Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Affirmative Action for the Privileged Rich

November 18, 2021

Affirmative Action for the Privileged Rich

The admittance rate for Harvard’s class of 2025 was 3.43%, the lowest ever . . . except for “ALDCs”athletes, “legacies” (children of Harvard alums), “dean’s interest list” (children of rich donors) and children of Harvard faculty and employees (“fac brats“). Naturally these offspring of the school’s “Old Boy’s Club” are largely White:

.”.. 43% of Harvard’s white students are either recruited athletes, legacy students, on the dean’s interest list (their parents have donated to the school) or children of faculty and staff …. The kicker? Roughly three-quarters of these applicants would have been rejected if it weren’t for having rich or Harvard-connected parents or being an athlete.”

— “Turns out, Harvard students aren’t that smart after all,” Tayo Bero, The Guardian

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Image (“Harvard Legacy Admissions”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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13 Trump Officals Violated the Hatch Act in 2020

November 10, 2021

13 Trump Aides Violated the Hatch Act in 2020

The federal Office of Special Counsel has found that 13 high-level Trump Administration officals illegally used their government positions for political activities, campaigning for Donald Trump in the 2020 election. In addition to frequent offender Kellyanne Conway (previously caught in 2018 and 2019), the high-level officials include Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, his acting homeland security chief Chad Wolf, his Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, Secretary of Everything Jared Kushner, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House adviser Stephen Miller, White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern, Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, White House communications director Alyssa Farah, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

The Hatch Act is designed to prevent government officials from using their offices for political purposes, but as the OSC report observes, “the Hatch Act is only as effective as the White House decides it will be. Where, as happened here, the White House chooses to ignore the Hatch Act’s requirements, then the American public is left with no protection against senior administration officials using their official authority for partisan political gain in violation of the law.”

Read the full OSC report here.

More:

“Probe finds Trump officials repeatedly violated Hatch Act,” Jill Colvin, Associated Press

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Trump’s Child Detention Program

November 18, 2020

Trump's Child Detention Program

“When U.S. Customs and Border Protection holds migrant children in custody, the child’s detention is supposed to be safe and short. That’s true whether the child is with a parent or without one.

But new data shows that over the last four years, detention times lengthened as the number of children held at the border soared to almost half a million. The detentions, which include both unaccompanied children and children with their families, peaked last year at over 300,000, with 40 percent held longer than the 72-hour limit set by a patchwork of legislation and a court settlement.”

— “500,000 Kids, 30 Million Hours: Trump’s Vast Expansion of Child Detention,” Anna Flagg and Andrew R. Calderón, The Marshall Project

Related:

“Judge blocks border officials from expelling unaccompanied migrant children,” Stef W. Kight, Axios

“White House killed deal to pay for mental health care for migrant families separated at border,”  Jacob Soboroff, Julia Ainsley and Geoff Bennett, NBC News

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The Lingering Shame of Sharpiegate

June 17, 2020

The Lingering Shame of Sharpiegate

Remember last year’s Sharpiegate? President Trump doctored an NWS weather map to back up his false assertion that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama, was corrected by Birmingham’s Weather Service office, and then a NOAA press release claimed the president was right. There’s something new:

“Top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration violated the agency’s scientific integrity rules when they debased themselves to back up Donald Trump’s incorrect assertion that Hurricane Dorian could strike Alabama last year, an internal investigation has shown. Regardless, everyone involved appears to be bound to get off scot-free.”

— “Report: NOAA Officials Behind #Sharpiegate Violated Integrity Policies, Won’t Face Consequences Though,” Tom McKay, Gizmodo

Those lying NOAA officials are Acting Administrator Neil Jacobs (formerly of Panasonic) and Communications Director Julie Kay Roberts, who worked on Trump’s Inaugural Committee. They still hold those NOAA jobs, and the 2020 hurricane season has begun.

More:

“NOAA leaders violated agency’s scientific integrity policy, Hurricane Dorian ‘Sharpiegate’ investigation finds,” Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, Washington Post

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

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Migrant Child Detention Center Operator Cancels Trump Golf Club Holiday Party

November 27, 2019

Migrant Child Detention Center Operator Cancels Trump Golf Club Holiday Party

Caliburn International, a federal contractor making billions from imprisoning immigrant children, has canceled its planned holiday party at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia after the event became public knowlege and conflict-of-interest questions were raised. It wasn’t a party for the migrant kids, mind you, just their taxpayer-funded jailers.

Happy holidays.

More:

“Contractor that holds migrant children scraps plans for holiday party at Trump golf club,” Graham Kates, CBS News

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

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Vatican TED Talk

November 5, 2019

“Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the ‘other’ is not a statistic, or a number. We all need each other.” – His Holiness Pope Francis @TED.

18 minutes.

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Doral Golf: Trump Whiffs on G7

October 22, 2019

Doral Golf: Trump Whiffs on G7

U.S. President, hotelier, and celebrity golf cheat Donald Trump wanted the 2020 G7 meeting held at the Trump National Doral resort in Florida, but it’s not happening. For some reason people thought holding the June meeting at Trump-owned Doral (“Come for the golf, stay for the Zika“) reeked of self-dealing just because it certainly does. It would also violate the Constitution.

Mr. Trump may think the “G” in G7 stands for “golf,” but it’s the Group of Seven finance summit. Speaking of finance, the Doral could have used the money. During the Trump presidency its net operating income fell 69%, and the Doral’s debts are international, since it was financed through loans from Deutsche Bank. The president nixed consideration of the enviroment during the 2020 G7 meeting, but there’s an environmental issue at Doral. The swimming pools haven’t been inspected in the past year.

More:

“Trump Dismisses Doral Criticism: ‘You People With This Phony Emoluments Clause,’” Julia Arciga, Daily Beast

“Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year’s G-7 summit, bowing to criticism,” Philip Rucker and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

Related:

“Trump’s G7 and trade adviser Kelly Ann Shaw departing the White House,” Rebecca Falconer, Axios

Updates:

“Trump’s Doral resort was added as possible G-7 site at last minute, secret service email reveals,” Eileen AJ Connelly, New York Post

“RNC to hold winter meetings at Trump resort that was considered for G-7 summit,” David A. Fahrenthold and Michael Scherer,  Washington Post

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Top image (“President Trump Addresses the Issues”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump: Over 13,000 Lies in 993 Days

October 15, 2019

Trump: Over 13,000 Lies in 993 Days

“As President Trump approaches his 1,000th day in office Wednesday, he has significantly stepped up his pace of spouting exaggerated numbers, unwarranted boasts and outright falsehoods.

As of Oct. 9, his 993rd day in office, he had made 13,435 false or misleading claims ….”

— “President Trump has made 13,435 false or misleading claims over 993 days,” Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Washington Post

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

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Ivanka Trump Earns Millions From a Rented Government Building

June 18, 2019

Ivanka Trump Earns Millions From a Rented Government Building

Presidential Advisor, sweatshop shmata merchant, and former runway model Ivanka Trump is also an hôtelièr, renting out rooms in a publicly-owned building her Dad’s company leases in Washington. Last year Ms. Trump earned $4 million from her hotel side-hustle.

More:

“Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $135m last year,” Bernard Condon, AP, via The Guardian

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Top image (Ivanka’s book-like object) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

June 13, 2019
Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

   GUILTY OF SERIAL HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to the White House on Thursday recommending that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway “be removed from federal service” for repeatedly using her official position for political purposes, violations of the Hatch Act:

“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”

“Nyah, nyah, nyah,” responded Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves. The OSC does not have legal authority to remove a presidential appointee like Ms. Conway, but would have booted a career federal official long before this point. OSC had reprimanded Ms. Kelly over ethics concerns starting in 2017, and for multiple Hatch Act violations in 2018 and 2019. The Special Counsel of OSC is Trump-nominated investigator Henry Kerner. During the first year of the Trump Administration, Hatch Act violation compliants to the OSC rose 30 percent.

Attention lawyers: How many public ethics violations does an attorney need to commit before she’s disbarred?

More:

“Special counsel: Kellyanne Conway violated Hatch Act, should be removed,” Nicholas Sakelaris, UPI

“Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired For Violating Ethics Law, Oversight Office Says,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

“Federal agency recommends that Kellyanne Conway be removed from service,” Anita Kumar, Politico

“Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act,” Felicia Sonmez, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Trump says he won’t fire Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations,” John Wagner and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post

“Nobody Will Need To Respect The Rule Of Law After The Trump Administration,” Elie Mystal, Above The Law

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