Recent Commentaries

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What Would Philip Do?
I’ve been bothered lately, not just by the recklessness by certain members of Congress, but by the blatancy of it all. Florida Representative Tim Mahoney defiantly telling reporters that the issue of extramarital affairs he had while in office is a “private matter.” Louisiana Representative William Jefferson indicted on 16 corruption-related charges, unashamedly telling constituents that, in spite of $90,000...
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October 31, 2008
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On Tuesday I noted that in spite of being convicted on all seven counts of corruption, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens said that he would not step down from office. One of the questions I asked was, “Whose interests is [Stevens] really serving?” Answer:  Clearly his own. Now comes word that the Alaska G.O.P. is urging state voters to stand behind...
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October 29, 2008
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Do The Right Thing
“The worst that can happen to us is we run up a bunch of legal fees, and might lose and we might have to pay a fine, might have to serve some time in jail. I hope to Christ it never gets to that…. I don’t think we have done anything wrong.” So said Alaska Senator Ted Stevens in a...
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October 28, 2008
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Lawnmower Man, Part II
Last week, I told you about a reader and homeowner who had written describing how a couple of teenagers in their area had defaulted on their promise to cut the lawn of the property owner in a professional and reliable way. At one point, the homeowners were so disappointed they cancelled the service.  However, the teen returned and, without authorization,...
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October 27, 2008
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I’m Shocked, Shocked…
“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief.” So said a somber-faced (but he always looks that way) Alan Greenspan as he testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Remind you of anyone? Now I’m not suggesting that the former Fed...
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October 24, 2008
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Lawnmower Man
“When is it ethical to ask for pay for work not done, done poorly, and work not authorized?” That was a recent question sent to me by a reader.  Here are the specifics behind the question: “We are out-of-state homeowners that have hired teenagers on two occasions for shoveling snow and mowing. “In each case, the teenager did the work...
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October 22, 2008
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Dave, My Plumber
There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about Joe the plumber. His name is Joe Wurzelbacher, and last week he stopped Senator Obama to complain about taxes.  Apparently, he doesn’t seem to care much for Mr. Obama’s tax plan.  Needless to say, this worked in favor of Senator McCain. In fact, both candidates mentioned Joe the plumber...
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October 20, 2008
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Transparency and Accountability
“The contractors are making a killing.  The lobbyists are getting their fees… Everybody is making money here — except us.” So said Army Space and Missile Defense engineer Michael Cantrell when speaking about his kickback scheme from vendors who do business with the government. The New York Times reported (Oct. 12) that Cantrell “…along with his deputy, Doug Ennis, had...
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October 17, 2008
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What’s in Florida’s Drinking Water?
For those of you tuning in late to Florida politics: Republican Congressman Mark Foley resigned in 2006 after reports that he sent sexually explicit e-mails to former male congressional pages. Now, word comes that Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney, the man elected to replace Foley, has, himself, been involved in a sexual liaison with a staffer.  Moreover, the Washington Post reported that Mahoney...
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October 15, 2008
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October 2008 Ethical Hero – Sheriff Tom Dart
Earlier this month, Chicago Sheriff Tom Dart “…announced his office will quit carrying out evictions from mortgage foreclosures,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported, “until lenders start providing proof they have taken the necessary steps to identify who is living at an address and that those facing eviction have received proper legal notice.” In his own words, Dart defended his actions. “As...
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October 13, 2008