Flashback, November 7, 2012: Unethical Quote of the Month: Donald Trump

Believe it, Clarence.

Believe it, Clarence.

“We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!…Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us…This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!…Our country is now in serious and unprecedented trouble…like never before…Our nation is a once great nation divided!..The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.”

—- Donald Trump via Twitter, in the wake of the 2012 Presidential election results.

I stumbled upon this old post last night, and I can’t resist re-posting it. Then I referred to Trump as the “Republican Designated Buffoon.” It is especially ironic considering that President Trump is so because of that “disaster,’ the Electoral College.

A buffoon in 2012, President four years later! It brings to mind one of my favorite Clarence Darrow quotes:

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it!”

Cover-up: Successful

Somebody tell Rep. Gowdy that his committee's investigation is futile. The news media and the public just don't mind being lied to any more.

Somebody tell Rep. Gowdy that his committee’s investigation is futile. The news media and the public just don’t mind being lied to any more.

From USA Today:

One day after the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded the assault had been planned 10 days earlier by an al-Qaeda affiliate, according to documents released Monday by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. “The attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman,” said a preliminary intelligence report by the Defense Intelligence Agency, obtained through a lawsuit following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Wait…I thought that Hillary Clinton, State, President Obama and Susan Rice were all laboring under the misconception that the attack was spontaneous and prompted by a YouTube video, and the claims that the Obama Administration was stalling the revelations of what they already knew so Mitt Romney couldn’t challenge Obama’s carefully manufactured narrative that he had terrorism on the run were just partisan sour grapes. That’s been the spin the liberal press has been accepting from the White House for over two years.

What’s going on here? Well, the “narrative” carefully shifted away from the most transparent administration in history lying to the American public to excessive Republican claims that the outpost wasn’t given proper security, wasn’t rescued when it could have been, was the product of criminal incompetence. As soon as those accusations failed, Democrats and the news media promptly adopted the official Obama line: Benghazi was a “nothingburger,” in the contemptuous words of Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. It was a manufactured scandal of no substance designed to discredit Hillary Clinton.

But no evidence proved that Obama, Clinton and Rice weren’t lying about the attacks being spontaneous and not organized terrorism, and all the evidence has demonstrated the contrary, with this latest piece of the puzzle simply filling in some of the blanks. Of course, the latest story wasn’t even covered by most of the mainstream media; I was shocked to see it in USA Today. Judicial Watch is a conservative organization, you see. To be fair, it’s a whack job conservative organization. That means it could legitimately discover cold fusion and the news media wouldn’t pay attention.

Maybe it isn’t news. After all, the Obama cover-up worked. As Harry Reid said, after admitting his part in the organized effort to make sure that the 2012 Presidential elections was based as much on smears, lies and slight of hand as real issues, “Romney lost, didn’t he?” Hillary’s famous dismissal of the issue in the Benghazi hearings was on the mark: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Continue reading

Atrocious People, Part II: Harry Reid Thinks Pandering To Political Correctness Is More Important Than Upholding Honesty And Integrity

This is Harry Reid, but I just can't stand looking at the man any more, so I put a bag over his head....

This is Harry Reid, but I just can’t stand looking at the man any more, so I put a bag over his head….

[It’s Atrocious People Day at Ethics Alarms, and no Atrocious People Day would be complete without Harry Reid.]

“I find it stunning that the National Football League is more concerned about how much air is in a football than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across the country,” Senator Harry Reid said on the floor of the Senate.

Well, of course he does! After all, Harry thinks that cheating is great, if it works! He justified falsely accusing Mitt Romney of not paying taxes, confident in the laziness and gullibility of the American voter. “Why, he’s the Senate Majority Leader, Mildred! He wouldn’t lie to us!” And, as Harry pointed out, it worked—Romney lost, so Harry did the right thing. No wonder Reid doesn’t see why the NFL would care about Tom Brady pressuring low-level employees so they would help him cheat by secretly make the footballs easier for him to throw in a play-off game—after all, it worked! He won! Brady lied about it? So what? Reid approves of that, too. The statement above is a typical Reid lie: the NFL showed that it was concerned about cheating, lying, sportsmanship and integrity, not “the air in a football.”

But for the lawful owner of a business to be able to keep its 80 year old name that an entire city has cheered, worn on jerseys and caps, and made part of its culture, even though professional political correctness profiteers claimed to be grievously offended by the name because they wanted to be? That, to Harry Reid, is outrageous.*

What isn’t outrageous to Harry—just fair-minded, ethical Americans who understand such concepts as why it is wrong for the government to chill individual rights and the dangers of abuse of power by elected official—-is a U.S. Senator using his high office to attack and harass private citizens who are doing noting illegal, and only doing wrong according to Harry Reid’s Bizarro World values. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Millennium: Senator Harry Reid, Fick

“Romney didn’t win, did he?”

Senator Harry Reid to CNN’s Dana Bash, when she asked him whether he regretted his outright lie during the 2012 Presidential campaign accusing GOP nominee Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes at all for the past 10 years.

As bad as Reid looks, what lies beneath is infinitely worse...

As bad as Reid looks, what lies beneath is infinitely worse…

This is the Unethical Quote of The Millennium because it is literally impossible to say anything that demonstrates more contempt for ethical values. Moreover, Reid announced his ethical void on national TV with evident satisfaction and a complete lack of shame, making him a fick--someone who revels in being unethical.

In the old days, it was called “evil.”

Here, I’ll let Chris Cillizza, a Washington Post political reporter, explain what is so wrong with this despicable quote, the watermark of a totally corrupt political figure and  deplorable human being:

Continue reading

Ten Ethics Observations On The Government Shut-Down


Stipulated: I am not in generally favor of government shutdowns, just as I do not favor strikes, boycotts, Massada-style mass suicides, wars, or any other destructive tactics, strategies and actions in response to impasses over important matters. Sometimes, however, they are necessary and responsible. Sometimes, they are not.

1. It is fascinating reading the comments on the shutdown from my friends on Facebook. It is startling how many of them simply parrot back partisan talking points they have heard on CNN and MSNBC, but especially striking are the angry rants of the government employees who appear to take the shutdown as a personal affront. How dare the evil Republicans disrupt their lives, their paychecks, their work schedule, their vacations! I wonder if my friends have the same reactions to labor strikes, wars and national disasters. Do they really believe that those elected officials struggling to decide on crucial matters of policy, firmly believing in a course that is right for the nation and reaching an impasse, should just shrug off the serious implications of the issue at hand and say, “But, hey, Joe Finsterwald will have a tough time if his agency has to shut down, and the Bradys’ DC vacation will be ruined, so the heck with it: go ahead with that law we think will be a disaster for the country. We’ll back off.” Do those Facebook complainers really think that would be responsible governance? You know, guys, this isn’t personal: it’s called politics and two party government. It’s part of the deal. Disagree with the policy arguments if you have the knowledge and perspective to do so, but taking the position that the entire business of running the country revolves around your convenience over the next few days or weeks is as juvenile as it is irresponsible. If you work for a private company, you risk disruptions because of business failures, competition and re-organizations. If you work for the government, you risk things like this. It’s not only about you.

2. What various polls show about what the American public believes or doesn’t believe is irrelevant, and anyone on either side of the dispute who cites them as support for the Affordable Care Act or gutting the Affordable Care Act is either naive or trying to deceive. Continue reading

No “President Asterisk”

asteriskThe IRS scandal has spawned a new round of partisan “what ifs?” from Republicans and conservative commentators, the gist of them being that President Obama’s election in the 2012 contest was the result of cheating, and the IRS’s successful efforts to stifle Tea Party organization efforts. Surely the less than 2% difference between Mitt Romney and the President might have been bridged had the kind of conservative enthusiasm that marked the 2010 Congressional election not been unethically and illegally stifled! Wall Street Journal blogger James Taranto has dubbed Obama “President Asterisk.” A research paper from the American Enterprise Institute suggests that the post 2010 targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status may have cost Mitt Romney the Presidency. Continue reading

Now THIS Is Hypocrisy: Jack Lew Edition

cayman-islandsI know it pains many of you to hear it, but integrity has not been one of President Obama’s evident virtues, and the nomination of  his Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury is a particularly vivid example. The nomination demonstrates either hypocrisy or dishonesty (or both) no matter how one chooses to look at it.

This has nothing to do with Lew’s qualifications for the job: I’m certain he is sufficiently qualified, and is as likely as anyone else to help lead the nation through the fiscal wilderness, which is to say “not very.” The problem with Lew’s nomination, in the context of the President’s integrity, is two-fold. Although Obama and his campaign’s successful strategy was to demonize Mitt Romney as a grasping and venal corporate raider who accumulated big corporate bucks while doing little of value, Jack Lew’s resume includes receiving a $945,000 bonus in January 2009 after a short time working at Citigroup, which was in the process of collapsing financially and seeking (and receiving)a massive taxpayer bailout.  Obama also made hay during the campaign by implying there was something shady about Romney’s investments in Cayman islands-based institutions. Jack Lew. meanwhile, oversaw Cayman island investment funds while at Citigroup. In his 2008 campaign, Obama took special aim at one of them known as Ugland House, and a Senate hearing on the subject designated it as a facilitator of tax evasion. Jack Lew had investments in the Cayman islands, and, like Mitt Romney, had them with Ugland House. Continue reading

Now THIS Is Hypocrisy!


Fox News reporter Jesse Waters in his spare time

Fox News reporter Jesse Waters in his spare time

Hypocrisy is a concept that is widely abused by critics, who misidentify it with startling regularity. Someone who has engaged in conduct that he now opposes is not necessarily a hypocrite, for example. It is not hypocrisy to reform or change one’s mind. Nor is it hypocrisy for someone to criticize conduct that he or she knows is wrong, but cannot control in his own life. Someone who opposes official approval of status that the individual secretly holds is not necessarily a hypocrite either. A closeted gay public official who publicly opposes gay rights may be self-loathing, but not hypocritical. A gay public official can plausibly believe that gay marriage is not necessary, or that marriage is a tradition that can only refer to a couple of opposite genders: holding a sincere position that is self-critical or against self-interest isn’t hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is a lie, not mere inconsistency. It is knowingly posing as something you are not, pretending to believe something you don’t believe, demonstrated by not making an effort to meet the standards you insist that others follow. D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, lecturing children about the evils of illegal drug use while smoking crack in his spare time, was a hypocrite. Law enforcement officials who intentionally break the law are hypocrites. Rep. Joe Walsh,  the Tea Party, “family values” Congressman who refused to meet his own child-support obligations, stands out among the many hypocrites in government.

Then there is Fox News correspondent Jesse Watters. One week after President Obama was re-elected, Watters told Fox Head Bloviator Bill O’Reilly that the Obama voters were mindless zombies who supported the President “as long as there was Obamacare, gay marriage and abortion on demand.” Now Federal Election Commission records have surfaced showing that Watters himself contributed $500 to the President’s re-election campaign.

Yes, he is a zombie. Continue reading

Five Sarcastic Observations About The Least Surprising Ethics Story Of The Year…

.Hands down.

And in addition, we can all agree, can we not, that:

  1. …this does not indicate media bias?
  2. …the timing was completely coincidental, and had nothing to do with journalists fearing that their candidate might lose?
  3. …there was no ethical obligation on the part of responsible news media to make certain that its coverage was balanced in the final week, given its likely disparate impact in a close race?
  4. …this had no impact on the election?
  5. …Nate Silver knew it was going to be like this all along?


Graphic: Davintosh

Ethics Dunce: Mitt Romney

Mitt, Mitt, Mitt…

Ah, Mitt, Mitt. We know you’re disappointed. We know you don’t like to lose, especially when you feel smeared and misunderstood.We know its got to hurt.

There is only one way to lose a Presidential election, though, and it is to smile, say that the winner ran a tough campaign, that the people have spoken, that Americans are lucky to live in a democracy, and that’s it. Hell, Richard Nixon had this act down in 1960, when he lost to Mayor Daley, the Mob, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr, the Texas machine and JFK. He didn’t challenge the integrity of the process or the wisdom of the voters. He just resolved to fix his own Presidential election as soon as he had the chance.

But Mitt, for you to say, as you did yesterday, Continue reading