Liz Warren Unveils Plan To Remove Trump Stench From White House Curtains
On the first day of Donald Trump's sham impeachment trial, Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plan to fumigate the White House once he's finally gone. This probably won't happen until the next election, but the plan still works even if Mother's little helper, Mike Pence, is the GOP nominee. Her proposals are detailed on her website under the weighty title Restoring Integrity and Competence to Government After Trump. We like to call it Lizzie Warren's Remove The Stench Plan.
WARREN: One year from today, the next president will begin her first full day of work. She will be inheriting a government in crisis: from children in cages at detention facilities near the border to a reckless foreign policy that endangers our country and a bigoted ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries, our country will be in desperate need of immediate course correction.
It's awesome how Warren refers to the next president with a feminine pronoun. She's narrowed the race down to herself and Amy Klobuchar, just like the New York Times. What comes first in President "Fuck, Yeah!" Warren's "course correction"? Firings and lots of them! It's a regular Saturday night massacre, except possibly on Thursday because sometimes things just happen on Thursday. Warren said she'll ask for the resignations of all Trump's political appointees on day one of her administration. That includes 93 US attorneys. She promises to keep around anyone "necessary to preserve continuity and protect national security," but that's only Jared Kushner's pet hamster.
Last year, Trump personally lobbied the Army Corps of Engineers to award WALL contracts to North Dakota-based Fisher Sand and Gravel. The CEO, Tommy Fisher, sucked up to the president during regular appearances on Fox. This is so gross even Andrew Jackson might object from hell. Warren will review all major contracts executed during the Trump administration and end any with obvious conflicts of interests, so all of them.
What should have Trump officials quaking in their boots is Warren's plan to establish a Justice Department Task Force that will investigate corruption in the Trump administration and hold the guilty parties accountable. This project could last longer than a "Law & Order" series.
Unlike Trump's 2016 threat to appoint an "independent counsel" to prosecute Hillary Clinton for still using AOL Instant Messenger, Warren will keep this task force truly independent of her White House. It won't just do her bidding. It will just go where the facts lead, and they will lead to so many crimes.
Warren will also keep herself honest -- not just more honest than Trump because any common gangster can limbo under that low bar. No, her administration will "adopt the strictest anti-corruption hiring rules of any administration in American history." That means no current lobbyists, and she'll consider former lobbyists only after a six-year "cooling off" period. Unless it's in the national interest, she won't hire employees of for-profit federal contractors. She also won't employ "senior executives at companies and banks that have broken federal law, are subject to enforcement actions, or are under investigation." It's a little scary that this is a "new rule." It's like learning your favorite restaurant just instituted a "strict hand-washing policy."
Officials in a Warren administration will have to fully divest from any "individual stock, bond, or other investment that federal ethics officials determine may be directly influenced by the actions of the employee's agency." Senior officials will have to cut ties with all complex investments, as well as commercial real estate and privately held or closely held businesses. It's not stated outright but we also assume Warren staffers won't regularly violate the Hatch Act.
If you work for President Warren, you can't cash out when you leave, either. Senior staffers will have to pledge not to accept a lobbying job after their official duties end, and that's for life. Man, you just can't catch a grift if you work for Warren.
WARREN: All other members of my administration will have to commit to not lobby their former office or agency for two years after they leave the administration – and six years if they become corporate lobbyists – or until the administration ends, whichever is longer.
Senior government officials in my administration will also have to pledge for a year not to work for or accept payment from any company that has lobbied their department or office within the past two years.
Senior government officials in my administration will be asked to commit not to work for any giant bank or company worth more than $150 billion, any federal contractor receiving more than $5 billion in revenue from federal contracts, or any market-dominant company, as determined by the Attorney General, for four years after leaving their post. And anyone in my administration who participated in the process of granting a contract or license to a for-profit contractor will also be required to agree not to accept a job with that contractor for at least four years after leaving government service.
Warren understands she'll have to staff up quick to fix Trump's mess, and she's even restricting herself to qualified people, not partisan hacks or major party donors. She's committed to naming her Cabinet choices by December 1, 2020 and fully staff all major key White House positions by Inauguration Day. She'll send the "largest package of nominees to the Senate for confirmation on day one." This is all dependent on the Senate having a Democratic majority who'll actually consider her nominees. Let's make that our early Christmas gift for Warren.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).