Not that the U.S. actually has a holiday memorializing the first day our fledgling nation began operation under the most important secular ethics document in world history, but our priorities are thoroughly messed up right now, as you no doubt know.
At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, 38 of the 41 delegates signed the new U.S. Constitution. Article VII stated that the document would not be official until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states. Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut quickly ratified it, but the other states, led by Massachusetts, opposed the Constitution for, among other things, its lack of protection for basic rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press, and the right to bear arms. In February of 1788, the states reached a compromise. Massachusetts and other states agreed to ratify the document with the stipulation that the amendments, eventually called the Bill of Rights, would be incorporated. On that basis the new Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the crucial ninth state to ratify. Government under the U.S. Constitution was scheduled to begin on March 4, 1789 and so it did.
On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States adopted the 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution called the Bill of Rights, prompting last hold-outs of the 13 original colonies, North Carolina and Rhode Island, to finally ratify the Constitution.
1. David Brooks take notice: This is how it is done.…Normally I would make this item a main post: From the Times today…
While serving as transportation secretary during the Trump administration, Elaine Chao repeatedly used her office staff to help family members who run a shipping business with extensive ties to China, a report released Wednesday by the Transportation Department’s inspector general concluded. The inspector general referred the matter to the Justice Department in December for possible criminal investigation. But in the weeks before the end of Trump administration, two Justice Department divisions declined to do so.
I have a personal conflict of interest in matters involving Ms. Chao, rendering it impossible for me to be objective regarding her conduct. Decades ago, my friend and mentor Tom Donahue at the U.S. Chamber set up a meeting with the then Bush Labor Secretary to discuss possible employment options and leads. To say that she treated me rudely would be a gross understatement. I have seldom been so unprofessionally treated in my life, and the extent of her abuse was signature significance: fair, ethical, good people don’t ever treat anyone that way, not even once.
You should read the article—the Times doesn’t pull any punches, since Chao is a) a Republican b) a Trump Cabinet member and c) Mitch McConnell’s wife—but I will mention this part, which I would have if I had never had a preview into the rottenness that is Elaine Chou, since its dishonesty and contempt for the public’s intelligence speaks for itself:
Ms. Chao had declined to respond to questions from the inspector general and instead provided a memo that detailed the importance of promoting her family as part of her official duties. “Anyone familiar with Asian culture knows it is a core value in Asian communities to express honor and filial respect toward one’s parents,” the September 2020 memo said. “Asian audiences welcome and respond positively to actions by the secretary that include her father in activities when appropriate,” it continued.