Jennifer Briney

CD204: Why Brexit the EU?

The European Union is a partnership of 28 countries that the United Kingdom has been trying to escape from since 2016. In this episode, we examine the European Union in order to understand the decision the citizens of the UK were asked to make and learn why the United States has become a theme in the Brexit debate.


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CD201: WTF is the Federal Reserve?

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Parliment Meeting: House Of Lords, Parlimentlive.tv, October 19, 2019

Speakers:

  • Lord Newby
  • Reid of Cardigan
  • Baroness Ludford
  • Lord Rooker
Transcript:

10:33:00 Lord Newby: My Lords, and your Lordship’s house is sitting on a Saturday today for the first time since 1983, and only the fourth time in 80 years. These occasions have typically been to debate a serious foreign threat to the vital interests of the United Kingdom, the outbreak of the second world war, Suez, the Falklands. Today we sit on a Saturday to try to resolve a serious internal threat to the unity and future of the conservative party. There is no reason other than the prime minister’s macho commitment to leave the EU by the 31st of October for the government’s decision to recall parliament today. Such a timetable is a complete abuse of the parliamentary process. It doesn’t allow the appropriate impact assessments to be made, it doesn’t allow the relevant select committees to consider the proposals, and it doesn’t allow the commons in your Lordship’s house to give proper consideration to the withdrawal bill. It barely gives us time to read and compare the documents. The withdrawal agreement itself, some 535 pages, was available for the first time from Nobel — to pick up from the printer paper office just this morning. And so we certainly have not had time to identify and work out what some of the changes mean. For example, the sections in the political declaration on dispute settlement and the forward process had been substantially rewritten. Why? Parliament today is being asked to approve these changes with no effective ability to question the ministers on them. It is a disgrace.

10:39:00 Lord Newby; And the impact on the union with Scotland is also clear. Northern Ireland will have freer access to EU markets than Scotland. Scotland, understandably, we want the same, and the only way they can get it is by independence. This deal is a further recruiting Sergeant for the —

11:07:00 Reid of Cardigan: And to those who say, but we can rely on our allies bailing as out economically, I didn’t know –, particularly the president of the United States, because he’s a reliable man — once. I suggest you have a word with the Kurds and see whether you want to reflect upon them.

11:14:00 Baroness Ludford: No — the leader spoke of the wonderful perspective of international trade deals. President Trump has just imposed a 25% tariff on imports of single malt whiskey. Smaller independent whiskey producers face having their quote “feet taken out from under them”, said one. Compare this with how the EU has used its clout to leave open markets in Asia for scotch whiskey that were previously heavily protected by tariff walls. We cannot trust president Trump.

12:02:15 Lord Rooker: The push for a free trade agreement with America, the food poisoning capital of the West, where food poisoning rates are 10 times in the UK per head of population, will have consequences. And on a very minor point of detail, I realize that, research published in the UK only last year proves that chlorine washing of food does not kill all the bugs. And that’s the microbiology society. And given the United States of America has over 400 people a year die of salmonella compared to none here, it seems to be the case we’re heading for very serious consequences of life and death.


Parliment Meeting: House Of Commons, Parlimentlive.tv, October 19, 2019

Speakers:

  • Boris Johnson
  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Kier Starmer
Transcript:

9:49:00 Boris Johnson: Speaker: I have complete faith in this house to choose regulations that are in our best tradition of the highest standard — of the highest standards of environmental protections and workers’ rights. No one, no one anywhere in this chamber believes in lowering standards. Instead, the loss of gesticulation, the statement by the prime minister, must be heard, and it will be. The prime minister — no one believes in lowering standards; instead we believe in improving them, as indeed we will be able to do, as we will be able to do, and seizing the opportunities of our new, freedoms, for example, free from the common agricultural policy. We will have a far simpler system where we will reward farmers for improving our environment and animal welfare. Many of whose provisions are impossible under the counter agents. Instead of just paying them for their acreage and free from the common fisheries policy, we can ensure sustainable yields based on the latest science, not outdated methods of setting quotas. And these restored powers will be available not simply to this government, but to every future British government of any party to use as they see fit. That is what restoring sovereignty means. That is what was meant in practice by taking back control of our destiny.

9:59:00 Jeremy Corbyn: This deal, Mr. Speaker, what inevitably and absolutely inevitably lead to a Trump trade deal, forcing the UK, forcing the UK to diverge from the highest standards and expose our families once again to chlorine washed chicken and hormone treated beef.

10:02:00 Jeremy Corbyn: And if anyone had any doubts about this, we only have to listen to what their own honorable members have been saying. Like the one yesterday who rather let the cat out of the bag saying members should back this deal, as it means we can leave with no deal by 2020. The cat has truly got out of the bag. So can the Prime Minister confirm whether this is the case and that if a free trade agreement has not been done, it would mean Britain falling on to world trade organization terms by December next year with only Northern Ireland having preferential access to the EU market? No wonder the foreign secretary said this represents, and I quote, “a cracking deal for Northern Ireland.” They would retain frictionless access to the single market. It does beg the question, Mr. Speaker, why can’t the rest of the UK get a cracking deal by maintaining access to the single market?

12:30:00 Kier Starmer: But it’s obvious where it leads because once you’ve diverged, once you’ve moved out of alignment with the EU, trade becomes more difficult. I will just finish the point, trade becomes more difficult and the EU is not seen any longer as our priority in trade and the gaze goes elsewhere to make up. I’ll finish this point, if I may, I will finish this point. Because once you’ve moved out of alignment, you don’t move back. And the further you may move out, the less easy it is to trade with the EU 27. And once you’ve done that, you’ve broken the economic model we’ve been operating for decades. And once you’ve done that, you look elsewhere. Once you’ve done that, you look across to the United States. I will finish this point and then I’ll give way. The gaze goes across to the US and that’s a different economic model. It’s not just another country, it’s a different economic model, a deregulated model. In the US, 10 days is the holiday entitlement. Many, many contracts at work, I’ll pull contracts at will. Hugely powerful corporate bodies have far more power than the workforce. So this is a political direction of travel, not a technical decision on the EU, that takes us to a different economic model, one of deregulation, one of low standards, one where the balance between the workforce and corporate bodies gets far worse than it is now.


Interview: Christine Lagarde: The “60 Minutes” interview, CBS NEWS, October 20, 2019

Interview:

  • John Dickerson – Interviewer
  • Christine Lagarde

Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations


Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

 

Check out this episode!

Thanks for Fighting Facebook

A “thank you” bonus episode featuring an unfortunate resignation, an “impeachment inquiry” update, a Facebook censorship battle, and an business model ethical dilemma. Thanks for supporting the show!

 


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References


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Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations


Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

 

Check out this episode!

CD203: Scattering Interior

Public land belongs to all Americans and the bureaus of the Interior Department are responsible for balancing conservation and resource extraction on our land. The Trump administration is making some major changes to this important agency which few Americans are aware of. In this episode, learn what their plans are, how those plans are being implemented, and who stands to benefit from the changes. Spoiler alert! Fossil fuel companies will be pleased.


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Full Committee Hearing: THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR’S FAILURE TO COOPERATE WITH CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT REQUESTS, Committee on Natural Resources, September 26, 2019

Watch on YouTube: DOI’s Failure to Cooperate with Congressional Oversight Requests

Witnesses:

  • William Perry Pendley – Deputy Director for Policy and Programs at the Bureau of Land Management
  • Tony Small – Vice Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee
  • Edward Shephard – President of the Public Lands Foundation

Hearing: BLM DISORGANIZATION: EXAMINING THE PROPOSED REORGANIZATION AND RELOCATION OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT HEADQUARTERS TO GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, Committee on Natural Resources, September 10, 2019

Watch on YouTube: BLM Disorganization EventID=109893

Witnesses:

  • William Perry Pendley – Deputy Director for Policy and Programs at the Bureau of Land Management
  • Tony Small – Vice Chairman of the Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee
  • Edward Shephard – President of the Public Lands Foundation
Transcript:

21:30 William Perry Pendley: We need to have the energy, mineral and realty management experts, who are now in Washington, out in the field with the state offices to work hand in glove with tribal leaders on tribal lands to ensure their ability to develop the resources. Congress passed last year, in 2018, a change to that law to permit more of these agreements. We’re working aggressively with the BIA to have those agreements, and I’ll be a very, very strong advocate for tribes being able to enter into those agreements to take over the oil and gas leasing functions on their land if that’s their decision to do so.

52:15 Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): Grand Junction is not necessarily where everyone is going to go. We’re also moving people to New Mexico. You’re moving people to Arizona, to Nevada, over to Utah, up to Idaho, where their function can be better enhanced by being in those local particular areas. So this is not just a wholesale move from at stadium to Grand Junction. You’re covering the entire West, and you’re going to allow a greater expertise and a greater experience throughout the entire area in which you find BLM lands, right?
William Perry Pendley: That’s absolutely the case. We have 74 people going to various state offices to perform SAIDI office functions. We have 222 people going to state office to perform headquarters’ functions. Nearly every, well, not nearly, every Western state will benefit from the infusion of experts.
Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): We all will benefit, and I appreciate that. Yes, sir.

55:40 Rep. Jody Hice (GA): How will the American people be able to visualize and experience some of the, how they themselves, how Americans are going to be better served, if the leadership and the resources are moved closer to the actual places that are impacted and involved with BLM. William Perry Pendley:Congressman, I think one of the ways is better decision making earlier in the process. None of us like the logjam that we’ve seen, for example, with national environmental policy act, where we have endless litigation, and makes it difficult for things, rubber to hit the road, and whether we’re doing a recreational project or grazing renewal or oil and gas operations, whatever we’re doing, they get bogged down. And one of the things the secretary has done is forced those decisions out into the field with sectoral or 3355 to shorten our NEPA process and get it done right. And one of the ways we can most effectively do that is having our top people in the field.

1:04:30 Rep. Dianna Degette (CO): 35 of those people said they’re going, of the 177 you have now, they said they’re not going to move to the West. Do you have people in the West who are qualified who say they’re going to take that job? William Perry Pendley: If I could slightly correct the statement, that is an estimate that our policy budget and management people made, calculating that typically 25%… Rep. Dianna Degette (CO): The find 25% that want to go there? William Perry Pendley: No, no. It’s simply a rough calculation, okay, we’ve got to make some numbers. We’re going to try to get a number to provide Congress. What’s our PHCS code? Rep. Dianna Degette (CO):Understand. Did they get the number on the other side of how many more people would want to come in? Do you have that number? William Perry Pendley: I don’t have that number. Rep. Dianna Degette (CO): Thank you very much.

1:33:30 Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC):Would you, to this committee, promise to have before this committee, a survey of staff so that the committee will have information on how many will refuse and how many will be glad to move to Grand Junction? William Perry Pendley:We’re going to be meeting with people one on one. We’re going to be meeting with family members. We’re going to be asking their personal needs and be responsive to those needs. I don’t think we can provide that information because that’s going to be a one-on-one employee to employee discussion.

1:54:15 Tony Small: Moving BLM to Grand Junction will impact energy permitting on our lands. No one is talking about moving the White House or Congress to Grand Junction or any other agencies involved in energy permitting on Indian lands. Moving BLM will reduce coordination, drain expertise, eliminate accountability. Rather than drain the swamp, BLM will become a tool of special interest and will lose focus on its national missions, including trust responsibility to tribes. Grand Junction is in our original homelands. In 1880 we entered into an agreement with United States to give up millions of acres and to resettle along the grand river, near modern day Grand Junction. These lands were rich with water resources, but the United States forces us at gunpoint further West into what would become Eastern Utah. In this rocky desert, a 1.9 million acre reservation was established for our benefit. Ever since, our Kopavi reservation in Utah has been under attack. First, non Indians overgraze lands intended for our stock, and today BLM permits energy development on our lands. — have been made and energy leases and royalties on our own Kopavi reservation. BLM splits this money with the state. We have never been paid for the use of our lands. Year after year, the United States forces us to go to court to protect our lands and enforce treaties, agreements, and trust responsibilities. This must stop.

2:34:15 Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC): If this proposal were to go through, there would be virtually no headquarter staff, and there would be, it would be the only agency that did not have a headquarters staff present here in the nation’s capital. It is an extreme proposal to put it mildly.

2:35:45 Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC): And you reference that there had been past reorganization efforts, that they had been problematic, and even ultimately reversed. I wonder if you have any detail you could offer the committee on prior reorganizations of any kind. Edward Shephard: I can. One example that I can give from my personal experience, when I was back on forestry staff here in Washington DC, is we moved a lot of folks West to, what we call, centers of excellence. And when they went out to the West they became a part of that state. Whether it was intended to or not, that’s just human nature. They became part of that state organization and a lot of the knowledge of what went on, if you went to Oregon, you didn’t know what was going on in Utah, Colorado, because you were in that state, you concentrated on that state. And you also, the way this reorganization was, you won’t even have, and that way in ’91 also you don’t have the benefit of going over, if you’re a forester and you’re making a decision on a policy level thing, you can’t walk over to the wildlife staff that also does policy because they’re not there. And that’s an issue that’s gonna happen with this reorganization. You need to work together between interdisciplinary teams and it won’t be there when they’re spread out all over the place.


Full Committee Hearing: WHEN SCIENCE GETS TRUMPED: SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY AT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Committee on Natural Resources, July 25, 2019

Watch on YouTube: Full Committee Hearing EventID=109850

Witnesses
  • Andrew Rosenberg, PhD – Director at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Joel Clement – Senior Fellow at the Arctic Institute
  • Daren Baskst – Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation
  • Maria Caffrey, PhD – Former partner of the National Park Service
Transcript:

34:00 Andrew Rosenberg: Some examples of attacks at the Department of Interior selected from our research are as follows. The Fish and Wildlife service bowed to political pressure and circumvented our comprehensive assessment of impacts on endangered species of a proposed city size development in southeastern Arizona. Department suppressed 18 memos from staff scientists raising concerns about proposed oil and gas operations in the Arctic National Wildlife refuge, and they defunded landscape conservation cooperatives effectively censoring climate change adaptation information for state and local governments. Department of Interior published an analysis of gray wolves that was riddled with errors, scientific errors, as identified by peer reviewers and that analysis then extensively supported removing endangered species act protections for this species. And DOI officials blocked the release of a comprehensive analysis on potential dangers of widely used pesticides for hundreds of endangered species, as the chairman noted, 1400.

39:05 Joel Clement: As Director of the Office of Policy Analysis, it was my job to understand the most recent scientific and analytical information regarding matters that affected the mission of the agency and to communicate that information agency leadership. I never assumed that agency leadership would make their decisions based entirely on that information, but I did assume they’d taken into consideration. And that proved true for the first 6 years of my time at Interior. It all ended with the arrival of the Trump political team, which as I’ll describe later on, has sidelines scientists and experts, flattened the morale of the career staff, and by all accounts has bent on hollowing out the agency. Now the career staff at interior are not partisan in the work. They have a job to do, they do it well. Of course, they know that an incoming Republican administration is likely to favor resource extraction of a conservation. The vice versa is true, but they’ve pledged to support and defend the constitution, advance the mission of the agency regardless of their beliefs. But what if their leaders are trying to break down the agency? What if their directives run counter to the agency mission as directed by Congress? What if the political appointees are intentionally suppressing the science that indicates that doing more harm than good and putting American’s and the American economy at risk? These days, career staff have to ask themselves these questions nearly every day, or at least decide where their red line is. For me, the Trump administration crossed it by putting American health and safety at risk and wasting taxpayer dollars. Here’s how that went down. Science tells us that rapid climate change is impacting every single aspect of the agency mission, and it was my job to evaluate and explain these threats. For example, as the federal trustee for American Indians and Alaska natives, Interior is partially responsible for the wellbeing, uh, but with over 30 Alaska native villages listed by the government accountability office, as acutely threatened by the impacts of climate change, it should be a top priority for Interior to help get these Americans out of harm’s way as soon as possible. I was working with an inter-agency team to address this issue, speaking very publicly about the need for DOI to address climate impacts, and I paid that price. Uh, one week after speaking at the U.N, uh, on the importance of building climate resilience, I receive an evening email telling me had been reassigned to the auditing office that collects royalty checks from oil, gas, and mining industries. I have no experience in accounting or in auditing. It was pretty clear to me and my colleagues that this was retaliation for my work highlighting Interior’s responsibilities as they pertain to climate change and protecting American citizens. So I blew the whistle. I was not alone. Dozens of other senior executives received reassignment notices in that night’s purge. The ensuing inspector general investigation revealed the political team had broken every single one of the office of personnel management guidelines for reassigning senior executives, and they left no paper trail to justify their actions.

41:50 Joel Clement: There are many more instances of the agency directly suppressing science. Among them, reports that Secretary Bernhardt ignored and failed to disclose over a dozen internal memos expressing concern about the impacts of oil and gas exploration on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Former Secretary Zinke, canceling a national academy study on the health impacts of coal mining, right before lifting a moratorium on coal leasing. Zinke again, instituting a political review of science grants led by an old football buddy that was, that has bottle-necked research funding and led to cancelled research and the U.S. Geological survey eliminating their entire climate change mission area. The list goes on and on. Not only does this group ignore science and expertise, they crossed the line by actively suppressing it at the expense of American health and safety, our public lands and the economy. They’re intentionally leaving their best player on the bench.

1:08:10 Rep. Deb Haaland (MN): Who took over the work that you were doing for those Alaska native communities, that incredibly important work. Who took that over after you were gone?
Joel Clement: They’ve never replaced me and that work ceased. Rep. Deb Haaland (MN): They’ve never replaced you? Joel Clement: No. Several months later they found a political appointee to sit in the office, but he has since moved on upstairs.

1:10:05 Rep. Deb Haaland (MN): Why do you believe this reassignment was done out of retaliation and wasn’t simply a policy decision by leadership? Joel Clement: I don’t see any chance that that was a policy decision. I think it was purely punitive and retaliatory for two reasons. One, of course, to take the climate adviser and put them in the office that collects royalty checks is clearly an indication they want, they wanted me to quit. But also, the very next week, Secretary Zinke came to the hill and testified during a budget hearing, that indeed he did want to use reassignments to trim the workforce at DOI by 4,000 people. I don’t think he realized the reassignments don’t trim the workforce unless you’re getting people to quit, and that’s unlawful.

1:45:30 Rep. Paul Gosar: I don’t think anybody denies that, that climate is always changing. I think there is nobody that will say that, but I think the priorities is what can man do and what cannot man do? Like i.e., the Sun. Would you agree with me that the Sun has more implications on our weather and climate than does man? Joel Clement: The uh, the climate has certainly always changed, there’s no question about that. The climate has not changed at this pace and to this extent during the course of human civilization. Rep. Paul Gosar: Oh, well, has the earth changed dramatically before man? Joel Clement: It certainly has. During the time of the Dinosaurs, of course, they were wiped out by a very dramatic change. Rep. Paul Gosar: It did.


Full Committee Hearing: U.S. Department of the Interior Budget and Policy Priorities for FY 2020, Committee on Natural Resources, May 15, 2019

Watch on YouTube: U.S. Department of the Interior Budget and Policy Priorities for FY 2020

Witness
  • David Bernhardt: Secretary of the Interior
Transcript:

1:36:45 Rep. Mike Levin (CA): Yes or no? Is there any doubt that you have a legal obligation to take into account the needs of future generations and manage the public lands to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation, now and in the future? David Bernhardt: We certainly have a need to take them into account. We are taking them into account.
Rep. Mike Levin (CA): Yet when we met, you claimed that Congress hasn’t given you enough direction to address climate change. David Bernhardt: What I specifically said is you haven’t given me any direction to stop any particular activity and if you want to stop it, you need to give us that direction. The reality is we comply, we are compliant with NEPA. Rep. Mike Levin (CA): Mr Bernhardt, Secretary, what type of direction would you want Congress to give you to make it in every year? David Bernhardt: Whatever you think you can do to stop it, if that’s what you want to do, go for it. But, but that should happen in this body. That’s not something the Department of Interior does with the magic wand.

2:39:40 Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA): So I was reading the newspaper this week and it hit the headlines that two days ago, that carbon dioxide levels hit 415 parts per million, which is the highest in human history, the highest in 800,000 years. Did you happen to see that secretary? David Bernhardt: I didn’t see that particular fact…. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA): Well that was on the front page of USA Today, and I’ll ask unanimous consent that the article titled “Carbon Dioxide levels hit landmark at 415 parts per million, highest in human history”, be made part of the record. And that was of course when there were no humans the last time it, it hit that kind of level and so my question for you is on a scale, and this is a number question, I’m looking for a number secretary. On a scale of one to 10, how concerned are you about that? David Bernhardt: Well, what I will say is I believe that the United States….. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA): …And 10 being the most concerned and one being the least concerned, what’s your number? David Bernhardt: I believe the United States is number one in terms of decreasing CO2. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA): Did you hear me all right Secretary? I’m asking you what’s your number of your level of concern about that? On a scale of one to 10, 10 being the most concerned, what’s your number for how concerned you are about us hitting 415 parts per million of carbon dioxide? David Bernhardt: I haven’t lost any sleep over it.


C-SPAN Broadcast: Interior Department Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request, Mother Jones, May 7, 2019

Watch on YouTube: APPROPRIATIONS–DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Committee on Appropriations

Witness:
  • David Bernhardt: Secretary of the Department of the Interior
Transcript:

27:35 David Bernhardt: I recognize that climate is changing. I recognize that man is a contributing factor.

29:00 David Bernhardt: Are we going to stop Welland Gas Development because of this report? The answer to that is no. Congress, you all have the ability to decide whether we do anything on federal lands and you’ve decided the lands that we manage. You’ve decided a whole host of different range of things. On some things you’ve decided that it’s wilderness and should be enjoyed for the solitude and enjoyment of people and untrammeled by man. On other things, you’ve decided that this is a national park and it should be managed that way. And on other areas you’ve decided that the land is for multiple use. We go through a planning process. That planning process can result in some areas that are for solitude, other areas are for multiple use, but at the end of the day we also have the Mineral Leasing Act. And if you have a view on what you want to happen, we’ll carry it out when you execute it. And that is my position.

44:45 David Bernhardt: If I were to ask for a Lexis or Westlaw search, and for somebody to give me the number of times that the secretary is directed to do something, you’d find that there are over 600 instances in law that says, I shall do something. There’s not a “shall” for “I shall manage the land to stop climate change” or something similar to that. There’s a “shall” that tells me to provide people to work on reports. There’s some authorization, but there’s no “shalls”.

53:40 Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ): Obviously I want to talk to you a little bit about drilling off the coast. Democrats and Republicans, we kind of agree on this issue. There were in opposition to drilling off the coast of Atlantic, so our state has been very concerned about this administration’s proposal to open up the outer continental shelf to drilling. I certainly was pleased to hear that those plans are on hold, but it’s very concerning that the administration is planning to proceed with the seismic air gun testing. A practice that causes extreme injury to marine animals, including dolphins and whales. Considering the harm to wildlife, what is the justification for engaging in seismic testing when there is a little prospect of offshore drilling anytime soon? David Bernhardt: Well what we do is we receive these applications and we process them. I don’t think we’re at a stage where any have been approved. But we go through the process.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ):

What applications are you talking about? David Bernhardt: The seismic applications. And my view would be that there’s seismic that occurs out there for other things already that don’t need a permit from a bone. But we’ll go through and we’ll do our analysis. We’ll make our decision and I think the way the regulations written, if we say that there’s a problem with the permit, then we need to explain how their application could be corrected. My own view is, we shouldn’t be afraid of information, if we can do it lawfully and it can be done responsibly. The data itself is not something that we should be afraid of.

1:02:15 David Bernhardt: On my first day as deputy, the secretary pulled me into his office and said, “your first job is to deal with Sage-Grouse. And I’d spent my entire career avoiding Sage-Grouse both at the department and the private sector.

1:05:00 Rep. Mike Simpson (ID): I’m not anti Sage-Grouse. It’s a species we’ve got to make sure it doesn’t get on the listing and our language to prevent listing in the past has been so that there’s progress can be made outside of the courts, frankly. Because it’s going to be done by the Department of Interior, by the states, by the local communities, and not by a judge.

1:08:25 Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): The oversight committee on natural resources are investigating whether your staff has been complying with transparency and record keeping laws, including whether records related to your daily schedule was deleted or withheld from disclosure. On March 28th, the committee sent you a joint letter requesting transcribed interviews with four employees familiar. It has been over five weeks since the committee issued the letter and the Interior has not scheduled the interviews or allowed the employee to contact. What are you doing and when do you plan on scheduling these witnesses for interviews? David Bernhardt: Well, I think we’ve sent the committee tens of thousands of pages of documents. They’ll see every single calendar entry made from the day. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): But we’re talking about…. David Bernhardt: We have every single document. You have so much to review. We’ve offered a briefing…. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): But we as Congress asked for them to come and, last time I checked, you don’t determine how we get our information. I appreciate what you sent, but the issue on the table is scheduling the witnesses for interviews and you sir, are the person who’s responsible to set the tone. So I want to know, when do you plan on scheduling these witnesses? David Bernhardt: I want to be very clear here. We have offered additional briefings. We’ve offered material and at the right, we think it’s not the appropriate time for interviews. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): So your position is that you have the right to tell Congress when and what, how the information will be…. David Bernhardt: Of course not, but we do have a right to have a process that’s fair and responsive and know…. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): So you think the process isn’t fair and responsive? David Bernhardt: In all candor, you sent these secretaries requests and they obviously have to make their choice, but you’re talking about individual employees that have been long standing employees within the department and when you want to shoot at me, that’s comes with the territory. But these are people, we have wonderful career employees here that are very, they’ve never had this happen to them in their career and I just think people ought to think about that for a minute.

1:13:00 Rep. Mike Quigley (IL): Four days into your tenure, the inspector general opened an ethics investigation into a “wide assortment of questionable conduct on your part”. So, spare us that we’re coming after your career employees, as you say, this is about you and the questions raised, leaving meetings with questionable private interest off your public calendar and changing your public calendar, which may violate federal record laws, rolling back endangered species protections to benefit your former clients, engaging in illegal lobbying activities and blocking scientific study on the impact of certain pesticides on several endangered species to benefit the makers of these pesticides.

1:28:15 Rep. Betty McCollum (MN): Does the DOI have a comprehensive plan for the proposed reorganization? And some of this I know you’re probably going to get back to me on, so I’ll read the others. David Bernhardt: I, um…. Rep. Betty McCollum (MN): Because the committee today has not received anything. David Bernhardt: I think I committed to you months ago that if this moved forward, you’d get a detailed plan. And I think you can say that you don’t have a detailed plan. We have a spend plan that we brought today. I’ll give you, but I know for a while that we need to have a plan that will pass muster for you.

1:30:10 Rep. Betty McCollum (MN): So, let me tie that back to what is going on with tribal consultation. Mr. Cameron’s statement also in the Committee on Oversight and investigations, and I quote for him. “After much input from the department’s career senior executive staff, Congress, governors, and external stakeholders, including consultation with Indian tribal leaders, a map was finalized in the unified regions, took effect on August 22nd 2018”. According to your website, the unified regional boundary map was published on July 20, 2018, however; the first tribal consultation occurred on June 30th and the final consultation occurred on August 23rd. So it’s clear from the timeline that the tribal consultation was, it appears to be an afterthought to the reorganization and…

1:34:00 David Bernhardt: Let me be very, very clear. We are not reorganizing as part of the unified regions in any way. The BIA or BIE, they wanted out of it.

1:58:15 Rep. Mike Quigley (IL): Tell us how the things I talked about, like reducing tests to key equipment such as blowout preventers is a compromise? David Bernhardt: The fact of the matter is the more you test equipment, also leads to the greater likelihood that it will fail and… Rep. Mike Quigley (IL): When you take that, so the logical conclusion, we’ve never tested theirs.


Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing: NO ROAD MAP, NO DESTINATION, NO JUSTIFICATION: THE IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACTS OF THE REORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Committee on Natural Resources, April 30, 2019

Watch on YouTube: Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing

Witnesses:
  • Scott Cameron – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget at the Department of Interior
    • Worked at the Interior Department during the GWB administration.
    • Between his Interior gigs for GWB and Trump, Cameron spent four years working at Dawson and Associates, a lobbying firm that represents lots of companies in the fossil fuel industry.
  • Harold Frazier – Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Michael Bromwich – Founder and Managing Principle of the Bromwich Group
    • Former Justice Department Inspector General and U.S. Assistant Attorney
    • Has investigated and helped reform police departments and conducted investigations of the FBI, returning damning results.
    • Was one of the prosecutors of Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal.
  • Jamie Rappaport-Clark – President and CEO at Defenders of Wildlife
    • Former Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service during the Clinton administration
Transcript:

9:45 Rep. T.J. Cox (CA): One of the first things Ryan Zinke did after becoming secretary was try to implement massive solution in search of a problem. The weakness in that approach to reorganizing the 70,000 employee department of the Interior, It became clear early in the process. We have not seen data to show that there is a problem. We’ve not seen data to prove that every organization was the way to solve the problem, nor have we seen a cost benefit analysis or workforce planning data, no measurable goals, no comprehensive plan, and that’s worth repeating, a massive reorganization and we have seen no plan.

11:20 Rep. T.J. Cox (CA): The actions that have been taken so far in the name of the reorganization have already had significant impacts. Starting in 2017, dozens of the most experienced, the most effective employees were moved out of their positions into positions for which they had no qualifications or interest, and with very little notice.

12:35 Rep. T.J. Cox (CA): To try to uphold our constitutional prerogative to provide oversight on this major undertaking, this committee has repeatedly sought information from interior. We’ve been repeatedly denied.

19:55 Scott Cameron: Uh, the departments where reorganization is in response to President Trump’s 2017 executive order to reorganize the executive branch to better meet the needs of the American people in the 21st century. Our Agency’s reform plan highlights the need to modernize and plan for the next 100 years of land and water resource management. The first and very significant step we took toward reorganization was to create 12 unified regions that aligned most of our bureaus with within shared geographic boundaries and more importantly, shared geographic perspectives. After much input from the departments, career senior executive staff, Congress, governors, and external stakeholders, including consultations with Indian tribal leaders, the map was finalized and the unified regions took effect on August 22, 2018.

22:35 Scott Cameron: We have also proposed moving elements of the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Geological Survey headquarters operations west, to bring them closer to the public that they interact with most frequently.

24:25 Harold Frazier: Now when this reorganization happened, um, as tribes in the Great Plains area, and I’m sure throughout the United States, we were never properly consulted. When they come to the region, the Great Plains region, we were given a picture of a map. That’s all we were given. We weren’t given any plans over the purpose of, -how, or why this change is needed or how it’s going to benefit our people. It was never done. That’s all we were given.

29:10 Michael Bromwich: My testimony will focus on the first principles that should guide a significant government reorganization and how they were applied to the reorganization we undertook at interior following the oil spill. First, a bit of background. In late April, 2010, Deep Water Horizon rig was conducting exploratory drilling in the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig experienced a violent blowout that killed 11 people and injured many others. It was a human tragedy of major proportions, but also an enormous environmental tragedy. In early June, 2010 I was asked by President Obama to lead the agency responsible for the oversight of offshore drilling. At the time, known as the Minerals Management Service or MMS. We took immediate steps to modify the rules governing offshore drilling, but we also looked at whether the government’s organizational structure for managing it was the right fit for the risks that it posed. We ultimately concluded that it was not, but not before we developed a detailed understanding of the way the agency operated and the costs and benefits of changing that structure. The agency was responsible for three very different missions, collecting royalties and revenues for the offshore program, making balanced resource decisions and developing and enforcing regulations governing offshore activities. These three missions conflicted with each other and the history of the agency demonstrated that revenue collection was emphasized at the expense of the other missions. By the time I arrived at DOI, six weeks after the initial explosion, discussions had already begun about reorganizing MMS to eliminate its structural conflicts, but I was given the discretion to decide whether or not to do it. I don’t take reorganizations lightly. I have a bias against them. They are disruptive, expensive, frustrating, and they tend to depress morale. They create uncertainty and divert resources. They frequently fail to achieve their objectives. Reorganizations are too often undertaken for reasons of executive vanity. They are developed and implemented in haste, inadequately vetted based on inadequate analysis and insufficient consultations with stakeholders, including the personnel responsible for implementing them. They are a way for a new executive or executive team to put their imprint on an organization, whether the changes make any sense or not. Those are bad reasons for undertaking a reorganization, but those are the reasons that many are undertaken. In the case of MMS, we became convinced that a reorganization was necessary and appropriate, but only after careful study and consideration of less disruptive alternatives. I want to emphasize that when we began the process, there was no preordained outcome. We did not decide on the reorganization that was ultimately implemented and then work backwards to justify it. Instead, we undertook a detailed process together with outside consultants who are experts in organizational diagnosis and reorganizations. We considered a number of less sweeping changes, including changes to staffing levels, enhanced training, and other organizational tweaks. In the end, our analysis and discussions pointed to a broad reorganization and my prepared statement goes into detail into the various steps we took during the process. Throughout the process, we were extraordinarily open about what we were doing. We were open with the agencies personnel, with DOI, with the congress, and with the public. We spoke frequently about what we were doing and why we were doing it. The broad contours and most of the specifics of the reorganization were embraced by members of Congress of both parties. In the more than seven years since the reorganization was completed, its wisdom has been demonstrated. I’ve just told in very abbreviated form, the story of a rare species, a successful government reorganization. As I said at the outset, I know very few of the details of the proposed and far broader DOI organization that is the subject of this hearing, but I gather I’m not alone because the details of the reorganization have not been shared widely with agency personnel, the Congress, or the public, including local stakeholders, communities, and Native American tribes. That’s a problem. I’m aware of no internal or external studies of any kind that have made the affirmative case for the proposed DOI reorganization. I am aware of no analyses or studies that have presented the anticipated benefits of the reorganization and balanced them against anticipated costs.

34:05 Jamie Rappaport-Clark: With more than 20 years of service with the federal government, I have personal experience with reorganization initiatives and with leading mission driven organizations. I believe the administration’s current effort to reorganize Department of the Interior distracts from its vitally important mission. Waste scarce, fiscal and human resources disrupts the essential and lawful functions of interior bureaus, reduces staff capacity and seriously undermines employee morale. To succeed, there must be clarity, not only on the problems posed by the existing structure, but how the proposal will measurably improve performance. Impacts to personnel and operations must be explicitly considere and transparency and public engagement across all affected sectors, vitally important. The administration has not satisfied these fundamental criteria. Their plan suffers from a lack of crucial details, transparency, accountability, and public engagement. They have never really described a compelling need for reorganization. Consideration of critical questions about the scope, purpose, impacts, benefits, and risks of such a radical transformation have not been reconciled.

35:45 Jamie Rappaport-Clark: A unified military command is fundamentally inappropriate for coordinating interior bureaus. A distinct mission and responsibility for each bureau are established by law. Those missions sometimes align, but sometimes diverge or even conflict, and that’s by design. Certainly bureaus can and should coordinate their actions better to achieve timely outcomes, but they cannot be legally subordinated to the control of a single unified regional directorship. The administration’s proposal of 12 unified regions cut through watersheds, they cut through states and even individual public lands units, confounding management and complicating relationships with partners, overlaying new regions atop current agency boundaries or fracture relationships developed with stakeholders over many years.

37:00 Jamie Rappaport-Clark: Given this administration’s agenda of energy dominance on the public domain and continuous attacks on our conservation laws and regulations, it’s fair to question whether their purpose is to support their policy priorities and weaken the effectiveness of conservation programs rather than to achieve objectives of efficiency and public service in carrying out the Interior department’s complex and multidimensional mission.

42:30 Scott Cameron : Because we respect the sovereignty of Indian tribes, we were not willing to impose, if you will look, the involvement of BIA and BIE in the reorganization effort on the tribes and since the tribes have not been particularly enthusiastic about the notion of their bureaus being part of the reorganization, we in fact have not included them.

45:20 Scott Cameron : Essentially, the reorganization has three parts, the unified region, a concept which has already initially deployed, if you will. There’s a notion of saving money to invest in Indian schools and other departmental services by pursuing shared services and our back office administrative functions to get some efficiencies there. And the third prong is the notion of moving the headquarters elements of the BLM and the USGS West, to be closer to where the preponderance of those bureaus activities is taking place.

50:15 Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ): I was thinking if there was an instruction manual on how to fundamentally weaken an agency. This is what I think I would recommend. Start by creating a crisis for key agencies. Move them as far away from Congress as possible to minimize contact with appropriators and authorizers. Undermine those relationships, separate them from the nonprofit community that helps them make informed decisions. Then make it clear to the workforce that they are not valued. Create a culture of fear to demand total loyalty. Transfer them to jobs in which they have no qualifications or interest. Send them to new parts of the country. Uproot their families and lives. Quietly close or cut programs throughout the agency. Take away their decision making authority and voice within the department and put it in the hands of political appointees.

51:40 Jamie Rappaport-Clark:It is incredibly destabilized. Focus is not on the task at hand. Employees are confused. Stakeholders are confused. Communication is not flowing and there’s a culture of fear in the Interior department, clearly in the fish and wildlife service given the reckless nature of senior executive reassignments with no justification, with no information, with no conversation. Another round is expected to be coming. This is an agency I believe in crisis, which diverts its talent. It diverts its responsibilities. It diverts its attention to addressing species extinction, land management needs, climate change, all of the water management, all of the very important natural resource values that that department’s trusted to oversee and take care of.

58:40 Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): Mr. Cameron, Let me also ask you, you talked about benefits of, in your written testimony of relocating and DOI from Washington D.C., can you just simply explain some of the longterm savings that a relocation would actually realize? Scott Cameron: Yes, Mr. Bishop, so there are a number of types of savings. For one thing, the rental cost in most cities in the West is a lot cheaper than in the main interior building or in Washington D.C. more generally. Travel costs, travel time. Most of the airplane trips are from the east coast to the west coast. If we had the geological survey headquarters and the BLM headquarters out west somewhere, there be a lot more one hour plane trips instead of four hour plane trips. Cost of living for our employees is a lot cheaper out west in most locations, than it would be here and there is a list of a dozen or so variables that we’re looking at.

1:04:00 Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ): And what are the steps of accountability? Scott Cameron: We will be working on individual performance standards for the person who is charged with being an Interior Regional Director, each one of the regions. And there will be specific expectations in terms of what that person’s scope is or is not on a region by region basis. And they would be reporting to the deputy secretary in Washington. So we will have an accountability, but we will be not cutting out the bureau directors and the assistant secretaries, but traditional chains of command will also apply.

1:06:40 Rep. T.J. Cox (CA): Can you provide any type of legal justification whatsoever withholding the plan? Scott Cameron: Sir, For once, I’m glad I’m not an attorney, so I won’t dare to go outside of my area of expertise. So I cannot provide that.

1:07:00 Rep. T.J. Cox (CA): Any evidence at all that this reorganization strategy or plan is going to strengthen agency decision-making? Michael Bromwich: Well if there is, we haven’t seen it. And it’s up to the agency to provide it. I looked at the reorganization website that DOI sponsors, there’s been nothing posted on it since November one. One of the key elements of a reorganization if it’s going to succeed, is to continue to push information out to all of the stakeholders who are affected by it. Most particularly, the employees in the agencies that are going to be affected. And you can read through everything that’s on the DOI reorganization website in less than half an hour. And as I say, it hasn’t been updated in five months since November one. So you can’t handle a reorganization that is a mystery shrouded in another mystery. You need to be open about it. You need to provide the details of what you’re doing. You need to lay out the costs and benefits that will be accomplished through the reorganization. None of that has been done. Mr. Cameron has done a very good job of talking in generalities, but there are only generalities and without having the kind of analysis that undergirds a real and potentially successful reorganization, it’s simply not going to work. If the reorganization that has been described by Mr. Cameron and has previously been described by Secretary Zinke were submitted to a board of directors of any major company in this country, it would be rejected flatly, for lack of detail.

1:21:40 Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): What does SES mean? Scott Cameron: Um, Senior Executive Service. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): And did you not have one of the SES, a two day conference with those people on this plan? Scott Cameron: We did Sir, more than a year ago. We brought in all the regional…. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): Did it have the recommendations? Scott Cameron: We spent two days chatting with them. They gave us lots of ideas and we modified our original conception of the plan based on their feedback. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): So you have implemented those types of things? Scott Cameron: Yes Sir, we’re in the process of implementing them. Rep. Rob Bishop (UT): And as you go and talk to interest groups, whatever they be, you have implemented those changes? The changes from the county lines to state lines. Was that pushed by the states? Scott Cameron: It was pushed by the Western Governors Association in particular.


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Thank You Elijah

A “thank you” bonus episode featuring a surprise Congressional death, proof of bipartisan warmongering, a NATO expansion, and a long forgotten plane crash. Thanks for supporting the show!


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Mentioned Podcast Episodes

CD167: Combating Russia NDAA, Featured on Crypto Cousins


Articles/Documents


References


Sound Clip Sources

Committee on Oversight and Reform Full Hearing: Oversight Committee: Full Hearing H.R.1 “Strengthening Ethics Rules for the Executive Branch”, Oversight Committee, YouTube, February 6, 2019
Speakers:
  • Representative Elijah Cummings (MD)
Transcript:

1:43:00 Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD): One year ago today when my mother’s dying bed at 92 years old, former sharecropper, her last words were, do not let them take our votes away from us. They had fought, she had fought and seen people harmed and beaten, trying to vote. Talk about inalienable rights. Voting is crucial, and I don’t give a damn how you look at it. There are efforts to stop people from voting. That’s not right. This is not Russia. This is the United States of America, and I will fight until the death to make sure every citizen, whether they’re Green party, whether they’re Freedom Party, whether they’re Democrat, whether you’re Republican, whoever has that right to vote.


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Thanks For Retiring

A “thank you” bonus episode featuring information on a congressional resignation, a long list of future congressional quitters, dizzy spells, and a disappearing airline.


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Articles/Documents


Additional Reading


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Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

 

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CD202: Impeachment?

Donald Trump. Ukraine. Joe Biden. A phone call. Election Interference. Impeachment!

What the hell is going on?

In this episode, an irritated Jen gives you the backstory that you need to know about the impeachment drama, including what the steps to impeachment are. Prepare yourself: Everyone devoted to the Republican or Democratic parties will be pissed off by this episode.


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Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes

CD167: Combating Russia NDAA

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CD067: What do We Want in Ukraine

CD068: Ukraine Aid Bill

CD190: A Coup for Capitalism

CD176: Target Venezuela Regime Change in Progress


Articles/Documents


Additional Resources


Sound Clip Sources


Interview with Mitch McConnell:, CNBC, September 30, 2019

Speakers:
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Transcript:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY): Yeah, it’s a, it’s a Senate rule related to impeachment that would take 67 votes to change. So I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up.


President Trump Meeting with Ukrainian President, C-SPAN, 74th U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 25, 2019

Speakers:
  • Donald J. Trump
  • President Zelensky
Transcript:

1:45 Volodymyr Zelensky: It’s a great pleasure to me to be here, and it’s better to be on TV than by phone.

3:30 Volodymyr Zelensky: My priority to stop the war on Donbass and to get back our territories, –- thank you for your support in this case, thank you very much.

6:40 Volodymyr Zelensky: And to know when, I want world to know that now we have the new team, the new parliament, the new government. So now we – about 74 laws, new laws, which help for our new reforms, land reform, — law about concessions, that we – general – and we launched the – secretary, and anti-corruption court. As we came, we launched the anti-corruption court, it began to work on the 5th of September. It was, you know, it was, after five days we had the new – So we are ready, we want to show that we just come, and if somebody, if you, you want to help us, so just let’s do business cases. We have many investment cases, we’re ready.

12:00 Reporter: Do you believe that the emaiIs from Hillary Clinton, do you believe that they are in Ukraine? Do you think this whole — President Trump: I think they could be. You mean the 30,000 that she deleted? Reporter: Yes. President Trump: Yeah, I think they could very well, boy that was a nice question. I like, that’s why, because frankly, I think that one of the great crimes committed is Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails after Congress sends her a subpoena. Think of that. You can’t even do that in a civil case. You can’t get rid of evidence like that. She deleted 33,000 emails after, not before, after receiving the subpoena from the U.S. Congress.

16:00 Translator for Volodymyr Zelensky: During the investigation, actually, I want to underscore that Ukraine is an independent country. We have a new –- in Ukraine, a hired, professional man with a western education and history, to investigate any case he considers and deems —


Speaker Pelosi Announcement of Impeachment Inquiry, C-SPAN, September 24, 2019

Speakers:
  • Nancy Pelosi

0:40 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA): Shortly thereafter, press reports began to break of a phone call by the President of the United States calling upon a foreign power to intervene in his election.

4:30 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA): And this week, the President has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The action of the Trump, the actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the President’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections. Therefore, today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.


House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) talks with CNN’s Erin Burnett, CNN, August 8, 2019

Speakers:
  • Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
Transcript:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY): This is formal impeachment proceedings. We are investigating all the evidence, we are gathering the evidence, and we will at the conclusion of this, hopefully by the end of the year, vote to, vote articles of impeachment to the House floor, or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make, but that, but that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.


Council of Foreign Relations: Foreign Affairs Issue Launch with Former Vice President Joe Biden, Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Speakers:
  • Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • Michael R. Carpenter
  • Presider, Richard N. Haass
Transcript:

6:00* Joe Biden: I think there’s a basic decision that they cannot compete against a unified West. And I think that is Putin’s judgment. And so everything he can do to dismantle the post world war two liberal world order, including NATO and the EU, I think is viewed as they’re in their immediate self-interest.

52:00 Joe Biden: I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team and our leaders, that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor, and they didn’t. So they said they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

54:00 Joe Biden: But always worked in Kiev because, as I said, look, it’s simple proposition. If in fact you do not continue to show progress in terms of corruption, we are not going to be able to hold the rest of Europe on these sanctions and Russia is not going to roll across the inner line here and take over the rest of the country with their tanks. What they’re going to do is they’re going to take your economy down. You’re going to be absolutely buried and you’re going to be done, and that’s when it all goes to hell.

56:00 Joe Biden: It’s a very difficult spot to be in now, when foreign leaders call me, and they do, because I never, ever, ever would say anything negative to a foreign leader, and I mean this sincerely, about a sitting president, no matter how fundamentally I disagree with them. And it is not my role, not my role to make foreign policy. But the questions across the board range from, what the hell is going on, Joe, to what advice do you have for me? And my advice always is to, I give them names of individuals in the administration who I think to be knowledgeable and, and, and, and, and committed, and I say, you should talk to so and so. You should, and what I do, and every one of those times, I first call the vice president and tell him I received the call, tell him, and ask him whether he has any objection to my returning the call. And then what is the administration’s position, if any, they want me to communicate to that country.


Interview, ABC News, March 30, 2015

Speakers:
  • Mike Pence
  • George Stephanopoulos

8:00 George Stephanopoulos: One fix that people have talked about is simply adding sexual orientation as a protected class under the state civil rights laws. Will you push for that? Mike Pence: I will not push for that. That’s not on my agenda. And that’s not been an objective of the people of the state of Indiana.


Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call, BBC News, February 7, 2014

Speakers:
  • Victoria Nuland
  • Geoffrey Pyatt

Watch on YouTube

Victoria Nuland: Good. So, I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea. Geoffrey Pyatt: Yeah, I mean, I guess. In terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate Democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys, and I’m sure that’s part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this. I kind of— Victoria Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. What he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know? I just think Klitsch going in—he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenyuk; it’s just not going to work.

Victoria Nuland: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to me VFR, saying, you need Biden, and I said, probably tomorrow for an “atta-boy” and to get the deets to stick. Geoffrey Pyatt: Okay. Victoria Nuland: So, Biden’s willing. Geoffrey Pyatt: Okay, great. Thanks.


Senator John McCain on Ukraine, C-SPAN, Atlantic Council of the U.S., December 13, 2013

Speakers:
  • John S. McCain III

Watch on YouTube

Transcript:

16:45 Sen. John McCain: Finally, we must encourage the European Union and the IMF to keep their doors open to Ukraine. Ultimately, the support of both institutions is indispensible for Ukraine’s future. And eventually, a Ukrainian President, either this one or a future one, will be prepared to accept the fundamental choice facing the country, which is this: While there are real short-term costs to the political and economic reforms required for IMF assistance and EU integration, and while President Putin will likely add to these costs by retaliating against Ukraine’s economy, the long-term benefits for Ukraine in taking these tough steps are far greater and almost limitless. This decision cannot be borne by one person alone in Ukraine. Nor should it be. It must be shared—both the risks and the rewards—by all Ukrainians, especially the opposition and business elite. It must also be shared by the EU, the IMF and the United States. All of us in the West should be prepared to help Ukraine, financially and otherwise, to overcome the short-term pain that reforms will require and Russia may inflict.


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CD201: WTF is the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve system: Most Americans know it’s important but most Americans don’t know exactly what it is. In this episode, discover the controversial and disturbing history of the Federal Reserve and learn how it has allowed bankers and politicians to create money out of nothing, taking value out of your bank accounts for over 100 years. 

 


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Books

The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin September 2010

Fed Up: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America Booth by Danielle DiMartino February 2017

Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins 2018

Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud by David Dayen May 2016

Articles/Documents

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Sound Clip Sources

Press Conference aired on CNBC: Powell on Trump: ‘The law is clear that I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it’ June 19, 2019

Reporter: Clarify what you would do if the president tweets or calls you to say he would like to demote you as fed chair? Jerome Powell: I think the law is clear that I have a four year term and I I fully intend to serve it.


Tweet: Kyle Dunnigan, #LeavingNevreland March 6, 2019


Fox News Interview with President Donald Trump October 16, 2019

President Donald Trump: Give me zero interest rates right now and you take a look at our numbers. It’d be the greatest economy in the history of the world. Nobody would be able to compete with it.

President Donald Trump: And I fully get the whole thing, the Federal Reserve, I get it as well as any president who’s ever been here. I get it really well.


Joe Biden Speaks that Council on Foreign Relations January 23, 2018

Joe Biden: I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team and our leaders, convincing them that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor, and they didn’t. So they said they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.


Hillary Clinton Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations November 2015 Watch on C-SPAN

Hillary Clinton: So we need to move simultaneously toward a political solution to the civil war that paves the way for a new government with new leadership and to encourage more Syrians to take on ISIS as well. To support them, we should immediately deploy the Special Operations Force President Obama has already authorized, and be prepared to deploy more, as more Syrians get into the fight. We should retool and ramp up our efforts to support and equip viable Syrian opposition units. Our increased support should go hand in hand with increased support from our Arab and European partners, including Special Forces who can contribute to the fight on the ground. We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. Opposition Forces on the ground, with material support from the coalition, could then help create safe areas for them from the country instead of fleeing toward Europe.


Ron Paul speech at the Campaign for Liberty: End the Fed September 18, 2009

Ron Paul: But, there’s a moral argument, against the, the Federal Reserve because, we’re giving power to a few individuals to create money out of thin air and have, have legal tender laws that says, you must use the paper money. You can’t use gold as the constitution tells you you should, but you must use, paper money. And then that gives the central bank the Authority to counterfeit money, and always for good reasons, of course, to maintain a stable economy.

Ron Paul: The mandate and the Federal Reserve Act for the Federal Reserve was to maintain the value of the dollar and to have full employment, and maintaining the value of the dollar means stable prices. Well, they fail. They flown, they get an AF. They’re destroying the value of the dollar. And we have perpetual increases in cost of living and they say, oh no, it’s not all bad inflation. We’re only destroying the money at 2% per year. But it’s a lot worse than that. But 2% it’s evil too. You know, under sun money, your value of your money goes up, costs go down, cost of living goes down and you get more. And that’s how we become more prosperous. But they have totally failed in maintaining the value of the dollar, giving us stable prices. Nobody wants to talk about the inflation in Eh, in a medical care. Yes, pricing. People are unhappy because they can’t afford it or they can’t afford it because their dollar doesn’t buy as much. You say, oh no, we don’t have inflation. The government says the CPIS only going up 1% – 2%. But the cost of medicine goes up much more rampantly. But, when you create new money, the cost goes up differently for different areas. If everybody’s wages went up at the same rate as the money supply would go up, and everybody’s cost would go up the same, it would be irrelevant. But it doesn’t work that way. Your wages and your income never keep up and certain prices go up faster than others. Some people suffer more than people who get to use the money. First benefit. The people who get the money, use the money last, the average person in the middle class, they use the money and they get stuck. If you’re in retirement, you might suffer more than others. But you know, they come up with these figures and they say, oh, prices went up 2% last month. But if you exclude for food and energy, they only went up a half a percent. So it wasn’t so bad. But for some people, food and energy crisis go up and it means a whole lot.

Ron Paul: And there wasn’t time, you know, the Federal Reserve was required to have gold behind the expansion of money. So they were restrained and as bad as they were in inviting problems, they still had some restraint up until 1971. But even though the Federal Reserve Act gave the power to the Fed to buy corporate debt, they really never did that until just recently. It used to be gold and silver that they used as reserve. And then after 1971, they just used treasury bills, which was bad, but still there was some restraint on that, that depended on the amount of debt that we had. But of course, that gave license to the congress to run up unlimited amount of debt. But today what backs our dollar is derivatives. All the worthless access, the toxic access assets that we were required to buy are now held by the Fed. And we don’t know exactly how much and what they have bought. And that, of course, is why we’re arguing for the case of auditing the Fed.

Ron Paul: The other associations that I talk about in the book are the associations with the Federal Reserve Board chairman. I’ve had a few of those. And a matter of fact, just for a month or so, when I first went into congress, Berns was still the chairman. I didn’t really get to know him and it was such a short period and he was in poor health. But the one that I got to know the best in your years was a Paul Volcker. And, I gave him a little bit of a plus as far as the various members, various chairman that I’ve met because, he seemed to be more willing to discuss things on a one to one basis. Actually there was one time when we were working on the monetary control act in the early 1980s, which gave a lot more power, regulatory powers, to the Federal Reserve and to monetize debt. And I was arguing one case in the committee, that it was a dangerous thing because the Federal Reserve was given too much power to inflate endlessly and didn’t have to have any reserves whatsoever and could take interest rates down to zero or whatever. And, he was disagreeing with me and he says, look, what I’d like you to do is come over and have breakfast with me. And, that wouldn’t happen with Bernanki or Greenspan. They didn’t do that. So I did. I went over to the Federal Reserve and we had the discussion. He tried to, you know, convince me differently, but I felt like I won the argument with them because as I was leaving, he says, yes, you may be right about this, but he himself, that I may be right on the interpretation of the legislation, but he himself would not inflate. He wants this so that he has the power to restrain monetary authorities rather than to expand monetary powers. But it turns out that yes, I said, you might not want to use these powers to rapidly expand the money supply, but someday somebody else might want to do it. And of course, I make the comment, I think that some day is right here when you see what Bernanki did, you know, within a few months, doubling the monetary base. So, his authority was getting granted back at that time.

Ron Paul: He wants to know what a sound currency would look like. I think you could probably go to the period of time in the 19th century when they had sound money and gold coins circulated and certificates should circulate and could circulate. It’s the trust factor that would have to be there and you could still have electronic money and whatever. People could measure the value of the currency by something that should always be convertible. You should have a gold coin standard, and that is that you don’t have to carry the coins around, but if the government is guaranteeing – which they are supposed to be doing – guaranteeing that any certificate would be convertible into coin, and that’s better than a — standard, that means that if you have $5,000 and you’re getting worried about the government, you get to vote against the government saying, look, I want my gold coins in my pocket. And then they then would have to give you the gold coins.

Ron Paul: It’s a sinister tax is what it really is. Governments: There’s enough of a coalition together that wants to see government grow. Whether it’s for the welfare reasons here at home, or if it’s for the ideas of promoting our goodness around the world. It has nothing to do with protecting oil or anything else, but we need a military presence around the world. But if you had honest money and governments couldn’t counterfeit, these ideas would still float around, but they would be forced to pay for it immediately. If we could ever get this whole notion that you shouldn’t even allow the government to borrow, and they would have to tax us directly and say, look, if you want to do A, B, and C, we’re going to take money from you and we’re going to pay for it. This would slow things up. But there’s a convenience for those who want big government to have the tax be an inflation tax. That is to vote for all the welfare programs. Vote for all the warfare programs. Don’t be a responsible for this, morally responsible or economically responsible. Just pass the programs. And if you find your coalitions, you get reelected. And this is work to, you know, running as Santa Claus is a lot better than running against Santa Claus. And that’s been done for many, many years. But that’s coming to an end. That’s why there’s a difference right now because this system is in the process of failing.


Hearing: The Federal Budget and the Economy March 3, 2009 Senate Budget Committee

Witness

  • Ben Bernanke – Chairman of the Federal Reserve

58:00 Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): I wrote you a letter and I said, hey, who’d you lend the money to? What were the terms of those loans? How can my constituents in Vermont get some of that money? Who makes the decisions? Do you guys sit around in a room? Do you make it? Are there conflicts of interest? So my question to you is, will you tell the American people to whom you lent $2.2 trillion of their dollars? Will you tell us who got that money and what the terms are of those agreements? Ben Bernanke: We explain each of our programs. In terms of the terms, we explained the terms exactly. We explained what the collateral requirements are. We explained… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): To whom did you explain that? Ben Bernanke: It’s on our website. Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Yeah. Okay. Ben Bernanke: So all that information is available in our commercial paper… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): And who got the money? Ben Bernanke: Hundreds and hundreds of banks. Any bank or that has access to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s discount… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Can you tell us who they are? Ben Bernanke: No, because the reason that is counterproductive and will destroy the value of the program is that banks will not come to the… Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Isn’t that too bad? Ben Bernanke: Sorry. Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): In other words, isn’t that too bad? They took the money, but they don’t want to be public about the fact that they received it.


 

 

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Thank You for the Hiatus

We’re changing up the format a bit and making the thank you’s a separate episode. In this thank you segment that compliments CD201: WTF is the Federal Reserve?, Jen gives you an update on some matters of war and thanks all of the wonderful souls who supported the podcast during the production hiatus. 

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CD195: Yemen

CD191: The Democracies of Elliott Abrams

CD190: A Coup for Capitalism

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Special Announcement

In this special announcement, Jen explains a temporary schedule change to the Congressional Dish community, designed to facilitate a renewed focus on increasing the quality of future episodes and the creation of the CD green room. Also, Jen shares an exciting announcement about an upcoming appearance on her favorite channel!


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CD200: How to End Legal Bribes

The currently legal ability of obscenely rich people to bribe lawmakers and law enforcers is the source of many – if not all – of our political problems. In this episode, get an update on the few democracy-enhancing bills that have moved in this Congress and Jen speaks to Sam Fieldman – the National Counsel at Wolf-PAC – who explains how we can constitutionally end the role of money in politics by going around Congress. Joe Briney joins Jen for the thank you’s.

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Bill Outline

H.R. 2722: SAFE Act

Sponsor: Zoe Lofgren of northern California 74 pages Passed the House on June 27, 2019 225-184
  • Only GOP yes: Newbie Rep. Brian Mast – 38 year old wounded Afghanistan war veteran representing the Palm Beach area
Went to the Committee on Rules and Administration in the Senate Title 1: Financial Support for Election Infrastructure Subtitle A: Voting System Security Improvement Grants Sec. 102: Paper ballot requirements
  • “The voting system shall require the use of an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot of the voters’ vote that shall be marked and made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter’s vote is cast and counted, which shall be counted by hand or read by an optical character recognition device or other counting device.”
  • “The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error on the paper ballot…”
  • Recounts: The paper ballot “shall constitute the official ballot and shall be preserved and used as the official ballot for purposes any recount or audit conducted with respect to any election for Federal office in which the voting system is used.”
Sec. 104: Durability and readability requirements for ballots
  • Ballots must be on “durable” paper, which means it is capable of withstanding multiple recounts by hand without compromising the fundamental integrity of the ballots” and they must maintain readability for 22 months.
Sec. 105: Recycled Paper
  • Ballots must be printed on recycled paper starting on January 1, 2021.
Sec. 107: These rules will apply “for any election for Federal office held in 2020 or any succeeding year.”
  • Grandfathered equipment: Districts using machines that print paper ballots with the votes already tallied can use those machines until 2022, but they must offer every voter the opportunity to vote using a blank paper ballot, which are not allowed to be designated as provisional.
Sec. 111:Grants for equipment changes
  • Federal tax money will be given to states to replace their voting system, if needed.
  • Grant amount: At least $1 per the average number of people who voted in the last two elections
  • To use these grants, the states can only buy voting equipment from a vendor “owned and controlled by a citizen or permanent resident of the United States”
  • The vendor must tell government officials if they get any part of their election infrastructure parts from outside the United States
  • Authorizes (but doesn’t appropriate) $600 million for 2019 and $175 million for each even number election year through 2026
Subtitle B:Risk-Limiting Audits Sec. 121: Risk-limited audits required for all elections for Federal office
  • State election officials will make the rules for how these will be done
Sec. 122: Federal government will pay for audits
  • Authorizes “such sums as are necessary”
Title II: Promoting Cybersecurity Through Improvements in Election Administration Sec. 201: Voting system cybersecurity requirements
  • Vote counting machine rules
    • Machines that count ballots must be built so that “it’s mechanically impossible for the device to add or change the vote selections on a printed or market ballot”
    • The device must be “capable of exporting its data (including vote tally data sets and cast vote records) in a machine-readable, open data standards format”
    • The device’s software’s source code, system build tools, and compilation parameters must be given to certain Federal and State regulators and “may be shared by any entity to whom it has been provided… with independent experts for cybersecurity analysis.”
    • The devise must have technology that allows “election officials, cybersecurity researchers, and voters to verify that the software running on the device was built from a specific, untampered version of the code” that was provided to Federal and State regulators.
    • Loophole for moles: The Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security can waive any of the requirements other than the first one that prohibits machines that can change votes. The waivers can be applied to a device for no more than two years. The waivers must be publicly available on the Internet.
    • Not effective until November 2024 election.
  • Ballot marking machines and vote counters can’t use or “be accessible by any wireless, power-line, or concealed communication device” or “connected to the Internet or any non-local computer system via telephone or other communication network at any time.”
    • Effective for the 2020 general election and all elections after
  • Ballot marking devices can’t be capable of counting votes
    • States may submit applications to Federal regulators for testing and certification the accuracy of ballot marking machines, but they don’t have to.
Sec. 202: Testing of existing voting systems
  • 9 months before each regularly scheduled general election for Federal offices, “accredited laboratories” will test the voting system hardware and software with was certified for use in the most recent election. If the hardware and software fails the test, it “shall” be decertified.
  • Effective for the 2020 General Election.
Sec. 203: Requiring use of software and hardware for which information is disclosed by manufacturer
  • “In the operation of voting systems in an election for Federal office, a State may only use software for which the manufacturer makes the source code… publicly available online under a license that grants a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, sub-licensable license to all intellectual property rights in such source code….”
    • …except that the manufacturer may prohibit people from using the software for commercial advantage or “private monetary compensation” that is unrelated to doing legitimate research.
  • States “may not use a voting system in an election for Federal office unless the manufacture of the system publicly discloses online the identification of the hardware used to operate the system”
    • If the voting system is not widely-used, the manufacture must make the design “publicly available online under a license that grants a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, sub-licensable license to all intellectual property rights…”
  • Effective for the 2020 General election
Sec. 204: Poll books will be counted as part of voting systems for these regulations
  • Effective January 1, 2020
Title III: Use of voting machines manufactured in the United States Sec. 301: Voting machines must be manufactured in the United States
HR 391: White House Ethics Transparency Act of 2019 Pdf of the bill Reported June 12, 2019 out of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform 23-16 On January 28, 2017 – a week after taking office – President Trump issued an executive order that requires all executive agency appointees to sign and be contractually obligated to a pledge that…
  • The appointee won’t lobby his/her former agency for 5 years after leaving
  • Will not lobby the administration he/she previously worked for
  • Will not, after leaving government, “engage in any activity on behalf of any foreign government or foreign political party which, were it undertaken on January 20, 2017, would require me to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938”
  • Will not accept gifts from registered lobbyists
  • Will recuse themselves from any matter involving their former employers for two years from the date of their appointment
  • If the appointee was a lobbyist before entering government, that person will not work on any matter that they had lobbied for for 2 years after the appointment
BUT Section 3 allows waivers: “The President or his designee may grant to any person a waiver of any restrictions contained in the pledge signed by such person.” Sec. 2: Requires any executive branch official who gets a waiver to submit a written copy to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics and make a written copy of the waiver available to the public on the website of the agency where the appointee works.
  • Backdated to January 20, 2017 (President Trump’s inauguration)

H.R. 745: Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act of 2019 Reported March 26, 2019 out of the Committee on Oversight and Reform 18-12 Pdf of the bill Sec. 2: Creates a transition ethics program
  • Requires the President-elect to give Congress a list of everyone in consideration for security clearance within 10 days of the applications submission and a list of everyone granted security clearance within 10 days of their approval.
  • Requires the transition team to create and enforce an “ethics plan” that needs to describe the role of registered lobbyists on the transition team, the role of people registered as foreign agents, and which transition team members of sources of income which are not known by the public
  • Transition team members must be prohibited by the ethics plan from working on matters where they have “personal financial conflicts of interest” during the transition and explain how they plan to address those conflicts of interest during the incoming administration.
  • The transition team ethics plan must be publicly avail on the website of the General Services Administration
  • Transition team members need to submit a list of all positions they have held outside the Federal Government for the previous 12 months -including paid and unpaid positions-, all sources of compensation that exceed $5,000 in the previous 12 months, and a list of policy issues worked on in their previous roles, a list of issues the team member will be recused from as part of the administration.
  • Transition team members that do not comply will not be granted any access to the Federal department or agency that isn’t open to the public.

S. 195 : Creates a transition ethics program: Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act Pdf of the bill Reported 4/10/19 out of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. On Senate Calendar Sec. 2: Definitions
  • “Congressionally mandated report” means a report that is required to be submitted to Congress by a bill, resolution, or conference report that becomes law.
    • Does NOT include reports required from 92 nonprofit corporations labeled as “Patriotic and National Organizations” (“Title 36 corporations”)
Sec. 3: Website for reports
  • 1 year after enactment, there needs to be a website “that allows the public to obtain electronic copies of all congressionally mandated reports in one place”
  • If a Federal agency fails to submit a report, the website will tell us the information that is required by law and the date when the report was supposed to be submitted
  • The government can’t charge a fee for access to the reports
  • The reports can be redacted by the Federal agencies

Resources


Sound Clip Sources

Watch on C-Span: House floor debate on HR 2722 June 27,2019

sound clip transcripts pdf


Watch on C-Span: William Barr Testifies on Mueller Report Before Senate Judiciary Committee May 1, 2019

  • 1:57:55 Sen. Amy Klocuchar (MN): For the last two years, Senator Lankford and I, on a bipartisan bill with support from the ranking and the head of the intelligence committee; have been trying to get the Secure Elections Act passed. This would require backup paper ballots. If anyone gets federal funding for an election, it would require audits, um, and it would require better cooperation. Yet the White House, just as we were on the verge of getting a markup in the rules committee (getting it to the floor where I think we would get the vast majority of senators), the White House made calls to stop this. Were you aware of that?
  • Attorney General William Barr: No.
  • Sen. Amy Klocuchar (MN): Okay, well that happened. So what I would like to know from you as our nation’s chief law enforcement officer if you will work with Senator Lankford and I to get this bill done? Because otherwise we are not going to have any clout to get backup paper ballots if something goes wrong in this election.
  • Attorney General William Barr: Well, I will… I will work with you, uh, to, uh, enhance the security of our election and I’ll take a look at what you’re proposing. I’m not familiar with it.
  • Sen. Amy Klocuchar (MN): Okay. Well, it is the bipartisan bill. It has Senator Burr and Senator Warner. It’s support from Senator Graham was on the bill. Senator Harris is on the bill and the leads are Senator Lankford and myself, and it had significant support in the house as well.

Hearing: Committee on Oversight and Reform:Strengthening Ethics Rules for the Executive Branch, February 6, 2019

Watch on Youtube

  • *28:00 Rep Jordan (OH): 2013 we learned that the IRS targeted conservative for their political beliefs during the 2012 election cycle systematically for a sustained period of time. They went after people for their conservative beliefs, plan in place, targeted people. They did it. The gross abuse of power would have continued, if not for the efforts of this committee. 2014 the Obama Administration doubled down and attempted to use the IRS rule making process to gut the ability of social welfare organizations to participate in public debate. Congress has so far prevented this regulation from going into effect, but HR 1 would change that.

Hearing: Judiciary Committee For The People Act Of 2019, January 29, 2019

Witness:

  • Sherrilyn Ifill – President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Watch on YouTube

  • 32:00 Sherrilyn Ifill: Well before the midterm election, in fact, Georgia officials began placing additional burdens on voters, particularly black and Latino voters, by closing precincts and purging. Over half a million people from the voter rolls the voter purge, which removed 107,000 people, simply because they did not vote in previous elections and respond to a mailing was overseen by the Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp, who was also the secretary of state. LDF and a chorus of others called on him to recuse himself from participating in the election. But he refused.
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