Monday, January 09, 2017

Trump's cabinet picks, Senate Repubs go into hurry-up offense

This week's confirmation hearings on Trump's cabinet nominees are crowded all together, ethically non-compliant, and will be bulldozed quickly through.

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate plans to rush forward this week with confirmation hearings for many of Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet and other key executive positions. Though many of the picks have not yet completed the customarily required ethics clearances and background checks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has shown no willingness to delay.

“They’ve made pretty clear they intend to slow down and resist and that doesn’t provide a lot of incentive or demonstrate good faith to negotiate changes. So I think we’re going to just be plowing ahead,” his deputy, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told Politico.

Sometimes the hubris can still amaze.

Senate Republicans have heard the Democrats’ demands for a deliberate confirmation process for Donald Trump’s nominees. But they don’t care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference has scheduled six Cabinet-level confirmations hearings for next Wednesday, Jan. 11, the same day the chamber will likely slog through an all-night vote-a-rama on a budget and the president-elect will give his first press conference in six months.

One hearing -- Homeland Security-designate John Kelly's -- has been moved, and Trump has already postponed his long-awaited first presser as president-elect.  Here's the updated schedule, and more of the "everything you want to know" variety.  There's simply no precedent for this kind of cram-through -- not even Obama's own, eight years ago, compares -- and for them to shoot the finger at proper financial disclosures... well, that's a thousand miles away from 'draining the swamp'.

In fact, it reminds me of how pipelines get laid in North Dakota.  Like Mexico building the wall, another campaign promise bites the dust.  Does any Republican want to give a damn?

The Trump team’s failures could be the result of disorganization — or a lack of familiarity with the rules. Trump himself has not set an inspiring example. The ethics office is reportedly working with his lawyers to encourage him to do what the law demands of his cabinet: divest and enter office free of conflicts. He is the only incoming president in modern history who has refused to do so.

For his nominees to do the same would be a serious violation of the public trust, and would potentially violate the law.

Over/under on Trump Tweeting something akin to "I am the law" is one week from today.

Senators on multiple committees running between Capitol conference rooms to make a portion of a hearing, the hamstrung, intimidated corporate media stretched too thin to cover the developments, conservative dogs and liberal cats living in sin together ... it's our colicky-baby-government in action.  Create as much chaos as possible in order to get your way, no matter what laws or ethical standards or protocol it violates.  "Shake up Washington", even if that means a war with China or a North Korean nuclear missile attack.

Disruption is a family affair.

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