Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Transfer of power

Can you smell the new spirit of cooperation?

Just weeks before leaving office, the Interior Department's top lawyer has shifted half a dozen key deputies -- including two former political appointees who have been involved in controversial environmental decisions -- into senior civil service posts.

The transfer of political appointees into permanent federal positions, called "burrowing" by career officials, creates security for those employees, and at least initially will deprive the incoming Obama administration of the chance to install its preferred appointees in some key jobs.

Similar efforts are taking place at other agencies. Two political hires at the Labor Department have already secured career posts there, and one at the Department of Housing and Urban Development is trying to make the switch.

The personnel moves come as Bush administration officials are scrambling to cement in place policy and regulatory initiatives that touch on issues such as federal drinking-water standards, air quality at national parks, mountaintop mining and fisheries limits.
Because despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Bush administration is convinced that its positions on issues such as federal drinking-water standards, air quality at national parks, mountaintop mining and fisheries limits are successful and in the best interest of the country.

But seriously folks, the Bush administration doesn't give a shit about what's in the best interest of the country. Its only concern is the best interests of its sponsors.

UPDATE: The other half of the story.

Half the story has been told. On Tuesday the Washington Post reported that Bush is creating civil service positions for loyal appointees, in order to make it hard for Obama to get rid of them.

Bush has also, for some time now, been terminating large numbers of employees in the federal government, people known as whistleblowers, people suspected of disloyalty. Some of the higher profile cases are well known.

Half the story has been told. On Tuesday the Washington Post reported that Bush is creating civil service positions for loyal appointees, in order to make it hard for Obama to get rid of them.

Bush has also, for some time now, been terminating large numbers of employees in the federal government, people known as whistleblowers, people suspected of disloyalty. Some of the higher profile cases are well known.

I've spoken with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Renee Berry. Coleman-Adebayo called what's happening a "silent coup d'etat." The Bush administration, she said, is "embedding their foot soldiers inside the government in order to sabotage any Obama initiatives while at the same time terminating federal employees who they assume would be supportive of the new administration." She compared this process to a soviet purge.
Yet another h/t to Susie.

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