Project 2025 Part Three

I’m back at it again. Today my observations will be on the early part of Section Two of Project 2025.

Chapter Four deals with the Department of Defense and its principal author is Christopher Miller who served as Trump’s Acting Secretary of Defense (Trump loved and acting roles, it gave him more control over people) for about 10 weeks. Nothing but the best?

I am not a military expert but I would think one of the most important factors for a military is readiness. The report calls for the immediate reinstatement of all troops dismissed for defying the order to get the COVID vaccine. I don’t think I have to expand on that point any further.

Also, there is something about the need for troops to obey lawful orders. I think it has to do with discipline in the ranks but then again, unlike Donald Trump, I have never been a cadet at a school for incorrigible rich boys.

One of the priorities listed in this chapter is, “Provide necessary support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) border protection operations…” Need I expound on that can of (mostly illegal) worms?

The report – and have no doubt that this will be core Trump policy should he be returned to the Oval Office – calls for much less accountability to Congress with regard to arms acquisitions and sales. (More on that below.)

The report also calls for much more access for military programs on school campuses, including requiring all high school students to take a military aptitude test. Considering that some service branches recently dropped the “high” requirement of a GED I am willing to bet almost all students will have passing scores. I’m equally willing to bet they will be solicited by military recruiters regardless of their interest level.

The plan also calls for more defense spending. At first glance you may ask, “Why?” Let me advance a theory consistent with Trump’s past. More spending affords both more chances for the “big boys” to skim and a greater return on investment for campaign financiers.
Miller wants to remove Cyber Command from policing election related activity. I guess if you are anti-democracy then defending it isn’t part of the role of an organization whose main purpose is to keep America and the American way of life safe.

The report hints at removing the “wall” between foreign and domestic deployment of the military. American troops in American streets with Americans in their sights. Think back, is that really an unrealistic scenario in a Trump II? Was the Battle of Lafayette Park really that far removed from this scenario?

Chapter 5 deals with the Department of Homeland Security. Its lead author is none other than Ken Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli’s primary goal is to dismantle DHS. He advocates a new Cabinet level agency concentrating on the border. Most of the agencies that currently comprise DHS would be farmed out to other departments. Notably the plan calls for the privatization of the TSA and FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. Privatizing while largely unregulated it is a great way to reward financiers. However, the American consumer/taxpayer invariably suffers. It might just be me but I can’t recall anyone telling me about what a pleasant experience their interaction with TSA was or that their flood insurance was too cheap. Experience tells us that largely unregulated privatization generally makes the experience worse and cost higher.

Like much in this book (and that is what it really is) this chapter relies heavily on long debunked right wing mythology.

In trying to sell the program based on savings it features many transfers of programs to the states and localities but no flow of funds accompanying those responsibilities. That is what is known as unfunded mandates. Over the years I’ve had a plethora of friends who held elected positions at the state and local levels. Nothing makes their job more difficult than an unfunded mandate and the net result of which is one of three things. The service not being provided, local or state taxes increasing to pay for it but most likely the worst of all worlds; a combination of the first two.

Considering that Cuccinelli couldn’t even get Senate confirmation in a Republican Senate it is no surprise that he takes a shot at the process. He is among the many in this work that suggest the president (they are all assuming it will be Trump) simply appoint acting people until the Senate feels forced into granting consent or more likely the practice just goes the way of the buffalo. He also suggests amending departmental lines of succession so that only the political appointees are considered. That further makes Senate confirmation irrelevant.

Again, in no surprise, Cuccinelli comes out as very, very anti-union. If you advocate authoritarianism, you certainly aren’t concerned about workers’ rights or their working condition. It all about complete and total loyalty to the man. (And have no doubt with these people it will be a man!)

He also advocates making supposed legal advisors default to political interests first. Instead of being primarily concerned with complying with existing law the lawyers would be compelled to and rewarded for coming up with plans that skirted the law. Remember, Trump would enter a second term with a sycophant Supreme Court that would be the ultimate arbitrator of any actions.

To the delight of Bubba, Cuccinelli comes down hard on immigration. He advocates building the wall. Is he really that stupid to believe a wall would be effective? He also calls for the denial of any loan program to students at colleges that allow in-state tuition for “Illegal aliens” (his words in the quote).

My final review of his proposals is that he suggests that agencies only report to one congressional committee and furthermore that they chose the committee. Not one committee per chamber (which would be bad enough) but one congressional committee, period. Talk about an opportunity to committee shop. That system would take, what I consider to be an already weak congressional oversight system and render it all but useless.

I initially meant to cover more but the Cooch was just too zany and that is enough for today.

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