Author Topic: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.  (Read 75566 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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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

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Crafty_Dog

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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

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DougMacG

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.