09 March 2017

Thought For The Day - 9 March 2017 [update]

It's Thursday, so BLS releases the weekly unemployment number. It's increased 20,000 poor souls. The Kim Jong-Don effect has set in. Sugar high, depression crash. Which got me to thinking about some other dots that appear to be connected.

The first dot. Bannon is an avowed Leninist, not to be confused with Marxist. You can visit the Wiki for all the details you might want. The motivating thrust of Bannon, though, is quite specific. He intends, and has already put into motion, the destruction of the professional Federal civil service. He and his acolytes have called this body of workers "the dark state". His point was described to me by Dr. McElhone way back in the mid-70s this way: the only thing that kept the government running during the Nixon fiasco were the civil servants. They didn't depend on who owns the White House or Congress. Now, the Federal civil service resulted from the assassination of Garfield. Up to that time jobs were parceled out to campaign supporters. We had to kill a president to figure that might not be such a good idea.

The second dot. At least the State department is purging experienced professional staff. The nature of Kim Jong-Don, and his zealots, is to reject anyone or any idea that doesn't comport with established bias. They're getting rid of the "dark state" that knows more than they do. Wouldn't want any voices saying it might not be such a good idea to enable Putin's oil grabs, land grabs, or killings.
Elliot Abrams, Tillerson's top choice to be his deputy, was rejected by Trump after the President learned that the former deputy national security adviser had criticized him during the campaign. No replacement has yet been named.

The third dot. It's widely assumed that the DC metro is the locus of Federal employment. Turns out, not so much. Certainly there a lot of Federal civil servants, but they're not the largest percent of the metro area of all such areas. More to the point, they aren't the ones with the grand mansions in McLean and Bethesda. Those are owned by the lawyers and lobbyists. I know. I lived in DC on a civil servant's pay. Civil servants live in Levittowns or one room apartments in town. Leaving Boston was a bad economic decision.
[update hot off the press]
President Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law are renting a house from a foreign billionaire who is fighting the U.S. government over a proposed mine in Minnesota.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting a $5.5 million house in Washington's Kalorama neighborhood from AndrĂ³nico Luksic. One of the Chilean billionaire's companies is suing the federal government over lost mineral right leases for a proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

The fourth dot. I can't speak for all folks who have, or do, work in government, but in most cases it is for public service reasons. Getting a Federal job isn't easy (or, at least, it wasn't). You have to show you know what you're doing. That you have appropriate education and skills. By those criteria, Kim Jong-Don and Bannon and the rest wouldn't be allowed in. That's their point, of course: they are the outsiders who know how "the real America" works. Right. Billionaires who live off the sweat of others. But Bannon is right, although I doubt he understands the reason. Folks who choose to do public service are, by nature, more interested in supporting those who need support than those who don't. Coddling the rich isn't the natural instinct of public service. Which makes them deep enemies of Bannon and the billionaire buddies. Off with their heads.

So, this is a quiet, not quite silent, coup. Remember, Kim Jong-Don's "mandate" came from 77,000 shit kickers in Empty Counties. With Sessions getting to his main duty, voter suppression, Kim Jong-Don may well get the ability to pass on the levers of power to his son. Just like the North Korea version.

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