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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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