As the Empire implodes, the level of hypocrisy in all facets of life just gets higher and higher (or, as the late Hunter would say; weirder and weirder.)
First off, how could one top a White House sending some 3000 underlings to a one-hour “refresher” course on ethics? An administration that began way back with the 1994 smearing of Texas Governor Anne Richards (“she’s a closet Lesbian”), then went national with the GOP Primary smearing of Sen. John McCain (“he fathered a black child”) and now has been caught clumsily smearing Ambassador Joe Wilson (“his wife sent him”) who exposed the WMD lies that were used to justify the attack on a defenseless country in the pursuit of oil and world domination.
And, just who is the ethics expert who is leading the short course? He’s Richard Painter, the very guy who vetted Bernard Kerik for the top position at Homeland Security. Painter gave Kerik the Ethical Seal of Approval. Shortly thereafter, once Bush nominated Kerik, the real vetting began. Kerik quickly withdrew admitting he had hired an “illegal nanny,” the same offense that did in Clinton Attorney general nominee Zoë Baird and Bush’s prior nomination of Linda Chavez as Secretary of Labor.
Soon, it came out that the nanny was the least of Kerik’s offenses. He was quickly shown to have an outstanding arrest warrant; was involved in insider trading when he sold off major shares of Taser International just before the Amnesty International report on the lethality of the stun guns Taser manufactured came out; was engaged in two simultaneous extramarital affairs, including one with his publisher — said trysts conducted in an apartment donated to 9/11 rescue workers; and numerous violations of ethics rules covering gifts. All that got by Bush’s top ethics attorney and the refresher course instructor.
But then, it was Painter’s defense of the Cheney/Scalia duck hunt that got him the job in the first place. The ethics champion concluded in that one: “There is no flat prohibition between a litigant and a judge in a purely social setting.”
No matter that the litigation was the attempt to pry out the list of industry representatives that Cheney met with when the administration came up with “its” Energy Policy.
Next we come to the amazing story of how the IRS is bullying Pasadena California’s All Saints Episcopal Church. Seems in an Oct 31, 2004 guest sermon former rector Rev. George F. Regas exposited a very Christian view on such things as unprovoked war and tax cuts for the wealthy.
He never told the parishioners how to vote or whom to vote for, unlike the many Evangelical pastors who have railed from the pulpit and have specifically praised Bush and even told folks that they “would go to hell” for voting for Kerry. Nonetheless, the IRS sent All Saints a letter stating: “a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church ”
Recently, Evangelical pastors have been breaking with Bush over his “abandonment of Israel.” In this case, worshippers are forced to watch video of the poor “settlers” being ousted from their homes in Gaza while Bush is decried for allowing it to happen.
And, finally, from the world of sports — a fertile ground for hypocrisy if there ever was one.
Two NFL cheerleaders — Renee Thomas, 20, of Pittsboro, N.C., and Angela Keathley, 26, of Belmont, N.C. — were fired by the Carolina Panthers due to their arrests for Disorderly Conduct, Battery and Resisting Arrest after they were caught up in a brawl brought on by their hogging the use of the ladies’ room at a Tampa bar last Sunday morning. While the two were engaging in consensual sex in the restroom, other full-bladdered women began to object. A fight ensued; the cheerleaders were arrested; and now have been fired for “conduct embarrassing the team.”
Of course, no one in the NFL seems embarrassed by the annual Bud Bowl wherein bikini-clad women mud-wrestle their way through a faux football game during the Super Bowl half-time. Nor is there any movement away from the obligatory “jiggle shots” of the very same cheerleaders prancing the sidelines every Sunday.
The cheerleaders embarrassing antics occurred a month to the day after members of the Minnesota Vikings NFL team chartered two party boats which went out on Lake Minnetonka where they conducted a wild sex party. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper, along with sixteen teammates flew prostitutes in from Atlanta and Florida (a federal offense under the oppressive Mann Act) and conducted a series of sexual acts with them.
To date, not one Viking has been suspended, much less fired. While Thomas and Keathley clearly got drunk and carried away — failing the Pee Wee Herman test (get a motel room, ferchrissakes!) — and committed the serious offense of delaying folks who need to relieve themselves, perhaps it will all work out for the cheerleaders and the Vikings can outbid Larry Flynt and pick them up for a couple fourth round draft picks.
MICHAEL DONNELLY has never had sex in a bathroom or in a charity apartment, been duck hunting or hired a nanny. Though so deprived, he knows a double standard when he sees one.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org