Agency-wrecking in the Trump era

lizkat

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And the beat goes on. Sure right-wing activist Emily Miller only lasted 11 days at the FDA, but the fact she was appointed at all weakens the credibility of an important US government agency. She was an assistant commissioner, not just a PR spokesperson. Yet she had zero qualifications in science or medicine. For all the FDA's subsequent apology and promise to do better in future, this is how it's been across the board since Trump was sworn in and began undermining federal agencies in the name of "deregulation": appointment of sycophants or worse yet, appointment of former industry lobbyists with mission to go for the jugular veins of agencies' rules and regulations.


The White House installed Miller, a right-wing activist, to the FDA August 17. Though she has no background in science or medicine, she was appointed to the position of assistant commissioner and chief spokesperson for the regulatory agency, a position that is typically filled by non-political civil servants.
Miller’s previous work included directing communications for Senator Ted Cruz’s re-election campaign and reporting for One America News, a right-wing cable channel that often dabbles in conspiracy theories and prominently supports Trump.
 

Alli

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this is how it's been across the board since Trump was sworn in and began undermining federal agencies in the name of "deregulation": appointment of sycophants or worse yet, appointment of former industry lobbyists with mission to go for the jugular veins of agencies' rules and regulations.
This is what he’s done, as you said, across the board. He’s placed people at the top of agencies they’ve already publicly wished out of existence. Now they are delighted to be on the wrecking crew.
 
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lizkat

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This is a tracker of Trump-era deregulation.


Some efforts have been implemented by EO, some required Congressional enabling and got it, some needed it but Congress declined, some rule rollbacks have been taken to court and reversed, others could not be rolled back because of laws passed by Congress that specifically incorporated prohibition of further rule changes on the specific rule that was being undone.

The tracker is being maintained by the Brookings Institution. One needn't spend too much time expanding any items for the details... just scrolling down through the site can be an alarming experience. Most of this stuff has gone under the radar of most Americans. Some of the rollbacks will be celebrated, since almost everyone can think of some rule that they consider an annoyance as opposed to a safeguard. But a lot of the rule changes will eventually be greeted by anger, especially if it will take Congressional acts to undo the rule changes. Some of the changes are yet to roll out but have been implemented, so they're like ticking time bombs.
 

chagla

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When you have people like these :

And sane people do not take an active interest in voting, these things will happen. Trump will be gone from office, damages will be lasting.
 
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lizkat

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When you have people like these :

And sane people do not take an active interest in voting, these things will happen. Trump will be gone from office, damages will be lasting.
No kidding. So those people helped Trump get into office in 2016, and now in 2020 as his term nears an end, Trump is still trying to politicize agencies, even the ones where he doesn't have free rein to choose a replacement for chiefs he thinks aren't squarely in his corner.

The WH is currently said to be interviewing for possible replacement of the FTC chair Joe Simons, a Republican. He may or may not last out his term (which actually runs to 2024), but the White House doesn't like him because they think he hasn't come down hard enough on Facebook for what they see as bias against conservative viewpoints.


Although the sitting FTC chief cannot be removed except for gross negligence, it's possible he'd step down if Trump were to win a second term. Simons is being pressured to politicize the FTC, and would face continuation of that for the whole rest of his own term at the agency.

The rule is that 2 of the 5 members must not be of the president's party. And in the case of the FTC as distinct from some other agencies, Trump could not just do what he prefers, which is to appoint an "acting" chief and then drag his heels on making a Senate-confirmable nomination for the chairmanship.

Thus if obtaining a second term in office, and if Simons then resigned, Trump would have to nominate a permanent replacement who would then have to await Senate confirmation. In the meantime the commission would operate as a 4-person entity, with 2 Dems and 2 Rs left on it --even if one of the Rs was elevated to chair in the meantime-- until a new member was appointed and Senate-confirmed, very likely meaning a deadlock prior to that date.

So this White House, by interviewing possible replacements for Joe Simons now, seems to be doubling down on politicization of the FTC by signaling that pressure on Simons to rule as Trump wishes will continue if Trump is re-elected.
 
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Alli

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It’s difficult to conduct oversite when you’re kept in the dark.
 
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Huntn

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No kidding. So those people helped Trump get into office in 2016, and now in 2020 as his term nears an end, Trump is still trying to politicize agencies, even the ones where he doesn't have free rein to choose a replacement for chiefs he thinks aren't squarely in his corner.

The WH is currently said to be interviewing for possible replacement of the FTC chair Joe Simons, a Republican. He may or may not last out his term (which actually runs to 2024), but the White House doesn't like him because they think he hasn't come down hard enough on Facebook for what they see as bias against conservative viewpoints.


Although the sitting FTC chief cannot be removed except for gross negligence, it's possible he'd step down if Trump were to win a second term. Simons is being pressured to politicize the FTC, and would face continuation of that for the whole rest of his own term at the agency.

The rule is that 2 of the 5 members must not be of the president's party. And in the case of the FTC as distinct from some other agencies, Trump could not just do what he prefers, which is to appoint an "acting" chief and then drag his heels on making a Senate-confirmable nomination for the chairmanship.

Thus if obtaining a second term in office, and if Simons then resigned, Trump would have to nominate a permanent replacement who would then have to await Senate confirmation. In the meantime the commission would operate as a 4-person entity, with 2 Dems and 2 Rs left on it --even if one of the Rs was elevated to chair in the meantime-- until a new member was appointed and Senate-confirmed, very likely meaning a deadlock prior to that date.

So this White House, by interviewing possible replacements for Joe Simons now, seems to be doubling down on politicization of the FTC by signaling that pressure on Simons to rule as Trump wishes will continue if Trump is re-elected.
Rump is trying to remake the Federal Govt in his own corrupt, lieing, incompetent, putrid image. 🤬 Are we going to let him?
 
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lizkat

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Rump is trying to remake the Federal Govt in his own corrupt, lieing, incompetent, putrid image. 🤬 Are we going to let him?
Maybe. I have figured it's pretty uphill for Trump trying to get a second term. Covid-19 is not done bashing us yet, as spikes around the country indicate upon the re-opening of colleges and some schools, and the initial federal response was late to the plate, inadequate and also intentionally divisive on Trump's part.

But on the matter of agency-wrecking: some, maybe even a great many of the people who voted for Trump in 2016 don't have a deep grasp of how government agencies normally serve them in the background every day as well as on special occasions (like when buying a home or a car, dealing with illness or a natural disaster, taking a vacation to state parks etc.).

So a lot of the deregulatory excesses of this administration --many of which will have negative effects that roll out only in the longer run anyway-- are not yet apparent.

It's hard enough to make people care about lack of attention to health care, immigration reform, infrastructure policies during Trump's first term. Making voters care about tweaks to agency rules that diminish government ability to protect consumers, workers, the air we breathe and water we drink is even more difficult.

They say the vote is about the economy. The vote tends to be about more than that, but it's about personal perceptions. What we can't yet see and don't choose to make time to think about is a part of our perception. Most of Trump's agency-wrecking activity has been not the headline-making appointment of lobbyists, grifters or incompetent managers. It's been in the changes to fine print of the agency rules, and in legislation passed to make it harder to change those rules back to protect us better again in future.

I have no idea how to make the voters who still support Trump more aware of this stuff as the election draws near. Not going to happen. No one's going out in the weeds of environmental policy or consumer finance protection in a year when a pandemic has ravaged ability to make a living and pay the mortgage or rent. But Trump's not even talking about that stuff to his voter base. He can probably hang onto his hard-core base by just blathering and lying as usual.

The question is whether he has lost the independents and women. Jury's still out. How it goes for us all with covid-19 between now and then will matter. Trump's messing with CDC and FDA in the meantime to make it sound like things are under more control than they are may backfire on him, or maybe he'll get lucky.

The jackpot though is in all those agency rule rollbacks, which will end up with each of us no matter who wins the election, and a lot of them will take not EOs but legislation to reverse. We have all let the agency-wrecking happen by not taking our congress critters to task over Trump's staffing patterns, and by not confronting Trump on his EOs that rolled back critically protective agency rules. If we re-elect Trump then more of that will occur. Deregulation and unfunded tax cuts taken out of the hide of ordinary citizens are the mainstays of GOP policy now. That and obeisance to Trump are their whole platform.
 
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SuperMatt

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I have no idea how to make the voters who still support Trump more aware of this stuff as the election draws near. Not going to happen. No one's going out in the weeds of environmental policy or consumer finance protection in a year when a pandemic has ravaged ability to make a living and pay the mortgage or rent. But Trump's not even talking about that stuff to his voter base. He can probably hang onto his hard-core base by just blathering and lying as usual.
Most of them don’t care. He didn’t win in spite of his racism and xenophobia. He won because of it. As long as he keeps that up, that segment of the base will never leave him.
 

Huntn

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Electing a mentally ill conman to POTUS was the absolute worst accomplishment of myopic, self destructive Americans who somehow thought that garbage in would magically turn into a good outcome, while they enabled the knifing of our Republic, destruction of the competence of Federal agencies, deterioration of respect for our laws, and alienation of our allies at an unprecedented rate. Speaking as an American, some number of us don’t care about his lies, corruptness, infidelities, ignorance, incompetence, immorality, nor putting a sociopath in charge and the destruction and monumental danger he represents to our Republic.

This as part of the big plan to remake the Federal Government in Trump’s image. It’s abandoning principles established by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, based on selfishness, that of Trump, his enablers, who would be the GOP and the Koolaid toasting minions. We are facing the largest challenge of our existence as a country to maintain our Democracy.

Even worse for the patient, rewarding Trump for a lifetime of graft with the top leadership position of our nation, cemented and validated his psychosis, everything wrong with his life, and belief that he is master of his domain, that the sheep are oblivious to his malfeasance or can be fooled by his mountain of clumsy lies. His only path to salvation will be when his house of lies, comes crashing down around him. You and I can help this poor pathetic man and our Nation in 65 days. Trump has to be out of the White House.
 
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PearsonX

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And the beat goes on. Sure right-wing activist Emily Miller only lasted 11 days at the FDA, but the fact she was appointed at all weakens the credibility of an important US government agency. She was an assistant commissioner, not just a PR spokesperson. Yet she had zero qualifications in science or medicine. For all the FDA's subsequent apology and promise to do better in future, this is how it's been across the board since Trump was sworn in and began undermining federal agencies in the name of "deregulation": appointment of sycophants or worse yet, appointment of former industry lobbyists with mission to go for the jugular veins of agencies' rules and regulations.

WHAT
THE
FUCK

Thank goodness I missed this shit, this gives me a rage attack.
I considered an FDA job recently...
I said, I'll reconsider after November 3rd...but man, this shit is so damaging it will take years for the agency to recover from.
 

PearsonX

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Former head of NIH responding to the "new" CDC guidelines on asymptomatic testing

Response to false claims from FDA Commissioner regarding convalescent plasma. Of note, I wasn't aware that Hahn partook in the tirade. The claims are so wrong, having some medical training is sufficient to pinpoint it without much thought.

This is what's turning the USA into a 3rd world country.
 

lizkat

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Former head of NIH responding to the "new" CDC guidelines on asymptomatic testing

Response to false claims from FDA Commissioner regarding convalescent plasma. Of note, I wasn't aware that Hahn partook in the tirade. The claims are so wrong, having some medical training is sufficient to pinpoint it without much thought.

This is what's turning the USA into a 3rd world country.

Man. Once again I have peaked too soon using the phrase "I never thought I would see this come to pass in the USA..." It used to feel tiresome getting caught out like that. Now it's closer to fear, or maybe just that more comfortable cousin, anger. Either way, it's getting really old having to say it one more time.

It's one thing to mess with agency rule rollbacks and quite another thing to put political partisans and incompetents into agencies directly meant to serve our public health needs. And for a president to pretend from the bully pulpit that he knows anything about medicine.
 
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