[Discussion] The Individual 1 Administration Thread 2

Let's follow and discuss what our newest presidential administration gets up to, the good, the bad, the lawsuits, and the many many indictments.

Rat Boy wrote:
Nomad wrote:

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

It'd get Assange arrested and extradited real quick.

Julian Assange arrested in London

Too late

thrawn82 wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:
Nomad wrote:

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

It'd get Assange arrested and extradited real quick.

Julian Assange arrested in London

Too late

That was back in 2010. He's currently still hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Stengah wrote:
thrawn82 wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:
Nomad wrote:

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

It'd get Assange arrested and extradited real quick.

Julian Assange arrested in London

Too late

That was back in 2010. He's currently still hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Hmm, I could have sworn i heard a story from last week that he left the embassy turned himself in.

Gremlin wrote:

In other news, weren't we supposed to have infrastructure week at some point?
CNN: At our current pace it'll take 80 years to repair all the structurally deficient bridges in the US, a report finds

Granted, the administration's plan for our infrastructure was to sell it off to private investors, which both doesn't solve the actual problem and actually cuts funding for actual infrastructure spending.

One incredible skill of trump is his ability to make all of us look at his new horrible thing and ignore so much.

He promised to invest heavily in infrastructure but instead has got us arguing over the stupid f*cking wall, and trying to convince white people that putting children in concentration camps at the boarder is wrong.

Truly it feels like the saying "Nero fiddled while Rome burned to the ground" I am thinking that meant Nero distracted the masses with dumb sh*t while things fell apart. That is exactly what trump is doing.

farley3k wrote:

One incredible skill of trump is his ability to make all of us look at his new horrible thing and ignore so much.

Yeah, but if we *were* still looking at the old horrible thing, what would that actually change? It's not like "oh, his base was about to turn on him but then he distracted everyone and his poll numbers bounced back."

I'm not saying that distraction tactics can't work, I'm just asking how these distraction tactics work for Trump. Like, what are the issues that if people could only focused their attention, something of substance would happen? How many times can we say the "Trump wasn't going to get away with X but then he got everyone focused on Y and he did get away with it"?

edit, like, this is actually a good example:

He promised to invest heavily in infrastructure but instead has got us arguing over the stupid f*cking wall, and trying to convince white people that putting children in concentration camps at the boarder is wrong.

A distraction would be to get us all talking about infrastructure to get us to *not* talk about the wall or children in cages. You don't distract people *to* something horrible you're doing, you distract people *from* something horrible you're doing, and have them focused on something benign.

Trump does like the opposite--for, what, two years the people around him planned to frustrate the Mueller probe, they got the people they wanted in place, the report drops and now they have this 'win' they can crow about, and what did Trump do? He brought up repealing Obamacare out of the blue.

He's chaotic, not calculating.

thrawn82 wrote:

Hmm, I could have sworn i heard a story from last week that he left the embassy turned himself in.

Yes, that was the story going around but it ended up not being true. Too many people jumping at the chance to be the first to report it, they didn't bother confirming it.

Nevin73 wrote:

I don't know about anyone else, but I've already lost trust in the system.

As have I.

I havent quite lost trust. It met a serious challenge and failed. If it doesn't get back up and fix things in 2020 then I will have lost trust (and Ill probably move to Canada or Finland or something)

Pork industry to gain power over inspections

LA Times wrote:

The Trump administration plans to shift much of the power and responsibility for food safety inspections in hog plants to the pork industry as early as May, cutting the number of federal inspectors by about 40% and replacing them with plant employees.

Under the proposed new inspection system, the responsibility for identifying diseased and contaminated pork would be shared with plant employees, whose training would be at the discretion of plant owners. There would be no limits on slaughter-line speeds.

The new pork inspection system would accelerate the federal government's move toward delegating inspections to the livestock industry. During the Obama administration, poultry plant owners were given more power over safety inspections, although that administration canceled plans to increase line speeds. The Trump administration in September allowed some poultry plants to increase line speeds.

The Trump administration also is working to shift inspection of beef to plant owners. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are scheduled next month to discuss the proposed changes with the meat industry.

...

Joseph Ferguson is a former USDA hog inspector who retired in 2015 after working 23 years under the traditional inspection system as well as with a trial program that created the new proposed system. He said federal regulators lost control when plant workers supplanted them. Hog carcasses whizzed by him and the plant-paid inspectors at speeds so fast that fecal contamination -- an important indicator for E. coli and salmonella -- could not be detected.

"All the power gets handed over to the plant," Ferguson said. "I saw the alleged inspections that were performed by plant workers; they weren't inspections. They were supposed to meet or exceed USDA standards -- I never saw that happen."

The proposed hog slaughter rule is based on a study that began 20 years ago, ultimately including five large plants. Efforts to expand the program have sputtered under past administrations, but Trump administration officials have told industry trade groups that they expect the proposed regulations to soon become final. They say 40 of the 612 hog plants not already using the new system will begin using the program. Collectively, agriculture officials say, these plants will produce 90% of the pork produced in the United States.

An analysis by the USDA of 35 of the 40 plants estimated that the number of federal inspectors would shrink from 365 to 218. That same analysis estimated that the new system will save $6 million annually and that large plants -- by increasing their line speeds by more than 12% -- will increase their profits annually by more than $2 million. The current cap on line speed is 1,106 hogs per hour, or 18 hogs per minute.

...

Although there have been huge advances in food safety in meatpacking plants, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 500,000 people become ill and 82 die each year from consuming pathogen-laced pork products. Hog plants produce about 11 million tons of pork products annually, with 75% eaten in the United States, according to industry statistics.

The proposed inspection program has faced harsh criticism by government auditors and investigators.

In May 2013, the USDA's inspector general issued a report that found three of the five plants in the trial program had numerous health and safety violations. Safety records at those three plants were worse than those at hundreds of other U.S. hog plants that continued to operate under the traditional system, auditors found.

A separate September 2013 Government Accountability Office report determined that the five-plant trial program was too small to "provide reasonable assurance that any conclusions can apply more broadly to the universe of 608 hog plants in the United States."

No independent government assessments of the program have been done since the 2013 reports.

MCAS, now in your pork.

It seems like I can use this post in multiple threads

farley3k wrote:

The market will punish those who have done something wrong.

However, USDA officials confirmed they have no plans under the new system to test for salmonella -- for which USDA once tested. The agency will rely heavily on pathogen testing by plant owners, but those results will not have to be publicly disclosed. The hog plants also will no longer be required to test for E. coli, records show.

This will end well.

Suddenly, Trump's penchant for having his steak well-done makes sense.

and here i was just learning the joy of medium pork. so much for that.

thrawn82 wrote:

and here i was just learning the joy of medium pork. so much for that.

Sous vide it. It takes a lot longer, but it'll be safe and as rare as you want.

Undercooked pork is bad stuff.

Nomad wrote:

Undercooked pork is bad stuff.

The number of cases of trichinosis has fallen quite a bit. A CDC surveillance from 2008 to 2012 reported 90 cases, only 10 of which were from commercial pork sources (the rest being wild game, bears, or home-raised pigs).

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/zaiWsYQ.png)

The dip in the number of cases from the 80s on is because the big mean government passed a law that required commercial pork producers to clean up their facilities, eradicate rodents, and not feed pigs potentially contaminated food (e.g., sick pigs who died).

OG_slinger wrote:
Nomad wrote:

Undercooked pork is bad stuff.

The number of cases of trichinosis has fallen quite a bit. A CDC surveillance from 2008 to 2012 reported 90 cases, only 10 of which were from commercial pork sources (the rest being wild game, bears, or home-raised pigs).

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/zaiWsYQ.png)

The dip in the number of cases from the 80s on is because the big mean government passed a law that required commercial pork producers to clean up their facilities, eradicate rodents, and not feed pigs potentially contaminated food (e.g., sick pigs who died).

When people ask, what has government done for me lately, it’s this graph that should be shown (unless you’re a practicing Jew or Muslim).

Nomad wrote:

Undercooked pork is bad stuff.

in the 50s it was. Now it's only a problem if you hunted the pig yourself.

edit: oops, i really need to learn to read the whole thread before replying.

I'm not sure we have the whole picture here because of this quote:

The new pork inspection system would accelerate the federal government's move toward delegating inspections to the livestock industry. During the Obama administration, poultry plant owners were given more power over safety inspections, although that administration canceled plans to increase line speeds. The Trump administration in September allowed some poultry plants to increase line speeds.

Of course Trump's people are making it worse, but this was also done under Obama.

Regulatory capture isn't new under Trump. The fact it was also happening under Obama doesn't make it better or less dangerous.

thrawn82 wrote:

Regulatory capture isn't new under Trump. The fact it was also happening under Obama doesn't make it better or less dangerous.

And Bush. And Clinton, And Bush 1.....

This can also happen by necessity because the Legislative branch lowers funding and the Executive branch has to figure out how to cut corners. Not necessarily what happened here, goodness knows that the Dems are up to giving Corporate Interests a handie now and again, but it's a possibility.

Yonder wrote:

This can also happen by necessity because the Legislative branch lowers funding and the Executive branch has to figure out how to cut corners. Not necessarily what happened here, goodness knows that the Dems are up to giving Corporate Interests a handie now and again, but it's a possibility.

That's certainly the case with regulatory capture in my industry. The delegation of regulatory authority has been a rolling process for the last 20 years, regardless of who's sitting in the Oval Office, and is largely a function of lack of resources in the federal agencies that means they're fundamentally unable to complete the actual work of regulating.

Delegating that work to industry was the way around increasing funding to the agencies to the levels dictated by their workload.

Looks like Trump wants to appoint Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve board.

As a reminder Cain dropped out of the 2012 election when four women accused him of sexual harassment and sexual assault. A fifth women said that she had a thirteen-year affair with Cain, which he denied.

The centerpiece of Cain's 2012 campaign was his 9-9-9 plan which would have replaced all current taxes (including the payroll tax, capital gains tax, and the estate tax) with a 9% personal income tax, 9% federal sales tax, and a 9% corporate tax. Critics argued that it was simplistic, highly regressive, and would have resulted in massive federal tax revenue shortfalls.

Cain's also a Tea Partier and a supporter of the gold standard, so, yeah, only the best people.

(2016)

Jonman wrote:

Delegating that work to industry was the way around increasing funding to the agencies to the levels dictated by their workload.

My political position has evolved to have "actually fund our existing projects and agencies" as a major cornerstone.

OG_slinger wrote:

Looks like Trump wants to appoint Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve board.

As a reminder Cain dropped out of the 2012 election when four women accused him of sexual harassment and sexual assault. A fifth women said that she had a thirteen-year affair with Cain, which he denied.

The centerpiece of Cain's 2012 campaign was his 9-9-9 plan which would have replaced all current taxes (including the payroll tax, capital gains tax, and the estate tax) with a 9% personal income tax, 9% federal sales tax, and a 9% corporate tax. Critics argued that it was simplistic, highly regressive, and would have resulted in massive federal tax revenue shortfalls.

Cain's also a Tea Partier and a supporter of the gold standard, so, yeah, only the best people.

He's also responsible for this painful video. His level of ignorance about major foreign policy issues that were ongoing at the time of his candidacy was more than worthy of Palin, Perry and Trump himself.

gewy wrote:

He's also responsible for this painful video. His level of ignorance about major foreign policy issues that were ongoing at the time of his candidacy was more than worthy of Palin, Perry and Trump himself.

"I have to say I'm against whatever Obama did because I'm a Republican, but I also can't say I supported Gaddafi. So I'm just going to say a lot of words about how I'd have done things very differently than Obama and somehow those very different things would have ended with the same outcome of Gaddafi being removed from power. It would just be better because I did it and not Obama."

Trump Asked That Confirmation of I.R.S. Counsel Be a Priority

NYT wrote:

President Trump earlier this year asked Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, to prioritize a confirmation vote for his nominee to be the chief counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, indicating that it was a higher priority than voting on the nomination of William P. Barr as attorney general, a person familiar with the conversation said.

White House aides insisted for months that the confirmation of the nominee, Michael J. Desmond, a tax lawyer from Santa Barbara, Calif., was a top priority after passage of the tax bill in 2017.

But the request by Mr. Trump, made to Mr. McConnell on Feb. 5, raised questions about whether the president had other motivations. For months, the president has seethed over vows by congressional Democrats that they would move to obtain his tax returns from the I.R.S. And this week, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, formally asked the I.R.S. for six years of the returns, using an obscure provision in the tax code to do so.

...

In July, when Mr. Desmond was first being considered by the Senate Finance Committee, Bloomberg reported that he had briefly advised the Trump Organization on tax issues before Mr. Trump took office. James Wilkinson, a spokesman for Mr. Desmond, told Bloomberg that Mr. Desmond had helped with “a discrete reporting matter for a subsidiary company that was resolved with no tax impact.”

In private practice, Mr. Desmond worked for a time alongside William Nelson and Sheri Dillon, who currently serve as tax counsels to the Trump Organization.

The I.R.S. chief counsel advises the agency director on “all matters pertaining to the interpretation, administration and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as all other legal matters,” according to a description on the agency’s website. The chief counsel reports jointly to the director of the I.R.S. and the Treasury Department’s general counsel.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Trump wanted to rush the confirmation vote to make his former tax attorney the chief counsel at the IRS right before Congress looked at his tax returns. A very cool and totally legal coincidence.