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  • #31
    Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
    Mattis back in February:

    If you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately. So I think it's a cost benefit ratio. The more that we put into the state department's diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget if we deal with the outcome of an apparent American withdrawal from the international scene.

    The open letter from a year ago from 120 retired generals and admirals to the US Congress:
    http://www.usglc.org/downloads/2017/...use_Senate.pdf
    Remember kids, U.S. military men are bloodthirsty warmongers that know only how to murder innocents and cause untold suffering.
    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
      What a fucking circus. You guys are making the succession of shitfully bad governments we have had here look good by comparison.

      It is just depressing to watch.
      My Belgian coworkers aren't nearly as sheepish as they were a few short years ago.

      Oh and I take great offense at your comparing the current "Administration" to a circus. Circuses are organized, staffed with professionals dedicated to their craft and bring enjoyment to the viewer.
      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

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      • #33
        h/t Ian Bremmer

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        There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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        • #34
          From Politico. A good write-up.

          Full article: https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...d-trump-217356

          The Foreign Capital Rex Tillerson Never Understood: Trump’s Washington

          Rex Tillerson was in trouble. He had been overheard calling President Trump a “moron,” and NBC News was reporting the story (other outlets later noted that he actually said, “fucking moron”). To make matters worse, the embattled secretary of state summoned reporters to a press conference to clean up the mistake but inexplicably fueled the story by refusing even to deny trashing his boss. Instead, he complained. “This is what I don’t understand about Washington,” Tillerson told reporters amid the controversy last fall, the first of many that would spell the beginning of the end of his short, rocky tenure as America’s top diplomat. “I’m not from this place. But the places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense.”

          Tillerson, a career oilman from blunt-spoken Texas, had come to the State Department with significant overseas business experience but was still very much a novice in the ways of international diplomacy. In the end, though, if there’s one thing his short year in Foggy Bottom proved, it’s this: The foreign capital he didn’t understand was Donald Trump’s Washington.

          Defying the laws of political gravity at every turn, Tillerson feuded with fellow Cabinet members, clashed with White House staff, and alienated many of the thousands of career officials at the State Department who initially welcomed him as a voice of establishment calm in an unsettling new administration only to watch as he slashed their budgets and devalued their work. He was barely on speaking terms with national security adviser H.R. McMaster, engaged in a bitter turf war with presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, disdained by key members of Congress who had once cheered for him, and almost comically out of the loop on key policy decisions. When senior officials from key allies came to town, they often didn’t even bother to schedule meetings at Tillerson’s marginalized State Department anymore, and several of his own ambassadors were outright insubordinate by the end, realizing that power lay in the White House not in the secretary’s wood-paneled office on the State Department’s 7th floor.

          But that litany, long as it is, does not fully explain why he lost his job. When Trump ignominiously fired Tillerson by tweet on Tuesday morning as the clueless Tillerson flew back from Africa, the president made clear the secretary of state was being dumped for opposing him one too many times – and not even bothering to hide it. “We disagreed on things,” the loyalty-obsessed Trump told reporters. “It was a different mind-set.”

          For most of the last year, I listened as source after source who encountered the secretary of state recounted Tillerson’s disagreements – many that became public, some that never did – with the volatile new president’s foreign policy on issues ranging from the Iran nuclear deal (Trump’s publicly stated reason for firing him) to Russia to Middle East peacemaking and trade. Invariably, the former ExxonMobil CEO tried to steer Trump toward less inflammatory policies. Trump had been attracted to Tillerson initially as a wealthy businessman and outsider to Washington like himself; a distinguished-looking graybeard in a tailored suit seemed just the fit for a president for whom appearances matter almost above all else. But Tillerson turned out to be the opposite in almost every way of his bomb-throwing boss, an old-school realist and real-life Boy Scout who thought he could conduct the sort of pragmatic, by-the-books diplomacy that had worked in putting together oil deals. That was never going to fly with the impulsive Trump, who undercut him publicly and privately from the start.

          Tillerson never seemed to figure it out. And in the end, that was his big mistake: he didn’t get the world wrong; he got the president wrong – and his own staff too. He thought the State Department was his enemy but it wasn’t. The White House was.
          "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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          • #35
            Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
            My Belgian coworkers aren't nearly as sheepish as they were a few short years ago.
            The European tradition of professional public servants to a fairly high level in the bureaucracy helps to mitigate against occasional, or sometimes sustained periods of turbulence/incompetence etc. How else to explain the ongoing existence & relative success of Italy?

            Because the US wasn't designed to have a big, powerful Federal Government o lot of that 'carry on & wait for things to improve' either falls to lower levels of the bureaucracy or the states (Congress lacking an administrative role). That makes a Trump a much trickier prospect that the lack of an official government in Belgium.

            Oh and I take great offense at your comparing the current "Administration" to a circus. Circuses are organized, staffed with professionals dedicated to their craft and bring enjoyment to the viewer.
            Will you accept 'shitshow'?
            sigpic

            Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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            • #36
              http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ry?id=53458061

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              • #37
                Just out of curiosity. Are senior White House officials and Cabinet Members on fixed term contracts these days or has someone decided that 'what the hell' lets just pay them an hourly rates?
                Last edited by Monash; 14 Mar 18,, 13:19.
                If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                  So should we think of Rex like Rumsfield.

                  Do more with less

                  If the results keep up then you can show there was too much bloat

                  Not really. Rumsfeld wanted to expand the Air Force & Space Command at the expense of the Army & Marines. If 9/11 had not happened the Army would have shrunk to 8 divisions by 2003.

                  Also recall he selected USAF GEN Richard Myers as his CJCS. Myers had background in fighters and space ops...not the best choice. Outside the Army War College he had no joint experience.

                  So the analogy doesn't quite work.

                  This is more like what happened to the services immediately following World War 2.
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

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                  • #39
                    also no one liked Rumsfeld either, lol.
                    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      also no one liked Rumsfeld either, lol.
                      And that was a known known.
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Monash View Post
                        Just out of curiosity. Are senior White House officials and Cabinet Members on fixed term contracts these days or has someone decided that 'what the hell' lets just pay them an hourly rates?
                        I think pay accrues according to the number of days worked (the senior officials don't get overtime though, IIRC), so more of the hourly rate.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Skywatcher View Post
                          I think pay accrues according to the number of days worked (the senior officials don't get overtime though, IIRC), so more of the hourly rate.
                          Everyone in government service is paid their base pay depending on their government rating.

                          The general category is called GS and are numbered GS-1 to GS-15 (kinda equivalent as from private to colonel). Each has a fixed annual/hourly pay rate by law. Within each GS rank there are 10 steps which are bumps in pay based on years of service and/or meritorious action. In addition some parts of the country have Locality Pay. These are cost of living bump ups to offset living costs.

                          For instance, if you are a GS 13 STEP 9 your base pay is 95, 796. But if you are in LA your annual salary is 125,081; Metro DC 122,830; Buffalo NY 114,170. There are also specialty rates for high skills (doctor, attorney, etc) or high risk (fire fighter, police, etc.) If someone knows your Grade & Rate as well as where you live they can determine to the penny what your annual salary is.

                          Additionally there are some folks who are in pay bands; you get the base pay as described but you also get an annual bonus tacked on based on to your annual performance. This applies command by command and in coordination with the union.

                          Higher grade folks are in the Senior Executive Service. These folks are graded SES 1 - 5 and equate roughly to the fleet/flag officer positions. Their pay works the same way, but there is a cap on how high they can make annually set by Congress years ago. This applies to political appointees like Tillerson or permanent government service personnel who have risen through the ranks.

                          Hope that explains it.
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

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                          • #43
                            and if you want to max out on both time and money, you find that sweet non-supervisory GS-14/GS-15 job! 0:)
                            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              ...and that happens in June, baby!!!

                              High 3 looking great!!!!
                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain

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