“The Good Faith Of The Justice Department”: Sure.

“Yes, but they are fighting in good faith…”

In his scathing indictment of the ACLU (discussed here) for giving the Justice Department a partisan pass despite the dubious legality of its raid on Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Alan Dershowitz wrote,

“David Cole, who identifies himself as the ACLU Legal Director, said the organization relies on the good faith of the Justice Department, the FBI, and the judge who issued the warrant to assure all Americans that this raid on a lawyer’s office, is “a sign that the rule of law is alive.”

Here are the recent performances of key figures among that group that is getting the ACLU’s trust:

  •  Book-peddling, Trump-stalking James Comey says in his forthcoming book that he found evidence that “would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation,” and also faulted Attorney General Lynch’s decision to refer to the Clinton email investigation as a “matter.”

Loretta Lynch responded to the accusation and criticism with her own statement that concluded,

“…I have known James Comey almost 30 years. Throughout his time as Director we spoke regularly about some of the most sensitive issues in law enforcement and national security. If he had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.”

  • Fired acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is out of a job because the independent Justice Department Inspector General found that he had lied on multiple occasions, his report concluding in one of the instances, regarding leaks to the news media about the Clinton Foundation…

“While the only direct evidence regarding this McCabe-Comey conversation were the recollections of the two participants, there is considerable circumstantial evidence and we concluded that the overwhelming weight of that evidence supported Comey’s version of the conversation.”

In response, McCabe directed his counsel to write Congress that Continue reading

Actor Ethics: Welcome to Colombia!

Yes, Sarah Bernhardt was probably unethical too. Actors!

I just blacklisted an actor, at least as far as my theater company is concerned, and I feel badly about it, because I don’t like banishing artists even when they deserve it. This individual did deserve it, however.

I held auditions a couple of months ago for a very difficult and complex production requiring special talents and a large cast. The turn-out was excellent, and the quality of talent was superb, with the actors obviously excited about the project. Since the script needs to be tailored to individual performers, the fear of an actor dropping out after being cast was especially strong (the maxim in the theater community is “cast early, cast often…”), so I took the unusual step of asking every auditioner who had a good chance of being cast to be honest about their commitment to the show. “If you want to be considered for this project,” I said, “I need to have your assurance that you are serious about it and will not tell me, after we have decided to cast you, that you have changed your mind. The show is like a big jigsaw puzzle, and casting you will affect whether we cast other actors, not just in your role but in roles that interact with yours. And I definitely do not want to cast someone who is going to turn around in a week or a month and say, ‘Sorry, I got a better offer.’ This is a commitment, and if we are committing to you, I need to know that you are committing to us.”

When the offers went out, a few actors nonetheless refused. One had just learned that she needed to seek more lucrative employment because her husband had been laid off; another had union problems. Over the next several months, there was another major loss, as an actress whom I had cast even before auditions—right before the delivery of her first child—told me that parenthood was more involving in reality than she had predicted when she committed to jumping into a major role so soon. I had thought this might happen, and, frankly, now felt that she was making the right decision.  I told her: “As a director, I was happy to let you be irresponsible for the benefit of my show, but as a parent, I’m glad your priorities are straight.”

The other day, however, one of the actors who had gladly accepted a role sent our producer a terse e-mail saying:

“Unfortunately, I can no longer do the show.  Thank you so much for all your help with everything; I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.” Continue reading

Mike Haridopolos’s Book: Whatever Was Going On, It Had To be Unethical

Four years and $152,000 for THIS??

What was going on here?

It has been revealed that new Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos was paid  $152,000 in taxpayer money to write a book on politics for Brevard Community College four years ago.
All 175 pages of the resulting tome, “Florida Legislative History and Processes,” were published exactly once. The only copy of the 175-page, double-spaced manuscript can only be found, and read, at the school. The book Haridopolos produced didn’t satisfy the original contract’s requirement for a publishable, textbook-quality look at the development of the Florida Legislature, state constitution, the governor’s office and judiciary from pre-statehood until present. But heck..what do you expect? He was only paid a lousy $152,000! What do you want, “Doctor Zhivago?” Continue reading

The Lost Flashdrive and Presumed Consent

“Lose a flashdrive here? Call the Arboretum if you’re one of the visitors in this photo, or phone these guys if they are friends of yours. A flashdrive packed with photos and software has been in our lost-N-found for at least a month — Store manager Lynnea suggested we post a photo from the drive and see if someone cla…ims it. Describe the drive and its contents accurately & provide your postal — we’ll happily return it.”

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior Arizona recently posted this notice on its Facebook page, along with one of the photographs a staff member took off the lost flashdrive. Obviously the material on the drive is private; just as obviously, the flashdrive is lost. Is the Arboretum within reasonable ethical boundaries to examine and publicize private information without the permission of the flashdrive’s owner to help the owner recover his lost property? Continue reading

Obama on Jobs: Spin, Deceit or Encouragement?

What constitutes dishonesty in politics, in leadership, for a U.S. President?

The Labor Department reported today that the nation added 431,000 jobs in May. The good news: it was the fifth consecutive month of job growth. The bad: private employment, the best indicator of real economic recovery, climbed just 41,000. It had increased by 218,000 in April, and economists had predicted private employment, to rise by at least 190,000 in May. Thus the low number was a setback for the economy’s recovery.

Not to hear the President describe it, however. “What these numbers do mean though is that we’re moving in the right direction,” he said. “The economic policies that we’ve put in place are working.” Continue reading