President Trump Removes Many IGs

From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump also nominated a senior Customs and Border Protection policy official, Jason Abend, to be the Defense Department inspector general. That position is vacant and is held on an acting basis by Glenn A. Fine, the deputy inspector general at the Pentagon and a longtime Justice Department inspector general with a reputation for independence.

This week, a group of fellow inspectors general named Mr. Fine to be the chairman of the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, with control of an $80 million budget to police how the government carries out the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. If Mr. Abend is confirmed, Mr. Fine would lose his acting role and could no longer lead the committee.

Mr. Trump also nominated three current and former Justice Department officials to be the new inspectors general at the C.I.A., the Education Department and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The president has been focused for weeks on rooting out administration officials perceived as disloyal.

In February, after the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Mr. Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, the president ousted other administration officials who cooperated in the impeachment inquiry by providing testimony, including Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a National Security Council aide.

The White House marched Colonel Vindman out with security guards, along with Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, an Army officer who also worked on the National Security Council staff but had played no role in the impeachment inquiry, but he happens to be Colonel Vindman’s brother.

Before his role in bringing to light Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine that led to his impeachment, Mr. Atkinson had been nominated to the position by Mr. Trump and confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

The two top Democrats on the intelligence oversight panels expressed vehement objections on Friday, portraying Mr. Trump’s move as political and retribution.

Autocracy in the New Millenium?

It appears to be true.

Across the globe, elected leaders are seeking to kill democracy and assert themselves as rulers for life in their countries.

In March 2018, Donald Trump, addressing a crowd of donors at his Florida estate, told what sounded like a joke. He was talking about the recent amendment of China’s constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to serve in that office indefinitely. About Xi, Trump said: “He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give it a shot someday.” The crowd cheered and applauded in response. In fact, Trump has told one version or another of this joke many times since becoming president.

And though Trump’s remarks are generally perceived as facetious, many of his counterparts on the world stage are quite serious. In January, Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian nation in an annual State of the Union–esque speech. Alongside pledges to improve living standards by, among other things, offering free hot meals to schoolchildren, he proposed major constitutional reforms that could see the presidential office weakened and the prime ministry and State Council strengthened—measures very likely aimed at ensuring that Putin can remain in power after 2024, when constitutional term limits will force him out of the presidency.

I remember when President Bush II  was reported to have said (paraphrasing?) “The Constitution is just another God-Dxxx piece of paper”. (You can read that here if you like.)

Do you remember reading about Kings who sought legitimacy for their rule by having the Pope recognize their earthly authority?

And what about The Divine Right of Kings. ?

It seems that every autocrat seeks legitimacy when they assert they are the rulers over others.

And as near as I can tell, there is a steady progression towards The Unitary Executive Theory in the US in which no other branch of government can challenge a sitting President even when the President overrides Congressional intent.

The Autocrat of the United States may be just around the corner. It might be President Donald Trump…

…or maybe Jared Kushner…

Who thinks for the President?

Who is the President’s brain?  Is it Jared Kushner? Senior advisor to the President?

It is prima facie this President is no genius. So then who is the architect that is making these maneuvers to align EVERY POSSIBLE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIAL as a Trump loyalist?

Does this President fear all independent thinkers?

Is this all Jared Kushner? Will he overthrow the President at the right time this year and take over the United States government in a previously-unthinkable coup?

So all of a sudden with less than 7 months to an election, the President tosses out all inspector generals to put his own minions into place.

Is the President merely the circus barker who gets everyone’s attention while the carny operators prepare to fleece the public at large?

Atkinson’s firing is part of a larger shakeup in the intelligence community. Maguire, the former acting Director of National Intelligence, was also removed by Trump and replaced by a Trump loyalist, Richard Grenell.

The intelligence community, which Trump has always viewed with skepticism, has been in turmoil amid the constant turnover. Atkinson is at least the seventh intelligence official to be fired, ousted or moved aside since last summer.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was created to improve coordination of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies after 9/11, has been in upheaval since former director Dan Coats, who had a fraught relationship with Trump, announced in July 2019 that he was stepping down.

Trump nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to replace Coats, but his selection drew sharp criticism from Democrats and a lukewarm response from some Republicans because of his lack of experience.

Trump withdrew Ratcliffe’s name from consideration shortly after he was nominated, but then re-nominated him again in February. The Senate has yet to move on the nomination.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-fires-intelligence-watchdog-who-had-key-role-in-ukraine-complaint/ar-BB129a2a?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout

And Jared Kushner said this recently:

Kushner on Thursday evening offered a novel argument about the national stockpile. He said some states still had stockpiles that they hadn’t been employing for the coronavirus outbreak and that localities should go to them first. And then he suggested that the national stockpile wasn’t even meant for them.

“And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be the states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

When the federal government says the stockpile is THEIR’s and not OUR’s. They have broken the bond with the State’s and the People they represent.

 

 

 

Terrible “News”

They just don’t get it, do they? The news anchors, I mean. “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Let’s say this straight out:

If you are a news person and you are “The Story”, you aren’t doing your damn job right!

YOU… Mr./Mrs./Ms….you so-called journalist…YOU are not supposed to have encounters with the President, challenge the President, or pontificate on a series of facts before asking the President leading questions. Or anyone else for that matter.

YOU are not the news. When YOU are the news, it is because you have too much ego and not enough intelligence. YOU want us to see YOUR “courage” (cough) to speak truth to power. YOU are NOT the story.

YOU are supposed to give us YOUR opinion AFTER THE DAMN INTERVIEW!

Have you forgotten your elders? George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Seymour Hersch, Howard Fineman, Wolf Blitzer, George Stephanopoulos. Sheesh!

Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read PRESIDENT CAN’T SWIM.”

This illustrates my point. The story was about the President. It’s not about the journalist who was standing on the shore shouting out some absurd comment like: “How do you think people are going to feel about you walking on water now, Mr. President? Some might say that you are covering up the fact that the water is polluted since you removed all pollution controls by executive order?”

That’s not journalism. That’s crap.

Save your pontificating in front of the Washington press corps for drinks at the “newsy” hotel bars.

Or get a blog like mine. With a blog, you are free to open your mouth and remove all doubt about the kind of fool you are. I do it every day.