Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Great Dismantling

While incompetent narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump distracts with his inane feuds and obsessions (see post below), the true believers in his dystopian regime are busy doing the work of Putin, the Kochs and Mercers: dismantling the federal government, the main counterbalance to their fascistic power grabbing. Here are some links to follow:

Rex "Rexxon" Tillerson, Ayn Rand fanPutin pal and owner of Putin's Order of Friendship medal, is using "reorganization" and "cost- cutting" as excuses to gut the State Department and ax hundreds of senior Foreign Service officers, weakening American "soft power" (to whose benefit?). Some are taking note:
In a letter to Mr. Tillerson last week, Democratic members of the House Foreign Relations Committee, citing what they said was “the exodus of more than 100 senior Foreign Service officers from the State Department since January,” expressed concern about “what appears to be the intentional hollowing-out of our senior diplomatic ranks.” 
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, sent a similar letter, telling Mr. Tillerson that “America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex global crises are growing externally.” [snip] 
His small cadre of aides have fired some diplomats and gotten others to resign by refusing them the assignments they wanted or taking away their duties altogether. Among those fired or sidelined were most of the top African-American and Latino diplomats, as well as many women, difficult losses in a department that has long struggled with diversity.
Scott "Screw It" Pruitt, fossil fuel industry stooge, is combining a little old fashioned corruption with his efforts to neuter the Environmental Protection Agency:
Earlier this month, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt fired all board members who currently receive EPA grants for their research, saying they cannot remain objective if they accept agency money. In replacing them, Pruitt transformed the board from a panel of the nation’s top environmental experts to one dominated by industry-funded scientists and state government officials who have fought federal regulations. 
Pruitt removed 21 members of the advisory board, mostly academics, and replaced them with 16 experts with ties to industries regulated by the agency and two with no industry ties. Fourteen of the new members consult or work for the fossil fuel or chemical industries, which gave Pruitt nearly $320,000 for his campaigns in Oklahoma as a state senator and attorney general. 
Sleepy Ben Carson, at the neglected and abused Department of Housing and Urban Development, is okay with billions of dollars in budget cuts and wants to protect big banks from penalties on mortgage loan "errors."  Here's a long read about how this cypher is going about both passively and actively dismantling an agency whose primary constituency is low- and middle- income Americans.

You've got industry insider Ajit Pai at the Federal Communications Commission on the verge of ending net neutrality and opening the door to mega- corporation political manipulation of what you see on the Internet.

Billionaire Bible- thumper Betsy DeVos, one of the most incompetent yet dangerous Rump appointments, is moving like a wrecking ball through the Department of Education, with her agenda of turning America's public education system into a welter of religious "private" schools (at taxpayer expense, of course). She also wants colleges and universities to have more freedom to ignore claims of sexual assault. On top of all that, of course, she wants to gut the Department by gutting its budget, which was even a bridge too far for some Senate Republicans.

That, as they say, is the tip of the iceberg.  Trumpkins below the secretarial level are busy hollowing out key functions and checks on the industries they're supposedly regulating. Perhaps sensing that they have limited time before a reckoning at the polls, these sociopaths are determined to wreak as much permanent damage, both domestically and internationally, as they possibly can.

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