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Chao Down Before the One You Serve

elaine%20chao%20elaine%20l%20chao%20labor%20secretary%20and%20delicious%20dragon%20lady.jpgTwo months back Wonkette solicited and then posted the worst and meanest rumors about Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. That could have been the end of it, but once you've put out a call for catty comments, the catty comments will find you. Beneath the fold is the latest entry in the slam book - and if this was going into an actual book, it would take up a couple pages.


The political environment at DOL has been bad and seems to be getting worse. Your 'Dragon Lady' story was only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to know what Elaine L. Chao is like go see "The Devil Wears Prada" and pay attention to Meryl Streep's character.

The latest issue seems trivial but is a reflection of what happens here and could be, is, considered illegal.

Within the Federal government there is a requirement that all contracts be put out for competitive bids unless a sole source justification can be provided. We were informed this morning that the Secretary wants a new consultant hired to provide media training to the senior political staff. To do this she wants to hire Merrie Spaeth, known for her involvement as the "PR Guru for the Swiftboat Vets" campaign, for $10,000. Besides the fact that the Department maintains an AV division and has historically provided media training there is no way a sole source justification can be made for this type of service. What will probably happen to get around the regulation is the contract for Staeth's services will be buried in an existing or new contact. The career staff has refused to process the paperwork.

Throughout the Department career staff have been marginalized as not being 'team players'. People have been detailed to other agencies for pointing out ethics problems and refusing to sign-off on questionable actions. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent hiring political appointees with marginal experience into senior (GS-15) positions. Inexperienced, junior political appointees have been put in charge of senior career staff. Not taking a 'hit' on the OMB scorecard (President's Management Agenda) is the supreme criteria for all programs regardless of whether or not it makes good business or financial sense.

Two of her (the Sec's) assistants could only get out of DOL by volunteering to go to Iraq. No one has lasted more than 9 months in the position. She is notorious for screaming at people, calling them idiots and worse. There is a story that has circulated for sometime about throwing an ash tray at one person. The list goes on and on.

We are scheduled to have a 'Fraud Audit' in a few weeks where we are supposed to disclose any knowledge of fraud or ethical issues. The only problem is our Assistant Secretary (a political appointee) will be present in the meeting. Needless to say all the answers will be 'No', otherwise the first name on the list would be Elaine L. Chao.

Wicked burn!

Madame Chao: Okay, Now We'll Call Her A Dragon Lady [Wonkette]

-- David Weigel

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And now for some very serious TUT TUTTING! It's time again for Republicans to make sad words about President Treason McTraitorpants selling out the country. This time they are seriously concerned, nay even deeply troubled, that Donald Trump would stand next to Vladimir Putin and pretend the Russians didn't hack the 2016 election. These patriotic Republicans are shocked, SHOCKED! Well, not, like, upset enough to do anything about it -- not with a fascist carpooler to jam into the Supreme Court. But they've got tweets, so it's all good!

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Republicans are in a pickle. Midterms are coming up and the party in the White House usually loses seats in those elections. It doesn't help their chances that their guy Donald Trump frolics through fields holding hands with self-made Russian dictator and coincidental poisoner Vladimir Putin, who our own justice department believes attacked our mostly free elections and our true national monument, the Internet.

If you're as old as I am, you'll recall that back in the 1980s, the whole Republican brand involved not trusting the Ruskies, and they were especially disappointed when Kevin Costner turned out to be one in No Way Out. Now, the current Republican president is talking like some kind of crazy commie lib, bashing the FBI and giving the benefit of the doubt to a former KGB agent. During an interview Sunday where he wore a hat with "USA" in big letters on it, presumably so someone could easily return him if he got lost on the field trip, Trump went so far as to call the European Union a "foe" of his country, which if you believe his hat is supposedly the United States not Russia.

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