Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Can the Obama administration be so shamelessly unethical? The firing of Shirley Sherrod by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack

July 20, 2010

Until Monday Shirley Sherrod was a low-level political appointee working in Georgia for the Department of Agriculture. A right-wing website posted a videotape appearing to show Sherrod saying she refused help to a farmer save his farm because he was white. Fox News played it endlessly, with all the fair and balanced commentators screaming racism and demanding Sherrod’s head.

The NAACP bit and denounced Sherrod’s apparent racism, and Agriculture Tom Vilsack pushed her out—all the way out—of government employment. The White House announced that the President supported Vilsack’s decision.

As the old saying goes, it was all lies, including the words an and the. The video had been edited to turn Sherrod’s remarks 180 degrees. She had been telling her personal tale of growth out of racism. She had thought of not helping the white farmer, identified in several news reports as Roger Spooner, then realized that the issue was rich and poor, not white and black, and had gone to great lengths to help him save his farm. And the whole thing took place 24 years ago, long before she entered government service. (more…)

What’s with the Sestak case: felony, political stupidity, or bad ethics?

May 28, 2010

Ethics Bob has to comment on the Sestak case, under penalty of losing his ethicist license. First, the background.

While campaigning in the Democratic primary for the U.S. senate seat from Pennsylvania against incumbent Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter, Congressman Joe Sestak said that the Administration had offered him a big job, hinted to be Secretary of the Navy, if he would get out of the race. He wouldn’t say who made the offer, and the White House wouldn’t say anything. After winning the primary mostly because Specter kept getting confused about which party’s endorsement he was seeking, Sestak repeated the claim, then became coy about who and what, finally clamming up completely.

In the wake of a furor on all sides over a possible felony and cover-up, the White House this morning released its official review of the affair by White House Counsel Robert F. Bauer. There had been an effort, made not by the White House staff but by Bill Clinton, (haha), “to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in [uncompensated] service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board.”

The lawyer’s memo gave a traditional lawyer’s analysis:

· We didn’t do it.

· The guy who did it didn’t make an offer, he just asked a question.

· The question wasn’t about a real job, just about an unpaid advisorship.

· It was perfectly legal when he did it.

· Everybody does it. (more…)

Democrats have spoken: Lying is not disqualifying for the U.S. Senate

May 23, 2010

Connecticut Democrats took a stand Friday: they nominated Attorney General Richard Blumenthal by voice vote as their candidate for the U. S. Senate. Lying about having served in Vietnam. No problem.


Is Blumenthal sorry? Not on your life. Instead of apologizing he said, “I may have misspoken—I did misspeak on a few occasions out of hundreds, and I will not allow anyone to take a few of those misplaced words and impugn my record of service.”


Misspoken? Misspeaking is calling one grandchild by another grandchild’s name. Misspeaking is saying 2009 when you mean 2010. Misspeaking is NOT saying he served in Vietnam when he didn’t, or saying “When we came back, we were spat on; we couldn’t wear our uniforms. Those are lies.

Not a big problem for his party, however. From White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:

I have not heard anything from the (White House) political shop that would lead me to believe anything other than our continued support.” (more…)