Tag Archives: Government

Unchecked by norms or political prudence, it’s smash-and-grab time for the GOP.


Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Over the course of 2017, both in Congress and in the executive branch, we have watched the task of government devolve into the full-scale looting of America.

Politicians are making decisions to enrich their donors — and at times themselves personally — with a reckless disregard for any kind of objective policy analysis or consideration of public opinion.

A businessman president who promised — repeatedly — that he would not personally benefit from his own tax proposals is poised to sign into law a bill that’s full of provisions that benefit him and his family. Congressional Republicans who spent years insisting that “dynamic scoring” would capture the deficit-reducing power of tax cuts are now plowing ahead with a bill so fast that they don’t have time to get one done, because it turns out they can’t be bothered to meet their own targets.

Meanwhile, in the background an incredible flurry of regulatory activity is happening out of public view — much of it contrary to free market principles but all of it lucrative for big business and Trump cronies.

Throughout the 2016 campaign, the political class talked a lot about “norms” and how Donald Trump was violating them all. He brushed off fact-checkers, assailed the media, went on Twitter tirades against his critics, and dabbled in racism. Since taking office, his norm busting has spread. Members of Congress who under other circumstances might be constrained by shame, custom, or the will of their constituents have learned from Trump’s election that you can get away with more than we used to think….


Former Speaker John Boehner watches his party go upside down….

Politico does a piece on the former Speaker of the House who left because the rightwingnuts where NOT happy with his leadership….

The guy had to have been laughing after he left and Paul Ryan got dumped on….

But things have turned upside down with Donald Trump in the White House and Ryan and McConnell using the same ‘push thru’ tactics he used times TEN and Conservatism has lost what it was for him back in the day….

To outsiders, Boehner might just be the happiest man alive, a liberated retiree who spends his days swirling merlot and cackling at Speaker Paul Ryan’s misfortune. The truth is more complicated. At 67, Boehner is liberated—to say what he spent many years trying not to say; to smoke his two packs a day without undue stress; to chuckle at the latest crisis in Washington and whisper to himself those three magic words: “Not my problem.” And yet he is struggling—with the lingering perception that he was run out of Congress; with his alarm about the country’s future; and with the question of what he’s supposed to do next. After leaving office, Boehner says a longtime family friend approached him. “You’ve always had a purpose—your business, your family, politics,” the friend said. “What’s your purpose now?” Boehner says the question gnaws at him every day.

“He came to Congress wanting to burn it to the ground,” says Sommers, his former chief of staff. “And by the time he left, he was the ultimate institutionalist.”

Yet that assessment will be overshadowed by posterity’s more existential observations: that Boehner’s 25 years in Washington saw the dissolution of a party, the vandalizing of a government and the splintering of a nation. That Boehner watched as the GOP transformed from the party of George H.W. Bush into the party of Donald Trump



“Fuck Jordan. Fuck Chaffetz. They’re both assholes… Jordan was a terrorist as a legislator going back to his days in the Ohio House and Senate. A terrorist. A legislative terrorist.”

— Former Speaker John Boehner, quoted by Politico, about Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

Trouble for the 2020 US Census?

The mandated count os Americans will even more critical then it has been in the past as American continues into the 21st Centery and changes who it is….

Some want to go back to the good ole days….

But THAT is NOT what America is anymore…

It essential to know the make-up of American….Now….

The agency that performs this task needs to have the tools to do its job….

Every 10 years the government undertakes the huge logistical task of counting as many Americans as possible: who they are, and — just as important — where they are. The count is mandated in the US Constitution because it is the raw material of representative democracy: the basis for how congressional districts are drawn and redrawn as populations shift. Every census is beset by claims of miscounts and omissions; even George Washington complained that the 1790 Census undercounted the country’s total population. But the 2020 Census is already so short of cash, and so far behind its usual deadlines, that even hardened experts say a national debacle is within the realm of possibility.

Budget constraints imposed by Congress have forced the Census Bureau to close local offices, plan to hire fewer “enumerators,” who contact hard-to-find citizens, and cancel field tests of new techniques and systems. This is especially worrisome because for the first time, in 2020, the Census Bureau wants to conduct at least half the count online. It’s a delicate undertaking to devise a computer system that is accessible enough to be used by average Americans but also secured against hacking. Cyber threats both real and imagined are expected to depress the response rate in 2020, which is also, lest we forget, a presidential election year.

Aggravating the issue is steadily eroding public trust in government expertise, fueled in no small part by President Trump, who is quick to denounce numbers he doesn’t like. A few well-placed Tweets dissing the “rigged” census could become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Terri Ann Lowenthal, former staff director of the congressional subcommittee that oversees the census, is among the worried. “If the president publicly questions the integrity of the count,” said Lowenthal, who has worked for both Democrats and Republicans, “it could undermine confidence, depress response rates, and derail the entire census process.”….


Salt spread on winter snowy/icy roads is the draining into the nations freshwater…

Image result for salt trucks winter

The stuff melts, or runs off into rivers and streams close to highways….

During the past half-century, annual U.S. sales of road salt grew from 160,000 tons to about 20 million tons, as a group of environmental scientists pointed out in a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of the Sciences. NaCl kept roads free from slippery ice, but it also changed the nature of North America’s freshwater lakes. Of 371 lakes reviewed in the new study, 44 percent showed signs of long-term salinization.

Extrapolating that finding for all of North America, at least 7,770 lakes are at risk of elevated salt levels — a likely underestimate, the researchers said.

Theirs is the first study of freshwater lakes on a continental scope. “No one has tried to understand the scale of this problem across the continent in the Northeast and Midwest, where people apply road salt,” said study co-author Hilary Dugan, a University of Wisconsin-Madison freshwater expert….


image…The Rome Sentinal

About filling those empty slots to run the American Government?

One might come to the conclusion that the Trump Admin will NEVER fill those slots, thus being able to advertise to their base that THEY have shrunken government?

There are worries that Trump & Co might even lay-off MORE people…

Example ….

Sec of State Tillerson REALLY ain’t in this with his heart and it shows…

From bio media, to a smaller airplane, to no interaction with State staff to NO REAL connection with a mission…

Others are gonna be stuck because as with Bill Clinton?

Congress is simply inacapable of doing a LOT of things at once….

And NOT as Bill Clinton…

Trump & Co. is a closely held operation that knows NOT WTF they are doing and worst?

Does NOT TRUST it’s government….


Did I NOT mention THEY ARE the Government?

In another illustration of what President Trump thinks of as a “fine-tuned machine,” he defended his failure to move faster on filling the hundreds of top-level administration jobs that require Senate confirmation by suggesting he plans to keep them unfilled for the duration. Here’s what he said to Fox News this morning:

“A lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint someone because they’re unnecessary to have,” Trump said. “In government, we have too many people.”

Keep in mind the jobs we are talking about here include the top sub-Cabinet positions that set policies and provide the day-to-day operations for vast government departments. Just yesterday, the conservative Washington Examiner explained that these are precisely the positions someone like Trump needs to fill if he is serious about “draining the swamp” in Washington:

Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University, said the quality of political appointees below the Cabinet level can have a dramatic effect on how administration policies are ultimately executed.

“Do they affect the operation of government? The short answer is very much,” Reeher said. “These are the folks who actually attempt to implement the policy changes that the administration is trying to push down from above.”…


Supreme Court limits president’s appointment powers…

…from the Wash Post….

The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it more difficult for the president to quickly fill vacant top government jobs in a case centered on the appointment powers of the executive.

In a 6-to-2 ruling, the court limited the president’s ability to put certain high-level officials in positions in an acting capacity while awaiting confirmation by the Senate.

The court was reviewing the scope of a federal law intended to prevent presidents from temporarily slipping someone into a top position to circumvent the Senate’s process for reviewing an appointment to the permanent post.

The majority rejected the government’s view that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 applied only to people serving in the role of “first assistant” and not to other officials. The statute, the court said, prohibits anyone who has been nominated to lead a federal agency from performing the job in an acting capacity, according to the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

“Congress’s failure to speak up does not fairly imply that it has acquiesced in the board’s interpretation,” Roberts wrote….


President Trump’s Second Week of Action…The White House


7: Presidential Actions to Make America Great Again
4: Diplomatic conversations with foreign leaders to promote an America First foreign policy.
4: Meetings to get input from workers and business leaders on jumpstarting job creation.
2: Events for the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
2: Events to commemorate African American History Month
2: Members of President Trump’s Cabinet sworn in.
1: Bill signed into law
1: Meeting with cyber security experts
1: Commemoration of American Heart Month
1: Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast
1: Letter of Recognition for National Catholic Schools Week

Following Through On His Promise To The American People, President Trump Nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court

• On Tuesday, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to become Associate Justice on the Supreme Court, filling the seat left behind by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The next day, President Trump met with various stakeholders to thank them for their input in making such an important decision.

President Trump Continued To Drain The Washington Swamp And Further Protect All Americans

PROTECTING AMERICANS: President Trump signed two executive memoranda to protect Americans and sanctioned the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism in Iran.

• On Friday, the Trump administration sanctioned twenty-five individuals and entities that provide support to Iran’s ballistic missile program and to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.
• Last Saturday, President Trump ordered a 30-day review and development of a new plan to defeat ISIS.
• Last Saturday, to better get advice and information needed to ensure the safety and security of the American people, President Trump signed an executive order that modernized the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.

DRAINING THE SWAMP: President Trump used the power of his office to promote government transparency, preventing lobbying influence, and limiting regulatory overreach.

• Last Saturday, President Trump signed an executive order establishing new ethics commitments for all Executive branch appointees to limit the influence of lobbyists and Washington insiders.
• On Monday, President Trump signed an executive order to reduce government regulations by requiring two existing regulations to be ended if a new one is approved.
• On Tuesday, President Trump signed into law the “GAO Access And Oversight Act Of 2017” (H.R.72) allowing the Government Accountability Office to gather records from all federal agencies so it can be more responsive to civil action.
• President Trump Continued To Put Jobs Front And Center Through Two Executive Actions And Holding Four Stakeholder Meetings With Labor And Business Leaders

FREEING UP THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM: President Trump made two Presidential actions to better enable the financial system to promote job creation and serve all Americans

• On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order to regulate the financial system in a way that protects consumers while promoting economic growth and job creation.
• On Friday, President Trump issued a memorandum to prevent the unintended consequences of financial fiduciary rules from limiting economic opportunity and American’s investments.

HEARING FROM STAKEHOLDERS: Throughout the week, President Trump met with labor and business leaders to get input on how best to jumpstart job creation for all Americans.

• On Monday, President Trump met with small business owners to get input on how to spur job creation and help businesses like theirs succeed.
• On Tuesday, President Trump met with leaders in the pharmaceutical industry to discuss how jobs can be brought back to America and reduce prices so all Americans can afford quality healthcare.
• On Thursday, President Trump met with the executives of Harley-Davidson and union representatives to encourage American manufacturing.
• On Friday, President Trump met with his economic advisory council to discuss ways to deliver jobs to all Americans.

To Start African American History Month, President Trump Honored The History Of The African American Community And Their Vast Contribution To American Society

• On Wednesday, President Trump met with African American community leaders to honor their contribution and listen to their input on what can be done to improve the lives of all Americans.
• The same day, President Trump signed a proclamation honoring February 2017 as Black History Month.

Despite Historic Democratic Obstructionism, President Trump Continued To Get His Cabinet Nominees Confirmed By Congress

• On Tuesday, Elaine Chao was sworn in as President Trump’s Secretary of Transportation.
• On Wednesday, Rex Tillerson was sworn in as President Trump’s Secretary of State.

President Trump Held Three Conversations With Foreign Leaders To Promote American Interests Around The Globe

• On Sunday, President Trump spoke with King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on creating safe zones in Syria and Yemen to help refugees and strict enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran.
• On Sunday, President Trump spoke with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan of the United Arab Emirates to reaffirm the strong partnership between both countries and combating radical Islamic terrorism.
• On Sunday, President Trump spoke with Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn of the Republic of Korea on the important of the their mutual alliance and defending against North Korea.
• On Thursday, President Trump met with King Abdullah II of Jordan where he conveyed the U.S.’s commitment to Jordan’s stability and defeating ISIS.

To Further Protect America’s Cyber Security, President Trump Met With Experts

• On Tuesday, President Trump held a listening session with cyber security experts to help fulfill his campaign promise of securing America against cyber threats.

President Trump Spoke At The National Prayer Breakfast

• On Thursday, President Trump continued to champion repealing the Johnson Amendment to allow representatives of faith to speak freely and without retribution.

President Trump Commemorated American Heart Month

• On Friday, President Trump proclaimed February 2017 as American Heart Month.

President Trump Recognized National Catholic Schools Week

• On Friday, President Trump issued a letter recognizing National Catholic Schools week.

In Two Weeks Of Action, The President Has Been Relentless In This Effort To Make America Great Again

21 Presidential Actions
16 Meetings With Foreign Leaders
10 Stakeholder Meetings
6 Cabinet Members Sworn-In
4 National Proclamations
3 Agency Visits
2 Speeches
1 Legislation signed into law
1 Supreme Court Nomination
1 Manufacturing Initiative Launch
1 Thank-You Reception
1 Letter Of Recognition


Courtesy of DSD…

Trump’s ‘No Enter’ order splits America…Poll…

But NOT as much as one would think according to a Huffington Post/You Gov Poll…

Americans are split in their opinions of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, with the divides falling largely along partisan lines.

Forty-eight percent of Americans approve of Trump’s executive order banning travel for people from seven Muslim-majority countries ― Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen ― for 90 days, and suspending the admission of refugees for 120 days, while 44 percent disapprove. Intensity is nearly equal on both sides, with 33 percent strongly approving, and 34 percent strongly disapproving.

Views on implementation of the ban are also divided, with 41 percent saying the government has done a somewhat or very good job carrying it out, and 38 percent that the government’s handling of it has been not very good or not good at all.

About a third of the public, 34 percent, say the ban is “good the way it is,” with 19 percent saying “it’s basically a good idea, but it goes too far” and 36 percent that it’s “basically a bad idea.”

Despite the administration’s insistence otherwise, a 52 percent majority of Americans say the ban is intended to target Muslims, with just 29 percent saying that they don’t think it is….


Trump transition people fail to do background vetting First….

And it is causing Trump ‘s Administration picks problems….

Oh, and Chris Christie TRYING to run things in the beginning didn’t help at ALL….Now the media is a doing some of the leg work and getting headlines for it….



According to a person involved in the process, a team led by Gov. Chris Christie initially provided a cursory vetting of more than 200 proposed nominees before the election.

That list included a number of people Trump eventually picked to join his Cabinet. But the review was based on publicly available documents, rather than questionnaires or interviews, because the team didn’t want the names of those under consideration to leak, this person said. “Many of the Cabinet members were on the list,” this person said.

Amid the shock and jubilation at Trump Tower in the days that followed the election, a transition operation was re-established under the control of Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

The office, based in Washington while the president-elect remained in New York, was staffed by a number of attorneys with experience overseeing transitions and preparing nominees for their congressional hearings. Several of them were new to the Trump operation. “No one thought they were going to win, so they didn’t have a lot of people,” said one source close to the campaign.

The process bore little resemblance to the one conducted in 2012 by Romney, who wanted FBI background checks and other reviews conducted to unearth red flags before the press or opposition researchers could. Trump told his aides to not conduct a background check on him.

After the election, Trump’s team took a largely dismissive approach to paperwork in the weeks after the election, two people involved said…..


Trump on Healthcare replacement….‘insurance for everybody’….

That’s what the guy said this weekend….

No details as usual…..

And of coures no cost estimate’s….

Problem is?

Trump doesn’t DO the details….

Congress does….

And within his adopted Republican party there are questions and doubts already….

And the Democrats, who WILL be needed in the Senate for a replacment, are just watching this whole thing swing in the wind….

President-elect Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama’s signature health-care law with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid.

Trump declined to reveal specifics in the telephone interview late Saturday with The Washington Post, but any proposals from the incoming president would almost certainly dominate the Republican effort to overhaul federal health policy as he prepares to work with his party’s congressional majorities.

Trump’s plan is likely to face questions from the right, after years of GOP opposition to further expansion of government involvement in the health-care system, and from those on the left, who see his ideas as disruptive to changes brought by the Affordable Care Act that have extended coverage to tens of millions of Americans….


Conservatives push for Congressional Term Limits….

No chance of this passing…

But it continues the pushing against the political establishment by some in BOTH parties …..


People I have spoken to ain’t happy if this is gonna result in MORE Donald Trump types getting elected….

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) have already offered a constitutional amendment that would limit senators to two six-year terms and House members to three- two-year terms. Several other lawmakers are preparing to roll out similar legislation.

And the far-right House Freedom Caucus, to which DeSantis belongs, has been discussing whether to take a formal position in the coming weeks to support restricting congressional terms.

Term-limit proponents have a key ally in Trump, who will be sworn in as president on Friday. On the campaign trail, the political outsider and billionaire business mogul vowed to press for term limits and end the “decades of failure in Washington and decades of special interest dealing.”

But Trump faces huge hurdles in trying to enact such reforms. For one, the institution of Congress is slow to change, run by leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who’ve spent decades roaming the halls of the Capitol.
Second, changing term limits requires a constitutional amendment, meaning any proposal will need to clear a two-thirds threshold in both the House and Senate, then be sent to the states for ratification.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is starting his 10th House term, has said he’s “always” backed term limits but that he won’t be the one leading the charge. Instead, he said he’d leave it to the Judiciary Committee to take up the issue — yet another hurdle…..



I’m against the idea….

You don’t the politican?

Vote’m out….

Barack Obama would have beat Donald Trump and had a 3rd term saving all of us from the Bull Shit show going on….

Sen. Lamar Alexander floats Obamacare transtion plan…Things WILL take time in his plan….

While the Media has been reporting on the Immediate Repeal /Replace notion….

The REALITY is that few Republicans have an actual plan to replace the Affiordable Healthcare Law…

Furthermore ?

A LOT of the existing law IS gonna be left in place…..

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has offered up a start in how Republicans would move ahead….His plan (Which may not be THE plan) leaves the program IN TACT for a while, something that WILL be in the final process no matter what some Republicans are saying to media….

…….“If they don’t want to crash the system this is the only way they can proceed, which is very carefully,” said Timothy Jost, a health law specialist at the Washington and Lee who is supportive of Obamacare. “Not following President-elect Trump in trying to replace it in one hour, but rather by taking time to disassemble it, in a very thoughtful and careful basis.’

In his speech, Alexander proposed holding off on full repeal until an alternative has been offered, in likely a piecemeal fashion. In the meantime, he pitched a set of short-term measures that would keep insurers incentivized to stay in the marketplaces while a replacement could be hashed out. Those measures included maintaining certain subsidies to insurers promised by the Affordable Care Act, as well as a continuation of the Obamacare individual marketplaces, but with the option for consumers to use their tax credits on state-approved plans outside of the exchanges.

“These are standard, reasonable ideas,” said Joseph Antos, a health policy scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, “which is a sign we’ve seen, not just from Sen. Alexander, but others in the Senate, especially, that they will go along with a repeal bill but as part of that they want to signal very strongly — either with an actual bill or signal very strongly — what will go in a mainstream replace bill.”

Congressional leaders have promised that in theory replacement measures will come after the law is repealed, but they have offered few details about what proposals are on the table or even the timing to expect them. This has prompted a fair number of Republicans to express their discomfort with repealing Obamacare without a replacement ready. Alexander has taken the next step of elaborating on his ideas for going from the ACA through a transition period and ultimately into a replacement….



While the Republicans cand and will repeal the Healthcare Law….

Any replacement will need Democratic support in the Senate….