That three day holiday weekend when America is heading to the beach or that summer cookout is the perfect time for the Trump regime to crap out bad news, and they didn't disappoint this Memorial Day weekend. First up, Trump attacks federal workers' unions, something not even they would do on Labor Day weekend, I guess.
The Trump administration unveiled a set of executive orders late Friday afternoon aimed at weakening unions that represent federal workers and making it easier for agencies across the government to fire their employees.
Senior administration officials told reporters on a call Friday afternoon that the executive orders will do the following:
- Shorten the length of time federal workers have to improve their performance after receiving a bad review, from 120 days to just 30.
- Encourage federal agencies to terminate poor performers rather than suspending them.
- Direct federal agencies to renegotiate their union contracts, and make those contracts publicly available online “so American people can see them.”
- Encouraging agencies to conclude labor negotiations in less than a year.
- Severely restrict the use of federal worker unions’ “official time”— which elected shop stewards currently use to mediate workplace grievances. Going forward, federal workers can spend no more that 25 percent of their time on union or other non-agency business.
- Charge unions rent for the use of federal office space for that “official time” work.
Andrew Bremberg, the director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council, said the changes would “advance merit system principles and accountability” and “make it easier for agencies to remove poor performing employees and ensure taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used.” He and other White House officials claimed the rule changes would save taxpayers at least $100 million each year.
But Jacque Simon, the political director of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), warned that the new rules weaken the ability of federal workers to protect themselves from politicized employment decisions.
“When you do this, you open the door to a situation where, if you don’t toe the party line, you’re out the door,” she told TPM. “Ultimately, these agencies are run by political appointees, and if employees don’t have these rights and the opportunity to defend themselves, then anybody is at risk who is questioning the administration’s denial of climate change, or the health benefits of a particular drug, whatever the hell else these people come up with next.”
Citing an uptick in reports of politically-motivated firings and reassignments at the State Department, Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other federal offices, Simon said the new executive orders will make it easier for managers to make decisions based on “political loyalty.”
“Do you want scientists at the EPA who are providing objective data and information about the air we breathe or do we want political hacks?” she asked. “If you’re not with the program, if you’re not cooperating with the political agenda, you’re out the door. Out you go.”
I'm honestly surprised they FND'ed this one. You figure Trump would be proud of this, except for the part where the vast majority of federal workers affected by this will be Virginia and Maryland voters who would on a normal news weekday be in range of a DC news crew looking for a reaction.
Second, the Trump regime is no longer hiding the whole "obstruction of justice" thing.
President Donald Trump’s legal team wants a briefing on the classified information shared with lawmakers about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and may take it to the Justice Department as part of an effort to scuttle the ongoing special counsel probe.
Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s attorneys, told The Associated Press on Friday that the White House hopes to get a readout of the information next week, particularly about the use of a longtime government informant who approached members of Trump’s campaign in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election. Trump has made unproven claims of FBI misconduct and political bias and has denounced the asset as “a spy.”
“If the spying was inappropriate, that means we may have an entirely illegitimate investigation,” Giuliani said of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. He then invoked the material compiled by former FBI Director James Comey before he was fired.
“Coupled with Comey’s illegally leaked memos, this means the whole thing was a mistake and should never have happened,” Giuliani said. “We’d urge the Justice Department to re-evaluate, to acknowledge they made a mistake. It’s a waste of $20 million of the taxpayers’ money. The whole thing is already a waste of money.”
Rudy publicly calling for the Justice Department to end the Mueller probe is a big, big step. Up until now Mitch McConnell could use the "nobody's calling for the end of the Mueller investigation" excuse to not do anything.
Now the White House is openly calling for it to end.
The move against Mueller has been staved off a couple times, but this time, I expect will be different. We've gone in just a couple weeks from "We expect the investigation to wrap up" to "This never should have happened and the DoJ should end it." all while Trump is screaming lies about spies in his camp.
I'm not saying the Saturday Night Massacre is coming this weekend, but don't be surprised if it does.