WSJ's goofy columnist Kimberley Strassel believes she knows about the 'Deep State' but doesn't have a clue.
It's been somewhat hilarious over the past few months watching the Right's troglodytes do verbal backflips trying to avoid the Russia-Trump story. Instead they've confected nonsense conspiracy theories of how Obama buried hidden associates throughout the government - still waiting to be ferreted out-to give poor little Donald Trump a hard time. Make his presidency insufferable and illegitimate with no thought of how he's doing it all to himself with every move he makes. (The next one, another whopper of an unforced error, likely to be trying to block James Comey's testimony on Thursday, before the Senate Intelligence Committee.)
As far as the REAL deep state, those who are serious and really wish to write about it can do no better than reference Mike Lofgren who described it in a compelling essay published at BillMoyers.com: "a predatory consensus of money and political ideology that serves only its own endless growth and functions in pristine autonomy from any sort of democratic process."
In which case, Trump and his cabal in collusion with the Russkies fit the bill perfectly. Look, for example, at Kushner's hobnobbing with the vipers of the notorious, money -laundering VEB bank. See also:
Why? Look at Trump's global business interests - including in Saudi Arabia - and how he is enriching himself to the tune of millions while in office. In the meantime, no checks on his actions because the Repukes control all branches of gov't.
And what, pray tell, do conservatives call the "deep state"? According to Strassel in her WSJ column from five days ago:
"The administrative state. The entrenched government elite. Lois Lerner. The federal bureaucracy....the cadre of federal employees accountable to no one, actively working from within to thwart Donald Trump."
But I think she has it backward. The administrative state, in fact, is that "cadre" of federal employees committed to protecting the rest of us from renegade corporate exploiters. These are the elements of the federal "bureaucracy" that ensure your milk is free of fecal matter, your burgers are free of E Coli., your drinking water of perchlorates and lead, and your canned tuna free of botulism. Also that medical devices are properly manufactured and sterilized to acceptable standards (FDA regs), i.e. so when you get your colonoscopy the colonoscope didn't just come directly from insertion into another patient..
In other words, Strassel is attacking the effective working government that has the general welfare as a primary role. The sector that's charged with citizen protections, but which the Right calls "regulations" and has a jones on to eliminate all of them.
But what's interesting is the agency Strassel singles out for special opprobrium: the EPA. Specifically, she targets Francesa Grifo "long time activist at the far left Union of Concerned Scientists". Of course, to the knuckle draggers of the Right, anyone who supports genuine science - and that includes climate science - is of "the far left". Anyway, Strassel complains about Grifo writing a report (accurate as it turns out) that "EPA scientists were under siege by Republican political appointees and industry lobbyists who had manipulated science on everything from mercury pollution to groundwater contamination to climate science".
As a long time member of UCS I read the same report and saw absolutely nothing amiss in what Ms. Grifo exposed. It's been known by many of us for a long time that Republican political hacks have worked in collusion with chemical industry lobbyists to lower standards on everything from atrazine used in weedicides to bisphenol A, to phthalates and perflurorooctanoic (PFOA) acid.
Risk benefit analyses- many done in Canada, show that even a billionth of a gram of bisphenol A can engender toxic effects, such as causing human cells to mutate toward a cancerous form (See: 'The Body Toxic', by Nina Baker, 2008, pp. 148-49). The U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 was supposed to limit the mass infiltration of chemicals, but it hasn't worked. Why not? Probably because before its implementation a "blanket approval" was conferred on some sixty two thousand chemicals used in commerce. As Nina Baker observes (p. 49):
"No questions were asked. No hazard data were required. It's not surprising therefore that 99% (by volume) of chemicals used today are older substances that were grandfathered in under the toxics act, according to Inform, a New York based research organization."
Meanwhile, citizens in Fountain , CO have been dealing with the spill of PFOA into Fountain Creek, decimating crops and wreaking economic havoc. The chemical lobbyists and their Repub associates simply wanted to argue it's all in residents' minds.
As for climate change, Strassel is evidently oblivious to the fact its ravages have been on display in everything from super storms, to floods to droughts and killer heat waves in India. Oh, and lest we forget, in the melting glaciers around the world from Alaska to Switzerland.
"As Scientific Integrity Official, Ms. Grifo would have the awesome power to root out all these meddlesome science deniers. A 2013 Science magazine story reported she would lead an entire Scientific Integrity Committee, write an annual report documenting science “incidents” at the agency, and even “investigate” science problems—alongside no less than the agency’s inspector general."
But, of course, that "awesome power" is justified including that her position - not being a political appointment - comes with "civil service protections". This is just as well given we need someone, some authority dedicated to genuine science in the agency to ride herd over Scott Pruitt. Hence, contrary to Strassel's bloviations, Grifo would be within her purview to investigate Pruitt's assertion that "CO2 is not the prime driver of global warming". Of course it is, to the tempo of CO2 concentrations increasing by 2 ppm per year, increasing the radiative heating effect by 2 W/ m2 per year.
Strassel, in her hysterical screed, is actually looking askance at the extent of authority of "an unelected, unappointed activist" - which btw, is exactly why Ms. Grifo's role is so critical.: She provides a check on a half-educated twit out to destroy the agency to which he was appointed! See e.g.
So yes, Ms. Grifo can indeed decide this arsonist is "too unscientific to run his own agency". Hell, Pruitt's too unqualified to even run a flea circus! Just as Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK) was too unqualified to be heading a Science Committee.
But the most histrionic expulsion of verbiage showing Strassel truly doesn't get it - or doesn't want to - is the following:
"This is a government employee using taxpayer funds to plot ways to sabotage the Trump administration."
Well, to put it into perspective, if there was an official charged with halting an arsonist irresponsibly put in control of the Fire Dept. I'd damned sure want him or her to find way to sabotage that arsonist! In the case of Ms. Grifo, it is in all our best interests she is in the position she is to keep Pruitt honest and committed to the EPA as opposed to sabotaging it. In other words, we see HIM as the saboteur, not her.
So Strassel actually endorses the sabotage of the EPA and other agencies, as opposed to acting in our interests and welfare.
Strassel ends her hit piece on Grifo and "the deep state" (sic) by suggesting the Scientific Integrity Office be cut outright, adding: "the sooner department heads take action against the deep state the sooner this administration can drain the swamp".
Translation: The sooner we can cut responsible heads of agencies and employees, i.e. those charged with using agencies to protect citizens health and welfare - the sooner the swamp can be re-filled.