Showing posts with label Ethics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ethics. Show all posts

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Keep Your Kids Away From Jerry and Becki Falwell


These people are freaky and should not be around anyone's kids:
A former Liberty University student says Becki Falwell, the wife of the university’s then-President Jerry Falwell Jr., jumped into bed with him and performed oral sex on him while he stayed over at the Falwell home after a band practice with her eldest son in 2008.
The student was 22 at the time of the encounter, near the start of Liberty’s fall semester. He said she initiated the act, and he went along with it. But despite his rejection of further advances, he said, Falwell continued pursuing him, offering him gifts and engaging in banter through Facebook messages.
“She was the aggressor,” he said.
The messages, screenshots of which were provided by the former student to POLITICO, suggest a flirtatious relationship that went beyond what might be expected of a mother communicating with her son’s bandmate.

Life in the Falwell household seems like one of the bad sequels to American Pie but with worse hair, more sex and fewer ethical quandaries. How is it that these people are still able to hold onto all of the money they took from the university that Jerry Falwell senior founded as a way of indoctrinating the youth of America into his bizarre version of a religious and righteous America?

I have to admit that I've always been immune to being shamed by someone else's grasp of "family values." I remember when that was a thing in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was as if hypocrites were running things and it turns out they were.

Nobody should let the Falwells hang around with their adult children. This is something out of a bad novel full of horny cougars and shame-based men.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Abigail Spanberger is Having None of This




Do not mess with Abigail Spanberger:

The campaign of Democratic challenger Abigail Spanberger announced on Thursday that it had discovered and removed an operative for James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas who had posed as a volunteer and infiltrated its staff.

The operative, who went by the name Monica Nelson, appears to have been Marisa Jorge, a New York-based official who has been previously exposed after embedding with other political campaigns. Justin Jones, Spanberger’s communications director, said that Nelson had been on the campaign as a volunteer for several weeks. She had shown up at the offices with the appearance of being pregnant and said she was bored at home and wanted to help out.

The campaign, which has an estimated 5,500 volunteers, brought her on board.

Jones said that others began to suspect that Nelson was working undercover when she kept peppering junior level staff members with mundane questions about where Spanberger stood on certain policy topics. Those questions appeared designed in a way to get an answer that contradicted Spanberger’s public positions. Nelson has also emailed staffers asking to get some time along with Spanberger, saying, in part, that the candidate, a former CIA agent, was a “role model” because she was “a mother of 3 all while running for political office.”

When they determined that Nelson was actually Jorge—by, among other things, asking her about her nonexistent social media presence—staffers asked her to leave. She did, Jones said. But instead of getting into a car, she walked about a half mile down a busy road and ran swiftly across traffic in order to evade campaign workers who had been walking with her to see where she would go. 

“Dirty tricks like these are the worst part of politics, and this is exactly what Abigail is running to change,” said Dana Bye, Spanberger’s campaign manager. “While others may scrape the bottom of the barrel out of desperation, Abigail and our campaign will remain focused on talking to our neighbors on their doorsteps about the issues that matter to our community—that’s the campaign voters deserve and it’s the campaign that we believe will carry us to victory.”

Spanberger, as you recall, has been down this road before. The dirty tricks that Dave Brat’s supporters have used against her are intolerable. She was the victim of gross negligence on the part of the US Postal Service, which, if you’re using logic, shouldn’t be doing anything political or nefarious to begin with. They released her personal information, without proper redaction, and called it an oopsy mistakey wakey. But, seriously—if you’re working for the Postal Service, why would you try to keep any Republican in office, given what they’ve done to destroy the budgets of all Federal agencies?

Why would anyone tolerate this bullshit? Oh, that’s right. Someone is clinging to power.

Well, Spanberger isn’t having it, and one can only hope that charges can be filed against James O’Keefe and his pathetic supporters.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Megyn Kelly is Racist Trash




Megyn Kelly should be fired for her comments because she is a disaster that continues to happen:

NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly issued an apology Tuesday for her comments earlier in the day questioning why it is considered racist for white people to wear blackface on Halloween.

In an email sent to colleagues released by NBC News, Kelly said she had taken the time to listen to other points of view on the topic.

"I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry," Kelly wrote. "The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep."

In the roundtable segment during the 9:00 Hour on "Megyn Kelly TODAY," which dealt with inappropriate or offensive Halloween costumes, Kelly asked her panelists “what is racist” about white people wearing blackface during Halloween. Kelly went on to say that wearing blackface was considered OK when she was a kid “as long you were dressing up as a character.”

She also defended reality TV star Luann de Lesseps, who darkened her skin for her Diana Ross costume in 2017.

It’s not like we didn’t already know she was racist to begin with:

Jon Stewart blasted Fox News' Megyn Kelly on "The Daily Show" Thursday night, after she had commented Wednesdaythat it was a "verifiable fact" that Santa Claus is white. 

The traditional "War on Christmas" is getting weirder this year, Stewart said. 

Getting to the heart of his criticism, Stewart explained that the historical character on whom Santa is based, St. Nicholas, was born in a part of the world that is now Turkey. Scientists say, based on research commissioned by the Vatican, that he actually has a darker skin pigmentation than his commercial image. 

"My guess is that there'd be no Christmas if he looked like that dude, because he's probably still on the no-fly list," Stewart said. 

Stewart also took on Kelly's assertion that Jesus was white. 

"You do know that Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem, Penn., right?" he quipped.

To be fair, Jon Stewart has only warned us about all of the people on Fox News, the entire Republican Party, and Fuckface Von Clownstick. It’s not like people didn’t know who she was, what she believed, and that she was willing to lie about it so she could get away with it and keep her job, right?

NBC, what in the ever-loving hell? You have a golden opportunity right now to shed yourself of this Megyn Kelly problem of yours. Get on with it already.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Megyn Kelly Should Not Start Any Feuds Over Plastic Surgery




NBC is not going to get its money's worth out of Megyn Kelly:

Megyn Kelly is firing back on Jane Fonda for criticizing the NBC Today host for asking about her plastic surgery.

In a rather blistering segment addressing the audience on Monday’s program, Kelly defended asking the legendary actress and activist in September about the work she’s had done, noting she looked amazing for her age (Fonda is 80). Fonda has criticized the question as the “wrong place and wrong time” and called Kelly “not that good of an interviewer.”

“When she first complained — publicly after the program and repeatedly — I choose to say nothing because my philosophy is that what people think of me is none of my business,” Kelly began in the clip below. “However, Fonda was at it again last week — here on NBC and then again elsewhere — so it’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine.”

“First some context,” Kelly continued. “Fonda was on [my show] to promote a film about aging [Our Souls at Night]. For years, she has spoken openly about her joy in giving a cultural face to older women. Well, the truth is, most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80. And if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore. Fonda herself knows this. She knows this. That’s why, to her credit, she’s discussed plastic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show.”

Come on, grow up. No one should be asked or shamed about something like that. If you want to discuss it, you have your staff talk to her staff. This is how talk shows are supposed to work. No surprises, ever.

Kelly is terrible on the air, and can't function in polite society. She may have had success on Fox being able to deliver racist memes and ideas in a polite, blonde-lady sort of way, but this is just not going to work in the regular media.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sarah Palin Files Lawsuit Against Newspaper She Doesn't Read




I don't think Sarah Palin has much of a case here:

Sarah Palin has sued The New York Times for defamation.

The former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate filed a lawsuit against the Times on Tuesday alleging that a recent editorial falsely portrayed her as responsible for inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords. 

"Today, Sarah Palin took a stand against The New York Times Company by filing a lawsuit which seeks to hold The Times accountable for stating that Governor Palin is part of a 'sickeningly familiar pattern' of politically motivated violence and that she incited the horrific 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords," lawyers for Palin said in a statement. 

Palin is seeking more than $75,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit. 

The Times editorial, published in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise earlier this month, accused Palin of "political incitement" ahead of the 2011 Giffords shooting, the lawsuit says. The editorial wrongly claimed an ad from Palin's political action committee put "Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs," according to the lawsuit. 

The Times issued a correction a day later, noting that "no such link was established" between Palin's ad and the shooting, and that the ad in question "depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized cross hairs." 

Still, the Times said that the error did not "undercut or weaken the argument of the piece."

Why not sue for a couple of million dollars? Why low-ball the Times at $75K? Can't Sarah do anything right? I mean, it's not like creating graphics with "surveyor's marks" is cheap.

UPDATE: Someone wrote to tell me that's not actually a picture of Sarah Palin. The hell you say!

Given that Miss Palin now has a lawyer out there suing people, I am not going to use her actual likeness unless it furthers the plot in a meaningful way.













Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Fake News Story Was Discredited in Record Time




This story hit the wires yesterday, and when it showed up in my Facebook feed, I quickly identified it as a piece of fake news. I got into a back and forth with some low-level trolls, and was able to move on without even writing about the incident.

Well, what do you know?

Last July, a Democratic National Committee staffer named Seth Rich was shot to death in what police called a botched robbery attempt in Washington. No suspect yet has been found. Throughout the summer, showing the same kind of discretion it once extended to the family of Vince Foster, the wingnuttosphere was alive with speculation that the Clinton Death Squad once again was abroad in the land.

Which brings us to Monday's story, which appeared almost simultaneously with the Washington Post story about the president* and his relaxed attitude toward top-secret classified information. From Fox 5 DC:

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that. Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich's murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation. "The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming," said Wheeler. "They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both."

So the evidence for this blockbuster is on a computer that Wheeler never has seen and that he "believes" is locked away either by the FBI or the local cops in Washington. Oh, OK.

And Charlie Pierce goes on to correctly identify Rod Wheeler as a "source" when, in fact, he's a low-grade lunatic operating somewhere between Infowars and the fevered imagination of whoever used to book Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox. This is easily discredited bullshit, and if I can do it, you can do it, too.

This is the original story, which, of course, has been updated with a paragraph at the end that basically calls into question every reason why it was written in the first place:

POSTED:MAY 15 2017 10:41PM EDT

UPDATED:MAY 16 2017 02:21PM EDT

WASHINGTON - It has been almost a year since Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in the nation's capital. There have been no solid answers about why he was killed until now.

Rich was shot and killed last July in Northwest D.C and police have suggested the killing in the District's Bloomingdale neighborhood was a botched robbery. However, online conspiracy theories have tied the murder to Rich's work at the DNC.

Just two months shy of the one-year anniversary of Rich's death, FOX 5 has learned there is new information that could prove these theorists right.

Family's private investigator: There is evidence Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks prior to death

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Wheeler's services were offered to the family and paid for by a third party, according to a statement issued by the Rich family Tuesday which also includes that "the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family." 

Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that.

Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation.

"The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” said Wheeler. “They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”

When we asked Wheeler if his sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, he said, “Absolutely. Yeah. That's confirmed."

Wheeler also told us, "I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor's office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out [Tuesday].

Wheeler told FOX 5 that he will provide us with a full report with the new details.

FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick spoke with D.C. Police on Tuesday and was told that Wheeler’s assertion that a source inside the department told him that detectives were instructed to stand down regarding the Rich case was false.

The family sent Alnwick a statement on Tuesday with the following statement:

"As we've seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press. Even if tomorrow, an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered and we've seen that those interested in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so. We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth's murderers. The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family." 

Look for this story to disappear at some point. That's why I'm archiving it here, in its entirety. Yesterday's troll tried to trade on Wheeler's status as a police detective. Fuck that shit. Wheeler just got caught in the kind of hyperbolic lie familiar to anyone who sits before a camera on Fox News. The gravy train is running off the rails so why not pretend to be a private investigator who knows something that will embarrass Democrats? This scam is going to be run again and again in the days and weeks ahead because the Trump Regime is flying apart. I expect we'll see a great deal of this because, hell, it works, doesn't it? It fools people. It reinforces their need to latch onto something phony and make it confirm their biases. It doesn't matter that it's ridiculous--all the better! It plays well on your buddy's paranoid feed, doesn't it?

These fuckers never give up. It took less than 24 hours to slap down a cynical attempt by the right wing media to deflect attention away from the dumpster fire that is the Trump Regime and create a new "right wing myth" about the Clintons, this one involving a young man shot down in the prime of life.

Seth Rich's death is a tragedy, and it should not be used by anyone to advance a political agenda. He should be allowed to rest in peace and every effort should be made to offer some measure of comfort and sympathy to his family. I can assure you, I write of this not to make something worse, but to highlight the actions of evil people and their agenda.

The fantastic Caroline O. breaks this down even further. She is really masterful at exposing bullshit.

UPDATE:






 

 













Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Deplorable by Any Other Name




Oh, look. The puke who used his money to spread filth about Hillary Clinton is now out of a gig:

According to a report in Upload VR, Palmer Luckey, the co-founder of Oculus and the Rift creator, is leaving the company which he sold to Facebook three years ago. This will allegedly be Luckey’s last week with the company. “Palmer will be dearly missed," a statement from Facebook read. "Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.” The Daily Beast has reached out to Facebook to confirm this information. 

Last September, The Daily Beast revealed that Luckey had been involved in funding a pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, a self-described “social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit." It was intended for the purposes of shitposting about Hillary Clinton and circulating offensive memes about her. Luckey got involved in the project after meeting Milo Yiannopoulos. Shortly after the story, Luckey essentially disappeared and skipped the Oculus Connect (OC3) developer conference. He has kept a low profile over the past few months with no posts to his Twitter or Facebook accounts since September. 

In this country, he gets to keep his money and go on about his business. In Russia, he would have been imprisoned for being mentally ill and corrupt months ago. That's how it works now. You can be wealthy, powerful, and do whatever you want without any consequences until the people you're working for decide that you're too much of a liability to keep around.

I love the part about how he amscrayed from social media, though. If you have such popular ideas, why not share them with the rest of us? Are you afraid that the marketplace of ideas is going to reject you?

Too late for that now.













Saturday, January 14, 2017

Republican Hypocrisy is Eternal




Edwin D. Williamson, today:

President-elect Donald Trump’s attempt to put the conflicts issue behind him has failed, at least according to the mainstream media. His announcement that he would resign from all positions with companies in the Trump Organization, put the Trump Organization in a trust run by his two sons and a Trump Organization employee, and not communicate with the trustees on the business did not stifle the howl from the media and such self-appointed ethics watchdogs as Richard Painter and Norman Eisen, who continue their dire warnings about the new president's potential conflicts of interests. Even the supposedly nonpartisan director of the Office of Government Ethics has chimed in, saying that Trump's "plan does not comport with the tradition of our presidents over the last 40 years" (which is incorrect with respect to President Carter; the others did not have financial interests that came close to the extent and complexity of Trump's).

The media and the watchdogs insist on a full divestiture by Trump of all financial interests in the Trump Organization (he will be the principal beneficiary of the Trump trust). For a variety of reasons, divestiture probably cannot be done at all, but it certainly cannot be done without creating an entirely new set of conflicts. What the president-elect has done would not satisfy the requirements of the federal conflicts law if they applied to him (they do not), but he has made a good-faith effort to distance his role as president from his financial interests.

Edwin D. Williamson, November, 2008:

An MSNBC article discusses ethics issues that former President Bill Clinton's extensive charitable activities could present if Barack Obama nominates Hilary Clinton to be Secretary of State. Here's an excerpt:

[V]ast amounts of money and prestige are involved, and those factors could pose problems for lawyers at the State Department who work to prevent ethical conflicts from corrupting the nation's foreign policy.

Edwin D. Williamson, who served as the State Department's chief legal adviser under President George H.W. Bush, said he does not know how the agency would resolve the potential conflicts. "If a client came to me with this set of facts, I would describe it as nightmarish," he said.

The gall of these people. Their moral compass disappears as soon as a Republican gets near the White House. Every single legal argument used against the Clintons for over 25 years is simply flushed down the memory hole.

You may remember how both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W, Bush placed their personal assets in blind trusts in order to ensure that they could not be accused of anything unethical, but that's not enough. You may remember how Presidents Clinton and Obama did the same thing, but you'd be sneered at for bringing it up. You might remember how all other candidates have released their tax returns, but now you're just being shrill.

Trump has made a "good faith" effort. Except that he hasn't used a blind trust in any way, shape or form. That's not good faith. That's thumbing your nose at the whole idea that a president should comport himself in an ethical manner.

The Republicans have set up a dangerous precedent. In the future, be prepared to laugh in their face if they ever raise a concern for the "appearance of a conflict of interest" with regards to any Democrat.

 













Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It's All Fake News




Just when you thought that we were going to settle in and have a normal week, this happened.

Isn't it time we start planning for a do-over election?













Monday, May 2, 2016

MSNBC Sinks to a New Low




MSNBC is no friend to liberals, the liberal agenda, or the American viewing public:

Alex Wagner, the charismatic host of the canceled NOW with Alex Wagner and formerly one of MSNBC’s rising stars, has finally said adieu to the network. It was announced on Tuesday that she had taken a position with The Atlantic. She will now serve as the magazine’s senior editor and will be heavily involved in the company’s video and live events. This will include moderating a panel on Saturday mornings.

This company is actively jettisoning people of color and everyone is mostly okay with that? If ratings counted for anything, Joe Scarborough wouldn't even be on television. Instead, he's the mouthpiece of an organization that might as well continue to have nobody watching. That's a helluva business model. Screw over your employees, screw over the people watching, eliminate diversity, and then wonder where all the money went.








Thursday, March 3, 2016

Emasculation and Failure




This made me think of the really terrible place the Republicans are in right now:

Donald Trump responded to Mitt Romney’s speech Thursday during a rally in Maine, hitting the former Republican nominee by saying he would have gotten on his knees for the Trump endorsement back in 2012. “I am not a fan of Barack Obama and that was a race that I backed Mitt Romney, I backed him, you can see how loyal he is,” Trump said. “He was begging for my endorsement. I could have said, Mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees, he was begging. He was begging me.” At another point, he railed against Romney as a “choke artist” and said “chickened out” of running again in 2016.

There is no natural leader of the Republican Party anymore. Reagan is dead. Everyone else is a "loser" in that they have not successfully held the presidency and left things better than they found it. The legacy of both Bush presidents is that the first Bush was thrown out of office and the second Bush left things in horrible shape. This means they are not "winners" who could shout down Donald Trump's nonsense.

What? We're going to hear from Bob Dole? Dan Quayle? We've heard from Sarah Palin and she has endorsed Trump because to incur his wrath would shatter what little fundraising she is still able to carry out. That leaves Paul Ryan and Dick Cheney--who would listen to them?

In fact, Dick Cheney's silence speaks volumes. He has never been shy about criticizing President Obama. And yet, he has largely remained outside of the current race, unable to say anything because, well, when you leave office with everything in ruins, you can't very well claim you are a winner.

Trump is blossoming in this environment. He has already slain John McCain. Now he can take Mitt Romney to task for being a loser. And there's no one left to shout him down because they are all "losers."

This line of attack will appear again. Trump has handed politicians in both parties vast sums of money. This makes it easy for him to label them and denigrate them. He will not hesitate to emasculate any male politician who has taken his money; he will not hesitate to berate Hillary Clinton when she takes the gloves off.



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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Firing Dr. Melissa Click




There's a joke in here about tenure, but I'm not gonna make it:

University of Missouri's Board of Curators voted Thursday to fire assistant professor Melissa Click, who drew controversy after a video circulated of her calling for "some muscle" during protests at the university. “The board respects Dr. Click’s right to express her views and does not base this decision on her support for students engaged in protest or their views,” Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a statement. “However, Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student.”


Basically, they took a pass on trying to educate someone as to how to conduct themselves in the "safe zone" of teacher-student-media interaction. I'm thinking that this was more about legal liabilities and future lawsuits, but it could have been more about the school just not wanting to have this kind of a public face.



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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nothing Sexist About This Remark, Is There?




Oh, heavens. A woman forgot to stop and think about how offended John Podhoretz would feel if she spoke in public like she cared about this country. I'm surprised he doesn't have a quick backhand ready for such times as these.

Add this to the pile. Podhoretz is a high-ranking nutcase. Maybe he doesn't write his own headlines. But he sure looks like the kind of fellow who isn't going to put up with lady talk he doesn't agree with.


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Monday, January 11, 2016

Chris Hughes Destroyed Something Awful




Wah, wah, wah:

I have some difficult news today: I have decided to put The New Republic up for sale. I bought this company nearly four years ago to ensure its survival and give it the financial runway to experiment with new business models in a time of immense change in media. After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic.


Over the past few years we have made good progress in reinvigorating this institution. Our readership has grown younger and more diverse, largely as a result of our digital strategy. Our journalism has been widely recognized as impactful, impassioned, and more relevant to our nation’s challenges than ever. As a business, we have launched a brand marketing studio called Novel, built a flexible and fast mobile website, and developed our own content management system. We have made it possible for The New Republic to survive and begin to flourish in its second century.


Yet I will be the first to admit that when I took on this challenge nearly four years ago, I underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate. When I bought The New Republic, it was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and I believed that an institution as old and important as it should survive and evolve in an era where its values were still relevant and needed. This place stands for some of the best and most important elements of liberalism: a belief in the role of government to correct free markets, in the power of representative democracy to hold the elite accountable, and in America’s responsibility to be a force for good in the world. These values have sustained and animated not just me, but this tireless and dedicated team over the past few years.


 As it currently stands, the value of the New Republic is about fifty bucks and dropping. This kid turned a terrible, racist, bigoted magazine into a dumpster fire. The Germans have a word for making something bad into something worse, and it could very well be Müllcontainerfeuer.

Chris Hughes trying to fix something is a Müllcontainerfeuer. Chris Hughes setting $20 million dollars on fire in order to wreck the New Republic is something I can get behind. Kudos to him. A horrible publication had it coming.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Lesson in Ethics by Ruth Marcus




I'm not making any of this up--Ruth Marcus questions whether we should have gone after FIFA and Denny Hastert:

For different reasons, I find both indictments unsettling — not necessarily wrong, but worth thinking through whether they ought to have been brought.

Holy Mother of God:

Instead, Hastert was tripped up by bank reporting requirements intended to catch drug kingpins and organized crime bosses. His alleged crime is that he structured his hush money withdrawals to avoid triggering reporting rules and then — seemingly on a single occasion — lied to FBI agents about why he was making the withdrawals. Lying is bad. Lying to FBI agents is even worse.

But, really, wouldn’t that have been your first instinct, too? I’d feel differently if Hastert had stuck with the lie, in a second interview after he’d had time to think it over, or before a grand jury. (And, yes, I’m thinking about President Clinton’s impeachment here.)

Hastert did, it seems, a terrible thing. He is, or was, paying for it — literally. He shelled out $1.7 million “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct,” the indictment says. He is at once alleged perpetrator and victim of a shake-down scheme; his alleged victim is both prey and blackmailer.

Yes, the first place anyone reasonable or serious would go in trying to excuse Denny Hastert's hush money payout to a victim of underage sex abuse is to the Clinton impeachment because, hell, they're the same damned thing, aren't they?

Good God.

Just so we're clear--we shouldn't prosecute FIFA (hundreds and hundreds of men have died building stadiums for FIFA World Cup host countries, who used bribes to secure the games) or Denny Hastert (sexually abusing someone is far, far worse than paying to keep it quiet).

Speechless.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Nice Try, Asshole


Note the title of Kevin Williamson's attempt to defend the bigotry laws of Indiana. And, also note that he gets everything wrong right away:

There are three problems with rewarding those who use accusations of bigotry as a political cudgel. First, those who seek to protect religious liberties are not bigots, and going along with false accusations that they are makes one a party to a lie. Second, it is an excellent way to lose political contests, since there is almost nothing — up to and including requiring algebra classes — that the Left will not denounce as bigotry. Third, and related, it encourages those who cynically deploy accusations of bigotry for their own political ends.

So, the left uses bigotry, correct? Well, why do Republicans use national security in exactly the same manner to bludgeon their opponents into submission?

No one declared war on the private mind or the private beliefs of the people of Indiana. War was declared on the very public and commercial use of denying basic services to people based on their sexual orientation. This became an issue because Indiana law attempted to deny basic services to people based on sexual orientation in exactly the same manner as was done to people of color forty years ago (which the National Review defended as a matter of course in the 1960s).

No one is telling people what to think. They are being politely reminded that discrimination is anti-American and against the American way of life.

Can someone tell me what the fuck is he on about with regards to algebra? I am afraid the poor man is shivering in his own cloak of ignorance, afraid of his own shadow, and desperately hoping old William F. Buckley will show up and denounce that queer Gore Vidal.

You see, it's against the law to discriminate against people. Case closed, motherfuckers. Case closed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brian Who?




In case you were wondering:

In the first week of his six-month suspension (Feb. 9-13), the Lester Holt-anchored NBC broadcast posted a victory among total viewers, with an average 9.43 million, and adults 25-54. The demo race was a much tighter race. Despite leading ABC News by 400,000 total viewers, it only just topped it in the key demo: 2.292 million over 2.242 million.


CBS remained in third place, averaging 7.628 million viewers and 1.786 million adults 25-54.


Brian Williams has been replaced and the numbers on his broadcast, such as they are, have remained the same. The audience for the evening news has shrunk down to practically nothing but NBC persists with the delusional idea of putting Williams back on the air? I think that has come to pass.

Williams would make a hell of a game show host.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Heather Cho is Going Away For a Year




I think people are forgetting something here:

A former executive of South Korea's national airline has been jailed for one year for obstructing aviation safety during a row over nuts.


Heather Cho forced a plane to return to the gate in New York last December and offload a steward because she did not like the way she had been served nuts.


Judge Oh Sung-woo said it was a case where "human dignity" had been "trampled upon".


Ms Cho has apologised and quit Korean Air, which is run by her father. 


Her plane was taxiing at New York's JFK Airport on 5 December when witnesses say she became angry after being served macadamia nuts she did not ask for, and which were still in a bag and not in a bowl.


It wasn't entirely about macadamia nuts. It was about an ethical approach to a simple customer service complaint, one that Cho failed badly. She committed an abuse of power, she was on an aircraft and hitting people with objects. She was using a position of authority to terrorize and intimidate employees of the airline. We can project our values on this and come up with a lot of different scenarios, but, the bottom line is, she interfered with a plane that was "in flight" and could have faced stiff penalties if this was handled in America.





This incident reminds me of "who moved my cheese" and not in a good way.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ethics Matter More Than College Degrees




I would put a candidate's ethical track record ahead of their possession of an advanced degree:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has buzz. He has impressed conservative activists in Des Moines and is the front-runner for likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers, according to a Bloomberg Politics-Des Moines Register poll published this weekend.


Supporters say the 47-year-old has more diverse qualifications than the other Republicans: A non-Washington Republican who has won tough contests in a blue state, taken on labor unions and has appeal to the conservative faith community and the business constituency.






Scott Walker having no degree is worse than him having a pair of bought-and-paid for degrees from Harvard or Yale? I'm not following that logic, since many of our privileged elites cheat their way through college anyway.





Walker is inherently an unethical governor, one who has been under investigation for years. That alone should make him unfit for higher office.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Ethics-Free Congress





You can tell the Republicans are in charge because ethics no longer matter. Michael Grimm was re-elected with a felony indictment hanging over his head and, thanks to a safely Gerrymandered district, he won his race going away.

And yes, there is a precedent here. William Jefferson was a corrupt Congressman from Louisiana who stuffed the money in his freezer and told everyone to go pound sand when they politely asked him to resign from Congress. You can read about that here and then do a comparison and contrast with how the GOP leadership has basically thrown their hands in the air over a convicted felon like Grimm. Reading that old story was like stepping into a time machine.

Ethics in Congress? Really? And people actually cared about that stuff? Wow.