Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Trump: “Drain the DC Swamp” While Filling New One With Family Members

Start with the Guy on the Left 
(Son-in-law Jared Kushner)

Possibly Four More for the New Swamp

Original Story: Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and possible conflicts and this related link within that story.

This Recent Update here on Jared Kushner and his influence:

The Observer, a news site owned by President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, posted an op-ed calling for an FBI investigation into the “political thuggery” of anti-Trump protests taking place in the wake of the presidential election.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump threatened and criticized protesters during campaign events, saying of one that he’d like to “punch him in the face” and reminiscing of the “good old days” when protesters would be “carried out on a stretcher.” 

Trump even threatened to “start pressing charges” against protesters after demonstrations during a Chicago campaign rally caused the event to be postponed after fights broke out between demonstrators and Trump supporters. Now Trump supporters want an FBI investigation of anti-Trump protests.

Now, on December 2, the Observer posted an op-ed written by University of Texas in Austin adjunct professor Austin Bay, which called for FBI Director James Comey to conduct a “detailed investigation” into the anti-Trump protests taking place across the country. 

To make his point, Bay invokes “Kristallnacht,” a 1938 incident in which Nazis burned synagogues, vandalized Jewish-owned businesses and homes, and resulted in 30,000 Jewish men being sent to concentration camps.

Bay even cites notorious conspiracy theorist Jim Hoft’s blog post claiming anti-Trump protesters were paid to protest, a claim that gained traction based on a fake news story.

The posting of the op-ed is extremely concerning given the influence Kushner has on his father-in-law. In July, The New York Times reported that Kushner had “become involved in virtually every facet of the Trump presidential operation” and wrote that many viewed him as the “de facto campaign manager.”

Following the election, Kushner also explored legal loopholes that would allow him to bypass federal nepotism laws and join the Trump administration in an official capacity:
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald J. Trump, has spoken to a lawyer about the possibility of joining the new administration, a move that could violate federal anti-nepotism law and risk legal challenges and political backlash.


Mr. Trump is urging his son-in-law to join him [I insert: which could violate the following part of the law highlighted in small (b) below] in the White House, according to one of the people briefed. The president-elect’s sentiment is shared by Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist for the White House, and Reince Priebus, who was named chief of staff. Mr. Kushner accompanied Mr. Trump to the White House on Thursday, when the president-elect held his first in-person meeting with President Obama.

Anti-nepotism law (passed and added: December 16. 1967)

U. S. Code › Title 5 › Part III › Subpart B › Chapter 31 › Subchapter I › § 3110

5 U. S. Code § 3110 - Employment of relatives; restrictions
(a) For the purpose of this section —

(1) “Agency” means —

(A) An Executive agency;

(B) An office, agency, or other establishment in the legislative branch;

(C) An office, agency, or other establishment in the judicial branch; and

(D) The government of the District of Columbia (DC).

(2) “Public official” means an officer (including the President and a Member of Congress), a member of the uniformed service, an employee and any other individual, in whom is vested the authority by law, rule, or regulation, or to whom the authority has been delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals, or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in an agency.

(3) “Relative” means, with respect to a public official, an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister.

(b) A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.

(c) An individual appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in violation of this section is not entitled to pay, and money may not be paid from the Treasury as pay to an individual so appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced.

(d) The Office of Personnel Management may prescribe regulations authorizing the temporary employment in the event of emergencies resulting from natural disasters or similar unforeseen events or circumstances, of individuals whose employment would otherwise be prohibited by this section.

(e) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the appointment of an individual who is a preference eligible in any case in which the passing over of that individual on a certificate of those eligible furnished under section 3317(a) of this title will result in the selection for appointment of an individual who is not a preference eligible.

This is getting very serious folks … but you know what the Trump loyalists just do not care – they got who they wanted in the White House and now their fingers are crossed for the goodies they expect him to deliver to them.

Stay tuned… this stickiness won’t dry out soon – bet on it.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Headline: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): Repealing ACA (Obama-care) is First Priority

Ryan-GOP Plan: Throw 20 Million Americans Under the Bus
(Then what: Hope the driver is sober)
[click image for larger view]

Two key articles are related to this subject and headline of this posting that Speaker Ryan says in his own words: 

“Repealing the ACA (Obama-care) is our 1st Priority.”

That story from Fortune here. Some highlights.

The promise of repealing and replacing the ACA (Obama-care) will also have another unintended consequence if fully repealed: It will severely damage Medicare, which Republicans also fervently want to dismantle and privatize, as I said since 1965 when it was signed into law (see the list below of that possible damage).

Even though Donald Trump said during the campaign that he wouldn't touch Medicare or Social Security – or else he wouldn't have secured enough Electoral College votes to win if he had – tearing apart the ACA (Obamacare) will almost certainly raise costs for Medicare beneficiaries and hasten its decline as a guaranteed, fee-for-service system that millions of seniors now have and enjoy but now could lose these entitlements embedded in the ACA (pilot projects and provisions) to:

1.     Make medical care for retirees less expensive.
2.     Make doctors more accountable.
3.     Share in cost savings.
4.     Cut hospital re-admissions.
5.     Crack down on fraud and abuse.

Now this unintended consequence of repealing ACA (Obama-care)… guess they didn’t read the fine print, um, boys?

Reform of the ACA will gut Medicare, which BTW: the GOP, as I have said, has hated since 1965 as well has hated Social Security since 1935… 

That unintended (or maybe it was carefully planned anyway, you think) part is reported on from Forbes here in part: Donald Trump's campaign vow to repeal Obamacare is now fast-tracked in Congress and will be embraced by his HHS nominee (Rep. Tom Price).

Now, the result of the largely unheralded Medicare reforms in Obamacare could be lost if the Trump-GOP plan is implemented and get their way – that is to toss the ACA in the trash can of history.

          1.  Lower operating costs. 
          2.  Higher quality care.
          3.  A sounder financial footing for the program.

So, Mr. and Mrs. America, tell me again whom you voted for. I see, I see. Okay, carry on, then.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Look, Up in the Sky: It's a bird, It's a plane, No, It's Super Weasel

Ready to Take Off to Save Planet Donald
[click image for larger look]

Kellyanne Conway: Faster than a 30-second Ad, able to stop critical journalistic questions in a heartbeat, and heap political advice and assistance to crappy candidates in a single bound (then backtrack for them when needed).

I will give her credit where credit is due … she certainly earns her millions which I am sure she is paid. She is good at what she does, but conversely, isn’t that counter to what Trump says his prime goal is: “To drain the swamp.” Conway is at the bottom of that swamp – caution lies ahead and the operative word is “lie.”

If one listens carefully she always employs one or all of this slick techniques when answering a question re: Trump and his latest faux pas or gaffe or goofy tweet:

1.  Red Herring: That is changing the subject. Example: “I should not be prosecuted for stealing songs off the Internet. The Internet is a free medium, and if you put your song there, expect it to be pirated. Isn't the Internet free speech?” The attempt here is to shift the focus from the individual who stole a song to the bigger question of intellectual property on the Internet.

2.  Circular Reasoning: That is to use an unproven point to prove a point. Example this exchange between two opponents: “Can you prove that God exists first, before using God as an answer? “God is real!” – “How can you prove that God is real?” – “The Bible states that God is real.” – “So why should I believe what the Bible says?” – “Because God's hand wrote the Bible.” This fallacious, circling argument appears all the time in many different forms.

3.  Straw Man: That is to oversimplify an opponent's point. Example: “Health care should be for everyone so that we all share the cost burden with Society as a whole.” – “This is a free country. No one can make me pay for anything for others. It‘s another tax. High taxes are what led to our recession. Do you want higher taxes?” Note: Another tax, need tax cut, it’s a free country, love the flag, God first, no one can make me pay for other people’s stuff – all get attention w/o any substance or fact other than a sound bite.

I love to watch her road show crap.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

GOP "Repeal and Replace" Weasel Numbers Have Grown, But Still Disoriented

Standing Room Only and the Face of America
(Speaker Ryan signed measure in January to repeal parts of ACA. 
President Obama vetoed).

This recent headline tells the story... which I address and rip apart below and now, BTW: Whom did you vote for on November 8, 2016 — oops..

GOP Plans Immediate Repeal of Health Law Then a Delay

Update here on the past and that which is expected in the way of more crap that the GOP has played and will continue to play with healthcare and impact it would have on the tens of millions of needy Americans with healthcare (many for some in the first time in their lives).

If this forthcoming bigger all-GOP Congress can’t serve people they way they have sworn to do, and the way they always claim they do in every speech, then may I suggest another line of work — like on a cattle or horse ranch someplace out of sight shoveling their crap about this critical issue.  

This update on their latest stunt, and yes, folks, make no mistake about, it is stunt they have been playing since 2010 when the ACA was signed into law. BTW: It passed without a single Republican vote and ever since they have made some 60 vote attempts to repeal it – and all have failed. No need to wonder why either. As I said, it’s a stunt – a very low-down nasty, ugly, mean-spirited political stunt and nothing else.

Now on the question of how will Trump supporters, that is the millions now enrolled in the ACA and probably millions under the extended Medicaid, CHIP, or WIC programs, react when the proverbial s**t hits the proverbial fan. It just so happens that Paul Krugman, the 2008 won Nobel prize for economics and damn good writer, addresses this same question in this piece he wrote for the NY Times here.

Then also check out this fine story, vis-à-vis the GOP’s slick, evil, nasty political con game they are playing with people’s lives on this subject of “repeal and replace the ACA (Obama-care) here also from the NY Times.

Then add up all the numbers of those enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, those are programs for those who can’t afford other health insurance for themselves or for children, and then ask Mr. and Mrs. Gee Old Poops: “What about that nearly 70 million now getting good healthcare – and as I said, many for the first time in their lives? 

Are you just doing to dump them and say:  “Sorry, folks, no can do. Just try to stay healthy not get sick and avoid death, too. Oh, BTW, we still have ER’s.” 

Wait, wait – ER’s you say? Um, wasn’t that a one of reasons for health care change with the ACA, too? Yeah, thought so. That is since ER’s were overworked and unable to provide full health care like a health care manager on a regular basis. Hence we have the ACA (Affordable Care Act), and as the name implies “affordable” so get real GOP…

The GOPers in office always make floor speeches about “Serving the American people and their best interests, yap, yap, etc., etc...” Well, I say, start acting like it.

GOP “plan to repeal and replace the ACA (Obama-care)” with what pray tell? Oops… Maybe make it work better, um, you think? A great run down here from The New Yorker in part on suggestions for possible “fixes” as needed and if needed.

B/L: Despite their bluster, Trump and the Republicans now in office really don’t have plan or substitute for the ACA despite their political BS otherwise. They simply want to sling out their sound bite “repeal and replace” and hope it stick to the wall the next election day and it did… but the real impact won’t stick – bet on it. Their solution is no solution – it’s simply “back to the future.”

Related to all this is a fine analysis by experts at the RAND Corporation. It shows where the Trump strategy could lead to by 2018. In a nutshell (ironically where the Trump plan belongs) are these Rand key findings:

All of the Trump proposals are simple: (1) decrease the number of insured, (2) increase out-of-pocket spending for consumers enrolled in individual market plans, and (3) raise the federal deficit compared to the ACA.

The federal deficit increases because repeal of the ACA would eliminate the ACA's provisions that reduce spending and generate revenue, such as changes to Medicare payment policy; and taxes and fees levied on insurers, medical devices, and branded prescription drugs.

The amount that the deficit increases varies widely, from half a billion dollars under the block-grant provision to $41 billion under the tax deduction provision. People with lower incomes would be more affected than other groups. This is true largely because repealing the ACA means eliminating Medicaid expansion, which covers people with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Sicker people would also be disproportionately affected, because the proposals would eliminate the ACA's rule that people with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage.

(I NOTE: Who in their right mind could dare call this positive reform or change)?

There might be areas that can or should be fixed to make it work – but do not throw it away and replace it with some garbage pipe dream gimmick that moves us backwards.

Stay tuned and help fight this nonsense anyway possible. That’s what I intend to so, whether at this blog or with my voice otherwise. Hope you can, and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Part of Oath: "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States"

King Donald I
(The way he sees and projects himself)

The Presidential Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution requires that before presidents can assume their duties they must take the oath of office. The completion of this 35-word oath ends one president's term and begins the next.

From that first day when George Washington placed his hand on the Bible and recited that oath as the first president of the brand new United States, the inaugural ceremonies have been an important symbol of our government's continuity and permanence.

Now, Donald J. Trump, will take that oath on January 20, 2017 as the 45th President. 

Sadly, he constantly shows his lack of understanding about and perhaps disdain for the document he will swear to preserve, protect, and defend.

See below examples and his latest statement - one in a long line of other statements about law and order, due process, and other such constitutional guarantees that he does not like or approve of:

1.  Remember this from the presidential debate that was in response to Hillary Clinton's rather banal statement that Trump owes Barack Obama an apology for claiming he wasn't an American citizen for years, Trump responded, with a string of non sequiturs, that ended with a promise to get a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton for using a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state, thus get your political opponents and put them in jail, guilty of a crime or not. Wow!

2.  Then recall this (same article cited above) and from a statement he made to CNN wherein he doubled down on his claims regarding the guilt of the Central Park Five – that is the black and Latino teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of a 1989 rape and imprisoned for years before being exonerated by DNA evidence. Trump expressed pride in how politically incorrect it was for him to attack the settlement they received from the city for depriving them of their freedom for years. Double wow!!

3.  Then this from the NY Times, the paper Trump hates with a passion, had this about him and his attacks on the press and the judicial system as possible evidence to some people of his bracing candor. His comments also sketch out a worldview that many legal experts say is contemptuous of the First Amendment, the separation of powers, and the rule of law. Watch in this short TIMES video here or below (if it does load):

Triple wow!!!

Now his latest (from Politico) that I referred to above had this headlines:

Trump calls for jailing and revoking citizenship of flag-burners

Of course he was armed with this phone and twitter account tweeting:

Burning an American flag should be a crime, President-elect Donald Trump wrote on Twitter (just this morning) punishable by a forfeiture of U.S. citizenship or a year in jail. His tweet:

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

Quadruple wow!!!!

Electoral College Delegates: Please change your vote and do not allow this man anywhere near the White House or in the Oval Office…

I’m done now. Boy, what a mess we face with Donald J. Trump, right?

Thanks for coming by.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Trump: Wise Man Full of Wisdom and Vision, or Dummy Full of Well ... You Know

Center of Attention is Not Clinton or Trump — It’s Dr. Jill Stein

In the End It Didn't Matter: People Spoke  
(They said they wanted someone different)

Several issues run in this post side-by-side: 

First and foremost, I am just totally convinced that Donald J. Trump is both a compulsive and serial liar — and somewhat certifiable as a skilled con artist, one of a kind – kind of an arrogant, full-of-himself no matter what the game is man… One goal: Market and capitalize on the Trump name and brand… nothing else matters.

This his latest: He calls the Stein recount movement “a scam” and then almost immediately also says (via tweets of course) that Hillary's 2 million vote lead it due to illegals voting. Also, recall that Trump said weeks November 8th how professed for weeks that the election was “rigged.” 

I say again: Damnit, man, make up your mind… BTW: Any Trump supporters feel shafted, yet?

Also, I wonder and by any official medical definition if any, is Trump a pathological liar or close, even if that’s possible? Well, close, but as they say, close, but no cigar… this from at least one expert is such mental evaluations:

His name is Dr. Bart Rossi, doctorate from Fordham University, who says in part: 

“The big difference is that by definitionpathological liars spread falsehoods even when there's nothing to be gained, whether it be cheating someone out of money or trying to avoid hurting some one's feelings.  When Trump claimed Muslims celebrated in New Jersey after 9/11, he set off a hunt for evidence that didn't materialize. Didn't matter to Trump, though – that is just a complete fabrication and he seems to be able to say anything and get away with it. What happens is a lot of these so called authoritarian figures, they really stretch things; they spin and they make things up that are really not true. In Trump's case to present himself as this authoritarian figure, he will basically say almost anything to get more attention [for] himself.” 

That amounts to the blustering billionaire displaying traits of an authoritarian personality, which Rossi said is based on observation, not a medical examination.

Now the main article for this post from The Guardian (UK), here in part:
President-elect Donald Trump has continued his criticism of Hillary Clinton’s decision to back the attempt by Green party candidate Jill Stein to force election recounts in three states, saying he won the popular vote – in which he is more than 2 million ballots behind Clinton – “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

Trump previously called the recount effort a “scam”, while senior adviser Kellyanne Conway on the Sunday TV shows called Stein and Clinton “a bunch of crybabies and sore losers.”

On Saturday, Trump attacked Stein, using Twitter to say: “The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated [and] demoralized Dems.” 

Then today (Sunday November 27, 2016), he fired off another volley of tweets, starting with this:  “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change.”

Then in the afternoon, around the time of his scheduled departure for Manhattan, he used Twitter again to say:

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016.

Trump did not immediately elaborate about what he meant by “people who voted illegally.” But, during the campaign, he and surrogates complained about voter identity fraud among communities which usually lean Democratic, without presenting evidence and despite regular debunking of such claims by experts.

In subsequent tweets, he added: “It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 states instead of the 15 states that I visited. I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!”

Trump was due back in New York after spending Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago resort in FL, where one report said he had been asking visitors who should be his secretary of state (FYI: So, now he conducts his own opinion poll to see who he should choose for a high office? I see, I see). 

Boy, oh boy, what a ride? Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Why Won't Trump Hold Press Conference and Directly Repudiate Hate Groups

National Socialist Movement (NSM): One of the largest neo-Nazi groups

Video screen shot of Alt-right conference in Washington, DC
    (Trump’s election victory met with cheers and Nazi salutes)

Trump’s white power supporters: They seem to love him and have said so in many public venues and press coverage. They expect “great things from him” and what they perceive as his (and their) kind of “whites only policies to unwind them from all the “abuse and neglect they think they have had for too long.”  

They believe that he will help us deliver them back to mainstream America to make the country and them both great again. That way of thinking creates a problem in my mind, maybe not a big or huge problem right now, but potentially I see it getting worse on a larger scale – time will tell in that regard, however. But it could be sooner rather than later as they say.

My observation (listening and watching): This is the way I analyze all this white power and new-whatever it’s called, “Alt-Right” and like-minded others. And, I’m pretty sure millions of others feel the same way and no, it is because Hillary lost the race or anything like that that we are concerned. It’s the past few months this growing and more vocal problem area that has my attention.

That is the way I see it and I am in total agree with this outstanding article written along the same lines by Matt Bai, who happens to be a really honest, open, and super writer. His piece today is definitely suggested reading while you are waiting for your Thanksgiving dinner to settle before watching some sports, or whatever else you do to relax today. I assure you, this is a great piece to read.

May I suggest you read the Bai article first, then post comments accordingly... and if you like, pass it along. It really is a must read.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Axeman Cometh: Not from New Orleans — From NY to The Oval Office

Trump Administration: The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

The Original Four: Conquest, War, Famine, and Death

Add Two = Eternal Damnation
(Reinhold Richard “Reince” Priebus and Stephen “Breitbart” Bannon)

A very long post, but needs to be closely examined, regarding Mr. Trump and his plans to remodel government and implement massive changes that focus on getting rid of many Federal employees and their benefits, etc., as well as reducing or greatly diminishing the role of certain Federal departments. 

An outline of all that is here from the Washington Post (to fit the blog) from November 21, 2016: Basic point is that Trump and the all-Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to take on the government bureaucracy they have long railed against since the Civil Service was passed into law over a 130 years ago.

(NOTE: Many raise the specter that Republicans could allow political favoritism to creep into a system Congress created in 1883 to remove federal jobs from patronage ranks).

They plan to erode job protections to grind down benefits that federal workers now receive and have for generations such as:

1.  Hiring freezes
2.  End to automatic raises
3.  Green light to fire poor performers
4.  Ban on union business on the government’s dime, and
5.  Reduced and less generous retirement pensions

(NOTE: On the surface it sounds great (to all GOPers and anti-government types, but the details will matter the most — my advice: hang on right).

These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. Trump always told voters DC and the Federal employee system is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” and now he has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do since the civil service was created in 1883.

INTRODUCTION: Congressional Republicans have clamored for years for a smaller bureaucracy and a workforce that resembles the private sector. Now, with a Trump White House eliminating a veto threat, conservatives see their vision within reach. 

Gingrich’s Two Cents: He says in no uncertain terms: “You have the country moving to the right and being much more anti-Washington than it was. We’re going to have to get the country to understand how big the problem is, the human costs of it and why it’s absolutely essential to reform.”

Gingrich urges Trump to shrink big government and overhaul the “job-for-life” guarantee of federal workers, and he predicts Stephen K. Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief who helped steer Trump’s campaign and is now one of his most influential advisers, will lead the effort saying: “It’s a big, big project.” The project aligns with Bannon’s long-stated warnings about the corrupting influence of government and a capital city rampant with “crony capitalism.”

Tied to that is Breitbart headlines also provide a possible insight into his views, with federal employees described as overpaid, too numerous and a “privileged class and the number of Government Employees Now Surpasses Manufacturing Jobs by 9,977,000,” the website proclaimed in November. 

(NOTE: There are 2.1 million federal civilian employees NOT 9.9 million).

Top Republicans on Capitol Hill say their first priority will be making it easier to fire employees regarded as incompetent or who break the rules.

“It’s nearly impossible to fire somebody. When the overwhelming majority do a good job and the one bad apple is there viewing pornography, I want people to be held accountable.” The promises go hand in hand with Trump’s promise to shrink the size and reach of government, from eliminating some agencies outright to lifting regulations and running the bureaucracy with fewer people.

They will probably get guidance from WI Gov. Scott "Koch" Walker (R), who stripped public employee unions of most of their collective-bargaining rights and forced workers to pay more into their pensions and for health care in what became a bitter political fight. 

Also, directly from Pence. Pence as IN Gov., battled public employee unions and approved pay increases for state workers who receive good performance reviews, a strategy tried at DOD under Bush but which was poorly managed and eventually abolished. The pay-for-performance idea is nonetheless a rebuke to the government’s system of raises based on longevity. Even the military has their pay system based on longevity – is it next?

“We’re going to be playing defense for at least a couple of years,” acknowledged William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, the third-largest federal union.

“The most immediate worry is: How are we going to shrink government?” Dougan said. “Are we going to lay people off? Eliminate whole agencies or do it through attrition?”  Trump has promised that in his first 100 days in office he will freeze hiring by not replacing employees who leave. The military and employees in public health and safety roles would be exempt, according to the president-elect’s Contract with the American Voter

(NOTE: Remember Gingrich's “Contract with America” back in the 1994 campaign? It was a huge flop. Some even ended up calling it “Contract on Americans”).

Trump also has pledged to eliminate two regulations for every new one passed and shut down the Education Department and parts of the EPA.

Trump also wants more ships, planes, and troops. Trump also wants to triple the number of immigration enforcement agents and beef up the border patrol by thousands. 

(NOTE: A selective job hiring freeze may be more realistic, but keep in mind, only agencies Republicans hate; not the ones they like to see grow).

Trump can freeze hiring without Congress’ approval, with an executive order or less formal instructions to federal agencies. Democrats and federal employee unions are preparing to fight the image of government workers as a privileged class and the bureaucracy as a bloated mess.

“Of course we want accountability, but we also want to protect against political favoritism. It’s important that we not allow the civil service to be politicized,” said Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who will be entering office as a newly-elected Senator.

Many inside and outside government agree that change to the way federal workers are hired, promoted and disciplined is long overdue. Employees under investigation for breaking the rules can sit at home for years — collecting paychecks and benefits — while their cases drag on. Performance rankings are widely panned as a joke, because the vast majority of workers are rated as exceeding expectations or doing outstanding work (it’s called due process for a reason – to keep political hacks and cronies out of the mix).

Federal workers are seldom fired for poor performance — and it can take years for managers to make a successful case for dismissal for misconduct. About 0.5 percent of the civil service gets fired every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Trump says he wants to freeze hiring to clean up corruption in government — but not necessarily to save money, a connection roundly dismissed by critics, saying: “Look at what’s happening with every agency — waste, fraud and abuse. We will cut so much, your head will spin.”

(NOTE: Presidents including Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both froze hiring to shrink government — but that rarely succeeded for long periods). 

For example, Reagan imposed a freeze the day he came into office in 1981 that was retroactive to Election Day – that forced managers to renege on job offers to hundreds of people. Then under him the government ballooned with active-duty military and DOC civilians as he began a massive defense buildup. 

(NOTE: The civilian workforce is the smallest it has been since Reagan left office, after plummeting under Clinton and expanding under Bush and President Obama).

Yet Republicans say a leaner government goes hand in hand with a more accountable one in which managers and rank-and-file employees who’ve failed should not get to keep their jobs. These changes have taken root, with a bipartisan law in 2014 to limit the appeal rights of senior executives at Veterans Affairs who face discipline for wrongdoing.

This year that stopped altogether in the face of a court challenge alleging that it violated employees’ right to due process, and other changes could result in longer probation for new employees which has a goal to make it easier for managers to let poor performers go since they would have little job protections. This has started at DOD where the current standard has doubled to two years.

These changes are vigorously opposed by unions, which could be severely weakened under GOP plans to eventually wipe out what’s known as “official time,” union work done by employees who continue to receive full salary and benefits.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, (and who BTW: in 2014 voted against the Sanders-McCain Vet funding and improvement bill along with Sen. Sessions and Corker – recent Trump nominees) said in an email that he will reach out to federal employee unions as his panel works to enact “long-overdue reforms to our civil service. If we start with areas of agreement, I am confident that we can make continuous improvements to the functionality of the federal workforce.”

Finally, and directly taken from this fine article are these 5 key issues.

My Summary: The worse is yet to come – wait until the impact reaches Mr. and Mrs. Main Street – like a former government employee, or retired Federal employee, or a senior on fixed income (SS) and Medicare and the “Axemen truly cometh for their wallet” as they see how the programs they are entitled to have been reduced to the point where they are ineffective and non-responsive – what then, um?

Simply stay tuned… just my fear-mongering some will say, but before you ask, no, it is not my intent or purpose, or some silly ass game, just stating the obvious.

Regardless, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Trump’s Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Tests Legal Path (Limits) to White House Job

Fear Not With Trump Family in Charge — No Problemo

Jared Kushner (Ivanka's hubby) Wants White House Job

The headlines for this post was taken from the NY Times here.

Others are picking up that same story, like these listed below:

As the Saddam photo above implies: What could possibly go wrong, right?

Keep in mind that the anti-nepotism law is clear and this kind of move to circumvent it is really a very bad sign and poor start to a new government, don't cha' think? That law is clearly explained clearly from Cornell Law.

Thanks for stopping by and helping me feed the weasels ... poor little fellows looked starved.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Make America Great Again” Implies We Lost Greatness: Not So, Possibly Soon

Top of the Heap New BFF's 

New ME “Triad” = Iran, Syria, Russia
(Trump wants a piece of their mix)

For all the Trump loyalists and Weasels in La-La Land: Two Major Concerns on the Proverbial Table with Worldwide Implications. With all the nonsense ignorance back and forth coupled with the total “transition” disruption, other turmoil, and downright insider wheeling and dealing and firings ... these two issues have risen to the top of that heap:

#1 and perhaps it is the most worrisome.  This has a potential direct impact on all of humanity itself, worldwide. That is Trump pending ties to Russia in Syria that would keep al-Assad in power and get us closer to Iran, who loves al-Assad and provides a lot stuff to him, all the while millions are murdered and Russia gets a key all-weather port in the ME, and Iran improves their strategic position facing Israel.

... How do I see that? How would or does Trump intend to do that?

I guess use more American air or just bug out and tell “Vlad, the skies are all yours.” How about more American ground troops, then more billions wasted, more pain and agony for our country to benefit Russia, Syria, and Iran, and lost American blood – to cap the last 15 years in that region fighting?

This is very, very troubling to say the least. I am not one to cry wolf or to beat my chest unnecessarily, but quite frankly this scares the shit out of me and it should out of you too. This major concern is based on these two things:

Then sprinkle in this to Putin – which seems to be me to help financial ties Trump has in Russia with Putin woes.

#2, now tied this in with the above. This regards Trump’s views and statement on using and possibly even spreading nuclear weapons worldwide and I surmise for anyone who wants a few? … So, are you scared yet?  

If not review Trump’s history on nukes – in his own words not mine: Trump on the use and possession of nuclear weapons and all that is associated with that horrible topic to help answer this question posed in this excellent article:

“Can we rely on Trump to act with diligence, competence, diplomatic skill, reason, and restraint?”

My short gut response is no. Not when it comes to the nuclear weapons question and problems therein. No is my judgment over doubtful or not possible, etc., and all that was evident in his past statements like these made in his campaign at various places and times on this subject:

“I would bomb the shit out of ’em.” (The crowd in Fort Dodge, Iowa that November 15, 2015 night roared and applauded as he addressed his plan for defeating ISIS).

His complete statement was: “I would bomb the shit out of them. I’d just bomb those suckers. I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch — there would be nothing left.”

“I wanna be unpredictable.”  “I love war.”  “I know more about ISIS than the Generals do.” (He then said, “I love war, in a certain way” (Spoken at a rally last November) and also called “nuclear, the power, the devastation ... very important to me.”)

Then his campaign manager, big mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, tried walking back his comments… that was weak, very damn weak as reported on here.

These two issues should grab everyone’s attention. And, limp excuses for him, like: “Oh, that’s just him blowing hot air, or it’s politics, or he will evolve into the job and be more rational, etc.” 

Well, I hope so, but my gut and sense tells me, bull, he can’t – all we have seen and heard from Donald J. Trump is scary and all of it is in his DNA – he can’t change – he won’t change – he doesn’t want to change. He wants to control and dominate everything in arm’s reach or in his grasp. 

Now lump it all together into one neat bundle and many experts, much smarter than I am who see the Trump administration days and ways like this: (from Politico).

I end this with a simple old saying or cliché or whatever it’s called: “My God, what have we done?”

Thanks for stopping by for this gloomy post … but you know what? It had to be said – I needed to get this out there and also off my chest. 

Finally, why are we on the verge of losing our past, our American values, our time-tested virtues, and strong and well-known leadership. How come we are on the edge of that abyss ready to fall to the lowest in our history? 

Is this our new destiny? I pray it is not. If so, for what reason? Reaction to a simple political Ad that falsely proclaimed: “Make America Great Again?”

Stay tuned.