The Purges Begin
This is how would-be dictators work after they achieve office w. the veneer of democratic respectability:
Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda.
The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. [h/t TPM]
Step 1: identify expertise and any possible source of civil-service resistance to the illegitimate power grab.
Step 2: harass the key figures into resignation, or, failing that, post them to sheep-flatulance monitoring posts in the Dakotas.
Step 3: replace with loyalists. Consolidate long term holds over policy in the agencies. Capture government statistical reporting and the representation of reality.
Step 4: Rince. Repeat.
ETA: The Washington Post has more detail on the probe/purge-in-waiting at DOE:
The Trump transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department, asking officials there to identify which department employees and contractors have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation’s carbon output.
The memo provides the clearest indication yet of how Trump’s administration would begin to dismantle specific aspects of President Obama’s ambitious climate policies. …
One question zeroed in on the issue of the “social cost of carbon,” a way of calculating the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. The transition team asked for a list of department employees or contractors who attended inter-agency meetings, the dates of the meetings, and emails and other materials associated with them.
The social cost of carbon is a metric that calculates the cost to society of emitting a ton of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The Obama administration has used this tool to try to calculate the benefits of regulations and initiatives that lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“My guess is that they’re trying to undermine the credibility of the science that DOE has produced, particularly in the field of climate science,” said Rob Jackson, a Stanford climate and energy researcher, in response to the question about the Integrated Assessment Models.
There’s lots more at the link. None of it good. These are f**king dangerous people.
Meanwhile, public protest too is under pressure from the Trump junta:
For the thousands hoping to echo the civil rights and anti-Vietnam rallies at Lincoln Memorial by joining the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration: time to readjust your expectations….
The NPS filed a “massive omnibus blocking permit” for many of Washington DC’s most famous political locations for days and weeks before and after the inauguration on 20 January, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a constitutional rights litigator and the executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund.
The National Park Service applied for the blocking permit on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee — i.e., Trump’s donors and apparatus.
Again: this is how would-be dictators work, taking control of the bureaucracy and squeezing civil space.
We’ve a long road ahead. My small act of resistance today is to call my representatives (Warren, Markey, Kennedy) to urge them to publicly condemn the emerging civil service witch hunt. Whatever y’all can do, please have at it.
Image: Nicholas Poussin, The Destruction of Jerusalem, 1637.
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