American Elephants


Here’s Why President Trump Was Right About Draining the Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

Following up on Kim Strassel’s impassioned call for a “root and branch overhaul of government itself— Operation Drain the Swamp:”the Wall Street Journal Reports that:

The House Intelligence Committee has set a deadline of Wednesday for the Department of Justice and FBI to turn over documents related to the Christopher Steele dossier purporting to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. If they fail to comply, Speaker Paul Ryan will need to back up Congress’s institutional prerogatives and hold the individuals responsible to contempt proceedings and possible impeachment.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray have had the subpoenas since Aug. 24, but they have responded with excuses, delays and misdirection. The Justice Department has refused to provide Congress with the most basic documents demanded under the subpoenas. These include reports detailing the FBI’s interactions with sources such as Mr. Steele, who was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was funded by associates of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Justice also refuses to make available crucial witnesses, including FBI agent Peter Strzok (a lead investigator in the Trump-Russia probe), former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr (whose wife worked for Fusion GPS) and FBI attorney James Baker (former FBI Director Jim Comey’s right-hand man). Justice is also still sitting on months of anti-Trump text messages between Mr. Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

As the Journal’s Editorial Board says: “This isn’t acceptable.” They have offered no valid reason for their resistance. Congress has the constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch whose offices it funds. Secretary Sessions offered the excuse such a request interferes with a Justice Department Inspector General probe, but that won’t work.

This is not going to be pretty. Too many offices of government have been flush with funds and empowered with new regulations to enforce. Remember all the talk about government offices arming themselves? Remember the EPA thugs going after innocent landowners for bogus environmental crimes? And because they don’t get to have that kind of fun anymore with Scott Pruitt in charge, they’re resigning in droves from the EPA. No more yellow rivers. No more blaming  the climate for spurious cases of childhood asthma. Maybe even pointing out that forest fires and hurricanes are not caused by climate. But it appears that other departments are similarly infected.

Susan Rice and Samantha Power have chimed in, saying that the executive branch really should not be talking about Iran. They should be utterly quiet and allow events to play out as they will. Certainly the present despicable occupant of the oval office should not be encouraging Iranians who are demonstrating. Someone might get hurt! We are faced with an old administration that is not going to go away.

The problems with sanctuary cities and ICE are obvious and will have to be dealt with in the courts. Secretary Ryan Zinke is cleaning up at Interior, not only cutting back on the Obama Administration’s massive land grab in Utah, but removing unnecessary regulations that are a complicated burden for energy producers. He’s also fired four senior managers for inappropriate conduct including sexual harassment. The Department of Agriculture under Secretary Sonny Perdue is looking for solutions to the Food Stamp program. There’s a lot of fraud in the program, and most people believe there should be some kind of work requirement for those who are perfectly able to work.

Secretary of State Tillerson has his work cut out for him. He has vast experience as head of a giant corporation, but the U.S. State Department is deeply involved in partisan politics. Betsy DeVos has her plate full at Education. The huge teachers union is determined not to lose power and her support for charter schools is anethma to the union. Many blacks have been convinced that charter schools are bad for blacks instead of the avenue for success that they are. Mindsets have to be changed. Alex Acosta, Secretary of Labor and the first Latino Member of the Cabinet was confirmed in April, and Bill Moyers screeched that the Trump Administration’s plans to decimate workers’ rights begins in earnest. Acosta has attacked occupational license law, like the silly insistence that hair braiders go to beauty school, as one of our worst job killers, so he has his work cut out. So far, the other members of the Cabinet are quietly solving their problems and have escaped the full fury of “the resistance.”

The New York Times has published a full list of President Trump’s cabinet, which they updated last May, and only got a couple completely wrong. General John Kelly has moved from Secretary of Homeland Security, where he was confirmed, to White House Chief of Staff. Kirstjen Nielsen replaced him as Secretary of Homeland Security and was confirmed in early December. But that’s better than the list at Wikipedia which hasn’t been updated in months.

The New York Times, full of their own importance, added that President Trump’s cabinet is more white and male than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s. Dear New York Times: skin color and gender have nothing whatsoever to do with how a cabinet official performs the duties asked of him or her. The obvious fact that you never learned that is telling. They have pictures of each official, which is helpful.

Following that are eight cabinet level offices that are not official members of the cabinet. CIA, UN, EPA, Small Business, O.M.B., DNI, Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Stop reading at that point. What follows is mostly wrong anyway. They follow that with a list of the Cabinet, explaining how each member is very bad, no good, and set on destroying all of Obama’s marvelous accomplishment. Read only if you want to understand the Leftist worldview. You would think that the once-renowned newspaper would keep lists like this updated to demonstrate how on top of things they are, unfortunately it does demonstrate how on top of things they are.

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