Tag Archives: corruption

Clearing the Swamp More Efficiently

Alligators at the deli.jpg

Remember when t’was said the current administration was only going to hire the Best People?  Yes? Well, unfortunately for that self-same administration, so does everyone else.  First, there’s the view from well above the field (or swamp):

“Already, 57% of Trump’s “A Team” staffers have left the White House in just its first year and a half, according to statistics maintained by Brookings Institute’s Kathryn Dunn Tenpas. That nearly equals the turnover among top staffers for the entire first terms of Barack Obama (71% turnover), George W. Bush (63%), Bill Clinton (74%) and George H.W. Bush (66%).”   [CNN]

Please note that Trump has blown through five communications directors, counted as one turnover by Brookings, and that the contrast is being made between 18 months of one presidency and a full four years of the Obama, Bush II, Clinton, and Bush I presidencies.  CNN continues:

“Focusing just on Cabinet secretaries, the numbers are equally stunning for Trump. He’s already seen seven Cabinet officials — three in his first year, four in his second — leave in his first 18 months in office. Obama had zero Cabinet departures in his first year and four in his second. George W. Bush lost only four Cabinet members in the entirety of his first four years.”

Business Insider has been tracking the departures.  Additionally, the resignations during the previous administrations were a bit smoother than the Price firing, the Flynn abrupt departure, and the McMaster mess.  For example, the change from General Colin Powell to Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State for George W. Bush was a planned transition.  Of the Obama resignees, we’d have to include Eric Shinseki, forced out of the VA as a “scandal” casualty; and, General David Petraeus as a victim of his own infidelity, the others left for work in academia or the private sector.  Or, in the case of Secretary of State Clinton, to pursue her own political career.   It might be easier for us if the current cabinet and top level officials would TAKE A NUMBER.

On the waiting list — Wilbur Ross.  There’s this description of his problem:

“A watchdog group has asked for a government investigation of whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made a “false statement” to the Office of Government Ethics about his stock holdings and violated insider trading rules when he engaged in a short sale of a shipping company with links to Russia.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Director of the Office of Government Ethics David J. Apol to investigate whether Ross made a false statement about divesting himself of his stock in Invesco, the firm he managed before taking office in the Trump administration.

The group’s executive director Noah Bookbinder and chair Norm Eisen also asked for an investigation of Ross’s sale of his shares in Navigator Holdings, the shipping firm, in October 2017. That company did business with a Russian energy firm whose directors included a Russian oligarch who was subject to U.S. sanctions and a son-in-law of Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.”

There’s enough for investigators to chew on in those three quick paragraphs to keep them busy for a bit.

And to this we’d add Secretary of the Interior, the Flag Flying Ryan Zinke.  Here it comes:

Zinke, a former Montana congressman, initially proposed the development in 2012 Politico first reported. The project, a large commercial development on a former industrial site, is largely backed by a group funded by Lesar, and a foundation established by Zinke is playing a key role in the plans. Interior IG’s office originally confirmed late last month that it was assessing the allegations, but did not not confirm a formal investigation. [The Hill]

The Secretary has already had a brush with travel expenses and other allegations of taxpayer funded/subsidized hanky-panky.

Waiting as an alligator, or to be consumed by the others —

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.  Nothing says ‘job security’ quite as tentatively as to have the word “embattled” precede your name in the press reports and releases.

Kirstjen Neilsen, Secretary of Homeland Security has some explaining to do about migrant children taken by the US government from their parents at the southern border, and not returned in good order, or in a timely manner.  A change in the composition of the House of Representatives after the mid-term elections could cause some oversight improvements in the way the DHS handles its immigration policy.

Betsy DeVos, has some explaining in the offing concerning her attitude toward student loans and the repayment thereof.   In short, it probably doesn’t do to complain about having one of your yachts banged up about the same time one is proposing to cut back on the assistance given to students who’ve been ripped off by for-profit educational schemes.

At any rate, it would be very helpful for all of us who are trying to follow the current administration through its swamp if the alligators would queue up politely, take a number, and let us proceed in a more efficient manner.

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Amodei votes to make oil corporation corruption easier

On February 1, 2017 Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2) cast two ill considered votes. He voted Yes on HJ Res 41, to eliminate the requirement that oil and energy companies report their payments to foreign governments.  Think about this for a second, while African and other nations around the world are trying to root out corruption, the US House has approved allowing these corporations to hide their payments to foreign governments.  (Vote 73)

Also on February 1, 2017, Representative Amodei voted to scrap a rule preventing the pollution of streams by coal extraction companies. HJ Res 38, vote 71. Thus much for concern about clean drinking water in these regions, about polluted streams’ impact on wildlife, and the effect of pollution on recreational use (hunting and fishing) and tourist attraction.

Representatives Kihuen, Titus, Rosen, voted against these two pieces of Republican legislation.

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Filed under Amodei, Nevada news, Nevada politics, Politics