Mike Knapp's picture

Unedited Steve Bannon talk

Buzzfeed gives us a transcript of a speech Trump's chief strategist gave the summer of 2014
This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World

But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.

The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

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Who could be in Trump's Cabinet?

jbr's picture

Here are the people whose names have been floated for Cabinet

Mike Knapp's picture

Trump strategist Bannon "An Entirely New Political Movement"

Michael Wolff in the Hollywood Reporter
Ringside With Steve Bannon at Trump Tower as the President-Elect's Strategist Plots "An Entirely New Political Movement

He absolutely — mockingly — rejects the idea that this is a racial line. "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," he tells me. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver" — by "we" he means the Trump White House — "we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about."

Mike Knapp's picture

ProPublica on Kushner

by Daniel Golden in ProPublica
The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard

My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their under-achieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school. At the time, Harvard accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes one out of twenty.)

I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less than stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.

“There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,” a former official at The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, told me. “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”

jbr's picture

Latest ....

I saw where Michelle Rhee said she will not be part of Trump's cabinet.

from nytimes.com ...
Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Not Michelle Rhee but...

Education Secretary: Williamson M. Evers Education expert at the Hoover Institution, a think tank

I don't particularly feel any sense of relief.

Mike Knapp's picture

Really? Fallwell for Education Secretary

This is becoming a Delillo novel.
Andrew Buncomb in the Independent 11/21/16
Donald Trump meets with creationist Jerry Falwell Jr about possibly becoming next Secretary of Education

The Washington Post reported that in Liberty’s science hall, which is stocked with the latest laboratory equipment, including a gene sequencer and a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, faculty members teach evolution alongside biblical creationism.

David DeWitt, who holds a doctorate in neurosciences from Case Western Reserve University, chairs Liberty’s biology and chemistry department. He is also director of its Centre for Creation Studies.

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Trump Selects Charter School Advocate Betsy DeVos Education Sec

from nbcnews.com ...

President-elect Donald Trump picked Betsy DeVos to be his education secretary Wednesday, putting an outspoken advocate of charter schools and education vouchers in America's top education post.

Trump transition's team confirmed her appointment in a statement.

from Washington Post ...

DeVos’s brother is Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, one of the most profitable private security firms during the Iraq War.

Trump picks billionaire Betsy DeVos, school voucher advocate, as Education Secretary

R. Neal's picture

Heiress-in-law to the Amway

Heiress-in-law to the Amway fortune.

bizgrrl's picture

Owners of the Orlando Magic?

Owners of the Orlando Magic?

R. Neal's picture

Yes, her father-in-law.

Yes, her father-in-law.

jbr's picture

Warren challenges Trump's Education pick

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DeVos ‘confused’ about federal law protecting disabled

Washington Post ...

Betsy DeVos displayed at best confusion and at worst a lack of knowledge about a key federal law involving students with disabilities during her Tuesday confirmation hearing before a Senate panel that will vote on whether she should become President-elect Donald Trump’s education secretary.

Betsy DeVos apparently ‘confused’ about federal law protecting students with disabilities

jbr's picture

Charter advocate: DeVos 'unprepared and unqualified'

In the letter written to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Broad said he watched DeVos' confirmation hearing with "dismay" and listed several of his top concerns with her nomination.

"I believe she is unprepared and unqualified for the position," Broad wrote in his letter

Charter advocate: DeVos 'unprepared and unqualified'

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Sen. Franken’s Statement on the Senate Confirmation of DeVos

"One of the most important jobs in our government is the Secretary of Education, who directly oversees the policies that children, teachers, school administrators, and entire communities depend on," said Sen. Franken. "It's not a job for amateurs who don't know the first thing about education. I voted against the nomination of Betsy DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor, because she is the most incompetent cabinet-level nominee I have ever seen. Last night, I urged my Republican colleagues to oppose her nomination, because if we cannot set party loyalty aside long enough to perform the essential duty of vetting the President's nominees, then I don't know what we are even doing here. Betsy DeVos has demonstrated that she is fundamentally unqualified to lead the Education Department, and it's a shame that Republicans voted to confirm one of their major donors instead of looking out for our children."

Sen. Franken’s Statement on the Senate Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary

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DeVos call HBCUs ‘Pioneers of School Choice’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos drew wide-spread criticism after describing historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as "pioneers when it comes to school choice" — prompting lawmakers to slam the remark as everything from "tone-deaf, uninformed" to "totally nuts."

DeVos Slammed as ‘Totally Nuts’ for Calling HBCUs ‘Pioneers of School Choice’

Mike Knapp's picture

Drain the swamp & fill it with free speech gators

Via Alex Kotch twitter post (or I guess we call this a tweet...)

And this interesting connection to Blackwater via digby

There are also rumors that her brother Erik Prince is being considered for a role in the administration. He was the CEO of Blackwater, the ugly, criminal mercenary enterprise that was banned from Iraq for killing innocent civilians. He's a big Trump supporter, touting Trump's sympatico approach to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, naturally.

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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. being considered for Cabinet

from knoxnews.com ...

Ford is being considered for Transportation secretary, although other Cabinet posts have not been ruled out.

Former Tenn. rep's name bandied about for Trump spot

Up Goose Creek's picture

Bad thought

Trump was vetting Corker and a copy of the "call me" ad was screened. Trump thought: I want that guy working on my team. See how he gets the hot chicks.

bizgrrl's picture

Good one.

Good one.

jbr's picture

McFarland National Security Post, McGahn for White House Counsel

nbcnews.com

Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland, a former government official and current Fox News analyst, as a deputy national security adviser

McGahn is Trump's campaign lawyer and is advising the transition effort.

Trump Taps K.T. McFarland for National Security Post, Donald McGahn for White House Counsel

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Trump to Pick Obamacare Foe Rep. Price to Lead HHS

from nbcnews.com ...

President-elect Donald Trump will choose Georgia Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, a high-level source familiar with the decision told NBC News Monday evening.

The pick would insert one of Obamacare's most outspoken critics into the key position to help dismantle it and help Republicans implement their own blueprint for health care reform.

Donald Trump to Pick Rep. Tom Price to Lead Department of Health and Human Services: Source

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Trump picks Elaine Chao for transportation secretary

Drain the swamp

from CNN.com ...

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, the former labor secretary and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to be his choice for transportation secretary, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Tuesday.

Trump picks Elaine Chao for transportation secretary

Mike Knapp's picture

Populist, working class cabinet

1) Betsy Devos - $5.1B
2) Wilbur Ross - $2.9B
3) Steve Mnuchin -$40M
4) Elaine Chao - $22M
5) Tom Price - $13M

jbr's picture

Wilbur Ross At Nexus Of Donald Trump Russian Deal

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Mike Pence's key role in building Team Trump

Drain the swamp?

from CNN ...

Trump's choices so far have reflected Pence's politics -- potentially proving helpful on Capitol Hill, where the Indiana governor and former House Republican leader has long been expected to help Trump most. Pence's devotion to conservative principles -- and his relationships with powerful groups, including the Heritage Foundation -- have allowed him to help Trump navigate a Washington terrain that is unfamiliar to the billionaire business mogul who just ran his first campaign for any office.

Mike Pence's key role in building Team Trump

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Romney and Giuliani make the final 4 cut for Trump’s secretary

There seems to be a peculiar interpretation of the word "Drain" in the Trump administration

Washington Post ...

Transition team officials would not name the other two finalists, but other leading candidates include retired Army Gen. David Petraeus — a former commanding general of the U.S. Central Command and CIA director — and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

A fifth possible candidate is retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, former chief of U.S. Southern Command. Kelly, who clashed with the Obama administration over women serving in combat and plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, is also a candidate for homeland security secretary and possibly other positions, people familiar with the selection process have said.

Romney and Giuliani make the final 4 cut for Trump’s secretary of state finalists

Donald Trump keeps DC swampy

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Petraeus will have to notify his probation officer

from CNN ...

If President-elect Donald Trump taps former Gen. David Petraeus to be his secretary of state, Petraeus has three days to notify his parole officer about his new job. He also needs to tell the probation officer before he leaves North Carolina -- and his work travel would have to be approved by his parole officer, too.

Petraeus will have to notify his probation officer if Trump taps him as secretary of state

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Ricketts named Deputy Secretary of Treasury

R. Neal's picture

Guess she heard she isn't

Guess she heard she isn't getting the VA job...

Sarah Palin: Trump's Carrier deal is 'crony capitalism'

Palin and Gingrich should start a Left at the Alter Trump Haters club.

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Plant Workers Still Losing Jobs Tell Trump: Don't Forget About U

nbc news ...

As Donald Trump held a victory lap touting a decision by Carrier to keep an Indianapolis plant open rather than move the facility to Mexico, workers at another of the company's Indiana plants said they are still losing their jobs.

Around 700 jobs will be lost when United Technologies Electronic Controls moves to Mexico sometime in 2018, workers told NBC News.

Plant Workers Still Losing Jobs Tell Trump: Don't Forget About Us

Mike Knapp's picture

Devos in Michigan as pretext for actions as EdSec

Excellent blog post, robust with several informative links. The video is worth a look see. Devos is a dominionist.
by Mitchell Robinson in Electablog
Privatize, Monetize, Weaponize: How the DeVoses devoured Michigan’s schools

The barely disguised scorn and contempt Ms. DeVos has for Detroit’s children and families is clearly discernible in the vocabulary she uses in her diatribe: “bailout”, “retire,” “retread,” “aggressive intervention,” “closure.”

There is a term for a person brought in to an organization to perform underhanded, controversial, or unscrupulous tasks, like mass firings and company closings: this person is known as a “hatchet man”.

Betsy DeVos is nothing more than Donald Trump’s “hatchet man,” tapped for no other purpose than to destroy our public schools, de-professionalize the teaching profession, and privatize what’s left.

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CNN's Donald Trump Supreme Court nominee shortlist

CNN ...

Judicial conservatives are buzzing about a new Supreme Court justice who could cement a conservative majority on the bench for decades.

President-elect Donald Trump has given a firm commitment to Republicans that he will stick to a list of 21 potential conservative nominees released during the campaign. It is a list that dazzles conservatives and includes everyone from a tweeting justice who sits on the Texas Supreme Court to an appellate judge in Alabama who has called Roe v. Wade an "abomination."

CNN's Donald Trump Supreme Court nominee shortlist

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Trump’s candidate for Interior Secretary selling parks to donors

Under Fallin’s leadership, Oklahoma has disposed of a third of its state park system, going from 50 parks in 2011 to just 32 today. In her first year alone, Fallin permanently closed seven state parks while placing an oil executive from Chesapeake Energy — one of her biggest campaign contributors — in charge of the state’s park system.

Fallin has years of experience selling off Oklahoma’s parks, going all the way back to 2005, when as lieutenant governor she spearheaded a plan to sell Lake Texoma State Park, one of Oklahoma’s most popular destinations, to private developers who promised to build a billion-dollar resort there.

One of Trump’s top candidates for Interior Secretary has a history of selling parks to her campaign donors

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Meet Donald Trump's think tank

CNN ...

That's the home of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with long roots in Washington that is shaping up to be a major influence on Trump's administration.

"This session of Congress and the focus of this administration ultimately is going to be about growth," Pence told the group. "The first 100 days, I was visiting Capitol Hill the other day, I told my former colleagues there, buckle up, vacation is over, we are going to work. We are going to start out by repealing Obamacare, starting the process of replacing it with free market solutions and right out of the box, you are going to see our President-elect get out that pen and repeal every single unconstitutional executive order that Barack Obama signed."

Meet Donald Trump's think tank

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Trump's Cabinet Picks Have a Combined Wealth of $11B. How Did Th

NBC ...

President-elect Donald Trump ran on a campaign of blue-collar anger and populism, but he's now drawing fire for stocking his White House with fellow billionaires.

But already the combined wealth of Trump's prospective cabinet tops $11 billion — more than 30 times greater than that of even President George W. Bush's White House. And Trump isn't halfway done with his picks.

Trump's Cabinet Picks Have a Combined Wealth of $11B. How Did They All Make Their Money?

R. Neal's picture

plu·toc·ra·cy noun government

plu·toc·ra·cy
noun

government by the wealthy.

a country or society governed by the wealthy.

an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.

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Trump picks GOP oil industry ally for EPA

NBCnews.com ...

Donald Trump intends to select Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a senior transition official confirmed to NBC News Wednesday — the clearest sign yet the president-elect will pursue an agenda that could undo President Obama's climate change legacy.

An ally to the fossil fuel industry, Pruitt has aggressively fought against environmental regulations, becoming one of a number of attorneys general to craft a 28-state lawsuit against the Obama administration's rules to curb carbon emissions. The case is currently awaiting a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which heard oral arguments in September.

Donald Trump Picks GOP Oil Industry Ally, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, to Lead EPA

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Scott Pruitt, EPA pick, Questions Human Impact on Climate Change

Reminds me of Tennessee's TDEC appointment

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, questioned the human impact on climate change and called his personal opinion on the issue "immaterial" during his confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Democrats peppered Pruitt with tough questions about his views on global warming, ties to the oil and gas industry and legal actions taken against the EPA at the hearing. As attorney general, Pruitt aggressively fought against regulations imposed by the agency he was nominated to run and was one of 28 attorneys general to sue the federal government over regulations put in place by the Obama administration to limit carbon emissions.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s Pick to Head EPA, Questions Human Impact on Climate Change

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Pruitt: Carbon Dioxide Not ‘Primary Contributor’ Global Warming

So a guy with a political science and law degree knows more about global warming than the whole of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Generally speaking over the decades, in general, I am puzzled by appointments republicans make. That goes for presidents and governors, etc. Selections of people that are just flat out unqualified for the job. Do they even think about trying to find candidates with a significant background in the subject area. And I don't mean a lawyer that has sued the agency over which they are chosen to preside.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

Pruitt's view is at odds with the opinion of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Says Carbon Dioxide Is Not a ‘Primary Contributor’ to Global Warming

jbr's picture

The city of Chicago went all

The city of Chicago went all of January and February without any snow on the ground, an unprecedented streak in the 146 years of record keeping for the city. Many areas along the Eastern Seaboard experienced record warmth, breaking records by 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

Expect a warmer spring, NOAA says

jbr's picture

Trump chooses ex-World Wrestling CEO for Cabinet

I had already surmised all the pro wrestling fans had voted for Trump

President-elect Donald Trump picked Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration, his transition announced Wednesday.

Linda McMahon picked to be Small Business administrator

R. Neal's picture

This is not serious? Fake

This is not serious? Fake news, right?

The performance art joke continues, and gets kicked up a notch.

bizgrrl's picture

OMG. Now we know why he got

OMG. Now we know why he got elected

R. Neal's picture

Trump picks Hardee's CEO as

bizgrrl's picture

I don't know about all

I don't know about all Hardees, but the ones in Blount County have horrible management.

reform4's picture

The one in North Knoxville

Is perpetually understaffed.

bizgrrl's picture

Hardee's parent company

Hardee's parent company moving the corporate headquarters to the Nashville, TN, area. A great fit.

LEMAY's picture

I wish I could laugh, but I can't.

Every day it gets worse and worse and I think the most upsetting thing of all is how people and the media are just taking it in stride like it's all hunky dory.

I'm screaming inside and feel like I'm living a nightmare. The man is hellbent on destroying our country and making us a 3rd world nation. Every person he's nominated is either very unqualified and/or extremely hostile to the program they'll be over. And the Trump supporters are gleeful over it. They're either oblivious or just as evil as he is, imo.

They're already talking openly about privatizing social security and medicare. What are they going to take next? Freedom of speech? National Parks?

jbr's picture

Donald Trump Gives Million-Dollar Donors Plum Postings

Not sure this is any different process than normal, but Trump has richer comrades than most ...

But Trump is now rewarding some of his biggest campaign bankrollers with unparalleled access, influence, prestige and power in his presidential administration-in-waiting, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new campaign finance disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission.

In all, 18 ultra-wealthy Americans — the majority are billionaires whose fortunes are greatly affected by government decisions — contributed at least $1 million to the Republican's presidential campaign and political efforts supporting Trump's bid, the Center for Public Integrity's analysis shows.

Donald Trump Gives Million-Dollar Donors Plum Postings

jbr's picture

Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil Expected Secretary of State

If you have a hammer everything looks like a nail

NBC ...

Tillerson will be paired with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as his deputy secretary of state, one of the sources added, with Bolton handling day-to-day management of the department.

Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil Expected to Be Named Trump's Secretary of State: Sources

bizgrrl's picture

Do all of these business

Do all of these business people being nominated have to separate themselves from their businesses like Trump is supposed to?

Somebody's picture

Members of the cabinet have

Members of the cabinet have more clearly defined legal requirements to eliminate conflicts of interest that does the President.

mjw's picture

Tax windfall

They do. But just to make it "fair" for them, they get to sell all their assets with no tax consequences. Trump's billionaire cabinet is going to cost the US Treasury (hundreds of?) millions of dollars before ever passing his tax proposals into law.

jbr's picture

Who is Rex Tillerson ...

Washington Post ...

Tillerson received the Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013. Tillerson's work with ExxonMobil included a stretch working for Exxon Neftegas Ltd., putting him in charge of the subsidiary's fields in Russia and the Caspian Sea.

Two years before receiving the award, ExxonMobil won a contract to explore for oil in a Russia-controlled portion of the Arctic Ocean, which was made more economically viable for drilling in part thanks to the sea ice decline that's followed global warming. Putin himself announced the deal at a meeting in Sochi (where the Winter Olympics would be held the next year).

Who is Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil chairman who may become secretary of state?

Trump poised to pick an oil tycoon with ties to Russia as secretary of State, reports say

Somebody's picture

John Bolton is an idiot and a

John Bolton is an idiot and a stooge. To suck up to Trump, he is floating the (bogus and completely speculative) idea that the Russian hacking could be just a "false flag" operation by the Obama administration. The idea that the potential second position at the State Department could be held by someone who would give an infiltrating enemy a pass in favor of creating a partisan narrative is horrifying.

Fortunately, Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Rand Paul says he will block a Bolton nomination from getting out of committee, assuming the Democratic members also all vote "no."

jbr's picture

Tillerson presides over abrupt shakeup at State Department

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reassigned a majority of the staff meant to work most closely with the top US diplomat in what career officials at the State Department fear is the start of a major reorganization.

Tillerson presides over abrupt shakeup at State Department

Mike Knapp's picture

@ Tillerson - What it means to be a friend of Putin

Julia Ioffe in Politico
What It Really Means to Be a ‘Friend of Putin’ Reported Secretary of State frontrunner Rex Tillerson is close to Vladimir Putin. Here’s what that costs these days.

It was a strange twist: Russia had become an international pariah, and its economy—to say nothing of its rule of law or judiciary—were in shambles, but Western companies were bowing and scraping before a man who had just shocked the world by violating international law. Tillerson was at the head of that line. Instead of using their deep ties to Russia—by this point, it is said Tillerson had become buddies with Sechin—to push the Kremlin on the “rule of law” that had so bothered Tillerson six years prior, Russia's new friends pushed on the White House. Shortly before sending his emissary to St. Petersburg to sign the deal, Tillerson told reporters in Texas that he was lobbying Washington against sanctions. “Our views are being heard at the highest levels,” he said. “There has been no impact on any of our business activities in Russia to this point, nor has there been any discernible impact on the relationship” with Rosneft, he added. By fall, he was sharing a stage with Sechin in Moscow at International Petroleum Week.

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Trump ... drilling advocate Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Interior

from LA Times ...

In picking the congresswoman, Trump has chosen an ally who has been loyal to him politically and who shares his view that big energy companies should have more access to the lands under federal stewardship. McMorris Rodgers has voted against environmental protections repeatedly, earning her a score of zero in 2015 from the League of Conservation Voters. She supports opening the Atlantic Ocean for drilling, and has fought efforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on federal land. She also voted to make it easier to drill in Native American lands.

Trump said to pick drilling advocate Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Interior

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Trump Picks Energy Department Opponent Rick Perry for Energy Sec

NBC ...

Perry also ran for president in 2012, which led to a gaffe during a debate in November 2011 in which he forgot that he'd named the Energy Department — the agency Trump now wants him to head — as one of three Cabinet departments he'd eliminate. The memory loss became known as Perry's "oops" moment.

Trump Picks Energy Department Opponent Rick Perry for Energy Secretary: Sources

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Senate votes to confirm former Texas governor Rick Perry

The Senate voted 62 to 37 Thursday afternoon to confirm former Texas governor Rick Perry as energy secretary, brushing aside Perry’s onetime vow to abolish the department.

Senate votes to confirm former Texas governor Rick Perry as energy secretary

jbr's picture

White males dominate Trump's top cabinet posts

CNN ...

By selecting ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to serve as secretary of state, Donald Trump on Tuesday guaranteed that his four most influential departments will, if confirmed, be led entirely by white males for the first time since George H.W. Bush's first cabinet was approved in 1989.

White males dominate Trump's top cabinet posts

Somebody's picture

Yeah, but he's got Ben Carson

Yeah, but he's got Ben Carson for HUD, because, you know, "urban."

R. Neal's picture

Trump considering Carly

Trump considering Carly Fiorina as director of national intelligence...

(link...)

How is she even remotely qualified?

ETA: current DNI background...

(link...)

bizgrrl's picture

She can kiss @$$.

She can kiss @$$.

jbr's picture

Treasury pick made millions .. his bank foreclosed on homeowners

from Politico ...

In Florida, the company foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman after a 27-cent payment error. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo singled out the lender for squeezing Superstorm Sandy victims. Last month, the company’s successor, CIT Bank, was accused of discriminating against minority borrowers.

Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners

M. L. Daugherty's picture

In ancient Greece citizens

In ancient Greece citizens that were not knowledgeable about the government or politics and thought their own personal needs trumped those of the society around them,were called idiots. I know there are different accounts of the origin of the word idiot, however this definition seems to describe Trump and his cabinet picks very well. Trump and his cronies are definitely idiots!

jbr's picture

Donald Trump Is Choosing His Cabinet. Here’s the Latest List

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Trump vs. his Cabinet: New splits emerge

"I'd like this job, but that's crazy talk" ...

from CNN ...

Donald Trump's Cabinet picks are dropping some of his signature policy positions under the scrutiny of Senate confirmation hearings.

Trump vs. his Cabinet: New splits emerge

Mike Knapp's picture

Coretta Scott King Letter resisting Sessions for federal judge

Here is the letter in its entirety by Mrs. King to Strom Thurmond in 1986 conveying in specific, unabashed terms why Jeff Sessions shouldn't have been approved by the Senate for a federal district court judgeship. Required reading

jbr's picture

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Barred Speaking for ‘Impugning’ Sessions

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, objected to a floor speech Warren, D-Massachusetts, was giving in opposition to Sessions' nomination when she quoted a letter that Coretta Scott King wrote in opposition to Sessions during his attempted confirmation for a federal judgeship 30 years ago.

McConnell and Republican objectors said that Warren violated Senate rules. The rule, No. 19, says senators cannot "directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Barred From Speaking for ‘Impugning’ Sen. Jeff Sessions

Mike Knapp's picture

Hey, remember when...

Cheney told Leahy to go f_ck himself on the Senate floor and then said it was the best thing he ever did? Then again impugning only occurs when a woman reads the words of a black woman on the Senate floor. That's just a step too far. Maybe Booker should read it.

Meanwhile...

bizgrrl's picture

Then again impugning only

Then again impugning only occurs when a woman reads the words of a black woman on the Senate floor.

It is odd that McConnell went that far with Warren's speech. I couldn't figure out what she had done wrong.

McConnell took particular issue with Warren as she quoted a letter written by Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, when Sessions was under consideration for a federal judgeship in 1986.

Alas. This is how far they will go to shut up those that don't agree with them.

Mike Knapp's picture

Lifting the hood on precedent

The irony is inescapable - the gag rule used by Sen. McConnell on Sen. Elizabeth Warren stems from mid-18th century efforts to stop talk of abolition by John Quincy Adams who was said to be "trifling" with the House. Just like McConnell, they were too scared to even talk about it, calling JQA's attempts to read aloud a letter from a group of slaves "an outrage on the rights and feelings of a large portion of the people of this Union, a flagrant contempt on the dignity of this House."

John Quincy Adams: Gag Rule Controversy, Petition Purporting to Come from Slaves

Resolved, That John Q. Adams, a member from the State of Massachusetts, by his attempt to introduce into this House a petition of slaves for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, committed an outrage on the rights and feelings of a large portion of the people of this Union, a flagrant contempt on the dignity of this House; and by extending to slaves a privilege only belonging to freemen, directly incites the slave population to insurrection; and that the said member be forthwith called to the bar of the House, and censured by the Speaker.

jbr's picture

Plagiarism revelations derail Trump administration pick

CNN ...

The move comes after CNN's KFile uncovered multiple instances of plagiarism in her 2012 book, her columns for the Washington Times, and her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation for Columbia University. Crowley was slated to be the senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council in Trump's administration.

Monica Crowley bows out of Trump administration post following plagiarism revelations

jbr's picture

Trump labor pick Andrew Puzder has voiced second thoughts

CNN ...

Democrats and their allies have launched an aggressive campaign against Puzder, who opposes key Democratic workplace priorities, including the goal of a $15 federal minimum wage.

Sources: Trump labor pick Andrew Puzder has voiced second thoughts about nomination

jbr's picture

Interior pick to face questions on climate, public lands

CNN

Topics of interest to committee members include climate change, sale and use of public lands, tribal law and relations, invasive and endangered species concerns and fire and drought management and preparedness. The committee is stocked with Western state senators, for whom these policies matter a great deal.

Interior secretary pick to face questions on climate, public lands

jbr's picture

Trump's EPA pick took hands-off approach to environmental crisis

CNN ...

Oklahoma is one of the more unlikely places in the United States to experience earthquakes. But in the six years that Scott Pruitt has served as the state's attorney general, Oklahoma has been rattled by hundreds of quakes with a magnitude of 3.0 and greater, with some areas facing the same level of risk as high-hazard parts of California.

Pruitt will likely face questions about why he did virtually nothing as Oklahoma became ground zero for a unique environmental crisis that triggered loads of litigation. Instead, he focused on the Obama administration's restrictions on the coal, oil and gas industry -- suing the agency he's poised to run more than a half-dozen times.

Trump's EPA pick took hands-off approach to environmental crisis that shook Oklahoma

jbr's picture

DeVos, Won’t Rule Out Defunding Public Schools

Lamar ...

NBC ...

DeVos refused to promise that she would not privatize or strip funding from the public schools she would oversee if confirmed.

Tuesday's hearing turned testy before DeVos had even said a word. Virtually every Democratic member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee repeatedly asked the chairman, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, for more time to question the cabinet nominee. But each time Alexander refused, citing a "precedent" of five-minute rounds of questioning for education secretary nominees. Multiple Democratic members said they'd never heard of such a rule.

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary, Won’t Rule Out Defunding Public Schools

bizgrrl's picture

From that same article, Her

From that same article,

Her supporters, however, suggested the criticism she'd received was unfair. Former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, who introduced DeVos to the committee, called her a "change agent" who would fight for necessary reform, while Sen. Alexander said her views on school choice put her "in the mainstream."

"Betsy DeVos, in my opinion, is on our children's side," said Alexander.

R. Neal's picture

Trump's pick for EPA is a

Trump's pick for EPA is a little fuzzy on science...

(link...)

Mike Knapp's picture

Kompetenz by the numbers

Trump has named 28 of the 690 appointees requiring Senate approval.
Bloomberg's Jonathan Bernstein - The Empty Trump Administration

First of all, the government actually does things, and without all the jobs filled it's not apt to do them very well. Even if there's no catastrophic failure, lack of leadership will, as should be no surprise, yield inertia and low morale, leading to steadily worse performance.

R. Neal's picture

DeVos says guns needed in

DeVos says guns needed in schools to protect from grizzly bear attacks...

(link...)

Somebody's picture

Rick Perry

All this angst over DeVos is nothing.

Rick Perry apparently didn't realize when he accepted the nomination to be Energy Secretary that among his responsibilities would be overseeing the US nuclear arsenal.

R. Neal's picture

Ironic that he will head one

Ironic that he will head one of the agencies he proposed to eliminate, along with the, ah, uh... oops.

Somebody's picture

Not "along with"...

The Department of Energy was the "oops." He's been nominated to head the department that he couldn't even remember.

R. Neal's picture

Donald Trump has assembled

Donald Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in American history

Any time a new administration comes into office, there will be some complaining about the new president’s cabinet picks. But we’re seeing something extraordinary happening now. Donald Trump’s cabinet brings with it a combination of ethical problems, inexperience, hostility to the missions of the departments its members are being called to lead, and plain old ignorance that is simply unprecedented.

This is shaping up to be nothing less than the worst cabinet in American history.

jbr's picture

Schumer: 'This Cabinet selection has been a disaster'

He seems ok with three of the nominees

"There are some not controversial. We're not opposing for their own sake," he said. "I think (retired Gen. James) Mattis is a good choice for defense secretary. We'll vote on him this afternoon."

"I think (retired Gen. John) Kelly is a great choice for homeland security. We'll put him up today and (Rep. Mike) Pompeo for CIA, which is a little bit more controversial ... but if he's not voted on today, he will be Monday," Schumer said.

Schumer: 'This Cabinet selection has been a disaster'

jbr's picture

Trump labor pick on his workers: We hire 'the best of the worst'

CNN ...

In two speeches in 2011, Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of labor, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, described the employees hired at his restaurants as the "best of the worst" available in the employment pool.

Trump labor pick in 2011 on his fast-food workers: We hire 'the best of the worst'

jbr's picture

Trump names new FCC chairman

Looks like bad news ...

Trump has picked Ajit Pai to serve as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai is currently the senior Republican commissioner at the FCC and does not require Senate approval. However, he will need to be reconfirmed by the Senate before the end of this year because his current five-year term as a commissioner expires.

Pai is known for being an outspoken critic of the net neutrality rules. These are intended to keep the Internet open and fair by preventing providers like Comcast (CCV) from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps.
When the rules were first approved in early 2015, Pai attacked it by quoting Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. After Trump's victory, Pai said he believed net neutrality's "days are numbered."

Trump names new FCC chairman

bizgrrl's picture

Corker on Tillerson: “I

Corker on Tillerson:

“I personally have no doubt that Rex Tillerson is well-qualified,” said Corker. “He’s managed the world’s eighth largest company by revenue with over 75,000 employees. Diplomacy has been a critical component of his positions in the past, and he has shown himself to be an exceptionally able and successful negotiator who has maintained deep relationships around the world.”

If that was the criteria, why didn't he pick the head of Walmart? Walmart's revenue is twice that of Exxon and they have over 2 million more employees than Exxon. What about Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway? They have nearly the same amount of revenue as Exxon with 4 times the number of employees. Thus, they put more people to work.

jbr's picture

Democrats won't get a second hearing with Betsy DeVos

CNN ...

Sen. Lamar Alexander rejected a Democrat's request for a second hearing with Betsy DeVos on Monday, sparing Trump's pick for secretary of education from what would surely be a contentious hearing.

Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, traded letters with Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat, who requested a second hearing for DeVos after all of her paperwork was approved by the Office of Government Ethics.

Democrats won't get a second hearing with Betsy DeVos, Trump's education pick

jbr's picture

Treasury nominee registered to vote in two states

Donald Trump's nominee to head the Treasury department, Steven Mnuchin, is registered to vote in two states, a CNN KFile review of paperwork obtained through open records requests in New York and California show.

Trump cabinet nominee Steven Mnuchin is also registered to vote in two states

bizgrrl's picture

Lock him up! Although, could

Lock him up!

Although, could that happen to any of us when we move from state to state?

bizgrrl's picture

it is illegal to cast ballots


it is illegal to cast ballots in multiple states, it is not illegal to be registered in two states at the same time

jbr's picture

When you eat can be as important as what you eat, Heart Assoc

CNN ...

Senate Democrats are raising questions about whether Steve Mnuchin, President Donald Trump's treasury secretary nominee, deliberately misled lawmakers at his confirmation hearing.

But the offshore entity and a series of other finance vehicles, some of which weren't originally disclosed by Mnuchin during the financial disclosure process, hold gross assets of more than $240 million, according to an SEC filing reviewed by CNN. Significant percentages of each were held by foreign investors, according to the filing, and one was 100 percent owned by foreign investors.

One fund, Dune Capital International LTD., listed a gross asset value of $35.1 million in the 2013 disclosure. The disclosure, which identifies Mnuchin as one of three "Partners and Directors" of the Cayman Islands-based entity, claims 28% of the underlying fund ownership came from foreign investors, according to the SEC filing reviewed by CNN.

Treasury secretary nominee's foreign money links bring new scrutiny

jbr's picture

Nominee Tom Price's 2015 Health Reform Proposal

from Kaiser Family Foundation ...
Proposals to Replace the Affordable Care Act

fischbobber's picture

That insurance plan

Tom Price's insurance plan sucks. Am I the only one that's read it? It re-institutes caps, pre-existing conditions and puts the plans qualifications back in the insurance companies hands. What did I miss?

bizgrrl's picture

I haven't read it. Those are

I haven't read it. Those are some of the things that totally frighten me as they look to make changes to health insurance.

The president is trying to tear the country apart. We don't know which way to turn. Where to put our efforts? I don't think you missed anything. What can be done? I'm serious. What can we do?

jbr's picture

Democrats Boycott Votes on Trump’s Health and Treasury Nominees

I definitely do not want Price confirmed. He seems like bad news. I haven't paid as much attention to Mnuchin.

"We're not going to this committee today because we want the committee to regroup, get the information, have these two nominees come back in front of the committee, clarify what they lied about — I would hope they would apologize for that — then give us the information that we all need for our states," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, told reporters.

Senate Democrats Boycott Votes on Trump’s Health and Treasury Nominees

jbr's picture

Republicans suspend committee rules, advance Mnuchin, Price

Under the rules, it is required that at least one Democrat be present for the panel to vote to send a nominee to the Senate floor. On Tuesday, not a single Democrat showed up, putting the two nominations at a standstill.

With the committee rules suspended, the 14 Republicans in the room voted Wednesday morning to move the Mnuchin and Price nominations to the full Senate.

Republicans vote to suspend committee rules, advance Mnuchin, Price nominations

Mike Knapp's picture

Trump national security aid Sebastian Gorka

In this Business Insider article Pamela Engel gives us a brutal article on a verified hack in Gorka who sits on the "strategic initiatives group", a new Trumpian NatSec fixture parallel with the NSC that sounds like a stovepipe with the power to write executive orders.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump's combative new national security aide, is widely disdained within his own field

Watts, a former Army officer and FBI agent, confirmed this description of events, characterizing Gorka's performance as a "disaster."

"Instead of participating in the panel the way he was supposed to, he was kind of grandstanding," Watts said. "He said, 'I'm going to stand up because I'm a lecturer and I want to see the crowd,' and I thought, this is bulls---. You don't act like that."

Bloom and Watts also said he tried to use the panel as a platform to sell his book.

"He actually carried around his book and was basically trying to sell his book to people in the crowd," Watts said. "It was low class."
[...]
Michael S. Smith II, a terrorism analyst who has advised members of Congress and White House officials, said "no one has anything nice to say" about Gorka. Smith said he has the level of expertise "one would expect from a Congressional intern."

"His work is of little interest because he has never - not that I can think of - contributed anything to the body of knowledge which informs understandings of threats posed by the Salafi-jihadist groups of interest to him," Smith told Business Insider.

jbr's picture

Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador

Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia's top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.

Sessions met with Kislyak twice, in July on the sidelines of the Republican convention, and in September in his office when Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services committee. Sessions was an early Trump backer and regular surrogate for him as a candidate.

Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian ambassador

Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose

jbr's picture

Kellyanne Conway's husband tapped for DOJ role

If confirmed by the Senate, George Conway would lead an office that would handle legal challenges to major Trump administration initiatives, such as the controversial travel ban.

Kellyanne Conway's husband tapped for DOJ role

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