Sunday, February 26, 2017

A few things that have been happening

1.  Former Secretary of Labor in Obama's cabinet, Tom Perez, has been elected as Chair of the Democratic National Committee.   He immediately named Keith Ellison, the man he narrowly defeated, as deputy chair.   This became a hotly contested election, being seen by many as a proxy election for the Bernie Sanders progressive wing vs the establishment Democrats.    President Obama had endorsed Perez, while Ellison was clearly the choice of the Sanders' progressives.

However, that was not so much the way the general membership of the DNC saw it.   Both men are considered liberal and have similar positions on issues.   It's more a question of uniting the party and having a vigorous grass roots, 50 state effort to elect Democrats at the local level, as well as Congress.

2.  President Trump continues his war on the media.   He continues to rail about leaks and journalists' use of "unidentified sources," insisting that this is not good journalism -- at the same time that he rattles off fake news himself that he picked up from someone's Twitter or talk radio without any source, named or not.   Now he has announced (by Twitter, of course) that he will not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner.

3.  Who would of thought Bernie Sanders was a Twitter troll.   Well, not exactly, but he used the president's favorite means of communication to shut him down -- with four words.   Trump had tweeted:  "Maybe the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN should have their own rally.  It would be the biggest of them all."

To which Sanders replied:  "They did.  It wasn't."   And then he included a copy of the side-by-side comparison pix of the Washington crowds -- (1) at Trump's inauguration and (2) the Women's March the next day.   Notably the women outnumbered Trump's crowd many times over.

4.   Anti-Muslim hate crimes are spiking all over the country (and Trump bears a lot of responsibility for it, IMHO).   There has also been a spike in anti-Semitic violence, although those have been against synagogues or Jewish Community Centers, not violence against people as some of the anti-Muslim attacks have been   Yet Trump has not commented about it.   Daughter Ivanka sent out a twitter message calling for religious tolerance.   She probably didn't expect the response she got:    in large numbers, people wrote back with some version of "Please tell that to your Dad."

5.  A group of 15 law professors has filed an ethics complaint against fellow lawyer Kellyanne Conway for "professional misconduct."  They cite her repeated lies and ethics breaches in defending the president's statements and actions, as well as her touting of "alternate facts" as an explanation of the lies.  They forcefully assert that "alternate facts" are not facts;  they are lies."   The professors also cite Conway's promotion of the commercial products for sale by the president's daughter, which they say is "a clear violation of government ethics, rules, which a lawyer and a member of the bar should surely know."   They conclude that her conduct, "clearly violative of the rules that regulate her professional status, cries out for sanctioning" by the bar.

They seem to be saying that a lawyer, even when she is not functioning in the role of a lawyer, is held to a different standard than an ordinary citizen.   We should be clear that they are not talking about a criminal act, but about a sanctioning by the legal profession.  I'm not unhappy to see Conway get her come-uppance, but I'm a little surprised by this reasoning.    So the president, not being a lawyer, can lie;  but his spokeswoman, who is a lawyer, cannot repeat those same lies?   Hmmm.


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