Category Archives: ethics

When is Harry Reid going to resign his leadership position?

Remember back in 2002, when Senator Trent Lott said this at a birthday celebration for Strom Thurmond? —

I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.

Mr. Lott eventually lost his position as Senate Minority Leader as a result of his comments. No need to rehash that whole controversy, but it’s clear that Lott was just engaging in some empty flattery of an old man on his birthday, not making a policy statement. But most important, there was nothing malicious about his comments. They weren’t directed at anyone with the intent to harm them.

Now contrast Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In August, Reid had an interview with The Huffington Post

“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, in reference to George Romney’s standard-setting decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s.

Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?

“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”

This is obviously not at all like some happy talk at a birthday party. It’s far worse than what Lott said, because it is a deliberately malicious attack, a slander designed to harm another person’s reputation.

So this raises the question, when is Harry Reid going to give up his leadership position in the U.S. Senate? Surely all the senators who called for Lott’s head cannot stand idly by and let this slander go without any cost. If Republican Senators had some brass, and some political skill, they would make an issue of it.

And surely the mainstream media, that bastion of objectivity, cannot let such a blatant double standard go unreported. When does the media feeding frenzy against Harry Reid, demanding his resignation, begin? We didn’t see anything of the kind on the Sunday shows this morning. Maybe next week…

Hugh Hewitt: Nothing shocks when anything goes

Here is an excellent column from Hugh Hewitt at The Washington Examiner on standards of public discourse. We especially liked this part:

There is one standard for all commentary, and it ought to apply to Palin and Ms. Fluke, to President Obama and President Bush, to Justice Thomas and to Justice Kagan.

So credit nothing of a condemnation from anyone who has not first articulated his or her standard, preferably backed up with a reference to the rebukes they have handed out to themselves and their own team, and only if that standard condemns all of the profane, the vulgar and the bigoted.

and also the end:

If the country abandons the right of religious people to keep their own creeds, it can hardly complain when no creed at all exists to restrain conduct or prompt apologies when they are indeed deserved.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Obama Supports, Opposes “Same-Sex Marriage” at Same Time, Lapdog Press Goes Along

It’s hard to choose which is more ridiculous, President Obama’s continuing disingenuous double-talk regarding so-called “same-sex marriage”, or the willingness of so-called “journalists” to go along with the game.

After Obama’s press conference today, we get this bizarre abuse of language in a headline from the Los Angeles Times: Obama praises New York on same-sex marriage [sic] but won’t endorse it

The story doesn’t do much to clarify the difference between “praise” and “endorse”:

The president has been on the record as opposing same-sex marriage [sic], but Wednesday, he attempted, as he has previously, to attempt to carefully navigate a middle position. At a news conference at the White House East Room, he lauded the recent move by the New York Legislature to legalize the practice, calling it “a good thing.”

So the president himself, out of his own mouth, calls it “a good thing”, but he doesn’t endorse it. Crystal clear. The Times doesn’t really explain what the “middle position” is between endorsing and praising that Obama attempted to attempt to carefully navigate. Maybe “praise” means he’s for it (but not really, bigoted hick voters of middle America, wink, wink), and “endorse” means he marries a man himself. What, he’s already married, you say? Stop being so judgmental – what are you, the Taliban?

Maybe the Times will clarify further in their next Obama campaign press release.

The L.A. Times concludes:

But as his reelection campaign heats up, Obama gave no sign that he will move toward openly embracing same-sex marriage [sic], a priority for gay and lesbian advocates.

Really? For this supposedly “professional journalist”, saying the redefinition of marriage “is a good thing” gives no sign, none at all, that Obama openly embraces the redefinition?

It cannot be that journalists are that gullible. They’re obviously, dare we say “openly”, participating in a transparent ruse to try to fool some voters going into the next campaign.

The Times piece ends with a real confidence-builder from the president:

“I’ll keep giving you the same answer until I give you a different one,” he told one reporter.

obama - words are cheap

More fuzzy health care math from Congress

Via Yahoo Finance:

The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that rolling back a programmed cut in Medicare fees to doctors would cost $208 billion over 10 years. If added back to the health care overhaul bill, it would wipe out all the deficit reduction, leaving the legislation $59 billion in the red. The so-called doc fix was part of the original House bill. Because of its high cost, Democrats decided to pursue it separately.

This is just one more example of the total fraud and gimmickry that make up Obamacare. This is like saying that if I have a $300 per month car payment, it will be cheaper if I send two checks for $150 each. It’s a total scam. This is the kind of financial trickery that people in the private sector go to jail for.

Kent Conrad: Senator Ben Nelson is a sucker

Senator Kent Conrad was on Fox News Sunday this morning, and essentially said that the “deal” (taxpayer-funded bribe) to Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is a sham, “without a whole lot of meaning”.

Via The Hill:

“No Congress can bind a future Congress” to expand Nebraska’s Medicaid deal past 2016, when expansion in other states would run out, Conrad said.

Which is of course correct. But it also shows what a cheap date Ben Nelson is. His vote was purchased essentially for nothing but an empty promise. Harry Reid promised Nelson something that both know cannot be delivered, and Nelson sold his vote any way.

It’s all just more evidence the Democrats don’t care what’s in the bill, they only care about the political task of passing something. Think about what an utter disgrace that is – they’re willing to pass almost any bill, with little regard to what’s in it, which will affect every American, purely for political reasons. And there isn’t one single Democrat in the entire Senate who’s willing to stand up and say no to this disgrace.

Minister of Propaganda Robert Gibbs lies to press about Limbaugh comments. Will they just take it lying down?

From The Hill, the Obama Administration goes after Rush Limbaugh again:

[White House Press Secretary “Baghdad Bob”] Gibbs said he thought “it would be charitable to say he [Rush Limbaugh] doubled down on what he said in January in wishing and hoping for economic failure in this country.”

But this is a complete and total lie. Limbaugh did not ever say, nor imply, that he hoped for economic failure in America. He essentially said the opposite – he wants America to succeed, and believes President Obama’s policies will hurt the country. (A quick look at your favorite stock market index since inauguration day will show that belief is not without foundation.)

It’s disturbing to see the president’s press secretary standing up before the American people and lying through his teeth so blatantly. But unfortunately this kind of disregard for truth is all too common on the left.

“I can only imagine what might have been said a few years ago if somebody might have said that on the other side relating to what was going on in this country or our endeavors overseas,” Gibbs said.

Yes, one can only imagine if the Democratic leader in the Senate had said the war in Iraq “is lost”. Or if the 2nd ranking Democrat in the Senate had compared US troops serving at Guantanamo Bay to Pol Pot and the Nazis. Or if Democrats had called a Republican president a Nazi, a war criminal, a racist, etc. etc. for eight years. One can only imagine the reaction of Gibbs and his Democrat friends in the press.

The Democrats didn’t just hope for failure under President Bush, they actively worked to accomplish it for eight years.

Sarah Palin responds to her cowardly anonymous attackers

From the AP:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called her critics cowards and jerks Friday for deriding her anonymously and insisted she never asked for the expensive wardrobe purchased for her use on the presidential campaign.

She’s right, and the “journalists” who are repeating this nonsense are as bad as the anonymous attackers they’re quoting. The obvious campaigning for Barack Obama by the DeMSM was bad enough, but this isn’t journalism, it’s spreading cheap gossip. Are there no ethical or professional standards left anywhere in the mainstream media?

Update: A defense, on the record, with a named source.

Taser-gate Report: Palin firing of Commissioner “a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority”

So the panel “investigating” Governor Sarah Palin for firing her Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan has issued their findings. The AP reports:

Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report by a bipartisan panel that investigated the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain.

The question immediately arises, what personal gain? How did Sarah Palin gain personally in any way by firing Monegan?

The primary findings:

Finding Number One

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides

The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.

Finding Number Two

I find that, although Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
[emphasis added]

So she had every right to fire Monegan, his refusal to do anything about a corrupt officer may or may not have had something to do with it, and there were other legitimate factors in the decision to fire him.

Accusing someone of “an abuse of power” over this trivia? That is itself an abuse of power. In short, this report is extremely weak, and doesn’t change our earlier view of the issue at all.

Update: More analysis from Townhall:

Please understand this, if you take nothing else away from reading this post: The Branchflower Report is a series of guess and insupportable conclusions drawn by exactly one guy, and it hasn’t been approved or adopted or endorsed by so much as a single sub-committee of the Alaska Legislature, much less any kind of commission, court, jury, or other proper adjudicatory body. It contains no new bombshells in terms of factual revelations. Rather, it’s just Steve Branchflower’s opinion – after being hired and directed by one of Gov. Palin’s most vocal opponents and one of Alaska’s staunchest Obama supporters – that he thinks Gov. Palin had, at worst, mixed motives for an action that even Branchflower admits she unquestionably had both (a) the complete right to perform and (b) other very good reasons to perform.

Barack Obama and the parade of radicals he never knew

Barack Obama has to be the most naive and/or easily duped man on the planet. His latest story, which has now changed several times, on his relationship with terrorist radical Bill Ayers, once just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood”, is that he, Obama, assumed “that he [Ayers] had been rehabilitated”.

And he didn’t know Jeremiah Wright was a radical, racist, anti-American hate-monger, that Father Pfleger Flav was the same sort, that Rezko was a crook, etc. Obama just happened to associate with a bunch of radicals throughout his career, but had no idea what any of them were like. He attended Wright’s church for 20 years, but just happened to be absent whenever Wright went off on one of his regular bigoted tirades. He got a sweet deal on his mansion with some help from Tony Rezko, who Obama also helped to get millions of dollars for building some of Chicago’s slums, but had no idea Rezko was dirty. He had no idea the kind of thuggish radicals he was working with at ACORN. And he helped Ayers dole out tens of millions of dollars to left-wing “education” groups, kicked off his political career at Ayers’ house, and publicly praised Ayers’ book about juvenile justice, but had no idea what Ayers’ current views are.

And this is the guy who is going to go in and engage in “tough diplomacy” with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to end Iran’s nuclear program?

So which is it? Is Obama being utterly dishonest about his record, or is he completely lacking in judgment? Either should be disqualifying.

Fannie Mae’s Democratic friends in Congress

Here’s a really good ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee:

John McCain, Sarah Palin, and all the Republicans in Congress need to make these points every single day through election day.