That the Republican have not yet forced Rep. George Santos to resign from office is an ethics disgrace, and one that the party cannot afford. Yeah, yeah, I know: the GOP has a very narrow edge in the House, and it’s crucial that the Democrats, who proven themselves unfit to govern over the past six years (at least), not have control of both the White House and Congress. However, allowing a sociopath and compulsive liar like Santos to remain in Congress doesn’t even meet generous utilitarian standards. That means can’t be justified by any end. McCarthy brands himself as a weak and unprincipled leader by tolerating Santos. His party’s message becomes that it will embrace the scum of the universe it it allows them to hold power. Santos inspires more and, if possible even greater rotters to run for office. Nobody lied this much to get elected before because nobody thought they could get away with it. Now, it’s clear that voters are more gullible than ever. Having a villain like Santos in Congress makes Congress look bad. It makes democracy look bad. Continue reading
Oh-Oh: Time For Another GOP Ethics And Intelligence Test Already…
Republicans lost the chance to gain control of the Senate thanks to multiple ethical and logical mistakes, and now, as a direct result of that botch, Senate Majority Leaders Present and Future Chuck Schumer has announced that he will try to cement same-sex marriage into federal law. In July the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act, but the Senate delayed its vote on the bill until after the midterm elections. I’m sure, having a significant proportion of Neanderthals in their midst and being hell-bent on self destruction, the GOP was preparing to bury the bill once they had a majority, or filibuster it if they did not.
Morons. The hints in Clarence Thomas’s outlier concurrence in Dobbs that reversing the SCOTUS decisions declaring birth control and same-sex marriage as guaranteed rights may have cost Republicans more votes than reversing Roe v. Wade. Unlike abortion, which involves killing human beings (the question is “how human”), same sex marriage raises no such substantive ethical issues. Some religions oppose it: swell, they can refuse to allow it in their flocks. It is a down-the-metaphorical-middle-of-the -alley example of the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the vast majority of Americans accept it as one of those ancient taboos that made sense once but does no longer.
Unethical Quote Of The Week: GOP Senate Candidate Herschel Walker [Expanded]
“Since we don’t control the air, our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air. So when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space. Then — now we got we to clean that back up.”
Yes, Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker really said those words, in that order. The gibberish is on a recently released video of an appearance he made last week at a local GOP picnic in Hall County, northeast of Atlanta, when Walker spoke, if you can call it that, about climate change. The Republican Party, desperate to take control of the Senate, actually nominated a candidate to defeat Democratic incumbent Ralph Warnock whose grasp of science, logic and language is that infantile.
Walker’s sole qualifications, if you can call them that, for the Senate are that he is a local and national sports celebrity, and black. He has no other qualifications. In addition to his obvious lack of education and erudition, he has also lied repeatedly for years, presenting himself as someone he is not. He is a neon-bright hypocrite, lecturing about the responsibilities of fatherhood while hiding the existence of his own children conceived without the security of a secure relationship with their mothers. Continue reading
When Ethical Is Also Smart: The D.C. Statehood Dilemma
The introduction of a bill for D.C. statehood seems like a good time to consider this.
The GOP opposition to statehood for the District of Columbia is a genuine example of the kind of voter suppression that the Left is unfairly and dishonestly accusing Republicans of pursuing elsewhere. The proof of this is stunningly simple: Does anyone believe that if Washington, D.C. had an overwhelmingly conservative population that could be counted on to put Republicans in office, the party wouldn’t be insisting that the city should become a state? (Does anyone believe that if this was the case, Democrats would not be opposing their position?)
The District’s largest racial group is black, with whites slightly behind. But Democrats make up more than 75% of the registered voters , while only 6% are registered Republicans. About 95% of all voters can be relied upon to vote Democratic in any election, regardless of the candidates.
Therefore Republicans don’t want the District to be able elect two Senators and a voting House member. This isn’t racial voter suppression: you know that if black voters in the District were reliable Republicans, the alternate universe I posited above would exist. But it is still voter suppression. The fact that U.S.citizens living in the nation’s Capital lack representation in Congress is a national scandal that has persisted too long.
Ex-Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Scott Miller For Governor Of NY!
Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Scott Miller has resigned his post after brushing off complaints from women in his party regarding Salt Lake County Republican Party communications director Dave Robinson’s pattern of harassment, body-shaming and more.
Miller, who was running for the state Republican chair, had trivialized the allegations as petty squabbling. It was pretty obviously more than that. For example, after Salt Lake County Council candidate Laurie Stringham created a campaign video for donors in which she said, “Support Laurie Stringham for Salt Lake County Council, so when Mayor [Jenny] Wilson says ‘more, more, more,’ we can say ‘no, no, no!’,” she said that Robinson called her to complain about the spot.
“You sound like you’re having an orgasm!” Robinson shouted at her over her car’s speakerphone. He then repeated her “more, more, more” catchphrase with obscene grunting sounds., and told her that if she wanted to “whore herself out, that was her choice.” Then, Stringham said, Robinson shouted, “I will make sure you never get elected! I will ruin you! And I will make sure the party never works with you! Get your shit together!’” and hung up.
Robinson, who is openly gay, was accused of similar abuse by several women, who said he referred to them in demeaning, derogatory and sexual terms, attempted to bully them, and even withheld important campaign resources unless they wrote opinion pieces about his favorite issues. Yet the party chair, Miller, refused to investigate or take their concerns seriously. To the contrary, he attacked Robinson’s critics on the county party’s official email last week, naming all of the women coming forward and questioning their motives.
“Are these persons and possibly their special interest backers attempting to embarrass and cancel me and our volunteers?” Miller asked in part. “I will not be CANCELLED.” Hilariously, after these remarks received condemnation from everyone (including Utah’s Republican governor) but Robinson, Miller performed a spectacular if unconvincing flip-flop, and tweeted,
Boy, The GOP Really, Really Likes Census Scams!
Let me quote my favorite writer—me, of course—to set this one up. From March 17, 2010
It was [Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele] who approved some sleazy direct mail hack’s clever idea to send potential GOP donors counterfeit census forms. Arriving in thick envelopes with “Do Not Destroy. Official Document” on the front (“See, it’s not a lie! It IS an official document, right? Just from a different official—you, Mr. Steele! Get it? …), and the imposing legend “Census Document Registered To: [ the name of the recipient]” stamped there as well (“It really is kind of a a census document, capiche, Mister Steele? So they can’t complain later—it’s just not the one they think it is! But they’ll open it every time! I love this mailing!”), the package included a four-page form complete with an eight figure “Census Tracking Code.” (“Nice touch, eh Mister Steele? Joey here thought that one up. It will really have them believing this, the suckers!”) But the questions would quickly begin striking anyone not half asleep as rather odd for the Census, with queries like,
“Do you traditionally vote in all elections?”
“Do you generally identify yourself as a: Conservative Republican, Moderate Republican, Liberal Republican, Independent Voter who leans Republican or Other?”
“How much does it concern you that the Democrats have total control of the federal government?”
“Do you think the record trillion-dollar deficit the Democrats are creating with their out-of-control spending is going to have disastrous consequences for our nation?”
Even the sleepy, drunk or stupid, however, should have figured out the scam when they read, “When finished answering your Census, please return it along with your generous contribution in the enclosed postage-paid envelope.”
Gotcha! So clever! So well-executed! Soooooo dishonest, deceitful, and wrong….Not only did the mailing aim to deceive, it also confused, and the Census Bureau expressed worries that the fraudulent mailings would undermine response rates for the official census forms, causing citizens to ignore or not fill out the real forms when they arrived later. Lower mail response rates will increase Census costs, because the Bureau must send census-takers to every home that does not respond.
The good news is that the incident reminded House members what it was like to agree on something, and they passed a unanimous, bi-partisan measure banning fake census fundraising appeals, because the fact that such mailings were obviously and putridly unethical wasn’t enough any more. Not with Michael Steel in charge of the Republican fundraising. His influence is strong, after all: doing his best Steele impression after the House vote, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay said, “The NRCC remains opposed to misleading mailings,” which is 1) a lie 2) an insulting lie 3) an embarrassingly obvious lie. It is opposed to them although it just sent out an intentionally misleading mailing of epic dimensions. The statement means one of these three things: “We are being controlled by Satan!”, “We are completely insane!”, or “We are lying our heads off!” One guess, and the first two don’t count.
But wait! There’s more! Continue reading
Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/18/18: Sunday Potpourri
1. Now THIS is a bribe…Al Hoffman Jr., a Florida-based real estate developer and a prominent Republican political donor “demanded” yesterday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style firearms to civilians. “For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings — and how many years has it been that nothing’s been done?” Mr. Hoffman said in an interview. “It’s the end of the road for me.”
The only ethical GOP response is, “Bye!” Donors may not tie their support to specific legislative measures. That’s a quid pro quo. a bribe. The party should—I would prefer “must”—respond by officially and publicly telling Hoffman that its elected officials will do what they believe is in the best interests of their constituents and the nation, and he is free to contribute to whatever he deems appropriate.
Moreover, his statement shows that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is yet another “Do something!” yelp.
2. Yet more anti-gun hysteria...Could there be a more nakedly emotional and irrational headline than this one in today’s Sunday Times: “Why Wasn’t My Son the Last School Shooting Victim?”(That’s the print version…the online headline is different.)
3. I may have to put “cultural appropriation” on my list of things have to flag every time it’s used…From a New York Times article about Wes Anderson’s new animated film about dogs exiled to a miserable island in the wake of “dog flu” comes this astounding cut-line:
“Critics Address The Issue Of Cultural Appropriation In ‘Isle of Dogs'”
It seems the American director’s work here is influenced by the films of iconic Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The Horror. Hey, what the hell business does Japan have running professional baseball leagues? Here’s a quick poll as a warm-up for the Warm-Up:Continue reading
Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/7/2018: Something In This Post Is Guaranteed To Send You Screaming Into The Streets
1 Oh no! Not my permanent record! My wife gave a small contribution to Mitt Romney’s campaign, and has been hounded by RNC robocalls and mailings ever since. GOP fundraising started getting really slimy under the indefensible Michael Steele’s leadership, and continued to use unethical methods after Steele went on to job at a bait shop or something. Last week my wife got an envelope in the mail with a block red DELINQUENCY NOTICE! printed on it. A lie, straight up: there was no delinquency, just a my wife’s decision that she would rather burn a C-note than give it to the fools and knaves running the Republican Party. She registered an official complaint with the RNC, and received this response from Dana Klein, NRCC Deputy Finance Director:
“My job as the Deputy Finance Director is to communicate with supporters to let them know the status of their NRCC Sustaining Membership. Unfortunately, I have bad news for you. As of right now, you have a delinquency mark on your record for your failure to renew your membership. But, I have some good news. You can remove this delinquency mark if you renew by the FEC deadline on Wednesday.”
Both my wife and I were professional fundraisers for many years. This is deceptive and coercive fundraising, and anyone who voluntarily supports an organization that uses such tactics is a victim or an idiot.
Or, I suppose, a Republican.
2. Another one…This is another one of the statements that I am pledged to expose every time I read or hear it: a Maryland legislator, enthusing over the likelihood that a ballot initiative will result in legalizing pot in the state, ran off the usual invalid, disingenuous and foolish rationalizations for supporting measure. (Don’t worry, pot-lovers: I’m resigned to this happening, not just in Maryland, but nation wide. As with the state lotteries, our elected officials will trade the public health and welfare for easy revenue every time. Minorities and the poor will be the most hurt, and the brie and pot set couldn’t care less.) Only one of his familiar bad arguments triggered my mandatory response pledge: ” to legalize a drug that is less harmful than alcohol.”
This is the bottom of the rationalization barrel, “it’s not the worst thing.” Alcohol is a scourge of society, killing thousands upon thousands every year, ruining families and lives, wrecking businesses, costing the economy millions of dollars. Just yesterday there was a report that fetal alcohol syndrome was far more common that previously believed. There is no question, none, that U.S. society would be healthier and safer without this poison accepted in the culture: unfortunately, it was too deeply embedded before serious efforts were made to remove it. Now pot advocates want to inflict another damaging recreational drug on society, using the argument that it’s not as terrible as the ones we’re already stuck with. Stipulated: it’s not as harmful as alcohol. It’s not as harmful as Russian Roulette or eating Tidepods either. I have a bias against taking seriously advocates who use arguments like this; it means they re either liars, and know their logic is absurd, or idiots, and don’t.
3. Riddle me this: What do you get when you cross casting ethics, weak and lazy school administrators, political-correctness bullies-in-training with “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”?
Answer: a cancelled high school musical, and per se racism supported by the school.
New York’s Ithaca High School was beginning production of the Disney film-based musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” but made the unforgivable error, in the eyes of student activists, of casting of a white student as a Romani heroine Esmeralda, played in the classic film by that gypsy wench, Maureen O’Hara, and in the Disney version by a Toon. Several students quit the show in protest, and formed an activist group to reverse the decision. It sent a letter calling the casting “cultural appropriation” and “whitewashing,” calling the student the “epitome of whiteness.” The letter admitted that she was also “a stellar actor, singer and dancer” that any stage would be “lucky to have,” but what is the talent, skill and competence required for a role compared to what really matters, her skin color? The students demanded that the school either choose a different show or recast Esmeralda a black and brown actress. Continue reading
Morning Ethics Warm-Up,1/28/2018: Looking For The Silver Lining
1 Phooey. This was one of those annoying weeks where the blog covered a lot of diverse topics (28 posts in the last 7 days), featured excellent comments, and was rewarded by a kick in the teeth. There was a big drop in followers, especially after the post about the Larry Nassar sentencing fiasco (I got slammed on Facebook, too.) That one is not open to legitimate controversy: the judge was unethical, the manner of sentencing did breach the Judicial Canons in Michigan and elsewhere, the length of the sentence was disproportionate, and the parade of victims was a disgrace to the system. Never mind, though: he’s a monster and didn’t deserved to be treated any better by the judge, so good for her. No wonder trying to get people to reason using ethics tools and systems is so difficult. Most people default to emotion; some lawyers on Facebook even expressed that sentiment—“You go girl!”
It is such basic ethics, and so core to the justice system, that even the worst human beings deserve to be treated with the same respect and fairness as anyone else in the justice system. It is the bedrock of professional ethics that those with the job of protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare must be role models and eschew the passions and indulgences of the public they are pledged to serve. Yet people are frustratingly resistant to both concepts, giving lip service, pretending to understand, then regularly bouncing back to rationalizations and mob reasoning like their values were on a bungee cord.
Silver Lining: It is satisfying to be 100% sure you are right in principle, even when, indeed especially when, you are getting beaten up for it.
2. And speaking of bitches…Contemporaneously with Hillary Clinton’s transparently cynical and damning response to the revelation that she responded to a campaign staffer’s complaint about sexual abuse by Hillary’s “spiritual survivor” in 2008 by transferring the accuser while keeping her advisor around (to harass others, it seems), she released a video…
…that began with the words, “And let me just say, this is directed to the activist bitches supporting bitches.” And thus we see how the Nation of Assholes is progressing. Somehow, I didn’t see the coarsening of the culture as Americans, as they always so, emulate the conduct of the President, extending to Hillary Clinton, but why not? She has no integrity or ethics alarms. If she thinks going potty mouth will bring her money and power, why wouldn’t she ditch civility? The woman is first and always an ethics corrupter. Continue reading
Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/29/2017
1. There are several accurate and fair points in the New York Times overview of the Obamacare repeal and replace fiasco, as well as some details that all add up top one thing: the GOP, top to bottom, wasn’t prepared to follow up on the promises it was making during the campaign. To be responsible and honest, it should have had the substitute plan for the Affordable Care Act crafted, analyzed and ready before the 2016 campaign was even underway—you know, one that still dealt with pre-existing condition problem, capped mediacl negligence lawsuit awards. and took steps to lower health care cots while giving the public more choices rather than fewer and not adding to the national debt. Instead, they just used a false promise to stir up the base, like Harold Hill railing about the new pool table corrupting the youth in River City. It was a con job, in other words, all along. Incredibly, the Times reports—assuming that what it reports is true, and of that we can never be sure, remember—
“Vote yes, Republican leaders told the holdouts in their conference. We promise it will never become law. After seven years of railing against the evils of the Affordable Care Act, the party had winnowed its hopes of dismantling it down to a menu of options to appease recalcitrant lawmakers — with no more pretenses of lofty policy making, only a realpolitik plea to keep the legislation churning through the Capitol by voting to advance something, anything.”
That’s nauseating, and unethical governance and politics at its worst.
Other notes from the article
- “A ruling party that never expected to win. A conservative base long primed to accept nothing less than a full repeal. An overpromising and often disengaged president with no command of the policy itself and little apparent interest in selling its merits to the public.”
It’s fine to face reality when you appear to be defeated. It is unethical to run for office without being as prepared to win as you would be if your were the frontrunner.
- “Yet in private sessions…Republicans worried about being saddled with a politically toxic “Trumpcare,” with some acknowledging that their dual promises — repealing the law swiftly without pulling the rug out from Americans — could not be reconciled.”
This just occurred to them? Wasn’t this obviously a problem that could have been predicted since. oh, 2010?
- “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, assembled a working group of 13 senators to draft the legislation — all of them male — excluding Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Collins.”
What a moron.
2. J.K Rowling, Harry Potter’s mommy who hates our President with a passion, sent out a re-tweet of an edited video appearing to show President Trump snubbing a child in a wheelchair. She wrote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’ – Maya Angelou https://twitter.com/ansel/status/889596818383814656 …”
The tweet had gone viral, with more than 58 thousand retweets. It’s also carrying a lie. The actual, unedited video shows the President kneeling and talking to the boy. Now the tweet itself and the page of the tweeter has vanished.
Rowling has shown us that she is a foreign citizen using her influence to spread fake news in an effort to undermine our government. Someone should turn her into a newt. Continue reading