Ethics Quiz: The Senator’s Mockery

Arguing with apologists for the ridiculous Rep. Ocasio-Cortez makes me feel like I’m going crazy. They claim that the Green New Deal isn’t the same as the bizarre, silly, rapidly removed “FAQ” posted by the Democrat’s “It Girl, with its talk about rebuilding all of our buildings, eliminating air travel, and a living wage for those who “choose not to work.” Thy say that what almost all the Democratic Presidential hopefuls say they support is just an “aspirational” goal  of conquering  creeping climate change within the imaginary 12 year deadline (and I do mean dead.) “What is it they are supporting?” I ask. “The Green New Deal!” they answer. “What is the Green New Deal they say they are supporting” I ask, “if it isn’t the only printed description of the goals as defined by the Democrat who coined the phrase?” “That wasn’t what they are supporting,” these climate change alarmists “explain.” “There’s nothing in the Green New Deal about eliminating cows and airplanes.” “Then what is in the Green New Deal?” I ask. “It’s aspirational,” they answer. Round and around.

I wonder how Democrats and progressives feel about the fact that their party and ideological clan has abandoned all responsibility, professionalism, principle and common sense as it sinks into some kind of collective nervous breakdown triggered by Donald Trump, Obama’s failures, Clinton’s loss, its increasingly obvious hypocrisies, and the fact that it has embraced one irrational “do something!”position after another. Surely not all of them are sharing the delusions. Surely there are alert and uncorrupted Democrats who can see what is happening to a once honorable and trustworthy American institution. Following close on the fumes of the three year failed effort to remove the President between election while poisoning the public’s trust in him, the Democratic Senators revealed the  phoniness of party endorsements of Ocasio-Cortez’s juvenile delusions when none of them would go on the record and support a motion to advance the  Democratic Green New Deal resolution.

There wasn’t  a single “yea” vote from Democrats, not even from the 2020 wannabes whose names already appear as co-sponsors on the Senate version of the thing.  (Nancy Pelosi won’t permit such a vote in the House.) The final tally was 0-57, with forty-three Democrats voting “present,” and three Blue Senators from “red states” doing the expedient thing and voting with the Republicans. There’s no way to spin this, though in their infinite belief in the stupidity of the American people, Democrats tried, with the help of its captive media, of course. The vote was a GOP gimmick, you see. Ocasio-Cortez:

“The GOP’s whole game of wasting votes in Congress to target others “on the record”, for leg they have no intent to pass, is a disgrace. Stop wasting the American peoples’ time + learn to govern. Our jobs aren’t for campaigning, & that’s exactly what these bluff-votes are for.”

The woman has been saying and tweeting that there is no time to waste, and that the nation needs to take radical, society-shaking measures to prevent doom NOW, yet somehow voting on a resolution of her own making to weigh Congress’s position on her policy demands is a waste of time. Meanwhile, her colleagues in the House have announced that their top priority isn’t substantive legislation, but continuing to pursue endless investigations in the hope of justifying impeachment.

Is the public really so stupid that such obvious corruption and dishonesty…and disrespect  for those who they are supposed to represent…escape their notice? The Democrats appear to be betting on it.

Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee delivered a speech on the Senate floor using pure mockery to illustrate  the Green New Deal lack of seriousness—which the subsequent vote confirmed.  No, Lee shouldn’t quit his day job, but his routine had its moments. He began, Continue reading

The Unethical And Deliberately Misleading”Senate Popular Vote” Talking Point, Or “Why Is The Left Trying To Make The Public More Ignorant Than They Already Are? Oh, Come On! You Know Why…”

Look at those crazy shapes! GERRYMANDERING!!!!!

Progressives and the news media have decided that they don’t like the Constitution, so they are actively trying to confuse the public, which is depressingly easy.

We know Democrats and the mainstream news media hate the Electoral College and don’t view it as “legitimate.” The latest anti-Constitutional spin is that there is a national “popular vote” that should rigidly dictate the party representation in Congress. Vox’s Ezra Klein suggested that a revolution was coming if the imaginary Congressional “popular vote favored Democrats and Republicans held the House, but that’s Ezra and Vox—I assumed that this was an aberration. No! The same wacked-out theory was all over social media. The concept is based on regarding the Democratic and Republican Parties as Borg-like hives, with there being no legitimate distinction between on party candidate or another, as if no voter actually cares about experience, character, the record, skills, or any of those minor matters. Party is All.

I hate to keep pointing out that the Left is behaving, speaking and thinking increasingly like totalitarians, but the Left is behaving, speaking and thinking increasingly like totalitarians. Here’s what one of my Facebook friends, a lawyer and pretty openly a militant socialist, wrote yesterday (in part):

If you are on the left, fight for your ideal candidate in the Democratic primary and then vote Democrat in the general. The primary is the time for “who should represent the left in this election.”The general is the time to support the left over the right.

I don’t care if that nominee is “too far left” (Gillum) or “too centrist” (Sinema or McCaskill) or just “not exciting enough.” In every general election in the United States there are two candidates who have a chance to win. The Democrat is on the left, the Republican is on the right.

There is never a situation in which the agenda of any self-identified progressive or liberal or marxist or socialist or lefty or whatever is advanced by a win by the Republican. Never.

As anyone who has read Ethics Alarms for any length of time knows, I reject that argument absolutely. It is unethical, flat out. The agenda of our representative democracy is to have qualified, dedicated representatives and leaders whose judgment we can trust. It is, however, a nice summary of how someone can rationalize voting for people like Hillary Clinton, Bob Menendez, Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters. Or Jack the Ripper, as long as he ran as a Democrat.

But I digress. Totalitarians can only prevail by misleading the public, and so the “popular vote” confusion is apparently deemed worth promoting. ABC’s News’s Matthew Dowd brought up the fact that more ballots were cast in favor of the total number of Democratic candidates than Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate. That’s a nice piece of meaningless trivia, but he raised it as if it meant something. It doesn’t, but “The View’s” Joy Behar—remember, this woman has a daily platform to spout her analysis of news and politics—finished Dowd’s thought by saying, “Because of gerrymandering.” Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/2018: Weenies, Dummies, Hypocrites And Creeps.

Good Morning!

1. But before we get into the ugly part..I want to recommend an article called “Rationalizations for Unethical Behavior in Tech” over at Medium. The writer, April Wensel, is the proprietor of the Compassionate Coding site.

Her article specifically employs several of the rationalizations on the Ethics Alarms list, quotes me with attribution, and does a terrific job demonstrating what the list is there for, and how it can and should be used. Thanks, April!

2. And here is another reason you can’t trust the media: journalists often aren’t very bright or well-educated.  NBC reporter Ken Dilanian opined on Twitter after Kavanaugh was confirmed that…

It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/06/senators-representing-less-than-half-us-are-about-confirm-nominee-opposed-by-most-americans/ 

To begin with, quoting that Post piece is signature significance for a partisan media hack.  “Most Americans” have insufficient information to oppose or support Kavanaugh on a substantive basis, and uninformed opinions are worthless at best. If “most Americans” opposed him, it was because they were misled, propagandized and fear-mongered into ignorance and bias. This is why we don’t elect Supreme Court justices. The complaint about the Senate that Dilanian glommed onto can be translated as “The Senate is the Senate.” It was designed not to represent the population as a whole, but the states, their interests and their cultures. “It may not happen in our lifetimes” is a statement of ignorance of what it would take to fundamentally change one of the three branches of government from its original form. I’d suggest to Ken that he try reading the Constitution, especially the formula for amending it. The chances that two-thirds of the states will accede to a new Senate construction that lets the big states dictate to the small ones are exactly zero, or essentially the same as the chances that the Electoral College will be abolished.

Dilanian is NBC’s intelligence and national security reporter and frequently appears on MSNBC, and now we know that the network’s intelligence reporter doesn’t understand his own country.

3. Be proud, Democrats! A Democratic Senator I had been blissfully unaware of  until the Kavanaugh nomination stepped up during the  hearings to reveal herself as exemplifying the ugly side of the partisan divide. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono said that the fact that Kavanaugh was conservative was all she needed to determine that he was lying, for example. She’s a virulent bigot. Yesterday, she was asked twice by CNN’s Dana Bash about whether she thought harassing Republican senators in restaurants was inappropriate. She wouldn’t say “Yes,” sending a clear message that her real position is “No.”

Here’s the exchange: Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, April 12, 2018: Mistakes, Senators, Survivors, The Pope And Cosby

Good morning!

(I’m in a good mood because this happened last night…)

1. Incompetent elected officials of the month…From Reason:

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary and Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s insufficient efforts to protect users’ personal data…

Sen. Roy Blunt, (R–Mo.) … didn’t seem to understand that Facebook lacks a means of accessing information from other apps unless users specifically opt in…. Sen. Roger Wicker (R–Miss.) needed a lot of clarification on how Facebook Messenger interacts with cellular service. Zuckerberg had to carefully explain to Sen. Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii) that WhatsApp is encrypted, and Facebook can’t read, let alone monetize, the information people exchange using that service. Zuckerberg had to explain to multiple senators, including Sen. Dean Heller (R–Nev.), that Facebook doesn’t technically sell its data: The ad companies don’t get to see the raw information. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–Vt.) brought along a poster on which his office had printed out images of various Facebook pages. Leahy asked whether these were Russian propaganda groups. “Senator, are you asking about those specifically?” Zuckerberg asked. He of course had no way of knowing what was going on with those specific pages, just from looking at pictures of them….Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) offered this metaphor: “the way I explain it to my constituents is that if someone breaks into my apartment with a crowbar and takes my stuff, it’s just like if the manager gave them the keys.” But …Facebook didn’t willfully assist in a crime. …Sen. Debbie Fischer (R–Neb.) didn’t understand, at a fundamental level, that if you’re using Facebook, you have agreed to let Facebook know a lot of information about you. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) asked whether Facebook had any major competitors. …

 

This is a theme of regulation, rules and laws in the cyber age: the officials responsible for regulating the uses and abuses of technology don’t use the technology involved, don’t understand it, aren’t willing to take the time to learn, and are apparently not even aware of how irresponsible and incompetent this is, how stupid and lazy it makes them look, and how it undermines the public trust.

2. But don’t worry…In his testimony, Zuckerberg said that Facebook was working on a way to ban “hate speech.” I can’t wait to see what the left-wing crypto-fascists who run the Big Tech giants consider “hate speech.”  Actually, we have some pretty good clues. Facebook silenced pro-Trump video-bloggers “Diamond and Silk,” deeming their political content “unsafe to the community.” Continue reading

Observations On Raw Story’s Shocking Exposé: “WATCH: Hot mic catches GOP senator ogling ‘beautiful’ teenaged girls with fellow lawmaker” Scoop

[I’m bumping this post ahead of the Morning Warm-Up. It is the kind of item that often ends up IN the Warm-Up, something a stumble upon early in the day while surfing the cable channels and the web as my Jack Russell Terrier snores in my lap, and often that means that I don’t give a development the full post it warrants. If I wait until after the Warm-Up posts, it’s often late in the day before I have time to get to the next post, and other matters have intervened.

This is, on the surface, a trivial story. It’s not, though. I don’t want to write that it shows that the hard left is losing its collective mind, because this evokes the vile Michael Savage’s book title, “Liberalism Is A Mental Disease,” which epitomizes the mutual demonization that is destroying civil discourse and a lot more. I’m not sure what to write–let’s see what happens…]

On memeorandum, a relentlessly balanced and up-to-the-minute headline aggregator site that is an invaluable resource, this was deemed one of the stories worthy of listing this morning. From Raw Story, a hard Left political site: WATCH: Hot mic catches GOP senator ogling ‘beautiful’ teenaged girls with fellow lawmaker.

It attracted my curiosity because I didn’t understand how a hot mic could “catch” anyone doing something physical, like ogling (it didn’t) and because I wondered if this was going to be yet another example of the Left prosecuting thought-crimes (which, as it turned out, it is.)

This is what that hot mic caught Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker (R-MI) saying on the floor of the Senate. Are you ready to be shocked? Are you sure?

“I thought you were going to say this was one of the most beautiful girls.”

That’s it.

He was presumably referring to one of the Senate pages. He expressed the opinion that one or several of them were beautiful.

I checked the Raw Story comments. With couple of exceptions, every one of the comments (until I couldn’t take it any more and stopped reading)  to this “bombshell” report—a GOP Senator thought that a teenage girl was beautiful and said so to a colleague! OH NO!!!—regarded Wicker’s comment as both newsworthy and damning. Here’s a representative sample, at the beginning of the thread, in sequence: Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Orrin Hatch

Our political culture has come to a sad state when the simple act of retiring before obvious disability intervenes is an act of rare responsibility and courage. We are at that sad state, however, so the announcement by 83-year-old Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in American history, that he will not run for re-election in 2018 is worthy of salute. Hatch will leave the Senate at the end of his current term, after 42 years in office. He is giving up power, something so many find difficult to do.

Hatch has power now: he is the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.  He played a pivotal role in passing the Trump tax reform bill that passed  before Christmas, and decided that it was a fitting way to crown his historic Senate career. It isn’t exactly Ted Williams hitting a home run in his final at bat; for one thing, there is another year to go before Hatch’s term is up. Nonetheless, he is doing one of the hardest things for a p0werful figure to do, especially, it seems, today’s Senators in both parties,

More than half of the 18 Senators up for reelection in 2018 will be over the age of 65.  If they win, another six years in office would put Senators Feinstein, Nelson, and Sanders well into their 80s. By the 2020 elections, 21 of the 33 Senators running for reelection will be 65 or older. This is neither healthy for the country nor responsible, and the problem extends beyond the Senate. Over the past three decades,  the average age of a member of Congress has steadily increased. In 1981, the average age of a Representative was 49 and the average of a Senator was 53. Today, the average age of a Representative is 57 and the average of a Senator is 61.  House Democrats are especially antediluvian:  the average age of the Democratic House leadership is 72 years old, in contrast to the average age of Republican House leadership, 48 years. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/13/2017: Roy Moore Lost. Good.

Good Morning, y’all.

1 Stating the obvious that a lot of people won’t have the integrity to admit is obvious. Roy Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the special U.S. Senate election in super-conservative Alabama. This is solely because Moore, as Ethics Alarms discussed back in September, is such a horrible candidate that even Luther Strange, the corrupt Republican  he replaces (appointed to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat) would be a better choice. But literally anyone would. Moore is among the few candidates on earth whom to block from a position of power I would vote for Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi or Donald Trump. We have a game at our house called “What candidate would make you vote for Roy Moore?” So far, he has beaten the shambling zombie of Richard Speck.

And Roy Moore lost by a little more than one percentage point in Alabama.

The news media is already spinning this as significant. Yes, it is significant: it means that about half of Alabama voters (and two-thirds of the whites who voted) are not up to the intellectual challenges of democracy, and the other half are at least able to recognize the unacceptable dangers of putting a cretinous, racist, homophobic theocrat in high elective office. Whoop-de-doo. It is not a “rejection of Steve Bannon.” It is not a “rebuke for Donald Trump,”  either. CNN’s openly anti-Trump hack Jim Accosta on Twitter: “Source close to WH: “It’s devastating for the president… this is an earthquake… Virginia but on steroids… the president has egg on his face” because of Bannon.” Trump opposed Bannon, Coulter, Palin and the other hard right jerks by endorsing Strange. This loss is only “devastating” to Trump in the eyes of those who want everything to be devastating for Trump. Will journalists ever go back to realizing that quoting an anonymous source like that as news is completely unethical and undermines trust in reporters? I know Jim Accosta won’t. It’s also interesting how many news reports used that term “earthquake,” especially since it is usually reserved for shock election landslides and ideological upheaval. What a coincidence!

Where was I? Oh…right…

It does not mean that “Alabama has turned blue.” It means that there are some candidates so incompetent and untrustworthy, and who represent such an insult to voters, that they can’t win no matter who runs against them.

2. Polls? We don’t need no stinking polls! So both the poll that said Moore was way ahead and the one that said Jones was way ahead were wrong. The polls that said it would be close were right. Who needed a poll to tell them that? Fake research.

3. Why didn’t Trump didn’t collude with God to rig the election? Roy Moore refuses to concede, and says that “God is always in control.”

What an embarrassment to people of faith, Alabama, Republicans,  conservatives, judges and homo sapiens he is! Continue reading