Impeachment Ethics Update, Holiday Edition, Part Three: The Deluge

Before getting into the selected items and outrages, let me say again that I don’t think I have ever known any issue to so hollow out the skulls of so many usually rational intelligent people—either that, or somehow create a mass ethicsectomy. Today on Facebook one of those erstwhile bright and informed individuals among my legally educated friends decided to pander to the Borg and hold a poll regarding the “worst defense against impeachment.” His #1 was that the impeachment was really an attempt to undo the 2016 election. I stopped reading right there, and you can imagine, regular readers, what I wrote, but it ended with this, with which I assume you are familiar. Of course, I could have also used this, in which we learn that Democrats indicate that they intend to keep investigating the President and seem likely to keep impeaching him until they are stopped.

1. Let’s start with the massive hypocrisy, nicely noted by David Hirsanyi. Why his piece? Because it encapsulates what is one of the biggest ethical offenses of th entire fiasco, the Democrats concocting double standards specifically to wield against this President, while daring the public not to notice…or to notice and corrupt themselves by supporting the coup efforts anyway. He wrote in part,

Not very long ago, [Democrats] were rationalizing and cheerleading unprecedented abuses of power under the Obama administration. And they’ll be cheerleading for more abuses of the Constitution the next time they win the White House.  Nancy Pelosi can dress in black, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and act as if this impeachment is her solemn obligation, but everyone saw the Democratic party’s hysterical reaction to the 2016 election. Everyone saw dozens of candidates running in 2018 — either implicitly, but most often explicitly — on getting rid of the president. Just last week we learned that people within our intelligence agencies subverted the law to help Democrats concoct a three-year national panic meant to undermine the veracity of a fair election…. If your contention is that the Constitution protects abortion on demand through the ninth month but are fine with undermining property rights, gun rights, religious freedom, and any meaningful separation of power, you’re not a custodian of the Constitution, you’re partisan with an agenda. So do what you must. But it’s been insufferable watching you playact sentinel of the American Republic — whose presumptions, institutions, documents, and Founders you don’t really seem to like very much.

2. Back to you, Alan Dershowitz, who wrote a clear and convincing explanation in The Hill of why both Articles of Impeachment failed Constitutional standards. Key paragraph:

Both are so vague and open ended that they could be applied in partisan fashion by a majority of the House against almost any president from the opposing party. Both are precisely what the Framers had rejected at their Constitutional Convention. Both raise the “greatest danger,” in the words of Alexander Hamilton, that the decision to impeach will be based on the “comparative strength of parties,” rather than on “innocence or guilt.”

3. Polls cannot be trusted, and in this area especially there have been polls to support every confirmation bias, The story here, however, is how the Democratic Party/”resistance”/ mainstream media has  so entered the zone where they are walled off from reality that they literally can’t handle the truth. CNN legal hack Jeff Toobin (I’m sorry, but that’s what he is) threw an on-air fit as  he rejected the results of CNN’s own poll showing  Democrat support for impeachment dropping from 90% down to 77%. (The reason for this, Jeffrey, is that it is dawning on the smarter progressives  that this divisive and dangerous scream at the sky will make the President stronger).

After Alisyn Camerota did some spinning, saying “Democrat support for impeachment had softened “a little bit”—this is another variety of fake news: deliberate mischaracterization—Toobin erupted, “I don’t believe that poll for one second, the 90 to 77%. I don’t believe it! It makes no sense that that number would change like that . . . David [CNN political director David Chalianong], that poll is wrong. Just because I said so, okay?

This gives us some sense of what the reaction will be when Trump wins the election in 2020. Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Reflections, 12/15/2019: Bad Film Criticism, Bad Journalism, Bad Honors…And Some Really Stupid Stuff Too

The late, great, Jerry Vale..

(Also known as “the mob’s favorite tenor”…)

1. And speaking of Martin Scorcese movies, since Jerry Vale is alluded to in several of them…”The Irishman” has been viewed on Netflix by many of my showbiz friends, and most, while complaining about the film’s length, have declared the performances “brilliant.” This reaction, is, I think, bias at work, the so-called “halo effect.” It’s the same phenomenon I witnessed in the D.C. theater community, where certain actors, directors and big theater companies were routinely called “brilliant” in their efforts, when in truth, the exact same product presented by artists with lesser reputations would be shrugged off or ignored.

The three veteran stars of “The Irishman” are being praised by critics across the board, but in truth, with the exception of Al Pacino, they seem weary and channeling earlier, better performances. This is especially true of Joe Pesci, who shows none of the energy we associate with his best performances, and the script requires him to run the gamut of emotions, as the old joke goes, from A to C. He’s as old as Joe Biden, and looks and acts every inch of it, though his character is supposed to be younger. Scorcese has used tech wizardry to give De Niro a younger face when necessary, but it still sits on top of his  80-year-old body. and there is nothing in De Niro’s act that we haven’t seen over and over again (though not so much lately, as Bob has been collecting checks for bad movies in which he appeared to be “phoning it in”).

Pacino, as Jimmy Hoffa, is lots of fun as usual, but he doesn’t appear to be trying to be convincing as the mysteriously disappeared labor boss, who was 62 with he vanished. Pacino is 79. How could anyone call Pacino “brilliant” as Hoffa? Jack Nicholson was far more convincing in the film “Hoffa,” and Pacino isn’t significantly different than he was playing a Hollywood agent in “Once Upon A Time In America.”

It must be nice to reach that stage as an actor when you get paid big checks just to show up, like Marlon Brando in “Superman.” Especially if everyone is going to say you were brilliant.

2.  And now for something completely stupid. This is remarkable in the dual category of incompetence in one’s chosen pursuit (theft) and unforgivable ignorance regarding social media.  Arlando Henderson, 29, who worked for a bank  in Charlotte, North Carolina, stole money from his employer’s vault at least 18 times, for a grand total of $88,000.  He was apprehended and arrested after posting about his robbery hobby on Facebook, including posts showing his new Mercedes-Benz, and this one…

You know, if someone is this stupid, ethics alarms hardly matter…

3. Surely we are missing some crucial information here...The New York Giants, in the midst of a horrible season, fired veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins last week. Why? He was engaged in an argument with a fan on social media who objected to Jenkins posting  his personal stats after a game that his team lost, and wrote,

“I only can do my job.. retard. Continue reading