Stop Making Me Defend President Trum…Oh, Hell, If You Care About The Country, I Guess There’s No Other Choice When Democrats Openly Say Things Like, “I’m Concerned That If We Don’t Impeach This President, He Will Get Re-Elected”

There has been a dramatic increase in hysterical, exaggerated, fact-free, unfair, dishonest and contrived attacks on President Trump in the last few weeks, creating a practical problem for Ethics Alarms. The blog is neither devoted to politics or partisanship, but  since the 2016 election and the “resistance,” progressives, Democrats and the news media decided that it was worth tearing apart the nation and ripping to shreds its institutions to remove an elected President they oppose by any means necessary. It is, as I am forced to write too often, the single greatest continuous ethics breach since the Democratic Party’s support for Jim Crow.

I have so many issues unrelated to Donald Trump, whom I dislike intensely, that I want and need to discuss here.  I spent much of both 2015 and 2016 explaining why he should never be allowed to run for the Republican nomination, be nominated for President,  or elected President. I do not retract or regret  a single essay on these matters, but I cannot sit back and ignore what the Democrats and the news media are doing. I can’t. Neither my temperament, my love for America nor my  mission here permit it.

But BOY am I sick of having to  write about crap like…

  • “Trump administration to send migrant children to Army base once used as Japanese internment camp” screamed the Hill today.

How unethical is that headline? Let’s see…It begins with a deceit: “migrant children” is the latest euphemism for “children of illegal immigrants being used as human shields to allow them to break the law via the Think of the Children! rationalization, #58. It is also called, ironiclly, “The Universal Trump.” It is deceitful, the equivalent of  condemning a politicians as pro-white supremacy with a headline like: ” Senate candidate holds fundraiser in building where Lincoln was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer!”  Just as Ford’s Theater is also just a theater, Fort Sill, in Oklahoma. To quote Wikipedia,

Fort Sill is a United States Army post north of Lawton, Oklahoma, about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. It covers almost 94,000 acres (38,000 ha).[ The fort was first built during the Indian Wars.  It is designated as a National Historic Landmark  and serves as home of the United States Army Field Artillery School as well as the Marine Corps’ site for Field Artillery MOS school, United States Army Air Defense Artillery School, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, and the 75th Field Artillery Brigade. Fort Sill is also one of the four locations for Army Basic Combat Training. It has played a significant role in every major American conflict since 1869.

So what the Hill did is to pick a single use of Fort Hill during its long history so it could make a sinister analogy between the Trump Administration policy regarding immigration, and the racist policy of the Roosevelt Administration regarding Asian-Americans during WWII. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, June 5, 2019: Ethics Corrupters In The House, The Senate, The White House, The Times….

The next morning was going to be a crucial one, but not exactly “good”…

Good Morning!

1. How to expose a demagogue. Senator Elizabeth Warren is near the bottom of my ethics rankings of the various Democratic Presidential candidates, and not just because of the way she handled her crisis of color. She’s a pure demagogue, and a particularly dangerous one, as she is a stirring speaker and apparently shameless.

It takes clarity of thought and rhetoric to expose demagogues, especially Warren’s breed, which carry the trappings of authority—after all, she’s a Harvard professor, so she must be smart (or so those who did not attend Harvard seem to think.) The President’s favored tactic of name-calling is of limited value for this purpose, but Rep. Dan Crenshaw, the veteran mocked by Saturday Night Live because of his war wounds,  is providing an ongoing seminar on how to expose Warren’s dishonesty.

When Warren tweeted this high-sounding sentiment…

…Rep. Crenshaw  zeroed in on its deception.

Note also the gently mocking imitation of Warren’s flip use of “thing,” so much more rhetorically effective than calling her “Pocahontas.”

Here is how Crenshaw eviscerated another typical bit  of Warren pandering…

Then there was this expert take-down….when Warren grandstanded with this…

Crenshaw pointed out exactly what was wrong with it…

Why, yes, that’s exactly what it is.

2. Censorship and keeping the truth from the public is not ethical, nor is it a legitimate way to address problems in a democracy. Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Yes, It’s Representative Ocasio-Cortez Again!

I know we’re getting perilously close to Julie Principle territory here. The Congresswoman says and tweets so many ignorant, logically flawed, impulsive and silly things so often that it seem ungallant to keep swatting at them.

On the other hand, elected officials, especially members of Congress, have an ethical duty not to make their supporters, followers and the public in general dumber and more ignorant than they already are. The tweet above does that: it misrepresents laws, law enforcement, the nature of abortion, reality, justice, too much to process, really.

It also shows seriously damaged critical thinking skills and an abysmal grasp of analogies. “Right?” No, NOT right, you fool. Abortion bans target the intentional taking of what these laws deem human life. Got that? Intentional. No ICE agents set out to cause the deaths of premature babies that were, in fact, placed in peril by their mothers who endangered them by bringing them along as they attempted to break U.S. laws. There is no valid comparison here. None. Continue reading

Eugene Robinson Provides The Ultimate Impeachment Bias And Ignorance Exhibit. Thanks, Eugene!

The Washington Post’s long-time Pulitzer Prize winning mediocrity, Eugene Robinson, actually enticed me into reading one of his Left-pandering columns with the click-bait title, “If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, who does?” I was genuinely curious to see if Robinson had found a real justification for impeaching the President other than some selections out of the Ethics Alarms Get Rid Of Trump Plan list, which now stretched from A to Q. Just so we are all on the same page, here is the current list:

Plan A: Reverse the election by hijacking the Electoral College

Plan B: Pre-emptive impeachment.

Plan C : The Emoluments Clause.

Plan D: “Collusion with Russia”

Plan E : ”Trump is mentally ill so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.”

Plan F: The Maxine Waters Plan, which  is to just impeach the President as soon as Democrats control both Houses, because they can.

Plan G : “The President obstructed justice by firing incompetent subordinates, and that’s impeachable.”

Plan H: “Tweeting stupid stuff is impeachable”

Plan I:  “Let’s relentlessly harass him and insult him and obstruct his efforts to do his job so he snaps and does something really impeachable.”

Plan J : Force Trump’s resignation based on alleged sexual misconduct that predated his candidacy. .

Plan K: Election law violations in pay-offs of old sex-partners

Plan L: The perjury trap: get Trump to testify under oath, then prove something he said was a lie. [

Plan M: Guilt by association. Prove close associates or family members violated laws.

Plan N: Claim that Trump’s comments at his press conference with Putin were “treasonous.”

Plan O:: The Mueller investigation  report is  justification for impeachment even though the investigation found no evidence of crimes or misconduct that could sustain an ethical prosecution.

Plan P: Trump should be impeached because he’s daring the House Democrats to impeach him.

Plan Q:  Impeach Trump to have an unquestionable right to acquire his tax returns, on the assumption that the returns will justify impeachment.

If these seem progressively more desperate to you, there’s a reason: they are, particularly the last three, which emerged after the Mueller investigation failed to accomplish what it was set up to do.

So how do Eugene Robinson’s overwhelming justifications for impeachment stack up? He writes,

Obstruct a Justice Department investigation, perhaps? No, apparently that’s not enough. What about playing footsie with a hostile foreign power? Abusing his office to settle personal grievances? Using instruments of the state, including the justice system, to attack his perceived political opponents? Aligning the nation with murderous foreign dictators while forsaking democracy and human rights? Violating campaign-finance laws with disguised hush-money payments to alleged paramours? Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists? Defying requests and subpoenas from congressional committees charged with oversight? Refusing to protect our electoral system from malign foreign interference? Cruelly ripping young children away from their asylum-seeking parents? Lying constantly and shamelessly to the American people, to the point where not a single word he says or writes can be believed? President Trump has done all of this and more.

The last sentence is a tell, of course. It tells us that Robinson is just mouthing the Maxine Waters impeachment argument: Trump should be impeached because everything about Trump drives Democrats, progressives and their allies crazy….in short, “Orange Man Bad!” But let’s examine the reasons Robinson enumerates:

  • Obstruct a Justice Department investigation.

It’s so nice of Eugene to destroy his credibility up front like this.  Reviewing the (weak) evidence that the Mueller investigation suggested might support a charge of obstructing justice, the official responsible for making the determination concluded that there was no obstruction. Even Mueller, in his unethical and Justice policy defying statement, didn’t say the President obstructed an investigation, He said that the investigation didn’t prove he didn’t obstruct it, which is legally meaningless. So we also know Robinson isn’t a lawyer.

  • Playing footsie with a hostile foreign power

This is so stupid it doesn’t deserve rebuttal. So we have moved on from the “collusion” fake crime to the even more ephemeral “playing footsie” standard? Huh. Would Obama’s infamous “more flexibility” comment to Putin caught on camera be considered “footsie”?

  • Abusing his office to settle personal grievances

Another made up offense.

  • Using instruments of the state, including the justice system, to attack his perceived political opponents?

Eugene’s link to support this false assertion is a typical Trump attack Atlantic article that claims such conduct as accusing the Justice Department of behaving unethically (which evidence increasingly shows it did) and appointing an acting Attorney General who was critical of the Mueller investigation somehow meets Robinson’s hyperbolic description.  The article also asserts that Trump wanting Hillary Clinton and James Comey to be prosecuted is an abuse of power.

  • Aligning the nation with murderous foreign dictators while forsaking democracy and human rights.

Oh, for God’s sake. It’s called foreign policy and utilitarian trade-offs, you imbecile. It would be impossible to name a President who did not do this. We can argue about when it is a prudent course,  but what a self-evidently silly statement. Obama reached out to Cuba and opened diplomatic relations without insisting on any human rights reforms at all. Was that impeachable. Eugene?

  • Violating campaign-finance laws with disguised hush-money payments to alleged paramours.

See Plan K. This is a tortured election law violation theory that will not hold water. Worse, it depends on the testimony of the Most Unethical And Unbelievable Lawyer Alive, Michel Cohen.

  • Giving aid and comfort to neo-Nazis and white supremacists?

One of the “resistance’s” Big Lies.

  • Defying requests and subpoenas from congressional committees charged with oversight.

And in the process of abusing that oversight. “Defying a request” is impeachable, eh, Eugene? The President has the same right to challenge the validity of a subpoena as anyone else, as well as a duty to protect his office and the Separation of Powers. Until the issue has been adjudicated, there is nothing improper or illegal with telling Congress to take a hike.

  • Refusing to protect our electoral system from malign foreign interference?

What? WHAT?  The 2016 election was under Obama’s watch. Does Robinson know which President he is talking about?

  • Cruelly ripping young children away from their asylum-seeking parents?

So now it’s just “resistance” talking points, is it? The President cannot be impeached for legal policies executed by executive agencies, particularly policies that were mandatory under the law, even more particularly policy that the previous administration followed as well.  For “asylum-seeking parents” read “illegal immigrants endangering their children to breach U.S. borders.”

  • Lying constantly and shamelessly to the American people, to the point where not a single word he says or writes can be believed.

More talking points and narratives. All of President Trump’s exaggerations, botched facts, misrepresentations and mistakes rolled up into one ugly ball would still not equal the dishonesty and the damage done by Barack Obama’s signature lie to sneak the Affordable Care Act by the gullible public. And no, that wasn’t impeachable, just despicable.

The answer to Robinson’s headline question, “If Trump doesn’t warrant impeachment, who does?” is this:

A President who has actually engaged in conduct the Constitution says is impeachable. As Robinson’s weak and ignorant case shows vividly, President Trump hasn’t.

Lunchtime Ethics Warm-Up, 5/30/2019: Bye! Go For It! And Who Cares?

A yucky ethics meal.

(Sorry)

1. Why is this worthy of being published? Here’s a long Washington Post writer whine that he ““doesn’t recognize”the U.S. any more, and wants to run off and hide someplace better. Why is this any more useful and enlightening  than the rant of some wacko who has decided that human beings have been replaced by pod people, or that we’re really all lying dormant in a Matrix-like sleep? The article is just free-flowing Left-wing bitching and Trump hate that could have been written by any one of thousands of resistance fanatics in the last three years.

Why should anyone care or be enlightened that Ted Gap, whoever he is, regards the U.S. as a viper pit of  “xenophobia” (aka “enforcing the law and protecting the borders”), “its saber-rattling” (aka “foreign affairs”), “its theocratic leanings” (known as “religion”), “its denial of facts and science” (code for “not being willing to spend trillions and send the standard of  living and the economy backwards based on unconfirmed theories and projections”), “its tribalism” (I suspect Ted means the “tribes” he doesn’t personally favor), and “its petty and boorish president” (so if Ted’s candidate loses an election, it means that it’s not the U.S. any more. Got it. Typical “resistance” member.) Continue reading

Be Honest Now: Does Anyone Believe The Latest Explanation For Why The Democrats Want The President’s Tax Returns?

I guess it is kind of funny, when you think about it…

On the old Ethics Scoreboard, I had a monthly feature called The David Manning Liar Of The Month Award, “honoring” utterly transparent lies from prominent organizations and people that they obviously didn’t expect anyone to believe. The subpoena issued yesterday by Representative Richard E. Neal (D-Mass) to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Charles P. Rettig, the I.R.S. commissioner would get this month’s award if I was still giving it out.

Quick, now: why do Democrats want the President’s tax returns? Is there any doubt whatsoever? Have they been ambiguous about it in the least? They are convinced, because, as we all know, the Orange Man is BAD, that somewhere in his returns is sufficient evidence of serious wrongdoing—that the IRS never noticed nor flagged, mind you, and that occurred before Donald Trump became President—that they can use to concoct a viable impeachment case, or at least use to embarrass and attack him in the coming election.

For a long time the theory was that the returns would provide decisive evidence that the President was involved in an election-stealing plot with Russia, but since that phony premise was thoroughly exploded, Democrats had to find another excuse. The current theory is that since he refused to reveal the returns during the 2016 campaign, he must have something nefarious to hide. This is the totalitarian’s approach to justice, of course. That the Democratic Party and its supporters so easily resort to it ought to give everyone pause.

So we all know why the Democratic House majority is trying to get the President’s returns. The problem is that Donald Trump has the same right of privacy as every other taxpayer. The fact that he broke with recent tradition by not releasing his returns, if Occam’s Razor means anything to you, is best attributed to the fact that no other Presidential candidate of a major party since income taxes were introduced has been an international businessman, with the extraordinary number of transactions and tax maneuvers such status inevitably requires. Pop Quiz: Did H. Ross Perot, when he was running his third party challenge to Bush and Clinton in 1992, release his tax returns? Continue reading

I Figured It Out: The Congressional Democrats Are Imitating Saddam Hussein [PART II]

[Continued from PART I, here]

As with Saddam’s disastrous bluff, the “we have enough for impeachment but we’re not going to impeach just yet” dance involves some reckless brinkmanship and depends on corrupt and under the table alliances, with the mainstream media replacing the U.N and its complicit members. So far the media has neglected to educate the public regarding how desperate and absurd the current subpoena tactic is, with its close similarity to the Radical Republicans’ attempt to get rid of President Andrew Johnson by demanding that he obey an illegal law, the Tenure of Office Act. (“Andrew Johnson? Who’s that? You must mean Lyndon Johnson, right? No?”)

As Johnson did, President Trump has a Constitutional obligation to protect the Separation of Powers from a House majority intent on abusing its oversight powers. The House Democrats are simultaneously claiming that they have enough WMDs—lets’ call them WTDs, Weapons of Trump’ Destruction—to take down the President, while they continue to search desperately for what they are lying about having. Thus they are demanding that they see the unredacted Mueller report, which would be illegal, getting Trump’s tax documents, which would be a dangerous abuse of privacy and the oversight function, and forcing the former White House Counsel to reveal privileged information, which he cannot legally or ethically do. The idea appears to be to let these orchestrated controversies distract the public and continue into the 2020 campaign, with the Democrats running on a “he should be impeached, but it’s easier just to beat him” theme.

The only question is whether the news media will be any more successful saving the Democrats from their dishonest and dangerous bluff than the U.N.’s crooks were protecting Saddam. I doubt it. The U.N. had and even now has more credibility than  the self-flaying news media, and for good reason.

Last week, for example, two New York Times columnists made foolishly weak arguments that Trump had committed impeachable offenses. For clinically Trump-deranged Charles Blow, for whom every column is a barely restrained primal scream against Trump’s existence, the imagined offense is criticizing the press for being exactly as corrupt, biased and untrustworthy as Blow proves it is every week. His own dishonesty is what distinguishes the column; for example, he writes that a poll (Blow loves cherry-picking polls, a flaw he shares with Trump) found that 49% to 36%, Republicans agree that the news media is “the enemy of the people,” but all other groups say that the media “is an important part of democracy.” Continue reading