Give Credit Where It’s Due: Bill Clinton’s Mastery Of Deceit Is Awe Inspiring And Unequalled

best-of-the-best-award_MCSAsked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about Hillary Clinton’s lack of trustworthiness according to a recent poll, Bill Clinton replied, solemnly, “I’d trust her with my life.”

Brilliant deceit. His response is completely irrelevant to the question, misleads the audience, bolsters Hillary and may even be true, but it in no way either refutes the proposition that Hillary can’t be trusted, nor contributes any useful information for those who would like to examine the issue.

Whether Bill trusts Hillary is as useless to those not engaged in mutually beneficial enterprises with her as the fact that Clyde trusted Bonnie, Wyatt Earp trusted Doc Holiday or the Godfather trusted Luca Brasi. There are very few people whom nobody can trust, even such trusted Clinton henchmen as Dick Morris and Paul Begala. The public wants to be able to trust a leader to do the right thing even when it doesn’t benefit his or her interests, to tell the truth, and to have integrity. None of these character traits apply to Hillary Clinton, or Bill, for that matter. Sure he probably trusts her “with his life,” because he knows his life is useful to Hillary. “I’d trust her with my life” sounds like a ringing endorsement to the easily misled and confused voter, which is the Clinton base. As Bill knows well, the statement doesn’t mean anyone else can or should trust her.

You just have to tip your hat to him. Nobody makes the truth dance like Bill Clinton. He can even make an endorsement from someone more untrustworthy than Hillary—him–sound persuasive.

Wow.

The Latest Clinton Financial Disclosures: Never Mind The Appearance of Impropriety, This, Folks, Has The Appearance of Bribery

bribesDuring Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied State on various trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company also donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family’s foundation. I know, I know—as Clinton Foundation contributor and trained Clinton spinner George Stephanopoulos—he’s an objective journalist too, you know!—will indignantly remind you, that’s no smoking gun. Then,last July, knowing Clinton would run for President  in 2016, Corning paid an obscene $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak to them. Notes Vox, reliable Democratic cheer-leader Ezra Klein’s liberal commentary website,

“The $225,500 speaking fee didn’t go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.”

Got that? This isn’t a well-laundered foundation donation that benefits the Clintons but is plausibly deniable since it is given to their slush fund/charity. This, says Vox correctly, “involves the clear, direct personal enrichment of Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, by people who have a lot of money at stake in the outcome of government decisions.” Continue reading

The President’s Irresponsible And Untrue “One in Five Women Are Raped” Claim

In a video that aired during the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, President Obama stated, as President of the United States and a certifiable hero to the kind of citizens who watch the Grammy Awards, this:

“Right now, nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape.”

Let’s begin with the fact that this is false, or at least, there is no reason to believe it is true, or even close to true. (More about this in a minute.) Was the President’s statement a lie? We can’t tell. If the President believes that rape is so common that 20% of all women are raped, then what he said is not a lie (a false statement knowingly made by the speaker in order to deceive), which leads to some uncomplimentary conclusions:

a. He has a remarkably low opinion of his own nation and culture…but then we knew that, didn’t we?

b. He believes what he is told without challenging it or examining an assertions’ origin, methodology and assumptions. Really? This guy is supposed to be brilliant. I would think such a jaw-dropping and frightening statistic would mandate some examination, but see a.

c.  Why hasn’t this been a major focus of his administration? Isn’t the President alarmed about this? Why is the Attorney General running around the country holding the hands of parents of dead kids who attack police officers and fighting attempts to make voters prove who they are at the polls if women are being raped like The U.S. is the Congo? Why is the Presidentusing his time to make faces on videos to sell Obamacare? Isn’t this clearly a reason to make one of his “I will not rest” speeches, in this case not resting until the rape frequency in the Land of the Free is lower than that of a Columbia ghetto? He believes 20% of the women in the country under his stewardship  being raped in their lifetimes doesn’t rate mentioning in his “if wishes were horses” State of the Union, and relegates this horrendous health and crime emergency to…the Grammys?

If Obama doesn’t know if the stat is true, but said it anyway, then he was irresponsible. He’s President of the United States; people believe him, even after the shattered pledge of transparency and “If you like  your health care plan…” and the “red line” and all the rest. He can not fairly, honestly, ethically state that something is true when he doesn’t know whether it is true or not. That is a lie, then: not the statistic itself, but the implication that he believes it.

Or he knows the statement is false, and made it to deceive, because the ends justifies the means.

In the discussion following last week’s post about the persistence of the false narrative that Bush’s 2000 electoral vote victory was “stolen,” I briefly referenced the now mostly abandoned fake “1 in five” statistic  on campus rape, the one that prompted the 2014 Unethical Quote of the Year from Senator Claire McCaskill when it was debunked. This prompted blog warrior Liberal Dan to re-state the President’s proposition, since he is one of those people who continue to believe the President despite all evidence to the contrary. “One in 5 women are raped,” he wrote, unequivocally, linking to a 2011 New York Times study.

I wish I had the time and space to muse about what it says about an intelligent American when a stat like that one, whether it is used by the Times, the President, or Lena Dunham, doesn’t set off his or her ethics alarms, Fake-Stat-O-Meter and bullshit buzzer. This is what happens, though, when the President makes a factual assertion. I knew the stat was crap; I just don’t have the time to prove it’s crap to people who want to believe it. I assumed someone would pretty quickly, and sure enough, the Washington Post’s hard-working, liberal-biased but diligently trying to compensate Fact-checker Glenn Kessler came through.

In his Washington Post column today, Kessler gives us the results of his research into Obama’s lazy/irresponsible/dishonest claim. His findings? Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo)

“Frankly, it is irritating that anybody would be distracted by which statistics are accurate.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo), in response to Justice Department statistics that show that the “1 in 5 women will be raped on campus” statistics cited by her and other elected officials and women’s rights advocates were not just inflated, but ridiculously so.

"1 in 5! That's outrage..what? It's NOT 1 in 5? It's   more like 1 in 200? OK, now let's not get hung up on statistics..."

“1 in 5! That’s an outrage..what? It’s NOT 1 in 5? It’s more like…1 in 200? OK, now let’s not get hung up on statistics…”

Yes, Senator, isn’t it irritating when stubborn facts interfere with ideological narratives?

Yet it is not half as irritating as knowing that we have so many elected leaders who think like McCaskill. That 20% statistic has been used by the Obama Administration to bully colleges into removing due process and fairness from campus sexual assault allegations, and to push the false impression on the public that there is a rape epidemic, when in fact the incidence of rape, on campus and elsewhere, has fallen precipitously.

In September, when President Obama announced his “It’s On Us” initiative to address college sexual assault, he said that “an estimated 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted in her college years—one in 5.” Like the infamous “women make only 77% of what men are paid for the same job” fake statistic that Democrats and women’s rights advocates still repeat despite definitive debunking, it is a number designed to fool the gullible and satisfy those infected by confirmation bias, but it is much, much worse. The recently Justice Department statistics on rape and sexual assault on college age females showed that the chances of a women being raped on campus was 6.1 per thousand, juuust a bit less, at .61 %, than the 20% figure touted by Obama and McCaskill. Continue reading

The Lawyer, The Bar And The Nigerian Prince: A Bar Can Teach A Lawyer Ethics Lessons With Sanctions, But How Does It Fix Stupid?

"YOU again!"

“YOU again!”

It can’t.

You can read, here, the jaw-dropping Iowa Supreme Court opinion affirming a one-year suspension of Iowa lawyer Robert Allan Wright Jr.for talking his clients into loaning money to…that ubiquitous Nigerian Prince. Wright  solicited more than $200,000 in loans from five current and former clients, promising them they would receive as much as quadruple their investment when proceeds of the inheritance described in that helpful e-mail was obtained.  He was only going to take a 10% contingency, which is actually very reasonable…or would be, if this hadn’t been a scam.

After his clients lost all their money, Wright was cited for violations of several Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct, including… Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “Print the Legend Ethics: The War of the Worlds Panic”

war_worlds

Bravo and thanks to penn for a thoughtful and thought-provoking personal reminiscence that supports my recent post about the claim that the famous panic over Orson Welles’ famous 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio drama never happened. Here is his fascinating Comment of the Day on Print the Legend Ethics: The “War of the Worlds” Panic:

This story came up every Hallowe’en in my family as I was growing up. We had family living in Toms River and in Lakewood, NJ (about 35 miles from Grover’s Mill) at the time Orson did his thing. The different reactions to the broadcast by the people living in the two places resulted in a minor family schism which continues to this day in the attitudes of their descendants.

It was a city mouse/country mouse situation. The Lakewood adults were elementary school teachers — the sophisticates. They listened to that program as a matter of course and as they later reported, they declared this one silly from the very beginning. But then, all science fiction was silly to them (really! space ships and aleeums? pshaw!) — my father (it was his side of the family) always contended they had no imagination. My mother recalled, however, many years later (and after taking several psychology courses at the New School), that commercials or not, she was convinced they had been very disturbed, if not downright scared. Scared enough to sit through the whole “silly” program in the first place, and for the rest of their lives to focus an uncharacteristic rage on the writers … for using the name of a real location in the program. [I think this naming of Grover’s Mill may account for some of the anxiety, if not the panic — people were sooo trusting of the media in those days .. . .] Continue reading

Psychic Found Guilty Of Fraud: Did She Know This Would Happen?

gypsy-fortune-teller2Now that the required joke is out of the way, I can more soberly state that the New York conviction of psychic Sylvia Mitchell for larceny and fraud opens up a welter of ethical, legal and religious issues. Law prof-blogger Ann Althouse is troubled by the result, writing,

“In my book, this is entertainment and unconventional psychological therapy. Let the buyer beware. Who’s dumb enough to actually believe this? Should the government endeavor to protect everyone who succumbs to the temptation to blow a few bucks on a fortune teller?”

Clearly not, and that’s where courts and states generally land in this matter, as in the case I wrote on three years ago, Nefredo v. Montgomery County. There the courts ruled (in Maryland) that it was an infringement of free speech for Maryland to ban what is, for most, just an exercise in supernatural entertainment. But the New York case involved a little bit more than that: Mitchell apparently bilked some clients out of significant amounts, getting $27,000 from one in an “exercise in letting go of money,”  $18,000 from another to put in a jar as a way to relieve herself of “negative energy,” and thousands from other clients to purchase “supplies” for various rituals—what does the eye of a newt go for these days?

Admittedly this seems to cross the line from harmless, if stupid, entertainment into preying on the stupid and gullible, but that doesn’t convince Althouse that the conviction, or the prosecution is a legitimate use of government power. She reminds us about the Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Ballard, in which the Court upheld the conviction of a faith healer for fraud. The SCOTUS majority, headed by William O. Douglas, held that if the faith healer didn’t believe in her claimed powers, then she was a fraud, and thus could be prosecuted under the Constitution if she used a claim of false powers to take money from her clients. In a sharp and thought-provoking dissent, Justice Robert Jackson wrote in part… Continue reading