Well, it’s been over a week since anybody posted anything up over here. You probably assumed we were just busy with the holidays or whatever, but the truth is ‘Puter really trashes up the place. We’ve just been the last couple days hosing down Twitter in the shower, which refused to come out even though the hot water ran out. Poor Twitter crouched there, over the drain, sobbing visibly. But things look better now, and Twitter is back to work hosting his tweets, which consist almost entirely of all caps misspellings of euphemisms for breasts.
So thank goodness Operative JS sent this in by semaphore.
|Caro Signore Zar,|
I have been halfway following who President-Elect Trump has been considering and naming for his future cabinet. Do you happen to know which are definite and which are just the fevered dreams of his supporters and/or nightmares of his opponents? What insights do you and your 700 year old intellect have to bear on what he means by his appointments? Will my vestigial tail ever go away without medical intervention? What do these appointments mean for our country?
I just thought that you might have something to say about these important questions.
Ciao ne’ secoli de’ secoli,
Well, technically, pretty much all of the names you’ve seen floated around are fantasies, since pretty much only the Chief of Staff and so-called “czars” (you can imagine how the Czar feels about the use of that word) are exempt from the Senate confirmation process. The Czar admits some difficulty accepting the idea that any of the nominees thus far will be denied confirmation.
Two wrinkles: although it appears Dr. Ben Carson has been printing business cards with HUDSec on them, he really hasn’t been picked for Housing and Urban Development just yet. And this is odd, because everybody else pretty much got a verbal go-ahead. The Czar wonders if the Trump administration is using Carson as a placeholder until somebody better comes along.
Also, SecDef nominess GNL James Mattis seems to be a chin-scratcher. While he has just about universal respect, there is a small legal glitch with his nomination, in that there’s a minor technical requirement about how recently a defense secretary can have served in the military. That can be ignored by the Senate, but of course Trump has detractors looking for every possible technicality to get Hillary Clinton in the White House, and this is sure to come up.
That said, the list of nominees looks very much like a President Michael Pence cabinet:
Ambassador to the United Nations: Gov. Nikki Haley, which might derail her longer-term ambitions in the GOP. On the plus side, this role could be a great stepping-stone to a future Secretary of State position.
Attorney General: Sen. Jeff Sessions, which is great, but the Czar thought he did more damage of liberal progressivism in the Senate.
CIA Director: Rep. Mike Pompeo. No argument here.
National Security Adviser: Former DIA Director Michael Flynn. Also no argument.
Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross. The Czar doesn’t know much about this nominees, but is astonished that anyone still names their kids Wilbur anymore.
Secretary of Defense: General James Mattis. See note about eligibility, above; however, Mattis is pretty well respected even by Democrats, so he’s got a great shot of getting the job.
Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos. The Czar’s wife is a teacher, and says Ms. DeVos is loathed by the teachers’ unions like no one else, so she tells us that Ms. DeVos is a fantastic pick. Expect a lot of “scandal” and “horror” and “outrage” during her confirmation hearings.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Rep. Tom Price, who has done substantive damage to Obamacare over the years. Actually, the Czar thinks this choice is perfect for destroying that horrible law. He’s a doctor with a ton of experience with insurance law and has been behind nearly every replacement effort from conservatives.
Secretary of Transportation: Secretary (of Labor) Elaine Chao. No sooner than Trump (that is, Pence) makes a recommendation for diversity does Bette Midler make a blatantly racist comment about her. Thanks, Left. Secretary Chao will be happy to serve for an additional four years in this role thanks to that.
Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnunchin. Other than an interesting last name, the Czar isn’t terribly familiar with this candidate. If he’s any good, of course, we’ll here how he’s a plutocrat with ties into big finance, et cetera, during his hearing.
White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus. Well, Priebus doesn’t have to go through the confirmation process as he serves at the President’s request. But it’s pretty clear that Priebus was picked to offset the more batwing crazy Trump influences whispering into his ear. The Czar wasn’t particularly pleased with Priebus as head of the RNC, due to his fickleness and inability to promote the GOP’s wider message to dubious Americans, but here we are. We wish him luck. He’s already had quite a lot of it.
Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Seema Verma. Frankly, if the Czar hadn’t looked up Trump’s current list of nominees to make he he didn’t forget anyone, well, he’d never have realized this person existed, let alone was a nominee.
There’s been some criticism from the Left, who have announced that the above nominees would form the most wealthy cabinet in American history outside of a Hillary Clinton presidency. But overall, it does look a little like a Mike Pence team more than a Donald Trump team. There’s wiggle room for optimism.
As for your vestigial tail, the Czar recommends you lengthen it and equip it with a poisoned barb at the end. For parties.