I could not for the life of me figure out why the Republicans wanted so badly to do away with the Office of Government Ethics (O.G.E.) last week. They tried to do it without public comment, and literally in the middle of the night. Why?
Today I know. It’s because they want to make sure that Trump’s cabinet of billionaires is installed with no resistance at cursory hearings. Cabinet appointees have, in the past, been required to file a Form 278 with the O.G.E., a detailed and complicated form that lists stock holdings, business interests, board seats and other arrangements benefiting them, spouses, minor children, business partners or potential employers. This is to make sure that no conflicts of interests arise.
The O.G.E. process is complicated for wealthy individuals with lots of investments and properties. Penny Pritzker, a Hyatt Hotels heir now serving as commerce secretary, filed a 278 form that was 184 pages long, and she agreed to sell stakes in more than 200 entities. This was the way things were done in the Obama administration, creating an exceptionally scandal-free eight years.
These House Republicans are shameless. They hated Julian Assange and Russia six months ago, now they love them and take their version of events as gospel while questioning our own intelligence agencies. Why? Because the man-baby says that’s the way it will be and the man-baby is a Republican, or so he says.
Someone said the way to solve the Obama-care repeal dilemma (i.e. removing something that works without replacing it with anything at all), would be to simply rename it Trump-care. You know how he loves to see his name on things. Let the man-baby “Republican” have the glory and we’ll keep the insurance!
They couldn’t stand the idea of even meeting with a perfectly well-qualified, moderate Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, because a Democrat nominated him, but they’ll bend over backwards to ram unqualified, inappropriate people through when nominated by a Republican.
What next? Maybe they’ll propose a law that makes being a Democrat a crime. Or suggest life imprisonment for “insulting” the presidency (when held by a Republican, that is).
Anyway, if you want to read a little more about this whole thing of vetting cabinet nominees for conflicts, click on one of these articles: