Tilleson starts State Department purge


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Cleaning house: The Trump administration carried out major lay-offs in the staffing at high levels of the State Department on Thursday.

Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told today that their services were no longer needed. These staffers in particular are often the conduit between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus, where the regional expertise is centered. Inside the State Department, some officials fear that this is a politically-minded purge that cuts out much-needed expertise from the policy-making, rather than simply reorganizing the bureaucracy.

In addition, it appears that the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also pulling the fangs from many other State Department managers, many of whom have indicated a partisan hostility to the Trump administration.

There are clear signals being sent that many key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House, rather than through the professional diplomats. Not a single State Department official was included in the White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

Good. It is important that federal employees of all stripes learn that a new administration has been elected by the American people, and it is there job to do what that administration wants, not what they want.

24 comments

  • Orion314

    FINALLY !!!!!
    A happy news story ;)

  • Steve Earle

    To quote their hero Obama: “Elections have consequences…”

    This also needs to be done in every other Dept of the Federal Gov.

    It’s no mystery why Obama changed hundreds of Federal employees into non-fireable positions.

    It was clearly Obama’s wish that his policies and regulations would live on well after he left office.

    After all “Personnel is Policy”. This whole Flynn “scandal” is traced back to the Acting AG that Trump finally fired but not before she did plenty of damage.

  • wayne

    orion314/steve e–

    Good stuff.

    –All this “surveillance” stuff was instigated by Obama. They requested a FISA warrant last Spring sometime, and it was initially denied. In October (!) they requested another FISA warrant and that was granted.
    That’s the yuuuugggeeee scandal, everything else is deception & fake-news.

    -I do have high hopes for the new A.G., Jeff Sessions. (The left is not done attacking him, recall how AG Meese was perpetually targeted during the Reagan adm.)
    [Mark Levin was Chief of Staff under Meese at DOJ, he has a lot to say about Trump getting rapid control of all these hangers-on, in all departments. It’s not an easy task.]

    Executive branch directly controls about 3,500 positions at the Political-layer of governance, then you start getting into the Career technocrats. (some good, some bad)
    Obama had 8 years to transition political types into the Civil Service and they took advantage of that opportunity, big-time. There was a burst of such lateral moves in particularly the last year of his 1st term, and constantly during the 2nd term.

    -It’s always a Mole Hunt, in one way or another.

    This is scary– Obama appointed about 400 Federal Judges in the last 8 years, about 35-40% of the total currently sitting. – We are stuck with them for 20-30 years.

    The State Department is a huge nest-o-Spy’s, useful idiots, fellow-traveler’s, and anti-American types, literally all-over-the-World. (not “everyone” of course, but too many and that’s accumulated over a long time.)
    Justice was incredibly politicized the past 8 years– huge and dangerous mess.
    And don’t forget– We are still stuck with Comey as FBI Director. (10 year Term) Does anyone here, trust that guy?

  • wodun

    It is interesting how the article frames the workers as “staffers” or “professional diplomats” implying that they are highly talented worker bees without any human motivations. The reality is they are Democrat party operatives and have been acting as saboteurs or coup plotters.

    When Trump can’t have State Department people sit in on meetings without the contents of those meetings being selectively parsed and then leaked to the Democrat media, it isn’t Trump’s fault. It’s the fault of the Democrat saboteurs.

  • Jim Jakoubek

    A good start indeed.

    One of the reasons I voted for President Trump is that he is a businessman and would bring that
    thought process to the job. In the business world, for a company to be successful, you don’t have
    much builtin overlap. People are hired to do a job and if they don’t do it they don’t last long and
    they work for the success of the company or they are out on the street.

    We have seen this working already in the opening days of the administration. A hiring freeze, employees
    who run against the grain are terminated (The acting AG) and each department evaluated and the
    fat trimmed off.

    What you are left with is an operation that is leaner and more responsive to changes as they come
    along with people in place that can react to them.

    The winds of change are blowing and this time it seems to be more than just the standard 10 second
    soundbite variety.

    Exactly what has been needed for some time. Hope it continues.

  • wayne

    Referencing the surveillance on Trumps inner circle, Flynn, and Russian diplomats–

    Highly recommend this clip between Mark Levin & Andy McCarthy, 2-15-17:
    https://youtu.be/2BIe9rN5feI
    (13:26)

    Wherein the Obama administration requested multiple FISA wiretapping warrants, starting at a minimum in June, 2016, and in October 2016 at least one of which was granted and is on-going, covering at a minimum, person’s in Trumps inner circle.
    This isn’t & wasn’t confined to one acting AG.
    (Obama attempted to influence & spent money on, the Brexit vote, the Israeli election, and our own election.)
    -Really hoping Jeff Session’s has this item on his list.

    I share your hopes Jim. The Administrative State however, protects itself very well and is full-bunker mentality. Administrations come and go, but the Apparatchik’s live on forever, and on our dime.

  • diane wilson

    A civil servant who can’t be fired can still be transferred to Stubbed Toe, South Dakota, and assigned to be a parking lot attendant. Get them out of Washington, away from each other, and take away their responsibilities.

  • Jim Jakoubek

    wayne – I agree it will be a tough slog for the President to clean up this mess that has had an awful
    long time to entrench itself and to be honest, I don’t think he will be totally able to do so even if he serves
    two terms.

    That having been said, we have in the White House a man who is not your standard politician so at
    least I am hopeful he will be able to streamline enough of the government so that it is much more
    responsive to the people that what we have had up to this point. Our politicians, on both sides of the
    aisle, have in recent years forgotten that they serve us and do as the electorate wants and have gotten
    arrogant and secure enough in their positions to dictate TO us.

    The one wonderful thing about our system of government is that when things swing too far in either
    direction the people can vote and start to swing it back the other way. When we needed a Ronald Regan
    to come along he did. Thirty years or so on we needed a Donald Trump to come along and we got him.

    Maybe that is why Hill (as she is known to her friends) and company were caught so off guard this time
    around. They were arrogant enough to think they could not be beaten. Surprise! Its time to swing the other
    way for a change.

    So, stay hopeful my friend as I will. Washington needs a good sweeping and I think we have the broom
    that will make it happen.

  • wayne

    diane wilson-
    A most excellent thought!
    Transfer everyone FROM the 5 wealthiest zip-codes, TO the 5 poorest zip-codes.

    Jim– always remain hopeful!
    >but always have Plan B ready.

    http://www.conventionofstates.com/

  • Orion314

    Ms Wilson….
    I like the cut of your jib! Lest we neglect and forget, our freezing Americans in Mooseballs Alaska are way WAY short of unfireable civil parasit…er , ah , civil servants… ;)
    Clearskies!

  • D.K. Williams

    Fairbanks, Alaska, needs several thousand Federal bureaucrats.

  • wodun

    Why do you guys and gals want to punish good Americans with the presence of a bunch of criminals?

  • Steve Earle

    The Left is trying to dominate all levels of the bureaucracy just as they have co-opted the Media, Schools, and Hollywood.

    They are shameless in their use of power to achieve that domination.

    As someone said on another thread: “The Democrats are the Party of Power and the Republicans are the Party of Privilege”

    And as I’ve said many times, society is a giant ratchet that the Left moves several clicks towards their side every time they hold power. The Republicans are able to temporarily stop it, but THEY NEVER MOVE IT BACK TO THE RIGHT…..

    This is our best chance in decades to bring it back towards the center, (maybe our last chance…)

    If Trump is not able to move that ratchet back a few notches in his first 2 years, he will end up bogged down and then, like every other Republican President in modern times, including Reagan, all he will end up doing is delaying the Left for a couple of years.

  • mpthompson

    Steve, after getting a feel for how Trump works, we can only hope the left and the media continues to piss him off. In doing so, they are making sure he wakes up each day thinking about how he’s going to make their life miserable and rolling back their grip on the bureaucracy is one easy way at his disposal for doing that.

  • pzatchok

    I have an idea for removing huge amounts of federal judges. And it would nicely reduce the liberal influence long into the future.

    And its all legal as far as I can find out.

    First I must ask.
    If a federal court is removed or reduced in size do we have to keep the sitting judge?
    Can we basically gerrymander them out?

    I can not find specific rules for making federal courts so this congress could make them and at the same time make the new court layout unchangeable for something like 50 years. Then actually have rules so reset the boundaries.

  • Steve Earle

    mpthompson
    February 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm
    Steve, after getting a feel for how Trump works, we can only hope the left and the media continues to piss him off. In doing so, they are making sure he wakes up each day thinking about how he’s going to make their life miserable and rolling back their grip on the bureaucracy is one easy way at his disposal for doing that.

    ***********************************************************************

    mpthompson, I would agree if we knew for sure that Trump would direct his anger correctly and/or he won’t decide at some point, like all Presidents before him, that it’s easier to “make bad stories go away” by rolling over when the heat gets too much for him.

    My first take on the Flynn story was that it was a sign that Trump was doing just that, trying to make it all just “go away”.

    We know that Trump can have a thin skin and react by knee-jerk, but he also has a healthy Ego and wants people to like him.

    Let’s hope he can stay angry in a controlled and useful way, and will take steps towards the real change we need.

    Personally, as much as I like what he’s done so far, I will feel much better when he actually gets rid of an Agency and ALL of the hacks employed by it…… Once he gets the first one done, the rest will come easier.

    If he’s serious about draining the swamp, that is what he needs to do, get rid of a sizable percentage of the Federal workforce and abolish the Agencies so that the next President can’t just hire them all back again.

  • wayne

    pzatchok–
    Extremely intriguing idea!
    –The judiciary is almost exclusively a creature of the Congress. Except for what is specifically mentioned in the Constitution, Congress controls everything related to the Judiciary, and could down-size anything if they wanted. (key phrase being, “if they wanted.” They don’t.)

    Steve– agree in large measure.

    I would like to know however, why is Rence Priebus chief of staff? He IS THE SWAMP.
    Mitch– Swamp. His Wife– Swamp. Ryan- Swamp. DeStefano– Head of Personnel, Boehner acolyte, Swamp. Tilleson– Swamp. He loves carbon taxes. ad infinitum…

  • pzatchok

    The 9th circuit court could be reduced to just California and the other areas it now covers could be turned into a new court or melded into other courts.

  • wayne

    pzatchok —
    Mark Levin wrote a whole book on “The Men In Black,” and as part of his proposed ‘liberty amendment’s” addresses the Courts in detail, some of which you have hit upon today.

    Book TV: In Depth
    Mark Levin
    https://youtu.be/vinTsAgQcrI
    (10:00 minute clip from a 3 hour interview)

  • wayne

    Mark Levin on Book TV
    “Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America”
    Heritage Foundation event; 2-15-05
    https://youtu.be/zJF2qoCKfFE
    (35:26)

  • Edward

    Diane,
    I agree with the tactic in principle, but I think that they should be reassigned to the janitorial staff for three reasons:

    1) Save money hiring an outside janitorial service,
    2) The government will have the cleanest bathrooms in the country due to the large in-house janitorial staff, and
    3) Save money on relocation stipends.

    The downside is that you don’t get rid of those who are unwilling to move to East Bum[ahem], Alaska.

    Come to think of it, Diane, your idea is probably better. It is certainly worth the cost of getting them out of town.

  • mpthompson

    like all Presidents before him, that it’s easier to “make bad stories go away” by rolling over when the heat gets too much for him.

    From what I’ve observed in the primaries and general election, Trump can’t be humiliated. Yeah, Trump may bluster and go with his mouth, but that is just Trump being Trump and he remains doggedly determined to achieve the goals he sets for himself. If Trump can’t be humiliated, the left has lost a powerful weapon they’ve consistently wielded to make Republicans roll over for the last 60 years.

    Regarding Flynn, the main issue seems to be that the situation appeared to undermine Pence. With Trump being Trump and being loyal to his VP, he made the call to get rid of the lower man on the Totem pole to support those closer to him. Even if it cost him Flynn, the message it sends to others not to screw up in that manner may be more valuable. I honestly don’t think Trump “rolling over” to the criticisms coming from the media had much, if anything, with Flynn being tossed out.

  • ken anthony

    How to fire the unfirable…

    1) Create a new dept.
    2) transfer partisans there.
    3) watch them celebrate being surrounded by their own kind.
    4) strict hiring freeze.
    5) defund new dept.

  • Joe From Houston

    How to get rid of the big elephant in the room…

    1) Take one bite at a time.

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