It’s 2020, and there really is a Binder Full of Women. For real!
I was delighted to learn about it on last night’s Lawfare podcast. About a year ago, Tammy Wittes founded the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS). They asked the presidential candidates to sign a pledge that if they were elected they would seek gender parity in their national security appointments.
Joe Biden signed that pledge, and now he is our President-Elect.
LCWINS produced a database of over 800 women qualified for senate-confirmable jobs in national security. Fully 1/3 of them were women of color. They provided the database to the Biden transition team, and yesterday the Biden transition team announced its Agency Review Teams.
There is an agency review team for each part of the executive branch. According to Tammy Wittes, 59% of Biden’s landing team personnel are women, and a large number of women of color, as well. I am not certain whether that 59% is specifically related to the national security agency review team or if that 59% references the percentage for all of the Agency Review Teams.
Either way, go Team Biden!
What else do we think Team Biden is getting right?
Did they get the used binders from the 2012 Romney campaign? Fiscal prudence and all. As long as they cleaned out the women Romney had in them previously.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Even the paleo-con Tom Nichols is talking up Michelle Flournoy for Secretary of Defense. Or at least saying she would be a good pick.
This is WONDERFUL to read!!
So far it seems Biden is getting EVERYTHING right. The sense of relief I feel at the concept of competent national governance returning to our country can’t really be overestimated.
Biden is getting the “tone” (for lack of a better word) right in dealing with this challenging situation. He’s assuming the position of president-elect, doing at least one thing every day to get something in the news cycle, and generally becoming The President(-elect) in the eyes of the media and the American people. He’s doing great stuff. I like the choice of Ron Klain for Chief of Staff. He’ll be good at the job and Biden knows and trusts him, which is essential given how difficult things may be with the current administration blowing things up on the way out.
As far as women in the Biden Administration go, Susan Rice has to be on the top of any shortlist for State and Samantha Powers for something near the top as well – maybe DNI.
NYC subway station (positive image)
@Yarrow: Yes, he is declaring victory with his actions rather than bloviating about it.
Biden/Harris are awesome.
This is not: Democracy’s Afterlife and dealing with the zombie shell of the GOP
I hate these people.
Yes, I am thrilled.
We are really in a manichean situation right now, aren’t we? No shades of gray.
I have to assume Biden digs himself some Neil Young; but mainly just wanted to say (as I was reminded) my #1 guy is having his 75th birthday today, so will salute all the women with Harvest Moon (53 million plays!):
Campaign Joe and President-Elect Joe are the same, and remain on-message WRT what we need to do now, and what we will be doing going forward.
I hardly know how to process such consistency.
Clearly, they must be stopped at all cost, thanks, Republicans!
Happy to see Ron Klain as incoming WH chief of staff.
I feel bad for the kids — it’s not their fault their parents and extended family are raging assholes. But it’s gratifying to see Trumps held to the same rules that apply to everyone else. For once.
I hear the Vice President is also 100% women and women of color
@Betty Cracker: All they had to do is wear a mask and social distance. They chose not to. It’s Jared and Ivanka who should care about their children.
Germy posted a link earlier There was another article about Warnock’s Jewish support, which was timely since Loefler is running an ad calling him anti-Israel.
Better they learn now.
God, I hope Stephen Miller has no breeding plans.
@trollhattan: His wife is due any day, if she hasn’t already delivered.
Georgia voters care about Israel? Huh, who’d-a thunk?
Seen on the Twitter:
Feel free to distribute to neighbors, enemies, etc., who are still up in their feelings about the election.
Not just Trump; when Gingerich was Speaker the Republicans were trying to figure out how to retain a permanent majority, and talked about it. It’s been going on for longer than we like to believe.
I don’t want to hate them, but it ain’t easy…
Ugh. God save us all.
You have to follow this live thread of the President’s AZ case. It’s like a lawyer blooper reel. So far they’ve tried to submit evidence that random people filled in, but it’s OK because there was a captcha on the site and they weeded out the ones that seemed too obviously fault. And now they’re saying that it’s not about fraud at all.
Aw, this is lovely news, WaterGirl! Thanks for posting it.
@Betty Cracker: It’s also enjoyable (again and always, not entirely a good person here) to see it’s once again their desired peers pushing back and cold-shouldering the pair.
Gin & Tonic
Is the telegraph still a thing? Who knew?
@Betty Cracker: That’s great!
Elizabeth Warren is quoted on HuffPo that she thinks this pick is outstanding. So. Party harmony!
@trollhattan: The second coming of the lord, my son, the second coming of the lord.
Obama called the bipartisan defense Establishment support for war as a solution to every problem so as to sell more weapons the Blob, and it’s mostly male. All their preferences cited to Politico are men.
Going by his campaign I think Biden will go against that somewhat, but I’d be amazed if it was anywhere near 59%. It’ll be a dozen times more than Twitler has had, in any case.
I am super impressed at how many environmentalists he has on his volunteer landing teams for Defense and Commerce, and not just EPA.
A phone alert tells me Corey Lewandowski has COVID. Womp-womp!
@Nicole: I obviously love that Joe Biden is making choices like that. But I also love that a sharp and smart female on our side created the organization A YEAR AGO, contacted all the candidates, got the pledges and actually had a binder of 800+ women that they can choose from, ready to go.
I love our side.
edit: Always make it easy for people to do the right thing.
The transition team is also really good so far. Filled with progressive voices. People from Fair Fight, the ACLU, many others. My friends in education are over the moon with some of the more prominent names in the DoEducation team.
I remember someone disapprovingly noting that 1/3 of the transition review team had some tie to the military/industrial complex. That is actually staggeringly low, given how its tentacles get everywhere. I’m really happy with it.
I am so glad Joe is the one who is in this position. He knows the government from the highest levels on down. Will surround himself with the best (really!) people. Listen to their advice. On top of that he has a smart and competent VP in Kamala Harris who will help him and learn so much from his experience. It truly is the best ticket we could have in these horrible circumstances.
@Betty Cracker: It seems like the ‘Rona is the new loyalty test.
The Biden Agency Review Teams (also known as Transition Teams) also include a lot of women and people of color.
So good to see after all those old white men.
@Betty Cracker: Excellent.
@scav: Every Trump political appointee needs to be rejected by decent society. No club memberships, no invites to events, the cut direct, neighbors blowing leaves into their yards, etc.
I’m so impressed with how Biden is handling this non-transition transition. Cool and calm and competent, and it’s clear he anticipated this obstruction and is well prepared to move forward in spite of it. I also like the fact that while he’s correctly putting the pandemic front and center, he’s also (already) addressing other Dem concerns including racial and gender equality, the environment, etc.
@Mary G: I think there might be a word missing from your first paragraph, as I am not getting your drift.
But I am definitely nodding at paragraphs 2 and 3.
Just sent some money to Ossoff. Felt good!
Next time it’s going to Warnock.
Smash the GOP!
@Betty Cracker: I wonder how much of that is due to “Well, Trump is losing/has lost the election, so now it’s safe to push back”.
@VeniceRiley: Speaking of Senator Warren, she has an op-ed in The Post today about priorities for the incoming admin and suggestions for quick wins via EOs. Lots of good ideas, IMO, including this:
Such a move could really underscore the contrast with the outgoing administration. The Trump sleaze we know about already is appalling. But I suspect we ain’t seen nothing yet.
@Cheryl Rofer: I believe that’s the same group I am talking about. From the podcast, it sounded like it usually goes by one name but Biden’s team is calling it whatever I put up top.
Steve in the ATL
@Omnes Omnibus: looks like you and I are SOL on the AG gig now.
@Omnes Omnibus: @Steve in the ATL:
There’s no shame in being second in command! :-)
Gin & Tonic
@Steve in the ATL: Thoughts and prayers.
@WaterGirl: Some people have commented on the lack of star names on the transition team list, but it my understanding that these are the people who will be doing the heavy lifting for the transition and the big names will come later as nominations for the top jobs come out.
@Steve in the ATL: It is a sign of Biden’s good judgment.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Steve in the ATL: you mock people who misuse literally and you want a gig from Joe Biden? Come on, man!
Steve in the ATL
I’m used to that at home!
@Omnes Omnibus: That is my understanding, as well.
@Steve in the ATL: Ha! Good training for work and life. :-)
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Omnes Omnibus: That’s what I’ve heard, that they’re filling lower-level, less-visible jobs so even if (“if”?) McConnell is an asshole about Biden’s nominations, the work will get done.
What they are doing right is quietly getting ready to staff up the executive branch once again with competent hard-working people.
Think of the Executive Branch as an ornate old mansion with lots of arcane and antique features, but that still has very good bones. For four years the Trumpers have been running amok like a pack of frat boys and wild boars on meth, smashing up walls, peeing on the carpet, trying to rip out the cooper pipes and sell them for profit.
But the good bones are still there, and can be fixed back up into useful working fashion with a lot of hard work and elbow grease without the need for a lot of new legislation or help from Congress. Maybe that Avocado Green or Harvest Gold fridge isn’t your favorite color anymore. And maybe you’d prefer some new stainless appliances. But the old stuff is still in good working order for the most part. And still provides the president with immense power.
We have a lot of good laws in this country, from financial regulations to environmental protection to anti-trust to criminal justice. There are immense numbers of things that a dedicated and focused Biden administration can get done without getting one single new piece of legislation through Congress. Yes, you might want to build a whole brand new wing on the mansion for you aspirational projects like a public option, or immigration reform, or so forth. But there is still a tremendous amount that can actually be done under existing laws.
Biden knows this. Which is why the are moving relatively quietly in a lot of areas to just start getting shit done and start making government work again.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@matt: my donations are going in reverse order
The pastor of Martin Luther King Jr’s church is running against a non-entity who married money and spread it around to the Republican party, embraced trump and finally Q-Anon so she could call herself “Senator”. And they’re neck-and-neck.
What a country.
@Kent: But I have been told that all of the institutions failed…
@Kent: Also, since he’s been trying for this job a very long time, he’s had a LOT of time to think about what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. Being Veep for 8 years means he knows which levers are where.
I’m very pleased to see how he’s factored GOP obstruction into his plans. Being Veep for 8 years and seeing how Obama dealt with it must also help.
68 days 19 hours 45 minutes 21 seconds
Can’t come soon enough.
@WaterGirl: They are different groups. Wittes’s group (and several other similar ones) is not part of Biden’s official teams. They have collected names of women in national security – I think I’m on a couple – and are recommending them to the groups I linked to.
The groups I linked to are the people who will be working with the outgoing administration, so far as that is possible, to assure continuity of government and to put good people into it
ETA: You mentioned the transition teams toward the end of your post. They are the ones I’m talking about. I didn’t see a link to them in your post.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: My understanding is that these are the (sort of) investigative teams that go into each agency and figure out what’s working, what/who needs to be changed out, etc.
I don’t believe these people have been HIRED for lower level jobs in the agency, but it’s hard to imagine that some of these people wouldn’t get some of the available jobs.
Emma from FL
@Mary G: I checked on his academic legal experts and they are top notch. They are also over 50% women.
BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH HA
He thought he was pretty high and far out. Was on his way to kill Claire McCaskill.
Biden’s EPA transition team is excellent. Lots of former EPA who know how the agency works, plus a smattering of environmentalists. Should go a long way to restoring morale.
Betty keeps bringing the good news!
@Cheryl Rofer: Direct quote from Tammy Wittes on the podcast:
So i believe you and I are talking about the same team. But if you still think that’s not the case, let me know. You are certainly way more connected to this stuff than I am.
@Cheryl Rofer: I didn’t link to them in the post, but I should have. Thanks for the link.
@Omnes Omnibus: and that this is the way it will be now forever.
GMTA, my first response as well.
“Good news, sir, I’ve tested positive!” [Receives presidential pat on pate.)
I’m a former environmental regulator. Not the EPA but NOAA. They have an immense task ahead of them, reversing all the regulatory actions the Trump people have taken over the past 4 years. Some can probably be reversed with a stroke of a pen or lawsuits because they took lots of illegal shortcuts. But others will need to go through more substantive rulemaking to reverse. That takes a lot of time and staff work. They will need to hit the ground running with a lot of good people who know how to get shit done. I’m sure the EPA and other agencies still have lots of quality line workers who know how to get stuff done. They will need to sort them out from the MAGA filth who have tried to burrow in and become obstructionist. But they know how to do it.
The trick is to do things quietly. Once Trump got rid of the noisy incompetent appointees who were mired in scandal, and put more competent but equally evil folks in charge of these agencies they dropped off the radar. You don’t need firebrands turning agencies into lightning-rods. You need quietly competent people to get shit done with a minimum of fuss, like it is just the routine working of government.
As an old white male I should be offended.
But this is absolutely proper that any citizen of this country should have the opportunity, based on skills and experience for the task, not what genital they have or the color of their skin. And old white men have had more than their turn, and screwed up far, far more than their share of everything.
They have a lot of fucking work ahead. Have EPA scientist friends who have bunkered four years now, but the brain drain has been substantial. (You can’t parachute into a large, complex Superfund project and master it without months or years getting up to speed.)
WE NEED A BIDEN CLOCK
To your point, Bernhardt replacing Zinke placed a turbocharged fox into Interior’s henhouse, and he’s been gruesomely effective.
@rikyrah: Another bit of proof that Trump has be president for too long: It took me a few seconds to notice the “L” in your last word.
Then taking your dogs over to crap on their lawns…
@trollhattan: The brain drain at EPA is real, but it was also a really aging workforce. I’m optimistic about the youngsters coming in to learn the trade.
@Miss Bianca: You get it. Some of it is the big stuff, but the little things really matter.
@Kent: In some cases, the rule making will not only reverse Trump rules but move the ball forward at the same time.
Countdown to inauguration
Me too. There is a tremendous amount of talent in this country and a lot of younger folks with environmental, science, and STEM degrees who have been waylaid by the collapse of academic science tracks. They will have absolutely no trouble finding talent eager to work.
The Trumpers just rammed through shit with no attempt to reach common ground with anyone not sharing their ideas.
Biden and his new agency chiefs need to avoid the temptation to get mired in years of “stakeholder” process where they spend three years holding meetings with the regulated industries and then wind up at some compromise position that is only 1/2 of the way back to where things were pre-Trump. They need to have the courage to do what’s right despite the screaming by affected industries who mostly just don’t want to have to actually pay for the costs that they are incurring on everyone.
Did she gasp when she looked into the crib?
@patrick II: Is that a reference to Rosemary’s Baby?
Note: During the 15 or so years that I worked in the Federal government I bounced around to a variety of different regulatory offices. I probably had 5 bosses who were really really top. Four of them were women. Effective government is very process-oriented and requires a lot of consensus building. Even within government itself you often need sign-off and cooperation with a lot of different players to effectively get things done. It might be sexist to say so but I think women can be better at getting things done in that environment. I’m all for bringing more women into positions of authority in government.
@patrick II: “<gasp> It doesn’t doesn’t look like a lizard person! You’ve cheated on me!
@Kent: Honestly, I think women who rise up in management are just generally better. It’s not an absolute, but for most women in business they’ve succeeded despite having more responsibility, less appreciation, and less power. If you’ve made it you made it because you’re excellent at your fucking job.
I usually end up hiring women (I checked, my stats are about 60/40) for jobs that aren’t entry level. Because they just do better in all the interviews and so on. And this is in tech, which is generally very male dominated.
Steve in the ATL
ETA: which was parodying Rosemary’s Baby, awesomely
Hahaha via Karoli
Ella in New Mexico
My God, ” FUCKING AWESOME AMERICA” is like right there, just out of reach, if we can just make it over the finish line…
@Kent: couldn’t agree more! I think in some key areas—methane emissions from oil and gas production, CO2 standards, and CWA jurisdiction—they’ll have already learned from Obama era efforts and can just move straight ahead.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I do. No buts.
Steve in the ATL
@scav: manufacturing plant client requires everyone to wear masks except when immobile and distanced from other employees. Many employees are RWNJs, and many are in deep red places (mostly small towns and rural areas), and do not want to wear masks.
The new trick is for the employee bring in a note from his or her doctor stating that the doctor has reviewed the risks of not wearing a mask and the employee is comfortable accepting that risk.
Mercifully, the client was not asking me if this was ok–client knew it was not! Client was just making me aware in case the union tries to defend this stupidity. Oh sure YOU are comfortable with the risk, therefore everyone in the plant MUST accept your threshold for risk, their own health be damned. Republicans are just assholes.
I wonder if this idea has been shared on RWNJ websites as a way to stick it to libs.
They will get great medical care and likely live, and others, less fortunate, will not and likely die. It is not that I am wishing for any more deaths — I just wish if we must have them they would be more evenly distributed.
@WaterGirl: This is different, and what I was mainly focusing on.
This is the same:
And yes, I know, read to the end of the post. But why should I be different?
@mrmoshpotato: See, that’s how far Republicans have fallen. George HW Bush was NO ONE’S idea of a good man or even a particularly good POTUS (my family’s slight acquaintance with his family notwithstanding).
a). he had a dog
b). he had a sense of humor
c). he could put a fucking sentence together.
I think it’s time we started asking the Republicans of our acquaintance – in all seriousness – why do you put up with this? Why do you accept such mediocrity in your political leaders – moral, intellectual, ethical, spiritual mediocrity? Why aren’t you more outraged at the low quality of your so-called elites? (h/t Kay)
Steve in the ATL
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Seriously. And see my comment infra yours.
All that work will be meaningless if our asshole public decides that shit isn’t working and elect republicans again. This is where I get really mad because we work our ass off for the American people and then they stab us in the back because they can’t seem to understand nuance – damn low information voters.
@patrick II: It was funny.
BTW our SOS is under quarantine as well as his office. The Secretary of State’s wife has Covid.
Government and business are also very very different and require different skill sets. Years ago I worked on one project to tighten up shipping regulations on the Atlantic Coast to prevent whale strikes. My boss at that time was Pat Montanio, head of the NOAA Marine Mammal Protection Office. Getting that through required collaborating with about 8 other agencies from the Coast Guard to MARAD to the State Department to DOT. That meant lots of meetings to reach consensus and listen to older men bloviate. Watching her work was truly a learning experience on how you gently reach consensus and find agreement and run effective meetings. In business you can often just order people around and get stuff done. Government rarely works like that. You have to constantly reach consensus with and gain the cooperation of people outside your chain of command, who often work in completely different agencies.
Yep. Welcome to the real world. The orcs are ALWAYS at the door. It’s always been like that and always will be.
That’s why you don’t waste time with stupid performative bullshit and get down to work when you have the opportunity. Like Biden is doing. And if we are going to have divided government, I’d 100x rather have a Dem president and GOP Congress than the opposite.
Steve in the ATL
Those bastards have a union now?!
And yet there are still people who insist that government ought to be “run like a business!”
@Steve in the ATL: If they did they’d probably be better off.
@Steve in the ATL: New business opportunity, dude! Surf’s up – time to get to your next meeting!
OT: we can stand at ease (for the moment anyway) — Lindsey Graham has stepped off the Crazy Train.
@Kent: Yeah. We’re lucky in that our particular business (and my org in particular) HAS to be very consensus focused. I oversee software with 10 or 12 major stakeholders and about 10,000 users internally.
Everyone once in a while we get someone who pushes a real powermove and the system doesn’t accommodate it very well. But it’s nice because we do have a (female) VP who’s a real shark and very protective of her people, and she can push back significantly.
Utterly charming, and a really clever bit of writing at that. What a contrast.
(said earlier today)
It’s also why the Trumpers got a lot less shit done than they could have. Because they don’t get this. You can order your own staff around all you want. But your big regulatory initiative is still going to wind up on the bottom of someone else’s inbox in a completely different agency. And if you piss them off by being an asshole, it may get sent back to you marked up in red three or for separate times after a month delay each time until they finally sign off. And then you repeat the process with the next office down the line.
Trumpers ran roughshod through a lot of that which probably makes a lot of what they did vulnerable to legal challenge. Especially if interested groups like environmental groups just happen to have little birds whispering in their ears as to where all the bones are buried and which documents to FOIA to get all the evidence of malfeasance that they need.
@different-church-lady: Another indication that the people who own Trump are done with him. They still own Lindsay, though.
Several of you above noted something similar–that, although Mango Menace has eviscerated so many fed agencies and there’s been a consequent brain drain, the New Team is pulling in the right folks. the agency where I work had some significant financial mismanagement (including w/ federal dollars, which NEVER goes well). They hung on by a shoestring, we’re now doing very well. And I contend part of what has enabled us to respond so well to the pandemic is that we built our infrastructure in the last 8 years or so, so we have less cruft hanging around, less opportunity for people who’ve been here forever say, well, we’ve always done it This Way. We had to build from nearly the ground up, and, while it was def. dicey there for a bit, it has also been a net benefit. Doesn’t always work out that way, of course, but I’m hoping for a similar situation in D.C.
Who’s his daddy now?
Gin & Tonic
Christopher Krebs, a top USG cybersecurity official, is being forced out.
@Steve in the ATL: Really? Infra?
I think you need to get a copy of the new Bluebook.
@JPL: Are you sure he is not just using that as an excuse to prevent meeting with Loeffler, Purdue, and Kemp?
@Cheryl Rofer: Laughing.
@Gin & Tonic: “We had to let him go because he did his job.”
@Gin & Tonic: Oh, fucking great. That’s not ominous at all.
Is this Orange Julius’s way of saying to bad actors world wide – “Come on kids – free ice cream!”?
@Kent: My wife was rather high up in both a big industry tech company and a small to medium start up. She used to say that the team management skills were finely honed by most women in college (especially business school) where many men didn’t try to learn that skill at all. She also said that men believed promotion was just a natural effect of longevity at a company. But few men took the time to understand how the work of their team integrated with the enterprise level decisions. She cleaned their clock every time. That and working, when necessary, 24/7 for days.
@Gin & Tonic: I’m beginning to think that Putin has a patch upgrade to his infiltration of our security systems that he needs to get installed before the 21st.
@Baud: Someone else bought his debt?
@Immanentize: The person in charge of elections gave a briefing and started of by debunking all the crazy theories floating around. It did make me wonder when they discover the entire party is filled with crazies, who will they vote for in January.
Predictable as rain on the coast. Whoever pegged that lickspittle as a pilot fish nailed him perfectly. Future generations will look at Graham here as the exact moment that the leverage Trump had from being in the White House drained away.
The New York Times, naturally, will paint Graham as the cause of that leverage draining away (doubtless comparing him to the Republicans who told Nixon “It’s time”) when he’s really pivoting because of it.
Whatever. Trump is done. The rest of the GOP is going to rally around… (checks notes) Mitch McConnell. Oh fuck.
@Steve in the ATL: Some unions have locals, whales have pods. And they are mostly socialists.
Will caution that skill in navigating the politics comes with experience and considerable scars.
@different-church-lady: Is he looking for a new Daddy? Or concerned about the exposure to come?
He is the perfect collaborator rat.
@Steve in the ATL: Glad you’re back. You’re making me laugh today. Some if it may even be intentional!!
@Immanentize: Sounds pretty logical to me. My son hired a female awhile back, and mentioned he knew she could best him. He also knew that she added to the department. I raised him well.
@Gin & Tonic:
Trump transition was four years ago. Just sayin’. Of course, the tumult has never abated.
@Aleta: I heard that! What an odd speech.
“Message: Stay in the barracks, boys!”
Will we ever learn how close we got to the deep cliff edge?
@Gin & Tonic: Now that guy knows where some shit is buried — very very deep in the computer systems. Duplicated, etc. one hopes
Krebs has been debunking Trump’s election lies.
Now that President-elect Biden issued a statement about the six service members that died in Egypt today, maybe the president will take note and do the same.
nah.. He won’t unless Fox mentions it.
@WaterGirl: If I’m not mistaken, the proper ‘transition team’ title we’re accustomed to is an official title granted by the GSA that effectively makes them an extension of the federal government which is how doors get opened, so they can’t use it until that happens, hence the substitute title.
@Kent: Wildcat Whale strikes?
@Splitting Image: “Et tu, Lindsey?”. Of course, Trump is not nearly as literate as your average high-schooler taking English class, so he wouldn’t understand that reference.
@Cheryl Rofer: Of course he will.
I assume Haspel is gone before the end of the day on Friday the13th.
Gin & Tonic
@Immanentize: I don’t know anything about classified systems, but do know something about other document management systems. In any modern system, it is very, very hard to get rid of all traces of a document once it has been created, and even harder to not leave a trace of your actions.
@Immanentize: That it even needed to be said means we got entirely too close.
Steve in the ATL
@Immanentize: I imagine the pods file a lot of grievances against Swedes, Norwegians, and Finns! (referencing a discussion supra)
@frosty: I am here to serve.
Gin & Tonic
@Cheryl Rofer: If the Biden team hasn’t already called Chris Krebs and Bryan Ware I’d be very surprised.
In my experience you can’t do a damn thing in government without email. And once you send an email to anyone with an attachment, all hope of ever erasing traces of that document are gone forever.
Because they often win elections. You can be a corrupt, autoritarian, racist POS in this country and get more than 72 million votes. Sure, Biden got more votes, but it’s a lot easier to be a Republican. And, sadly, those elites reflect their voters.
@Gin & Tonic: That is the downside for Trump in these firings.
@Gin & Tonic: Yeah, my understanding is that political appointees are not allowed to even touch those systems, and that there are plenty of redundancies. I would be shocked if its even possible to delete something from it.
I’ll add, one of the growing in popularity design patterns for systems like that is to borrow straight from the accounting world where your ‘delete’ command is really just a record added to indicate that the given item should not be returned in normal queries. Nothing is ever removed from the system, not even a mistaken entry, it’s simply annotated via another record that it’s erroneous or invalid, etc. in the same way that every ledger entry in a bookeeping system simply gets a 2nd entry to subtract that entry out indicating it’s a mistake, etc. That system has worked perfectly for five centuries, and it’s the most common design approach for document management tools, and growing for all sorts of other stuff too.
@Immanentize: It means Putin is done with Trump and Lindsay Graham knows who owns the kompromat on him.
Off to my next Zoom pleasure dome:
Faculty Diversity Committee Meeting!
@Steve in the ATL: Nice afternoon in Augusta.
@Martin: My thought as well.
@Steve in the SOL: Fixed yer nym 4U! :^p
Gin & Tonic
@raven: I thought the news said play was cancelled due to weather.
Isn’t the best career move now for Trump administration employees to get fired?
“I never supported Trump. He fired me!”
No star names??? Surely you can’t be Sirius…
(Narrator: I am. And stop calling me Shirley.)
@Gin & Tonic: No, they just delayed the start. They started on one and ten so the first groups have played about 15-16 holes. Tiger is second or third about four under. I paid for ESPN + and they are showing two featured groups.
Steve in the ATL
@Uncle Cosmo: ha!
@raven: nice afternoon in Eatonton as well, and presumably Athens, but it was wet and ugly earlier!
@Steve in the ATL: Elaaaaine! You’ve gotta see the baaaybeee!
Narrator: Huh? What? But you fucking worked for him!
@Steve in the ATL: The fog was so dense that I couldn’t see my shed, and my lot isn’t that big. It’s less than an acre.
@Martin: Oh, interesting!
@oatler.: “Ah’m gone tuh Misery tuh kill me a Dummycrat. Yew gone lemme go now, raat?”
(Goober in question stated he intended to kill McCaskill “several times.” Probably figgered he had to do it a few times to make sure of getting it right once.)
@Gin & Tonic: You must be forgetting that they have the best people!
@Kent: And older people like me, too. There’s a reason why I’ve got a PhD in molecular virology and I’m working a pink collar job for minimum wage.
I just want to say that I am reading all these posts about diversity and consensus and high-quality hires and it feels. So. Good.
I know we all felt the cloud we’d been living under for the last 4 years, but seeing it lift and feeling the sun again is just plain wonderful.
Anyone know if Fiona Hill of impeachment witness fame is getting any foreign affairs role in the Biden admin?
She was completely badass back then, what seems like a millennium ago but was actually just 11 months.
But I didn’t really want to. I just thought I could help control his worst impulses.*
* Yeah, right. That worked out so well for everyone who (selflessly) tried.
@mrmoshpotato: Getting fired was probably the best thing that ever happened to Esper’s career. He now gets to go home for the holidays and prepare for his soft landing back in industry instead of spending the holidays in the fuher-bunker with the orange one.
J R in WV
I don’t know if anyone has made this point yet.
Wife and I looked over this list of appointees last night, and were buoyed up to no end by the experience and education of the people Biden has enlisted in his effort to manage and improve the federal government. He has already far exceeded Trump’s whole term in office just in this transition work.
Not even inaugurated / sworn in yet and already accomplishments far ahead of all Trump
accomplisheddamaged in his 4 years. I actually doubt there will be an inauguration this January at all, just a small swearing in ceremony, perhaps in the statuary hall or rotunda of the capitol building. Huge crowds are a dangerous risk right now, and Biden will be asking people to avoid them, unlike Trump. No balls or parties either — I hope!
@Uncle Cosmo: Don’t get a lot of astronomy comedians around here…
If anyone wants to contact the GSA for your region to complain about the bullshit delay in approving the start of the official Transition, H. E. Wolf was kind enough to make it really easy for us to call.
The contact information for each region is under Election Action! in the sidebar.
Thank you, H. E.
@J R in WV: I hope the same about the Inauguration, but I saw that Biden plans to have a big deal inauguration, in spite of the pandemic. I don’t have details, but I was disappointed.
@WaterGirl: Yeah, the Presidential Transition Act established all of this stuff. Among the things that happens is the transition team is handed the Plum Book which is the list of civil service and political appointee positions that need to be filled (upwards of 10,000 of them – so no small undertaking). This is also when the Office of Govt Ethics starts the process of requesting disclosures/conflicts of interest, etc. and getting security clearances handled.
It’s more formal than most people think, but it’s also this odd sort of attachment to the federal government so I’m not entirely sure just how the details work. I know the GSA provides funds for salary and office space, computers and support and all that. There’s got to be some formal designation for the transition team to attach them to the federal govt for the purposes of accessing federal systems, so maybe they’re considered contractors or some such?
@Martin: The way it’s done generally is according to what’s called records retention policy, which at first seems arcane but turns out to be vital to smooth operation (I’ve just sat through my 16th round of annual records retention training and my eyes are bugging out). There are levels of importance usually corresponding to time limits, for example a routine email from a GS 8 to his/her supervisor at GS 10, say a leave request, will be kept for seven years, then discarded. A higher level employee email to a department head even if it’s routine is highly unlikely to disappear ever, especially if there is any regulatory or litigation flavor to it. The higher you go, the less likely it is that documentation of any kind will vanish–as long as it’s created on government equipment, there’s more than a trace of it. This is all according to the records retention agreement finally ratified by all gov’t agencies toward the end of 2016 and yes that was in direct response to a certain private email server. It took a damn long time to get to the agreement, too, but it had to be done.
Paper documents and files that are routine and closed matters are archived in storage facilities around the country, for X number of years, then they are pulped. The Milton-Bradley company, according to lore, used to accept the pulp from the Massachusetts regional facility in order to make Monopoly and other game boards. But as we’ve moved from paper to electronic files, there’s a lot less pulp. And a lot more naïve & silly reliance on some sort of expectation that the delete button actually means something. No, it does not. Especially if you’re dealing with people’s personal records, but also if you’re a political appointee and therefore are not capable of knowing shit from shinola.
@different-church-lady: Narrator’s voice dubbed by Zombie Leslie Nielsen, donchaknow.
CNN is discussing the likelihood of trump pardoning himself. If I were him, I’d resign and ask Pence to pardon me. Now if I were Pence after being sworn in, I would simply say why would I pardon the greatest person in the world who did no wrong. Whoops..
I’m afraid the excuse-makers will outlast the excuse-questioners.
Max Boot, a Never Trumper, is claiming the Never Trumpers were key to defeating Trump. But where is the acknowledgement that the founders of the Lincoln Project supported the GOP and worked tirelessly for Republican candidates (Cheney, Palen, etc.) while the party descended into the abyss of corruption, anti-science, and authoritarianism. They helped lay the groundwork for Trump and most may just want the GOP of 2015 back again — you know, the party that welcomed Donald Trump with ever more open arms.
@pacem appellant: Thank you! This is just what my friends and I need! I guess I should stop being amazed at the amount of talent on this site. . . .
Too complicated. He’ll just get Barr to issue a DOJ memo stating that the president can indeed pardon himself. Then he’ll do it. It would be a heavy burden of proof to reverse something like that. And would give his attorneys another couple of years of delays and appeals until it got all the way up to SCOTUS.
But that also doesn’t get him out of debt or free of state charges.
Steve in the ATL
@raven: it’s weird having no crowd there. It’s like when I play! Except they don’t seem to hit every other tee shot into the woods or water.
Well, Trump is the “acting president” whose administration runs on “acting” officials. We don’t need no steenking [sic] Senate confirmations.
And, yet, Trump has been the greatest president in history. Just ask him.
@Steve in the ATL: I’ve only been to one practice round and it sort of reminds me of that. MacElroy hit a hole in one and the crowd went nuts and I told my wife that’s what it would be like on the weekend.
It was nice being able to take pictures.
Hi Cheryl. Do you think Chris Krebs or others have the wherewithal to rescue or copy incriminating documents?
@J R in WV:
That’ll happen when the incoming President wants to actually improve the democracy and the country unlike the Soviet shitpile mobster conman and his bastard Cabinet of criminals who wanted to destroy American democracy and the country because they’re a bunch of fascists who deserve nothing more than free and fair American Nuremberg trials as is their right even though they’re traitorous Nazi shitstains.
That’s very reassuring; thank you for explaining that, Martin.
@Kent: I want to know why the memos from the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) hold this tremendous weight when it says what they want it to, but they have no problem contradicting those memos when the existing take doesn’t suit them.
There is already an OLC memo re: Nixon that says a president can’t pardon himself.
Maddening thing # 8,725,125 about these fucking lying, cheating, awful people.
Steve in the ATL
@raven: you are close enough to pop over for part of a day. It’s really fun, but yeah it’s gotten way too crowded over the last 25 years or so (until this year, obviously!) and isn’t as cool. IMHO the practice days of the par-3 tournament are the best days to go.
Right! But this means there is a time component because the American voting public have no patience and if they don’t see anything they are just gonna vote the other party in. The voter version of “let’s try this and see if shit sticks”
What gets me is that there doesn’t seem to be any memory that Dems saved teh auto industry, pulled us out of hole or anything else – especially by Millennials.
Steve in the ATL
I can’t believe you are talking about national security and the future of our country and whatnot WHEN THE MASTERS IS BEING PLAYED!
Man, talk about skewed priorities….
@TriassicSands: And where are the indicators that they were key or even made a difference in Biden’s win? The Lincoln Project ads were great to watch and welcome. But I haven’t seen any proof of how much difference they made in the vote.
@TriassicSands: Yeah, but I guess my question still stands: Why are they winning elections? I know, I know – white supremacy is a hell of a drug, and all that. But still.
Puttin’ on the dog, eh?
a thousand flouncing lurkers was fidelio
Even if I delete an email on the system issued to me by Uncle Sam, it is still automatically retained on the system for seven years. Whether a really determined IT mole could scrape any of those out of the archives and into the trash before the seven years are up, I cannot say, but I suspect that would still leave some sign somewhere, even if that internal attempt was supposedly successful.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
In Boot’s case, in his book, in any number of pieces he’s written and interviews he’s given. That said, I wouldn’t encourage Biden to appoint him to anything, and I doubt he’s looking. Very few of the Lincoln Project guys are policy people, most are campaign hacks. The most obvious exceptions I can think of are Nichols and G Conway, and again, I doubt they’re either looking or being looked at.
As I’ve said, I’m not gonna jump out a window if John Kasich is named ambassador to one of ancestral homelands that are apparently emotionally important to him. Let me know if they want to make him director of OMB or head of SSA. Likewise, if Biden drags Olympia Snowe out of mothballs for Commerce or the SMBA, or if Ray LaHood is found to still be lunching in the cafeteria of the Dept of Transportation and they want to give him the keys to the main office, I’m okay with that.
It won’t save him from crimes he was committing before the presidency.
But if there were crimes go after the little guys, and then have them give up more and more – the man can only give himself clemency when he is President – not when he is out. He can’t pardon himself a year later.
J R in WV
Are you speaking of the Pompeo family?
Or some other state level SoS?
Which state? What about an actual name?
This should not be this hard folks… where are we talking about?
Gin & Tonic
Daily Beast is reporting that that USPS employee who alleged fraud and then recanted was scripted by Project Veritas. Here’s hoping that a new DOJ leadership throws the fucking book at O’Keefe.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@J R in WV:
Please be Flanders! Please be Flanders!
Please be Pompeo! Please be Pompeo!
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@JPL: That’s also the problem with Trump pardoning himself, he would have to admit he cheated, therefor in his eyes merely a despicable luzer only suitable for frat boi initiation ass rape. Alpha lucky sperm winners are conceded their wins by the beta cucks, no matter the result of the actual contest. Live by the asshole, die by the asshole.
Look for Trump to try to blackmail Biden into pardoning him.
A thread with a title about women looks like a good place to mention that Jeffrey Toobin has been fired. Goodbye to yet another media figure who couldn’t wait till after work to get his dick out. Let’s hope he’s replaced by someone better.
@J R in WV: That’s JPL, who lives in Georgia, and there was some reference up thread about maybe that being a way to get out of meeting with Perdue, etc. So I think it’s the GA secretary of state.
But I share your general frustration. When folks were talking about vote totals last week I thought I would scream because half the folks weren’t saying with state they were talking about.
I have taken to reviewing my comments for pronouns and things that would be unclear to anyone who isn’t already staring at the original comment. Surprising how often I need to make an edit!
@dkinPa: timeanddate.com is your friend. It’s really easy to set up countdowns. It’s a super useful site for other things as well. I sometimes just need to print blank calendars, or look up time zones.
Steve in the ATL
@J R in WV: Brad Raffensperger, Georgia SOS and dim bulb
J R in WV
Have you not seen any of my comments before?
After the fair trial, there should be big wooden gallows in use, just as there were in Nuremberg.
@Steve in the ATL: Thanks to you and Water Girl for clarifying. Glad you’re back.
J R in WV
And no offense intended to you, JPL~!~ I have trouble remembering who is from where.
Some days I have trouble remembering where I am…
@J R in WV: Same.
See Max Boot’s column in today’s WaPo. He cites some evidence.
True or not, that evidence is meaningless to me, because I won’t trust anyone who only discovered problems with GOP after Trump was nominated.
Trusting the Never Trumpers is like trusting the Mafia guy, Sammy the Sap, who thought the mob was OK until Donnie the Dick took over for Paulie the Prick.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
First, it’s Palin, not Palen. Sorry, Sarah. Iwouldn’t want historians to be confused about whom I was talking about.
Second, I thought that Boot had actually learned something. I’ve found his attacks on the GOP more convincing than, for example, Jennifer Rubin’s. Today’s column made me less sure.
The thing is, Jim, those are the kinds of gestures that are completely meaningless. They won’t sway the opinions of Republicans, and Independents, overwhelmingly, are unlikely to even be aware of the appointments.
I attribute that largely to my first rule of American politics: American voters (generalization) are stupid, ignorant, and racist. After four years of Trump, the fact that he’s gotten more than 72 million votes is, I believe, overwhelming evidence supporting the truth of that rule.
@Steve in the ATL: Oh SitA how we have missed you!
@mrmoshpotato: I have an extremely short list of reasons to appreciate George H. W. Bush, but you’ve just added to it.