(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian)
If you need something to terrify you this weekend, check out Axios, which has a story about the people already planning for the possibility of Trump 2: This Time It’s Personal. He’s surrounding himself with ideological fringe-monkeys and sycophantic bureaucrats-in-waiting and they have some big plans. Fear the Dreaded Schedule F:
Tens of thousands of civil servants who serve in roles deemed to have some influence over policy would be reassigned as “Schedule F” employees. Upon reassignment, they would lose their employment protections. New presidents typically get to replace more than 4,000 so-called “political” appointees to oversee the running of their administrations. But below this rotating layer of political appointees sits a mass of government workers who enjoy strong employment protections — and typically continue their service from one administration to the next, regardless of the president’s party affiliation.
An initial estimate by the Trump official who came up with Schedule F found it could apply to as many as 50,000 federal workers — a fraction of a workforce of more than 2 million, but a segment with a profound role in shaping American life. Trump, in theory, could fire tens of thousands of career government officials with no recourse for appeals. He could replace them with people he believes are more loyal to him and to his “America First” agenda. Even if Trump did not deploy Schedule F to this extent, the very fact that such power exists could create a significant chilling effect on government employees.
The whole paranoid infrastructure is based on the belief in a “deep state” that ruined El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago’s grand designs to restore American greatness. And, apparently, everyone was involved.
…the introductory speaker, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, was filibustering, entertaining the crowd with stories about Trump and Vought’s efforts to fight a deep state that had tried to thwart them. Meadows paused. He scanned the patio. “Are there any Cabinet secretaries here?” he asked the audience. “Raise your hand if you’re a Cabinet secretary.” Nobody raised their hand. “Well that’s a good thing,” Meadows said. “They often weren’t cooperating with us.”
Meadows, it is clear, intends to ride this Titanic all the way down.
As is also clear, the universe of Camp Runamuck loyalists is contracting into a singularity of pure vengeance. Kash Patel is still wandering around.
According to two people in the room, Patel told the audience he had advised Trump to fire senior officials in the Justice Department and he lamented the appointments of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray. Paoletta also recounted to the audience instances in which Trump officials refused or slow-walked lawful directives because they disagreed with the former president’s policies. Patel’s message to the audience was that things would be different next time. A source in the room said later the takeaway from the session was that if Trump took office in 2025, he would target agencies that conservatives have not traditionally viewed as adversarial.
And hey, there’s Richard Grenell, jumped-up Internet troll.
In a second term, Trump would install a different cohort at the top than in 2017. He has said what he wants, above all, is people with “courage.”Under the courage criteria, he has singled out Jeffrey Clark for particular praise. Trump has also praised Patel, who would likely be installed in a senior national security role in a second term, people close to the former president said. If Patel could survive Senate confirmation, there is a good chance Trump would make him CIA or FBI director, these sources said. If not, Patel would likely serve in a senior role in the White House.
People close to the former president said Richard Grenell has better odds than most of being nominated as Trump’s secretary of state. Grenell was one of Trump’s favorite officials at the tail end of his first term. As Trump’s acting director of national intelligence, he declassified copious materials related to the Trump-Russia investigation.
Dictatorship For Dummies. The first edition is already at the printers, folks.
Oh, look. Polio is back. Thanks, idiots.
Officials said the patient, who lives in Rockland County, had developed paralysis. The person developed symptoms a month ago and did not recently travel outside the country, county health officials said. It appears the patient had a vaccine-derived strain of the virus, perhaps from someone who got live vaccine — available in other countries, but not the U.S. — and spread it, officials said. The person is no longer deemed contagious, but investigators are trying to figure out how the infection occurred and whether other people were exposed to the virus. Most Americans are vaccinated against polio, but this should serve as a wake-up call to the unvaccinated, said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Brown University pandemic researcher.
My mother caught the respiratory variety and spent months in an iron lung, which marked her psychologically for life in a number of destructive ways, including a lifelong distrust/fear of doctors. She was absolutely terrified that I would catch it, and she rejoiced at the arrival of the Salk vaccine. I think even she would be furious at the anti-vac movement which, as we see, is now spreading like a plague of ignorance far beyond the ongoing pandemic.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Lakes of Pontchartrain” (Betsey McGovern): Yeah, I still pretty much love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here, from 1949, are some riots in Munich between Ukrainian immigrants and native Germans. Look how effectively the arrival of American troops quelled things. Strange how that works. History is so cool.
On Sunday, Sam comes home. Them Clifford boys still mean a lot to me. Ciarrai abu!!!!!
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, USA Today? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
Footprints of two sauropods, a type of dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous period, were found along several stones in the restaurant’s courtyard in Leshan, Sichuan province, according to paleontologists. The restaurant is on land that had been a farm, and the footprints had been buried by layers of dirt, which shielded them from weather damage. Lida Xing, a paleontologist and associate professor at the China University of Geosciences, told USA TODAY by email that his team confirmed the discovery Saturday by using a 3D scanner…The find in Sichuan is also rare because it dates back to the Cretaceous period, believed to be a glory era for the dinosaurs by many paleontologists. According to Xing, the restaurant owner has fenced off the area in the courtyard so people do not disrupt the footprints.
I admire the restaurateur for treating the footprints with respect and honor. I’ll bet his cuisine has a smoky, aged quality to it, because animals once walked his patio section 100 million years ago, and lived then to make us happy now.
I’ll be back on Monday to see if Josh Hawley has broken the three-minute mile. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, wear the damn mask, get the damn shots, especially the damn boosters, and spare a quiet moment for the good people of Ukraine.
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