Tag Archives: Sen. Claire McCaskill

Mid-Day Ethics Warm-Up, 10/16/18: The Jerk Squad

Good whatever it is by the time I post this; big time computer problems, and every keystroke may be my last..

1. Baseball Ethics, Jerk Divison. Should baseball reward or punish its jerks? Last night in the Brewers-Dodgers NLCS game, LA’s jerks were out in force. Free-agent slugger to be Manny Machado was penalized for one dirty slide, much like the one that helped put Red Sox second-baseman Dustin Pedroia on the sidelines for the entire 2018 season,  a night after loafing to first base. Are teams really going to break the bank to try sign this guy? Then, in the ninth inning, Dodger mega-jerk Yasiel Puig mocked the Brewers closer for not throwing him a strike. Said MLB analyst Harold Reynolds, “I would have hit him with the next pitch. You can’t let an opposing player disrespect you like that.” Old school nonsense  or cultural enforcement?

Driving home from this morning’s ethics seminar, I heard two commentators on the Sirius-XM baseball channel talking about Houston Astros star Alex Bregman’s sending out a derisive social media message about Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi in advance of tonight’s play-off game. They agreed that it was “good for the game” and appealed to kids for the athletes to show “personality” and “edge.”

This is “A Nation of Assholes.”  Being a jerk isn’t showing “personality.” It’s just being a jerk. No part of the culture should be extolling “edge.”

2. When in a hole, stop digging. If all goes well, Elizabeth Warren’s triumphant discovery that she is 99.9% white and therefore was justified in representing herself as a “person of color” for institutional diversity purposes will sink her career aspirations as deep as they deserve to be sunk. The fact that so much of the mainstream media is willing to have their credibility brought down with her is indicative of how stupid bias will make people. The Daily Beast, for example, writes in a headline, “Warren revealed results show Native American heritage Monday.”

Keep it up, guys. Pretty soon the jig will be up for identify politics, since  if 1/1,024th Native American means “Native American heritage,” then everyone is “of color” somehow. In that case, perhaps we’ll owe Warren a debt of gratitude. As for the news media, I am pretty sure all but the most reality-resistant progressive warriors recognize how absurd it is to call a distant, distant outlying contributor to the family gene pool sufficient to bestow “Native American ancestry,” especially when Native Americans themselves cry “hogwash.” Why are journalists so eager to rationalize Warren’s transparent distortion of fairness, science and logic? What could make them behave like that? Why should we trust people who take such manifestly ridiculous positions? Why should we respect a profession that treats us like idiots?

The news media appears to think they can keep getting further and further away from the boundaries of legitimate reportage and commentary without a critical mass of people asking these questions. Continue reading

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KABOOM! Sen. McCaskill Disgraces Herself On National Television

head blowsWhat a horrible thing for a U.S. Senator to inflict on her state. Brains must have been splattering all over ceilings, furniture, family members and TV screens during her excruciating live interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”  There she was, a member of the U.S. Senate representing the great state of Missouri, grinning like a zany and spewing the Clinton campaign’s desperate talking points—from March!—falsely and insultingly insisting that in maintaining a secret and non-conforming private e-mail server while Secretary of State that, as Democratic hack Donna Brazile said later on a truncated round table, that Clinton did nothing wrong.

Just violating policy, being irresponsible, placing official data in jeopardy, destroying potential evidence, and lying about it, but nothing wrong...

“This is a partisan witch hunt!” said Senator McCaskill. Hillary has been forthcoming and complied with every request! She wasn’t the first Secretary of State to use private e-mail! The materials weren’t classified when she had them! There’s no indication she had a motive to expose national secrets! (This is a new one on the talking points list and an audacious straw man. Nobody has argued that Clinton was a spy or committing treason; what she did was place State Department communications at risk to hackers and exposure for her own protection and advantage.) Then McCaskill paraphrased the “let’s change the subject” talking point we have heard now almost verbatim from Clinton and her surrogates: “Hillary Clinton is a fighter, and she will fight through this and continue fighting for Americans”—all while smiling madly as if the whole thing was a big joke, since it all is “nonsense.” Continue reading

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Campus Rape: How Opposing The Use Of Fake Stats, Lies and False Narratives Became “Conservative”

fondo abstracto de tecnologia 3d.Lenguaje binario

I just don’t see how or why insisting on using objective and verifiable facts in policy-making and public discourse became “conservative bias.” I don’t recall the media’s interest in correcting fake combat statistics during the Vietnam war being regarded as “liberal bias.” I can’t bring myself to believe that only moderates and conservatives care about making sure that the public isn’t deceived into believing things that aren’t true.

But why does this stuff keep happening, and particularly, why does it keep happening under the supervision of Democrats and their supporters during the Obama years? I know I’ve been harping on “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” and the deification of Mike Brown as contrary to all evidence, common sense, fairness and rationality, but such cultural embrace of lies is objectively outrageous and dangerous. I also resent being called a “teabagger,” a racist, or a right-wing nut for pointing this out.

One reason resent it, perhaps the main one, is that I’m a lifetime iconoclast, curmudgeon and contrarian (just like Dad!) and while I know that having  people, even friends, angry at me never changed my opinions, words or behavior very much, most people are not like me. Most people, when they are called racists on Facebook or bombarded with dishonest Daily Kos internet memes or realize that their friends aren’t inviting them out for beer because they will object to the conventional liberal wisdom of the nonce, decide its more important to get along than to fight the good fight, so they just adopt the prevalent opinion of their “crowd.” Usually, personal growth and education on the issue stops about then: if you listen hard, you will hear the sound of a slamming door. Soon they’ll be calling others racists on Facebook.

The fake campus sexual assault issue is another area where this phenomenon is occurring. CBS’s Sunday Morning gave one of its gauzy features about it yesterday, beginning with the assumption that for some reason (the reason was already pre-programmed and injected directly into the Democratic Party’s second most reliable “base” group, young single women bloodstream, with its “war on women” convention theme in 2012) campus sexual assault is epidemic. On the show’s website, proving that this was propaganda rather than journalism, was this sentence: “According to the U.S. Justice Department, one in five college women will experience some kind of sexual assault while in school.” (It had been removed by this morning.) Continue reading

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The Sixth Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2014 (Part 3)

ellen-selfie

2014 Conflicts of Interest of the Year

  • Conflicted Elected Official: Philadelphia State Senator LeAnna Washington. This is always an entertaining category. Washington was convicted of using her tax-payer financed staff to organize a yearly campaign fundraiser around her birthday party. When one staffer complained that this was illegal, she reportedly replied, according to his grand jury testimony:

“I am the fucking senator, I do what the fuck I want, and ain’t nobody going to change me. I have been doing it like this for 17 years. So stop trying to change me.”

  • Conflicted Journalist: CNN sent Jay Carney, fresh off his assignment as President Obama’s official spokesman, defender and spinmeister, to cover his ex-boss’s speech.
  • Conflicted  “Non-partisan” Watchdog: CREW. The Center For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and its chief, Melanie Sloan, finally came clean (after falsely claiming non-profit status as a non-partisan organization for years) by making David Brock, head of the openly partisan, foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Republican media watchdog Media Matters its Chairman of the Board, essentially merging the two groups.
  • Appearance of Impropriety Award: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La), Republican Whip. It is not certain yet whether Scalise knowingly spoke to a group of white supremacists in 20o2, inadvertently spoke to the group, or just spoke to another group meeting in the same venue before the David Duke-affiliated group of racists started comparing sheets. It isn’t even clear that Scalise knows, but everyone should agree that it looks awful no matter how you categorize it, making the fiasco a classic appearance of impropriety situation. If the Republicans were smart, they would dump him.

Unethical Attire of the Year

Offensive shirt

This.

Unethical Political Candidate of the Year

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, whose campaign materials were largely plagiarized from the materials other candidates.

Ethically Clueless Voters of the Year

New York’s 11th Congressional District, which contains Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. These alert and ethical citizens sent back to Washington thuggish and crooked Rep. Michael Grimm (R), then facing a 20-count indictment by federal authorities for fraud, federal tax evasion, and perjury, having earlier distinguished himself by threatening to kill a reporter and being recorded doing so.

  Unethical Advertising of the Year

Lawyer Division:

Public Service Announcement Division:

TV Program Division:

The Discovery Channel’s campaign for “Eaten Alive!” which did not, in fact, feature anyone being “eaten alive,” or at all.

Private Sector Product Division:

Halos. Or perhaps this is the Child Abuse Division:

Political Campaign Division:

Wendy Davis, Democratic candidate for Texas Governor, offered an ad attacking her wheelchair- bound opponent that 1) appealed to bias against the disabled 2) misrepresented the duties of a state attorney general 3) misrepresented the facts of the cases the ad referred to and  4)  deceived the public regarding the ethical duties of lawyers, which Davis, a lawyer, presumably understands. Continue reading

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo)

“Frankly, it is irritating that anybody would be distracted by which statistics are accurate.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo), in response to Justice Department statistics that show that the “1 in 5 women will be raped on campus” statistics cited by her and other elected officials and women’s rights advocates were not just inflated, but ridiculously so.

"1 in 5! That's outrage..what? It's NOT 1 in 5? It's   more like 1 in 200? OK, now let's not get hung up on statistics..."

“1 in 5! That’s an outrage..what? It’s NOT 1 in 5? It’s more like…1 in 200? OK, now let’s not get hung up on statistics…”

Yes, Senator, isn’t it irritating when stubborn facts interfere with ideological narratives?

Yet it is not half as irritating as knowing that we have so many elected leaders who think like McCaskill. That 20% statistic has been used by the Obama Administration to bully colleges into removing due process and fairness from campus sexual assault allegations, and to push the false impression on the public that there is a rape epidemic, when in fact the incidence of rape, on campus and elsewhere, has fallen precipitously.

In September, when President Obama announced his “It’s On Us” initiative to address college sexual assault, he said that “an estimated 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted in her college years—one in 5.” Like the infamous “women make only 77% of what men are paid for the same job” fake statistic that Democrats and women’s rights advocates still repeat despite definitive debunking, it is a number designed to fool the gullible and satisfy those infected by confirmation bias, but it is much, much worse. The recently Justice Department statistics on rape and sexual assault on college age females showed that the chances of a women being raped on campus was 6.1 per thousand, juuust a bit less, at .61 %, than the 20% figure touted by Obama and McCaskill. Continue reading

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Unethical Quote of the Week: Sen. Claire McCaskill

“I think most women understand that they should not be held accountable for the behaviors of their husbands. And you know, frankly, it was a long time ago, and our country did very well under the leadership of Bill Clinton.” 

—-Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo),  on MSNBC, doing a lousy job rebutting Sen. Rand Paul’s recent statements accusing Democrats of hypocrisy by pursuing their lucrative and politically successful “war on women” attacks on Republicans while continuing to embrace the Clintons, ignoring Bill Clinton’s treatment of his wife, Monica Lewinsky, and women.

Sen McCaskill pulls me back in, damn her.

Sen McCaskill pulls me back in, damn her.

Curse anyone who reminds me of anything related to Godfather III, but there was Claire, turning me into Michael: “Just when I think I’m out, they puuull me back in!” I know I write about Bill Clinton too much; I have promised multiple times to enshrine him in the Ethics Alarms Ethics Hall of Eternal Contempt, but haven’t had time to build the damn thing. His sly, shameless, smirking, dishonesty and manipulations drive me crazy, almost as crazy as the way so many otherwise rational ethical people, especially women (oh, that Bill’s a charmer, like so many sociopaths), keep giving him pass after pass to keep on doing it.

When Sen. Rand Paul, whom I generally do not admire but who has his moments, recently turned a “Meet the Press” question about the “war on women” around and attacked the Democratic hypocrisy for making such a claim while defending and cheering on the likes of Bill Clinton, I enjoyed the jiu-jitsu, as Paul was right….but I didn’t mention it! I resisted! I was even about to write a post today criticizing Senator Paul, who has  apparently embarked on a long-term anti-Clinton jihad (fine with me!), for saying that Clinton’s settlement with Paula Jones in 1999, in which he paid $850,000 to settle her claims of sexual harassment, was an admission of guilt, which is an unfair, legally ignorant statement embarrassing for a Senator. I even wrote the headline: Ethics Dunce: Sen Rand Paul. Then Sen. McCaskill has to respond with her display of virtuoso unethical nonsense, and—I’m Michael Corleone.

Her quote really is one for the ages…dishonest, insulting, loaded with rationalizations: Continue reading

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Comment of the Day: “Incompetent Elected Official of the Week: Sen. Claire McCaskill”

Karl Penny’s Comment of the Day is further reflection on the futile effort to turn back the tide of new technology, which Senator McCaskill apparently believes can be accomplished with a good marketing campaign, making her a candidate for institutionalization.  A prize for the first reader who identifies what a klepsydra was!

“Jack, sometimes I get a little nostalgic about older technologies, generally ones that figured so prominently in my youth, but have now gone the way of the klepsydra. I get nostalgic enough that, almost, for a moment, ideas like Sen. McCaskill’s seem to make sense, and a gleam comes to me eye, and I begin to think, “Yeah….” Then I remember that it’s daylight out, and however pleasant dreams can be, they’re just dreams.

“I also remember that there are reasons—good reasons—why I and millions of others adopted email, wrote documents on a computer, listened to music through an MP3, read my books on a Kindle, and played games on a computer. Truth to tell, most of us don’t really miss those older technologies, except in brief spurts. I have an old Olympia Portable typewriter in a closet. I must have typed a million documents on that thing, from my freshman year of high school through college. Letters, papers, notes, forms, checks (!) even. It was so indispensable, I took it with me most everywhere. Now, it just sits in that closet, and I hardly ever take it out even to look at. The last time it saw any use was last year, when a local high school was doing a play, and they needed an old manual typewriter as a prop. Now, it’s back in the closet.

“Sen, McCaskill may have successfully deluded herself, but I don’t think she’s going to delude much of anyone else, and thank heaven. But, if this is what passes for progressive thought among our elected leaders, then God help us all.”

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