Ethics Quote Of The Day: Ann Althouse

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“What’s to “look into”? Why not a straightforward “yes”? She said “I’ll look into it,” and the, opaquely, “I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.” What “status”? Who even has an idea what that means? Does she not own the rights to her speeches?”

—-Law prof. and eccentric blogger Ann Althouse, reacting to Hillary Clinton’s evasive response “I will look into it,” when asked during the recent debate if she would release transcripts of her high-priced speeches to various corporations, like Goldman Sachs.

Two points before I discuss Althouse’s analysis:

1. Somehow I missed this in my review of the debate. I shouldn’t have, but I was so pummeled by the sheer awfulness of it all that my observation skills were obviously impaired. Not as badly as most, however: the number of journalists who have praised that festival of platitudes and lies as “the best debate so far” are every bit as pathetic as Donald Trump’s throng. There is no excuse for being that estranged from reality.

2. To anticipate the complaints: I’ll stop posting on Hillary Clinton’s lies, deceits and unethical machinations when she stops engaging in them. That is not only fair and responsible, it is the only way to foil the Clinton game, which consists of making everyone sick and tired of pointing out how corrupt they are.

Professor Althouse nailed Hillary on this. She continued in part… Continue reading

Your “Hillary’s E-mail Scandal Is Anything But Nonsense” Update: Links, Developments And Comments

HillaryClinton phone

[Yes, I know I dragged Clinton into the previous post, but it was about The King’s Pass. How could I not? Anyway, if you troubled by HRC’s recent predominance here, 1) Would you prefer Donald Trump? 2) Read this. Memorize it.]

A lot happened on The Hillary Cyber Highway this week. Here are links to stories you should know about, and brief comments by me:

1. Of course she did. A federal judge said unequivocally that Clinton’s handling of her official e-mails violated government policy. The State department also admitted that it allowed Clinton to use her own smartphone to send, receive and store official e-mails. I cannot begin to explain how reckless and irresponsible that is for both Clinton and State.

2. Because she’s a liar, you idiot!   This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, poor co-host Mika Brzezinski, who shills for Democrats at every opportunity, couldn’t get her mind around a concept that uncorrupted observors realized many years ago.  “Her campaign staff have said that her use of a personal email account was consistent with her predecessors, and permissible under department policy at the time,” Brzezinski said. “Is it or isn’t it? Because they say it is, Hillary Clinton’s staff say it was permissible under department policy. Is that true? Why do they keep saying that?” Poor Mika. Tell me again why someone this dimwitted is permitted to host a public affairs program, even on MSNBC.
Continue reading

Ten Ethics Questions For Unshakable Hillary Voters

casual woman - no evil

Jamelle Bouie, Slate regular, can’t imagine Democrats voting for a Republican over Hillary just because she jeopardized national security, flouted her own department’s policies, destroyed evidence, and has lied about both her conduct and its significance continually. “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski said yesterday that she is offended at Clinton’s lies about her e-mail, and is insulted that Hillary thinks that the American public is “that stupid.” She then said “If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I would vote for her,” thus proving that she, at least, is exactly as stupid as Hillary thinks she is. Then, of course, we have Paul Begala, who memorably said, “Voters do not give a shit. They do not even give a fart… Find me one persuadable voter who agrees with HRC on the issues but will vote against her because she has a non-archival-compliant email system and I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and say it smells like roses.” (I keep quoting this because it perfectly embodies the level of ethical character (that is, 0)  of political operatives and the contempt in which they hold their prey, American citizens.). Then, on the recent post about ethics corruption and Clinton, regular commenter Beth wrote, speaking for informed, intelligent Democrats,

“..we’ll still vote for her in the main election over a Republican who will push for policy positions that we are against.”

I am not picking on Beth, whom I respect and consider a friend, but this is fascinating and alarming to me. She is a mother, and thus committed to teacher her children ethical values;  she is a lawyer, and she understands, for example, that destroying material you know is likely to be subpoenaed is unethical and often criminal. She does not approve of lying. Yet she expects none of this to deter her and other  intelligent Democrats from voting for Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic Party obviously is counting on this kind of reasoning, or they would not be offering such a corrupt, damaged, untrustworthy candidate. Indeed, I sense that the Beth Block doesn’t want to hear or read about Hillary’s slimy activities, because it makes them feel ashamed about what they think they will do two Novembers from now.

It should make them feel ashamed.

I wonder, though: how far will they go with this unethical and irresponsible logic? Thus I have these ten questions for them… Continue reading

UPDATE: Hillary’s Ongoing Corruption Of Democrats, Progressives, and…

moral decay

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how Hillary Clinton was gradually converting her admirers into sociopaths, making her a particularly toxic ethics corrupter. I haven’t written here as much about ethics corrupters as I should have, but Hillary will give me many opportunities to rectify that situation. To quote the Ethics Alarms glossary,

“An ethics corrupter is someone, usually a celebrity, a public official or an accomplished and successful individual, who behaves unethically and forces those who admire him or her, or what they have achieved, to defend indefensible conduct as a matter of loyalty or cognitive dissonance. As a result, the defenders warp their own values, using rationalizations to excuse or  justify conduct they once correctly understood was wrong…”

Now Reason has seen the light: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Democratic Operative Paul Begala

“Voters do not give a shit. They do not even give a fart… Find me one persuadable voter who agrees with HRC on the issues but will vote against her because she has a non-archival-compliant email system and I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and say it smells like roses.”

—Clinton enabler/mouthpiece/consultant Paul Begala, quoted in Politico’s essay by Gabriel Debendetti 

roses

Begala, just in case you’ve forgotten, was the most loathsome of Bill Clinton’s paid defenders—deceitful, smug, arrogant, Machiavellian. I’ll confess my bias: along with Karl Rove, David Axelrod, Dick Morris, James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, and others whose names I am mercifully unaware of so far, Begala and his species are the scourge of the political culture as well as democracy itself. Their stock in trade is misrepresentation, and their objective is to make Americans ignorant, uncritical, lazy, compliant, and gullible. The contempt they have for Americans is palpable, as in Begala’s quote. Continue reading

Return to a Sore Subject

"Does anybody care?"

[NOTE: An unusually busy travel schedule combined with terrible hotel WiFi and a week that was already stuffed with juicy and provocative ethics stories resulted in my not fulfilling my duties very well the last three days, for which I apologize sincerely. I’m going to make every effort to catch up this weekend.]

Rep. Weiner resigned at last, noting that his district and its constituents deserved to have a fully functioning representative in Congress, and that he could no longer fulfill that role. True enough, though one has to ask (or at least I do): if the people of Queens and Brooklyn deserve better representation than a hard-working, if dishonest, obsessed and twisted, pariah can offer, what about the people of the 8th District of Arizona, who have a representative who can’t funtion in her post at all?

I was going to wait until the six-month mark in Gaby Giffords’ rehabilitation to raise this matter again, since that will mark a full 25% of the Congresswoman’s term that she has been unable to serve, but the combination of Weiner’s resignation and the news of Giffords being released from the hospital created too much dissonance for me to ignore. I fully expect that I will be writing some version of this post 18 months hence, after Rep. Giffords’ entire Congressional term has passed without her voting on a bill or answering a constituent’s letter. To quote the singing John Adams in “1776,”: “Is anybody there? Does anybody care?”

Reports from various medical personnel enthused that Giffords has made remarkable progress, and “seems” to understand “most’ of what is being said to her, though she still has trouble articulating responses. That is great progress for someone who has some of her brain blown away by a gunshot at close range, but it sure doesn’t sound like someone who is going to be making a persuasive argument on the House floor any time soon, or ever. So are we serious about this running the country stuff, or aren’t we? Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

The fact that David Vitter is still stinking up the Senate means that it makes sense to let Anthony Weiner stick around and stink up the House. Yes, that's really the best the Democrats can come up with.

“It’s hard to see what the Ethics Committee would hang its hat on here to say that this conduct would violate the ethics rules. Others have said maybe it’s the lying. What! So no politician has ever lied to us before? That’s the kind of thing we see all the time. So he did behave discreditably (!!) but I don’t think it’s enough for a full-fledged ethics censure. David Vitter is still there.”

—-Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, making excuses for Rep. Anthony Weiner on Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC liberal love-in show.

As“Ethics Bob” writes, “If you’re a Democrat and you want an ethics pass, go see Melanie Sloan.”  Bob muses on what kind of behavior Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington “would consider irresponsible or unethical.”

It sure wouldn’t be Sloan’s own conduct, though she infamously used CREW to promote the client of a lobbying firm that she later jumped CREW to join (also conduct that is seen in D.C. “all the time,’ though not usually by heads of so-called ethics watchdog groups).* The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics does some good work, but it has always leaned heavily toward criticizing Republicans. Sloan’s statement to O’Donnell, however, is a new low, a disgrace for anyone who purports to take ethics seriously. Continue reading

Time to Enforce the Hatch Act on Karl Rove

The Hatch Act is a 1939 law that prohibits the use of federal money to support political causes. It’s an important law that many presidential administrations have nicked, dinged and outright violated,  without enforcement or consequences. But a thorough report by an independent federal agency shows that the Bush White House routinely violated the Act by creating a “political boiler room” that coordinated Republican campaign activities nationwide.

The report by the Office of Special Counsel finds that the Bush administration’s Office of Political Affairs, overseen by Karl Rove, served  as a virtual extension of the Republican National Committee, developing a “target list” of Congressional races, organizing dozens of briefings for political appointees to press them to work for party candidates, and sending cabinet officials out to help these campaigns. This included helping coordinate fund-raising by Republican candidates and persuading Bush  political appointees to help with Republican voter-turnout efforts.The report was based on over 100,000 pages of documents and interviews with eighty Bush administration officials in a three year investigation. Continue reading

Flunking the Keith Olbermann Test

Every so often there is a news story that exposes the serious deficiencies in the ethics comprehension in the public and the media. The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was one such story; Major League Baseball’s steroid controversy was another. I confess: I didn’t see the Keith Olbermann suspension for making political donations as having the potential to be another test of ethical competence, but it is. And almost everyone is flunking it.

The facts of the Olbermann incident are deceptively simple. The rant-prone, self-annointed champion of the Angry Left violated an NBC ethics policy that forbade its reporters and commentators from making political contributions, on the theory, absurd when applied to Olbermann,  that it compromises their reputation for objectivity. Olbermann has no objectivity, or reputation for it either. Nonetheless, he intentionally and flagrantly violated his employer’s policy. That alone justifies his suspension, whether or not the policy is idiotic. And it is.

But Olbermann’s fans and critics alike are all over the internet attaching rationalizations and flawed ethical reasoning to the episode. Such as: Continue reading