Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/13/2020: Kamala Harris Selection Hangover Edition [UPDATED]


In the 1945 drama “The Lost Weekend,” Ray Milland (above) played alcoholic Don Birnam, and won  the Oscar for Best Actor. The film also won the Oscar for Best Picture. Have you ever seen it? The film is virtually never shown on TV. Milland is another one of the once major Hollywood stars who are almost completely forgotten today, a fascinating group that includes Claire Trevor, Fredric March, Irene Dunne, John Garfield, and Norma Shearer, among others. If their major works were in black and white, they weren’t lucky enough to star in a film regarded as a classic, and they didn’t have a popular TV show when their movie career waned, the culture just forgets about them….and loses as a result. How many non-film nerd Americans under the age of 40 could recognize any of those actors, never mind all of them?

1. Nothing to see here: move along! Yesterday it was reported that the Democratic Party purchased the domain, and that clicks on the link went directly to the Biden campaign site. I checked: it did. Then, by 5:30 pm, the Biden redirect was eliminated. Res ipsa loquitur!

UPDATE: I’m putting an official question mark on this one. It is true that the went to Biden’s site, but that could have been a partisan dirty trick.  Of course, if true, this is the kind of story that the mainstream media would bury. If it was a set-up, it’s the kind of story the right-leaning media would credulously report as proof of Democratic de facto embrace of violence.

Trustworthy, objective journalists would be nice…

2. The vise tightens...Yesterday I noted that colleges and universities were increasingly cancelling their acceptances of students based on revelations of their past social media posts. In one case, Liberty Woodley, 17, the 2020 valedictorian of her high school class in Cape Coral, Florida., had accepted an offer to attend the University of Florida. Then a self-righteous and vicious  actress and “influencer” named Skai Jackson last month asked her more than 500,000 Twitter followers to send her screenshots of  “hateful” social media posts, so she could wrck lives and inflict pain on strangers. Someone sent in one of Woodley’s old Instagram posts in which she wrote when she was 16.

“I really try so hard not to be a racist person, but I most definitely am, there’s no denying it,” it said. Based on that, her acceptance was revoked.

 In an interview with The Gainesville Sun,  Liberty explained that had written the post out of anger at a time when she was being constantly bullied by some black classmates. “I am not racist at all, and I am not full of hate,” she said.  Well, there’s a Catch-22 for you! Oprah Winfrey and others are haranguing whites to admit their inherent racism as a first step to addressing “systemic racism,” but if they do what is asked, it means they are hateful and must be cancelled.

What do you want to bet that Liberty will vote for all Democrats in November?

3. Dear Anonymous: Congratulations! You have been completely brainwashed. In Roxanne Gay’s “Business Friend” advice column, an inquirer asks if she should feel guilty for accepting a summer job  because she might be taking a job away from someone who is older and needs the income more than she does. Gay gives the right answer, marred though it is by the obligatory cheap shot at the Trump administration:

I am genuinely moved by the consideration in your question, especially given the staggering number of unemployed Americans. If more people were this considerate, the world might be a different place. Go ahead and get whatever summer job you want. You are not taking anyone else’s job.

The job you find is your job. You may not have people to support — though there are many undergraduates who do indeed have significant obligations — but you do still need money for tuition or books or a new tattoo or a trip to Cabo.

There are more job seekers than jobs, but that is not your problem to solve. This, ideally, is why we have elected leaders. The state of the economy is their responsibility, one they are presently, and shamefully, shirking. I commend you for showing more leadership than those who govern us.

It continues to be amazing to me that the same people simultaneously say that the U.S. pandemic infections are the result of the government being NOT more assertive (and authoritarian) about executing lockdowns and other other measures, and blame the Trump Administration for the state of the economy. The two arguments are mutually exclusive, and when they are wielded in tandem, you know that you are either witnessing dishonesty or stupidity…or the individual works for the New York Times, and has a quota of Trump-bashing to meet.

4. Now THIS is Level Five Trump Derangement! I find the NeverTrump cabal pretty revolting. These are mostly elitist snobs whose revulsion at Trump’s middle class attitudes, speech and origins justify, in their petty minds, supporting a party’s whose current policy agenda violates everything their careers were built on opposing. Bill Kristol and George Will are the most disappointing of these hypocrites whose conduct and words since the election amount to nothing better than a prolonged hissy fit. Krstol is worse, since he seems to think his absence of integrity is cute or amusing as he pubically makes statements that he would have ridiculed in Democrats has said them during the Bush Administration. After Harris was added to the ticket, Kristol tweeted,

The first tweet is irredeemably dumb and disingenuous: by that logic, there should never be debates when a President is running for re-election. I would have thought if Kristol wanted to propose a legitimate argument as Democrats try to find a way to weasel out of the debates (there isn’t one), he could have come up with one better than that.

Oh! We see in the second tweet that Kristol was semi-joking, whatever that means. (It usually means that someone means what they said but reserve the option to say, “I was just kidding!” when someone points out that it was idiotic.) We also see that his IQ or entregrity, or both, declined in the interim between two tweets. Truman and Eisenhowever didn’t debate those men because 1) There weren’t any Presidential debates until 1960 and 2) McCarthy and Welch weren’t Presidential candidates.

Moreover, nobody’s suggesting that Obama should debate Trump.

If this is what Trump Derangement does to alleged intellectuals, the nation is facing a tragic mental health crisis.

23 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/13/2020: Kamala Harris Selection Hangover Edition [UPDATED]

  1. RE #3:
    It continues to be amazing to me that the same people simultaneously say that the U.S. pandemic infections are the result of the government being more assertive (and authoritarian) about executing lockdowns and other other measures, and blame the Trump Administration for the state of the economy.

    Ummm… would I be correct in assuming you meant

    It continues to amaze me that the same people saying that the U.S. pandemic infections are the result of the government not being more assertive (and authoritarian) about executing lockdowns – and other other measures – blame the Trump Administration for the state of the economy.

  2. I saw a quote once that said “In the United States, you call someone an idiot. In the Soviet Union, we call that person an intellectual”. I think that pretty much sums up the ‘useful idiots’ out there.

  3. More than 60% of Americans, depending on how the question is asked, basically evenly across party lines, think that Biden will not finish his first term. I agree with them. I’m not saying this to be catty, I really do believe that if Biden wins the election, Harris will be president before 2024. That doesn’t require Harris to be evil and poison his food, it doesn’t even require Joe to finish turning into a rutabaga, the man is falling apart in real time, take the three most common causes of death for someone in his age bracket in a normal year, add COVID, and that’s where the smart money is at.

    Which makes this the most important vice president pick basically ever, a close second was probably McCain’s. And whether America wants to admit it or not, whether they think it’s rude to say it or not, they know it. It will be interesting to see the ratings on the debates, and whether more people tune into the Vice-show than the main show, I don’t think that actually happens, but it could. Hell, maybe it *should*.

    And I’m going to admit that while I don’t really care who wins the election at this point…. Everyone involved deserves to lose embarrassingly… I thought that Biden had it in the bag so long as he could hide out until the election in his bunker and not flub his VP pick. Now…. It’s strange, I called him picking Harris weeks ago, and she was absolutely the best choice out of the shallow candidate pool he left himself with, but now that he’s actually gone and done it, it feels like a bad pick. That means that everyone he had was probably a bad pick… I’m back to thinking Trump can take this.

    Don’t worry, I’ll probably change my mind three more times before November.

    • And just as a reminder of the time that Tusi Gabbard ripped out Kamala Harris’ spine on live TV;

      “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations, and then laughed about it when she was asked if she’d ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence that would have freed a man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.”

      That ended her presidential aspirations, Harris never recovered from that. She laughed like Joachim Phoenix as her hopes and dreams died in front of her in real time. Literally nothing has changed in the last year… She still put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations, and then laughed about it when she was asked if she’d ever smoked marijuana. She still blocked evidence that would have freed a man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She still kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she still fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.

      I don’t know if the party can sustain that kind of hypocrisy. I know we all love our in-groups, and we’re able to ignore a whole lot…. But my God. I want to repeat again: She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. Who the actual hell cares if her great great great grandcestor owned slaves? She *made* slaves.

      • More information:

        The context is that in Harris was attempting to circumvent a parole program that was created in response to a 2011 SCOTUS ruling that said the overcrowding in California’s prison system was unconstitutional. The parole program was designed to alleviate overcrowding. In 2014, Harris’ office wanted to ignore the program so that they could use prison labor being pain about ten cents an hour to fight California’s wildfires.

        “Extending 2-for-1 credits to all minimum custody inmates at this time would severely impact fire camp participation — a dangerous outcome while California is in the middle of a difficult fire season and severe drought,”

      • I totally agree. That is one of the reasons her selection perplexes me. The death row case is particularly cynical because there was significant evidence the inmate was not just not guilty of a capital crime but was innocent of all of the charges but she suppressed the evidence until a judge ordered her to turn it over to the defense.

        As a presidential candidate she really didn’t set the primary stage on fire. Tulsi Gabbard destroyed her a number of times causing her financing to dry up. She did not run a particularly impressive campaign, was not very skillful in the primary debates, and her campaign ran out of money around the end of the year. She also battered Biden about his treatment of women and #metoo. Yesterday, though, she told him how proud she was to be selected and couldn’t wait to get to work.


    • I have the weirdest experiences on the planet. My wife is utterly amazed at the messes I constantly get myself in.

      Case in point: This past Monday afternoon, I went to an upscale Houston area hardware store (yeah, I know, the whole idea is dumb but I needed a certain type of screw and nut that only they sell so don’t yell at me)*. They had CNN playing on the TV screen. I watched a bit of the Kamala Harris selection/pick coverage. An employee who is quite nice on most occasions watched with me. I asked her, “What does Harris bring to the ticket? Biden is going to win California and the west and east coasts, and Harris’s background as a DA in California has some real problems. She has not been overly impressive in her term as a senator, and her behavior during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing is hypocritical as it relates to Biden’s history will the ladies.”

      Thus ensued a tongue lashing I haven’t had since the last time my wife was really mad at me (which may have been the day before!). She declared that she had the First Amendment right to speak her truth and that I was not to prevent her from doing so. (Me: “Uh . . .” ) She told me that she used to be a registered Republican but wouldn’t vote for one of those slimy jerks if they were the last candidates on the planet because they are weak and cowed by Trump, too afraid to stand against him who embodies all that is pure evil on the side of the universe. She also declared that Biden’s choice was the most amazing choice in VP candidates in the last 50 years, that Harris will bring grace, strength, and wisdom to the ticket, and will solidify a Biden Presidency that will save this nation from horrible Donald Trump and his infernal legacy of corruption, racism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny. When I pressed further** about Kamala’s qualifications, considering that Biden may have dementia or other cognitive issues, she scoffed, furrowed her brow and demanded if I truly believed that Biden was suffering from dementia any more than the Current Satan-in-Chief.

      Then, she stormed away, stopped, turned around, and snarled, “What did you want anyway?” I told her I needed a nut with silicon inside for the lamp on my wife’s dental loops. She scoffed at me and declared that she didn’t work in that department but sold chocolates and other confections, gesturing to a display case containing some tasty looking treats (I told you it wasn’t your average hardware store but you didn’t want to listen). I suggested that if her demeanor was evidence of anything like the treats she sold that I would look elsewhere as her delicacies clearly did not help her friendly disposition. No response just a glare.

      A coworker overheard the exchange and visibly winced when i walked over to that department. I asked her if the store sold the size nut with silicon, which she said was too small. Then, I asked if she had a similar size of screw with a silicon infused nut, which only increased her ire, declaring with obvious frustration, “Look, sir. I told you we don’t sell silicon-infused nuts that size because they are too small. The smallest we sell is this one (showing me).” They were too large for my project. I asked if she had any ideas, causing her to exhale slowly and again declare that the nut was too small. I told her I understood but asked for suggestions. Now, clearly aggravated with me, she said in a huff that a nut glue was all she could offer, gave me the product and stated emphatically “Have a nice day,” conclusively establishing that he conversation had ended.

      I thanked her, and went to pay. The cashier was a friendly late teen/early 20 something young lady. She had witnessed the exchanges and was prepared for a confrontation as she saw me approaching. She looked at me straight in the eye, and with a wide smile and most friendly disposition stated, “I have tried that nut glue myself and it works pretty well. Be careful, though, because the liquid is very thin and may gum up any joints . . . by the way, I thought you were right. I don’t get the choice, either. Sorry they were not nice to you.” I thanked her for her advice and then told her I didn’t understand the vitriol about Trump. The cashier stated, “Well, they are just angry people but don’t take it personally. They are mean to a lot of people who come in here. Some day the manager is going to hear them and they are gonna get in trouble. Have a great day and I hope that glue works.”


      *Ed. Note: If I had my Bering’s (Hardware) about me I would name the name of the store but my Bering’s are shot and need replacing.

      **Ed. Note: I appear to be a glutton for punishment.

      • Hilarious, John. Thanks. Just another day in the life during the Trump administration and the Covid lockdowns and the riots and BLM shakedown. I find it amusing that interviews with voters like these two women are used to demonstrate why Trump will lose this fall. As if these two voted for Trump last time and are going to vote for Joe now. Hah.

        Isn’t it amazing how so many people have turned into human talking point broadcasters? “Alexa, spout a bunch of Democrat talking points.” My favorite talking point is that the Trump administration is “corrupt.” How so? No idea. But someone has said it is, so it is.

      • I stopped for coffee the other day (a local place, not Starbucks, which I don’t drink) and made some offhand comment about it being a nice day so far (I was actually being sarcastic, it was a gray and drizzly morning). The barista responded that it wouldn’t be a nice day until that idiot in the White House was in jail. I said in an icy voice that “I asked for milk and 2 equals, I don’t recall asking for an order of liberal politics,” while turning so that my lapel pin consisting of the US flag and the Blue Lives Matter flag was obvious. She clammed up and gave me my order. I thought of berating her about not talking politics to someone she doesn’t know well or doesn’t know at all, but, since there were other folks waiting, I decided to just take my coffee and get going. There is no excuse for that crap that you just related. If I were you I would go online and write management an account of what happened, leaving no detail out, and asking that appropriate action be taken, up to and including termination for unprofessional conduct.

        • I agree and thought about doing so. However, there is a part of me that likes to see how far off the rails things can go kind of like checking out that car crash where body parts are strewn all over the place. While I should have been appalled by the nasty behavior, I was totally fascinated by the vicious nature of the employees’ conduct so I played along.


          • They make the coffee in full sight of you and they don’t do drive-through. If this barista plays the fool, she’s done.

  4. Nothing to see here: move along! Yesterday it was reported that the Democratic Party purchased the domain, and that clicks on the link went directly to the Biden campaign site. I checked: it did. Then, by 5:30 pm, the Biden redirect was eliminated. Res ipsa loquitur!

    Where was this reported?

        • I am not sure about the Biden/antifa link but if you go to and click on the blue “DONATE” button, it redirects you here:

          Wanna guess what ActBlue is? According to the site, “‘ActBlue,, ‘Want Blue States?’, and ‘The online clearinghouse for Democratic Action’ are the trademarks and/or service marks of ActBlue. From time to time ActBlue may publish guidelines on the use of its marks (e.g. font, color, placement, size). You agree to abide by those guidelines in your use of those marks. All good will in such marks remains with ActBlue.”

          ActBlue is a nonprofit technology organization established in June 2004 that enables left-leaning nonprofits, Democrats, and progressive groups to raise money on the Internet by providing them with online fundraising software. Its stated mission is to “empower small-dollar donors”. The organization is open to Democratic campaigns, candidates, committees, and progressive 501(c)4 organizations. In the 2018 midterms elections, ActBlue raised $1.6 billion for Democratic candidates. According to FEC data, from January 2017 to October 2018 Beto O’Rourke had raised $45m through ActBlue for his unsuccessful run against Ted Cruz, 48% of which came from outside Texas.

          BLM, then, is a fund raising organization for the DNC.


          • BLM, then, is a fund raising organization for the DNC.

            Only if the money raised through the site is being diverted from BLM. If the money is going into BLM’s coffers, it is no different than using PayPal to collect donations.

  5. 1. Mashable, reliably left-wing though it is, has some fair reporting on this story. As of now, nobody knows who owns the domain because it is registered through registrar in Panama who hides the owner’s identity. My own research suggests the IP address for is a DSL user in Rabat, Morocco and owned by Maroc Telecom. That could be spoofed, I’m sure, and the application used to geolocate the address is not totally reliable to say the least.

    In other words, like most things on the Internet without serious hacker tools and skills, it’s hard to say exactly what or who it is.

    2. You know a movement is dying when it starts cannibalizing itself. So it is with the cancel culture.

    4. Bill Kristol is a sad person with the sadz because Trump.

    I really do wish Biden would take Kristol’s advice. That would guarantee Trump’s re-election. But it won’t happen. Biden knows too well he cannot back out of the debates, regardless of his mental acuity.

    Which makes me wonder — if Biden does manage not to forget who he is in a debate with Trump, and somehow avoids word-salad answers that leave everyone baffled and convinced of his degenerate mental state, will the bar have been set so low that he’ll be declared the “winner” even if he performs badly in the debate sense?

    • That is a danger — but I really don’t think he will do that well against Trump. Trump has been the best over the last 5 or so years in the current debate format. Unless it is totally rigged, I am expecting him to wipe the floor with Biden.

      • Virtually every time a Democrat faces a Republican, the Democrat is awarded the victory by the media and most of the post-debate polls With a few rare exceptions, this has been true of every post-Regan election in my memory. Trump was thoroughly beaten in all three 2016 debates according to polls and the media with the exception of the second, where Fox alone declared Trump the victor.

        That same pattern has been repeated in almost every presidential debate I can remember, with the exception of Romney’s first debate against Obama, where Romney was widely thought to have gotten the better of a clearly unprepared, indifferent Obama.

        Absent a decent into blithering incoherence, Biden will probably be declared the winner in this year’s debates, should they be held (which I’m sure they will), both because the widespread perception of Biden’s lack of mental acuity will lower the bar for him, and because the same pattern of media and public polling will produce that perception.

        In general, although I am suspicious of media polls, I don’t think they are deliberately skewed to favor Democrats routinely. I think generally pollsters are at least partially blinded by their own bias, and most pollsters lean left despite protestations to the contrary. That shows up in sample percentages, where you often see Republicans under-represented when compared to actual partisan voting breakdowns. For some reason, pollsters refuse to account for this discrepancy which cannot but produce a result favorable to Democrats unless the Democrat truly is disfavored by a significant margin.

        Post-debate polls, however, are likely to be deliberately skewed to produce a desired result. Given the inarguable bias of the media toward the Democrats and their current unabashed partisanship, it’s hard to imagine the same won’t happen for the Biden-Trump debate. So Biden is definitely going to “win,” no matter how poorly he does, as long as he manages not to drool on himself and is able to correctly identify himself, his opponent, and his current location when asked. His command of the issues will be relevant only to the viewers, not to the media judges. The media will find poll respondents to award Biden victory in any case.

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