Category Archive 'Executive Branch'

20 Jul 2016

Will Mike Pence Be the Real President?

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TrumpNapping
Pence will run domestic & foreign policy, while Donald naps.

The New York Times supplies another of those leaks indicating that Trump doesn’t really intend to do the job of being president.

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply. …

Ultimately, Trump chose Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, not Kasich, to be his running mate.

Some years ago, I was Chief Operating Officer of a (much smaller than Trump’s) inherited New York real estate company. My principal, I expect, very much resembled Donald Trump in operating style. He did not care to be actively involved in the business every day. He had management (me) for that. He had every intention of retaining absolute power, but he was normally King Log. Only when questions of credit and compensation came up or when the requirements of the business made unwelcome demands upon him did he turn into King Stork. Most of the time, he simply didn’t want to know about it.

This kind of personally-convenient delegating of responsibility, while retaining ownership, final authority, and –in the end– taking credit for what other people do, is quite typical of the way a New York real estate mogul would run his empire.

One wonders how it will work when applied to running the US Executive Branch. Good luck to Mr. Pence. I can tell you that being the COO in such a regime has a lot of drawbacks.

12 Nov 2008

Obama’s Team

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When Barack Obama named the Machiavelli of the democratic left, Rahm Emanuel, as White House Chief of Staff, the move, amounting to the selection of “a wartime consigliere,” was widely interpreted as evidence of the new administration’s intention of pursuing a highly polarized agenda, rather than, as Obama promised throughout his campaign, moving beyond partisanship.

Further signs of President-elect Obama’s intentions will come with ongoing appointments. Transition team chief John Podesta promised major cabinet-level appointments would be announced next month.

US News & World Reports published an unofficial transition flowchart (.pdf), currently circulating within the Beltway, which has some real eye-openers: e.g., Al Gore as “Climate Czar” and druggie-playboy-turned-Conspiracy-Theorist-and-Environmental-Prophet Robert Kennedy, Jr. as head of the EPA.


Robert Kennedy, Jr.

Walter Olson recently sounded the alarm about this possible appointment in Forbes, profiling Kennedy’s recent career promoting scary theories about childhood vaccinations causing Autism (complete with a CDC cover-up shielding the Drug Industry), air pollution causing Down’s Syndrome, and the Republican Party stealing the 2004 election.

01 Mar 2008

Separation of Powers

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AP reports that the Justice Department has reminded Nancy Pelosi that the Executive Branch of the US Government has the ability to decline to enforce Congressional edicts which overstep the bounds of the separation of powers.

The operations of government require that members of the Executive Branch have the ability to discuss policy decision frankly, freely, and in privacy. Cynical Congressional fishing expeditions seeking material for political scandal-mongering over legitimate Executive Branch decisions (like the hiring or firing of US attorneys) ought to be refused cooperation.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Friday rejected referring the House’s contempt citations against two of President Bush’s top aides to a federal grand jury. Mukasey says they committed no crime.

Mukasey said White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet Miers were right in refusing to provide Congress White House documents or testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.

“The department will not bring the congressional contempt citations before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers,” Mukasey wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The House voted two weeks ago to cite Bolten and Mukasey for contempt of Congress and seek a grand jury investigation. Most Republicans boycotted the vote.

Pelosi requested the grand jury investigation on Thursday and gave Mukasey a week to reply. She said the House would file a civil suit seeking seeking enforcment of the contempt citations if federal prosecutors declined to seek misdemeanor charges against Bolten and Miers.

Mukassey took only a day to get back to her. But he had earlier joined his predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, in telling lawmakers they would refuse to refer any contempt citations to prosecutors because Bolten and Miers were acting at Bush’s instruction.


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