Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

The Head of the Office of Government Ethics Resigns

July 13, 2017

The Head of the Office of Government Ethics Resigns
Walter Shaub, head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, the federal agency charged with overseeing the executive branch ethics program and preventing conflicts of interest, resigned last week. President Trump has no ethics, so there really wasn’t much for Mr. Shaub to do.

(more…)

Conflicts of Interest: The President Is Still a Businessman

May 24, 2017

President Donald Trump is advised by his daughter and son-in-law while profiting from the world-wide Trump Organization, run by his sons. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax explains the ethics and conflicts-of-interest issues.

Related:

“Trump’s connection to his businesses leaves more questions than answers in first 100 days,” Alexander Mallin, ABC News

“After 100 Days of Trump, America’s Gotten Corruption Fatigue,” Bridgette Dunlap, Rolling Stone

Updates:

“Trump’s Business Ties to Middle East Precede Him,” Steve Eder and Jesse Drucker, New York Times

“Donald Trump Jr., Dubai business partner discuss ‘new ideas,'” Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

“Trump Family Bolsters Its Dubai Connection,” Russ Choma, Mother Jones

______________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pJA

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Steamy Scandal in the Heart of Dixie

April 10, 2017

Steamy Scandal in the Heart of Dixie

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appears to have had an affair with a top aide, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a married woman. That’s been pretty embarrassing for the “Love Gov,” a former Sunday school teacher, who was married at the time, but it gets worse. While Ms. Mason was the governor’s senior political adviser, it still wasn’t legal for him to use campaign funds to pay for her legal defense. As usual, the cover-up is worse than the sexy-time crime.

On Wednesday the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause that Governor Bentley violated the Alabama Ethics Act and the Fair Campaign Practices Act. On Friday the state’s House Judiciary Committee released a 3,000-page report with scandalous details about security personnel seeing Ms. Mason “leaving the office with her hair tousled and her clothing in disarray,”mushy text messages between her and the Gov, and allegations the governor threatened his wife’s staffers for talking about the affair. On Saturday the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the legislature can go ahead with impeachment proceedings, and lawmakers are expected to begin impeachment hearings today.

Updates:

“Robert Bentley, Alabama Governor, Resigns Amid Scandal,” Alan Blinder, New York Times

“Alabama Guv Resigns, Is Convicted On 2 Campaign Finance Charges,”Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Kay Ivey becomes governor; promises open administration,” Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser

“Why It Took Alabama’s Governor So Long to Resign,” alan Greenblatt, Governing

“Robert Bentley joins a growing list of Alabama governors who had trouble with the law,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

“How Alabama’s Shady Governor Cultivated a Culture of Disenfranchisement,” Brentin Mock, CityLab

____________________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pvD

Top image. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Justice Scalia Lived as He Died

March 10, 2016

Justice Scalia Lived as He Died
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in luxury at a ranch resort owned by a Texas millionaire who had business before the court last year:

“Though that trip has brought new attention to the justice’s penchant for travel, it was in addition to the 258 subsidized trips that he took from 2004 to 2014. Justice Scalia went on at least 23 privately funded trips in 2014 alone to places like Hawaii, Ireland and Switzerland, giving speeches, participating in moot court events or teaching classes. Just a few weeks before his death, he was in Singapore and Hong Kong.

(more…)

Dr. Carson’s Snake Oil

November 4, 2015

Dr. Carson's Snake Oil

One of the so-called “gotcha” questions Carl Quintanilla asked Dr. Ben Carson on CNBC’s October 28th reality show was about his involvement with Mannatech, a shady medical supplement company. “I didn’t have an involvement with them,” the candidate replied. “That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda,” the Doc harrumphed. A great media moment, but denying a verifiable fact is never a good long-term strategy.

Ten months before the debate, Jim Geraghty of the National Review described Ben Carson’s decade-long relationship with the purveyor of unproven “neutraceutical” nostrums, a firm that paid $4 million to settle a false medical claims suit, a firm thouroughly discredited in a 2007 ABC 20/20 investigation.

So Mr. Quintanilla’s debate question should have come as no surprise. Ben Carson shilled for Mannatech on PBS in 2014 and The Wall Street Journal‘s Mark Maremont had outlined Dr. Carson’s decade-long relationship with Mannatech just weeks before the CNBC event.

Since the debate, has Dr. Carson addressed the fact that for 10 years he promoted medical hokum for money? No. He tried to sidestep the issue of his personal and professional ethics by blaming his political opponents for raising this controversy, another clear falsehood. So much for the moral high ground.

More:

“What Ben Carson’s Mannatech Answer Tells Us,” Jim Geraghty, National Review

“Springtime for Grifters,”New York Times

_________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-mpg

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Donald Trump, Promise Keeper

September 6, 2015

Donald Trump, Promise Keeper

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump signed a loyalty pledge that he will support the official Republican Party presidential candidate and, if it’s not himself, he won’t run as a third-party candidate. Party loyalty means a lot to former long-time Democrat Trump, and a signed contract like that is surely sacred and binding to a man with three marriages and four bankruptcies.

And don’t worry, he’ll really get around to learning about foreign policy after his inauguration. It’s a promise.

More:

“Donald Trump’s empty loyalty vow: Man with three marriages, four bankruptcies reportedly pledging fidelity to GOP,” Joan Walsh, Salon

“Is Trump’s Republican Loyalty Oath Legally Enforceable?” Jacob Gershman, Wall Street Journal Law Blog

“Will the real Donald Trump please stand up?” Timothy Noah, Politico

(more…)

Psychology Association: Okay, We’ll Stop Helping Torturers

August 8, 2015

Psychology Association: Okay, We'll Stop Helping Torturers

“The American Psychological Association voted Friday in favor of a resolution that would bar its members from participating in national security interrogations.

The resolution by the country’s largest professional organization of psychologists passed overwhelmingly. The only dissenting vote came from Col. Larry James, a former Army intelligence psychologist at Guantanamo.”

— “Psychology Group Votes To Ban Members From Taking Part In Interrogations,” Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News

“The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist … and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board. Mr. Behnke did not respond to a request for comment.”

— “Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds,” James Risen, New York Times

Related:

“Larry James,” Center for Torture Accountability

“US torture report: psychologists should no longer aid military, group says,” Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

(more…)

Honest Abe Schock Says Farewell

March 27, 2015

Honest Abe Schock Says Farewell

Disgraced Congressman Aaron Schock (R, IL-18), who resigned to forestall an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation, compared himself to Abraham Lincoln in a farewell speech on the House floor on Thursday:

“Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term. But few faced as many defeats in his personal business and public life as he did. His continual perseverance in the face of these trials, never giving up, is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life.”

Of course President Lincoln didn’t have the FBI and a grand jury investigating his possible misuse of campaign funds and taxpayer dollars.

Congressman Schock’s resignation is effective March 31st. He will be returning to his humble log cabin somewhere in the wilds of Illinois. Near a golf course, perhaps.

Related:

“Aaron Schock leaving Congress with $3.3M in campaign funds,” Chicago Tribune

“Ex-Schock aide dishes to FBI,” Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, Politico

____________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l74

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

Bread Bags Full of Government Cash

January 23, 2015

Bread Bags Full of Government Cash

Montgomery County, Iowa is know as the site of the Villisca Axe Murders and as the childhood home of Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA). On Tuesday, in a recycled campaign speech mislabeled as a State of the Union Response, Senator Ernst explained that when it rained she and other Iowa school kids wore plastic bread bags over their shoes as galoshes, an example of Hawkeye State thrift and self-sufficiency.

But Ms. Ernst’s family may have paid for their Wonder Bread with money from the federal government. Her Uncle Dallas got a bushel full of agricultural subsidies, $370,000, and her Grandpa got $57,479. And while her Poppa pocketed a mere $38,395 in USDA corn subsidies and conservation payments, he landed $215,665 in building contracts from the Montgomery County Government during the years when daughter Joni was the County Auditor.

So much for pork-busting, honesty, and good government. Joni Ernst should be right at home at the slop trough that is the U.S. Senate.

Related:

“GOP Response: The Breadbags of Empathy,” Paul Waldman, The American Prospect

_________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kNS

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Pope Francis Attacks ‘Idolatry of Money’

November 26, 2013

Pope Francis Attacks 'Idolatry of Money'

“Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny’, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in the first major work he has authored alone as pontiff.

The 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation, amounted to an official platform for his papacy, building on views he has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.

In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the ‘idolatry of money’ and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens ‘dignified work, education and healthcare’.

He also called on rich people to share their wealth. ‘Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,’ Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday.”

— “Pope Francis ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ Calls For Renewal Of Roman Catholic Church, Attacks ‘Idolatry Of Money.'” Naomi O’Leary, Reuters via Huffington Post [link added]

(more…)