I just completed my ethics legal seminar, and wow, Trump Derangement runs deep. I kept getting these off topic questions about whether Trump’s lawyer in the impeachment trial was sanctionable for “lying.” Lawyers know better than that: unless you present false evidence (like, just as a wild example, claiming the rioters “killed’ and officer when they did not), advocacy for a client is immune from prosecution, liability or professional discipline. Finally an attendee messaged the group to say, “Can we please stop wasting everyone’s time with these Trump Derangement political questions?”
1. Good! As discussed here, country music superstar Morgan Wallen was suspended indefinitely by his record label and removed from hundreds of radio stations across the country after he used a “racial slur” that no news reporting organization would tell us what it was. OK, I did and will: he was captured on camera saying “nigger” in banter with his friends outside his home, and a malicious neighbor posted the video to social media. Now, I am happy to report, the efforts to “cancel” the singer appear to have largely flopped. The Times reports,
[H]is breakthrough release, “Dangerous: The Double Album” to No. 1 once again. It has held the top spot on Billboard’s album chart for six weeks in a row now, the longest run in the peak position since Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” last summer, and the only country album to spend its first six weeks at No. 1 since Garth Brooks’s “The Chase” in 1992. In its sixth week out, “Dangerous” had the equivalent of 93,000 sales in the United States, including 112 million streams and 10,000 copies sold as a full album, according to the tracking service MRC Data, which is owned by Billboard’s parent company. So far, “Dangerous,” which has 33 tracks in its “bonus” version, has logged just short of one billion streams in the United States.
Meanwhile, a country music station in Knoxville reversed its ban on Wallen’s records after polling listeners, who voted more than 9-1 to have them played again. Other stations are sure to follow, and not because the audience is full of racists who like to use that mysterious word, whatever it is, that the New York Times won’t specify, but because art is distinct from artists, and it is ignorant and foolish to confuse them. Art enriches our lives, and the more of it the better. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between virtue and talent.
2. Take a bow, AUC! Apparently you have successfully driven Democrats completely mad. (The AUC, I note for new readers, is the Axis of Unethical Conduct over the last four years: “the resistance,” Democrats, and the mainstream news media.) According to this survey, this is the hierarchy of what Democrats are “most concerned about.” Hold on to your skull!
How sad and disturbing. These Americans are more worried about other Americans who don’t share their views, and who supported the previous President of the United States— than they are about crime, health and terrorism. Is there anything that can retore these broken souls to rationality, proportion, anf reality? I wonder.
In contrast, the corresponding Republican list would have been routine ten or twenty years ago:
As with all surveys and polls, these come with the caveat that the results are inherently unreliable and may have been manipulated.
3. Another women’s gymnastics scandal… John Geddert, the coach of the legendary 2012 Team USA gymnastics squad , was charged this week with multiple counts of human trafficking and sexual assault. Geddert led the “Fierce Five” U.S. team to gold at the 2012 Summer Games in London. The group of women and girls was treated by convicted pedophile and rapist Dr. Larry Nassar who was also employed at the Michigan gym, Twistars, owned by Geddert and his wife. Prosecutors say Geddert lied to investigators in 2016 when they were investigating victim complaints against Nassar. Geddert said he never heard any complaints.
Facing the ordeal of a long trial, public humiliation and possible life imprisonment, Geddart committed suicide yesterday, robbing society of its right to have him appropriately punished.
That was unethical, of course, as well as cowardly.
4. And while we are on the topic of horrible people: South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was engaged in a fatal hit-and-run accident as discussed briefly on Ethics Alarms last September. He told law enforcement that he thought he had hit a deer on his way home from a social event. Prosecutors announced that they were only pursuing misdemeanor charges against him, which is beyond outrageous, especially since detectives found a pair of broken reading glasses inside Ravnsborg’s Ford Taurus.
They belonged to the man he killed, though Ravnsborg said he didn’t know he had hit a man until the following day, when he returned to the scene and found the body of Joseph Boever, 55, in a ditch. This means that either 1) he then took the glasses as a souvenir, which is creepy 2) the deer he hit was wearing…no, that doesn’t work, never mind, or 3) the dead man’s head came through the windshield, as one of the detectives concluded in an interview released by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety on Tuesday.
Incredibly, Ravnsborg says that he will not step down! “At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office,” his spokesman, said in a statement. WHAT? The fact that the public now knows that its top law enforcement officer is a liar, a drunk driver (this was why he didn’t stop, of course), guilty of manslaughter and a coward doesn’t undermine his ability to do his job? If he really thinks that, let’s add “idiot” to the list.
This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed two articles of impeachment against Ravnsborg and South Dakota Governor Kristi L. Noem (R) called for his resignation. That’s a start. Now let’s see the hacks that only charged Ravnsborg with three misdemeanors for conduct that would have anyone else facing homicide charges lose their jobs and law licenses.
5. This isn’t really news…but Mitch McConnell has no integrity and the spine of jellyfish. Yesterday, evening, McConnell said he would “absolutely” support Donald Trump for President in 2024 if Trump is the Republican nominee—this, after unequivocally condemning Trump following his acquittal in the Senate trial.
How can Republicans allow themselves to be led by such a shameless weasel? How can anyone?