The White House Scores A 2013 Jumbo Jumbo

There's no elephant. Do you see an elephant?

There’s no elephant. Do you see an elephant?

Just in time to make the 2013 cut-off, the White House achieved the Jumbo of the year, and simultaneously made me wonder if I am going to have to jettison all respect for my loyal Obama-supporting friends.

The Jumbo is an Ethics Alarms category lunched in 2013, designed to recognize individuals who engage in spectacular examples of unethical conduct I have always detested with a special passion: trying to wiggle out of a tight spot by stubbornly insisting that what is obviously the case isn’t really, a brazen exercise resting on the presumption that everyone else is either a dimwit or as corrupt as the speaker. The name derives from an iconic moment in Billy Rose’s 1936 Broadway musical extravaganza “Jumbo,” named after P.T. Barnum’s famous giant elephant, that starred Jimmy Durante. Caught red-handed as he tried to sneak his dying bankrupt circus’s major asset off the premises and away from creditors, the “Old Shnozzola” was confronted with a sheriff who belligerently inquired, “Just where do you think you’re going with that elephant?” Jimmy’s response, acting for all the world as if the massive pachyderm at the end of the rope he was holding didn’t exist: “Elephant? What elephant?” Another apocryphal equivalent is the old burlesque joke about the philandering husband caught by his wife as he frolics in their bed with a naked and luscious bimbo. The rake still denies anything untoward is going on, pleading, “Who are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?” . In real life, the gold standard might be actress Lindsay Lohan’s insistence to police, when she was arrested for reckless driving and cocaine was found in her pocket, that she was wearing someone else’s pants.

The White House’s entry into the Jumbo Hall of Fame is pretty impressive, though. As figures showed that a million Americans had registered for Obamacare in December, bringing the total number to 2.1 million, well short of the 3 million goal, White House White House health care adviser Phil Schiliro told MSNBC yesterday that the frequently stated Administration goal of  7 million enrolled by the end of March, when the individual mandate (penalty, according to Democrats; tax, according to the U.S. Supreme Court) kicks in, was not really the goal after all. Continue reading

More Juror Ethics

funny judgeFrom the Erie Times News:

An Erie woman, dismayed that she had been picked to serve as a juror in a weapons case, audibly harrumphed the worst curse word of them all, then huffed and puffed her way to her seat in the jury box. Erie County President Judge Ernest J. DiSantis was having none of it. When apprised of the outburst by the lawyers on the case, DiSantis came to the courtroom and called the woman, Kathleen Port, in front of the bench.

Port was off the jury, for start, DiSantis said. “But we are not done,” he said. DiSantis held Port in contempt of court and fined her $500 for the improper behavior. “You are totally out of line,” he said….Jury service is a duty of citizenship, he said.

“It is inconvenient at times,” he said.

Good.

That’s one less juror who will go on ABC to prove that her vote was meaningless and that she had no idea what she was doing.

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Pointer: ABA Journal

Ethics Dunces: Half of the U.S.A.

“Who’s Plato?”

According to a recent  Pew poll, almost half of the U.S. is still unaware of last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, limiting Congress’s power to control private choices through reliance on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and flagging the Democrat deceit in passing a substantial tax on the middle class while hiding the fact in public and political discourse. 15% of the public must have been watching Fox and CNN the way listeners of Orson Welles “The War of the Worlds” listened to the 1938 radio broadcast, turning the dial before misinformation was clarified. These trusting or lazy souls still think the ACA was over-turned. This is, admittedly, better than thinking the world has been conquered by Martians.

The poll means that as we head into a watershed election that challenges the nation to make hard choices about its future course in tax policy, addressing the debt and deficit, foreign policy, commitment to national defense, entitlement reform, immigration, education, infrastructure renewal, employment, financial regulation, and equally vital matters that could have a decisive impact on America’s success, stability and even survival, one half of the public lack the interest and initiative to  stay current with crucial national developments. Continue reading