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What is the world coming to when four long years slaving to make the world a more racist, unequal place doesn't land Cabinet officials in the schmaltz pot to fatten up on grease until retirement? It's a sad day in Washington when former officials can't monetize their public service to bring down seven figures a year as corporate board members and lobbyists. And yet, the Washington Post has two stories today documenting just such a sorry state of affairs as veterans of the Trump administration find no one home in corporate America when they come knocking.

In the first article, the Post depicts the poor Trump Cabinet officials who stuck it out to the bitter end and are now finding themselves unemployable. It starts with former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, although it bizarrely omits any mention of the Inspector General's report on the ethical dumpster fire she lit at the DOT. Between that mark of distinction and her four years in Trumpland, even Mrs. Mitch McConnell can't get a ticket to ride the corporate gravy train.

Wells Fargo, which paid Chao millions for her service as a board member between 2011 and 2017, didn't renominate her in its most recent list of new board members. And Ingersoll-Rand, News Corp., and Vulcan Materials, where Chao also held board seats, refused to comment on when or if she'd be back.

"The feedback was, 'It's too soon,'" a headhunter who tried to place the former secretary told the Post. Although Chao's representatives insist that she's highly in demand and is simply taking her time to evaluate options. In Canada. (We kid. She isn't wanted there either.)


And Chao isn't the only one finding it hard to wash off the Trump stink. Bill Barr will not be rehired at his former law firm Kirkland & Ellis, and Dominion Energy, Sculptor Capital, and Time Warner (it was AT&T when he served there) all declined to say if they'd be extending an invitation for the former attorney general to return to lucrative board work after his successful stint ratfucking the DOJ.

Similarly, Mike Pompeo, who also faced one or twelve Inspector General investigations for using government resources to advance his own personal interests, has not faced the same welcome that predecessors like Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell did upon their return to private life. Could be because he's just a raging dick who yells at women all the time — but the association with the Trump administration isn't helping either.

"Boards don't need trouble or criticism," one headhunter told the Post. "If you want to stay away from all that potential tarnish, that's easy: You just don't go near it."

And the path is no easier for low level employees, i.e. the ones who haven't been socking away millions of dollars a year for decades. It's all well and good for Reince Priebus to screw around with his tropical fish tank between Zoom speaking gigs, but the 20- and 30-somethings who staffed the Trump administration actually need to work for a living. So they're either "de-emphasizing their time with Trump on their résumés" or "playing up their Trumpiness for a job on the Hill, where the ex-president is practically a religious idol in the Republican caucus." Whores gonna whore, right?

Kayleigh McEnany wound up on her feet at Fox, of course. But poor Sean Spicer had to content himself with a gig at off-brand Newsmax, which is barely even a TV channel.

Other Trumplanders refused to join any club that would have them and wound up starting their own grift shops. Stephen Miller, who is not a lawyer, founded a legal group to challenge President Joe Biden's immigration policy. And Ben Carson, the former HUD secretary, founded a, uh, "do tank." It's not a think tank, see, its ...

For the most part, Carson's newly created American Cornerstone Institute will allow the good doctor to travel the country, in an effort to heal the nation with roundtable discussions about conservative values. But one thing he's particularly excited about is using the think tank to launch a program he's calling Little Patriots.

"It will be something like the Boy Scouts," he said. "But heavily exposed to the real history of America."

"You probably notice when ISIS goes into a place, they destroy the history, they destroy the monuments," he said, using a term for the Islamic State. "History is what gives you identity."

Riiiiiiiight. Does he mean like statues of Robert E. Lee? Or $30,000 conference tables that blow the budget of an agency dedicated to housing the poor?

Trump is still feeding some of his people, too, doling out $10,000 monthly contracts from his grift PAC. But the DC gravy train isn't nearly as reliable as it used to be, particularly with Republicans losing control the House, Senate, and White House last year.

Yeah, we're real broke up about it. Talk amongst yourselves, we're a little verklempt.

JK, LOLOLOL.

[WaPo / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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