Delayed Morning Warm-Up, 2/26/21: The Good, The Bad, And The Deranged…


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!

Democratic concerns

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:

GOP concerns

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?

20 thoughts on “Delayed Morning Warm-Up, 2/26/21: The Good, The Bad, And The Deranged…

    • Not for lack of media effort on COVID-19, however.

      That just goes to demonstrate both a human strength and, at the same time, human weakness.

      It’s deep in the race to understand sickness and disease, and not to fear them excessively. It’s something that every generation has faced multiple times. We grow up learning (at least I did) about the ravages of the Black Plague. Of course, influenza in its various forms has killed more people throughout history than the plague ever has.

      On the other hand, nothing can drive humanity crazier than… another human being!

  1. “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.”

    And not the escape he thinks it to be, in my estimation.

  2. 4. I really have to wonder how many times Jason Ravsborg has done this before. I mean, you hit someone with a car, their head is thrown into the car with you, you flee the scene of the accident, and you think it is OK to remain as attorney general. To issue a statement saying “At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office”, leads me to suspect he has done this sort of thing before and he were able to get it covered up. If I hit someone, even if it was completely not my fault, and their head was thrown through the window, I think I would at least need a few weeks off work to deal with it. I don’t think I would be able to say it didn’t impede by ability to work.

      • Yeah, that was my thought.

        We had a prominent person in my area kill someone while drunk driving. He gave every indication that he expected the charges to just go away. It then was reported that he had done similar things before and they had just gone away. The last time, however, there was media coverage.

  3. 5. Though it seems unlikely, there is the remote possibility that McConnell has considered some of the ethical issues involved in choosing for whom to vote, issues that were kicked around here last fall. Further, it is possible he has used his crystal ball to discern who the Democratic nominee would be (Biden and/or Harris seem most likely) and has come to the essential question (cribbed here from last October): “There is only one question to answer: which candidate is the most responsible and ethical choice?” Considering the alternative, he of course goes with Trump.
    It’s also possible that the words of many a politician are easily “no longer operational”, or just as easily contradicted, depending on the needs of the moment.

  4. Re #3: suicide in this case is consistent with innocence as much as it is with guilt.

    The link you provided contains scant details, but it sounds like there is one accuser. Few if any details.

    But, the case for guilt by association is compelling; I will grant that.

    Assuming that he was innocent, isn’t his conviction a foregone conclusion?


    • You framed my thoughts quite succinctly.
      “Prosecutors say Geddert lied to investigators in 2016 when they were investigating victim complaints against Nassar. Geddert said he never heard any complaints.”

      So the allegation by prosecutors that Geddert lied leads to trafficking charges? Would they not have to prove that he was knowingly involved. Further I thought Nasser was charged with his own perpetration of sex crimes against minors – where is the trafficking offense? I don’t understand the charge unless Geddert is shown to supply victims to Nasser. Knowing of a complaint(s) and lying that he did not know is not quite the same as knowingly providing minors for exploitation.

      • From what I have read, his abuse of the girls was something that he profited from, to the extent that he qualified to be charged with trafficking. Not accused of pimping the girls out to others, but doing harm to them for his own benefit.

        • Would that not leave the US women’s gymnastic association or whatever organization is the sanctioning body open to similar charges. Wouldn’t you expect the victims to complain up the line if they failed to get satisfaction from the coach. I mean if you are willing to complain to the coach about Nasser I would expect that you would be willing to advance the complaint to the governing board if Geddert did nothing. I would.

  5. Re. No. 4; Ravnsborg says He Ain’t Resignin’.

    Are you suggesting that killing someone with a car while blind drunk is some kind of job disqualification for a law enforcement official? Huh . . . News to me.


  6. 2. Madness on the Left

    I saw this yesterday, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I still don’t. While it’s great fun to mock what the Left has become after exposure to a constant four years of the AUC, it is also a vast, lamentable tragedy that so many of our fellow Americans have effectively become disenfranchised from reality and somehow caught in some kind of faddish self-reinforcing madness. It may look risible, but there is something deeply disturbing about how so many people can be so completely divorced from real life. It goes without saying that nothing good can come of this.

    My wife, while in her first stint in rehab right after surgery, was in a room with a very nice retired teacher who happened to be black. She listened to every minute of coverage CNN had going on from January 6th, when my wife was transferred there from the hospital, until the day she was discharged a week later.

    All that hyperbolic, made-up craziness was incredibly distracting and I found myself wanting to ask her to change the channel, but I couldn’t bring myself to do so — she was recovering from a stroke. I would hear her on the phone railing against Trump and hoping the worst for him. She literally never changed the channel to anything else, as far as I know. Perhaps the neurological effects of her illness had something to do with it, I don’t know.

    The poor woman had allowed herself to be driven completely off the reservation of normal life and into some nether-world where only the Trump-deranged live. To me, that may not be Hell, but you could damned sure see it from there. I felt myself saying a prayer for her sanity.

    I fear it may not be answered.

    3. Gymnastics scandal

    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.

    Okay, that makes sense. But humankind as a whole is better for him depriving us of his corporeal existence, as far as I am concerned.

    • “It may look risible, but there is something deeply disturbing about how so many people can be so completely divorced from real life.”

      Maybe people should get their faces out of their “smart” phones. For the majority of people it seems their whole world revolves around the smart phone, twitter, FB, video capture everything. I see people at different events looking at the event “through” the phone. The majority of people at events are holding up cell phones – why don’t they just enjoy the event live??? They are wrapped up in the cell phone and being programmed; especially the younger people (IMO). Reminds me of the Star Trek Next Generation episode “The Game”

      Maybe someday they’ll come back to reality instead of living in the virtual world.

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