“Ha! They’ll NEVER find it now!”
Several Republican politicians leapt on the “Welcome Home Bowe!” bandwagon without bothering to a) learn the details and more importantly to them, sadly, b) gauge the reaction of their constituents, contributers and supporters. Thus they tweeted praise for his release, perhaps echoing Obama’s designated liar Susan Rice’s unsupported assertion that he has served with honor, or evoking the Administration’s now discarded spin that he was a hero. When the transaction was revealed to be an utter botch by the Obama Administration (but I repeat myself), and the GOP officials realized that it would be partisan feeding time in the shark tank, these brave public servants had neither the forthrightness to admit their errors, if errors they were, nor the courage to face the consequences.
Nor, unfortunately for them, the technological savvy to realize that trying to cover up what you put on the internet doesn’t work.
And makes you look like an untrustworthy sneak.
The Sunlight Foundation has a service called “Politwoops,” which collects elected officials’ tweets and makes them available if they are deleted in an effort to remove feet from mouths. It uncovered this, from Republican Senator Thad Cochran…
and this, from GOP Congressman Jim Renacci… Continue reading →
Maybe I got something out of law school after all.
When I read opinion columnist Charles Lane’s lament that food stamp regulations didn’t limit the kinds of nourishment that could be bought by them to things Mrs. Obama would approve of, my mind flew back many decades to a memorable Contracts class in my first year of law school. The late Professor Richard Alan Gordon was thundering in his most stentorian tones—and boy, did he have stentorian tones!— about the class reaction to a case we had just discussed involving a Washington, D.C. family on welfare that had gotten itself in legal trouble by purchasing a stereo system on credit. One poor student was the target of the verbal barrage, having just opined that the family should have spent its government assistance on necessities like food, and not entertainment.
“And who are you, Mr. Anderson, to make the determination of what is a “necessity” for a fellow citizen? Shall the family in question not be permitted to feed its soul, as well as its gut? Is it the attitude role of the government to assume that accepting its assistance in dire circumstances involves one’s surrender of the basic human rights of choice, preference, taste and self-determination?”
I miss Dick Gordon, who became a cherished friend (and a terrific Learned Judge in “Trial by Jury”), and I miss the scathing letter he would have written to Charles Lane. In his column, Lane writes:
“The point is to increase the amount of real nutrition per taxpayer dollar. The counterargument is that it’s not fair to restrict poor people’s grocery choices. You hear this a lot from the food and beverage industry, for which SNAP has grown into a significant subsidy. Sorry, I don’t get it — morally or pragmatically. Of course the federal government should be able to leverage its purchasing power for socially beneficial purposes. If you take Uncle Sam’s help, you play by his rules. I repeat: This is a nutrition program, or so the taxpayers who fund it are told. It should nourish.”
“If you take Uncle Sam’s help, you play by his rules.” This is the crux of Lane’s argument, Mr. Anderson’s, and all the Nanny State advocates who cheer on Mayor Bloomberg’s assault on personal freedom. Ethically, there are strong arguments in all directions: Continue reading →
Stephen Glass: Would you trust this man?
When New Republic Editor Charles Lane fired Stephen Glass, the infamous journalist for that and other magazines who in 1998 was exposed as having fabricated many articles he had represented as true, he was quoted as saying, “Glass is a man without honor who operated out of hostility and contempt; he has no place in journalism.”
Now the question is whether such man now has a place in the law.
A petition for review has been filed by the California Commission of Bar Examiners contesting the State Bar Court’s finding that Glass is now morally fit to practice law. He passed the California bar exam in 2007, but the committee blocked his admission, finding that his previous record of professional dishonesty, though in another profession, showed such a deficiency of character that it disqualified him from legal practice as unfit. Then a hearing judge over-ruled the Commission, and found that Glass had reformed sufficiently to render trustworthy. The opinion was upheld 2-1 by the State Bar Court. Continue reading →
The story to date: Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker announced a budget-repair measure to address looming budget deficits (in a state with a balanced budget mandate in its constitution) by requiring state employees to contribute a larger proportion of their pensions and health care plans, and restricting their long-standing collective bargaining rights. Wisconsin’s deficit is projected at $30 million for the remainder of the 2011, with a shortfall of $1.5 billion projected for next year. In response to Walker’s announcement and the near certainty of his plan being passed by the Republican dominated state legislature, 14 Democratic legislators fled the state to prevent a quorum and block a vote, teachers left their classes to protest in Madison, where they were joined by thousands of pro-union protesters, many of whom were organized and bused in by Organizing for America, a White House operated political group.
Let’s try to separate the ethics wheat from the chaff—amazingly, there is actually some wheat–and get an early line on the heroes, dunces, villains, and the rest as the Wisconsin budget battle threatens to become a full-fledged Ethics Train Wreck. Continue reading →