Saturday Ethics Round-Up, 3/4/2023: A Well-Earned Divorce, A Policeman’s Lot, Cori Bush, Murdaugh, And Donna Brazile’s Hackery

I’m seriously thinking about developing a cell phone users code of ethics. If so, I’ll need some help. I have a file on the topic, but I don’t use a smartphone or cell phone myself at all if I’m not traveling, so I’m sure there are many obnoxious practices that haven’t occurred to me.

Yesterday it was raining icy drops in Alexandria, and I had to run a quick—well, it should have been quick–errand. The 7-11 parking lot was packed, and three cars came into the lot right behind me, waiting for someone to leave. A patron of the convenience store came out and got in his SUV almost immediately, his tail lights came on, and…nothing. All of us waited, and waited. He wouldn’t pull out and vacate the space. I knew what he was doing: staring at a little lighted screen. (I confirmed it later when another car finally left the lot and I could park.) Asshole.

1. Only six years too late. Hallelujah! Kellyanne Conway and her mega-jerk husband George are finally getting divorced. A spouse who not only interferes with his partner’s job as George Conway did but also uses his connection to his partner to gain publicity and influence while attacking her employer is contemptible. I still don’t understand why President Trump allowed it, and Kellyanne was irresponsible, disloyal and incompetent for not putting a stop to it.

2. A harbinger of things to come. Austin, Texas has over 300 vacancies looming in the police department, with 77 officers expected to retire before the end of March to go with 264 existing vacancies, according to the Austin Police Association. The reason should be apparent to all: the outright hostility toward police emanating from Austin’s overwhelmingly woke wesidents, sorry, residents. The Austin Police Department is so understaffed, 911 calls are being redirected to the 311 non-emergency number “If you come home and find your home burglarized, calls like that are now going to 311,” said police union president Thomas Villarreal. “You’re not getting a police response to many property crimes if it’s not a violent crime that is currently ongoing.”

In 2020, responding to a lifetime black scofflaw’s accidental death under the knee of a brutal white cop in a Minnesota an encounter that had nothing to do with race, the Austin (Texas, remember, not Minneapolis) city council voted to defund its police by $150 million, slashing their budget by a third after the George Floyd Freakout. Elected officials also zeroed out three cadet classes and cut 150 officers from the budget. Last year, the local district attorney announced the indictment of 19 police officers accused of using excessive force against the “mostly peaceful” protesters in 2020. Why would anyone choose to stay a cop in such a community, except officers who are too dim and incompetent to get hired to do anything else?

Last week I MC’ed a special Gilbert and Sullivan program for the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.’s oldest and most prestigious private club. I introduced “A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One” by saying that it was an excellent example of how many G&S songs have new currency today. There was a mass rueful “heh!”

3. In related news, here’s a story the Left’s mainstream media isn’t touching for some reason…”Squad” member Rep. Cori Bush(D-Mo.), a vocal “Defund the Police” advocate, secretly married Cortney Merritts in Februaryafter her campaign paid him $5,000 per month in 2022 to provide “security services,” according to Federal Election Commission records. But despite being paid $60,000 last year by Bush’s campaign to provide protection—you know, the kind Bush doesn’t want topay police to provide to ordinary citizens—-Merritts does not and did not have a private security license, which is required by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Got that? Bush used campaign funds to pay a staff member providing services he was not authorized to provide, while hypocritically advocating not paying for similar services from the police, and having an unethical intimate relationship with the recipient of those funds.

4. More on the Murdaugh trial…reviewing the astoundingly thin evidence, I do not understand why the trial judge didn’t throw out the jury’s verdict and declare Murdaugh acquitted because there was not enough to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt as a matter of law. There wasn’t. This was an example of a jury convicting a defendant of murder because they decided he was a bad guy and there were no other suspects. Alex Murdaugh lied repeatedly regarding the deaths of his wife and son and he was undeniably a thief and a sociopath—but prosecutors couldn’t and didn’t present much more than theories about whether he was the killer. Judges are understandably, reluctant to over-ride juries, but in this case it was necessary.

If the Trump Deranged reasoning that the conclusion that someone is just an untrustworthy bounder is sufficient to assume guilt of criminal activity is becoming a cultural norm, our justice system is approaching a crisis, if it isn’t in one already.

5. Unethical (and ridiculous) op-ed headline of the millennium: “The Excellence of Kamala Harris Is Hiding in Plain Sight.”

The shameless author is Democratic operative Donna Brazile—you know, the former CNN contributor who helped Hillary Clinton cheat by giving her advance notice of questions she’d be asked at a CNN town meeting? Here’s a representative example of Brazile’s classic “bias makes you stupid” advocacy:

Mr. Biden knew what he was doing when he selected Ms. Harris to be his vice president and had confidence that she would be up to the task of succeeding him if necessary. I hope that never happens, but if tragedy strikes, Mr. Biden’s judgment will be proven correct.

Ms. Harris has more experience in elected office than several past presidents and vice presidents — a successful record beginning in 2004 as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general and including four years as U.S. senator. By contrast, Presidents Trump, Dwight Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, Herbert Hoover and Zachary Taylor never held elected office before becoming president.

Well allow me to retort, if I can stop gagging and laughing at the same time:

  • Sure Biden…or whoever pulls his strings—knew what he was doing: selecting a black female whose actual qualifications and abilities to serve were irrelevant. This was made crystal clear to all, including Brazile, at the time. Donna is lying.
  • “More experience in elected office” is deceit, another Brazile specialty. By that measure, an elected dog-catcher would be more qualified to be President than the commander of the Allied Forces during World War II, Ike’s job, which involved more skills and experience relevant to being President than any elected office on Earth: diplomacy, management, delegation, allocation of personable and resources, courage, planning…it’s disgusting and insulting that Brazile would even suggest that Harris, whose experience as a DA had attenuated relevance to exeutive government leadership at most, is better qualified to be POTUS than Eisenhower.
  • Herbert Hoover also had proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was a skilled administrator and leader, elected or not.  In 1914, with the outbreak of The Great War, he organized and headed the Commission for Relief, an international relief organization that provided food to occupied Belgium. When the U.S. entered the war, President Wilson appointed Hoover to lead the Food Administration. After the war, Hoover led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to millions in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Russia.  President Harding appointed Hoover as Secretary of Commerce in 1920, and he continued to serve under President Calvin Coolidge. Hoover was such an active and visible Cabinet member that wags called him the  “Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments.” Hoover also led the federal response to the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927….but Donna, aided and abetted by the Times, tells her readers that Kamala Harris prosecuting pot users makes her more qualified to be President.


7 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Round-Up, 3/4/2023: A Well-Earned Divorce, A Policeman’s Lot, Cori Bush, Murdaugh, And Donna Brazile’s Hackery

  1. Don’t be too surprised about Austin, Jack, the major cities in Texas are blueberries floating in a sea of tomato soup, hoping to one day be the bases from which the rest of the state turns blue. Of course now they’re about to find out firsthand where those policies lead. It’s certainly not to that socialist Nirvana of community centers and statues of civil rights activists.

  2. Regarding #5:

    Well, at least she was smart enough not to include Washington on her list.

    Or, she knew that would undermine her entire argument.


  3. 4. The judge was almost overtly in the tank for the persecution, I mean prosecution.
    He repeatedly misconstrued defense objections. There was a 5th amendment issue, 6th for attorney client privilege. The judge also allowed the financial crimes and the roadside suicide to overwhelm the actual murder trial.

  4. Regarding #1… Kellyanne was in a very rough spot. She had four kids with the man, and had been married for 16 years before that.

    I would say that she should have left him a while ago, but I also cannot fault her for working as hard as she did to try to salvage the relationship.

    • One’s family or one’s country is a common conflict in national service. If one is going to work for the President, the choice is clear–tough, but clear. If she couldn’t control her asshole husband, her obligation was to resign, and if she didn’t, Trump should have fired her. It is mystifying to me why he didn’t.

  5. Prologue:
    My contributions to the Cell Phone Code of Ethics:
    * You should tell the person with whom you are speaking if you are on Speakerphone, especially if there is someone within earshot. Said person within earshot should not jump into the conversation unannounced.
    * Make sure your voicemail box is set up and that it is not constantly full. Otherwise, no one can leave you a message if you don’t answer your phone.
    * If you ask someone to hold, please mute your phone. No one wants to hear your toilet flushing or your personal conversation with your doctor.

    1. This makes me sad. My husband and I disagree on politics so we simply agree to disagree. There is probably no less important subject in the world. It’s unfortunate that the Conways differences played out in the public arena so openly.
    2. I have a sister headed to Austin this week on vacation. Here’s hoping she’s safe. On the other hand, Austin, MN is the home of the Spam Museum! Been there. It’s great. I wish that was her destination instead.
    3. Oh, come now, doesn’t she have a right to security? She’s a member of Congress, not a low-life MAGA in Smalltown, USA! And only Republicans have conflicts of interests!
    4. And he could be guilty. But that’s not the standard we use. I wonder why people don’t understand that anymore.
    5. And Taylor and Grant led troops. It’s leadership experience that counts. Of course, Taylor and Grant weren’t really able to translate that leadership experience into successful Presidencies but that doesn’t mean Kamala Harris is more qualified than they were.

  6. You know, I’ve traveled down to Alexandria numerous times to work at the Episcopal High School.
    Are you familiar with it? It’s one of those “woke” schools, but most everyone that works there are decent people.

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