Monday Ethics Madness, 5/9/2022: Villains! Leakers,The Paid Liar, The ABA, And More

Major Clipton’s been AWOL lately. Good to have him back, since his commentary is especially germane.

To begin on an upbeat note: there is a house on the route I walk Spuds in the evening that has started having elaborate lawn and porch decorations all year round. The elaborate Halloween display began in late September and lasted until November, when a giant inflatable turkey took over as well as some horns of plenty. Right after Thanksgiving the outrageous Christmas decorations went up. January featured a 2022 display, which gave way to the family’s best yet, a Mardi Gras-themed salute complete with purple, green and orange lights, New Orleans street signs, and plastic beads hanging from the trees. That was up through March. During April, the yard was being landscaped, and I wondered what was in store for May.

There is a full-size inflated Jabba the Hutt on the porch.

I am tempted to knock on their door and tell the family what a boon their whimsy is to the neighborhood. It is such a welcome contrast with the many virtue-signalling scolds who subject us to Black Lives Matter endorsements and various rainbow lawns signs shouting such profound messages as “Love is Love” and “Ramalamadingdong.”

1. Ethics Villain: Jen Psaki, and President Biden is accountable. The demonstrations outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices continue, Justice Alito has been moved to a secure, undisclosed location, and Psaki muttered platitudes when asked if Biden condemns the [illegal!] harassment of the Justices. She also was asked if Biden condemned the leak, and she ignored the question.

But Donald Trump undermined democratic institutions.

2. Never mind having competent lawyers, what matters most is “diversity, equity and inclusion.”  The ABA is pushing to eliminate the accreditation standard requiring entrance exams for law school admissions. Law schools should love that: there’s no way they can be sued for discrimination if there are no standard measurements of qualifications.

3. The complete erosion of the ethical standard marking leaks as serious breaches of loyalty, confidentiality and professionalism is not just cultural rot, it’s dangerous. Two recent headlines: U.S. intel helped Ukraine sink Russian flagship Moskva, officials say and U.S. Intelligence Is Helping Ukraine Kill Russian Generals, Officials Say could get the U.S. into a war with Russia for real. Naturally, journalists will print such leaks, even if it does risk getting Americans killed. The warped values of the anti-Trump mob elevated the scummy practice of leaking to source of public approval, exactly the opposite of of what our society needed. There aren’t good leakers and bad leakers; there are only unethical leakers.

But at least the Supreme Court’s leaker won’t start World War III.

4. Another totalitarian move by Democrats fails. I wouldn’t vote for Marjorie Taylor Greene if she were running against that inflatable Jabba—or even the real Jabba—but the effort to keep her off the ballot using the 14th Amendment provision designed for members of the Confederacy shows just how ruthless and uninterested in democracy the current Democratic Party is.

Rather than finding a way to beat the loose-cannon Georgia Congresswoman fair, square, and on the merits, Democrats tried to defeat Greene by getting her name removed from the ballot by falsely accusing her of being a Confederate—OK, participating in an “insurrection against the nation” That’s a crime that Greene was never charged with, and none of the January 6th rioters have been so charged either. The challenge to Greene’s qualifications was based entirely on things she said or posted on social media supporting the rioters. Democrats were trying to remove her from the ballot based on political speech, which is First Amendment speech. (Progressives don’t like the First Amendment.)

A Georgia judge rejected the attempt, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger quickly announced that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will remain on the GOP primary ballot, saying,

“In this case, Challengers assert that Representative Greene’s political statements and actions disqualify her from office. That is rightfully a question for the voters of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.”

5. Back to leaks…On SCOTUSblog, Tom Goldstein has the best analysis I’ve seen yet regarding what might have happened.

18 thoughts on “Monday Ethics Madness, 5/9/2022: Villains! Leakers,The Paid Liar, The ABA, And More

  1. 5) Is there not a very real possibility that the draft was leaked by a conservative who learned that, in fact, enough moderate conservatives chose not to join his draft and the conservative then hoped that he could rile up the right wing base crying foul when it would then look like a ravenous and shrieking left wing base intimidated the conservatives to switch their votes on the final draft?

    The longer SCOTUS waits to publish the final after the leaked draft (even though they scheduled an end of June anyway – the leak undid that) – it seems to me the longer the wait – the more likely it’s true that conservatives either had already switched their votes pre-leak or are now reviewing their stance in light of what will be quite clearly a Democrat breakdown almost on level with their attitudes c. 1860.

    • Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likelier than others, that’s all.

      I can’t see a conservative, even a moderate conservative, leading the information because.

      * They had to know what the reaction of the left would be.
      * They had to know that hysterical followers would then engage in the same harassment that has become requisite for members of the left and I cannot see a conservative subjecting Justice Alito and the other conservative justices (to say nothing of their families) to intimidation with no notice at all.
      * They had to know that, if the decision hadn’t been made yet and turned out to be different from what was in the leak, the left would believe its hysterical reaction worked and that would further undermine the Court.

      My gut feeling is that this was a young leftwinger who doesn’t understand or respect the position the justices are in.

    • I like the conspiracy theory that the SCOTUS leak was just a smokescreen to draw attention away from the 80,000 pages of Pfizer data that was released the next day. The data that seems to show that Pfizer only reported 9 of their 50+ test sites, the vaccine isn’t NEARLY 95% effective, and they only tested it on rats before declaring it safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. It probably isn’t the case, but it is pretty good as far as conspiracy theories go.

  2. 2. I’ve read the ABA article and have no idea what it means. There’s a suggestion entrance exams should be deemed optional but most of the discussion seems to focus on the use of the GRE in addition to, or in lieu of (I’m not sure) the LSAT. My recollection is both of those tests were simply standard issue ETS fare. I can’t recall the LSAT being any harder.

    But seriously? No entrance exam whatsoever? Allee, allee out are in free?

    Then there’s this bit of Authentic Frontier Gibberish: “Test-optional admissions policies could work against “minoritized individuals” regarding law school, according to a statement from the Law School Admission Council, which is responsible for the LSAT.” I don’t see that. A school could fill its entering class with whatever students they felt like and there’d be no way to say the process was unfair. A school could max out on minoritized individuals and everyone else would have to just lump it. Next step: prohibit law schools from issuing grades. Firms will have to give applicants entrance exams!

    • MIT tried eliminating entrance exams this year. Yeah…guess how THAT worked out. I don’t know if the faculty are brainwashed enough to think this would work or allowed it to go through so they could brutalize the entire freshman class so totally that it would never be tried again…but that is what happened.

  3. I’d hate to see your neighbor’s electric bill. Ever since mom passed we don’t really do anything in terms of decorating. It’s just too much of a pain to put all that stuff up and take it all down again. However, I also don’t feel the need to put my opinions out on the front lawn for all to see. That includes for political candidates, because, the way things are going now, they could be seen as an invitation to vandalize the house. It’s not, of course, however, some people just get that angry about things that if they see something they disagree with they will heave a break through the window.

    1. A very few folks consider Jen Psaki a heroine for going back at Fox reporters and ignoring questions that don’t fit dementia Joe’s agenda. One of the dumbest memes I ever saw was one showing her with the caption “I don’t know how she keeps her figure, she eats Fox reporters everyday.”. Haha, it is to laugh. She belongs exactly where she is going and she’ll do what she’s best at there: lie and pretend the other side has nothing to say. In the meantime, her successor will probably be a bigger liar and ignorer then we’ll just hide behind her color and her sexuality. I made up a proverb once that said something to the effect of being angry does not make you a marksman and being passionate does not make you a swordsman. The color of your skin or how you work out your sexuality does not make you skilled.

    2. Building on that, nobody should complain when down the road we have a cadre of lawyers who are long on passion, shouting, and bullying, but when it comes to the rules of court or the rules of evidence they look at you like you’ve just grown a second head.

    3. Welt, I will just say that we are a long way from World War II and the warnings that loose lips will sink ships. I hope this does not lead us into a war with Russia, because, given the way the withdrawal from Afghanistan was handled, I have no faith in how the current leadership would handle a war with an actual regional power. Even though the Russian armed forces have not exactly been covering themselves with glory, Russia has a deep well of patriotism that makes us look indifferent. They also haven’t thrown their vast air power into this fight. Against the United States they certainly would.

    4. This would have been unthinkable years ago. What they really were looking for was a trophy they could parade in front of their faithful. And what makes it better trophy than the head of one of the enemy? Of course this particular judge said no, you can’t do that, but I’m sure eventually they will find a more sympathetic judge. I think that after this coming November, the right should flip the script, and start targeting government officials from the other side who failed to do their sworn duty 2 years ago.

    • 5. It’s as good an analysis as I’ve heard yet. I just hope this doesn’t lead us into a Tom Clancyesque or John Grisham-like scenario in which someone tries to do something crazy, like assassinating one or two of the justices. Sound far fetched? If someone, or, as this analysis posits, several someones, leaked the vote and the draft opinion, who is to say that those same people might not be able to reveal the route some of the justices take to get to the court, or reveal Justice Alito’s safe and undisclosed location? Worse still, who’s to say these folks might not reveal where children or grandchildren go to school? Who’s to say that the Supreme Court police have not been compromised?

      Do you really think that everything that happened two summers ago was spontaneous? Do you really think that no one was pulling the strings? Didn’t it strike you as odd that almost the day after the 2016 election mobs were in the streets waiting printer shop perfect signs that said not my president? Some of it probably was spontaneous, but someone had to light the match before the fire blazed up. We saw what people are capable of if they get angry enough and passionate enough and feel strongly enough about something. The fact is that there are enough wackos out there willing to throw everything to the winds for this. It’s not that big of a step from kicking someone’s head in just because of the color of his skin, or burning down someone’s business who you don’t even know, or plowing an SUV through a Christmas parade deliberately trying to kill as many people as you can, to murdering the Justice you think is responsible for taking away the right to sex without consequences. Because, let’s not kid ourselves, that’s really what it’s all about. You can drape it in autonomy, healthcare choice, or any number of other fake reasons, but what it really all boils down to is the people want the right to destroy life in the name of convenience. It’s just too damn difficult to be disciplined, or restrained, or to think with the right head.

      • Assassination has already been hinted at by some. It would certainly give democrats additional court picks without having to expand the court.

        And left wingers throughout history- from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald and many more – seem to be far more likely to use violent terrorism to undermine the system when they don’t get their way.

        • True enough, but the other side of that is if the right gets angry enough, they don’t use terrorism, they do a coup d’etat.

          Why shouldn’t the left use violent terrorism? It seemed to get them a lot of what they wanted two years ago.

          • The Left probably accounts for more coups than you realize. Plus when the “right” does a coup d’etat and forcibly installs its own government – it is typically a statist regime which inevitably behaves left wing anyway.

          • At this point I almost (the operative word being almost) don’t care. Right now this country is in the worst shape it’s been in since 2008. The current administration, put here to supposedly put this country back on the right track, has not solved any of our problems, has no plan to solve them, and has created a number of new ones. Then it has lied to us and gaslighted us. The left used to say the world couldn’t wait for GWB or Trump’s terms to finish out, something needed to be done immediately. We are fast reaching the point where something is going to have to be done immediately. We’re not there yet, and maybe the elections this fall will eliminate the need, as a neutered and powerless Biden can’t do much more damage, but if not…

            • You are not the only one who feels that way. Which is why I say that assassinating a Supreme Court justice in order to replace them with a leftist would start a civil war. There is absolutely no other path such an action would take us down. Mass violence and death would be the response, which is not something to hope for. That is what makes the Biden administration’s condoning such violence so dangerous. The number of violent, mentally unstable, radical leftist terrorists running around the country is dangerous. Condoning their violence increases the probability of that violence escalating. Aiming that violence at particular targets increases the odds further that someone will actually attempt to eliminate one or more of the targets. This is the most radical administration I’ve ever seen, and far more radical than even I thought possible. I don’t know if they are doing it on purpose or if they are just delusional children playing with matches in the middle of a dynamite factory, but it is horrifically stupid.

        • You mean a justice could be found dead in a hotel room with a pillow over their face and it could be ruled natural causes by a coroner who didn’t even enter the same state as the body? Then the President could refuse to visit the body in state and send the VP instead?

  4. (3) But it is likely these aren’t ‘leaks’. It is reported that Biden met with his staff and told them that the leaks about intelligence sharing weren’t having the intended effect and they need to stop doing it now. So, these were ‘leak it to the press for maximum coverage and allow us to deny it if it goes over poorly’.

  5. 5. You would think this plan would likely backfire in a area that elected her once. She might not be a good rep, but she’s their rep and they voted for her and someone else has decided they should not have. I would consider voting for her out of spite and yes, this is exactly how Donald Trump was elected in the first place. Many, many people I know would take the “Well if they’re that upset she must be doing something right”. Classic “us vs them”

  6. Item 0 : “May the 4th be with you”
    We live “around the corner” (by a very broad definition) from the Last Democrat Governor (may it ever be so) of Georgia, so drive past their house fairly often. One thing to the couple’s credit is that Mrs. Ex-governor is fond of elaborate seasonal yard decorations (a good part of her basement is devoted to their storage), and trots them out as required, but with a pretty good regard to approprate timing. They’re entertaining, but we’ve yet to see a May “Star Wars” display.

    #2: Some time after the kids were mobile, my wife decided to finally use her degrees and taught (no “Dr. Jill, Administrator”, she) high school Latin for a number of years. That subject usually ensured that she got mostly the better students who actually wanted to be there. One exception was a child that was “developmentally challenged” (or whatever euphimism was in use at the time), but whose parents wanted him mainstreamed, and even fed his delusion that he could become a lawyer. Even passing Latin 1 was hopeless, of course. If he’s still interested, maybe he can take a shot at that career move now.

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