Sunday Ethics Buffet, 1/15/2023: You’re Gonna LOVE #6…

I watched “Bananas” for the first time in decades. It was influential on better comedies to come, notably the Zucker-Abrahams films, and Mel Brooks stole some of the gags (as have I, in some stage shows). I had forgotten that Marvin Hamlisch did the (annoying) score and that Sylvester Stallone appeared as a subway thug in an uncredited role. But it’s no use: I just can’t enjoy watching Woody Allen now that I know what a toxic creep he is. Cognitive dissonance strikes again!

I also watched an ethically provocative 2020 revenge drama called “Becky,” in which a bullied and depressed thirteen-year-old girl methodically and diabolically foils four escaped convicts who invade her father’s home and murder him. “Foils” is an understatement: she stalks, traps and kills all four in progressively more cruel and vicious attacks. I was about half-way through when I realized the story was basically “Home Alone” without the gags.

1. What hacks these people are...Ann Althouse flagged a ridiculously strained piece by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine “explaining” why Joe Biden (as VP) keeping classified documents he wasn’t authorized to have is so much more innocent and forgivable than Donald Trump (as President). I have read so many of these, and they are useful reminders of just how partisan and foolish the mainstream media is. Chait is such a reliable Democratic spinmeister and rationalizer that this article was highly predictable: he was one of those who attributed Hillary’s loss to Trump to the fake historical “fact” that the same party seldom wins the White House for three straight terms—you know,except for 1920, ’24, and ’28, then 1932, ’36, ’40, ’44 and ’48, then 1980, ’84 and ’88, with only the Electoral College stopping a 1992, ’96, 2000 run, just like it stopped a 2008, ’12, ’16 string. (I know I’m unreasonably triggered by that false factoid, but I can’t help it.)

2. On ABC’s brain-rotting public events show “The View, meanwhile, co-host Joy Behar exclaimed, “Just as we’re this close to getting [Trump], somehow these documents appear.” Then slightly less stupid (but equally biased) co-host Sunny Hostin added, “Does it feel like the Republicans are behind it?”

Barbara Walters, who died this month to many accolades, really stained her legacy by inflicting “The View” on America

3. Meanwhile, on the same topic, CNN demonstrated what a little management, some professional standards and well-executed punishment can do to make a biased journalist shape up. Don Lemon, demoted to a morning show and knowing that some of the worst CNN propagandists for the Left have been sacked, actually challenged Chuck Schumer’s official party talking point about how how “transparent” Biden has been about the documents.

“Senator, I have to say this. You seem much more measured about this than with the Trump documents because you called for transparency with the Trump documents,” the anchor said. “You wanted lawmakers to have access to the documents seized from the former president, his residence in Florida, which it seems like you—” Lemon said, and then Schumer protested (the Democrat didn’t expect ant pushback on CNN, since there has been none for at least a decade), “Bottom line is the prosecutors will get to the bottom of this, and let’s let them do it for God’s sake,” he exclaimed. “I know you want to buzz around and all of that, but the bottom line is…” Lemon held his ground! “Hold on, it’s not just us buzzing!” Lemon responded. “You’re the Democratic head of the Senate. This is a really important issue. It’s not just us buzzing around.”

4. The Most Unethical Mayor in the USA race heats up again! Chicago’s inexcusable Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s deputy campaign manager sent emails to Chicago Public Schools teachers urging them to ask their students to volunteer 12 hours per week for Lightfoot’s re-election campaign in exchange for class credit. This evocation of the Hitler Youth didn’t go down well even in the ethics vacuum known as “Chicago.”

“As the race heats up, we’re looking to enrich our office through what we call our externship program. Could you please share this opportunity with your students?” the email read. “We’re simply looking for enthusiastic, curious and hard-working young people eager to help Mayor Lightfoot win this spring.” It wasn’t the first time: in August, Lightfoot’s campaign sent similar emails to the City Colleges of Chicago, which triggered at least one ethics complaint. (“Ethics complaint? What’s that?”) Lightfoot now claims the emails were a mistake and she had nothing to do with them. “A young staffer” was to blame, she said….even after her campaign initially defended the tactic.

5. On the Pete Buttigieg watch…I asked my Democrat sister about how the Biden administration could continue to employ the failed Secretary of Transportation, and she answered, “Because a lot of people think he could be a Presidential candidate.” Wait...why? I asked. “He’s lousy at this job, he was a lousy mayor, and he frequently said stupid things during the 2019 debates.” And her answer was: “He’s cute, he’s gay, and he’s better than Kamala Harris.” Yes, it’s come to this. Now we learn that Pete, according to FOIA documents, when Buttigieg was on paternity leave during the supply chain crisis, ducked some department-related calls, meetings, and public appearances. When Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), sought to discuss an application for funds toward a bridge in his state, he was told, “Unfortunately, the Secretary is currently on leave due to the birth of his twins, and that may lead to a delay in possibly scheduling in the future,” a staffer emailed Grassley’s office. Government officials and elected officials can take vacations, but not like other people. They are professionally obligated to do their jobs whether vacationing or not.

Buttiegieg is as much of a fraud as Rep. Santos; he’s just a different kind of fraud.

6. Finally, I know this is “Ick,” not ethics, but still...here’s a photo of Tapas Sandilya and his wife Indrani.

Well, that’s not exactly his wife, because she’s dead. It’s a realistic model of his wife, who suggested that he have one made if she died first. A sculptor made the life-sized silicone statue of Indrani dressed in the Assamese silk she had worn at her son’s wedding reception. It now sits on a swing in the family home.“My family was strictly opposed to the idea of installing such a life-like sculpture but gave in. Some of my relatives and neighbors helped,” Tapas told reporters. “If we can keep framed photographs at home after someone’s death, why not a statue?”

Oh yeah, that’s a persuasive argument….

9 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Buffet, 1/15/2023: You’re Gonna LOVE #6…

  1. #4: How is this not a First Amendment violation? Imagine if, say, the FBI went to a social media company and offered them money to suppress political opposition.

    #5: Your sister’s type are with us always. From Kennedy to Obama, some will eagerly embrace the pretty, glib “new puppy” over a better qualified alternative. Just read online commentary (largely from women, it seems) gushing over how well-spoken, poised, attractive (and GAY!) Petey is whenever he makes the news. Thankfully, there are usually a bit of interspersed “Too bad he actually sucks at his job” replies.

  2. You have Pete Buttigeg as the Secretary of Education, instead of Transportation.

    And I’m genuinely curious how your sister thinks he’s “better” than Kamala Harris.

    • 1. That typo is a complete mystery. I honestly don’t see how it could have occurred.
      2. Remember, I asked her why “a lot of people think he could be a Presidential candidate.” She definitely doesn’t think he’s a candidate. But I think he’s better than Harris. I think Spuds is better than Harris.

      • It does beg the question of who is up and coming in the Democrat party.

        I think that what’s happened over time is that the Democrat party has been sucking the oxygen out of the air for new up and comers for more than a decade, and I’ll go so far as to actually write that I think what happened was that the Clintons wanted Hillary to have a turn, so they bought the DNC and exerted every iota of political capitol they had to prevent another Obama from happening. But what that means is that There’s a missing generation of electable Democrats…. Really: Who is over the age of 40, under the age of 70, and electable? We’re basically going straight from the squad (who aren’t electable in a general anyway) to Bernie, Joe, and Liz…. Who else is there? Stacy Abrams? Pete Buttigeg? Eric Swalwell?

        I think that the DNC put all their eggs in a Clinton administration starting six years ago, and they didn’t care much what happened after that.

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