Archive for ethics? what ethics? – Page 2

Paging Olivia Pope! Michele Bachmann hires "fixer" to "clean up mess"

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Michele Bachmann's been in hot water lately. For example:

It is now getting so jittery in Michele World that she has summoned her very own quasi-Olivia Pope, because her crises certainly need management.

Via Roll Call:

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has brought in a new treasurer for her congressional campaign and leadership political action committee in the wake of a federal grand jury probe, a potential House Ethics investigation and a possible inquiry from the Federal Election Commission.

Nancy Watkins, a well-known campaign finance treasurer in GOP circles, submitted paperwork a few weeks ago naming her the new treasurer of both campaign accounts for the Minnesota Republican. Watkins is still the treasurer for Bachmann’s failed 2011 presidential bid, and despite allegations of impropriety surrounding that campaign, Watkins’ stewardship of that account has not been questioned.

She is a fixer, in terms of coming in and cleaning-up the mess that other people left behind,” said Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer at Arent Fox.

Yes indeedy, Bachmann's in legal trouble. That sound you hear is Rep. Family Values' hypocrisy hitting the fan.

An Office of Congressional Ethics report released Wednesday said there was “substantial reason” to believe that Bachmann authorized or failed to prevent illegal contributions between her campaign committees, and that she improperly mixed promotion of her book, “Core of Conviction,” with her presidential campaign activities.

As Rachel Maddow says, "Watch this space."

bachmann bye bye

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WI Gov. Scott Walker suggests stripping police and firefighter union rights

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Why, it was only yesterday that I posted about how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and county staff collaborated after a teenage boy was killed by a 13-ton concrete panel that fell on him. Oops! Where's all that conservative compassion we used to hear so much about, hmm?

Now Scotty is once again doing his best to make himself as unappealing as possible by further alienating workers, the middle class, union members, Democratic voters, the usual. He's talking about extending the state ban on public sector union rights to police and firefighters. He must have gotten a call from one of the Koch brothers.

Then he backtracked the next day, because-- surprise!-- that plan bothered a few people.

Via the Wisconsin State Journal:

At a public event in Milwaukee on Monday, Walker said he would consider expanding the law, and that police and fire workers may now be willing to forgo union rights taken from other government workers — collective bargaining, paycheck dues withdrawals and arbitration to settle disputes with management.

“I think now, for those areas, having seen that the world didn’t come to an end for other municipal employees, there might be a greater opening going forward because they’d say, ‘Hey, you know, things worked out,’” Walker said at the annual Governmental Research Association policy conference.

Leaders of two police unions said their members wouldn’t accept any such change, and they believe the governor knows that.

I'msorrywhat?! "The world didn't come to an end for other municipal employees"?! Interrobang!

Nahh, those workers and their families are just dandy now that you yanked their rights out from under them, making it impossible to improve their situation, their lives, their livelihood as well as their children's, destroyed their dignity, all while spitting on democracy and Wisconsin families. Pfft, big deal, no skin off Scotty's nose.

Family values my ass.

Those union slobs and their kvetching. Honestly.

There you have it, voters: Walker 2016. Some might say he was appealing to his base. I say he is as appalling as his base.

Here's what else Scotty had the unmitigated gall to say: "The position I pushed is not unlike the principle that Franklin Delano Roosevelt — not exactly a conservative — pushed as well when it came to public sector collective bargaining.”

Yes, he said that. No, I'm not kidding.

Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the state AFL-CIO, didn't take kindly to that either, saying (among other things), "Scott Walker is drowning in a jobs deficit and to compare himself to FDR is laughably delusional.”

Truer words were never spoken...

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Secret recordings of Rupert Murdoch and Sun staff: "We will hit back."

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Rupie was caught on tape, and Gawker has video and more details here:

ExaroNews a British investigative web site, has just published the full transcript of a secretly recorded meeting between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the staff of The Sun, a U.K. tabloid owned by News Corp., in which Murdoch admitted that he was aware for decades that journalists from his newspapers had been bribing both police and public officials. [...]

The Sun staffers were irate over Murdoch's decision to supply mass internal communications to the police "that had betrayed confidential sources, some of whom were public officials who received no payment for information," reports ExaroNews.

This little chat happened in a boardroom at The Sun's headquarters in East London. Here's a snippet (bolding is Gawker's):

Murdoch acknowledges that illegal newsgathering practices were a long-standing part of the culture (emphasis added):

"I guarantee you that [medical support] will continue. And I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you’re convicted and get six months or whatever. I think it’s just outrageous, but—and I don’t know of anybody, or anything, that did anything that wasn’t being done across Fleet Street and wasn’t the culture. And we’re being picked on. I think that it was the old right-wing establishment, [Lord] Puttnam, or worse, the left-wing get-even crowd of Gordon Brown. There was a sort of—we got caught with dirty hands, I guess, with the News of the World, and everybody piled in. It was a get-even time for things that were done with The Sun over the last 40 years, 38 years, whatever it is."

Aww, poor wittle tings. They were being "picked on."

Watch and read more here.

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Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes."

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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke at the Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on history, ethics and law. In that speech, she expressed her opposition to the election of judges, saying the following, per the Chicago Tribune:

“I think there are many who think of judges as politicians in robes. In many states, that’s what they are.”

No way! Whatever could have put that crazy idea into her head? Of course that wasn't what GW Bush had in mind at all, right, when he and the GOP packed the courts with conservative judges; yet Republicans now refuse to so much as consider President Obama's judicial nominees.

O'Connor prefers to think of judges as, you know, impartial and independent, fair and unbiased. How novel.

Instead, she said, people "seem to think judges should be a reflex of the popular will" and that judges "need to avoid sitting on cases if even a whiff of bias can be detected."

Are you listening, Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito?

More at the link.

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Can Michele pray this away? FEC fines Bachmann $8,000 for 2010 campaign finance violations

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bachmann owed money 2

Paddy celebrated this way: NOOOO!!! Minn. Rep. Michele Bachmann says she won’t run for re-election in 2014. And by "celebrated" I mean mourned the loss of one of the easiest comedic targets in political history.

No worries, Paddy, because we can keep pointing and laughing for awhile longer. Check out this Roll Call report:

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) campaign committee has signed a conciliation agreement with the Federal Election Commission calling for a $8,000 civil penalty for campaign finance violations in her 2010 Congressional campaign.

Her campaign failed to disclose $208,502 in receipts and $206,499 in disbursements.

Memory Lane:

You can see the entire agreement here.

Bachmann owed money 1

busted 5

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"The politicians should be embarrassed — but to be embarrassed, one first has to have a conscience."

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I see hypocrites

Today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Apple execs grilled over tax strategy," Business, May 22

I don't know whether it's funny or hypocritical for politicians to grill Apple executives on business ethics. After all, these are the people who, for years, have regularly taken bribes disguised as campaign contributions and generally enriched themselves at the public trough, all with impunity.

The politicians should be embarrassed — but to be embarrassed, one first has to have a conscience.

Joe Martin

Long Beach

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"I'm not into politics," said partisan Justice Thomas; black president would be "approved by elites, media."

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join court but i hate politics

When I saw this article at First Read, I had to make sure it wasn't a reprint of a piece from The Onion. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says he's "not into politics." Could've fooled me. He's married to Virginia, founder-of-a-tea-party group-turned-lobbyist who bragged about all the influence she had (who also left a rather strange voice mail for Anita Hill), and who lobbied against health care reform.

This is the same justice who Herman Cain said “is one of my models.”

So fine, Thomas-- who ruled in favor of Citizens United-- claims he isn't literally "into" politics, but he also isn't exactly unbiased, objective, or even-handed, let alone nonpartisan:

As Mark Karlin at BuzzFlash pointed out, "Thomas... didn’t even report large financial payments that benefited him and his wife, as he ruled on cases that involved the sources of the personal funds."

And of course, there was the Clarence Thomas gifting scandal:

There have been alarming reports of justices – most notably Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito – attending political events and using their position to fundraise for organizations.

You get the picture. Now here is what Clarence Thomas said during a forum at Duquesne University's law school in response to a moderator's question of whether he was surprised that there was a black president. Per First Read:

[H]e is not surprised there's a black president. But he knew that it would be one "approved by the elites, the media." "I guess I thought there would be black coaches, black heads of universities, maybe again, as I said, I'm naïve. But the thing I always knew it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites, the media, because anybody they didn't agree with they would take apart.... And that will happen with virtually-- you pick your person. Any black person, who says something that is not a prescribed things that they expect from a black person, it will be picked apart. You can pick anybody. Don't pick me. Pick anyone who has decided not to go along with it. There's a price to pay. So I always assumed it would be somebody the media had to agree with." [...]

Asked if he had any "common ground" with the left-of-center president, the conservative jurist, said, "You know that's hard to say. It's like, what common ground did I have with President Bush? 43? You know, I'm not into politics. I don't like politics. And I try not to-- I do my job. I have common ground with some of the appointees, say with Justice Ginsburg or with Justice Kagan, because we're doing the same thing, but as politics, I just don't do politics. I don't like politics."

Go that? He doesn't like politics.

To be crystal clear, he just doesn't do politics.

Did I mention he doesn't like politics?

He added:

"I just don't like politics... I mean, it is--, I'm just done. I don't like politics. I like history. I like things of substance. I don't understand politics. I don't understand scuba diving, you know? When I think of scuba diving, I think of drowning. So I'm not against it, it's just not-- I'm not going under water."

In case you missed it, he "hates politics." That might have gotten by you.

hate politics, hate people

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