Oh No You Don’t: Fired Trump-Era Official Who Won’t Leave Is Blocked From Agency’s Computers https://t.co/cmrts1fwUg via @TPM
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 13, 2021
The Washington Post, industry paper for the company town whose monopoly is national politics, pulls no punches:
Ousted Social Security commissioner Andrew Saul, the Trump appointee who declared Friday he would defy his firing by President Biden, on Monday found his access to agency computers cut off, even as his acting replacement moved to undo his policies.
“I’m here to do the job,” Saul said from his home in Katonah, N.Y., where he had led the agency since the coronavirus pandemic forced most operations to shift in March 2020 to remote work, “but I can’t do anything with the communications shut down.”…
“There will be more,” said Saul, a wealthy former women’s apparel executive and prominent Republican donor who had served on the board of a conservative think tank that has called for cuts to Social Security benefits. “Stay tuned.”
His acting successor, Biden appointee Kilolo Kijakazi, took the reins Monday and was briefed by her staff on the agency’s top priorities, advocates in touch with her office said, including much anticipated planning for the safe reopening of Social Security’s national network of 1,200 field offices. The agency has been under pressure for months from lawmakers in both parties to return to serving the public in person after complaints from constituents who do not have access to the Internet.
“Acting Commissioner Kijakazi is engaging with her leadership team across the agency as she transitions into her new job,” spokesman Mark Hinkle wrote in an email. Saul’s name and that of deputy commissioner David Black, who resigned Friday following a request from the White House, were stripped from the agency’s organization chart.
Experts in federal personnel law, meanwhile, said it was doubtful that Saul could successfully sue the administration to get his job back, following two rulings by the Supreme Court that affirmed the authority of the president to fire the head of an independent agency with a single leader…
As head of an independent agency whose leadership has historically straddled incoming and outgoing presidential administrations, Saul had served for six months under Biden. But he had alienated key Democratic constituencies with a get-tough approach to federal employee unions and policies designed to clamp down on Americans’ eligibility for benefits. Labor leaders, advocates for the disabled and lawmakers on Capitol Hill called for months on Biden to dismiss him, asserting that he was a right-wing Trump advocate whose agenda was at odds with the administration’s.
A White House spokesman said Monday that any questions about Saul’s service to the federal government were resolved last week.
“As you know, the President asked for Andrew Saul’s resignation on Friday, and after he refused to submit it, his employment was terminated,” said Chris Meagher, a deputy White House press secretary. “As with any employment termination, the government has taken steps to offboard Andrew Saul as we would any other former employee.”…
Andrew Saul, a Trump administration holdover, called his departure a “palace coup” and suggested that steps to regain his position could be ahead https://t.co/SqYexObj11
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 13, 2021
And, speaking of offboarding…
NEW: Trump Org removes indicted CFO from leadership roles at more than 40 subsidiaries. CFO Allen Weisselberg remains at the company, a person close to Trump Org said. https://t.co/4Lz7bXgBV0
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) July 12, 2021
Apparently, it changes nothing — “Allen Weisselberg’s at the company. He’s got a job. He’s going to remain at the company.” –yet. Except that it’s always a bad sign when the fleeing miscreants start tossing underlings out of the getaway car.
It’s important to get the verbing correct. Former Social Security Commissioner Saul was offboarded. Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg is in the process of being underbused.
Here’s some positive news, Cinderblock the cat is looking amazing.
“Ha, ha, ha; and, I might add, ho, ho, ho.” – senator everett dirksen (~1964)
Now I’m seeing commercials for a class-action lawsuit against the maker of CPAP machines.
Mississippi Official Urges Caution as 10 Children Put on Life Support With Delta Variant
And I hope trump is disabused of the notion he’ll ever be president again…
@germy: Just lovely isn’t, have one of the machines. They say it may take months to replace defective equipment.
On a happier note what a great thing to be following the get away car as the tfg creeps threw miscreants out the door. Watching them slide and tumble to a stop would be such fun.
I’m old fashioned. If I fall asleep on my back, my wife nudges me to roll over and my snoring subsides…
I tried CPAP and couldn’t tolerate it.
@germy: They take some getting used to, as a scuba diver it seems kind of soothing.
Also, not that the good doctor isn’t eminently qualified, suspect the state from which he hails is no coincidence. (WaPo link.)
I love my CPAP machine and am royally pissed off that it may have made me sick.
I think the Phillips brand is the only one with problems.
@NotMax: Is the play here to get votes from WVers by promoting one of their own, or to get votes from WVers by getting The Brown Guy out of their state?
@HumboldtBlue: Aww! Was he the kitty that was so overweight they had to exercise him in the water or something? I seem to recall something like that, anyway…
@Mary G: I can’t even imagine how pissed off you would be. Off the charts, I imagine.
Speculate it’s a bit of fortuitously placed horse trading between the White House and a certain WV senator.
Isn’t Cole on a CPAP? I wonder if he knows…
@germy: I have one of the affected machines, courtesy of mrs. dr. bloor’s diagnosis of Insomnia Secondary to Snoring Spouse.
While I am glad to be rid of that meddlesome machine, the list of things that would kill me before it is exceedingly long.
@Mary G: In further depressing news, Orange County, who switched to reporting COVID stats only once a week, shows 1,050 cases in 7 days, way up from 18-20/day. Hospitalizations have also started to rise.
Did you get a letter from the maker of the device? How did you find out?
Heard he removes it in order to get up every 20 minutes to eat fruit.
I’m all for whatever works, but I would have imagined Manchin’s price tag would be higher.
Same here. I have one of the Phillips models subject to the recall. It is pretty new so probably OK for now. But who the fuck knows. Not sure what I’m going to do in the interim.
@germy: i just texted and sent him the link.
Down payment, not full sticker price?
@germy: Saw it on the intertubes. Haven’t been contacted by Philips directly. If they’re limited to contacting folks who had a prescription for the machine as opposed to those (cough*drbloor*cough) who bagged one off label on Amazon, they’re missing a lot of owners.
I was told once to sew a tennis ball to the back of my nightshirt.
(Prevents back sleeping)
I thought doctors had to calibrate it to your specific sleep pattern. I didn’t know you could buy one off the internet.
Chances are that Trump entities have loan covenants that don’t permit officers under indictment for felonies.
If so, we’re probably looking at the typically trumpian firing in name only while the weasel stays on, receiving hush money (provided by an outside source).
The above is made up, but plausibly true.
Doesn’t Running Government Like a Business mean the Pres can fire whoever he wants? Republicans should be applauding this.
Mike in NC
Schadenfreude, you say? I’m three chapters into Michael Wolff’s new book “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency” and am overdosing on it.
So, just found out that my youngest sister (vaccinated), and both her kids (not old enough yet) have tested positive for Covid, in Nevada. The kids brought it home from their jackass libertarian dad & his new wife (neither one vaccinated). Everybody’s running fevers over 100, the youngest kid is really miserable. AND my mom’s exposed now.
God I hate these people.
I’m starting to get antsy about COVID again, not least because Gov. Newsom seems to be far more worried about the recall election than about protecting his constituents. The absolute numbers aren’t that bad yet, but the trends are alarming. It would be nice if the state reacted to the trend for once and cut off the outbreak before it got out of control.
@NotMax: Cool, let’s make his daughter ambassador to the Vatican. I am fine with earmarks. I am fine with people driving a hard bargain. Let’s deal.
@germy: They’re not a “controlled substance” in the medical device equivalent of a medication, so it’s not hard to get one. They’re pretty easy to program, and I had an idea of the settings I needed.
Of course, my pulmonologist said “you’re one of *those* guys, huh?”
I may or may not work for Social Security in IT. Saul would have had a stronger case for staying on if he had physical access to his office, but he’s been happily working from New York (and Florida) since before the pandemic. Then again if he lived physically closer we might have had the entertaining picture of him being denied access to the building by our, uh, their lovely security forces. Ah, for the photo op that never happened.
“Step into my office….cuz you’re fucking fired!”
@Mary G: Same story in LA. We bottomed out at around 200 cases per day a few weeks ago, and now we’re up around 1k/day. Vaccinations have slowed way down as well of course.
Good news, of sorts, is that between the vaccinations and the people who survived previous exposure to the disease, the fraction of the population with at least some level of resistance is quite high; the last serology survey the state Public Health folks did showed roughly 80 percent of adults showing some antibody response. That’ll make a big difference in how bad this wave will be. A lot of cases, but probably/hopefully not nearly as many serious ones.
Also note that Kilolo Kijakazi is another one of Biden’s spectacular hires. https://www.urban.org/author/kilolo-kijakazi/publications
@HumboldtBlue: That’s great news – and thanks for finding and linking to the update! I’ve wondered how Cinderblock was doing.
@cckids: Ugh. Condolences.
There will never be a second civil war. Terms for succession will be agreed upon by both sides well before hostilities commence.
It’s not that complicated. They just ramp up the psi as high as necessary to make your symptoms go away. All it does is provide light airflow into your nose to keep your airway open. It’s not anything you couldn’t program yourself. The pressure on my machine is adjustable with a simple dial.
Minority of one but I’d be fine with changing things to limit filibusters to the same number as applies to use of reconciliation (which IiRC is technically three per calendar year).
I hadn’t seen any updates in a while and that popped up today on Reddit.
@NotMax: Interesting. Minority can jam things up, but they only get a couple of bites at the apple. Majority does most of what it wants, and the minority has to always keep one in reserve- just in case.
Thanks! I love Cinderblock!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@NotMax: I like that idea
The numbers were wrong and have been updated.
@Omnes Omnibus: And just like there are rules for reconciliation, do the same for filibusters. None for nominations: check. None for any legislation pertaining to civil rights, i.e. voting rights: check. This would only apply to legislation guaranteeing or expanding those rights, not limiting. Environmental protection legislation: check.
If we expand the list enough, the filibuster would be pretty much gone. Can still be used when legislation is introduced that would cut things back.
Palace coup! Ha ha ha.
Re increase in COVID cases. Incubation period from exposure to infection is 2-14 days. We’re 9 days out from the 4th of July and all the celebrations, so the upsurge is pretty much on schedule.
A lot of the new CPAP machines are “auto titrate“ which means that they have sensors that can tell when you’re breathing and when you have obstruction, and can change pressures to match. I describe it as “Goldilocks“, not too little pressure, not too much pressure, just right
@NotMax: If so, Manchin seems very focused on rewarding specific people (his wife was appointed to chair some regional committee) instead of bringing home loads of pork like Byrd did. Not sure he’s doing it the right way, if this is indeed what is going on.
@Morzer: Yeah. I figured some one here would bring that up.
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
Wasn’t that an Arthur Hailey movie, staring Rod Taylor and Karl Malden?
@Morzer: Fucking insanity.
@Wag: The GOP is a murderous death cult and must be wiped off the face of the planet. They deserve no mercy, no forgiveness, no amnesty.
@Roger Moore: I don’t think the US is ever going to lock down substantial parts of the economy again. This whole vaccination drive is the enchilada – get enough folks shots so that you reach a level where even if people get the disease, it will be a mild cold / flu at most. And yes, it would be a cold day in hell for any politician to shut things off this late in the game (ie having endured multiple lockdowns), right before an election.
Frankly, at this point, if people who are dying from COVID are >99% unvaccinated, as Fauci says, it’s their own fucking fault. And since it’s mostly Republicans at this point…too fucking bad?
Removing a corporate officer who is under indictment is pretty much SOP, particularly if a company is publicly traded.
Keeping Weisselberg on at the parent company is more relevant news, and shows he is in fact not being thrown under the bus by Trump yet.
@Mike in NC:
I can tell you that I’m halfway through (51% according to the Kindle location counter), and the Schadenfreude is holding up just fine.
Mike in NC
@Wag: Visit a red state and die. Clever sales pitch.
If I were a doctor in Tennessee, I’d remember the admonition to “first, do no harm”, and move out of the state. If you think the Republicans are going to stop here wrt health issues, I have a bridge to sell you.
@Mike in NC: And not just COVID! Come and getcha polio, nice hot polio! Measles, mumps, and rubella, three for the price of one! Chicken pox, chicken pox all you can eat!
Come and get it!!!!!
@Wag: The descriptions of whooping cough are … petrifying. The idea that any parent could countenance their child not being protected …. anathema.
Mike in NC
@hueyplong: Some genius decided to bring in the hapless Dick Morris (remember him from the Clinton years?) to help craft Trump’s tough new “Law and Order” message for 2020. Appears to have backfired spectacularly.
Was he seriously surprised he had no access on Monday? ??♀️
@David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch: I could be wrong, but wasn’t that Irwin Allen with Ernest Borgnine, Gene Hackman, and Steve McQueen?
Great, so the rabid pushback against covid public health measures is starting to bleed into a rabid push back against all public health measures.
This is not going to end well.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
“In light of the half-assed pseudoscience of dodgy experts and shoddy reports, each class action member is to receive a settlement in the form of an $8 off coupon for the purchase of My Pillow and a sample vial of 2 mg melatonin. The attorneys will receive fees of $5M….”
@HumboldtBlue: The difference is amazing, isn’t it. Getting Cinder to move from the Meatloaf Position as a lifelong challenge.
Fucking idiots. Have lawsuits been filed?
@debbie: I would hope so, but I am not sure that even a successful lawsuit is going to force the rabid creatures in the Tennessee GOP to do anything. I strongly suspect that Texas is going to follow them down this plague rathole and then claim they invented the idea of endangering as many American lives as possible.
@LeftCoastYankee: Nodding in agreement.
Oh nice, thanks for that link. (According to a .pdf in my email, I’ve been at ODAR 20 years.) Ohhh I see, Urban Institute, Ford Foundation, tertiary degree, I bet Vernon Jordan (god bless him and all who sailed in him) was a colleague, and some other high powered folks. I hope we can keep her.
The Right To Kill Random People. It’s somewhere in the US Constitution, right?
Perhaps the ninth amendment?
That would have been a punchline not too long ago.
@LeftCoastYankee: I wish I knew what’s going on with Weisselberg. trump may be isolating him from the company’s operations because they are in cleanup mode and don’t want to add obstruction of justice crimes to the many others Weisselberg can testify to if he flips. So far, Weisselberg has not cooperated with prosecutors. That could change right up to his trial, which won’t be for months.
I know very little about Weisselberg’s character. Will he be like the defiant Roger Stone, who stonewalled Mueller’s team and kept them from connecting trump and the Russians? Stone is a fanatic, a freak. But he had a real prospect of a pardon, and Weisselberg does not.
I guess I will just have to stay tuned on Weisselberg. And I’m also watching for Roger Stone news. Just like Stone engineered the 2016 Russian election subversion, I think he helped organize the January 6 insurrection. trump trusted Stone, and groups like the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers knew this and also trusted Stone.
@Mike R: I was just getting used to my CPAP when I started menopause and night sweats. They’d start at my nose for some reason and wouldn’t subside for over an hour. Had to give it up since the mask went over my nose.
Well, he dickered for immunity to cooperate with prosecutors in the Michael Cohen case so cannot automatically be presumed to clam up, perhaps especially when his own kids potentially are subjects for incarceration.
@NotMax: I wonder if Weisselberg gets checked for a wire when he shows up at work. I wonder if anyone else is checked. Or needs to be.
@Jinchi: It’s still a punch line. I mean, shit, he was fired on Friday and it was obvious that they were going to off board his ass, so if he was a serious person, he could have taken the train down to DC Monday morning (or chartered a jet, as rich shitheads like him prefer to do) and shown up for work and try to make a stink.
That he decided to remain in his McMansion in New York and bitch from Zoom pretty much tells you how serious he is.
a thousand flouncing lurkers was fidelio
@sdhays: Technically, he’d go to Baltimore, where they’d have fun making him sit in the lobby until someone could bring down the box of personal effects from the office he never used.
It would be wrong to suggest that anyone at the DDS office where I may have been working for awhile now is happy to see him go, as we see operations grind to a halt while we try to figure out the new case processing system that was one of his signature projects. Fuck businessmen and their “Make it so” pronouncements.
Now do Louis Dejoy..
@germy: I had sleep apnea and bruxism (grinding of teeth at night) and did CPAP for a while, but a friend of mine who was a dentist suggested I ask my physician for a muscle relaxant to deal with the teeth grinding. I now take cyclobenzaprene morning and evening, and the bruxism, as well as the sleep apnea, are no more.
@germy: has gov. taint reeves condemned the hollywood soundstaging of juvenile tortureporn to make his administration’s response to covid look bad?
@dr. bloor: no, a bone thrown to joe liebermanch.