I KNEW He Could Do It! As Impeachment Plans A-Q Look Like Losers, Rep. Adam Schiff Invents Plan R!

It should be obvious what the Democratic Party’s game plan is now, especially since Robert Mueller’s testimony yesterday dashed hopes that he would blow wind into the limp sails of the SS Overthrow The Republican. Instead, the ostensible Special Prosecutor  made the case for “high crimes and misdemeanors” look weaker and more contrived than before. One by one, the weak, weaker and weakest “resistance” plans to remove President Trump have fallen into various states of hopelessness and ruin, and the bitter-enders are now resorting to denial or impeachment rationalizations unmoored to anything at all, like this guy, who says that “history demands” an impeachment. [Pointer: Zoltar]

The Democrats will just keep the impeachment fires burning until the election, hoping that 1) one of the horrible candidates Democrats get to choose from will defeat Trump, which looks like a Hail Mary at this point (but who knows what the President will tweet next) or 2) the Democrats will take control of the Senate, and 3) the public will tolerate them spending another 4 years trying to overthrow an elected President without getting disgusted and turning the House back over to the GOP.  Does this sound rational and responsible to you? I wonder why it sounds reasonable to Democrats.

Meanwhile, I was beginning to think the Ethics Alarms list of coup theories had maxxed out at Q, plan #17. [ The most recent  updated list is here] But somehow I knew, deep in my heart, that Rep. Adam Schiff, who has lied, puffed, exaggerated and grandstanded all manner of impeachment justifications that didn’t exist in fact or law, but somehow isn’t walking around Washington D.C. with his head in a bag, would be equal to the daunting task of coming up with a new plan. And so he has.

Perhaps anticipating the  Mueller Meltdown,  Schiff unveiled Plan R in his opening statement as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.  His theory? President Trump was “disloyal”:

“Disloyalty to country. Those are strong words. But how else are we to describe a presidential campaign which did not inform the authorities of a foreign offer of dirt on their opponent, which did not publicly shun it, or turn it away, but which instead invited it, encouraged it, and made full use of it? That disloyalty may not have been criminal. But disloyalty to country violates the very obligation of citizenship, our devotion to a core principle on which our nation was founded, that we, the people, not some foreign power that wishes us ill, we decide, who shall govern, us.”

Continue reading

And The Flag Is Still There: Goodbye To Plan K!

[Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) probably hate that unrestrained video, and Megan Rapinoe would walk out on it.  And that, in the end, is why they and their supporters are going to lose]

From the The Complete Presidential Impeachment or Removal Plans A-Q (Updated 7/18/2019) below:

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

Now from the New York Times today:

“Federal prosecutors signaled in a court document released on Thursday that it was unlikely they would file additional charges in the hush-money investigation…. that ensnared members of Donald J. Trump’s inner circle and threatened to derail his presidency. In the document, the prosecutors said they had ‘effectively concluded’ their inquiry, which centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump…. The president’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, was convicted in the case. He has said he helped arrange the hush money at the direction of Mr. Trump, and prosecutors have repeated the accusation in court papers. Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.”

It’s fun watching the anti-Trump media try to spin this. Here’s AOL:

“The FBI believed then-candidate Donald Trump was closely involved in a scheme to hide hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed an affair with Trump, court documents from the closed campaign finance case against former Trump-fixer Michael Cohen show.

The documents, released Thursday, describe a “series of calls, text messages, and emails” between Cohen, Trump, Trump campaign aide Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson — an attorney for the woman, porn star Stormy Daniels — and David Pecker, an executive of the company that published the National Enquirer.”

Oooh, “scheme.” That sounds sinister and illegal, but paying off old adultery-enabling sex partners who are threatening to embarrass you when you’re a public figure is business as usual for people like Donald Trump (and Jack Kennedy, and Bill Clinton, and so on) and it isn’t illegal. Nor is lying about whether such relationships ever existed, unless it’s under oath or to investigators.

The reason charges aren’t going anywhere is because the theory that this was an election law violation, or that if it was, it was sufficiently dire to be impeachable, was always a ridiculous stretch. Michael Cohen, who promised to be the worst and most unreliable witness of any lawyer in history if this ever reached trial, had been persuaded to plead guilty to a non-crime as part of his plea deal, purely to assist the quixotic effort to make the politically motivated case that an individual running for President doing exactly the same thing that he would have done had he not been running for President was violating federal elections laws despite the fact that no law prohibits that act. Continue reading

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