And so the blood-letting begins:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to offer some employees a buyout program to reduce staff, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, as President Donald Trump proposes slashing the agency’s budget and workforce to reduce regulation.
The memo sent by acting Deputy Administrator Mike Flynn on Thursday said the agency wants to complete the buyout program by September. It did not give a dollar figure for the buyouts or say how many employees it hoped would take the offer.
The memo was sent to all employees at the same time EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joined Trump at the White House to announce that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
“Early outs and buy outs … can help us realign our workforce to meet changing mission requirements and move toward new models of work,” the memo said. “The authority encourages voluntary separations and helps the Agency complete workforce restructuring with minimal disruption to the workforce.”
The EPA would see the biggest cuts of any federal agency in Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, with a 31 percent reduction in budget and the elimination of over 3,200 employees. The EPA employs about 15,000 people.
It took them fucking long enough!
Kansas Gov. Brownback’s tax experiment comes to end, as legislature overturns veto.
When Kansas Governor Sam Brownback launched his experiment, he told Kansans that it would be an injection of adrenaline and that the economy would come roaring back to life. But after 5 years, the economy struggles and the state budget is a disaster. Speaking from the Senate floor tonight, Sen. Dennings (R-Overland Park) spoke out in favor of overturning the Governor’s veto and ending the tax experiment. ‘This was a mistake,’ and noted that it was his mistake, and he was prepared to break out the mop and start cleaning it up. For Governor Brownback, the overturn of his tax plan represents the ultimate rebuke of a governor. Unlike Democratic governors in states with Supermajority Republicans who have faced veto override, Governor Brownback would assume immunity – the State House & Senate are both super majority Republican. But the Republicans have seen enough. Sen. Hardy (R-Salina) made the case: ‘The people in this state have had it. Either we pay the bill now or we pay a bigger bill later.’ ”
Will Comey tell us anything illegal/impeachable about @realDonaldTrump today?
— Rush Limbaugh (@Rush_0_Limbaugh) June 8, 2017
In prepared testimony released on the eve of his appearance Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI director James B. Comey placed President Trump in the gunsights of a federal criminal investigation, laying out evidence sufficient for a case of obstruction of justice.
Comey proved what Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers carefully avoided admitting in their testimony 1on Wednesday — that the president had specifically attempted to shut off at least a major piece of what Trump calls the “Russia thing,” the investigation into the misleading statements by fired national security adviser Michael Flynn concerning his role in dealings with the Russians. This kind of presidential intervention in a pending criminal investigation has not been seen, to my knowledge, since the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate.
Everyone who joins the FBI takes their Oath of Office. They have a web page dedicated to presenting and explaining that oath; the following bit of that is both instructive and timely:
It is significant that we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution and not an individual leader, ruler, office, or entity. This is true for the simple reason that the Constitution is based on lasting principles of sound government that provide balance, stability, and consistency through time. A government based on individuals—who are inconsistent, fallible, and often prone to error—too easily leads to tyranny on the one extreme or anarchy on the other. The founding fathers sought to avoid these extremes and create a balanced government based on constitutional principles.
Something to muse over today while Comey testifies.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 8, 2017
A little gem from back in the day – the first American spacewalk, launched June 3rd, 1965.