Failing Trump administration. Sad!


Sigh. Well, that’s fitting!


Not exactly failure, just weird:



At the Interior Department’s headquarters in downtown Washington, Secretary Ryan Zinke has revived an arcane military ritual that no one can remember ever happening in the federal government.

A security staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and hoists a special secretarial flag whenever Zinke enters the building. When the secretary goes home for the day or travels, the flag — a blue banner emblazoned with the agency’s bison seal flanked by seven white stars representing the Interior bureaus — comes down.

In Zinke’s absence, the ritual is repeated to raise an equally obscure flag for Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt.

Responding this week to questions from The Washington Post, a spokeswoman for Zinke, a former Navy SEAL commander, defended the Navy flag-flying tradition as “a major sign of transparency.”

“Ryan Zinke is proud and honored to lead the Department of the Interior, and is restoring honor and tradition to the department, whether it’s flying the flag when he is in garrison or restoring traditional access to public lands,” press secretary Heather Swift said in an email.



“Fine” people so far:

Predatory drug peddlers


These aren’t the best candidates, these are just the only people he knows.


Also traitors. He can never praise Michael Flynn enough.


Also foreign dictators.

And also anyone who says nice things about him.


In Trump’s eyes, Kushner is a genius businessman who will not only achieve a feat that has escaped U.S. presidents and career diplomats alike, but will also solve the opioid crisis, overhaul the government’s I.T. infrastructure, and “reinvent the entire government.” Given his track record, however, it’s unclear whether Kushner is even qualified to work as a White House intern—his only two professional achievements of note have been buying and running a newspaper into the ground and running his family’s real-estate business while his father was in prison, striking a deal that a decade later is still haunting his family.

(Emphasis mine)


A group of 18 Democratic attorneys general is suing the Trump administration over its oversight of for-profit colleges, saying that the Education Department’s refusal to enforce a regulation punishing predatory career programs “leaves students vulnerable to exploitation and fraud.”
In a suit filed Tuesday, DeVos’s opponents argue that the education secretary is breaking the law by refusing to enforce Obama’s rules — which have been repeatedly upheld by courts — despite waves of legal challenges by the for-profit college industry. She is obligated, the Democratic state attorneys general argue, to enforce the regulations as written.


Saying the president can’t erase facts, a federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to have all record of his criminal conviction wiped out.

Susan Bolton said she already dismissed the criminal contempt case against Arpaio following the decision by President Trump to issue a pardon. That saved the former sheriff, who had been found guilty, from the possibility of going to jail for up to six months.

But Bolton rebuffed Arpaio’s claim that the pardon also entitled him to have the entire conviction erased.

“The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial record-keeping,” Bolton wrote, quoting earlier court precedent.

“The pardon undoubtedly spared defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed,” the judge continued. “It did not, however, revise the historical facts of this case.”


Either way, lawyers and other experts said the moves – including by the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget – to have unconfirmed nominees show up for work appears to skirt the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which prohibits most people who have been nominated to fill a vacant government position from performing that office’s duties in an acting capacity.

It’s unclear whether the officials in question are in direct violation of the law, but some experts said the administration appears to be defying its intent.

“This seems like it goes further than most examples I have seen,” said Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “It seems like in some cases they’re taking people and potentially giving them roles that go beyond what they’re supposed to have.”


And rule of law is eroded a little further.



I wouldn’t want that man operating on anyone I know, no matter what his credentials may be. I can’t believe many people thought he’d be a good President.


I feel like he’d have been a dramatically better president than Trump.

Which isn’t saying much, but still.


Rep. Greene: “They seem to think that the rich need more, that the poor can do more with less but the rich will have to have more to do more.”


Trump in a nutshell. Classic.


This probably could have gone in the “GOP War On Science” thread too, but… Pruitt! I can’t type his name without shaking my fist.


Lysenkoism 2.0.