Tag Archives: resignations

The Trump Administration Is Treating The Mainstream Media As “The Opposition Party”? Good: That Is Exactly How It Has Been Behaving.

post-biasPresident Trump refused to give  MSNBC’s reporter a question  during yesterday’s press session with Benjamin Netanyahu,  so MSNBC’s Peter Alexander complained on the air later that the conservative journalists the President did call on didn’t ask “real questions” like he would have.  Of course, if anyone can find a single instance of Obama-bootlick MSNBC ever asking critical questions of President Obama, please pass it along.  MSNBC’s coverage of Trump’s presidency  began with dead-eyed Rachel Maddow intoning to her Angry Left audience that no, the election returns weren’t a nightmare, they were real. On  Inauguration Day, Maddow compared Trump’s election to “Hitler’s rise.”  Chris Matthews called the new President’s inaugural address  “Hitlerian,” and compared his family to the Romanovs. Nice.

The tone hasn’t softened. Yesterday, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” announced that Kellyanne Conway was banned from the show. Conway is an embarrassing and untrustworthy shill, but similar conduct did not provoke any news organization from banning,say, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose penchant for Jumbos in defense of the Obama administration should have guraranteed employment with Ringling Bros.

CNN reporters were similarly indignant. “In the last three news conferences, Wolf, all of the questions to the American news media have been handled by conservative press, and I think, Wolf, there’s no other way to describe it but the fix is in,” said Jim Accosta. What he means is the  mainstream media’s fix is being foiled, but never mind, Jim, stick to the battle plan. His network  ran a report about a pure rumor that the President had used the services of a prostitutes during a trip to Moscow. Actions have consequences.

Over at ABC,  Matthew Dowd  made the legally incompetent argument that by not calling on the news organizations that have declared war on his Presidency, embraced fake news and Big Lies, Trump is “shutting down” the First Amendment. ABC permitting outright false and misleading claims like that from its pundits is reason enough to stick it in the “junk journalism” pile. ABC, CNN, MSNBC and the rest are as free as birds to continue broadcasting their slanted coverage designed to bolster the Left’s efforts to frighten and anger the public and undermine the elected President. But no Bill of Rights provision requires the government to support the myth that biased journalists are trustworthy.

The media’s coverage of the Flynn resignation  was a disgrace for the mainstream media, a true orgy of bias and Trump paranoia.  MSNBC’s Hardball guests Tim Weiner and Malcolm Nance equated the speculated ties between the Trump administration/campaign and Russia to “the most politically charged counterintelligence investigation since the Soviets stole the secret of the atomic bomb.”Nance opined,

“I think that this scandal is unique in all of American history. This would be the equivalent of the British, you know, running Abraham Lincoln or actually funding Jefferson Davis to take over the United States. This is — there has never been anything like this!” 

Chris Matthews just nodded along. Even though this was an opinion (from guests he recruited to give it), a responsible host has an obligation to say, “I’m sorry, but that is a ridiculous and unfair comparison.” Matthews, back when he infuriated Democrats by occasionally being non-partisan, used to throw guests off his show for such fact-free slander. Continue reading

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The Flynn Fiasco: Flynn Doesn’t Understand That Ethics Thingee, And That’s Reason to Fire Him All By Itself

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From The Daily Caller:

In the final hours before his resignation, now-former White House National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn said he “crossed no lines” in his discussion with Russia’s ambassador, but ultimately he was most concerned about the steady stream of leaks to reporters based on classified information.

“In some of these cases, you’re talking about stuff that’s taken off of a classified system and given to a reporter. That’s a crime,” Flynn told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group during a telephone interview from his White House office on Monday.

“You call them leaks. It’s a criminal act. This is a crime. It’s not just a wink and a nod,” Flynn said.

Signature significance: any time an official under fire claims that he”crossed no lines,” he or she is asserting The Compliance Dodge, Rationalization #6 on the list:

5. The Compliance Dodge.

Simply put, compliance with rules, including laws, isn’t the same as ethics. Compliance depends on an individual’s desire to avoid punishment. Ethical conduct arises from an individual’s genuine desire to do the right thing. The most unethical person in the world will comply if the punishment is stiff enough. But if he can do something unethical without breaking the rules, watch out!

No set of rules will apply in all situations, and one who is determined to look for loopholes in a set of laws, or rules, or in an ethics code, so that he or she can do something self-serving, dishonest, or dastardly, is likely to find a way…

In an earlier version of #6, this was called the Al Gore Dodge, in honor of then Vice-President Gore, who had been caught engaging in some of the slimy Clinton administration fundraising machinations, and  justified his conduct by arguing that “no controlling legal authority” prohibited what he did, which was to raise campaign funds  from his office in the White House. Flynn lied to the  current Vice-President and attempted to cover-up his conversation with the Russian ambassador. The FBI was spying on him at the time, which raises other issues. But even if the FBI’s surveillance was a part of a rogue operation by Sally Yates to take over the government and make Barack Obama King, it doesn’t change what Flynn did, or make his conduct any more acceptable. Continue reading

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Ethics Observations On The Michael Flynn Resignation

flynn

We woke up this morning to this…

Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, resigned on Monday night after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Flynn, who served in the job for less than a month, said he had given “incomplete information” regarding a telephone call he had with the ambassador in late December about American sanctions against Russia, weeks before President Trump’s inauguration. Mr. Flynn previously had denied that he had any substantive conversations with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, and Mr. Pence repeated that claim in television interviews as recently as this month.

But on Monday, a former administration official said the Justice Department warned the White House last month that Mr. Flynn had not been fully forthright about his conversations with the ambassador. As a result, the Justice Department feared that Mr. Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

Ethics Observations:

1. Good. Good because it was evident from the beginning that this was a questionable appointment by Trump. Flynn is a hoax news addict and a well-established loose cannon.  Good also because  his removal was fast.

2. Naturally, the news media spin, since the idea is always to make the President look as bad as possible,  is that this is a record for short tenure. The previous administration stuck with demonstrably incompetent, corrupt or untrustworthy officials for months, years and in the case of Eric Holder, more than a full term after they had shown that they were liabilities. There is no honor in giving power to someone who is unqualified and unworthy like Flynn, but it vastly compounds the breach of duty to hesitate to fire them as soon as their disqualifications are known. In this respect, at least, the President’s CEO habits, and his fondness for saying, “You’re fired,” served him, and the American people, well.

3. Next up: learn to deal with such unpleasant situations without making them worse with lies, obfuscation and transparent deception. Kellyanne Conway yesterday said that Flynn had the President’s “full confidence,” an obvious lie from the second the words left her mouth. (Conway would be a good candidate for the next hook. Or Reince Priebus. Or Sean Spicer. Or Steve Miller. Or Rudy Giuliani….) Then Trump denied that he was aware of Flynn’s deceptions, even as contrary news reports were flashing. This is just incompetent, and there is no excuse for it. Admittedly, this President has no reputation for truth to shatter, but these Jumbos (“Elephant? What elephant? “) make a leader look stupid or contemptuous of the intelligence of the public. Continue reading

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Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Nebraska State Senator Bill Kintner (R)

bill-kintner

This ridiculous State Senator doesn’t even know how to resign intelligently. Kintner, who has represented southeastern Nebraska’s District 2 in the Nebraska Legislature since 2012, found a way to leave office almost as embarrassingly as the way he occupied it, which is impressive.

Where do Republicans find these people, and why does anyone vote for them?

In June of 2015, Kintner attacked the Nebraska Legislature’s attempted repeal of the death penalty by posting graphic photos of a beheaded woman on his Facebook account. Let me tell you, this is one classy guy. His constituents didn’t discover quite how classy, however, until later in 2015. Then it was revealed that Kintner and a woman he met on Facebook had engaged in cyber-sex over Skype a year earlier, while the Senator was in a Massachusetts hotel.  (This detail kept him from being indicted in Nebraska.) The episode constituted a misuse of a state-owned computer, but there were other problems with it, including the fact that Kintner and a woman engaged in cyber-sex (don’t make me explain it to you) over Skype, which makes what Anthony Weiner does look restrained.

Immediately after the session, the woman tried to blackmail Kintner, threatening to post the video to YouTube and share it with Kintner’s colleagues, including the governor. She reportedly has connections to an Ivory Coast crime syndicate, and demanded $4,500 from Kintner. Later, she contacted another State senator, offering to sell the video. That senator’s response was apparently, “No thanks, and by the way, ICK.”

Kintner rejected calls for his resignation from the legislature following the incident, after paying a $1,000 fine for misuse of public resources as part of a settlement with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. “I fully understand the gravity of my action and how it reflects upon the fact that I carry the title and responsibility of a state senator. I have taken personal responsibility for my action. I have apologized to God, to my wife, to you and to my constituents,” he wrote in a letter to his fellow lawmakers. At least part of that apology seems less than sincere, however. When demands for his resignation or impeachment continued, Kintner asked, “What standard are all 49 senators held to that I violated and embarrassed this institution? I would love to know.”

If we really have to explain that to you, Senator, it’s not worth our time.

Then, suddenly, Kintner resigned yesterday. Not over his Skyped masturbation, mind you; no, he resigned because the criticism he received for  giving a sexist tweet his endorsement by re-tweeting it was just too, too unfair. The re-tweeted tweet, by talk-show host Larry Elder, mocked demonstrators at last weekend’s women’s march by suggesting that they weren’t attractive enough to be sexually assaulted. Continue reading

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2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck Ethics Dunce: Jan Chamberlin…It’s The Golden Age For Irrelevant Grandstanding Jerks!

"Pssst...is that HITLER in the audience?"

“Pssst…is that HITLER in the audience?”

Jan Chamberlin, a singer for the 360 member Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sent a resignation letter to the choir president and choir members. Who is Jan Chamberlin, and why is this by any stretch of the imagination news?  She is no one of special note, except that she crafted her resignation an insult to the President Elect of the United States, ignorantly and absurdly. That, according to the news media, and that alone, makes her today’s 15 minute star. She wrote in part:

“Since ‘the announcement,’ [ that is, the cataclysmic announcement that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would perform as part of America’s celebration of Inauguration Day on January 20 ] I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul . I’ve tried to tell myself that by not going to the inauguration, that I would be able to stay in the choir for all the other good reasons. I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be all right and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.”

But Jan is thoroughly infected by whatever virus it is that has led so many left-leaning Americans to conclude that all previous standards of respect, honesty, decorum, fairness, civility, common sense and civic duty have been suspended because a manipulative, corrupt and incompetent Democratic Party nominee for President defending the awful record of the current Democratic President somehow managed to lose an election.  Thus the singer concluded that a sensible course was to make a play for historical footnote status, and metaphorically spit on the country, the public and its chosen leader before he has spent a second in the Oval Office.

Naturally, the news media, bidding to be even more roundly distrusted and reviled than its performance during the last year has  made it, responds like Sea World seals. Continue reading

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Shortest Investigation Ever: Determining Whether It Was Inappropriate For The Middle School Vice Principal To Say In A Video, “I Don’t Like Black Kids”

"Wait, let's not leap to conclusions...maybe he's not dead."

“Wait, let’s not leap to conclusions…maybe he’s not dead.”

In Fresno, California, Scandinavian Middle School vice principal Joe DiFilippo was recorded on video by a student saying, “I don’t like black kids” in the cafeteria. The video was then posted on YouTube. Fresno Unified School District officials said DiFilippo has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Maybe I’m suffering from a momentary lack of imagination, but what else do they need to know? I understand union rules and the need for due process, but what findings could possibly, ever, under any circumstances, allow DiFilippo to keep his job? 11% of the school’s students are black. Why would they ever feel secure going to a school where an administrator said such a thing in the school? (I’m assuming the man didn’t really say, “I don’t like black kids any more or less than I like any other kids, as everyone in the school knows.” Watching the video would presumably make that possibility moot.)

District officials say they are investigating “the context in which the comment was made.”  What possible context could mitigate that statement? Let’s see…maybe he was talking about not liking them for special purposes, like snacks or as piñatas? “I don’t like black kids..when they’re on fire? When they are holding Uzis on my family? When they sing the Sponge Bob theme song”?

It doesn’t matter! If there is anything the man doesn’t like about black kids that he accepts about white kids, he’s not qualified to be a vice-principle.

Every second Mr.Fillippi doesn’t resign, he’s wasting time and money, and proving that he is just as big a fool as the video shows him to be. If no investigation can save  him, then he shouldn’t wait for an investigation to do the right thing.

 

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Brian Williams Ethics Train Wreck Update: David Brooks’ Ethics Confusion

Huh?

Huh?

David Brooks’ New York Times op-ed column decrying the widespread criticism of Brian Williams’ serial lying show us that Brooks himself is frighteningly confused regarding such basic ethical values as accountability, trust, trustworthiness and accountability. That’s good to know, don’t you think? Now the question is why anyone in their right mind would care what such an ethically muddled political and cultural analyst thinks about anything.

Yesterday, the Washington Post revealed yet another example of Williams’ fabulism: his bizarre story about roaming gangs at the local Ritz Carlton in the wake of New Orleans’ devastation by Katrina. Never mind, argues Brooks: the problem isn’t with Williams, it’s with his critics.

Brooks’ New Times column begins with a strange, exaggerated and unethically inclusive first paragraph about how  fame drives people to wrongdoing. “The desire for even more admiration races ahead. Career success never really satisfies. Public love always leaves you hungry,” he writes. “Always?” Who is he talking about, himself? The famous people being described here are emotionally and spiritually unhealthy famous people–addicts to fame, narcissists, desperate hostages to celebrity. I have no doubt that Williams fits that description,  but many prominent, accomplished and celebrated people do not. They are known as “trustworthy.” Having impugned many thousands of well-adjusted pubic figures past and present to lay the groundwork for an “everybody does it” defense of Williams (EDI is running neck and neck with the other favorite rationalization being used by Williams enablers: “It’s not the worst thing.”), Brooks attacks anyone not famous who resents being lied to:

“The barbaric part is the way we respond to scandal these days. When somebody violates a public trust, we try to purge and ostracize him. A sort of coliseum culture takes over, leaving no place for mercy. By now, the script is familiar: Some famous person does something wrong. The Internet, the most impersonal of mediums, erupts with contempt and mockery. The offender issues a paltry half-apology, which only inflames the public more. The pounding cry for resignation builds until capitulation comes. Public passion is spent and the spotlight moves on.”

This paragraph is astounding, and embarrassing too. Someone violates a public trust, and the public has the audacity not to trust him any more! What barbarism! Is Brooks even passing familiar with the concept of accountability? Not on the evidence of this drivel, he isn’t. An honorable man or woman in a position of trust who so publicly disgraced himself as Brooks has should immediately and voluntarily resign. Once, long ago, that was the natural, traditional, expected and required response to such a scandal, but this was in the days when celebrity and power was not so frequently accompanied by greed. Williams is paid about ten millions dollars a year, and that’s apparently too much to give up merely to demonstrate integrity, remorse and acceptance of responsibility for wrongdoing, especially when there are allies like Brooks out there ready to shift the blame.

There would be no need to purge someone who has proven themselves untrustworthy in a high position of trust if the individual would be accountable and courageous and purge himself, as he (or she—I’m looking at you, Kathleen Sibelius) is obligated to do. How can Brooks not understand this? The offender offers a “paltry apology,” and Brooks blames the public for correctly concluding that such an offender doesn’t understand the seriousness of what he did, isn’t really sorry, and will do it again. So the “pounding cry for resignation builds until capitulation comes.” Yes, David, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. This isn’t barbarism. This is civilization. This is enforcing standards. This is ethics, this is accountability.

Brooks doesn’t comprehend any of it, apparently:

“I do think we’d all be better off if we reacted to these sorts of scandals in a different way. The civic fabric would be stronger if, instead of trying to sever relationships with those who have done wrong, we tried to repair them, if we tried forgiveness instead of exiling.”

We’d all be better off if we let people who lie to us stay in the position that will allow them to keep lying to us? Continue reading

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