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Submarining the Chumph

Submarining the most hated POS in America, anyway they can. The war inside the Executive Branch cornholing Putin’s Bitch any way they can.

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Federal employees have found ingenious ways to thwart Trump’s absurd anti-Obama agenda

Pundits have joked that President Donald Trump has a list of accomplishments from Barack Obama’s administration and is going through them one by one in efforts to destroy them. While the reality is probably less about Obama and more about progressive policies in general, the Trump administration has gone through a list of Obama-era accomplishments and attempted to undermine or end them.

In a Monday report, Bloomberg News revealed government employees are circumventing absurd Trump administration demands by simply renaming things.

The example Bloomberg highlighted is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opinion that climate change is real, it’s a serious problem and that it is man-made. Trump’s policy, however, vacillates between believing it isn’t real or that it’s a “hoax” perpetuated by the Chinese. Trump’s appointees at the Commerce Department have complained to the staff at NOAA, which it oversees, but they’ve never demanded changes to scientific findings, research or reports.

Some of the estimated two million staffers have managed to “obstruct, slow down or simply ignore” Trump.

“Everything coming out of NOAA does not reflect this administration,” retired lawyer David Schnare said. He worked for a think tank that is skeptical about climate change. “It reflects the last one.”

The same is happening at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where a report was released contradicting Trump’s position about banking regulations. Embassy staff at the State Department are maintaining programs that boost economies in developing nations, which is in opposition to Trump’s “America First” philosophy. Instead of it being about the economy of a third-world nation, they changed the label so that it’s about creating markets for U.S. exports.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry commissioned a report on the dangers of putting energy onto the power grid from wind and solar energy. The published report proved the exact opposite. Pentagon staffers have outright refused to implement Trump’s policy of barring transgender soldiers from serving in the military. In November, they paid for one such gender-reassignment surgery for a soldier.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has a fleet of over 1,000 electric cars thanks to a 2011 program aimed at building “a 21st century clean energy economy.” That’s in conflict with the Trump administrations’ position on climate change as well. So, the GSA labeled it as a job creator.

“GSA recognizes that emerging technologies play a significant role in our mission to save taxpayer dollars, create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the United States; which is one reason we provide the federal fleet with vehicles that offer the latest and most efficient transportation technologies available, including electric vehicle (EV) technology,” the agency celebrating “National Drive Electric Week.”

The largest barrier to the White House being able to enforce their agenda from top to bottom is Trump’s inability to hire or appoint the necessary staffers and leaders. “Less than two-thirds as many appointments have been submitted and won Senate confirmation,” Bloomberg reported, comparing it to where the Obama administration was at the same time.

Even with appointments, however, there are millions of government employees who maintain their job regardless of who is in office.

“It’s an enormous challenge for a new president and administration to exert influence over the bureaucracy,” Vanderbilt political science professor David Lewis explained. “They know a lot more than the political appointees who come into the agencies. That gives them an advantage.”

While Trump will likely blame “the deep state” or partisan hacks in departments, the bureaucrats are far from it.

“The bureaucracy is generally resistant, no matter what the hell you’re trying to do,” said former Clinton and Obama transition head Leon Panetta. When a president begins as Trump did, admitting he plans to disrupt things, getting staff to implement such policies “is gonna take a hell of a lot longer.”

In the NOAA case, Trump appointees attacked the report “unacceptable” and “inflammatory.” The report was then leaked to the press, which makes it more difficult for staff to make any changes without the public noticing.

 

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Across the Federal Government, An Uprising Against the Chumph

Across America, millions are marching against the Chumph and his white-wing Republican allies. Inside the machinery which operates the Government…There is an even more serious revolt rapidly growing, as the people who work for the Government prepare for what is basically a coup.

No, there aren’t going to be any guns or pitchforks in this revolution – just a bunch of people jamming the entire system up. Should the Chumph try mass firings then this will turn into outright revolt.

Yesterday 800 State Department employees signed a letter protesting the Chumph’s racist immigration ban.

If the Democrats don’t grow some cajones…This is going to the streets.

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Resistance from within: Federal workers push back against Trump

The signs of popular dissent from President Trump’s opening volley of actions have been plain to see on the nation’s streets, at airports in the aftermath of his refu­gee and visa ban, and in the blizzard of outrage on social media. But there’s another level of resistance to the new president that is less visible and potentially more troublesome to the administration: a growing wave of opposition from the federal workers charged with implementing any new president’s agenda.

Less than two weeks into Trump’s administration, federal workers are in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can do to push back against the new president’s initiatives. Some federal employees have set up social media accounts to anonymously leak word of changes that Trump appointees are trying to make.

And a few government workers are pushing back more openly, incurring the wrath of a White House that, as press secretary Sean Spicer said this week about dissenters at the State Department, sends a clear message that they “should either get with the program, or they can go.”

At a church in Columbia Heights last weekend, dozens of federal workers attended a support group for civil servants seeking a forumto discuss their opposition to the Trump administration. And 180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop next weekend, where experts will offer advice on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.

At the Justice Department, an employee in the division that administers grants to nonprofits fighting domestic violence and researching sex crimes said the office has been planning to slow its work and to file complaints with the inspector general’s office if asked to shift grants away from their mission.

“You’re going to see the bureaucrats using time to their advantage,” said the employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Through leaks to news organizations and internal complaints, he said, “people here will resist and push back against orders they find unconscionable.”

The resistance is so early, so widespread and so deeply felt that it has officials worrying about paralysis and overt refusals by workers to do their jobs.

Asked whether federal workers are dissenting in ways that go beyond previous party changes in the White House, Tom Malinow­ski, who was President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said, sarcastically: “Is it unusual? . . . There’s nothing unusual about the entire national security bureaucracy of the United States feeling like their commander in chief is a threat to U.S. national security. That happens all the time. It’s totally usual. Nothing to worry about.”

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The permanent bureaucracy, the backbone of the federal government and the bulwark against many presidents’ activist intentions, is designed to be at least a step removed from the crosswinds of partisan politics.

But for years, many conservatives have argued that the federal bureaucracy is stacked against them, making it harder for them to get things done even when they control the White House, Congress or both.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a Trump adviser and longtime critic of the bureaucracy, said the pushback against the new administration reveals how firmly entrenched liberals are and how threatened they feel by the new regime. He cited an analysis by the Hill newspaper that showed that 95 percent of campaign donations from employees at 14 federal agencies went to Hillary Clinton last fall.

“This is essentially the opposition in waiting,” Gingrich said. “He may have to clean out the Justice Department because there are so many left-wingers there. State is even worse.”

Gingrich said Trump might push for civil service revisions to make it easier to fire federal workers. He predicted that the public would back the president over federal employees.

The signs of resistance in federal offices range from low-level grumbling and angry opposition posted online to anonymous promises of outright insubordination as new policies develop.

The State Department has emerged as the nexus of opposition to Trump’s refugee policy, in part because it has an official dissent channel where Foreign Service employees can register opposition without fear of reprisals. The channel, formed in 1971, has been used to raise policy objections to the Vietnam War and other conflicts. Several hundred employees signed the dissent cable objecting to Trump’s refugee policy.

Secretaries of state have taken the dissent channel so seriously that they have altered policies in response to complaints. In 2002, then-Secretary Colin Powell presided over the awarding of a prize for “constructive dissent” to an employee who had pushed back against a deputy secretary.

But State Department employees are nervous enough now that the American Foreign Service Association on Tuesday sent out an advisory called “What You Need To Know When You Disagree With U.S. Policy.” The note spelled out employees’ legal protections but warned that “walking out in protest of a U.S. government policy, even just temporarily, would be considered a strike” and can result in being fired.

Other agencies that lack that kind of tradition are in more turmoil. When the White House last week ordered an end to all advertising and other outreach activities encouraging Americans to sign up for health plans through Affordable Care Act marketplaces, employees at the Health and Human Services Department protested, pointing out that the ban on ads and robo-calls would probably result in less coverage of the most desirable customers — young and healthy adults whose scant use of medical care can help lower prices for everyone else.

The internal protest, combined with an outcry on social media and from the insurance industry, prompted the Trump administration to revise its directive in less than 24 hours….

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Second American Revolution

 

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Chumph Disaster of the Day 1/22/17 – Federal Freeze

Second day in office… One of several stupid moves. Putin’s Bitch is trying the same thing George W Bush failed at. Moving the Federal workforce over to the private sector. The reason when the Bushit did this it was a spectacular failure, is the cost per “private” employee was triple the cost of ta Federal Government employee. The quite simply is no savings.

There are Federal Government workers in every one of the 3,000 counties in the US.

Now that the dictator has frozen hiring in the Federal workforce – some interesting things may begin to happen…Like what happens when those welfare, disability, and Social Security checks stop arriving in the Red Zone? The largest portion of said Democrat “giveaways” in the US.

Lot of ways pissed off Government employees can gum up the works. Let’s hope that if they do they take solid aim at the Chumph’s base.

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Donald Trump’s hiring freeze angers federal workforce, unions

President Trump may wind up regretting his federal hiring freeze

In one of his first acts during Day Three of his presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order that put a hold on most federal hiring — thereby angered one of America’s most powerful unions.

On Monday Trump signed an executive order that will freeze federal hiring in every area of the government except for sectors involving the military, public safety and public health. Sources close to the Trump transition told Politico that the president’s personnel team — led by Bush administration alumni Kay Coles James and Linda Springer — plans to drastically reduce the size of domestic agencies while slightly increasing that of the defense workforce. The Trump administration is considering embarking on a “reduction in force” plan so as to circumvent civil service rules that safeguard government employees.

While these moves may please Trump’s right-wing base, they could also alienate the very people on whom he will depend for his administration to be successful. “The government is a place where it is easier to keep something from getting done, than it is to actually do something,” former Office of Management and Budget official Robert Shea told Politico. “All of the work that the new administration wants to get accomplished will depend on the speed and productivity of the federal workforce.”

These views were echoed by David Cox, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union.

“President Trump’s action will disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone and actually increase taxpayer costs by forcing agencies to hire more expensive contractors to do work that civilian government employees are already doing for far less,” Cox told The Washington Post. “This hiring freeze will mean longer lines at Social Security offices, fewer workplace safety inspections, less oversight of environmental polluters, and greater risk to our nation’s food supply and clean water systems.”

Despite these criticisms, Sean Spicer, the White House’s press secretary, told reporters the hiring freeze is meant to show that “we’ve got to respect the American taxpayer.” He added seeing “money get wasted” on jobs that are “duplicative is insulting to the hard work that they do to pay their taxes.”

Trump’s federal hiring freeze arrives at a time when the president has already had a very divisive effect on the federal workforce.

“During more than eight years of writing this column, I have sought the views of federal employees through informal email surveys,” wrote Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson. “Never have I received comments filled with the kind of fright expressed by those who have written to me since Trump’s inauguration Friday,” he added, describing the climate fostered by Trump’s rhetoric and policies. “Post policy rightly discourages the use of anonymous comments, but it’s acceptable when the source has a valid reason, such as a fear of retaliation. Feds fear retribution now more than ever.”

Of particular concern, Davidson cited the rise of racist encounters by federal employees since Trump’s election, the apparent “nascent McCarthyism” within the new administration, and the president’s revival of a 19th-century law that allows the government to target individual federal employees for a pay reduction (to $1).

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Republicans Pass Bill Legalize Discrimination By Federal Contractors Against LGBT

One of the things Obama failed to do on taking office is to recognize the insidious nature of George W Bush’s bullshit.

The Federal Government is in the business of serving every single citizen in the United States. And that means, gay, straight, transgender, white, black, or grey. You don’t want to do that as a Government contractor – then you need to find another business…Period.

The Federal Government has no business in Religion.

The First thing that happened after the Bushit announced his “Faith Based Initiative” is that the so called “faithful” asked for permission to ignore the Constitution and Federal Laws and discriminate based on whatever religious delusion they were under.

Obama should have shut this crap down, the day he assumed office.

House Passes Bill That Lets Government Contractors Fire People For Being LGBT

Why do people keep claiming “religious freedom” as a reason to discriminate?

The House passed a massive National Defense Authorization Act late Wednesday, and tucked inside of it, a provision that would allow federal contractors to fire employees for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The language, slipped into the bill by Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.), would dismantle President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive action that makes it illegal for government contractors to fire or harass employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. In its place, Russell’s provision applies a broad exemption that would open the door to contractors discriminating against LGBT people based on that contractor’s religious beliefs.

The government awards more than 2,000 contracts to religious organizations every year. Russell’s measure would affect every grant, contract and purchase order made by every federal agency, including contracts with hospitals, homeless shelters, colleges, schools, domestic violence shelters, and adoption agencies.

The House passed the 1,299-page bill, 277 to 147, with 142 Democrats and five Republicans opposed. At least one congressman, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), opposed it purely because of the anti-LGBT provision. He went on a bit of a Twitter rant ahead of the vote.

Russell attached the language to the bill a few weeks ago, during a late-night House Armed Services Committee hearing. He argued that it’s needed to clarify what he said was confusion in Obama’s executive order over what kinds of legal protections are afforded to religious contractors. He also said Obama’s order violates the First Amendment because it “unduly burdens the practice of religion.” A copy of his amendment is here.

But Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on that committee, said that’s not what Obama’s executive order does at all.

“The way this amendment is written, it doesn’t matter if you’re a religious organization,” Smith responded. “Basically, you can be a private contractor, and this basically gives you the right to discriminate if you just decide that you don’t want to do business with gay people.”

Democratic leaders denounced the provision in the hours leading up to the vote. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said he was “outraged,” and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called it “stunning” that Republicans would use a defense bill to “codify hatred and intolerance against Americans based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Some Republicans weren’t happy about it, either. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) tried to strip it from the bill during a Rules Committee hearing earlier this week. But the committee chairman, Pete Sessions (R-Texas), denied his request.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which has its own ideas about what belongs — and what doesn’t — in an annual defense bill. Senators will hash out differences with the House later in a conference committee.

Obama has already threatened to veto the House bill and gave a long list of reasons why, including problems ranging from misuse of funds and operating the prison at Guantanamo Bay, to military pay raises and base closures. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that he couldn’t single out any one item, such as the anti-LGBT provision, as grounds for a veto.

“There are a whole lot of reasons why the bill is bad,” Earnest said in his daily briefing. “It’s unfortunate that it is being larded up with a bunch of proposals … that aren’t related to our national security but are intended to be divisive.”

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The Last Colony (Washington, DC) Vows to Ignore Shutdown

Washington DC is unique among all principalities in the United States in that Congress – specifically the House – must approve all spending for the city. This means, if there is a Government shutdown the non-emergency city services would be shut down as well. This is particularly galling to DC Residents as it is their tax money paid to the city which operates the government, not Federal monies as is not uncommon in the rest of the country. So Congress has the authority to tell the DC Government how to spend it’s own tax money…

This has led to any umber of disasters as the Republican Congress has forced the city to adopt their confederate policies, such as school vouchers and limits on health care.

The Libraries are toast, too!

So…What happens if there is a shutdown in DC?

1. Parks, museums, and the Zoo closed: All Smithsonian museums, federal monuments, the National Zoo, and public facilities in National Parks like Rock Creek Park would be closed. Because tourists probably won’t realize it in advance, they’ll probably flood downtown Starbuckses and Potbellies with bored out-of-towners.

2. Libraries and recreation centers dark: All D.C. libraries and recreation centers will be closed, giving kids fewer places to hang out after school, which means who knows what kinds of trouble.

3. Department of Public Works off duty: Trash collection would be suspended for a week, as well as street sweeping, which this time of year means some very clogged drains.

4. Circulator offline: While the Metro would stay open and WMATA buses would keep running, D.C.’s super-convenient Circulator buses would have to stay in the garage.

5. Permit offices and the DMV shut: The Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are closed, meaning even longer lines for licenses, permits, and car registrations when the shutdown eventually ends.

6. No parking enforcement: Okay, you probably don’t mind that so much, but it does cost the city money and could lead to shortfalls down the road.

7. University of the District of Columbia shuttered: You might not be the one with your academic year interrupted, but at least sympathize with the poor students who’ll likely have to make up the class time later.

8. Potential loss of city equipment and buildings: The city has a master lease on pieces of equipment like traffic lights, computers, and public safety vehicles, as well as a contractual agreement to use facilities like the Unified Communications Center, which controls all the city’s emergency systems — as long as payments are made on time. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton warns that they could be repossessed if the city lacks the budget authority to do so. And in any case, ongoing worries about the city’s ability to use its own money could make it more expensive to borrow, which the city has to do every year for capital expenditures.

Yeah…This stops, too!

Mayor Gray designates all of District government ‘essential’ to avoid shutdown

Mayor Vincent C. Gray moved Wednesday to designate the entirety of the District government as “essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property,” in a bid to allow city services to continue during a federal shutdown.

Gray announced his position in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is handling preparations for a shutdown that could take place if congressional leaders fail to reach an accord by Oct. 1.

“I am writing to inform you that I have determined that all operations of the government of the District of Columbia are ‘excepted’ activities essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property and therefore will continue to be performed during a lapse in appropriations,” the mayor wrote to budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Gray’s posture is unprecedented for the District government, whose budget comes largely from locally raised taxes and is set by locally elected officials but is ultimately appropriated by Congress. During past shutdowns, in keeping with federal guidance, the city has designated public safety and some other crucial functions as exempt from shutdown but curtailed many city services, including libraries, recreation centers and trash pickup.

The letter comes a day after Gray and D.C. Council members openly debated ways to defy the federal shutdown and keep the city government operating.

On the good side – these guys are out of work!

It is unclear how President Obama’s budget office will respond to Gray’s broad definition of “essential.” Requests for comment made to the agency Tuesday and Wednesday have gone unreturned.

In a statement issued with the letter, Gray said it is “ridiculous” that the District “cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.”

“Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us,” he said. “I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

 

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