As you’re reading this, I’m on my Victory Cross Country 8-Ball heading to Glen Rose Texas down Hwy 67 to drop in at Loco Coyote for some awesome BBQ. From there I’m heading over to US Hwy 281 for a ride down into Texas Hill Country. It will be my first time doing a solo ride into that part of Texas, which is breathtaking and perfect for a motorcycle ride. I love the open road and the freedom that being on a motorcycle gives ya. And I look forward to many more rides through Texas as my schedule will allow.
However, I wanted to share with y’all something that’s rather disconcerting for me.
President Trump had a campaign slogan, among many, of “drain the swamp.” It has become rather apparent that there exists an Obama holdover rear guard focused on subverting the success of the Trump administration, and potentially sabotaging its efforts.
I mean seriously, have any of those Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees who called the U.S. Senate demanding the blocking of their future boss been fired? Yes, this past week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested the resignations of Obama appointed U.S. attorneys. And of course the progressive socialist left tried to make a big deal of that…until that memo from Clinton’s AG, Janet Reno, showed up evidencing the same. But there’s a “deep state” bureaucracy that exists in Washington DC which President Trump must confront, or suffer the consequences.
My concern is that it appears the swamp isn’t being drained, but rather the swamp creatures are just being repositioned.
As reported by the stalwarts at Conservative Review, “A current senior official at the State Department was a key component of President Obama’s operation to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the American people under false pretenses.
Chris Backemeyer, who serves as deputy assistant secretary for Iranian affairs under Sec. Rex Tillerson, was intimately involved in convincing public and private agencies of the Iran deal’s supposed merits. As part of his duties under Obama, Backemeyer — as the U.S. principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy — traveled throughout the country (and the world) hoping to convince multinational corporations to do business with the theocratic Iranian regime. Moreover, he was “the lead sanctions negotiator” in the P5+1 talks that resulted in the disastrous Iran deal.
Right now, Backemeyer is the highest-ranking official at the State Department when it comes to Iran policy. Backemeyer reassured mega-companies such as Boeing that investing in Iran was a safe bet, while at the same time the Iranian regime was exporting its caliphatist ideology across the globe.
Iran is the world’s foremost state-sponsor of international terrorism. The dictatorship in Tehran funds and aids several terrorist groups throughout the Middle East and the world at large. Last year, the State Department official spoke at an annual confab hosted by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a group that many Iranian dissidents consider to be a front group for Tehran. NIAC, with its deep ties to the regime, consistently pans skeptics of the deal as warmongers.
Backemeyer is far from the only prominent Obama-era official to maintain his position at the highest echelons of the State Department. Michael Ratney, who is currently in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio at the State Department, was one of John Kerry’s closest confidants in the former secretary of state’s demonization campaign against Israel. Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who was another driving force for Obama’s Iran deal, is currently in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf on Secretary Tilllerson’s policy planning staff.”
One has to ask, what is the purpose of retaining these individuals who possesses a worldview that should be 180 degrees from that of the Trump administration, at least according to what he’s said. I do find it interesting that we haven’t heard anything major — including during the address to the joint session of Congress — from President Trump on the Iranian nuclear deal. This was something he immensely criticized during the campaign…so why are the folks behind it still around in his state department?
Yes, there can be no debate that the Senate Democrats have done everything possible to stall the confirmations of President Trump’s cabinet, but, what about the hundreds of Senate-confirmed positions still remaining un-nominated? A good leader plans for success, and that means knowing the manning roster for the presidential appointed federal government positions and having those names ready to go.
Sure, you can make the conscious decision to not fill all those positions, maybe just 75 percent as part of a reduction of the size and scope of the administration bureaucracy. But there’s a dearth of deputy and undersecretary positions that have been filled. Case in point, at the Pentagon, of the 60-some odd Senate-confirmed positions, only one, the Secretary of Defense has been filled.
Regardless, in my assessment, there is no excuse for the retention of folks such as Backemeyer, Ratney, or Nowrouzzadeh.
But there’s another Obama holdover whose ascendance is perplexing: VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin. If you watched Dr. Shulkin’s Senate confirmation hearing it was like Dorothy and her companions skipping along the yellow brick road. Shulkin, who was the Obama administration-appointed head of the Veterans Health Administration, is the first VA Secretary who has NEVER served in uniform.
And out of the Trump administration cabinet, it was Dr. Shulkin who was confirmed with a Senate vote of 100-0…hmm, what does that say? As a matter of fact, when Shulkin assured the progressive socialist Democrat Senators that he would protect their model of single-payer healthcare system when he responded he wouldn’t seek to “privatize” the VA, they all smiled gleefully. The sad reality is that the left considers “privatization” allowing our veterans to have any choice in their healthcare when it comes to the VA system. And remember, it was Shulkin who was the Head of the VA hospital system as we learned about more and more deplorable treatment of our veterans.
And ask yourself, have you heard any major policy changes from Dr. Shulkin? Consider this, we recently shared here the story about the horrific treatment of veterans at the facility in North Carolina…did Shulkin announce any firings?
This week the White House announced several key nominee positions in the Department of Defense, to include the vital deputy SecDef and undersecretary of defense for policy — both of these positions have individuals who are linked to the defense industry.
There are even questions now surrounding the Trump secretary of the Air Force nominee, former Congresswoman Heather Wilson, and some issues about lobbying.
And after Vincent Viola and Philip Bilden — both billionaires — decided to withdraw their names from consideration for Secretary of the Army and Navy respectively, no replacement nominees have been named. So, who is currently in civilian leadership positions watching over our Army, Navy, and Air Force?
Being president of the United States means several things: you are the leader of your political party, the leader of the free world, the chief executive of the federal government, and the commander in chief of our armed forces. It’s not like a private sector CEO position, mainly because the decisions made affect lives. And this isn’t a role where you can micromanage each decision; there has to be trust with your subordinates who receive your vision, guidance and philosophy of governance. But most importantly, those subordinates must not represent the antithesis of your policy vision, directive guidance and philosophy.
We are about sixty days into the Trump administration, 40 to go to that magic first 100. Needless to say, there hasn’t been any honeymoon for President Donald Trump, but in my objective analysis, the swamp ain’t being drained either.