Politics: Morality/Integrity (Personal)
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Oct 15, 2012 Do facts matter?
QUOTE: it is not clear what impact the fact checkers are having on the public at large or, nearly as important, on the politicians. They keep laying out the facts and the politicians keep stretching the truth. There is little evidence that the public is outraged by any of the revelations nor that it has any real influence on how the politicians conduct themselves...
CNN (Cable News Network) Aug 01, 2012 Where the Money Lives
QUOTE: For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.
Vanity Fair Jan 26, 2012 Gingrich Stuck to Caustic Path in Ethics Battles
QUOTE: Mr. Gingrich, Democrats and Republicans here agree, emerged as one of Washington’s most aggressive practitioners of slash-and-burn politics; many fault him for erasing whatever civility once existed in the capital. He believed, and preached, that harsh language could win elections; in 1990, the political action committee he ran, Gopac, instructed Republican candidates to learn to “speak like Newt,” and offered a list of words to describe Democrats — like decay, traitors, radical, sick, destroy, pathetic, corrupt and shame. Those same qualities are now on display as Mr. Gingrich, a Republican candidate for president, turns his caustic tongue against Republicans and Democrats alike.
New York Times Dec 11, 2011 How to Fix Fact-Checking
QUOTE: The Standard piece offers up some genuine examples of faulty fact-checking in service of its tendentious argument. The problem with fact-checking is not that it’s a liberal media plot. The problem is that fact-checking – like everything – is sometimes a lazy, half-assed business.
Forbes Nov 29, 2011 How to Free Congress’s Mind (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: Institutional reforms themselves require a change in the mind-sets of our political leaders, and they will not happen without compromise. Either legislators adopt a compromising attitude, in which case the reforms are not essential, or they do not adopt it, in which case they will not be able to agree on the reforms. There is no deus ex machina that will save Congress from itself.
New York Times Sep 04, 2011 Ex-Premier Faces Charges for Iceland’s Fiscal Woes
QUOTE: The dust from Iceland’s spectacular financial disaster — the failure of its three biggest banks and then the collapse of its economy in the fall of 2008 — had barely begun to settle when the country set about finding someone to blame... it is pursuing criminal charges against a politician, former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, for his government’s failure to avert the catastrophe.
New York Times May 21, 2011 'Shoe leather' leads to Schwarzenegger's secret son
QUOTE: Schwarzenegger's quick admission was surprising, perhaps, considering the history of the newspaper, the former governor and allegations of his misbehavior involving women.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 16, 2011 Questions Raised About a Code of Silence
QUOTE: the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is once again challenging the assumption that the private lives of the rich, famous and powerful are off limits to public scrutiny. That the most serious accusation against Mr. Strauss-Kahn is attempted rape, and not just an indiscretion involving a consensual sexual relationship, only adds to a sense on the part of some people in France that the curtain of privacy needs to be lifted.
New York Times Mar 10, 2011 Dumbing Deficits Down
QUOTE: [Republicans] claim to care deeply about deficits — but they’ve spent the past two years putting cynical, demagogic attacks on any attempt to actually deal with long-run deficits at the heart of their campaign strategy.
New York Times Jan 11, 2011 Tucson shootings don't quell debate over political rhetoric
QUOTE: Across the ideological spectrum, officials and activists agreed after Saturday's Tucson killings that it was time to soften the harsh edges of America's raucous national dialogue. But by Monday, a bitter debate had erupted over how to do it - and on whose terms.
Washington Post May 25, 2010 Rep. James Moran's investments illustrate Congress's leeway in trading
QUOTE: Long-standing congressional ethics rules allow almost any kind of trading and investment, subject in general to the judgment of individual lawmakers. Those rules also allow spouses to have jobs in areas that touch on a lawmaker's activity or investments. Moreover, lawmakers are not required to abstain from voting or divest themselves of stock when most potential conflicts arise.
Washington Post Oct 17, 2009 Congressional Ethics Inquiries Drag on, Despite Vows to End Corruption
QUOTE: The record illustrates how Congress has struggled to police itself after years in which its ethics committees were often derided as ineffectual.
New York Times Jul 26, 2009 In New Jersey, Ideal Conditions for Corruption
QUOTE: As 44 people walked before cameras last week, their hands in cuffs, after they were arrested in the state’s biggest corruption scandal in years — but not, to be sure, that many years — even their most scandal-fatigued constituents, from the gritty precincts of Journal Square in Jersey City to the glittering new condominiums on the Hudson in Hoboken, began to wonder: Why is New Jersey so unshakably corrupt?
New York Times Jul 08, 2009 Justice Dept. Whistle-Blower in Alabama Case Is Fired
QUOTE: A Department of Justice whistle-blower who accused prosecutors of misconduct in the closely watched federal corruption trial of former Gov. Donald E. Siegelman of Alabama has been fired, and claims retaliation is the reason.
New York Times May 23, 2009 In Going After Pelosi, Gingrich Is Merely Squaring the Circle
QUOTE: Now, the Pelosi-Gingrich relationship has become one of more interesting subtexts of the furor.... rekindling the tension between the two and underscoring how in recent years both parties have waged war against the House speaker to advance their political goals.
New York Times Nov 18, 2008 Protests Over a Rule to Protect Health Providers
QUOTE: A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job discrimination laws.
New York Times Nov 15, 2008 In Transition, Tangle of Ties to Lobbying
QUOTE: President-elect Barack Obama has imposed stricter conflict-of-interest restrictions on his White House transition team than any president before him. But a list of transition team members that his office made public on Friday includes a complicated tangle of ties to private influence-seekers.
New York Times Oct 23, 2008 Commentary: For women in public eye, looks matter
QUOTE: here is an incredible double-standard here....There has been plenty of talk and plenty written about Sarah Palin's jackets, her hair and her looks...Compare that with the attention given to Sen. Barack Obama's $1,500 suits or Sen. John McCain's $520 Ferragamo shoes.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 19, 2008 Many Holes in Disclosure of Nominees’ Health
QUOTE: Fifteen days before the election, serious gaps remain in the public’s knowledge about the health of the presidential and vice-presidential nominees. The limited information provided by the candidates is a striking departure from recent campaigns, in which many candidates and their doctors were more forthcoming.
New York Times Oct 06, 2008 Obama highlights McCain scandal
QUOTE: US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has attacked John McCain's links to a 1980s financial scandal.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Sep 14, 2008 Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes
QUOTE: Ms. Palin walks the national stage as a small-town foe of “good old boy” politics and a champion of ethics reform....But an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics — she sometimes calls local opponents “haters” — contrasts with her carefully crafted public image.
New York Times Sep 02, 2008 The Caucus: Talk Radio Host Slams Media on Palin Coverage
QUOTE: “The American media has hit a new low in tabloid journalism,” he declared. “They’ve taken a 17-year-old girl and they are trying to use the crisis pregnancy she finds herself in as a battering ram, a club, to damage her mother, her family. It’s outrageous. It’s tabloid journalism and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
New York Times Sep 02, 2008 A New Twist in the Debate on Mothers
QUOTE: as mothers across the country supervise the season’s final water fights and pack book bags, some have voiced the kind of doubts that few male pundits have dared raise on television. With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try.
New York Times Aug 08, 2008 Dirty Politics in the Internet Age
QUOTE: Hence, the Net can be used to create a smear campaign and augment a questionable series of more formal assertions like the Swift Boat campaign used against John Kerry. This can be done by the public at large, and neither party really has an advantage. The key to success in the upcoming election will be home-brewed dirty tricks—all played out on the Internet.
PC Magazine Aug 01, 2008 McCain Camp Says Obama Is Playing ‘Race Card’
QUOTE: Senator John McCain’s campaign accused Senator Barack Obama on Thursday of playing “the race card,” citing his remarks that Republicans would try to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”
New York Times Jun 24, 2008 Evangelist accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible
QUOTE: In comments aired on his radio show Tuesday, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for comments he made in a June 2006 speech to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal. In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 19, 2008 Leave the Wives Alone, Candidates Say (The Caucus)
QUOTE: “I think families are off limits,” Mr. Obama said, speaking in Taylor, Mich. “I would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue. And if I saw people doing it, I would speak out against it. The fact that I haven’t seen that from John McCain is, I think, a deep disappointment.”
New York Times Jun 19, 2008 McCain attacks Obama for opting out of public financing
QUOTE: Obama told supporters in an e-mail message Thursday that he would not accept about $85 million in public funds when he becomes the Democratic presidential nominee...McCain said that Obama's move to drop out of the system "should be disturbing to all Americans" and that he may decide to opt out, too.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 25, 2008 Clinton Defends RFK Remarks (The Caucus)
QUOTE: Mrs. Clinton wrote a long letter to The Daily News in New York, which was printed in the news pages and in which Mrs. Clinton said her remarks were taken entirely out of context. And her aides said on Sunday that the campaign of Senator Barack Obama was partly responsible for fanning the flames.
New York Times Apr 20, 2008 Ethics Law Isn’t Without Its Loopholes
QUOTE: Starting Monday, Washington lobbyists must file detailed quarterly reports of their activities...But even as they try to figure out what the law requires, lobbyists are working to preserve the access and influence they have in Congress and at federal agencies.
New York Times Mar 12, 2008 House Creates New Panel On Ethics
QUOTE: The House last night approved one of the most significant changes to its ethics rules in decades, creating for the first time an independent panel empowered to initiate investigations of alleged misconduct by members of the chamber.
Washington Post Mar 11, 2008 Politics, and Scandal, as Usual
QUOTE: Sexual missteps among politicians are nothing peculiar to the United States...But they seem to reach more absurdist proportions in this country, and have almost the quality of a catch-me-if-you-can game at a time when private borders have gotten extremely porous.
New York Times Feb 23, 2008 The Nation: Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Speech
QUOTE: When professional writers borrow words without attribution, they’re frequently censured, sometimes fiercely. It’s natural, however, that when politicians do something similar — and particularly when the words are spoken — they are forgiven.
New York Times Feb 17, 2008 Play the Race Card At Your Own Peril
QUOTE: ...today's race-baiting tactics do more than just tap into preexisting racial animosity: They actually create and inflame it. And this in turn creates a problem that can last long after the election is over.
Washington Post Jan 29, 2008 Looking Anew at Campaign Cash and Elected Judges
QUOTE: Vernon Valentine Palmer, a law professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, could not understand how justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court could routinely hear cases involving people who had given them campaign contributions. It seemed to him a raw and simple conflict of interest.
New York Times Jan 09, 2008 Watchdog FEC sidelined as elections roll: The Federal Election Commission has vacancies in four of six seats and it hasn't acted on a new ethics law.
QUOTE: In an election where spending is already on track to exceed $5 billion, even small ambiguities in the law can shift vast sums of money...without FEC action, a new federal ethics law requiring the disclosure of so-called "bundled" contributions, may not take effect in time to influence the 2008 election cycle.
Christian Science Monitor Dec 28, 2007 Too much religion on campaign trail? Candor about faith marks this presidential election season. Critics say a line is being crossed.
QUOTE: Presidential candidates of both parties have talked more openly about their religious beliefs this year than in elections past, lifting a window on some of the values that could shape their decisions in the Oval Office. But the political benefits of such candor are not always clear in a country where most Republicans and Democrats believe in separation of church and state.
Christian Science Monitor Nov 05, 2007 Different Rules When a Rival Is a Woman?
QUOTE: In a campaign in which a woman is leading the Democratic field, it was perhaps inevitable that the question would arise: would or should she be treated any differently from her rivals? The situation is that much more complicated given that second place in most polls goes to Mr. Obama, who is black. It means that both race and sex have been added to the mix of substance and imagery that makes up presidential politics.
New York Times Oct 06, 2007 Law on Lies by Politicians Is Found Unconstitutional
QUOTE: More than a dozen states have laws that make it unlawful to say false things about political candidates. The laws are, in practice, mainly aspirational. By a 5-to-4 vote on Thursday, the Washington Supreme Court added that the law in that state was also unconstitutional.
New York Times Oct 05, 2007 Clinton Says She Would Shield Science From Politics
QUOTE: The Bush White House has been dogged by complaints from scientists in and out of government, including some of its own appointees, that it has ignored, contorted or suppressed work by government scientists if they contradict administration views, particularly in areas like climate.
New York Times Sep 24, 2007 Giuliani's Rhetoric on Terror Contrasts With His Record
QUOTE: for most of Giuliani's career as a Department of Justice official, prosecutor and New York's chief executive, terrorism was a narrow aspect of his broader crime-fighting agenda, which was dominated by drug dealers, white-collar criminals and the Mafia. Giuliani expressed confidence that Islamic extremism could be contained through vigorous investigation by law enforcement agencies and prosecution in the court system -- the same approach he now condemns.
Washington Post Sep 11, 2007 Democrats See Politics in a Governor's Jailing
QUOTE: House leaders are beginning an investigation this week of the prosecution of Don Siegelman, the former Democratic governor of Alabama who was imprisoned in June on federal corruption charges. The case could become the centerpiece of a Democratic effort to show that the Justice Department engaged in political prosecutions.
New York Times Sep 06, 2007 The Psychology of Hypocrisy
QUOTE: As psychologists Jamie Barden of Howard University, Derek Rucker of Northwestern and Richard Petty of Ohio State have shown, we often use a simple temporal cue to distinguish between the weak and the hypocritical: if you say one thing and then do another, you are much less likely to be forgiven than if you do one thing and then say another.
Time Magazine Sep 03, 2007 When Controversy Follows Cash: Some Fundraisers With Legal Issues Slip Through Campaigns' Vetting
QUOTE: Sant S. Chatwal, an Indian American businessman, has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaigns, even as he battled governments on two continents to escape bankruptcy and millions of dollars in tax liens.
Washington Post Aug 31, 2007 Democratic Donor Turns Himself In
QUOTE: Investigators believe that after Mr. Hsu skipped his court appearance in 1992, he went to his native Hong Kong and then continued working in the garment trade. At some point, Mr. Hsu, a naturalized American citizen, returned to New York and in 2003 made the first of what became hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democratic campaigns around the nation.
New York Times Aug 28, 2007 Off the Books
QUOTE: Early reports suggest that George W. Bush plans to raise roughly $500 million for his presidential library, which will likely be based at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and possibly include a public-policy institute. According to The New York Daily News, "Bush loyalists have already identified wealthy heiresses, Arab nations, and captains of industry as mega' donors." It's a strange wrinkle in the law: The president can raise half a billion dollars--even while he's still in office--without any obligation to disclose any of it.
New Republic, The (TNR) Aug 17, 2007 Death Grip: How Political Psychology Explains Bush's Ghastly Success.
QUOTE: the mere thought of one's mortality can trigger a range of emotions--from disdain for other races, religions, and nations, to a preference for charismatic over pragmatic leaders, to a heightened attraction to traditional mores....Barring another assault on American soil, the moment of September 11--and the reminder of mortality that it brought--may well have passed. And with it, too, the ascendancy of politicians who exploited the fear of death that lies within us all.
New Republic, The (TNR) Aug 15, 2007 Candidate Uses Justification That He Once Criticized: Romney and Blind Trusts
QUOTE: Now that the assets of his blind trusts are public, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing lots of questions about where he made his recent millions...
Washington Post Jul 29, 2007 Bush Aide Blocked Report: Global Health Draft In 2006 Rejected for Not Being Political
QUOTE: A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments...
Washington Post Jul 25, 2007 N.Y. Governor Moves to Limit Ethics Scandal: Aides Used Police Against Rival; Spitzer's Bid for Albany Reforms May Suffer
QUOTE: Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer of New York sought Tuesday to stem the fallout from a report by the state attorney general indicating that his aides had wrongly used police assistance to plant a damaging newspaper article about his chief rival, state Sen. Joseph L. Bruno.
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