Author Topic: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.  (Read 79054 times)

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
Newt Gingrich: President Trump must move at speed of Tech, not Bureaucracy
« Reply #201 on: February 23, 2018, 10:10:31 PM »
President Trump Must Move at the Speed of Technology, Not Bureaucracy
Originally published at Fox News.

Changing the direction of the Washington system from liberal to conservative was the key to President Trump’s remarkably successful first year. Changing the speed of government from the routine, slow, change-avoiding pace of bureaucracy to the high tempo, innovative, constantly accelerating pace of technology will be the key to success in the next three years.

The Trump-led directional shift is unquestionable. He appointed and placed a conservative justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, seated a record number of appellate court judges in his first year, and achieved an all-time record for repealing regulations. At the National Space Council meeting on Wednesday, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Director Neomi Rao said the Trump Administration has cut 22 regulations for each one it created.

Trump also worked with Republicans to deliver a dramatically pro-growth tax cut, which generated immediate proof of its power through the reaction of the business community. Again and again, President Trump has moved the Washington system away from a liberal direction toward a more conservative direction.

Now comes the real test – changing the deeply entrenched traditional system of bureaucratic processes and procedures into one that is entrepreneurial, dynamic, adaptive, and flexible.

Think of this as moving from the speed of bureaucracy to the speed of technology.

The two systems are mutually exclusive.

The current vast system of government is inherently bureaucratic, change-resistant, and closed to new ideas. Entrenched bureaucracies get used to what they are doing and the routine habits and rhythms at which they operate. They are process rather than product-oriented. They are activity rather than achievement-oriented. They measure inputs (although never enough) and reject the concept of measuring outputs. They regard metrics as arbitrary measures that prove they are busy, rather than benchmarks that demonstrate their progress.

Bureaucracies also have an enormous capacity to absorb and retrain political appointees. Every Trump political appointee should watch a season of the British television series “Yes Minister” or its sequel “Yes Prime Minister.” After watching just a few episodes of this sitcom, in which senior British civil servants surround their civilian leaders with misleading information and false assumptions, Trump’s political appointees will better understand how their ability to enact real change is being limited by those who make avoiding change their number one priority.

The only way to dramatically change bureaucracies is to change the outcomes expected from them. You will never win an internal fight over the processes bureaucrats are using or the traditions they are following. The bureaucrats will simply slow walk you with more and more arguments and information.

The key is to instead figure out the positive, measurable outcomes you want and insist on the bureaucrats changing their system until it can produce to your expectations.
One of the key change principles is to insist that government learn to move at the speed of technology instead of the speed of bureaucracy. The iPhone 4 has roughly the same computing power as the Cray-2, which was the fastest supercomputer in the world in 1985. And, of course, the iPhone 4 is now obsolete.

Apple has gone from almost bankrupt to the highest-valued company in the world.

The development of the drone as both a commercial and military vehicle has been amazing.

The rise of Amazon from a bold idea to the largest retailer in the world has been astounding.

The breakthroughs in health science and technology are amazing and new discoveries are being made every day. Breakthroughs in health care bureaucracies (public and private, including the health guilds), in contrast, have been astonishingly slow.

The rise of SpaceX’s reusable rockets has received a lot of well-deserved attention. The company’s recent Falcon Heavy launch with its Tesla and “Starman” payload may mark a turning point in space exploration and development.

While NASA and the old, slow-moving big companies have been following a long, expensive process, both Musk and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos have been developing radically new proposals that will lower the cost of going into space by an enormous amount.

Keeping up with the speed of technology means both NASA and the Department of Defense must rethink their current investment in traditional, expensive, single-use rocket systems – from the ground up.

The same rate of development is about to hit education. Pioneers such as Sebastian Thrun at Udacity, Mitch Daniels at Purdue University, Dr. Jerry Davis at the College of the Ozarks, and Brandon Busteed at Gallup are developing remarkable insights into dramatically improving education.

In health information technology, new startups focused on helping doctors with a doctor-friendly health information system may break through the giant vendor-hospital-centered model which has crippled the growth of health information for patients and doctors.

Again and again, we see innovators and entrepreneurs starting at the fringes with small, streamlined operations and profound insights into how technology is evolving.
If the Trump team can learn to move at the speed of technology and to take advantage of the astonishing wave of entrepreneurship, which the new tax bill will be encouraging, then the amount of progress in the next few years will be amazing.

Your Friend,
Newt

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile






Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
WSJ: SCOTUS rules for accountability
« Reply #209 on: June 22, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »
Administrative Law Smackdown
The Supreme Court strikes a blow for political accountability.
The Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C.
The Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C. Photo: Evan Golub/Zuma Press
By The Editorial Board
June 21, 2018 7:11 p.m. ET
52 COMMENTS

Thursday wasn’t a complete loss for liberty at the Supreme Court. While the Justices opened Pandora’s box in taxing the internet (see nearby), they also took a modest step toward enforcing more accountability on the ever-expanding administrative state.

In Lucia v. SEC, the Court ruled 6-3 that under the Constitution administrative law judges must be appointed by proper political authorities, not merely by career bureaucrats. ALJs, as they’re known, have proliferated across the government to adjudicate disputes between citizens and federal bureaucracies. ALJs aren’t Article III judges confirmed by the Senate. They are executive-branch (Article II) judges who rule on executive-branch cases.
U.N. Rights Council Withdrawal; Japan's Guest Workers

Securities and Exchange Commission administrative Judge Cameron Elliot ruled against Raymond Lucia for securities violations. Yet Judge Cameron wasn’t appointed by the President or the five SEC Commissioners. In a crisp majority opinion, Justice Elena Kagan concludes that this violates the Constitution’s Appointments Clause because Judge Elliot is an officer wielding considerable authority.

As Justice Clarence Thomas writes in his concurring opinion, “the Appointments Clause maintains clear lines of accountability—encouraging good appointments and giving the public someone to blame for bad ones.” The government cannot hand authority to ALJs who are appointed by low-level managers with no line of responsibility to the President. They must be appointed by the President or SEC Commissioners in this case, or a head of department in others.

The left-leaning Justice Kagan’s decision to join the five conservative judges in this view of the separation of powers is encouraging and shows a streak of intellectual independence. Justice Stephen Breyer agreed that Judge Elliot had been wrongly appointed on statutory grounds, but he saw no need for Justice Kagan’s more sweeping constitutional analysis.

The ruling is a victory for political accountability in an administrative state that is ever more sprawling and opaque. Administrative judges can be especially frustrating because their rulings overwhelmingly favor the agencies for which they work. Agencies with the power for significant enforcement action like the SEC should be using them in fewer cases, and the Commissioners should review their decisions with more care than they do.

One reason Americans hate government is that they too often feel it is rigged against them. Kudos to the Justices for trying to maintain clearer constitutional lines of political accountability.

Appeared in the June 22, 2018, print edition.


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 12043
    • View Profile
Bureaucracy, Fourth Branch: Ban A/C in DC
« Reply #212 on: March 27, 2019, 07:57:52 PM »
Glenn Reynolds column from July 2016.  This idea is brilliant.

If our rulers think global warming is a crisis, let them be a good example for the rest of us.

Everyone talks about global warming, but nobody does anything about it.  At least, the people who talk about saving the planet the most seem to have the biggest carbon footprint.  But I have some ideas for fixing that.

In this, I’m inspired by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., who noticed something peculiar recently. It seems that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who spends a lot of time telling Americans that they need to drive less, fly less, and in general reduce their consumption of fossil fuels, also flies home to see her family in Boston "almost every weekend"; the head of the Clean Air Division, Janet McCabe, does the same, but she heads to Indianapolis. In air mileage alone, the Daily Caller News Foundation estimates that McCarthy surpasses the carbon footprint of an ordinary American. Smith has introduced a bill that wouldn't target the EPA honchos’ personal travel, though: It provides, simply, that “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the cost of any officer or employee of the Environmental Protection Agency for official travel by airplane.”

This makes sense to me. We’re constantly told by the administration that “climate change” is a bigger threat than terrorism.  And as even President Obama has noted, there’s a great power in setting an example: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”

Likewise, it’s hard to expect Americans to accept changes to their own lifestyles when the very people who are telling them that it’s a crisis aren’t acting like it’s a crisis. So I have a few suggestions to help bring home the importance of reduced carbon footprints at home and abroad:

Extend Smith’s bill to cover the entire federal government. We have Skype now, and Facetime. There’s no reason to fly to meetings. I’d let the President keep Air Force One for official travel, but subject to a requirement that absolutely no campaign activity or fundraisers take place on any trips in which the president travels officially.

Obama makes a great point about setting the thermostat at 72 degrees. We should ban air conditioning in federal buildings. We won two world wars without air conditioning our federal employees. Nothing in their performance over the last 50 or 60 years suggests that A/C has improved things. Besides, The Washington Post informs us that A/C is sexist, and that Europeans think it’s stupid.

In fact, we should probably ban air conditioning in the entire District of Columbia, to ensure that members of Congress, etc. won’t congregate in lobbyists’ air-conditioned offices.

Speaking of which, members of Congress shouldn’t be allowed to fly home on the weekends. Not only does this produce halfhearted attention to their jobs — the so-called “Tuesday to Thursday Club” — but, again, it produces too much of a carbon footprint. Even if they pay for the travel out of campaign funds, instead of their own budgets, they need to set an example for the rest of us — and for those skeptical foreigners that Obama mentioned.

But, you know, it’s not just the government. We’ve been told that global warming will cause rising sea levels that will inundate coastal cities and produce devastation.  I think we need to get ahead of that problem by encouraging people to move away from the coasts before things get bad. We can do that by a steadily-increasing tax on coastal property that will discourage people from moving to, or staying in, coastal cities. Sure, this will hurt property values in Boston or New York, but we all have to do our share.

And speaking of air travel and carbon footprints, it hasn’t escaped my notice how often the biggest advocates for reducing people’s carbon footprints have the biggest footprints themselves. Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, recently brought 500 guests from Los Angeles to St. Tropez to hear him give a speech about . . . climate change. (He also flew by private jet between Los Angeles and New York six times in six weeks recently, as revealed in the WikiLeaks hack of Sony emails.)

Well, we don’t want to regulate with a heavy hand, but we should put a $5-per-gallon carbon tax on jet fuel burned in private jets, perhaps rising to $10 over a few years, to discourage this sort of thing. And we should also deny corporations the ability to deduct private jet flights as a business expense.

These are actually modest proposals, considering the huge importance of saving the planet.  After all, if the Pentagon is ordering commanders to take climate change into account in its war plans, surely the non-military missions should feel the pinch, too. And if our ruling classes show themselves willing to make this sort of sacrifice, ordinary Americans might be willing to do the same. Heck, I might even turn my thermostat up to 73.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor






ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10161
    • View Profile
more anti Trump bureaucrats coming out of woodwork
« Reply #218 on: October 11, 2019, 02:24:57 PM »
Maybe the bureaucrats need to understand they are not appointed for life like Supreme Court Justices

In this case  she serves at the behest of the Department of State under the Executive branch .

So who does she think she is?

« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 03:07:13 PM by ccp »

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
The Deep State in the Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« Reply #219 on: October 12, 2019, 08:42:28 AM »

Whistleblowers and the Real Deep State
Civil servants too often forget they work for the people and seek to impose their own policy agendas.
By Kimberley A. Strassel
Oct. 11, 2019 6:23 pm ET
Illustration: David Gothard

House Democrats are plowing ahead with an impeachment effort inspired by accusations from an anonymous “whistleblower.” The lawmakers may allow the witness to testify anonymously, sources who themselves remained anonymous told the Washington Post this week. It’s as if the whole effort is designed to confirm President Trump’s complaint that the “deep state” is determined to sabotage his presidency.

By “deep state,” Mr. Trump seems to mean any current or former federal employee who works to undermine him. I find that definition too broad, and it misses an important distinction. Officials like James Comey and John Brennan, respectively former directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, were appointed by politicians and are subject to some public scrutiny and political accountability.

The “deep state”—if we are to use the term—is better defined as consisting of career civil servants, who have growing power in the administrative state but work in the shadows. As government grows, so do the challenges of supervising a bureaucracy swelling in both size and power. Emboldened by employment rules that make it all but impossible to fire career employees, this internal civil “resistance” has proved willing to take ever more outrageous actions against the president and his policies, using the tools of both traditional and social media.

Government-employed resisters received a call to action within weeks of the new administration. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates became acting attorney general on Mr. Trump’s inauguration and Loretta Lynch’s resignation. A week later, the president signed an executive order restricting travel from seven Middle Eastern and African countries. Ms. Yates instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the order in court on the grounds that she was not convinced it was “consistent” with the department’s “responsibilities” or even “lawful.” She decreed: “For as long as I am Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order.”

Mr. Trump fired her that day, but he shouldn’t have had to. Her obligation was to defend the executive order, or to resign if she felt she couldn’t. Nobody elected Sally Yates.

The Yates memo was the first official act of the internal resistance—not only a precedent but a rallying cry. Subordinates fawningly praised her in emails obtained by Judicial Watch. “You are my new hero,” wrote one federal prosecutor. Another department colleague emailed: “Thank you AG Yates. I’ve been in civil/appellate for 30 years and have never seen an administration with such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law.” Andrew Weissmann—a career department lawyer, then head of the Criminal Fraud Division and later on the staff of special counsel Robert Mueller—wrote: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much.” Ms. Yates set an example to rebels throughout the government: If she can defy the president, why can’t I?

That mentality fed the stream of leaks that has flowed ever since. The office of Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, made a study of Mr. Trump’s first 18 weeks in office. It found the administration had “faced 125 leaked stories—one leak a day—containing information that is potentially damaging to national security under the standards laid out in a 2009 Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama. ” Nearly 80% focused on the Russia probe, and many revealed “closely-held information such as intelligence community intercepts, FBI interviews and intelligence, grand jury subpoenas, and even the workings of a secret surveillance court.” Unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a felony.

Employees also started using social media to “resist.” A National Parks Service employee had already used an official Twitter account to troll Mr. Trump, passing along a post that showed side-by-side comparison of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration and the larger one at Mr. Obama’s. Around the time of the Yates firing, someone in the Pentagon set up the Twitter account @Rogue_DOD, on which was posted a damaging opinion piece about Trump and internal documents about climate change. A former employee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set up @viralCDC, with the description: “The unofficial ‘Resistance’ page of the CDC.” Its pinned tweet read: “If they choose to make facts controversial, the purveyors of facts must step into the controversy. #ScienceMarch #resist.”

These details come from a Jan. 31, 2017, Washington Post story, which reported that “180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop next weekend, where experts will offer advice on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.” The report added that some federal employees were in “regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees” about how to oppose the administration, while others were planning to “slow” their work if asked to focus on anything other than their policy “mission” as they understood it.

At the State Department, resisters organized a “cable” protesting Mr. Trump’s travel ban. It worked its way through dozens of U.S. embassies and ultimately had at least 1,000 signatures. The cable was part of a “dissent channel” that Foggy Bottom maintains to allow officials to disagree with policy, and it is meant to be confidential. The resisters made the letter public, bragging about the numbers of signers and anonymously slamming Mr. Trump. The Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed State Department official: “There is overwhelming disgust and shock at this executive order.”

A former Obama assistant secretary of state, Tom Malinowski, acknowledged sarcastically that such a protest was unprecedented. “Is it unusual?” he said to the Post. “There’s nothing unusual about the entire national security bureaucracy of the United States feeling like their commander in chief is a threat to U.S. national security. That happens all the time. It’s totally usual. Nothing to worry about.” (Mr. Malinowski is now a congressman from New Jersey.)

Many Obama holdovers have openly worked to cause mayhem in the new administration. Consider Walter Shaub, whom Mr. Obama appointed in 2013 to run the Office of Government Ethics. That office isn’t a watchdog. It doesn’t adjudicate, investigate or prosecute ethics violations or complaints. It was set up in 1978 to help the White House; its webpage notes it is there to “advise” and to “assist” the executive branch in navigating complex ethical questions.

Mr. Trump came to office with more such questions than most, and the Office of Government Ethics should have been a valuable resource. Instead, within weeks of the election, Mr. Shaub was mimicking the president-elect from an official Twitter account: “@realDonaldTrump OGE is delighted that you’ve decided to divest your businesses. Right decision!” “@realDonaldTrump Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, very good for America!” When Mr. Trump released his plan for his assets, Mr. Shaub blasted it at a public event with press in attendance.

At one point Mr. Shaub sent one of his critical missives to hundreds of government ethics officials, every inspector general, and the chairmen and ranking members of numerous congressional committees. When administration officials began to call him out on his behavior, he loudly resigned and immediately landed a job at the liberal Campaign Legal Center.

Bureaucrats also began filing official internal complaints, demanding to get to define their own policies and programs. In July 2017, an Interior Department employee named Joel Clement published a Washington Post op-ed titled “I’m a Scientist. I’m Blowing the Whistle on the Trump Administration.” He began his piece: “I am not a member of the deep state.”

He explained that he had just filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal body that regulates and protects civil servants. For seven years Mr. Clement had worked at Interior, helping “endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate.” Now he, along with more than two dozen other senior career Interior employees, had been reassigned to working in fossil fuels. He claimed this reassignment was retaliation “for speaking out publicly about the danger that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities.” He called himself a “whistleblower.” At least he put his name on the article.

Although the law protects civil servants from being fired, departments have broad authority to reassign them. Setting policy priorities wasn’t Mr. Clement’s job. Yet his complaint inspired eight Senate Democrats to demand an Interior inspector general investigation. Notably, that 2018 report did not find evidence of Mr. Clement’s charges of retaliation. As then-Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt noted, the department’s actions were entirely “lawful.” Mr. Clement in the fall of 2017 resigned with a much-publicized letter to then-Secretary Ryan Zinke: “Your agenda profoundly undermines the DOI mission and betrays the American people.” Mr. Clement is now a senior fellow at the left-wing Union of Concerned Scientists.

In December 2017, such acts of defiance led the Atlantic to celebrate the “Year of the Civil Servant.” The article hailed the bureaucracy for toiling through “the president’s chaotic first year in office.” It saluted those who had fought against an administration that had made it “nearly impossible” for them to “do their jobs.”

But the job of civil servants is to implement, not undermine, the policies established by elected officials. A government paycheck doesn’t entitle them to call the shots. The bureaucratic resistance has used its power to delay and undermine Trump proposals, leak government information, gin up controversies to run Trump cabinet heads out of Washington—and now provide an excuse for impeachment. Many call themselves whistleblowers, but that’s a bastardization of an honorable word. Whistleblowers expose government fraud; resisters sabotage policy and attempt to undermine an elected government’s legitimacy.

Government workers are a vital part of society. Yet voters have become deeply suspicious—and rightly so—of the federal bureaucracy. That’s damaging the country. Democrats insist they must remove Mr. Trump from office to save America’s institutions and restore its norms. Who’s doing the real damage to institutions and norms? The resistance should look in the mirror.

Ms. Strassel is the Journal’s Potomac Watch columnist. This article is adapted from her book, “Resistance (at All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America,” to be published Oct. 15.


ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10161
    • View Profile
Federal employees by some measures overwhelmingly gave to Clinton
« Reply #220 on: October 12, 2019, 03:33:57 PM »
https://freebeacon.com/politics/federal-government-workers-donating-overwhelmingly-democrats/

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/mike-causey-federal-report/2017/04/are-feds-democrats-or-republicans-follow-the-money-trail/

the number of Fed DC employees who vote Dem vs Rep is unclear

depending on where I read

but it is hard to believe many favor Trump.

I don't think I recall reading anywhere of bureaucrats undermining POTUS at every turn.


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
SCOTUS agrees to hear challenge to Consumer Bureau
« Reply #222 on: October 18, 2019, 01:40:48 PM »
https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/466494-supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-challenge-to-consumer-bureaus-authority

VERY glad to hear this.  If I have it right, the agency has its own independent source of funding and as such is out of the control of the executive AND legislative branches.

Forked Tongue Warren was very pivotal in setting up this agency.

ccp

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 10161
    • View Profile
Hawley Blackburn
« Reply #223 on: October 23, 2019, 06:39:22 AM »
Mover wealthy Federal employees to economic depressed areas to help lift the economy of those areas and give employees more exposure the rest of America outside the DC beltway:

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/hawley-to-introduce-bill-moving-federal-agencies-out-of-washington-d-c-to-economically-stagnant-areas/

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 17454
    • View Profile
‘Permanent bureaucracy a mortal threat to America’
« Reply #224 on: October 23, 2019, 07:03:43 PM »
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/stephen-miller-pushback-permanent-bureaucracy-a-mortal-threat-to-america

Stephen Miller pushback: ‘Permanent bureaucracy a mortal threat to America’
by Paul Bedard
 | October 22, 2019 07:04 PM
 

Anonymous efforts by anti-Trump federal bureaucrats to thwart the White House agenda through leaks and complaints to friendly reporters and congressional allies are a “mortal threat” to democracy and the 2016 election results, according to a top administration official.

“This is a mortal threat to the American system of government,” said Stephen Miller, the senior adviser for policy.

In 2016, President Trump ran against Washington’s “deep state” and “permanent bureaucracy,” said Miller, and they remain so angry that they are lying, leaking, and attacking the administration’s agenda.

The latest example is the planned book written by an anonymous inside critic and that follows efforts by bureaucrats to thwart Trump policies with leaks to liberal media and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

In an interview, Miller called inside attacks a “very grave threat,” and he explained it this way:

“It is best understood as career federal employees that believe they are under no obligation to honor, respect, or abide by the results of a democratic election. Their view is, ‘If I agree with what voters choose, then I’ll do what they choose. If I disagree with what voters choose, then I won’t, and I’ll continue doing my own thing. So basically it’s heads I win, tails you lose.

“‘If you elect Hillary Clinton, then I’ll implement all of her policies very faithfully, and if I see massive evidence of corruption on Hillary Clinton’s part, then I’ll keep it all a secret. If you elect a candidate I disagree with, then I’ll lie, I’ll leak, I’ll cheat, I’ll smear, I’ll attack, I’ll persecute, and I will refuse to implement, and I will obstruct at every single step of the way.’”

But, said Miller, Trump’s most loyal nonfamily staffer who also worked on the 2016 election, said that the president isn’t “cowed” by the attacks. In fact, he said the criticisms steel the president.

“We’ve made clear that your leaks will backfire and your sabotage will fail, and we’ll simply implement the policy doubly,” he said. “Not only will you not change the outcome, but the more that you try to leak and disrupt, the more determined the president will be in his course to accomplish that which he was sent here to do,” said Miller.

The top aide, interviewed in his second-floor West Wing office, also mocked insider critics who have been responsible for failed policies, especially in the intelligence, foreign policy, and defense arenas.

“The same people who made wrong judgment calls in Iraq, with respect to strategy in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, too ... the people who made all these decisions now are so utterly convinced that they alone know what the right policy is,” Miller said.

He portrayed the president as devoted to delivering his campaign promises no matter what is thrown at him.

“Never has someone occupied the Oval Office who is more undeterred and undaunted in executing the task that he was brought here and has pledged to execute,” he said.

Miller added, “A lot of us thought, if you go back many years before Donald Trump ever declared for president, we might never live to see the day when somebody would have the audacity to promise to fundamentally change a broken status quo then get to Washington and proceed to execute on every single thing that he promised to do no matter what was thrown his way. It is truly a miracle to behold.”

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
WSJ: Move the Bureaucrats out of the Beltway
« Reply #225 on: December 01, 2019, 06:38:00 AM »
Move the Bureaucrats Out of the Beltway
It no longer makes sense to cluster federal agencies and their employees in Washington, D.C.
By Terry Wanzek
Nov. 29, 2019 4:32 pm ET

A researcher at the Bay Farm Research Facility in Columbia, Miss., July 19, 2018. PHOTO: ALEX FLYNN/BLOOMBERG NEWS
“You know, farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field,” said President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. That pretty much describes the Agriculture Department bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. Although the big building on Independence Avenue is full of smart and well-meaning people, there’s no getting around the fact that they’re far removed from the regular business of farming.

It doesn’t have to be that way—at least not according to a couple of Republican senators, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. They’ve proposed moving the Agriculture Department and nine other federal agencies outside D.C. and into the heart of America.

It’s a thought-provoking idea reminiscent of what agronomist Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, said on his deathbed: “Take it to the farmer.” What he meant was, if we seek excellence in food security, everyone in the food business must collaborate with the men and women who work the land. That’s what Borlaug did as a scientist. He developed new crop strains, boosting food production so much in the 1950s and 1960s that he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

Today, “taking it to the farmer” involves not just the scientists who innovate but also the Beltway regulators whose rules and mandates affect what happens to those who work the land a thousand miles—or more—away. The Hawley-Blackburn bill calls for moving Agriculture and its more than 100,000 employees to Missouri. Other departments would go elsewhere: Commerce to Pennsylvania, Education to Tennessee, Energy to Kentucky, Health and Human Services to Indiana, Housing and Urban Development to Ohio, Interior to New Mexico, Labor to West Virginia, Transportation to Michigan, and Veterans Affairs to South Carolina.

They wouldn’t relocate to just anywhere within these states, but rather to economically depressed regions. The bill’s sponsors pitch their legislation as an employment program. They call it the HIRE Act, which stands for “Helping Infrastructure Restore the Economy.”

That’s fine, but the main benefit would come from putting regulators into proximity with the people whose lives and businesses they regulate. It makes sense for Agriculture to have its headquarters in a big farm state such as Missouri, and it also makes sense to move Interior to New Mexico, where it will be closer to the Western lands that occupy so much of its time.

Under this plan, federal regulators would gain firsthand knowledge of what the policies they adopt and enforce do to real people. In the future, maybe an official at Agriculture will actually be able to live on a farm. A bureaucrat at Interior will be married to a rancher, and a deputy assistant secretary at Transportation will have a brother who works on an automotive assembly line.

This would be a government “of the people”—something that is lacking as the administrative state inexorably grows in Washington, D.C.

Before the advent of air travel and telecommunications, it made sense to cluster federal agencies in Washington. In the 21st century, however, technology enables us to do so much more—and to take advantage of a truly federal system, which seeks to disperse the power of government.

The Trump administration appears to understand the principle: The headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management soon will move to Grand Junction, Colo., and 547 employees of the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will shift to Kansas City, Mo.

The Hawley-Blackburn bill could attract bipartisan support. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also has proposed moving agencies out of Washington. Several liberal-leaning think tanks and journalists have expressed support for the concept.

“The proper role of government” is “that of partner with the farmer—never his master,” said President Eisenhower. Let’s seize a chance to take it to the farmer, as well as everybody else who has a stake in the decisions that we ought to make closer to the people.

Mr. Wanzek grows wheat, corn, soybeans and pinto beans on a family farm in Jamestown, N.D. He represents the 29th district in the state Senate and is a member of the Global Farmer Network.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« Reply #228 on: February 01, 2020, 12:08:08 AM »
The choice is for us to make, not industry.

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 17454
    • View Profile
Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« Reply #229 on: February 01, 2020, 04:54:44 PM »
The choice is for us to make, not industry.

Government shouldn't be involved in the organic food scams.

Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« Reply #230 on: February 01, 2020, 11:14:01 PM »
OTOH government should be involved in honest labelling.

With the standard openly defined, the choice is up to me.

G M

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 17454
    • View Profile
Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« Reply #231 on: February 02, 2020, 09:32:25 AM »
OTOH government should be involved in honest labelling.

With the standard openly defined, the choice is up to me.

What defines "organic food"?

DougMacG

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 12043
    • View Profile
Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.
« Reply #232 on: February 02, 2020, 05:42:43 PM »
What defines "organic food"?
[/quote]

Seems to me: grown without man made chemicals,.  No roundup. Manure instead of chemical fertilizer? No insecticides, weed killers?  No hormones, steroids etc?

This rule change had to do with adding some sort of free range to that to be called organic.  It should be a different designation.  It should be a free choice.  The more efficient choice should not be eliminated, banned, but that of course is next, like fracking.

Government has some role in the labeling, in my view, even though they can't even get that right.  It is a fraud on the consumer if they say organic and grow with chemicals, whether there is any health benefit or not, that should be a choice.

Shouldn't it really be private industry group definitions, like UL or CE?


Crafty_Dog

  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 49762
    • View Profile
Lehman: Trimming the NSC
« Reply #233 on: February 18, 2020, 02:48:07 PM »
A Campaign Against Bureaucratic Bloat in U.S. Foreign Policy
Trump’s national security adviser has a plan of attack for a problem decades in the making.
By John Lehman
Feb. 17, 2020 4:19 pm ET

The press has been focused recently on Lt. Col Alexander Vindman’s departure from the National Security Council. But less noticed is the substantive overhaul of the council’s staffing practices, announced last fall by national security adviser Robert O’Brien. President Trump’s renovation of the White House’s top advisory body could help streamline American security for years to come.

The problems that plague the NSC trace to before its founding in 1947. The White House has long sought to centralize decision-making to overcome the political jockeying that often takes place within the national-security establishment. I have lived half of my professional life in the policy world of Washington and half in the financial world of New York. The former is much more Hobbesian and bitter than the latter—and always has been.


After securing victory in World War II, for example, federal policy makers were at each other’s throats over whether to share nuclear technology with the Soviet Union through the Baruch Plan. The branches of the armed services feuded over roles, missions and funding. President Truman and congressional leaders nonetheless produced a few lasting achievements, including the Marshall Plan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

But the bitter postwar years also featured terrible blunders in China and Korea. Truman’s radical strategy to shrink the Navy, while declaring Korea outside America’s vital interest, led almost immediately to the Korean War. Journalist John Osborne told me that during those years he was run ragged between the White House and the Pentagon. Both were leaking classified information aimed at opponents in government.

One good result from that strife was the NSC. Defense Secretary James Forrestal conceived of it as a way to corral the dovish White House advisers around Truman. The NSC was established in the 1947 National Security Act, which named the members of the council: president, vice president and secretaries of state and defense. The function of the council “shall be to advise the president with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to the national security.” The law required regular meetings.

Truman resented and opposed the NSC. But when it became law, he made it his own White House staff for national security. The State and Defense departments were thus brought into presidential decision-making.

The council’s power and influence reached its apogee under President Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. Nixon and Mr. Kissinger agreed completely on strategy and intended to run national security from the White House. Predecessors borrowed career staffers from other agencies, but Nixon and Mr. Kissinger recruited a far more diverse and notable policy staff. Candidates were handpicked by Mr. Kissinger and his deputy, Richard Allen.  (including my then future International Relations prof William Quandt- MARC)

Mr. Kissinger grew the council to include one deputy, 32 policy professionals and 60 administrators. By my count, alumni of his NSC include two secretaries of state, four national security advisers, a director of national intelligence, a secretary of the Navy, and numerous high-ranking officials in the State, Defense and Treasury departments as well as the Central Intelligence Agency.

But the NSC has only continued to expand. By the end of the Obama administration, 34 policy professionals supported by 60 administrators had exploded to three deputies, more than 400 policy professionals and 1,300 administrators.

The council lost the ability to make fast decisions informed by the best intelligence. The NSC became one more layer in the wedding cake of government agencies. It became difficult to recruit top talent. Mr. Kissinger assembled his 34 from the most elite and prestigious corners of government and industry. The Bush-Obama 400—not so much. It is no coincidence that the NSC declined in usefulness as American foreign policy deteriorated into “endless wars” and so on.

President Trump inherited this system, and it wasn’t functional. It is conceivable that the episodic nature of the administration’s foreign policy is due as much to NSC paralysis, bloat and turnover as to Mr. Trump’s style. The churn of national security advisers hasn’t helped. Michael Flynn, Keith Kellogg (acting), H.R. McMaster, John Bolton, Charles Kupperman (acting) and Mr. O’Brien have all held the job in a little over three years.

But Mr. O’Brien said last fall that he will trim the staff, “making it more effective by reaffirming its mission to coordinate policy and ensure policy implementation. The NSC staff should not, as it has in the past, duplicate the work of military officers, diplomats or intelligence officers.” Since then the policy staff has been reduced by more than 50. There’s more to come.

Since October there have been major improvements in trade, NATO and Mideast policy. There is evidence of a new coherence and direction in White House national security decision-making such as the rapid and effective decision to deal with Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Perhaps this is a sign of a more nimble and functional security council.

Mr. Lehman served as Navy secretary, 1981-87. His latest book is “Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea