Biden-Harris Transition

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Biden-Harris Transition

1margd
nov. 12, 2020, 6:05am

Biden names Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff
Jeff Zeleny and Dan Merica | November 11, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Ron Klain to be his incoming chief of staff, the Biden transition office said in a news release Wednesday, elevating his longtime aide to one of the most powerful positions in the White House.

Klain is one of Biden's most trusted campaign advisers and was long seen as the most likely pick for the top job. He previously served as chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration and Biden during his tenure as President Barack Obama's vice president.

"Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014," Biden said in a statement.

"His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again."...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/11/politics/biden-chief-of-staff/index.html

2margd
nov. 12, 2020, 6:10am

Biden-Harris Transition Announces COVID-19 Advisory Board
Press Releases | November 09, 2020

Leading Public Health and Scientific Experts to Advise the Transition on COVID-19 Response
...
Co-Chairs and Advisory Board Members:
CO-CHAIRS
Dr. David Kessler...
Dr. Vivek Murthy...
Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith...

MEMBERS
Dr. Luciana Borio...
Dr. Rick Bright...
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel...
Dr. Atul Gawande...
Dr. Celine Gounder...
Dr. Julie Morita...
Julie Morita, MD...
Dr. Michael Osterholm...
Ms. Loyce Pace...
Dr. Robert Rodriguez...
Dr. Eric Goosby...

https://buildbackbetter.com/press-releases/biden-harris-transition-announces-cov...

3margd
nov. 12, 2020, 6:12am

Trump’s COVID Task Force: The Refusal to Concede to Biden Will Result in More COVID Deaths
Erin Banco | Updated Nov. 11, 2020 9:57PM ET

A vaccine distribution plan is already extremely hard to chart out. Not allowing for a smooth transition will make it even harder.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-covid-task-force-the-refusal-to-concede-to-...

4John5918
Editat: nov. 12, 2020, 6:22am

Isn't this the same President Trump who publicly thanked Obama for the smoothness of the handover four years ago? Do unto others...

5margd
nov. 12, 2020, 6:24am

Deep bench. Competence seems to be byword.

President-elect Biden names 8-person NASA transition team
Mike Wall 11/11/2020

President-elect Joe Biden has announced the team that will bring him up to speed on all things NASA ahead of his January 2021 inauguration.

The NASA "agency review team" consists of five women and three men, and it includes two former NASA chief scientists and a former astronaut among its diverse ranks. All are serving on a volunteer basis...

...Agency review teams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power, and preparing for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and their cabinet to hit the ground running on Day One."
https://www.space.com/president-elect-biden-nasa-transition-team...

The NASA review team members are:

Ellen Stofan (team leader): Stofan is a planetary geologist who currently directs the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, the first woman ever to do so. She served as NASA Chief Scientist from August 2013 to December 2016.

Waleed Abdalati...
Jedidah Isler...
Bavya Lal...
Pam Melroy...
Dave Noble...
Shannon Valley...
David Weaver...

One of the other newly announced agency review teams has a NASA connection, by the way: Former astronaut Kathyrn Sullivan will serve on the Department of Commerce team. Sullivan, a geologist who flew on three space shuttle missions between 1984 and 1992, also led NOAA from March 2014 to January 2017.

https://www.space.com/president-elect-biden-nasa-transition-team

__________________________________________________​

Joe Biden just announced his NASA transition team. Here's what space policy might look like under the new administration.
Susie Neilson | Nov 10, 2020, 8:47 PM

President-elect Joe Biden named the members of his NASA transition team on Tuesday.

Ellen Stofan, a former NASA chief scientist, will chair the team, which also includes an astrophysicist and a climate researcher.

Biden will likely push back the timeline of NASA's Artemis moon mission, extend funding for the International Space Station, and direct more resources back to climate science....

https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-agenda-for-nasa-space-exploration-2020-11

6margd
nov. 12, 2020, 6:47am

Agency Review Teams
Meet the Biden-Harris agency review teams

Arts and Humanities
The Arts and Humanities group includes the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution...

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...

Council of Economic Advisers...

Council on Environmental Quality...

Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce team will also review the Export-Import Bank...

Department of Defense...

Department of Education
The Department of Education team will also review the Corporation for National and Community Service...

Department of Energy
The Department of Energy team will also review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission...

Department of Health and Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services team will also review the Consumer Product Safety Commission....

Department of Homeland Security...

Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Department of Housing and Urban Development team will also review the Federal Housing Finance Agency...

Department of Justice
The Department of Justice team will also review the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the Commission on Civil Rights, the National Council on Disability, the United States Access Board, AbilityOne, the State Justice Institute, and the Legal Services Corporation....

Department of Labor
The Department of Labor team will also review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the National Mediation Board, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the National Labor Relations Board...

Department of State...

Department of the Interior
The Department of the Interior team will also review the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Commission on Fine Arts, the Denali Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Northern Border Regional Commission...

Department of the Treasury...

Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation team will also review the National Transportation Safety Board, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation / AMTRAK, and the Federal Maritime Commission...

Department of Veterans Affairs...

Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency team will also review the Chemical Safety Board...

Executive Office of the President, Management and Administration
The Executive Office of the President, Management and Administration team will also review certain aspects of all EOP components, except those covered by the National Security Council team, in partnership with component-specific teams...

Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators
The Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators group includes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission...

Federal Trade Commission...

General Services Administration...

Intelligence Community
The Intelligence Community group includes all Members of the Intelligence Community...

International Development
The International Development group includes the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Peace Corps, the United States Agency for International Development, and the United States International Development Finance Corporation...

National Aeronautics and Space Administration...

National Security Council
The National Security Council team will also review the Homeland Security Council, the National Space Council, and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board...

Office of Management and Budget...

Office of National Drug Control Policy...

Office of Personnel Management...

Office of Science and Technology Policy...

Office of the United States Trade Representative
The Office of the United States Trade Representative team will also review the United States International Trade Commission and the US Trade and Development Agency....

Small Business Administration...

Social Security Administration...

United States Agency for Global Media...

United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture team will also review the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation...

United States Digital Service...
(The member is from the Cha Zuckerberg nitiative??)

United States Mission to the United Nations...

United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service team will also review the Postal Regulatory Commission...

https://buildbackbetter.com/the-transition/agency-review-teams/

7margd
nov. 12, 2020, 7:12am

Trump blocks transition as he refuses to accept loss
Kevin Liptak (CNN) | November 10, 2020

...Trump has made no mention of the steps underway by Biden’s team to launch a transition even as he contests the election results and had been only vaguely aware of the work his administration was doing in preparing for a transition over the past several months, though did have to formally sign off, officials said. While he did not put up any roadblocks in the planning stages, he was not involved and provided little or no direction.

But privately Trump has taken notice of Biden’s enhanced schedule of presidential-style briefings and speeches, which contrast sharply with his own mostly vacant daily agendas. Trump made a last-minute appearance in briefing room last Thursday but has otherwise not held an official event in a week.

...There were signs Tuesday of individual agencies’ refusal to accommodate Biden’s incoming teams. John Barsa, the acting deputy administrator of US Agency for International Development, told officials that his agency will not begin any cooperation with the Biden transition team until GSA has made made its determination, a United States Agency for International Development official confirmed to CNN....

At the Pentagon, the Defense Department is at a standstill in its plans to work with any Biden team members until the GSA decision is made. Defense officials have a transition office set up and ready to go for incoming landing teams, but won’t proceed until authorized.

A Treasury official said while the department began drafting transition documents a month before the election, there has been no communication with the Biden team in the days since the election was called about potential incoming officials.

Some informal discussions with the Biden transition team have occurred in law enforcement and national security realms, but official transition discussions are on hold...

One of the first rights of a presidential candidate after winning the election is access to the same highly-classified intelligence briefings about pressing national security issues that their soon-to-be predecessor has been offered daily. But with the election not yet ascertained by the GSA, Biden and his senior advisers are not yet receiving the President’s Daily Brief...

National Security Council officials have not received any guidance yet on the upcoming transition, according to several administration officials. The national security council begins the transition early since it typically leads the process that other agencies will follow. The NSC, like other agencies, also works with highly classified information, which requires special protocol during a presidential transition.

While the Biden transition team awaits ascertainment, under federal guidelines, NSC officials — among them political appointees who will be leaving come January, and career officials who will stay on and continue their service after Biden takes office — say they’ve received no guidance from outgoing national security adviser Robert O’Brien about the status of their work or how they should proceed in the coming months....

Leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have instructed division heads to encourage patience as they wait to be given the next steps in a transition...

Biden told his allies over the weekend that he wanted to give Republicans — and Trump — a little time to accept the results of the election. But less than 72 hours later, two officials say, reality is setting in that this transition may be more difficult that many inside Biden world assumed. There is an increasing sense they will have to fight more to preserve the legitimacy of the election outcome.

In a Monday evening call with reporters, Biden transition officials put pressure on the GSA to recognize Biden as the winner of the election and the President-elect and would not rule out legal action against the Trump-appointed body as one measure to force ascertainment.

A spokesman for the agency said it was not yet taking that step, saying instead the GSA would “continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law and adhere to prior precedent established by the Clinton Administration in 2000.”

Yet at this point in 2000, the presidential race was clearly undecided as 500 votes split the candidates in one state, a far different scenario than now when Biden holds clear leads in several battlegrounds. And in its report, the 9/11 Commission blamed the slow ascertainment in 2000 for crippling the incoming administration...

https://www.theatlantavoice.com/articles/election2020-trump-blocks-transition-as...

8margd
nov. 12, 2020, 7:19am

GOP senator says he’ll ‘step in’ if Biden doesn’t receive intel briefings by Friday
Dom Calicchio (Fox News) | 11/12/2020

...Earlier Wednesday, in the interview that aired on Tulsa’s KMRG, (U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla, current chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee) said there was “nothing wrong” with the idea of Biden receiving intelligence briefings, even as President Trump and other Republicans continued to dispute the outcome of last week’s election.

Lankford said the briefings are necessary for Biden “to be able to prepare himself” for the presidency, should the former vice president’s election victory withstand any court challenges.

“There is no loss from him getting the briefings,” Lankford told KMRG, according to The Hill, “and to be able to do that, and if that’s not occurring by Friday I will step in as well, and to be able to push and say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election … people can be ready for that actual task.”...

...“I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States"...

Lankford added that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris already “has all the clearances she needs” to receive intelligence briefings because the U.S. senator from California is a current member of the Senate Intelligence Committee...

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gop-senator-says-hell-step-in-if-biden-doesnt-r...

9lriley
nov. 12, 2020, 8:11am

Progressive groups Justice Democrats and Sunrise Movement have opined on cabinet heads they'd like to see:

Labor--Bernie Sanders
Treasury--Elizabeth Warren alternative choice--Sarah Bloom Raskin
State--Barbara Lee alternative choice--Ro Khanna
Attorney General--Keith Ellison
HUD--Rashida Tlaib
Health and Human Services--Pramila Jayapal
Interior--Deb Haaland
Transportation--Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia alternative--Sara Nelson
Agriculture--Chellie Pingras alternative--Cory Booker
National Economic Council--Joseph Stiglitz
Council of Economic Advisers--Darrick Hamilton
EPA--Mustafa Ali

Also urging Biden to create a White House office of Climate Mobilization and to name one of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Gina McCarthy or John Podesta to head it.

Comment on the above---Phil Scott is the republican Governor of Vermont and though not a Trumper he will name Sanders replacement and IMO I wouldn't go there unless some kind of agreement were made with Scott prior to--I'd offer Robert Reich as an alternative.

Warren's in a similar situation in Massachusetts--Charlie Baker is a republican Governor though not a Trumper either. With her they're saying the Massachusetts democratic controlled legislature has the power to take that away from Baker. I say do it then or forget it. Bloom Raskin is probably a better idea.

Some of this is too much like trying to put together an all star team. So I'll just say that Barbara Lee at State would be fine--Ellison has experience as Minnesota attorney general--that would be fine too. Stiglitz, Hamilton and Ali fine too.

The idea around Climate Mobilization I'm on board with as well and Inslee would be the one I'd choose for that.

10margd
nov. 12, 2020, 8:32am

Who Are Contenders for Biden’s Cabinet?
The New York Times | Nov. 11, 2020

Agriculture Department
HEIDI HEITKAMP: former North Dakota senator who served on the Agriculture Committee
AMY KLOBUCHAR: Minnesota senator

Central Intelligence Agency
TOM DONILON: national security adviser under President Barack Obama
AVRIL HAINES: former deputy C.I.A. director and former deputy national security adviser
MIKE MORELL: former foreign service officer who served as C.I.A. deputy director and twice as its acting director.

Defense Department
TAMMY DUCKWORTH: former Army lieutenant colonel who lost both legs, senator from Illinois, assistant secretary of veterans affairs during the Obama administration.
MICHÈLE A. FLOURNOY: former deputy assistant secretary of defense
JEH JOHNSON: former secretary of homeland security who previously served as general counsel at the Pentagon.

Director of National Intelligence
SUSAN M. GORDON: principal deputy director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, a post from which she resigned in 2019 after the president did not promote her to director of national intelligence.
LISA MONACO: top adviser on homeland security to Mr. Obama, DOJ's assistant attorney general for national security, chief of staff to the former F.B.I. director Robert Mueller, Biden's 1990s Senate Judiciary Committee staff, where she helped craft the Violence Against Women Act.

Education Department
LILY ESKELSEN GARCÍA: A former teacher and former president of the National Education Association, a labor union
RANDI WEINGARTEN: president of the American Federation of Teachers,former Brooklyn public high school teacher, previously served as president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Energy Department
JAY INSLEE: presidential bid...climate change was his primary focus, third term as Washington’s governor.
ERNEST MONIZ: nuclear physicist, energy secretary in the Obama administration
ELIZABETH SHERWOOD-RANDALL: professor at Georgia Techm, deputy secretary of energy in the Obama administration, where she managed the National Nuclear Security Administration and 17 federal laboratories. White House adviser on weapons of mass destruction and arms control. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Health and Human Services Department
MANDY COHEN: secretary of North Carolina’s Health and Human Services Department, physician, chief operating officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama administration.
DAVID KESSLER: former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, physician, credited with tackling the tobacco industry and helping speed approval of more than a dozen drugs to treat H.I.V.
MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM: the governor of New Mexico, former member of Congress, previously served as cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s departments of health and aging, one of five co-chairs of Mr. Biden’s transition team.
VIVEK MURTHY: Biden adviser on the coronavirus, physician, former surgeon general, advocate of gun control.

Homeland Security Department
VAL DEMINGS: member of Congress from Florida, former Orlando police chief, considered as Biden running mate.
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: Cuban-American lawyer, ran Citizenship and Immigration Services under Mr. Obama, federal prosecutor in central California., instrumental in negotiating MOU with Cuba.

Housing and Urban Development Department
KAREN BASS: member of Congress from California, chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, well-versed on the housing challenges facing her South Los Angeles district, considered as Biden running mate.
ALVIN BROWN: former mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., adviser to secretary of housing and urban development, Clinton-Gore transition team, Clinton Commerce Department
MAURICE JONES: top deputy at Obama HUD, runs Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Virginia’s secretary of commerce
KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: mayor of Atlanta, considered as Biden running mate. proposed a $1 billion public-private initiative to improve access to housing in Atlanta.
DIANE YENTEL: leads National Low Income Housing Coalition, a DC nonprofit group that successfully opposed many Trump cuts to federal housing programs.

Interior Department
STEVE BULLOCK: governor of Montana, lost a close Senate race to R incumbent, signed an executive order creating a habitat for sage grouse, wrote an opinion guaranteeing access to public lands.
DEB HAALAND: NM Representative, member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, vice chairwoman of the House Natural Resources Committee.
MARTIN HEINRICH: NM Senator Heinrich, avid outdoorsman promoted a national outdoor recreation plan using federal lands.
TOM UDALL: retired NM senator who decided not to run for a third term, fought to protect federal property from oil and gas drilling, promoted wilderness areas in New Mexico.

Justice Department
XAVIER BECERRA: progressive track record as a California state official and in Congress, succeeded Harris as California attorney general
DOUG JONES: unlikely Senate win in Alabama in 2017, former federal prosecutor, impeccable civil rights record.
TOM PEREZ: Democratic Party chairman, secretary of labor, assistant attorney general for civil rights. (Trayvon Martin, sheriff Joe Arpaio, enforced civil rights laws for LGBTQ.)
SALLY YATES: former U.S. attorney in Atlanta and deputy attorney general, acting attorney general 10 days (fired for insubordination by Mr. Trump when she advised him that the Justice Department could not defend his ban on travel to the United States by citizens of several Muslim-majority countries).

Labor Department
SETH HARRIS: former deputy labor secretary, acting labor secretary, lawyer, a fellow at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
ANDY LEVIN: Michigan congressman, former labor organizer for the Service Employees International Union and later the A.F.L.-C.I.O., staff lawyer in the Labor Department.
BERNIE SANDERS: Vermont senator
JULIE SU: secretary of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency, former California labor commissioner, expert on workers’ rights, past recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant.

National Security Adviser
ANTONY BLINKEN: aide to Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden’s top foreign affairs adviser, deputy secretary of state as well as deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration, managing director of the Penn Biden Center, an international policy center at the U Pennsylvania.
WILLIAM J. BURNS: president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, retired foreign service officer, former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, former deputy secretary of state, special assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright
CHRIS COONS: leading member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
SUSAN RICE: former national security adviser, considered for Biden running mate, former assistant secretary of state and United Nations ambassador, leading expert on Africa.

Transportation Department
ERIC GARCETTI: Los Angeles mayor, purchased clean-air bus fleet, proposed fare-free bus and train rides, released a plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

Treasury Department
RAPHAEL BOSTIC: president of the Atlanta regional Federal Reserve bank, economist for the Federal Reserve, board member at Freddie Mac, known for argument that systemic racism damages the overall economy.
LAEL BRAINARD: member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, former under secretary at the Treasury Department, voted against regulatory rollbacks, warned that the economic risks caused by the coronavirus are not over, urged focus on climate change and its impact on the economy, criticized from the left for her reluctance to take a hard line on currency manipulation
SARAH BLOOM RASKIN: former deputy Treasury secretary, former member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, previously served as Maryland’s commissioner of financial regulation, lawyer and a visiting professor at Duke University.
ELIZABETH WARREN: Massachusetts senator, presidential candidate and former Obama adviser, advocate for pro-consumer financial reforms and stronger banking regulation, spearheaded the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, considered as Biden running mate.
JANET L. YELLEN: chair of the Federal Reserve 2014-2018, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, chair of the Clinton White House Council of Economic Advisers, labor economist who believes that government regulation and intervention are required to ensure that markets run efficiently.

Veterans Affairs Department
PETE BUTTIGIEG: former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Democratic presidential candidate, former Navy officer who served in Afghanistan.
ROBERT A. McDONALD: Obama veterans affairs secretary during the Obama administration, Army veteran, former chief executive of Procter & Gamble, emphasis on reducing homelessness among veterans.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/us/politics/biden-cabinet.html

11lriley
nov. 12, 2020, 9:14am

#10--the three names I'd ditch off of this list are Heitkamp, Perez and Bullock. I don't think Perez is a good fit and to me Heitkamp and Bullock are really democrats who have been posing as republicans who were eventually replaced by the real thing.

I like Bloom Raskin at Treasury---to me it's a good compromise without putting Warren's Senate seat at a risk. She's married to a very progressive congressman from Maryland Jamie Raskin.

Deb Haaland or Tom Udall for Interior would be good choices.

I also think bringing Inslee in would be a very good idea.

12margd
nov. 18, 2020, 5:59pm

Trump team looks to box in Biden on foreign policy by lighting too many fires to put out
Nicole Gaouette, Kylie Atwood and Alex Marquardt | November 17, 2020

...further withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq

The White House has directed newly installed acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller to focus his attention in the remaining weeks on cyber and irregular warfare, with a focus on China in particular... It is contemplating new terrorist designations in Yemen that could complicate efforts to broker peace. And it has rushed through authorization of a massive arms sale that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East.

...(WH) goal is to set so many fires that it will be hard for the Biden administration to put them all out.

It's a strategy that radically breaks with past practice, could raise national security risks and will surely compound challenges for the Biden team -- but it could also backfire.

...damaging Biden's options might come second to a more important goal for Trump, who has floated the idea of running again in 2024.

Afghanistan
China
Iran
Gulf arms sales
Israeli settlements
Yemen

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/17/politics/trump-biden-natsec-transition-fires/inde...

13margd
nov. 19, 2020, 9:56am

Here Biden thought he could work with old colleague McConnell...
Not wasting their time on Corona stimulus/care package, that's for sure:

Republicans seek to stymie Biden with final (lame duck) Trump nominees
The Senate GOP is working to stock the government with conservative appointments in the lame duck.
MARIANNE LEVINE and BURGESS EVERETT | 11/19/2020

Two months before Joe Biden assumes the presidency, Senate Republicans are racing to install a series of conservative nominees that will outlast Donald Trump.

While Trump still refuses to concede the election, the Senate GOP is moving quickly to ensure that the president’s stamp sticks to the Federal Elections Commission, Federal Reserve Board (controversial Judy Shelton fell short, now Christopher Waller), the federal judiciary (Thomas Kirsch for Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, four district court judges) and beyond.

...Meanwhile, the Senate Energy Committee advanced two nominees this week for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation’s electricity markets. If confirmed, the picks would lock in three Republican appointees on the five-member commission through mid-2021.

Senate Republicans also face (Trump) pressure to jam through Trump’s nominee to the FCC. Doing so would delay Biden’s ability to form a Democratic majority at the five-member regulatory body next year and likely push off new regulations such as a revival of the Obama-era net neutrality rules...

On Tuesday, Trump announced his intent to nominate Brian Brooks to a five-year term as Comptroller of the Currency. Brooks currently holds the role in an acting capacity...

...“Whether it’s new sanctions against Iran or a pull-out from Afghanistan or FEC and Fed nominees, Trump’s goal right now is to sort of sabotage and make complicated a Biden administration to the maximum extent possible,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), adding that Senate Republicans “are along for the ride on all of it.”

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/19/senate-gop-trump-nominees-biden-437959

14lriley
Editat: nov. 19, 2020, 10:12am

#13--FWIW the republicans put through a federal judge yesterday who has only been a lawyer for something like 6 years and has never tried a case or even taken some part in one in an actual court in any capacity. It's like a fucking joke.

Is Mitch going to work with a Biden administration? Do pigs fly? Not unless he's getting something very tangible back. McConnell's job now is to make things so impossible for the Biden administration that people will end up thinking Joe got nothing done so to improve the chances of the republican nominee in 2024. The problem as well is Joe and democratic centrists think small--think also that being reasonable with republicans--compromising with them is good strategy.......and it's not. It's shit strategy.

What democrats should do is figure out what the population wants and start advocating for those things. The problem there is their fucking richest donors don't want those things advocated for.

15margd
nov. 19, 2020, 11:39am

Dozens of public health experts write to GSA:
“Every day the transition is delayed is a day the country cannot afford. Ensuring a rapid and smooth transition will save American lives.”

https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/2020.11.19_GSA_Pandemic_letter_FINAL.pdf

17margd
Editat: nov. 20, 2020, 4:38am

Hopefully, McCabe* is in a position to advise where the bodies are buried... I don't know about this guy, but in my experience, sometimes one finds unexpected allies in industry--and sometimes one is stabbed in back by bought colleagues who should have had one's back. :(

(My state has perhaps the most PFOA--makes a really dense, toxic foam on surface waters, which I think I've seen in spring flood. With Pb in Flint drinking water, PFOA sites widespread, ash piles on the Detroit River, etc., the state slogan "Pure Michigan" is increasingly incongruous. In precautionary move, current Governor DID pull easement for existing (Cdn) oil pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac (between L Michigan and L Huron).)

--------------------------------------------------​

Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency team will also review the Chemical Safety Board.
Patrice Simms, Team Lead, Earthjustice
Amanda Aguirre, Blue Crab Strategies
Ann Dunkin, Dell Technologies
Matt Fritz, Latham & Watkins, LLP
Lisa Garcia, Grist Magazine, Inc.
Cynthia Giles, Harvard Env & Energy Law Program
Joseph Goffman, Harvard Law School
Ken Kopocis, American U, Washington College of Law
*Michael McCabe*, Self-employed
Billie McGrane, PA Democratic Party
Alejandra Nunez, The Sierra Club
Luseni Pieh, Self-employed

18margd
nov. 19, 2020, 4:09pm

Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges Trump to stop delaying transition to Biden administration
Paul Davidson | Nov 19, 2020

The...Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce..., which typically has favored Republican candidates who support lower taxes and fewer regulations, joins a chorus of business groups imploring Trump to stop delaying the transition to the next president while he challenges the vote counts in multiple states.

“President-elect Biden and the team around him have a wealth of executive branch experience that should allow them to hit the ground running,” chamber CEO Tom Donohue said in a statement provided to Axios. “While the Trump administration can continue litigating to confirm election outcomes, for the sake of American safety and well-being, it should not delay the transition a moment longer.”...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/11/19/trump-biden-stop-delaying-transi...

19margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:23am

Lame duck fly in soup

"In order to get back at" Dems, people will die, democracy is undermined, national security is jeopardized?
Poutine must be smiling: what a useful baby/idiot.

Trump told ally he's trying to get back at Democrats for questioning legitimacy of his own election
Dana Bash and Gloria Borger | November 19, 2020

(CNN)President Donald Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/19/politics/trump-democrats-election/index.html

20margd
Editat: nov. 20, 2020, 4:39am

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

21margd
nov. 20, 2020, 12:30pm

Merrick Garland Among Biden Candidates For Attorney General, Sources Say
Carrie Johnson | November 20, 2020

...Garland, 68, is the widely respected former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He launched his career at the Justice Department decades ago.

Garland oversaw the prosecution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and gained significant management experience inside the sprawling department in the 1990s.

More recently, Garland was nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

...Supporters said Garland could play a similar role (restore DOJ honor and integrity), if he could be enticed to leave his lifetime-tenured appointment on the federal bench. Garland joins a number of other department veterans on the Biden short list for attorney general, including former Obama deputy attorney general Sally Yates; former civil rights chief Deval Patrick, and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, among others.

https://www.npr.org/sections/biden-transition-updates/2020/11/20/937043662/merri...

22bohemima
nov. 21, 2020, 2:31pm

Just a vivid reminder of the man in the White House

https://twitter.com/cmclymer/status/1330166417015132163

23margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:21am

State

Antony Blinken: Biden's secretary of state nominee is sharp break with Trump era
A born internationalist, Blinken will seek to soothe the frayed nerves of western allies
Julian Borger | Mon 23 Nov 2020

After reports first emerged on Sunday night that Antony Blinken would be US secretary of state in the Biden administration, one particular interview from his past began circulating on social media.*

It was a September 2016 conversation with Grover, a character from Sesame Street, on the subject of refugees, directed at American children who might have new classmates from faraway countries.

“We all have something to learn and gain from one another even when it doesn’t seem at first like we have much in common,” Blinken told the fuzzy blue puppet.

After four years of an administration that has separated migrant children from their parents and kept them in cages, Blinken’s arrival at the state department will mark a dramatic change, to say the least...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/23/antony-blinken-joe-biden-secreta...

* https://twitter.com/mimirose101/status/1330679300014682112

24margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:22am

UN

Biden expected to pick longtime diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to U.N.
Pamela Falk | November 23, 2020

United Nations — President-elect Biden is expected to announce that he's chosen longtime diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, two sources confirm to CBS News. The announcement could come Tuesday.

Thomas-Greenfield is part of Mr. Biden's transition team and is expected to focus on helping to restore trust and professionalism to the State Department, with a particular focus on diversity.

Thomas-Greenfield was a foreign service officer in administrations dating back to President Reagan's, was an ambassador to Liberia and was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2013-2017...In selecting Thomas-Greenfield, a distinguished career diplomat, over others thought to be in the mix, such as former South Bend, Indiana Mayor and Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg, Mr. Biden is telling the world's leaders that U.S. foreign relations will be more steak than sizzle...

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/linda-thomas-greenfield-biden-expected-us-un-ambass...

25margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:21am

Lame duck fly in soup--Open Skies Treaty

Must have been a directive from the great Poutini...

Trump Exits Open Skies Treaty, Moves to Discard Observation Planes
Without specialized aircraft and equipment, Biden administration would have difficult time re-entering post-Cold War pact
Mihael R Gordon | Nov. 22, 2020

The Trump administration formally shut the door on the Open Skies treaty Sunday, exiting the agreement while moving to get rid of the U.S. Air Force planes that have been used to carry out the nearly three-decade-old accord...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-exits-open-skies-treaty-moves-to-discard-obse...

26lriley
nov. 23, 2020, 11:14am

Like Thomas-Greenfield more than Blinken to be honest and I don't see any reason why Buttigieg would be in the running for UN Ambassador.

27John5918
Editat: nov. 23, 2020, 10:58pm

Reposted in a different thread.

28margd
nov. 24, 2020, 11:40am

Who are Joe Biden's top cabinet picks?
(Thankfully short) Profiles of the people expected to take key posts in the Biden administration
Martin Belam | 24 Nov 2020

Biden picks first women and first Latino for key cabinet roles

Anthony Blinken – secretary of state

Janet Yellen – treasury secretary

Alejandro Mayorkas – secretary of homeland security

Linda Thomas-Greenfield – US ambassador to the United Nations

John Kerry – special presidential envoy for climate

Avril Haines – director of national intelligence

Jake Sullivan – national security adviser

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/24/who-are-joe-biden-top-cabinet-pi...

29margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:20am

Lame duck fly in soup...Open Skies Treaty.

Debra Messing @DebraMessing | 11:58 PM · Nov 24, 2020
#Trump Lost the Election and proceeds to pull OUT of the Open Skies Treaty
which allowed the US to fly over Russia to survail their military operations. 45 PULLED OUT.
You say “well Biden can just join again on Jan 20.”
45 is DESTROYING the PLANES used to surveil! So, (1/2)

if #Biden rejoins the Treaty, he WON’T HAVE THE EQUIPMENT TO DO IT! He is literally SABOTAGING our national security. Trump is destroying BILLIONS of dollars of military equipment.

Who benefits? Putin, of course.
Trump’s final gift to #Putin.(Sights toward Trump Moscow.)
--------------------------------------------------​
Heidi Cuda @Heidi_Cuda | 6:03 PM · Jun 6, 2020:
GRAND BARGAIN: In Nov. 2019, at a NATO officers’ briefing on Russian subversion, this slide was shown.
I want you to review it carefully.
As Putin’s employee, Trump is marking these “consistent Russian aims” off his checklist 1 by 1.
His time is limited, the damage, malignant.
Image: Case Study US. Consistent Russian Aims. ( https://twitter.com/Heidi_Cuda/status/1269389413076721664/photo/1 )

30margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:19am

Lame duck fly in soup...Cares Act.

Mnuchin Plans to Put $455 Billion Beyond Yellen’s Easy Reach
Saleha Mohsin | November 24, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will put $455 billion in unspent Cares Act funding into an account that his presumed successor, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, will soon need authorization from Congress to use.

...President-elect Joe Biden's... transition team last week called Mnuchin’s demand for the return of funds from the Fed “deeply irresponsible,” but Mnuchin has denied that he was attempting to limit Biden’s options for reviving the economy.

...leaves just under $80 billion available in the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund, a pot of money that can be used with some discretion by the Treasury chief...

Any move by Yellen to take the money back out of the general account and into the stabilization fund would likely trigger a wave of Republican protests -- a battle she may prefer to avoid early in her tenure.

The money in question includes $429 billion that Mnuchin is clawing back from the Fed -- which backed some of the central bank’s emergency lending facilities -- and $26 billion that Treasury received for direct loans to companies. Both initiatives were created under the Cares Act that was passed in March as the coronavirus pandemic inflicted economic pain on the U.S.

The Cares Act spelled out some limitations for the deployment of unused funds beyond Jan. 1, 2021, without specifically mentioning whether that money could be parked in the Treasury’s general account. The law does specify that unused money on Jan. 1, 2026, needed to be put in the general account and used for “deficit reduction.”

Mnuchin sent a letter to Powell last week asking for the return of money provided to the Fed as a backstop that allowed the central bank to lend to certain markets in times of stress. The Fed publicly objected to the move, but agreed to return the funds to the Treasury.

Mnuchin...said that many markets are no longer in danger of seizing up and don’t need aid beyond next month, when the programs are scheduled to expire...the funds can be better applied to specific areas of the economy with the greatest need, through congressionally approved grants...travel, entertainment and restaurants...

Mnuchin isn’t required to move the money into the General Fund -- the Cares Act indicates that the Treasury Department can maintain access to the money by keeping it in its Exchange Stabilization Fund until 2026...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-24/mnuchin-to-put-455-billion-in...

31lriley
nov. 25, 2020, 9:10am

#29--personally I think we should close down a large % of our overseas bases and get out of Afghanistan and the Middle East. As far as surveilling the Russians--it's not likely we're going to be lobbing nuclear missiles at each other any time soon. Really though I'm sure we surveil lots of shit other than nuclear and chemical plants and military bases I'm just not sure that I would go as far as to say it's for the greater part really worthwhile. Our military budget takes up over 50% of the overall budget. Kind of like the defund the police thing--I'm also into the defund the military camp. I lost interest in us being the world's policeman decades ago. Our economy has taken a major ass pummeling with this Covid thing--needless military expenditures should absolutely be stopped and the first place to start with that isn't the soldiers and sailors it's the military industrial complex and all the parasitical contractors, think tanks, lobbying groups and other entities that feed off of us being a war machine.

32margd
Editat: nov. 25, 2020, 9:46am

>31 lriley: Satellite photos are incredibly detailed--I wondered how much more info a plane can gather?

Still, withdrawing from a treaty and eliminating options for incoming administration is NOT something a lame duck should be doing, IMO.

Truly amazing how many times Trump has delivered on Poutini's wish list--and continues to do so:
https://twitter.com/Heidi_Cuda/status/1269389413076721664/photo/1

33John5918
nov. 25, 2020, 10:01am

>31 lriley:

I agree with much of what you say about demiltarisation. However I think the point of a lot of these treaties is as a confidence-building measure between potential rivals rather than for its actual military value. Withdrawing from international and multilateral treaties, whether military or otherwise, is not a good signal to be giving.

34margd
nov. 25, 2020, 10:21am

THIS, after confirming SO MANY sketchy Trump nominees??? Next thing you know he'll be a deficit hawk! :D

Marco Rubio @marcorubio | 9:08 AM · Nov 24, 2020
Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools,
have strong resumes,
attend all the right conferences &
will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline

I support American greatness

And I have no interest in returning to the “normal” that left us dependent on China

35lriley
nov. 25, 2020, 11:43am

#32--I might as well say (and this is minority opinion for sure) I'm not a fan of NATO or at least our continuing predominance in it. To continue in it I would want some European nation or two stepping up and us just being support behind it. I get your point that Trump doing this on the way out of office is fucked up but if it were me--we'd have been heading down this direction all along. We have well over 1000 overseas military bases of one kind or another and IMO most of them should be shuttered and a Covid economy is even more reason to be doing such. I get things like the South Korean listening station which would give us a heads up if North Korea launched but generally the Generals and Admirals and lobbyists and military industrial multinationals are grifters in my eyes and IMO we shouldn't be so gun happy as we are--not just here but manufacturing and sales to other nations just makes the world a more unstable place. I think diplomacy--finding mutual goals is the way to go about foreign policy even with adversarial regimes. Russia always come up--sometimes China and as bad as that can get I find our middle eastern policy as relating to Israel/Palestine or the kid gloves to the Saudi's or the belligerence vis-a-vis to the Iranians as exasperating as anything and then we can go on to Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia--I don't what the hell we're up to but it's always stupid and IMO doesn't have to be that way. Give them some breathing space.

36margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:24am

Lame duck fly in soup (EPA)

E.P.A.’s Final Deregulatory Rush Runs Into Open Staff Resistance
While the Environmental Protection Agency’s career scientists are more openly challenging the Trump administration’s rules and rollbacks, the E.P.A.’s administrator is working speedily to ensure its legacy.
Lisa Friedman | Nov. 27, 2020

...With two months left of the Trump administration, career E.P.A. employees find themselves where they began, in a bureaucratic battle with the agency’s political leaders. But now, with the Biden administration on the horizon, they are emboldened to stymie Mr. Trump’s goals and to do so more openly.

(Before his Sept retirement, Dr. Thomas Sinks directed the E.P.A.’s science advisory office and later managed the agency’s rules and data around research that involved people...issue(d) a blistering official opinion that the pending rule — which would require the agency to ignore or downgrade any medical research that does not expose its raw data (including patient private info)— will compromise American public health.)...by entering the critique as part of the official Trump administration record on the new rule, Dr. Sinks’s dissent will offer Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s E.P.A. administrator a powerful weapon to repeal the so-called “secret science” policy. (“Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science”)

E.P.A. career employees this month also quietly emailed out the results of a new study concluding that the owners of half a million diesel pickup trucks had illegally removed their emissions control technology, leading to huge increases in air pollution. And some senior E.P.A. staff members have engaged in back-channel conversations with the president-elect’s transition team as they waited for Mr. Trump to formally approve the official start of the presidential transition, two agency employees acknowledged.

...Mr. Biden’s team has focused on preparing a rapid assault on the Trump administration’s deregulatory legacy and re-establishing air and water protections and methane emissions controls.

...guidance documents can give an administration some license to interpret laws in ways that advance their policy agenda...not legally binding, but they do stand as the official policy of a government agency until they are formally withdrawn or changed. Under the new guidance document rule, the E.P.A. would have to formally issue a new regulation in order to withdraw the guidance — a lengthy legal process that can take months or even years, meaning that until it is complete, those Trump guidance documents will stand as the official policies of the Biden administration.

Jody Freeman, a professor of environmental law at Harvard and a former adviser to the Obama administration, called the rule a “little I.E.D.,” referring to an improvised explosive device, or roadside bomb, aimed at slowing a Biden administration’s plans to overturn Mr. Trump’s rules.

“Shenanigans like these are what awaits the Biden team,” she said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/27/climate/epa-trump-biden.html

37margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:24am

Lame duck fly in soup--distraction

Trump considering announcing 2024 run during Biden inauguration — report
US president reportedly exploring how to best time declaration of intention to seek presidency in four years, brags that networks will cover him over ‘boring’ successor
Times of Israel | 11/29/2020

https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-considering-announcing-2024-run-during-biden...

38margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:23am

Lame duck fly in soup--civil service

Make America incompetent again? Trump wants to ruin our merit-based federal jobs system.
Trump wants to bring back a corrupt system of political patronage. Congress and Joe Biden must undo this attack on the capability of our government.
Max Stier | Nov 29, 2020

Federal agencies across the government are quietly moving ahead with an 11th hour plan to fill vacant, nonpartisan career jobs with political appointees as well as fire and replace civil servants with individuals loyal to President Donald Trump.

With only two months to go before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, agencies are rushing to implement an executive order that would undermine the merit-based, nonpartisan civil service system, eviscerate employee due process rights and replace professionals with partisans.

Although the Oct. 21 executive order has brought congressional scrutiny and legal challenges, and would most likely be rescinded by Biden, Trump administration appointees are hoping to place as many allies as possible into key government positions as they head for the exits.

...it allows political appointees to shoot the messenger and weakens the principle that federal employees must be secure in their jobs and feel free to speak truth to power. (A career Food and Drug Administration expert could be punished for making recommendations regarding a coronavirus vaccine that run counter to the promises made by politicians. A Federal Aviation Administration employee could be sidelined for recommending that an unsafe aircraft be grounded, or an Environmental Protection Agency employee could be penalized for suggesting a new chemical contaminant in drinking water poses a health hazard.)

...Contrary to the myth and the administration’s rationale, it is possible to remove federal employees for poor performance or misconduct — more than 9,500 federal employees were terminated in 2019.

Late last week, it was reported that Russ Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, has reclassified 88% of that agency’s career 425 employees, making them vulnerable to arbitrary ouster and replacement.

Our government already has 4,000 politically appointed positions, more than any other major democracy, and includes more than 1,200 requiring Senate confirmation...

...this new executive order, drafted secretly without informing or consulting with Congress and relevant employee groups and other stakeholders, is an assault on our civil service, the core to our system of government and democratic institutions. Congress should act now on a bipartisan basis to reassert its legislative authority and stop this irresponsible executive order, and the incoming Biden team should prioritize undoing this attack on the capability of our government.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/11/29/trump-plan-gut-civil-service-b...

--------------------------------------------------​

Executive Order on Creating Schedule F In The Excepted Service
Issued on: October 21, 2020
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-creating-schedul...

39margd
Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:16am

Press / communications

Joe Biden's Entirely Female WH Communications Team Includes Ex-Bernie Sanders Press Sec
Christina Zhao | 11/29/20

...Jen Psaki, who was named as the White House press secretary, had served under the Obama administration...

Symone Sanders was named as senior adviser and chief spokeswoman for the vice president. She previously worked as a senior adviser on Biden's 2020 campaign after serving as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign press secretary.

...

https://www.newsweek.com/joe-bidens-entirely-female-wh-communications-team-inclu...

40margd
nov. 30, 2020, 7:16am

CIA

Yashar Ali (NY Mag) yashar | 8:13 PM · Nov 29, 2020
...NYT confirms Biden is considering Darrell Blocker for CIA Director

Blocker served for 28 years at CIA mostly in the clandestine service. He was Chief of Africa division and served multiple times as Chief of Station

He would be the first Black person to serve as CIA Director

Image--portrait photo ( https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1333217598645825537/photo/1 )

41margd
nov. 30, 2020, 11:03am

Inauguration Committee

Biden announces leaders of inauguration planning committee
Morgan Chalfant - 11/30/20

...
Tony Allen, the president of Delaware State University, as chief executive officer of the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC).
Maju Varghese, the Biden campaign’s chief operating officer, will serve as executive director of the committee and both
Erin Wilson, a top Biden campaign aide, and
Yvanna Cancela, a Nevada elected representative, will work as deputy executive directors...

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/527941-biden-announces-leaders-of-inaugura...

42margd
des. 2, 2020, 5:55am

The Supreme Court Wants to Revive a Doctrine That Would Paralyze Biden’s Administration
It could cripple even the most basic government functions.
Hannah Mullen and Sejal Singh | Dec 01, 2020

Joe Biden promised us an FDR-sized presidency—starting with bold action to halt the spread of COVID-19, end the worst economic downturn in decades, and stop the climate crisis. Biden could use regulation and executive action to move quickly to decarbonize the economy, cancel student loan debt, and raise wages. But a Biden administration has an even bigger problem than two long-shot special elections in Georgia: the new 6–3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court may soon burn down the federal government’s regulatory powers.

At least five conservative justices have signaled that they are eager to revive the “non-delegation doctrine,” the constitutional principle that Congress can’t give (“delegate”) too much lawmaking power to the executive branch. On paper, the rule requires Congress, when delegating power to an agency, to articulate an “intelligible principle” (like air pollution regulation needed “to protect public health”) to guide the agency’s exercise of that power. But in practice, the nondelegation doctrine is effectively dead. The court has only struck down two statutes on nondelegation grounds—and none since 1935...

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/12/supreme-court-gundy-doctrine-adminis...

43LiamRowe
des. 2, 2020, 6:21am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

44margd
des. 3, 2020, 4:19pm

NEW: Dr. Fauci will stay in his position at NIH during the Biden administration.

- Brian Tyler Cohen @briantylercohen12:47 PM · Dec 3, 2020

45margd
des. 5, 2020, 7:48am

Pentagon blocked Biden's intelligence transition team from meeting with agencies
Alex Marquardt, Ryan Browne and Nicole Gaouette | December 4, 2020

...Last week, arrangements were made for Biden's Agency Review Team to meet with the various defense intelligence agencies this week...

But early in the week, word came from the Pentagon that the Biden team would have no engagement with defense intelligence agencies until it had submitted questions in advance and listed the names of the people with whom it wanted to interact.

At that point, the Biden team's requests would be reviewed by the Defense Department's general counsel and Kash Patel,* the Trump loyalist appointed to lead the Pentagon's transition last month amid President Donald Trump's purge of civilian leadership at the department.

"That's a big FU from Defense to the incoming intelligence community transition team," the former official said.

...The Defense Department's stand on the issue has angered Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, according to the former intelligence official, who said Ratcliffe intended to take the issue to the White House....

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/04/politics/pentagon-biden-transition-intelligence/i...

--------------------------------------------------​

* Trump loyalist connected to Biden conspiracy theories is leading Pentagon transition
Barbara Starr and Zachary Cohen | November 24, 2020

Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist who was connected to efforts to spread conspiracy theories about Joe Biden, has been put in charge of the Pentagon transition effort and will oversee coordination with the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

Patel, a former aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, currently serves as chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller..

The House impeachment inquiry uncovered evidence connecting Patel, who was then working as an aide to Nunes, to the diplomatic back channel led by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and the efforts to spread conspiracy theories about Joe Biden and coerce Ukraine into announcing an investigation of the former vice president.

He has also worked to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Patel, who most recently served as senior director for counterterrorism at the White House National Security Council...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/24/politics/kash-patel-pentagon-transition/index.htm...

46Aimee01
des. 5, 2020, 7:53am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

47margd
des. 5, 2020, 8:06am

How Do You Solve a Problem Like John Durham?
Bill Barr has played a dirty trick on his successor—one that will put the next attorney general in a genuine bind.
Benjamin Wittes | December 4, 2020

...Barr—having already had Durham pursue a non-criminal review of Justice Department and FBI conduct and having given him a sweeping jurisdictional mandate to investigate anything he wants—now gives him an extra-regulatory requirement to write about it all in public.

There’s a third clever thing about Barr’s appointment order for Durham: On the surface, at least, it closely resembles the appointment order for Mueller himself...This careful tracking of the Mueller appointment seems designed to make it awkward for a Democratic attorney general to come in and remove Durham or curtail his investigation.

...It is hard, given all of this, to disagree with former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal when he accuses Barr of attempting to “‘burrow’ his handpicked prosecutor into a new administration.”

...If Durham is not actively investigating live criminal matters, the investigation should be terminated. Special counsels don’t exist to write reports. They don’t exist to perform administrative reviews. They exist to investigate and prosecute cases. If there are no cases to prosecute here, then the appointment of Durham is improper and it should be revoked...

https://www.lawfareblog.com/how-do-you-solve-problem-john-durham

48margd
Editat: des. 7, 2020, 7:03am

CDC.

Biden picks infectious diseases specialist to lead CDC: report
Joseph Choi | 12/06/20

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Politico reported Sunday, citing two sources.

Biden’s choice to lead the CDC will be crucial as he is set to inherit a global pandemic upon assuming office on Jan. 20.

Walensky, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will replace current CDC Director Robert Redfield, who has held the position since March 2018, if confirmed.

...As part of her work, Walensky has studied the effectiveness of a potential coronavirus vaccine. She recently completed a study in partnership with Yale University looking at the efficacy rates of the coronavirus vaccines on a general population. Using a model they developed, the research team found that regardless of a vaccine’s effectiveness, the timing of its distribution was just as important to combating the pandemic...

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/528989-biden-picks-infectious-diseas...
--------------------------------------------------​

President-elect Joe Biden has selected Rochelle Walensky, the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on AIDS and HIV... https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/06/rochelle-walensky-cdc-biden-443384
--------------------------------------------------​

Michael Mina @michaelmina_lab | 8:48 PM · Dec 6, 2020:
NEWS
Is Rapid Frequent #COVID19 testing going to be a key component under new CDC Leadership?
The just named incoming CDC director @RWalensky is the senior author of an influential study (with @ADPaltiel) showing the huge benefits of frequent testing.

A. David Paltiel, Amy Zheng, Rochelle P. Walensky. 2020. Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Screening Strategies to Permit the Safe Reopening of College Campuses in the United States. JAMA Netw Open. July 31, 2020; 3(7):e2016818. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16818 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/10.1001/jamanetwork...
__________________________________________________​

HHS.

Biden Picks California Attorney General Xavier Becerra For Top Health Post
Franco Ordoñez and Tamara Keith | December 6, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former congressman and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (62) as secretary of Health and Human Services...

As the top law enforcement official in California, Becerra has repeatedly gone to court to fight Trump administration policies on healthcare, the environment and immigration. Earlier this year, he led a coalition of 20 states and D.C. that asked the Supreme Court to review a circuit court decision that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act.

...(If Rs maintain control of Senate) strengthening the ACA will require administrative and executive action, and Becerra's experience as California attorney general could prove useful. He holds a law degree from Stanford....

https://www.npr.org/sections/biden-transition-updates/2020/12/06/943714981/biden...

49margd
des. 8, 2020, 8:41am

Lindsey Graham Says Senate Will NOT Confirm Any Biden AG Nominee Who Will Investigate Trump's Crimes (10:37)
Glenn Kirschner (NBC, MSNBC) • Dec 7, 2020

In a staggering abuse of office, Senator Lindsey Graham tells Fox network's Sean Hannity that the Senate will not confirm any Attorney General nominated by Joe Biden if that nominee says he/she will continue to investigate possible crimes committed by Donald Trump. There is a term for someone who knows a crime has been committed against the United States and attempts to shield the perpetrator from accountability: Accessory After the Fact, 18 United States Code Section 3. Here's what it all means . . .

https://youtu.be/2EnN3MlFrdI via YouTube

50margd
des. 12, 2020, 7:06am

How Biden aims to Covid-proof his administration
ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN and DANIEL LIPPMAN | 12/09/2020

...Small and infrequent public events. Repeated testing of staff, reporters and the president-elect. Aides debating policies and Cabinet picks without ever meeting face-to-face. Preparations for a pared-down, mostly virtual inauguration.

Joe Biden’s team has meticulously carried the virus safety practices of his campaign over to the transition. And his staff plans to take that approach to the White House on move-in day — intent on setting a good example for the country and avoiding the dangerous and embarrassing outbreaks of Covid-19 that have infected dozens in President Donald Trump’s inner circle...

...The team only plans to have a skeleton staff working on campus at first, with most continuing to work remotely from home. They also plan to have the building — which has seen numerous virus outbreaks among staffers and top officials this year— meticulously sanitized..."thoroughly clean and disinfect" all furniture, doorknobs, handrails and light switches, before Biden and his team move in. Additionally, a private contractor will provide "disinfectant misting services" to clear the air of lingering droplets. (margd: almost certainly, some Secret Service people and household staff will test positive after Inauguration Day.)

...Nicole Lurie, a former HHS assistant secretary of emergency and preparedness under the Obama administration...“I think the social penalties for non-mask wearing will be great. Instead of people being ridiculed for wearing masks, they’ll be pressured in the other direction. It’ll be hard to be in a meeting and not wear a mask or social distance.”

Thus far, those sorts of protocols have worked — preventing the 78-year-old Biden and nearly everyone in his circle from getting sick — but they have not been easy.

It’s been challenging to build camaraderie and put together teams that mesh well when everyone is remote...

And while the team gained access to publicly-funded office space in the Commerce Department and the Pentagon when the General Services Administration certified Biden the election winner on Nov. 23, the vast majority of Biden staff are still working from home, and everything from policy committee meetings to high-level interviews for administration positions are mostly conducted over video.

...safety protocols are reassessed at least every two weeks

...all the reporters in his press pool have to swab their own noses for rapid testing provided by CVS, and the president-elect himself regularly undergoes PCR testing with publicly reported results. Staffers wear masks at all times — indoors and outdoors.

When two aides of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris tested positive for the virus in October, she and her husband canceled all her events for the rest of the week, and didn’t resume campaigning until she received multiple consecutive negative tests. Everyone who had traveled with the two aides were also tested multiple times, even if they hadn’t been in close contact.

...the podium is sanitized between speakers.

...the vast majority...are working remotely...many high-level meetings have taken place over a combination of phone calls and video chats.

This hybrid approach was on full display on Tuesday, when Biden unveiled his health care team from the stage of the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del. His picks for Surgeon General and Covid-19 coordinator joined Biden in person for the event, while HHS Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra and chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci beamed into the event to deliver their remarks via video.

...Just as they’re stressing to the public they’ll have to keep up onerous social distancing, mask-wearing, frequent testing and remote work for several months after vaccines start to roll out, the incoming administration is preparing to do so themselves...

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/09/biden-covid-safety-transition-444040

51Limelite
des. 12, 2020, 6:55pm

Atlanta Mayor Declines Biden Offer of Cabinet Position

“Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was honored to have been offered a role in the Cabinet, which she respectfully declined,” Rashad Taylor, Bottoms’ senior adviser, said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

No comment on what position she was offered. Nor was she offered an ambassadorship, although rumors circulated she might be offered the Bahamas.
Several prominent Georgia Democrats have reported that Bottoms was in the running to lead the Small Business Administration, a Cabinet level post.


A strong proponent, advocate, and spin-room jockey on behalf of the Biden campaign, one can arguably say that the coalition between Mayor Bottoms and voting rights activist, Stacey Abrams, is what assured Biden's victory in GA. Bottoms has consistently said she intends to run for reelection after her term expires in '21. Perhaps she and Abrams have a pact of understanding to put Abrams in the Georgia Governor's Mansion and push the state firmly in the blue column for 2023, just in time to deliver GA to the Democratic candidate in 2024.

52aspirit
des. 13, 2020, 11:37am

>51 Limelite: Biden picking people currently serving positions is one of the strangest moves in building of next year's administration. It reminds me of the US Military's tendency to elevate people through the ranks until they're in a position where they can no longer be an effective leader.

Anyway, I'm relieved Mayor Lance Bottoms is staying in Atlanta, where she is badly needed. Georgia has other people with government experience who aren't currently tied to a job that impacts millions of citizens.

53margd
des. 16, 2020, 3:43am

Biden taps former EPA head Gina McCarthy as domestic 'climate czar': reports
Rebecca Beitsch - 12/15/20

...(Gina) McCarthy, who served as EPA chief during former President Obama’s second term, will take a role designed to serve as a counterpart to special envoy John Kerry, who will represent the U.S. as a "climate czar" on international matters.

Like Kerry, McCarthy’s role as White House Climate Policy Coordinator is a first of its kind position. Based in the White House, McCarthy will help oversee Biden’s commitment to ensure a “whole of government approach” on climate change, considering climate action within every government agency. She will also help him follow through on a pledge to help the U.S. reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

McCarthy comes to the role from the Natural Resources Defense Council. She has used her perch at one of the nation’s largest environmental groups to serve as a vocal critic of numerous Trump-era environmental rollbacks...

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/530385-biden-taps-mccarthy-for-dom...

54margd
des. 16, 2020, 4:36am

Why does Pete Buttigieg want to be transportation secretary?
Chris Cillizza | December 15, 2020

...Why would Pete Buttigieg, who came from nowhere to become a top-tier candidate in the 2020 presidential race, agree to be the transportation secretary in the now-forming administration of President-elect Joe Biden? Isn't that a little, well, small, for someone of Buttigieg's political abilities and ambitions?

1) The highest office that Buttigieg has ever held is as the mayor of his hometown of South Bend, Indiana -- population 101,000.... Assuming he is confirmed, Buttigieg will be in charge of a department with 55,000 employees.

2) Biden has made rebuilding America's infrastructure a key goal of his presidency.

3) The proposed Biden Cabinet doesn't have a lot of proven TV communicators...Buttigieg...very good on TV...sell (Admin) priorities....

4) Buttigieg is a nerd...Heck, Buttigieg used to talk about South Bend's "smart sewer" program on the stump in the presidential race!...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/15/politics/pete-buttigieg-joe-biden-transportation-...

55margd
Editat: des. 18, 2020, 12:48pm

Article says former Mich Guv has "deep interest in energy issues". Seems to me that in her era especially, a lot of our electricity in MI came from coal, and our auto industry wasn't been exactly progressive in matters of MPG? Maybe her presence is meant to allay fears? Hopefully her deep interest truly is in reducing C emissions?

Biden poised to nominate former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to lead Department of Energy
Jeff Zeleny, Dan Merica and Kate Sullivan | December 15, 2020

...Prior to being elected (Michigan) governor, Granholm was elected as the state's attorney general in 1998, and was also the first woman to serve in that role.

Granholm, if confirmed by the Senate, would help Biden carry out his ambitious energy plan. The President-elect has proposed spending $2 trillion over four years on clean energy projects and ending carbon emissions from power plants by 2035. The plan would create union jobs in clean energy and through projects such as the construction of electric vehicle charging stations, updating electric grids, expanding broadband internet access and more.

As governor of Michigan, Granholm had worked closely with the auto industry, the dominant industry in the Great Lakes State, which could help Biden as he attempts to move the country toward electric vehicles.

During the 2008 financial crisis, Granholm found herself in the national spotlight as she pushed for an auto industry bailout. Biden and Granholm worked closely to implement the recovery act in those early years of the Obama administration. Biden often talks about this work to save auto jobs, many of which came from Michigan.

In addition to overseeing the nation's energy supply, the US Department of Energy is tasked with maintaining a safe and secure nuclear deterrent and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/15/politics/jennifer-granholm-biden-energy-secretary...

__________________________________________________​
ETA: I didn't know!

Collective sigh of relief from environmentalists after Biden’s energy secretary pick
Louise Boyle | Dec 17, 2020

As Michigan’s governor, Jennifer Granholm pushed for an auto industry bailout following the 2008 financial crisis, and she has advocated for America to develop zero-emission vehicles

...As word of Ms Granholm’s nomination filtered out, climate and environmental organisations lauded the pick.

Collin Rees, senior campaigner at advocacy group Oil Change US, said in a statement: “Jennifer Granholm is an experienced leader with a strong record of support for renewable energy and opposition to the disastrous Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

"She understands the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to confront the fossil fuel industry, previously stating, ‘We ought to be doing everything we possibly can to keep fossil fuel energy in the ground and develop renewables.’

Natalie Mebane, associate director of policy at climate group 350.org, said that “Granholm has a long history supporting a just transition to a renewable energy economy”.

“She supported clean energy initiatives in her two terms as Governor and strived to diversify Michigan's economy, including urging the production of more electric vehicles, while moving away from fossil fuels toward solar and wind,” the statement noted....

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/biden-energy-secretary-...

56JamesSanders
des. 16, 2020, 5:58am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

57margd
des. 16, 2020, 2:01pm

Dr Fauci recommended that the President and VP be vaccinated. (President still under effect of Regeneron, so not appropriate yet.) If vaccinated now, only a few days of their terms will be protected from Coronavirus.
President Elect and VP Elect should also be vaccinated. NOW.

Member of Biden’s transition press corps tests positive for coronavirus
QUINT FORGEY | 12/16/2020 12:24 PM EST

A member of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition press corps tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, according to the White House Correspondents’ Association — potentially exposing incoming administration officials to the highly contagious disease just weeks from Inauguration Day.

The infected individual “is experiencing mild symptoms and is now isolating,” WHCA President Zeke Miller, a reporter for The Associated Press, said in a statement. The individual “had previously served in the protective pool on Monday and Tuesday.”

Medical advisers on Biden’s transition team “are still in the process of conducting contact tracing and evaluating potential close contacts,” Miller said, and a pool of journalists “that was not in contact with this individual” is in Delaware covering the president-elect.

In a separate statement, the president-elect’s office confirmed that the individual had traveled with Biden on Tuesday, but “was not ever in close contact” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “He also adhered to masking and social distancing guidelines at all times during the trip,” the transition team said...

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/16/biden-transition-press-corps-coronaviru...

58margd
des. 17, 2020, 1:55pm

"President Trump is on the verge of leaving behind a federal government, and perhaps a large number of major industries, compromised by the Russian government. He must use whatever leverage he can muster to protect the United States and severely punish the Russians."

I Was the Homeland Security Adviser to Trump. We’re Being Hacked.
The magnitude of this national security breach is hard to overstate.
Thomas P. Bossert | Dec. 16, 2020

...The Russians have had access to a considerable number of important and sensitive networks for six to nine months. The Russian S.V.R. will surely have used its access to further exploit and gain administrative control over the networks it considered priority targets. For those targets, the hackers will have long ago moved past their entry point, covered their tracks and gained what experts call “persistent access,” meaning the ability to infiltrate and control networks in a way that is hard to detect or remove.

While the Russians did not have the time to gain complete control over every network they hacked, they most certainly did gain it over hundreds of them. It will take years to know for certain which networks the Russians control and which ones they just occupy.

...While we must reserve our right to unilateral self-defense, allies must be rallied to the cause. The importance of coalitions will be especially important to punishing Russia and navigating this crisis without uncontrolled escalation.

President Trump is on the verge of leaving behind a federal government, and perhaps a large number of major industries, compromised by the Russian government. He must use whatever leverage he can muster to protect the United States and severely punish the Russians.

President-elect Joe Biden must begin his planning to take charge of this crisis. He has to assume that communications about this matter are being read by Russia, and assume that any government data or email could be falsified.

At this moment, the two teams must find a way to cooperate.

President Trump must get past his grievances about the election and govern for the remainder of his term. This moment requires unity, purpose and discipline. An intrusion so brazen and of this size and scope cannot be tolerated by any sovereign nation.

We are sick, distracted, and now under cyberattack.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/16/opinion/fireeye-solarwinds-russia-hack.html

59Limelite
des. 17, 2020, 4:45pm

First Native American Cabinet Member -- Deb Haaland

Highly qualified to be defender of Nation's public lands and waters and head the department that also also oversees the Bureau of Indian Education and is responsible for honoring the government’s trust responsibilities to tribes. She will set the tone for paying caring attention to the environment and elevating attention of First Americans. Administrative and budgetary slights in her resume are quantities that are traditionally handed off to career sub department heads. But, a culture of environmental concern for preservation and acknowledgment of First Citizens' special status within the US will be important and significant change and improvement over what has been perpetrated on the country's natural treasury.
“She has been a champion for our environment and public lands and has worked tirelessly to improve the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and Indian tribes,” more than 50 House Democrats wrote in a Nov. 16 letter to the president-elect.
(SNIP)
A former chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, Haaland currently heads one of five subcommittees of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has oversight over the Interior Department. She has been a fierce critic of the Trump administration’s pro-industry agenda on federal lands and is a vocal supporter of the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress last year. That resolution lays out a progressive framework to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, including specific language about protecting public lands and waters and restoring threatened ecosystems.

If confirmed, Haaland would take the Interior reins from David Bernhardt, a former oil and agricultural lobbyist who has played a key role in the Trump administration’s efforts to unravel protections for federal lands and imperiled species and who has faced accusations of meddling with agency science.

60lriley
des. 17, 2020, 4:49pm

#59--Haaland could be one of his best if not the best of his appointments. This is one that I really approve of. Good day for Biden here.

61aspirit
des. 17, 2020, 6:33pm

>60 lriley: I agree, except for one concern. Biden is again taking someone from the position she was elected to serve.

Voters in Haaland's district chose her to again represent them in the U.S. House next term. What happens if she does go to the Department of the Interior instead?

62lriley
des. 17, 2020, 6:50pm

#61--New Mexico Congressional District 1 has been a pretty safe democratic seat for some time. Before Haaland it was held by Michelle Lujan Grisham and before Lujan Grisham by Martin Heinrich. They usually win by anywhere from 15 to 25 points. Chance of Republicans taking that seat are kind of slim.

63kiparsky
des. 17, 2020, 7:40pm

>62 lriley: In addition, Dept. of Interior decisions are pretty critical for that region, so tapping Haaland for that position actually gives her region more clout in an area where they desperately need it and have been stiffed over and over again for far too long. Assuming that the voters there have good options for a new rep in congress - and they do - this is a really good move for that region.

>61 aspirit: What happens if she does go to the Department of the Interior instead?

What happens is a special election - so from what I can tell you're right, there will be a period where her district will not have a representative in congress, but this is not an unusual thing. It'll mean that the democratic majority in the house will be tight for a while, but I'm not sure if we'd be really wise to be heavily on legislative action in 2020.

It's not like pulling someone out of the Senate, where the votes to confirm cabinet and judges will be very important - IMO, it would be insane to nominate any Democratic senator during this term. But as long as we don't cut that House lead much further, we should be okay until a new rep can be voted in.

64lriley
des. 17, 2020, 8:20pm

#63--FWIW time to give back to the Sioux Mt. Rushmore and who better to do that than a Native American. They should decide whether the Presidential heads should stay or not.

65kiparsky
des. 17, 2020, 9:00pm

>64 lriley: Can't argue with that!

66margd
des. 19, 2020, 8:39am

...Biden team voices concern about 'abrupt halt' in Pentagon cooperation | Defense chief pushes back | Lawmakers question whether major cyberattack an act of war
Ellen Mitchell - 12/18/20

...President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team expressed concern Friday about what it described as an “abrupt halt” in cooperation with the Defense Department. “Our agency review teams continue making progress on a shortened timeline, and we’ve benefited from constructive cooperation within many departments and agencies, but we have met isolated resistance in some corners, including from political appointees within the Department of Defense,” Biden transition executive director Yohannes Abraham said..“We were concerned to learn this week about an abrupt halt in the already limited cooperation there, and as indicated by DOD earlier today, we expect that decision will be reversed...“Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break...In fact, we think it's important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period, as there's no time to spare.”

Transition team members were notified Thursday about canceled meetings and “immediately and appropriately escalated” the issue, Abraham said.

...The Pentagon...acknowledg(ed) that about 20 meetings with 40 officials were being rescheduled until after Jan. 1, but insisted cooperation was continuing, saying that documents would be given to Biden’s team during the pause. “After the mutually agreed upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today,” (acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller) said in a statement Friday. “Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition — this is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS...at no time has the Department canceled or declined any interview” with the Biden transition team, touting that 139 interview with 265 officials have already been conducted.

“Our key focus in the next two weeks is supporting essential requests for information on Operation Warp Speed and COVID-19 information to guarantee a flawless transition,” Miller said (margd: Huh? COVID is important, but...) Lawmakers are raising questions about whether the attack on the federal government widely attributed to Russia constitutes an act of war...

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/overnights/530926-overnight-defense-biden-tea...

67margd
des. 19, 2020, 1:42pm

The Proud Boys are using YouTube to organize violence at Joe Biden’s inauguration
On 'The War Room,' they glorify violence and tell members to 'revolt.'
Claire Goforth | Dec 17, 2020

..(Joe) Biggs, a Proud Boys organizer, has been on YouTube for years; his channel, SSG Joe Biggs, has nearly 14,000 subscribers. In July, Biggs posted the first of a new show called The War Boys. (Proud boys leader Enrique Tarrio) is a cohost. Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has been a guest.

..In a Nov. 20 episode of The War Boys, Tarrio encourages members of the all-male organization the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group to covertly attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration and "take over."

“Do whatever you got to do to fucking get your tickets,” he says. “You show up there in Biden gear and you turn his inauguration into a fucking circus, a sign of resistance, a sign of revolution….

“You fucking kick off this presidency with fucking fireworks.”...

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/proud-boys-youtube-inauguration/

68margd
des. 28, 2020, 10:25am

Biden will inherit hundreds of toxic waste Superfund sites, with climate threats looming
David Hasemyer, Inside Climate News and Lise Olsen, Texas Observer | Dec. 28, 2020

...The “Superfund” started out as a trust fund created by Congress in 1980 to finance cleanups, paid for by billions of dollars in taxes on the chemical and petroleum industries. Congress allowed the tax to expire 25 years ago.

Now, with the trust fund empty, Superfund has become the name of a drastically underfunded federal program responsible for ensuring the industries responsible for these toxic sites do the cleanup, if possible. The EPA shoulders the financial burden using budgeted funds at sites where responsible entities no longer exist or can’t be found.

President-elect Joe Biden will inherit 34 Superfund sites for which no reliable funding for cleanup exists, the largest backlog of “unfunded” sites in 15 years. The backlog has steadily grown under the Trump administration.

Biden will also assume responsibility for 945 Superfund sites identified last year by the Government Accountability Office as vulnerable to climate-related hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and rising sea level. The Trump administration stopped referring to climate change and all but ended consideration of these risks in overseeing Superfund sites.

...Click, tap or select a state/territory to see the Superfund sites vulnerable to climate change...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/biden-will-inherit-hundreds-toxic-waste-sup...

69margd
des. 29, 2020, 4:45am

Biden Admonishes Trump Administration Over ‘Obstruction’
Thomas Kaplan | Dec. 28, 2020

...President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said that his team had “encountered roadblocks” from political leaders at the Defense Department as well as at the Office of Management and Budget...

...“Right now, as our nation is in a period of transition, we need to make sure that nothing is lost in the handoff between administrations...My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies,” he continued. “We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries may try to exploit.”

...last week, during an event at which Mr. Biden criticized President Trump for playing down the Russian hacking of the federal government and private companies, Mr. Biden said, “The Defense Department won’t even brief us on many things.”

...even as Mr. Biden complained on Monday about a lack of cooperation from some political appointees in the Trump administration, he also offered praise for career federal government employees who have worked with members of his transition...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/us/politics/biden-trump-transition.html

70margd
gen. 1, 10:33am

Just this side of burrowing...

Secret Service to make changes to presidential detail to bring on agents who worked with Biden
Carol D. Leonnig | Dec. 30, 2020

...The Secret Service also took the unprecedented step of allowing the former detail leader to temporarily leave his job to become a White House political adviser. Anthony Ornato was hired as White House deputy chief of staff earlier this year. In that role, he helped coordinate a controversial June photo opportunity in which Trump strode defiantly across Lafayette Square to pose with a Bible after the park was forcibly cleared of peaceful protesters.

Ornato also helped coordinate numerous rallies across the country during the pandemic, per Trump’s wishes. The mass gatherings were blamed for increasing the spread of the coronavirus in some of the communities where they took place and left many in the ranks of the Secret Service infected or exposed.

More than 130 Secret Service officers and dozens of Secret Service agents helping to protect the president and vice president either tested positive for the coronavirus in 2020 or had to quarantine because of suspected contact with infected co-workers.

Ornato will be leaving the White House and is slated to return to the Secret Service to become the assistant director overseeing the agency’s Rowley Training Center, according to the people familiar with the changes, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe personnel decisions. The posting is prestigious but outside of the president’s immediate protection team...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-service-to-make-changes-to-presid...

71margd
gen. 4, 6:11am

All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory (Opinion)
Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld, the 10 living former U.S. secretaries of defense. | Jan. 3, 2021

...Transitions, which all of us have experienced, are a crucial part of the successful transfer of power. They often occur at times of international uncertainty about U.S. national security policy and posture. They can be a moment when the nation is vulnerable to actions by adversaries seeking to take advantage of the situation.

...at a time when U.S. forces are engaged in active operations around the world, it is all the more imperative that the transition at the Defense Department be carried out fully, cooperatively and transparently. Acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and his subordinates — political appointees, officers and civil servants — are each bound by oath, law and precedent to facilitate the entry into office of the incoming administration, and to do so wholeheartedly. They must also refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team.

We call upon them, in the strongest terms, to do as so many generations of Americans have done before them. This final action is in keeping with the highest traditions and professionalism of the U.S. armed forces, and the history of democratic transition in our great country.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/10-former-defense-secretaries-military-p...

72margd
gen. 5, 8:26am

The 7 things Biden should do first to tackle climate change
Adele Peters | 12-29-20

Rejoin the Paris agreement
Commit to slash emissions in half by 2030
Un-rollback Trump’s rollbacks
Make the recovery green
Create clean electricity standards
Make all new cars zero-emissions by 2035
Set standards for buildings and industry

https://www.fastcompany.com/90584774/the-7-things-biden-should-do-first-to-tackl...

73margd
Editat: gen. 5, 10:29am

From frying pan (Inauguration) into fire (UK's B117 shutdown through mid-February)?

A military plane used by Trump is due to land in Scotland the day before Biden's inauguration, a report says
Thomas Colson | Jan 5, 2021

A plane that President Donald Trump sometimes uses is scheduled to land in Scotland the day before Joe Biden's inauguration, a Scottish newspaper reported.

The Sunday Post reported that the US military plane is scheduled to land at Prestwick Airport, near Trump's Turnberry golf resort, on January 19.

Multiple reports have suggested that Trump is planning to skip Biden's inauguration to host a rival, attention-grabbing event at the same time.

A White House spokesman, Judd Deere, told Business Insider: "Anonymous sources who claim to know what the President is or is not considering have no idea. When President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20 he will let you know."...

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-plane-reportedly-heading-to-scotland-befor...

74Limelite
Editat: gen. 5, 1:46pm

I'd heard the rumor about Trump's "escape" to Scotland. But if GB is in strict lockdown, will he be allowed into the country, seeing as how he holds the record for Super Spreader-in-Chief?

If yes, I hope the Brits keep him under "guarded" quarantine for 14 days, which should neutralize any big plans of his, unless it's doing something to turn his $90M loss at his golf resort around with a fund raiser for his 2024 US prez campaign.

Better yet, I hope he tries to make the case for "Scottish" citizenship (British). Isn't his US citizenship status -- by his definition -- anchor baby? Can't you just see it -- Trump and Bojo on the golf course together? Buh-bye Lady Lindsey.

75mamzel
gen. 5, 2:39pm

Would the military plane just drop him off and return to the U.S. since he won't be pres any more?

76margd
gen. 5, 2:59pm

PM Sturgeon says golf isn't "essential business" which is requirement for entry. Surely though he can find some business excuse? Scotland was looking into in his finances so may not be desirable destination for him anyway?

77margd
gen. 5, 3:51pm

Iran issues Interpol arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing as tensions rise
James Crump, Gustaf Kilander | 1/5/2021

The Iranian government has filed a “red notice” with Interpol that requests the arrest of US president Donald Trump and 47 other American officials for the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps major general Qassem Soleimani on 3 January 2020.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is very seriously following up on pursuing and punishing those who ordered and executed this crime,” said Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as reported by Al Jazeera.

Interpol didn’t grant a previous arrest request by Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr, when he issued an international warrant in June for the arrest of Mr Trump and other officials at the Pentagon and US central command on “murder and terrorism charges”.

Rejecting the June request, Interpol said that its own constitution forbids it from taking on any "intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.

As Mr Trump leaves office on January 20, Iran hopes it will become easier to force him to face consequences for the killing of Mr Soleimani...

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-iran-arrest-...

78Limelite
gen. 5, 4:15pm

As if Iran didn't have its own other methods to achieve what it considers is justice in this circumstance. Nice political show for their citizens. No real intent to succeed behind it, though.

79MsMixte
gen. 5, 5:08pm

>75 mamzel: It's a bit complicated, but essentially any plane with the president aboard is 'Air Force One'. Once he stops being president, it's just another military aircraft, and if he's allowed to return on it, he'd have to pay. Ex-presidents do get a travel stipend: Chief Executives and up to two staff members are reimbursed for up to $1 million in costs annually. Spouses of former Presidents also are eligible for up to $500,000 per year for security and official travel.

It gets complicated to figure out how it would be billed. Supposedly they'd have to ship a Beast over, along with the normal SS complement. But at 1200 January 20, he's not longer entitled to use the Beast, nor is he entitled to the very large contingent of SS attached to him currently. Any equipment to which he is no longer entitled to use would return to the USA, and excess SS personnel would also return.

You may rest assured, however, that if Trump can keep grifting and soaking the taxpayers for any amount, that he will. That means he will almost certainly spend the rest of his life at a Trump property (assuming that he does not become a public charge in prison).

There's some interesting perks of being an ex-president, one of which is the establishment of a presidential library. There's a catch, though, for Trump: Office Space and Staffing Allowances: Starting six months after a President leaves office, the General Services Administration (GSA) provides funding to establish, furnish, and staff an official office anywhere in the U.S.

Because he's a loser, he's also not eligible for Federal Employee Health Benefits. You must be enrolled in the FEHB program for at least five years in order to continue health annuities, so he doesn't qualify.

80KAzevedo
gen. 5, 5:56pm

>79 MsMixte: Any ideas of the contents of a Trump Library?

Sorry, shouldn't hijack. Just can't help a giggle at the thought.

81kiparsky
gen. 5, 6:16pm

>80 KAzevedo: Here's some ideas that some people have come up with on just that topic...

82mikevail
gen. 5, 6:36pm

>80 KAzevedo:
The collected works of Albert Priddy? The Turner Diaries?

84KAzevedo
gen. 5, 9:44pm

>81 kiparsky: And they got the domain name!

85KAzevedo
gen. 5, 9:45pm

>82 mikevail:
>83 MsMixte:
Great choices. I should start a thread.

86margd
gen. 6, 9:23am

So-o with Dem Senate and House, as seems likely,

...Dems can now fully use the Congressional Review Act—which allows the new Dem Congress to rescind any Trump regulation or rule issued by Trump WH/agency in last “60* legislative days”—back to: 8/21/2020.

Dems can now repeal them all!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Review_Act

- Eric Feigl-Ding @DrEricDing | 12:15 AM · Jan 6, 2021

__________________________________________________​

Wikipedia says Congress HAS 60 days, not that it can only repeal regs and rules issued in last 60 days:

"...The law empowers Congress to review, by means of an expedited legislative process, new federal regulations issued by government agencies and, by passage of a joint resolution, to overrule a regulation. Once a rule is thus repealed, the CRA also prohibits the reissuing of the rule in substantially the same form or the issuing of a new rule that is substantially the same "unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the joint resolution disapproving the original rule" (5 U.S. Code § 801(b)(2)). Congress has a window of time lasting 60 legislative days (i.e., days that Congress is actually in session, rather than simple calendar days) to disapprove of any given rule by simple majority vote; otherwise, the rule will go into effect at the end of that period...avoids the ordinary 60-vote cloture requirement...Trump signed 14 resolutions..."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Review_Act

87Limelite
gen. 6, 12:45pm

Merrick Garland USAG!

His judgeship can now be safely replaced with Dems in control. Probably an African American for that federal judgeship. Biden's pick signals unbiased, honorable choice to restore integrity to DOJ.

Biden consummate politician to wait for GA Senate race to decide his man. All his appointments will be affirmed -- Merrick Garland gets his 5 years later.

Up yours, Moscow Mitch. Karma bites!

88kiparsky
gen. 6, 12:47pm

>87 Limelite: LOL. Biden does know how to put the knife in when he wants to.

89mamzel
Editat: gen. 7, 1:28pm

>79 MsMixte: Thanks for all that good info!

My vision of his presidential library: a marble copula with a single television endlessly scrolling his tweets.
On that note - glad to hear his twitter account, Facebook, and Instagram were shut down.

eta: Sorry I did not see the thread addressing the subject of his "presidential library".

90Limelite
gen. 7, 3:36pm

Biden Introduces DOJ Legal Team

From Wilmington Delaware, Biden introduced Merrick Garland as his attorney general pick and rounded out the nominees for "Team Justice," as it's called by him and his advisors.

Justice Department veteran, Lisa Monaco to the second-highest post, deputy attorney general. Monaco is the first woman assistant attorney general for national security and also served as White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser under Obama.

Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, currently heads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and was previously assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.

Kristen Clarke to fill that post in his administration. She is now president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Clarke also served in the Justice Department in the Civil Rights Division and as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division.

91JGL53
Editat: gen. 8, 3:01pm

Merrick Garland as A.G. - too god dam funny for words.

If not Mitch himself then maybe Garland can uncover the actual extent of criminal corruption by Mitch's wife and her family. Putting the wife away would not be the ultimate revenge but it would be a damn good substitute:

https://www.gothambuzz.nyc/how-corrupt-are-mitch-mcconnell-his-wife-elaine-chao-...

https://www.newsweek.com/mcconnells-wifes-family-business-appears-trump-admins-l...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/opinion/elaine-chao-mitch-mcconnell.html

https://www.americanoversight.org/investigation/elaine-chaos-family-business-and...

92margd
gen. 12, 9:46am

Pompeo Returns Cuba to Terrorism Sponsor List, Constraining Biden’s Plans
Michael Crowley, Ed Augustin and Kirk Semple | Published Jan. 11, 2021

In announcing the move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited Cuba’s hosting of American fugitives and Colombian rebels and its support for Venezuela’s authoritarian leader.

...On the campaign trail, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke of a return to Mr. Obama’s more open approach to Havana, pledging to “promptly reverse the failed Trump policies that have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.”

While the Biden administration can remove Cuba from the terrorism list, doing so will require a review process that could take months.

...Ted A. Henken, an associate professor of sociology at Baruch College in New York, called the designation “a symbolic final gesture” by the Trump administration toward Cuba, as well as a reward for the Cuban exile community and like-minded Latino voters who turned out in surprisingly strong numbers for the president in November.

Over the past two years, Cuba has been subjected to the most intense United States sanctions of the last 50 years, which have contributed to rationing and profound shortages of basic necessities like medicine and food. Its economy shrank 11 percent last year, according to Alejandro Gil, Cuba’s economy minister.

Mr. LeoGrande said the designation may impede legal financial transactions involving American financial institutions...

Banking transactions through third countries could also be affected...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/us/politics/cuba-terrorism-trump-pompeo.html

93margd
gen. 16, 2:19am

The US government will spend $500,000 deep-cleaning the White House before Biden's inauguration
Grace Dean | January 15, 2021

The White House will get a $500,000 deep-clean before President-elect Joe Biden moves in, CNN reported.

The building has been at the centre of three COVID-19 outbreaks.

"There's always been a deep clean between administrations, but we've never seen anything like this," presidential historian Kate Brower Andersen told ABC.

...A deep clean between administrations is expected - but contracting extra companies to help at this scale is unprecedented in modern times, presidential historian Kate Brower Andersen told ABC.

...contracts for janitorial and housekeeping work...carpet cleaning...curtain cleaning

A deep clean between presidents is usually carried out by White House staff in the six-hour slot when both the incoming and outgoing presidents are at the inauguration ceremony. Alongside cleaning the property, the workforce of up to 100 White House staff carry out small maintenance jobs.

The White House has 132 rooms spread over six stories. This includes 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, and 28 fireplaces.

...replace and install new carpeting in numerous offices in the White House's West Wing and East Wing alongside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building...remove trash and recycling...painting and wall coverings...overtime pay for those moving Biden's belongings to the property.

https://news.yahoo.com/us-government-spend-500-000-162704097.html

94Limelite
gen. 16, 9:01pm

Science Advisor Position To Become Cabinet-Level Post

Eric Lander, a geneticist who helped map the human genome, will head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and advise Biden. This is an important change from the Science-Denier-in Chief's disdain for scientific and medical facts that contradicted his gut. Considering that the pandemic is worse than ever and that the US has laid claim to two much more highly contagious variants of SARS-CoV-2 than either the Brit or S Af ones, this change underscores the increased importance to and seriousness of the next administration in tackling the plague that has infected 2M citizens and killed well over 300,000 in less than a year.
"Science will always be at the forefront of my administration -- and these world-renowned scientists will ensure everything we do is grounded in science, facts, and the truth," Biden said in a statement announcing the appointment of Lander and other experts.
(SNIP)
Lander is president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a top non-profit biomedical research.

95margd
gen. 17, 9:03am

Burrowing. Attempting to embedding Trump partisans in Civil Service...

Trump's acting secretary of defense is working to install a Trump loyalist as the top lawyer for the NSA just days before the president leaves office
Sarah Al-Arshani | 1/17/2021

...Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller told the head of the National Security Agency to install a Trump loyalist as the top lawyer at the agency, The Washington Post reported.

Miller ordered that Michael Ellis be appointed as general counsel by 6 pm on Saturday, but NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone did not follow that order as of the deadline, according to CNN.

The Post reported Ellis was tapped for the job back in November by Pentagon General Counsel Paul C. Ney Jr., but he still hasn't taken the position and has to finish administrative procedures.

His selection came a shortly after Biden was projected to win the presidential election. Around the same time, nearly a dozen senior government officials were fired, forced to resign, or resigned in protest, including a political purge at the Defense Department by President Donald Trump.

The general counsel position at the NSA is not a political one but a civil servant role, which means it would be harder for the incoming Biden administration to fire him.

Sources told The Post that Nakasone and others are worried that the Trump administration is trying to plant political personnel in a civilian role, which could violate a long-standing policy.

https://www.businessinsider.com/christopher-miller-wants-to-install-trump-loyali...