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The Final Purge

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Rashmon, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Our president's disastrous reign of error, corruption, and destruction is not done yet...

    Trump’s newest executive order could prove one of his most insidious
    Opinion by Editorial Board
    Oct. 23, 2020 at 5:37 p.m. CDT

    PRESIDENT TRUMP’S newest executive order, signed without fanfare this week, could prove one of his most insidious.

    The directive from the White House, issued late Wednesday, sounds technical: creating a new “Schedule F” within the “excepted service” of the federal government for employees in policymaking roles, and directing agencies to determine who qualifies. Its implications, however, are profound and alarming. It gives those in power the authority to fire more or less at will as many as tens of thousands of workers currently in the competitive civil service, from managers to lawyers to economists to, yes, scientists. This week’s order is a major salvo in the president’s onslaught against the cadre of dedicated civil servants whom he calls the “deep state” — and who are really the greatest strength of the U.S. government.

    The administration grounds its action in the need to rid itself of “poor performers.” Certainly, there’s room for reform to the cumbersome process required to remove those who fall short of standards. But this president’s criteria for determining satisfactory performance begin and end with personal loyalty. The White House admitted last winter to seeking to purge from payrolls those deemed insufficiently reliable — the “bad people,” in Mr. Trump’s words. The protections for career civil servants currently in place at least put some roadblocks on that path, hence this legally dubious plan to erase those protections with a touch of organizational sleight of hand. Not only will politically motivated firing become easier, but it will also be easier to hire those who meet Mr. Trump’s standards: obsequiousness and, more often than not, a lack of qualifications. With no competitive process in place, leaders can appoint whom they please — or rather, who pleases them.

    The order is so vaguely written it is unclear exactly who would fall into the category it conjures up. It is clear, though, that the targets are the cream of the civil service crop — precisely those who have frustrated the administration in its attempts to impose its agenda over ethics, evidence and good sense. Think of the Federal Aviation Administration employee evaluating whether an airliner is safe to fly, or the federal prosecutor deciding in a sensitive case whether to seek an indictment. Think of the Food and Drug Administration employee evaluating the efficacy of a vaccine.

    This scheme, if it stands up in court, would transform a substantial portion of the professional federal workforce into a political federal workforce. Evidence-based decision-making would fall to cronyism; expertise would go out the window and patronage would fly in. The repository of knowledge that distinguishes our nation’s government, ready to be furnished no matter who sits in the Oval Office, would drain away. This is, of course, what today’s occupant of the Oval Office has wanted all along. The deadline for agencies to complete their review is Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration — which means Mr. Trump will try to realize his sad vision in his second term, unless voters are wise enough to stop him.
    ***
    Here's hoping this gets reversed before he takes his final retribution.
     
  2. IBTL

    IBTL Member

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  3. mdrowe00

    mdrowe00 Member
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    ...never thought that hearing the Donald shout "You're fired!" could go from being ridiculous to insidious in such short order...
     
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  4. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    If the courts don't throw this in the trash where it belongs, Joe Biden will.
     
  5. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    This potential destruction of the civil service system needs more coverage...

    TRUMP JUST SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER LETTING HIM PURGE THOUSANDS OF FEDERAL WORKERS FOR DISLOYALTY
    Even if he loses, the action could sabotage a Biden administration indefinitely.
    BY BESS LEVIN

    OCTOBER 26, 2020
    Historically, when Donald Trump has signed executive orders, like to issue a travel ban against people from majority-Muslim nations or to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, he’s done so with lots of fanfare, tweeting about how they’ve made America great again, inviting camera crews to watch him scribble his Sharpie across the page, and sending his lieutenants out to brag about them on TV. But last week, the White House was relatively, strangely quiet as the president signed the esoteric-sounding “Executive Order on Creating Schedule F In the Excepted Service.” And that was probably by design; because the action not only gives Trump the power to purge thousands of federal workers—the kind whose job protections have allowed them to deal in facts and stand up to presidential intimidation—and replace them with politically appointed hacks who would spend the next four years doing Trump’s bidding, but it would cripple a Biden administration for months, at a time when it will need to act fast on, among other things, COVID-19.

    Of course, that’s not how the administration has summarized the EO, saying, instead that it’s all about getting rid of “poor performers.” But competence has never been of much interest to Trump, who evaluates who is the best person for any given job based on how hard they kiss his ass and pledge to do his bidding no matter what. Unfortunately, until now the president has been bedeviled by rules saying he can’t just fire civil servants for writing reports that say mask-wearing helps stop the spread of COVID-19, or coal mining is hastening climate change, or refusing to say that a hurricane was headed for Alabama when it definitely wasn’t. Thus, this new plan.

    Here’s how the Independent describes it:

    The order…would strip civil service protections from a broad swath of career civil servants if it is decided that they are in “confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions”—a description previously reserved for the political appointees who come and go with each change in administration. It does that by creating a new category for such positions that do not turn over from administration to administration and reclassifying them as part of that category.

    The range of workers who could be stripped of protections and placed in this new category is vast, experts say, and could include most of the non-partisan experts—scientists, doctors, lawyers, economists—whose work to advise and inform policymakers is supposed to be done in a way that is fact-driven and devoid of politics. Trump has repeatedly clashed with such career workers on a variety of settings, ranging from his desire to present the COVID-19 pandemic as largely over, to his attempts to enable his allies to escape punishment for federal crimes, to his quixotic insistence that National Weather Service scientists back up his erroneous claim that the state of Alabama was threatened by a hurricane which was not heading in its direction.

    In creating the new category, called “Schedule F,” Trump would basically take employees whose jobs are nonpolitical and are protected from, for instance, a president who doesn‘t believe science is real, and make them “at will,” while at the same time, giving political appointees the very job protection he’s stripping from civil servants. That would obviously be extremely bad under a scenario in which Trump is elected to a second term—as the Washington Post puts it, “think of the Federal Aviation Administration employee evaluating whether an airliner is safe to fly” or “the Food and Drug Administration employee evaluating the efficacy of a vaccine”—and there isn‘t a single person left in the federal government who is qualified or non-corrupt. But it would also mean, in the likely event Trump loses, he could go scorched earth and screw over Joe Biden when time is of the essence:

    Creating the new category…could allow a lame-duck President Trump to cripple his successor’s administration by firing any career federal employees who’ve been included on the list. It also could allow Trump administration officials to skirt prohibitions against “burrowing in”—the heavily restricted practice of converting political appointees (known as “Schedule C” employees) into career civil servants—by hiring them under the new category for positions which would not end with Trump’s term. Another provision orders agencies to take steps to prohibit removing “Schedule F” appointees from their jobs on the grounds of “political affiliation,” which could potentially prevent a future administration from firing unqualified appointees because of their association with President Trump.

    “It’s a two-pronged attack—a Hail Mary pass to enable them to do some burrowing in if they lose the election,” Walter Shaub, who ran the U.S. Office of Government Ethics during Barack Obama’s second term and in first six months of the Trump administration, told reporter Andrew Feinberg. “But if they win the election, then anything goes for the destruction of the civil service… [This could] take us back to the spoils system and all the corruption that comes with it.” Or as New Jersey chief innovation officer Beth Noveck put it, “It’s the twin danger of both firing [someone like Dr. Anthony] Fauci and replacing him with Eric Trump’s wedding planner permanently.” Or, say, a guy who thinks the government’s strategy to combat the pandemic should be to let 2 million Americans get it and die.

    In a sign of just how catastrophic the action could ultimately prove, on Sunday, Ronald Sanders, the Trump-appointed head of an advisory council on the civil service, quit in protest, writing in his resignation letter that the order “is nothing more than a smoke screen for what is clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the President, or failing that, to enable their removal with little if any due process.“ He added: “I simply cannot be part of an Administration that seeks…to replace apolitical expertise with political obeisance. Career Federal employees are legally and duty-bound to be nonpartisan; they take an oath to preserve and protect our Constitution and the rule of law…not to be loyal to a particular President or Administration.”

    Or as Richard Loeb, a senior policy counsel at the American Federation of Government Employees, put it to the New York Times: “This is a declaration of war on the career Civil Service. It is an attempt to politicize the process and to hire cronies and fire enemies. It is really a 19th-century concept.”
     
  6. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    This is the kind of **** that happens in places like Turkey. Third rate dictatorship in the making.
     
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  7. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    Fake news, we all know the Dems are the authoritarian fascist party, Trump is just strengthening our democracy by getting rid of all the bad hombres.
     
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  8. B-Bob

    B-Bob my celli weighs a ton
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    I think he should call it the Executive Order for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.

    Has a nice ring to it and it fits with White House Rhetoric of saying up is down, etc.

    But when the serious fascists really implemented this, they included professors and teachers broadly within civil service and started firing anyone who disagreed with the ruling party. The professors and teachers... did ... not see that coming.
     
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  9. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    B-Bob bringing the knowledge.
     
  10. AleksandarN

    AleksandarN Member

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    I think this name is appropriate

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    As a career civil servant (federal & state) I see this as a horrible development. Being fired because the dip$hit-in-chief is taking retribution on you for doing your job with integrity is bullshit. Eliminating the protections from political influence is criminal.
     
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  12. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Preview of a 2nd term. He would clean house. The Right knows this is authoritarian. Do they care? Maybe if they think of their children future and if they deserve a moral government.
     
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  13. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Just in time for President Biden to purge Trumpers from the civil service? Seems like weird timing. Maybe he figures he would catch a lot more flak from the press if he did it after winning reelection. Otherwise, it looks like he's doing it not for his personal benefit but because he really thinks a cult of the leader would be good for the country even if that leader is Joe Biden.
     
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  14. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    The battle is underway...hopefully, this delays the purge until Biden (if elected) can nullify the EO.

    Federal employee union sues over Trump civil service executive order

    The lawsuit argues that Trump's order will "radically reshape the civil service by drastically increasing the number and type of employees who are subject to dismissal."
    By REBECCA RAINEY 10/27/2020 02:15 PM EDT

    The National Treasury Employees Union filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to strike down an executive order by President Donald Trump that the union says will strip civil service and due process protections from certain policy-making federal workers.

    The lawsuit, filed Monday in the D.C. district court, argues that Trump's order last week will "radically reshape the civil service by drastically increasing the number and type of employees who are subject to dismissal without adverse action rights."

    Critics fear the change would make it easier to remove policy experts and career civil servants who do not agree with the administration's policies.

    Trump's order would reclassify some workers "in positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character" into a new category that is exempt from protections that apply to most federal workers — allowing agencies to hire and terminate them more quickly.

    The move prompted Federal Salary Council Chair Ron Sanders, a Trump appointee, to resign Monday in protest, warning that the order was "clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the President."

    The NTEU, which represents 150,000 federal government employees, says Trump exceeded his authority under the merit-based rules for how federal workers are chosen for government positions, which only allow the president to exclude certain positions when “necessary” and “as conditions of good administration warrant.”

    What's next? Agencies are required to place workers in policy-making decisions under the new category called Schedule F by Jan. 19, the day before the presidential inauguration.
     
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  15. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    dip$hit is taking this action to take retribution before he gets booted.
     
  16. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Crappy thing to do to employees.
     
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  17. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I don't see how he can effectuate any kind of purge of political enemies from the civil service in 3 months. But, even if he could, just as easily Biden could restore every single one of them to their roles, restore the pensions, give backpay plus interest, etc. So what would even be the point?
     
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  18. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    From the original article:

     
  19. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    If Trump loses he may do a great many executive orders during his remaining 3 mos in office as a sort of a grand fu to government workers and blue states who reject his malignant narcissism and racism.
     
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  20. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Some excellent posts here, @Rashmon. Kudos!

    Yes, this is more complicated than Biden simply being able to walk in and change it all back to the way it was before. Some bastard is whispering some diabolical sh** in trump's ear.
     

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