Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Rest of the World Must Declare Us a "Rogue Nation"

“You are a slow learner, Winston."
"How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”
George Orwell, 1984

The climate-change-denier in chief, Donald Trump, has named fellow climate-change-deniers to top posts in his administration -- Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Energy Department, and Ryan Zinke at the Interior Department.

During the transition period (the first week of December), Trump officials demanded that the Energy Department turn over the names of scientists who had worked on President Obama's climate change initiative, a decree that the department refused, as anyone familiar with the history of witch hunts should have done.

Just yesterday, employees at several federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture have been barred by the Trump administration from making any statements, or providing any documents to the public or journalists -- a "gag order."

A memo sent to staff of the Environmental Protection Agency said that no press releases were to be sent to "external audiences" and that "no social media will be going out," according to a report by The Hill. The memo also says that a digital strategist will be coming in to oversee the agency's social-media policies, and that "existing, individually controlled social-media accounts may become more centrally controlled."

Centrally controlled. Big Brother is watching you.

Staff at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service also got a memo on Monday telling them not to provide any documents to the public, including press releases and social-media content. The email told employees, including about 2,000 staff scientists, that "starting immediately and until further notice," they were not to release any documents or post anything to social media.

The Trump presidency: "We will strangle science in its cradle in order to deny that two plus two is four."


Wolf's Head said...

"Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool." Paul Begala

How do you like executive orders now?

Anonymous said...

Wolfie - try to stay focused, dear. I'd like a planet for my grandchildren to inherit.

Anonymous said...

Executive Orders are useful and kinda cool when they are not issued by a mentally unbalanced russian puppet!

Wolf's Head said...

Anon 7:28, Hard to not get excited with the changes being made.

Maybe "Hope and Change" better describes the Trump Administration than Obama's.

By the way....

Seems the trash is being taken out.

J.W. Williamson said...

Wolf (red in tooth and claw):

Those you refer to as "trash" are career professional managers in the State Department, not political appointees -- human beings, not trash, that SecState designee Rex Tillerson would have preferred stay on the job to help him run the place. Most of them have worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents and are good at their jobs.

Here are some of the people you call "trash" who looked at the Trump train coming and said, "We can't work for this":

Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management
Joyce Anne Barr, asst. secretary for administration
Michele Bond, asst. secretary for consular affairs
Gentry O. Smith, director of Office of Foreign Missions
Gregory Starr, asst. secretary for diplomatic security
Lydia Muniz, director of Overseas Building Operations

They're not "trash" (and we see in you the soul and essence of "Trumpism," the bland dehumanizing of people you don't know but people you're now sure you must hate). They are -- or were -- the entire senior level of management at the Department of State, which now resembles an abandoned 7-Eleven.

Wolf's Head said...

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

The state department for decades has been promoting globalism, not promoting America's interests.

If they can't "work for this" well, don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.

If they are such wonderful and talented people I'm sure they can find work in this wonderful economy Obama left us.

And yes, red in tooth and claw.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe the Wolf thinks it's a-ok for his President to gag public agencies. Wonder what he would have said if Obama had tried that. I'm guessing he would say "Fascist," and I would agree.

Retro said...

Assistant Secretaries and Under Secretaries ARE political appointees, not sure about the other positions, but chances are they are political appointees, too. If they had remained in the career civil service, they could not have been forced out.

Wolf's Head said...

Anonymous, actually I wrote nothing about gagging public agencies, just that I think it is a good idea to get rid of the heads of agencies who obviously are not going to do what the President wants.

But anytime an employee makes statements as an employee against the management they are likely to be fired.

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course they are political appointments. They may have been career employees at state prior to being elevated to their appointed positions, but that changes nothing. JW, as usual, is wrong on the facts.

J.W. Williamson said...

The officials listed above who resigned were NOT political. All the political appointees were out of a job as of last Friday at noon. The ones listed above were career officers and did not have to resign because of Trump (though they did resign because of Trump).

Anonymous said...

JW....If you think that Kenndey, as Assistant Secretary of State, was not a "political appointment", why did he have to be approved by the Senate? Same with Barr. Same with Bond....need I go on?

Sorry, you are just wrong on this.

Check it out...appointed by Obama, confirmed by Senate = POLITICAL APPOINTMENT!

Trumpster! said...


J.W. Williamson said...

They were career officers and not subject to the quotidian political changes brought by a presidential election. They exited by their own decision.

O Suzannah said...

Anonymous Trumpster! said...

If you ever get past easy and empty slogans, Trumpster, there's a wealth of information coming out of Washington that might show you something else. Goldman Sachs guys are still top dogs. They are swamp creatures.

Wolf's Head said...

" Goldman Sachs guys are still top dogs. They are swamp creatures" O Suzannah

Yep, and they were the 6th largest contributor to the Clinton campaign, after CitiGroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Who is the swamp creature now?

Anonymous said...

From the LIBERAL Washington Post....

"One senior State Department official who responded to my requests for comment said that all the officials had previously submitted their letters of resignation, as was required for all positions that are appointed by the president and that require confirmation by the Senate, known as PAS positions.

“No officer accepts a PAS position with the expectation that it is unlimited. And all officers understand that the President may choose to replace them at any time,” this official said.

J.W. Williamson said...

Did you have a point to make with this? I've forgotten.

Henery said...

Here's The New Republic's take:

Palace-intrigue stories sourced in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico—all sourced to the White House—portray Trump as a fragile, erratic, television-obsessed snowflake.

The pattern that emerges is clear: Members of the White House are concerned enough about Trump’s capacity to do the job that they’ll leak to prominent reporters, but they’re not concerned enough to muster the courage to tell Trump the truth, or to resign.

"Snowflake"! Ha!

Anonymous said...

J.W. Williamson said...
Did you have a point to make with this? I've forgotten.

Yes, the point is that you don't know what you are talking about. Presidential appointments, such as the ones under discussion, are not part of the Civil Service and do not have the same protections as career Civil Service positions. They serve at the pleasure of the president.

As you may have heard, Donald Trump currently holds that office.