentious interview, prompting the African American host to charge, “You can’t do that to black media.” Biden said he would have to go whether dealing with “white media” or “black media.” The African American interviewer  then asked Biden to come back on the program again, adding, “It’s a long way to November. We’ve got more questions.” Biden responded: “I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

This did not go over well.

Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders defended the comments, stressing Biden’s record with the black community and saying: “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”

Sure. What he was doing was stating that he takes the black vote for granted.

The problem here is that Biden is being subjected to minimal exposure right now, and still keeps sticking his feet into his mouth anyway. He’s incompetent, and he’s a fool. He can only keep claiming that his outbursts are jokes for so long.

31 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/22/2020: Well, It’s Morning To ME!

  1. ” ‘I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,’ ”

    Any Lefty that isn’t $#!tting their Hempen Homespun over this isn’t paying attention, or is in complete denial; likely both.

    Imagine the Hue-n-Cry were this a Trump quote.

  2. Point 5

    I have direct experience with Biden’s legislative acts with respect to the black community. From 1989 to 1995 I coordinated the post secondary educational offerings at the prison complex, MCI, MCTC and Roxbury, in western Maryland for Hagerstown Community College. Our correctional ed program was nationally recognized and our most famous grad was actor Charles Dutton. Our graduate recidivism rate over the 25 year history was below 20%. Our success was based on getting inmate students to learn how to evaluate the choices they make in life.

    In 1994, Congress passed the Omnibus crime bill which barred inmates in state institutions from recieving federal financial aid (Pell grants) . The vast majority of our students were minorities. Some might say we used the prison program to boost our minority numbers. It did and that translated into added funding for the non-incarcerated students.

    I pleaded with Senator Biden who was either the chair or ranking member of the Judiciary Committee to eliminate that prohibition. I called his office many times, wrote letters and basically was the staunchest advocate in the area for trying to keep that program alive for these inmates. None of my efforts to save Pell grants for state inmates prevailed. Despite all my efforts, not once did Biden or any staffer contact me or our administration about the impact on Black and Latino students. They did not care about that. The goal was to look tough on crime. Looking tough is his mantra but looking tough does not create in people the belief that legitimate economic opportunities do exist for those with skills and choose to go after them.

    Today when he stated he voted for a bill to help inmates after they leave prison he was not telling Charlemagne’s urban audience that he helped kill college for blacks in state prisons. Biden’s bill affected only those in federal prisons and everyone should realize that state prisons house most of the poor minorities not the federal ones.

    Biden lies and I know it. I just wish others did too.

        • You’re welcome. He is indeed. As Jeff points out so well below, these are NOT “gaffes,” these are eruptions of the real, demented, uncontrollably angry, 2020 model Joe Biden. He’s not a ticking time bomb, he’s an entire pallet of cluster bomb.

  3. Good. I hope this comment by Biden loses him a significant percentage of Black votes. This is tantamount to calling a conservative Black an Oreo.

      • Exactly. This is a Republican pipe dream they’ve been having for decades about both African Americans and Jews.

        I’ll believe it when I see it, and right now I don’t believe it will happen at all. I think faced with a “never Biden” position, most blacks would simply stay home or vote third party.

  4. 4. This is my most recent bugaboo. I hate that I’m seeing glowing articles about how cute and funny the Cuomo brothers are. None of them address the conflict of interest or even how much of a waste of airtime this is during global pandemic. Have Trump make a single joke about COVID-19 testing and see how many days are spent accusing him of insensitivity.

    As for Biden, if he can’t do better than this with his base voters while he’s barely campaigning, how will he do on the debate stage? Is he really expecting every moderator to go easy on him?

    • This kind of pabulum is standard for Democrats when they want to misdirect. Remember all the photos out of the White House with our ‘baby whisperer’ President, Barack and Michelle holding hands, and the sappiest of all, ‘The Bromance’?

      So now the Cuomo brothers are all cute and cuddly, aren’t they great? Just don’t ask for the nursing home stats…

    • As for Biden, if he can’t do better than this with his base voters while he’s barely campaigning, how will he do on the debate stage? Is he really expecting every moderator to go easy on him?

      I daresay he’s counting on it. He’s probably right, too.

  5. I have a feeling that, if Biden actually lasts until November, there’s going to be a sizable shift in the black male vote to the Republican side. Biden always touts his support from the black community, but he also has this barely-hidden attitude that almost feels like he thinks they owe him their vote. I really think, in his mind, he’s convinced himself that he’s a civil rights warrior (his somewhat checkered history in that area notwithstanding), and black people should be grateful to him. He’s genuinely offended when they aren’t devoted fans.

    He used to be able to kind of “aw, shucks” his way out of this kind of fuckup (I refuse to use the minimizing term “gaffe”), but now that his faculties are diminishing by the day, he just drops these little “the real Joe Biden” bombs, and can’t defuse them.

    Black men, in particular, are not going to take Biden’s disrespectful attitude in stride. Especially not when guys like Kanye West are out there taking the heat and providing cover for them to vote for Trump.

    • Jeff said: I have a feeling that, if Biden actually lasts until November, there’s going to be a sizable shift in the black male vote to the Republican side.

      Don’t bet on it, Jeff. Republicans have been singing this song for decades about both African Americans and Jews. It has yet to materialize.

      You may see a drop in voting by black males for Biden, but my supposition is they’ll stay home rather than vote for any Republican. Tribalism is more powerful than reason, unfortunately.

      • Tribalism is more powerful than reason, unfortunately.

        You could turn that around and say *fortunately*.

        So I guess it is time to see that *tribalism* is a very relevant and important fact about our existence. To be a people, to be a *nation*, cannot be achieved by the imposition of false idealism. If *tribalism* is more powerful than reason, then reason needs to examine *tribalism* from a different perspective. Not the one that describes it as a moral evil or a failing.

        The identity politics of Black Americans and Latino Americans has an origin not in ‘reason’ — though their identity clamoring was never unreasonable if you grant them human entity — but in common sense: only I can understand and serve my community, my *nation*, my people, and I have a necessary right to my identity which I must protect. If you read their writing it all makes a good deal of sense.

        Discovering one’s *identity* was a huge part of the struggle for historical consciousness. This makes no sense to you because you lived within those structures built on identification and self-acknowledgement! You had what other people felt they had lost or had taken from them.

        I’m singin’ that
        When the cat’s away,
        The mice will play.
        Political voilence fill ya city, ye-ah!
        Don’t involve Rasta in your say say;
        Rasta don’t work for no C.I.A.
        Rat race, rat race, rat race! Rat race, I’m sayin’:
        When you think is peace and safety:
        A sudden destruction.
        Collective security for surety, ye-ah!

        Don’t forget your history;
        Know your destiny:

        The problem is of course the one that you refuse to examine! You make the mistake of denying *identity*; of making it an ethical or moral failure. You have to undermine or at least *defuse* identity-struggle when it becomes militant because forced mixing always produces conflict. But why did you allow this to be created in the first place? It makes no sense. Now you are being dispossessed. What folly to have imagined it would turn out differently.

        You say — you genuinely believe I assume — that any person and any people can surrender their *real* identity for an abstract identity. You make the mistake of assuming this was ‘America’s process’. However, for most of America’s history it allowed immigration from ‘cousin-nations’: people from Europe and with a shared European heritage (and thus a factor of identity). They did have conflicts, initially, but they were not so severe that they could not, and were not, surmounted by Americanism. That became both the leveling ideal and a new form of ‘glue’.

        But in the Postwar, and definitely post-1965, this congomerationism became infused with radically different ideological currents. No other conflict except Vietnam brought it all to the surface. Indeed I would suggest that MLK’s declarations about ‘content of character’ (and a whole ideological set that came with that) is, in truth, quite false. They function as grand ‘inspiring’ idealisms but they then fall apart at the decisive moment.

        You cannot maintain distinct identities within a nation and expect no civil strife to arise. You can however force integration in the sense that you can attempt to get different peoples to blend together through physical blending. You will wind up with *mulatto* culture. Heavily mixed populations, because of what they become, have no choice but to surrender specific identity and identification, for another sort of corporate identity.

    • I tend to think Biden is being positioned as the sacrificial goat to give Democrats cover for losing four more years of Trump.

      Withdrawing Biden means admitting they made a mistake – and only Trump can do wrong! Withdrawing Biden makes them look bad, and the Democratic Party will take the blame for the strategic blunder that make them lose. If Biden loses, they toss him on a raft and set him adrift, never to speak of him again.

      The Democrats are in a lose-lose situation, so their move is to throw 100% of their behind the candidate elected during the primary. They get to look “democratic”, saving some face from 2016, and they get to call anyone who questions Biden’s mental accumen “ageist”. And when he loses, they cook up some new scandal to blame on Trump (or get lucky and goad Trump into committing severe misconduct).

      The only downside of this sleezy strategy for Democrats is that Biden might win….

  6. 1. Talking points

    Jack said: Too bad. That would make her a real asset to a Biden ticket: a shred of integrity.

    True. Unfortunately, her viability to the Democrat electorate would’ve been significantly diminished had she followed your advice. To praise or in any way utter a statement that might be interpreted as praise, or even tacit support, for a Trump statement or position is to be declared a pariah in the Democrat party.

    One need only look to the Illinois state legislator (I’m to lazy to look her up right now) who did the same thing to see how this works.

    All of which says very, very, very bad things about the Democrat party as a whole.

    2. The messenger

    Jack said: Wow, Talk about a lame deflection. Pompeo should address the allegations against him rather than relying on ad hominem attacks on his critics.

    True. But politics as usual is politics as usual, and such deflections are never going away as a tactic to give a non-answer.

    “Oh, shiny!” works with a surprising number of Americans every time.

    3. Junk science

    The conservative comeback to this may be found here. I don’t have time to go through the numbers, but my suspicion is in both cases that we are seeing the old saw, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics” in action once again.

    Science in this country has lost its meaning. Nobody even attempts to utilize the scientific method anymore, because it might not support their politics.

    If you want to know the scientific truth, you will be hard pressed to find it without a determined, careful search. All we can do is what you just did — examine the form of the argument and conclude the conclusion is fake, contrived, and the supporting argument biased to a particular position.

    4. This is CNN

    Can an argument about the relative size of their Johnsons be far away now? I’m sure fans of the Cuomos are waiting with bated breath…

    5. Ol’ Joe

    Jack said: Biden was in repair mode today for suggesting in an interview that African-Americans unsure about whether to support him or President Trump “ain’t black.”

    As a quick aside does anyone but me have flashbacks back to Algore when he used to try to sound “black” when speaking before large African American audiences?

    Also, how far have we fallen when “…ain’t…” is used in a direct attempt to appeal to an African American audience, not to mention the Hobson’s choice he offered and the insulting, implied “You know you’re voting for me, because black people must vote for Democrats, so just stop it.”

    I think the response has been utterly tepid, and suggests to me that Biden is probably right even if he trod all over his manhood, as is his wont, in saying it.

    • “Also, how far have we fallen when “…ain’t…” is used in a direct attempt to appeal to an African American audience…?”

      Michelle Obama tried to entice black votes in 2014 with fried chicken. If anything ol’ Joe is being consistent with how some plantation overseers…I mean Democrats attempt to appeal to blacks.

      • Cultural appropriation! (Pretty soon only woke black people will be able to use “ain’t.” I’m surprised no woke person has “called out” Joe on this.

      • When you boil it all down, Joe is telling black Americans that he is the answer as he will continue and enhance benefits, and all they have to do is vote correctly, while Donald Trump is offering them jobs. They can get what they want for free if they stay on the Democrat plantation. How is that different from the slave owners 170 years ago telling the slaves they are better off on the plantation where they get food and a roof over their heads and all they have to do is pick cotton; out in the world they would have to work just to be able to pay for that roof… Joe is saying that a black man who wants a job so that HE can support his family and maintain his pride in doing so is not really a black American. Holy Cow!

        As someone said a while back: the campaign materials and slogans just keep writing themselves.

  7. 5. Good one, Joe!

    “Mothers, don’t let your babies grow up to be Wiggers. . .

    Someone has to say it. Why must it always fall to me? 😉

    I have to start from another way of looking and seeing. I glanced over different episodes of The Morning Show. I have to start with saying the unsayable: everyone I see there disgusts me. They should have their own island. Far, far away.

    I not only dislike but I totally dislike the way they talk (I mean, in Ebonic English). It amazes me that Black Americans cannot speak English *properly*. But of course they don’t! Because to speak *properly* is to have been imposed upon, to be forced to perform. So, the language-form of Ebonics (or whatever it is) is rebellious even if it is creative.

    In comparison to WASP-speak, or when the two are juxtaposed, one or the other must be influenced and must change. The two forms cannot exist together. So, it is embarrassing to watch Joe Biden debase himself in speaking to the man interviewing him in his version of *jive’. (But it was also disgusting to watch Obama do the same at the Howard ceremony).

    But there you have it really. In a cultural and a social power-game it is this ugly Rap Culture that asserts itself. What is frightening is the degree to which it penetrates far and wide. Here (South America), the Rap form is completely pervasive. All the *poses* and *gestures* of Black Americans transposed down into the lower orders of Latino society. The hats backwards, the swagger, the arrogant facial gestures, the pendants and the bizarre names. It always appeals to a criminal element — those breaking out of norms and breaking the law. It is part of a process of disintegration. I do not see what can be built with it.

    Particularly horrifying is the way these women look. I used to think that a puta mexicana (Mexican whore) was a pretty low point to reach. But the Black whorish-twerking look is radically hideous. It embellishes a natural ugliness and makes it that much more disgusting. That look in combination with a disgusting articulation of language. This is bad news.

    So, this all has to be resisted. But to be resisted it has to be recognized. It has to be described as repulsive. But you see this is the essential problem and why this all involves social games, and political games, of power and influence.

    This is also a pretty obviously debasing aspect of *democracy*. It is an inevitable result. And then when everything blends together . . . nothing distinct is left to stand.

    This is what the developing present portends, you see. This is an aspect of majority dispossession. And that majority cowers away, unable to resist. Unable to assert itself. Unable to defend itself.

    The claims for social power, and social equality, demand that any form be seen in a *equal* way. The babbling ebonic rapper as *equal* to Auden. It is applied relativism! It is just one area among hundreds though. But the further point is that this is what all of this portends for America. In five more years, in ten more years, these trends and patterns will not diminish, they will flower. And the political and power implications that underlie them, these will become that much more demanding and insistent.

    Maybe I should not have read The Dispossessed Majority after all . . . 🙂

    • Is it not incredible that the largest American population group, the group with the deepest roots, the most orderly and most technically proficient group, the nuclear population group of American culture and of the American gene pool, should have lost its preeminence to weaker, less established, less numerous, culturally heterogeneous, and often mutually hostile minorities?

      With all due allowance for minority dynamism … this miraculous shift of power could never have taken place without a Majority “split in the ranks” — without the active assistance and participation of Majority members themselves. It has already been pointed out that race consciousness is one of mankind’s greatest binding forces. From this it follows that when the racial gravitational pull slackens people tend to spin off from the group nucleus. Some drift aimlessly through life as human isolates. Others look for a substitute nucleus in an intensified religious or political life, or in an expanded class consciousness. Still others, out of idealism, romanticism, inertia, or perversity, attach themselves to another race in an attempt to find the solidarity they miss in their own.

      • Alizia, being old enough to have grown up in segregated South Florida, I recall the goal of integration being to raise the social, cultural and economic level of colored people (the then-current term, along with “negro”) to that of white people. Integration was to benefit colored people. It was not to “diversify” the culture. Fifty-five or so years later, integration seems to have had the opposite, unintended effect of lowering the social and cultural level of white people while doing a good job of enhancing the economic level of many colored people but leaving many more sinking further down economically — a truly bizarre phenomenon and certainly one not to be spoken of.

  8. “…he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”

    If this were actually done with any accuracy, Biden would lose.

  9. People claim Trump shoots his mouth off. In the midst of the “…you ain’t black” incident, Biden also tried to bring the NAACP’s tax status into question. The NAACP is making sure everyone knows they don’t endorse candidates because that would not be allowed under their nonprofit status.

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