Unethical Quote of the Week: White House Spokesman Jay Carney

“We could go down the list of questions–we could say ‘What about the president’s birth certificate? Was that legitimate?’”

—–Jay Carney, in yesterday’s news media briefing, apparently suggesting that public concern with at least four episodes raising legitimate questions regarding  serious misconduct at high levels of the Obama Administration was the equivalent of “birtherism.”

Welcome to the club, Jay!

Welcome to the club, Jay!

At this point, it is fair to say that Jay Carney can no longer be expected to be honest, responsible or professional, and thus can be included among the elite class of public figures, like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Bill Maher and Newt Gingrich, to whom absurd and unethical utterances are like breathing in and out, are shameless, and barely noteworthy on an ethics blog. Unethical people say and do unethical things. That pretty much covers it.

Carney, however, is not like the others in that he speaks for the White House, and Barack Obama. Continue reading

Unthical Quote of the Week: Donald Trump

“Very sadly for the country, for a charity — and for the president himself, President Obama has just missed the deadline and now a charity of his choice will not be receiving $5 million — or as I stated much more than $5 million.”

—- Real state tycoon, self-promoting birther and Romney supporter Donald Trump, blaming President Obama for not accepting his challenge to produce various personal records in exchange for Trump sending $5 million dollars to a charity of the President’s choice.

What a mind-boggling, species-embarrassing ass.

OK, this isn’t really Donald Trump; it’s one of the evil, people-eating monsters from “Killer Klowns From Outer Space,”  one of the cleverest tongue-in cheek horror films. But there’s really not much difference, when you get right down to it. Mitt Romney shouldn’t want the support of either of them. In fact, I’d take the clown over the Donald.

Trump also noted that his money could have been used to swell the relief funds for Superstorm Sandy. That’s right: According to Trump, President Obama is responsible for Donald Trump not being generous, charitable and patriotic by  contributing to help the victims of a disaster.

I know that it is a tight election contest, and no candidate should be expected to toss away any voter or supporter—“Any port in a storm,” and all that. (Remind me to add that one to the ratioanalizations list.) Nevertheless, Mitt Romney would bolster credibility and reputation for integrity if he repudiated this awful man, and pronounced him what he is beyond all argument: a vile, irresponsible, offensive buffoon whose admiration, endorsement friendship or support sullies and diminishes anyone and anything he bestows it upon.

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Facts: The Blaze

Graphic: Release Donkey

Election Publicity Hound Ethics Quiz: Whose “October Surprise” Was Dirtier?

That’s Gloria on the left, Donald on the right.

What could be more challenging than trying to choose between Gloria Allred and Donald Trump in the field of inappropriate and shameless headline grabbing?

Both Trump and Allred this week decided to distract voters from the solemn and difficult job of deciding which Presidential candidate’s misrepresentations to forgive by trumpeting an upcoming “October Surprise” that would propel their respective champions to victory. In addition, both are shameless using the election to get their names in the papers for pure personal publicity purposes, to attack Obama or Romney using innuendo, and to attempt to skew a close election by using old matters far past their pull date. The tactic worked for both publicity hounds, because an October surprise in 2000, held for months and leaked by a Gore operative, probably cost George W. Bush the popular vote: his covered up DWI arrest of more than a decade earlier.

Your test: whose attempted late hit was more unethical? We will stipulate that both are revolting. The candidates: Continue reading

Here’s a Proposal: Republicans Stop Saying That Obama’s a Muslim, and Democrats Stop Saying that The Supreme Court “Stole” The Presidency For Bush

Law professor/blogger Ann Althouse properly chastises The National Review’s Jonathan Cohn for designating “Bush v. Gore” as the most earth-shattering case of the 21st Century, and not just because the case, decided in December of 2000, occurred in the 20th Century.

“Ridiculous! I can’t believe Cohn doesn’t know that if the case had gone the other way Gore would still have lost in the end!”, Althouse writes, reminding her readers of the results of the objective, meticulous and multiple recounts performed by journalists in 2001, which showed—much to the surprise of the counters, who were dying to be able to report that Gore had been robbed—that “George W. Bush would have won a hand count of Florida’s disputed ballots if the standard advocated by Al Gore had been used.”

I can believe Cohn wrote what he wrote, because the claim that Bush’s presidency was “stolen” has been a cornerstone of Democratic political warfare and unscrupulous hard Left activists since the chad-counting stopped. It stoked the base, misled the public, increased partisan anger, divided the country and undermined Bush’s presidency, all good things from a partisan perspective (and the truth be damned), just as Republicans have been happy to allow the unjustified doubts about President Obama’s loyalty and citizenship linger among its most fanatic partisans. Continue reading

The Donald Trump Follies: An Integrity Check for GOP Presidential Contenders

Some of the people more qualified to moderate a presidential debate than Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is staging yet another debate among the increasingly depressing field of Republican presidential contenders, with The Donald as the moderator, in Des Moines on December 27. This is extremely useful in assessing the field, and everyone in America owes him a debt of thanks, for anyone who agrees to participate in this offensive farce is unqualified to be President of the United States. Trump has created an excellent integrity test.

Several candidates have already flunked.  Newt Gingrich has agreed to participate—granted, there weren’t many questions about his integrity, so this is no surprise. So has Rick Santorum. I am somewhat surprised at this: Santorum holds some truly objectionable views, but integrity has never been one of his ethical  weaknesses. Well, the Trump Debate is a judgment test too—if you agree to go, yours is none too good. Now that I think about it, Santorum’s decision was predictable too. Continue reading

The Rick Perry-Birther Flap: An Addendum

I’ll make this uncharacteristically brief.

I wrote, and believe, that media reports that Rick Perry had expressed Birther sentiments were unfair and misrepresented his words. That was correct. In interviews since that post was composed, Perry has suggested that it is fun to tease the President about the dispute over his place of birth and citizenship, and “keep it alive.”

No, it isn’t. It is unfair, disrespectful and wrong. There is no teasing that is appropriate when the subtext is a challenge to a President’s legitimacy. Perry needs to cut it out, though it is too late in one respect: his words indelibly mark him as a jerk.

Let me also say that I am not especially sympathetic to Democratic indignation regarding teasing over a president’s legitimacy. This is exactly what the entire party did for every second of President Bush’s tenure, suggesting that the 2000 election was “stolen,’ thus rendering his tenure illegitimate. This exploited the vast majority of the public’s ignorance about the Electoral College, and also involved impugning the integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court, doing far more damage to the nation than the idiot Birthers on their best day.

That does not excuse Perry, of course. Every additional word he says to keep the Birther issue in the public eye is another reason—and there are already plenty—to keep him in Texas.

The Media’s Birther Smear On Rick Perry

The race for the Republican nomination for president has a long way to go, but the winner of the title of Republican Contender Most Unfairly Abused By The Media has probably been wrapped up. It’s Texas Governor Rick Perry, in a romp.

I’m not sure why, exactly. I suppose the combination of a southern, gun-carrying, capital punishment-supporting, openly religious, conservative Republican just has too many characteristics that the typically Democratic, liberal atheist, gun-hating journalists who overwhelmingly populate the newsrooms instinctively want to destroy. They still have an obligation to do it fairly and honestly, however. Where Perry is concerned, fair and honest seem to be forgotten.

Last week I heard David Letterman say that Perry “is starting to look like someone who crawled out from under a painted rock.” This was a reference to the Washington Post’s unconscionable front page “expose” about a hunting lodge where Perry either did or did not hunt before the name “Niggerhead” had been painted over on a rock that bore the longtime name of the area. Most fair commentators have pronounced that story weak and badly conceived, but as the Post no doubt knew it would, the story has attached itself to Perry, creating fodder for cheap-shot artists like Letterman and Bill Maher, and scarring his reputation.

The enmity toward Perry has not abated. Checking the web over the weekend, I found links to stories proclaiming that Perry had come out as a “Birther,” challenging the validity of President Obama’s citizenship. Continue reading