The Swamp’s Outlet

One of President Trump’s campaign promises of 2016 was to drain the swamp. With the value of hindsight we know that anything he promised to do would not get done. In fact, most often the opposite would happen. I’d like to offer that perhaps Trump is draining the swamp but not in the way most of us think of. Let’s explore.

If you tell me that you are going to drain the DC swamp I assume you mean you will get rid of the corruption (a/k/a waste, fraud and abuse). What Trump has done is import a bunch of swamp creatures that further polluted the place (often literally) and then allowed them to exit to “greener pastures”. In the process Trump profited as did the other swamp creatures and the American people ultimately paid, will pay or both.

The latest case in point came to my attention via Juliet Eliperin and Steve Mufson’s September 4th article in the Washington Post entitled: Days after leaving post, former Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska takes job with oil company. In it they write about former Interior Assistant Secretary for Land and Mineral Management Joe Balash. Mr. Balash successfully pushed for expanded drilling in Alaska’s North Slope. A few days after his success he resigned his position; less than a week after that he confirmed that he was taking a consultant position with Oil Search. Balash emphasized that he will not be in conflict with the Trump policy of lobbying his former agency within five years of leaving it. He will just be supervising those who do. Can you see a problem there? I do.

This is far from the first Trump administration Interior Department scandal. Does anyone remember Ryan Zinke? I do and he was a walking scandal machine.

While we are on the subject of former Trump Cabinet officials who left under a cloud any idea what former EPA Director Scott Pruitt is doing these days? He is working as a consultant to Joe Craft the coal baron who owns Alliance Resource Partners. Craft’s wife, Kelly Knight Craft, was Trump’s original Ambassador to Canada and was recently confirmed as UN Ambassador. The Crafts are multimillion dollar Trump financiers. However I think Kelly’s ability at political posterior osculation (I stole that phrase from Paul Begala) along with her climate change denial veiled as open mindedness also helped her cause.

Just weeks after leaving his Interior Department post as Energy Counsel, Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. The Trump administration and his enablers want us to believe that is all just a coincidence and solely based on Mr. DeVito’s resume of qualifications. Keep in mind I am a firm believer in Nance’s Law which states coincidence takes a lot of planning.

Here is how it appears Trump is “draining the swamp”. It is a three step process. Step one: Hire the worst fit for the true mission of the job you can find. Step two: Make sure they take care of your financiers. Step three: Have them exit the swamp and find a new home where they are rewarded by one of the financiers they benefitted. In other words the swamp is overstocked, a few creatures are let out and that is called draining. All the time the American taxpayer and consumer gets to pay for it sooner and later.

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