civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

Causalities of Corruption (updated 13 Sep 17)

Edit 2 Oct 2017:

6 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names (Daniel A. Craig withdrew his name for nomination because of questions about him falsifying records)

64 Executive Branch employees have resigned or quit

12 have been fired

Tom Price, Director of HHS, resigned.

Michael Short, White House Press Aid, resigned.

Derek Harvey, Middle East advisor to the NSC, fired.

George Sifakis, Director of the Office of Public Liaison. resigned.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

“Unplanned and frequent employee turnover is generally regarded as bad for business.” – Chron.com

  This Administration is a lurid mix of bold corruption, breathtaking incompetence, and, I don’t know, is there are word that combines ignorance, cruelty, and greed? As of the morning of September 7th, 2017, after a mere 8 months in office, the rotating door that is the Executive Branch has seen 78 major position changes. Cabinet level members, Department Heads, Assistant Deputies, and other major figures that have been hired and fired, sometimes with mere hours on the job.

“High employee turnover is usually an indication that there are problems with the management of the company, including incompetence.” – Careertrend.com

6 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names (Daniel A. Craig withdrew his name for nomination because of questions about him falsifying records)

61 Executive Branch employees have resigned or quit

11 have been fired

As has been stated before, the rate of change makes it nearly impossible to have an accurate count. These changes happen weekly, and to make matters worse, it is never clear if the person in question quit, resigned, or was fired. Reasons are seldom given. For a candidate whose business acumen was a central piece of the campaign Trump appears to be the absolute worst businessman; who for all of his “deal-making” hype seems unable to get any legislation signed, in spite of the fact that the Republicans control the entire government. I guess racism and bigotry don’t make a good platform for governance.

It is worth mentioning that as of May 2017, only 5% of Executive Branch positions have been filled. It is difficult to find more current data on this, apparently journalists have moved onto other stories.

Here is the current casualty list –

Stanley Fischer – Federal Reserve Vice Chairman submits resignation, Sep 2017.

Keith Schiller – Director of Oval Office operations resigns, Sep 2017.

Javier Palomarez – president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, resigns from Trump’s WH National Diversity Council due to DACA decision Sep 2017.

William C. Bradford – Head of the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, resigned after comments he made that “questioned Obama’s birth certificate and called the former president’s mother “a fourth-rate porn actress and whore.” Aug 2017.

Cristin Dorgelo – resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, Aug 2017.

Christy Goldfuss – vice president at the Center for American Progress, resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Aug 2017.

DJ Patil – a political independent who was formerly U.S. chief data scientist under Obama resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Aug 2017.

Daniel Tangherlini – former administrator of the General Services Administration. resigned from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council Aug 2017.

Daniel Kammen – Science Envoy for the Department of State, resigned Aug 17.

Andy Hemming – White House director of rapid response, resigned Aug 2017.

Rev. A.R. Bernard – resigned from the Presidents Evangelical Council Aug 2017.

Tracey Ann Jacobson – a career foreign service officer who served as acting director of the Bureau for International Organization Affairs, resigned from the State Department Aug 2017.

William Rivington Brownfield, who has been serving as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, resigned from the State Department, Aug 2017.

Kristie Kenney, one of the most senior foreign service officers in the State Department, resigned from the State Department, Aug 2017.

John Heffern State Department’s top official for European affairs, resigned Aug 2017

Kenneth Frazier – Merck CEO, resigns from American Manufacturing Council, Aug 2017.

Kevin Plank – Under Armour CEO, resigns from American Manufacturing Council, Aug 2017.

Brain Krzanich – Intel CEO, resigns from American Manufacturing Council Aug 2017

Scott Paul – President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, resigned from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, Aug 2017.

Steve Bannon – Chief White House Strategist – fired (Who knows what actually happened here. The pundits have put out numerous different and conflicting stories – resigned, quit, fired. All part of the smokescreen of lies that are the daily chore of this administration), Aug 2017.

Richard L. Trumka AFL-CIO, resigns Representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Thea Lee – Depucty Chief of Staff AFL-CIO, resigns as representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Denise Morrison – Campbell Soup, resigns from the Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Inge Thulin – 3M , resigns from the Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing, Aug 2017.

Jeff Immelt – Chairman of GE, resigned from the American Manufacturing Council, Aug 2017.

Carl Icahn – special advisor to the president on regulation, resigned, Aug 2017.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick – National Security Council senior director for intelligence, fired Aug 2017.

James Comey – FBI Director, fired by Trump. Reasons not clear. May 2017.

Steven Groves – Chief of Staff to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, quit Jul 2017.

Jonathan Wachtel – communications director to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, quit Jul 2017.

Richard Staropoli – the chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security has resigned from his position after only three months on the job. Aug 2017.

Anthony Scaramucci – White House Communications Director, fired. July 2017.

Angella Reid – White House Chief Usher, fired May 2017. reason unknown.

Charles Brotman – Inauguration Announcer, fired Jan 2017, no reason given.

John Thompson – U.S. Census Bureau Director, resigned May 2017, no official reason given.

K.T. McFarland – Deputy National Security Advisor, fired from the NSC, Apr 2017.

Michael Short – White House Aid, resigned Jul 2017, reason unknown.

Reince Preibus – White House Chief of Staff, fired Jul 2017  “…failed to impose order on a chaos-racked West Wing”.

Walter Shaub – Director of the Office of Government Ethics, quit Jul 2017 “…after condemning the president for using his hotels and other properties for government business in what is in effect a free advertising campaign”.

Andrew Puzder – Nominee for Labor Secretary, withdrew name 15 Feb 2017.

Bob Iger – Advisor to Trumps Strategic and Policy Forum, quit Jun 2017 – “because Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.”

David Rank – Acting US Ambassador to China, quit Jun 2017. “disagreed with Trumps climate change policies”.

Elon Musk – Advisor to Trumps Strategic and Policy Forum, quit Jun 2017. “because Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.”

Gentry O. Smith – Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, quit Jan 2017 “Signaling a lack of faith in the incoming administration and the new Commander in Chief”.

James Runcie – Head of the Dept. Education Student Financial Aid Office, resigned May 2017. “I cannot in good conscience continue to be accountable as Chief Operating Officer given the risk associated with the current environment at the Department”

Jason Miller – Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser, withdrew name from consideration for “family reasons”.

Joyce Anne Barr – Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, quit Jan 2017 “asked to leave by Trump administration”.

Katie Walsh – Deputy Chief of Staff, quit Mar 2017. “A former RNC staff member said of her – ‘she won’t be missed’”.

Marc Kasowitz – Trump’s personal lawyer, resigned Jul 2017 – “ProPublica published several profane emails he sent to an individual telling him to stop defending the president.”

Mark Corallo – Spokesman for the White House legal team, resigned Jul 2017 – “Tension between the White House and the Trump legal team”.

Mark Green – Nominee for Secretary of the Army, withdrew name May 2017 – “…amid a growing whirlwind of controversy surrounding comments he made in the past, especially about LGBT people”.

Michael Flynn – National Security Advisor, fired Feb 2017 by Trump for “lying to the Vice Presedeint.”

Michele Bond – Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, quit Jan 2017. “asked to leave by Trump administration”.

Mike Dubke – White House Communications Director, resigned May 2017 – “The communications operation — and Dubke and Spicer specifically — have come under sharp criticism from Trump and many senior officials in the West Wing, who believe the president has been poorly served by his staff”.

Patrick Kennedy – State Department’s Undersecretary for Management, quit Jan 2017

Phillip Bilden – Nominee for Secretary of the Navy, withdrew name Feb 2017 “over financial concerns”.

Preet Bharara – US Attorney, fired Mar 2017 by Trump for not resigning.

Rumana Ahmed – National Security Council, quit Jan 2017. “When Trump issued a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all Syrian refugees, I knew I could no longer stay and work for an administration that saw me and people like me not as fellow citizens, but as a threat.”

Sally Yates – Acting Attorney General, fired Jan 2017 by Trump for “betraying the Department of Justice”.

Sean Spicer – White House Press Secretary, resigned Jul 2017 – “telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci”.

Vincent Viola – Nominee for Secretary of the Army, withdrew nomination Feb 2017 “over concerns about the complicated task of divesting from his many business interests”.

Daniel A. CraigFEMA Deputy Director Nominee, withdraws his name after NBC questions on falsified records. Sep 2017.

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS(AOM)

 

http://www.salon.com/2017/08/23/trumps-national-infrastructure-advisory-council-is-also-falling-apart/

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-dismisses-climate-policy-advisers-263b52ddeb5e/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/state-department-science-envoy-sends-not-so-secret-message-to-trump-impeach_us_599d9fcae4b0d97c4000a0d6

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/347749-white-house-rapid-response-director-leaves-job

https://news.vice.com/story/at-least-69-people-have-now-quit-trumps-white-house-advisory-groups

Top State Department Officials Step Down in “Black Friday” Exodus

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nikki-haleys-chief-of-staff-and-communications-director-resign/article/2631136

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/345578-dhs-chief-information-officer-resigns-after-three-months-on-job

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/05/white-house-fires-its-chief-usher-the-first-woman-in-that-job/?utm_term=.386a5e0907c9

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/01/trump-inauguration-announcer

https://www.bustle.com/p/all-the-people-in-trumps-administration-who-left-quit-otherwise-are-gone-73387

https://www.bustle.com/p/all-the-people-in-trumps-administration-who-left-quit-otherwise-are-gone-73387

http://nypost.com/2017/07/25/white-house-aide-quits-before-scaramucci-can-fire-him/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/31/trump-ethics-chief-walter-shaub-kleptocracy

https://www.voanews.com/a/trump-firing-cabinet-official-rare-not-unprecedented/3700697.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/takes-fired-obama-administration/story?id=20684401

Disney CEO Bob Iger Resigns From Trump’s Advisory Council Over Paris Accord Decision

http://www.businessinsider.com/david-rank-quits-after-trump-paris-accord-2017-6

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/trump-climate-change-elon-musk/528906/

State Dept.’s Top Management Staff Calls It Quits

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/25/529560167/why-did-the-top-student-aid-official-under-betsy-devos-resign

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/24/politics/jason-miller-no-white-house-job/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-deputy-chief-of-staff-katie-walsh-leaving-white-house/article/2618887

http://thehill.com/homenews/news/343069-trumps-personal-lawyer-resigns-from-top-post-amid-legal-team-shakeup

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/20/politics/trump-corallo-resigns/index.html

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-withdrawing-mark-green-turns-down-army-secretary-595779

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/30/dubke-resigns-as-white-house-communications-director/?utm_term=.4bdf45b64103

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-withdrawing-mark-green-turns-down-army-secretary-595779

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/new-york-federal-prosecutor-preet-bharara-has-not-submitted-resignation/2017/03/11/39163292-067a-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10_story.html?utm_term=.7c5745425705

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/rumana-ahmed-trump/517521/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/donald-trump-immigration-order-department-of-justice/index.html

http://time.com/4806749/sean-spicer-resigns-white-house-resignations/

http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-cabinet-nominees-keep-withdrawing-mark-green-turns-down-army-secretary-595779

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/31/politics/kfile-bradford-resigns/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-fema-nominee-withdraws-after-nbc-questions-falsified-records-n800856?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

 

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Trumps Economy Explained In One Graph

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Casualties – Addendum 6

“I’ll choose the best people for my administration” Trump 15 Sep 2016

“I am self funding and will hire the best people, not the biggest donors!” Trump 3 Apr 2016

“We have great people. We have the most loyal people. We have the smartest people.” Trump 9 Aug 2016

  I know, right? Number 6. I’m scared to write these now. The “finely tuned machine” that is the White House is hemorrhaging staff faster than anyone can track. By my reckoning the current casualty numbers are-

5 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names

34 have resigned

12 have quit

11 have been fired

This latest tally includes:

14 Aug 17 Kenneth Frazier Merck CEO resigns from trump American manufacturing council quoting the administrations lack of taking a stand against racism and intolerance as the reason

14 Aug 17 Under Armour CEO Kevin resigns from American manufacturing council

14 Aug 17 Intel CEO Brain Krzanich resigns American manufacturing council

15 Aug 17 Scott Paul President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing resigned from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative

15 Aug 17 Richard L. Trumka AFL-CIO resigns Representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing

15 Aug 17 Thea Lee Depucty Chief of Staff AFL-CIO resigns Representative to Presidential Counsel on Manufacturing

16 Aug 17 Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup and Inge Thulin of 3M — had announced Wednesday morning they would resign from the manufacturing council.

16 Aug 17 Jeff Immelt Chairman of GE resigned from the American Manufacturing Council

18 Aug 16 Steve Bannon Chief White House Strategist – fired (Who knows what actually happened here. The pundits have put out numerous different and conflicting stories – resigned, quit, fired. All part of the smokescreen of lies that are the daily chore of this administration).

18 Aug 17 Carl Icahn special advisor to the president on regulation – resigned

18 Aug 17   17 members of the President’s Art Council resigned. Their statement:

“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” the 16 wrote in a letter to Trump. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand.”

“Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values,” the letter said. “Your values are not American values.”

The councils that were put together to promote and enhance American jobs have been disbanded, the CEOs have resigned in disgust as a direct consequence to Trumps white nationalist agenda. For a President who ran, in large part, on bringing jobs to American workers it seems like he is going out of his way to alienate the CEO’s of the largest employers in the country. These councils existed to guide economic policy in such a way as to maximize benefit to the American people. Now they are gone and with them any hope of this administration accomplishing much by way of job creation.

I suppose it goes without saying, if you hired “the best” people, you wouldn’t have had to fire them and put up with them resigning.

Daniel Cashman EAMP, MS (AOM)

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History Repeating Itself – Are We in Danger of Legally Installing a Dictator?

Nothing exists in a vacuum. The strife that the Trump administration is causing the United States today has parallels with other tyrants and nation-states throughout history. Although Oscar Wilde taught us that “history doesn’t repeat itself, historians repeat each other”, I think its worth a look into the historical development of autocracy in recent modern history to develop a sense as to what is happening right now in America.

The environment that Trump is engendering closely parallels the situations that other dictators fostered on their way to seizing power. For example, there has been a nationwide increase in hate crimes this year. Within 10 days of Donald Trump’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 900 bias-related incidents against minorities. (1). Why is this important?

As Hitler was consolidating power, he denounced Jews, capitalists and other alleged villains and vowed to rebuild German greatness. (2) In the same way, Trump has been railing against Muslims and immigrants for the last year, and has even paraphrased the Nazi slogan “Make Germany Great Again” (3). These deliberate efforts galvanize a disgruntled base by channeling their energies into a common enemy. Just as 1938 saw an increase in persecution of Jews, socialists, trade union leaders. homosexuals, and communists (4); so too did 2017 see an increase in persecution of Muslims (5), homosexuals (6), immigrants (7), Jews (8), and unions (9). Constant saber rattling and the pernicious fear being fostered at every turn by the Trump administration feeds into this.

Stalin consolidated power in the 1930’s and eliminated all opposition in his rule of the Politburo by 1934 (10). In the same way, Trump has consolidated his power over the GOP (11), where even when presented with the most obscene behavior Republicans won’t comment. Even with the murder of Heather Heyer yesterday in VA by Trump supporter James Alex Fields, the Republicans are loathe to say much. Vague platitudes about how murder is bad and that we should come together as a country. When Kenneth Frazier, the CEO of Merck resigned today from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council citing the administrations not taking a stand against racism (12), he was immediately blasted on Twitter. Taking a stand against Trump results in immediate consequences – ask any of the people he’s fired lately.

Distrustful of the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD), in 1936 Stalin fired the head and installed his own guy Nikolai Yezhov (13). And just like Stalin firing the head of the NKVD for his questionable loyalty, Trump fired the director of the FBI James Comey. In 1937 there was a massive purge of the Red Army of anyone not considered loyal (14).  And although I grant you that forbidding transsexuals from serving in the military is not the same as purging the Red Army, it does have an eerie “purge” like quality to it that should give us pause to reflect. Look at what Trump has done in just seven months, almost unopposed.

I think that there have been many articles comparing the rise of Trump to Hitler and Stalin and to autocracies in general. Seriously, there have been enough things written about this that it should really worry you.

I want to look into the future a little bit. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball, so it is speculation only.

A commonality that dictators have on their rise to power is the consolidation of authority on “legal” grounds. The process has a pretty consistent theme – gather the congress or parliament together, accuse a bunch of them of being traitors then have them arrested and killed.

On July 22nd, 1979 Saddam Hussein assembled a meeting of the Ba’ath Party and accused hundreds of members of being a fifth column and trying to overthrow the Iraqi government. He has them all executed, effectively consolidating his power and quelling any insurrection.

The Burning of the Reichstag (15) on 27 Feb 1933 (portrayed by the Nazi’s as a Communist takeover) gave Hitler the excuse to pass the Reichstag Fire Decree on 28 Feb 1933 (suspended freedom of press and habeas corpus rights) and led directly to the signing of the Enabling Act of 1933 which essentially gave Hitler absolute control over Germany. To ensure that this was enacted without any problems members of the SA and SS surrounded Reichstag members during the signing.

In March 2017 the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided it would take over the National Assembly (controlled by the opposition) leading to violent protests in the streets. (16) One of Maduro’s responses was to create a Constituent Assembly effectively giving him absolute control of the government (17)

What these all have in common is a subversion of the democratic institutions, through the use of law, to create a dictatorship.

And his supporters want that.

In June, radio host Michael Savage called for the government to take over the media screaming “Is it time for the government to take control of the out-of-control pirates on social media?” (18). Politico reports “Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations.” (19) Trump was the only candidate supported by voters who are inclined to want authoritarianism. (20)

It would be naïve to think that somehow the U.S. is immune to this. Granted, these bumbling idiots haven’t been able to get their shit together enough to institute whatever their plan is, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t figuring it out. Remember that it was just six days ago that we thought we were on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. They really are pulling the strings, and we have no choice but to dance when they do. My feeling is that we are all in grave danger. Will this administration so upset the balance of the world that we beg them to take  over? Will they be able to generate so much uncertainty and fear that average citizens ask Trump to save us? Will they simply wear us out and assume the mantle of god-king? Millions of his supports want that right now.

Now is not the time to be exhausted, although I totally get it if you are.

#resist

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

 

  1. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/post-election-spike-hate-crimes-persists-2017/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimpowell/2013/02/05/how-dictators-come-to-power-in-a-democracy/
  3. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/11/23/1603405/-Here-s-Adolph-Hitler-saying-he-ll-make-Germany-great-again-in-1934
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_resistance_to_Nazism

5.http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/trump_s_executive_order_is_an_unconstitutional_attack_on_muslims.html

  1. http://www.hrc.org/blog/Possible-Trump-Action-Specifically-Targeting-LGBTQ-People
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/deportation-orders-up-under-trump-fewer-prevail-in-immigration-court/2017/08/08/d3f0a6a6-7c74-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.52de03ba1f49
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/opinions/trumps-problem-with-jews-levy/index.html
  4. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/donald-trumps-loud-silence-on-unions/517179/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_Joseph_Stalin
  6. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/05/comey_s_gone_and_the_gop_doesn_t_care_is_there_anything_trump_could_do_to.html
  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2017/08/14/what-you-should-know-about-ken-frazier-the-ceo-who-just-resigned-from-trumps-council/#1a6a2dca7e01
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_Joseph_Stalin
  9. Ibid.
  10. http://time.com/3717003/reichstag-fire-1933/
  11. http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-40438022/venezuela-crisis-what-s-going-on
  12. Ibid.
  13. https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/06/14/trump-ally-michael-savage-calls-government-takeover-media-following-shooting-gop-baseball-practice/216916
  14. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533
  15. http://affinitymagazine.us/2016/12/03/authoritarianism-the-ideology-behind-a-trump-supporter/
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Casualties – Addendum 5

I have been writing these as I notice a headline popping up with the info.  I am taken aback by the frequency that it happens. I really want this blog to focus on issues that are relevant, and in isolation, these personnel changes would not be particularly meaningful. However, the fact that the administration continues to congratulate themselves on how smooth everything is running, it would seem to be germane to the conversation. It puts faces on their lies.

Hand to God, I didn’t expect this to morph into a never-ending rabbit hole. But here we are – two more casualties in the war on America –

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff Steven Groves and communications director Jonathan Wachtel have both quit their jobs. (1)

This brings today’s totals to:

5 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names

8 have resigned

12 have quit

10 have been fired

I try to keep the list only to significant positions, and honestly, my decision is not really based on any kind of science.  I assume that many other low-level employees have quit, resigned, or been fired based on the large number of them that make the front page of the news.

 

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

 

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nikki-haleys-chief-of-staff-and-communications-director-resign/article/2631136

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Don’t Count on the NSC to Save Us from Annihilation

In light of the cataclysmic announcement by the buffoon in charge of the country yesterday, giving a nuclear ultimatum to North Korea, I was spurred to research the National Security Council (NSC) after seeing this headline –

“Trump and Gen. John Kelly ‘are and have been in constant contact with the NSC team ahead of fire and fury comments’, spokeswoman says.”

Given the utter chaos and incompetence of this administration, I felt compelled to see if there was anything in the NSC to find hope in. Among the first headlines one finds after searching NSC:

“…as the U.S. inches closer to war with North Korea, the White House body charged with discussing and coordinating U.S. foreign policy is engulfed in what one administration official called a ‘poisonous environment.’ “(1)

Not off to a great start. Let’s have a look into who exactly this team is and what it is supposed to be doing.

The National Security Council (NSC) is the principal forum used by the president of the United States for consideration of national security and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the executive office of the president of the United States. (2)

It is comprised of the following individuals:

The President – a washed up, narcissistic reality TV host (3), failed businessman (4), and con-man (5).

The Vice President –  a fanatical religious zealot who supports gay conversion therapy, called gay marriage an example of “societal collapse”, believes HIV is God’s punishment for being gay, (6), and has no foreign policy experience. Let’s not forget that he also once had a radio show where he referred to himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf” (7).

Secretary of State – former Exxon CEO with no foreign policy experience who has decimated State Department morale (8) and whose leadership is described as failing to fill numerous senior positions across the State Department, promulgating often incoherent policies, and systematically shutting out career foreign service officers from decision-making” (9)

Secretary of Defense – Gen. Mattis. I don’t have anything negative to say about Gen. Mattis, except that he apparently is on vacation (10).

Secretary of Energy – former Dancing with the Stars contestant who once shot a wolf while out jogging, and who does not know the mission of the Department he is in charge of (11).

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Joseph Dunford. I don’t know anything about him, but he has pissed off the writers at usdefensewatch.com (a crazy ultra religious ultra right wing website) so he is probably ok. (12)

Director of National Intelligence – Dan Coats, anti LGBT rights and anti gay marriage advocate who fought against gays serving in the military, whose only intelligence experience was briefly as a member of the Senate Intel Committee.  (13)

Director of National Drug Control Policy – Acting Director Richard Baum, who has been on the job for about 3 months. Not much written about him.

National Security Advisor – H.R. McMaster.

Deputy National Security Advisor – Ricky Waddell.

Homeland Security Advisor – Tom Bossert.

Attorney General – Jeff Sessions. Racist, anti immigrant, lied to Congress, and has little or no foreign policy experience that I can find.

White House Chief of Staff – Gen. Kelly. I don’t know much about him but I think it does give some insight into his mind to know that he said “If you knew what I knew about terror, you’d ‘never leave the house’ (14)

In addition to the more or less standardized members, there are a number of other players with influence over the NSC and who advise the President. Chief among them are Jared Kushner – someone with no government or political knowledge or experience (15), an appetite for revenge (16), and a disdain for the press (17). His only actual work experience appears to have been in selling real estate. The other power broker in the kakistocracy is Steve Bannon, who was appointed to the NSC, fired from the NSC, and apparently continues to attend meeting of the NSC (18). Bannon in fact is a White House aid with a broad portfolio and unclear powers (19). Bannon as most folks know, is a white nationalist who ran a racist newspaper and has no foreign policy experience, whose stated goal is the “destruction of the administrative state” (20)

If this wasn’t worrisome enough, the NSC has been in a constant state of chaos since the coup in November 2016, with many members being fired, shuffled around, and with a number of critical staff positions left vacant or headed by interim directors.

  • Derek Harvey top advisor on the Middle East – fired 27 Jul 17 (21)
  • K.T. McFarland, National Security Advisor – fired 9 Apr 17 (22)
  • Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor – resigned 13 Feb 17
  • Richard Higgins, NSC Director of Strategic Planning – 21 Jul 17 (23)
  • Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Director of Intelligence – fired 2 Aug 17

We are left with an administration who is unable to articulate what the US foreign policy is with regards to North Korea (24) (the following is cribbed from this same article):

  • March 16: “A different approach”
  • March 17: “The era of strategic patience is over”
  • April 2: “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will”
  • April 4: “We’ve said enough”
  • April 9: Dispatching the U.S.S. Carl Vinson
  • April 16: “The patience of the United States has run out”
  • April 19: “The sword stands ready”
  • April 26: “Return to the path of dialogue”
  • April 27: “Obviously, direct talks would be the way we would like to solve this”
  • April 27: “A major, major conflict with North Korea”
  • April 28: “Before we can ever consider talks North Korea must take concrete steps to reduce the threat that its illegal weapons programs pose”

Now fast forward to July and August, and we see more confusion, not only with regards to the policies, but we have our own administration contradicting itself:

  • Jul 3 US flies two B-1B bombers over North Korea
  • Jul 4 Tillerson – U.S. seeks the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (25)
  • Jul 4 Tillerson – Pyongyang government “a dangerous regime” and said the United States would seek “stronger measures” at the UN Security Council to hold the North Koreans accountable for the latest missile test (26)
  • Jul 31 Nikki Haley – it’s time for action on North Korea: ‘The time for talk is over’ (27)
  • Aug 1 US does not blame China for escalating tensions with North Korea and would like to seek a dialogue with Kim Jong-un’s regime (28)
  • Aug 8 Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S. (29)
  • Aug 9 Trump’s threat to North Korea was “improvised” (30)

Essentially, our comprehensive US foreign policy is a roulette wheel. Every day one of the incompetent morons in the administration has to spin it (probably the same person who gives Trump his report on how great he is (31) ), and then report whatever it says to the world.

We have, up until now, crisis created solely by this team of idiots in the White House, whose primary accomplishment this far has been to wage terrorism on the citizens of the United States.

What will happen when we are faced with a real crisis.

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

  1. http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/09/exclusive-poisonous-atmosphere-grips-mcmasters-national-security-council-as-accusations-fly/

2 . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Security_Council

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apprentice_(U.S._TV_series)
  2. http://www.newsweek.com/2016/08/12/donald-trumps-business-failures-election-2016-486091.html
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/politics/trump-university.html
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/04/mike-pence-zealot-vice-presidential-debate-republicans
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pence
  6. http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/31/how-the-trump-administration-broke-the-state-department/
  7. Ibid.
  8. http://www.businessinsider.com/mattis-vacation-appaulled-trump-trans-ban-2017-7
  9. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/rick-perry-energy-secretary-donald-trump.html
  10. http://usdefensewatch.com/2016/04/the-chairman-of-the-joint-chiefs-of-staff-must-resign/
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Coats
  12. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/335272-dhs-chief-youd-never-leave-the-house-with-my-terror-info
  13. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8293534/who-is-jared-kushner-trump-administration/
  14. Ibid
  15. Ibid
  16. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/06/bannon-attended-national-security-council-meeting-after-his-removal.html
  17. http://www.newsweek.com/bannon-will-be-fine-579713
  18. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/top-wh-strategist-vows-a-daily-fight-for-deconstruction-of-the-administrative-state/2017/02/23/03f6b8da-f9ea-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?utm_term=.721746048f0a
  19. http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/27/top-middle-east-advisor-out-on-the-national-security-council/
  20. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/328009-deputy-national-security-adviser-kt-mcfarland-asked-to-step-down
  21. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/a-national-security-council-staffer-is-forced-out-over-a-controversial-memo/535725/
  22. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/the-many-north-korea-policies-of-rex-w-tillerson/524736/
  23. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-latest-n-korea-launch-shows-surprise-attack-ability/2017/07/28/6e8d475c-73f4-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.c4f6129df925
  24. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/04/kim-jong-un-mocks-us-rex-tillerson-confirms-north-koreas-icbm/
  25. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/07/31/nikki-haley-says-its-time-for-action-on-north-korea-the-time-for-talk-over/23057736/
  26. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/01/rex-tillerson-says-us-would-like-seek-dialogue-north-korea-does/
  27. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/world/asia/north-korea-un-sanctions-nuclear-missile-united-nations.html
  28. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/us/politics/trump-north-korea.html
  29. https://www.vox.com/2017/8/8/16114712/trump-propaganda-document

 

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civics, current events, democracy, government, politics

The Latest Casualty in Trump’s War on America

A mere two weeks ago I made an attempt to round up the staff members in the Trump administration who were fired, resigned, or quit. I foolishly thought this was a task that I would be able to accomplish with little effort.  I tried to confine my list to those employees who were relatively important to the functioning of some aspect of the Executive Branch.

However, the chaos that is the SOP of Trump’s White House makes tracking these changes nearly impossible. This makes my fourth update to the initial list in two weeks.

Here is the latest casualty in Trump’s war on America.

“Richard Staropoli, the chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security has resigned from his position after only three months on the job.” (1)

This brings the tally to:

5 Cabinet level nominees have withdrawn their own names

8 have resigned

10 have quit

10 have been fired

Why do this? There are a few reasons, one is to be able to combat the fallacies that he and his supporters bring up about a) the smooth functioning of government, and b) lack of chaos that inundates this kakistocracy.  A second reason is to track the changes that are taking place in the government – people are often fired and not replaced, leaving gaps in the administration and poor governance. You can compare statistics about the volatility of previous administrations going back to 1945 in my previous essay – https://sammadan1.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/collateral-damage-front-row-seats-to-watch-the-trump-train-crash/

It is also interesting to note, when there is enough information about the change to speculate, what the reasons are that someone resigns or gets fired. Lack of loyalty to Trump, criminal investigation, treason, etc.

#resist

 

Daniel Cashman, EAMP, MS (AOM)

  1. http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/345578-dhs-chief-information-officer-resigns-after-three-months-on-job
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