Sunday, January 08, 2017

Further Tales From the Demolition Derby Administration: Ethics and the GOP, Katy Talento and Sid Miller

The one we are going to have under Dear Leader-Elect.  Interesting developments came and went while I lay moaning in the arms of Mr. Influenza, but one of them is worth a backwards glance, though it took place in the Congress and not in the transitioning team of the Trump administration.

That was the Republicans' failed attempt to spay, neuter and geld the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent and bipartisan entity created in 2008 in the wake of certain ethics scandals, and to leave in its place a zombie version answerable to the GOP.

Trump opposed that plan, probably because it came too soon.  The country is not yet open to looting, and to so openly prepare for it is in bad taste.  Besides, it's Trump who decides about looting the government coffers, not your rank-and-file Republicans, though they naturally will get their dibs.  That's because a demolition derby administration destroys institutions, not the material aspects of those.  The latter can be carted home, assuming that there will be no viable ethics investigations.

Or that is the reading of many on that gelding attempt.  Given that, why did the Republicans think they would get away with it?  How bad are they as politicians?  Or are they playing some n-dimensional chess game where failing on this aspect of looting is intended to make some slightly less open move more invisible?

Never mind.  The Republicans will have plenty of time for looting, after the demolition vehicles ride over everything.

Trump has not forgotten us, the little ladies, either, so he appointed a female health care staffer, Katy Talento,  to his team!  She believes that birth control of the type women control: the IUD and the pill, causes miscarriages and later infertility.

Her appointment smells of Mike Pence to me, the Vice President-Elect who wants to see women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.  Access to female-controlled birth control must be made more difficult for that plan to succeed.

Finally,  Sid Miller, the Texas agricultural commissioner, might be heading for a similar job in the demolition derby administration.  His shtick is to eradicate waste in the National School Lunch program which provides poorer children free lunches.

I though the idea of reducing waste in cooking and storing food was a wonderful and environment-loving initiative, but, alas, that's not what Sid worries about.  He stays awake at night because some children whose parents aren't poor enough might be eating free, nutritious meals at the taxpayers' expense.*

If that name, Sid Miller, rings a faint but ominous bell in your ears, yes, this is the same man whose Twitter account sent out this tweet in early November:

 That must give him bonus points for the USDA job in the mind of our Dear Leader-Elect.


*  Where I grew up, free and nutritious school lunches were provided for all children, irrespective of parental income.  The idea seems perfect to me:  It guarantees at least one well-balanced daily meal for every child, it can be used to teach children to eat together, to have good table manners, and it rescues zillions of parents from the task of having to prepare separate lunches every day.  Most importantly, putting good food into children is a fantastic investment for the future of us all.

There are economies to scale from such cooking, too, and so the overall cost (funded from taxes) could well be less than the total cost of the US type system.

That's why I'm not upset about "misuses" of the US system.