Open thread March 7, 2018 Dan Crawford | March 7, 2018 7:10 am Tags: open thread Comments (12) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
“If some future, and relatively sane, president of the United States doesn’t declare Jane Mayer of The New Yorker an essential national resource, then the Republic is being cheated. Mayer is back with a long profile of Christopher Steele, the former British spook who was present at the creation of this president*’s endless troubles……
It is an established fact that the Russians are planning to ratfck the 2018 midterm elections, which should surprise approximately nobody. The Congress earmarked $120 million for the State Department to use to counter this continuing assault on the country. Of that money, Tillerson and his undermanned operation have spent exactly zero dollars, according to The New York Times.
As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts. The delay is just one symptom of the largely passive response to the Russian interference by President Trump, who has made little if any public effort to rally the nation to confront Moscow and defend democratic institutions. More broadly, the funding lag reflects a deep lack of confidence by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in his department’s ability to execute its historically wide-ranging mission and spend its money wisely.
Mr. Tillerson has voiced skepticism that the United States is even capable of doing anything to counter the Russian threat. “If it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Mr. Tillerson said in an interview last month with Fox News. “And we can take steps we can take, but this is something that once they decide they are going to do it, it’s very difficult to pre-empt it.”
Well, fck it, then. Let’s all go get a beer.
I can’t think of one administration in my lifetime that wouldn’t have thrown Tillerson out the window for saying something like that and then fired him before he hit the pavement.
Seriously, what does this administration have to do to make it clearer that its interests don’t lie in protecting this country if the adversary in question is Russia? Stick an onion dome on the White House? Start shooting up performance-enhancing drugs? Make the Marine Band an all-balalaika orchestra? I look pretty terrible in a tall fur hat.”
F1ck the country, then the planet. Quite an inspiring message.
This article at Vox summarizes everything that I’ve been trying to say at this blog for the past 10 years (and have been too apoplectic to say during the past year)
President Donald Trump’s administration has been on a deregulatory bender, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations. As of January, the New York Times counted 67 environmental rules on the chopping block under Trump.
This is not one of Trump’s idiosyncrasies, though. His administration is more ham-handed and flagrant about it, but the antipathy it expresses toward federal regulation falls firmly within the GOP mainstream. Republicans have been complaining about “burdensome” and “job-killing” regulations for so long that their opposition to any particular health, safety, or environmental regulation is now just taken for granted.
For instance, why would the Environmental Protection Agency close a program investigating the effects of toxins on children’s health? Is there some evidence that the money is wasted or poorly spent? Why would the EPA allow more unregulated disposal of toxic coal ash? Don’t people in coal regions deserve clean air and water? Is there any reason to think coal ash is currently well-regulated?
These questions barely come up anymore. Republicans oppose regulations because they are regulations; it’s become reflexive, both for the party and for the media the covers them.
As it happens, though, we know something about the costs and benefits of federal regulations. In fact, Trump’s own administration, specifically the (nonpartisan, at least for now) White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), just released its annual report on that very subject. (Hat tip to E&E.)
The report was released late on a Friday, with Congress out of session and multiple Trump scandals dominating the headlines. A cynical observer might conclude that the administration wanted the report to go unnoticed.
Why might that be? Well, in a nutshell, it shows that the GOP is wrong about regulations as a general matter and wrong about Obama’s regulations specifically. Those regulations had benefits far in excess of their costs, and they had no discernible effect on jobs or economic growth. …
Keep reading here: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/3/6/17077330/trump-regulatory-agenda-omb
Here is the link to OMB’s report: https://www.eenews.net/assets/2018/02/26/document_pm_01.pdf
EM, apoplectic and wrong : “… Trump’s own administration, specifically the (NONPARTISAN, at least for now) White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), just released its annual report on that very subject. (Hat tip to E&E.)”
NONPARTISAN????? Look at the seal on the report you referenced.
It is CBO, usually defined as nonpartisan not OMB which is the presidents budgeting and management office. Along with CBO the GAO, both Congressional organizations, which are often assumed to be nonpartisan.
Even for you that is pathetic.
EM, pathetic??? Why all the emotion and the attitude at being corrected? If/when you are wrong don’t you want to know? Or, as Longtooth likes to claim, is your fantasy world just too comfortable to be questioned?
Ignorance might be better. You know nothing of the OMB; its past or present.
Just another example of the “whack a mole” game you try to get others to play. I call it cherry picking, Longtooth does a much better job,
“it’s a very common one (also used in format debate, jury trials, and political “discussion”). Throw out isolated disparate points each of which taken alone might make sense, but cannot connect them to make a rational, cohesive argument.”
waste of time
And nowhere more so than this example.
“Look at the seal on the report you referenced.”
Yep, that sure means something.
Meanwhile, the report disputes everything the Trump campaign and the trump admin has bee claiming for the last couple of years regarding regulations, yet somehow you think the OMB is partisan because of “that seal”.
The actual story shows your ignorance. And the fact you argue this shows your intent and process.
EM, for heaven’s sake stop the “headless chicken dancing”. Your deflection from your own errors adds nothing to this blog.
If you don’t get the “headless-chicken dancing”, it is here: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/05/greg-gutfeld-rehab-for-trump-haters-in-3-easy-steps.html
It concludes with this: “Headless-chicken dancing (group 1) only helps the Russians, and others who wish to take advantage of emotional distractions.
All of this is based on one key point: you don’t need to – and shouldn’t have to – sit so close to the political stage.
Do not turn your life into some interior play-by-play of political events.
There is a better way. It’s called life.”
Yes, I do believe you and those of your ilk in Group 1, are the primary targets of the Russian efforts. Your unbridled hatred and ranting do nothing but raise your own blood pressure. Because of them you rarely add value to this blog. Please be careful your health may be at risk.
I have no disagreement with your two comments…. not even any appended “but”s. The issue at core comes down to
1. Political value systems differ,
3 Propaganda & blatant lies
None of these have changed for as long as humans have had civilizations. Trump’s admin, and the present conservative majority in Congress are just a little more of the same.
From where I sit, the US’s system is more like the wild west than a guided system — which condition is advocated to be preferable to allowing a dictatorship to take hold, though I’m not really convinced of this since I became very familiar with how the National Socialist gained political power.
It was by free and fair the popular vote over several years, beginning with the rural districts. After the Reichstag fire, the use of emotionally based FUD propelled them to absolute power. (& incidentally, the “brown shirts” just differentiated the National Socialists from the other shirt/uniform colors. These paramilitary political arms existed in all the major political parities and used the same methods — just that the National Socialists had a far greater number of angry out of work former WWI vets, more nationalists, more anti-Semitics (racism can be brought to bear everywhere), and a ruthless leader (Rohm)).
The US’s guiding system is “individualism” which has been it’s mainstay since at least the Civil war… earlier as well, but I can’t come up wit the genesis other than the carry-over from England. “individualism” in civilized society is a somewhat restricted or somewhat controlled form of chaos.
Given our Constitution and methods of interpreting it, the only real option is to persuade the population that a cooperative society is the most beneficial to all.
But that’s a long haul endeavor… generation by generation — and we haven’t made as much progress yet as I’d hoped from my becoming aware in my high-school years, at least judging by the congressional majority, and the near 50% popular vote for Trump.
I first ignored your follow-on rant, but you seem to fail basic logic. You: “Ignorance might be better. You know nothing of the OMB; its past or present.” Your use of “nonpartisan” is to what I reacted.
Unless you have been part of the process, you are clueless. Have you ever done a Federal Cost Benefit Analysis? I have! Did those I did have regulatory impact? Only once, when after doing multiple studies finding the benefits far out weighed the costs, we recommended a regulation change eliminating these types of studies.
I pointed out the “PRESIDENTIAL” Seal on the cover of the Report. Why would I do that? Because, this one agency is the “PRESIDENT’S” direct management and budget arm. I DUNNO, BUT I ALWAYS THOUGHT THE PRESIDENT WAS A POLITICALLY ELECTED OFFICE. That is far from “nonpartisan”. No, I know nothing of the how the Federal Government works and how OMB fits in the PARTISAN EXECUTIVE BRANCH.
As to my knowledge of OMB, I had a career in the Federal Government in several EXECUTIVE agencies. EXECUTIVE agencies are those working for the EXECUTIVE Branch, which is the PRESIDENT’S branch. While working in those agencies I had many dealings with PRESIDENT’S OMB, primarily on the budget side. I did not work in a regulatory function.
Accordingly you are wrong, again, about: “The actual story shows your IGNORANCE.” Only you have shown ignorance.
Now, why would such a Report show these results? Simply because Federal Agencies must show the cost and benefits when the promulgate regulations. This reports actually queries the agencies to show the results from the agency level justifications and tests that they have been done required by the subset of regulations covered by the Law and various internal orders.
It does not test nor validate of those Cost Benefit Analyses. It merely summarizes and totals their results.
To show other than positive results would indicate the agencies are not following the law.