While much of the media’s attention on the Rob Porter scandal has focused on his alleged wife-beating and how Donald Trump was slow to condemn abuse of women, the “big picture” scandal here is Rob Porter’s security clearance.
Rob Porter handled highly sensitive, classified materials as part of his day-to-day duties, despite the fact that he did not — and could not get — a permanent security clearance after an FBI review on his background. The White House has repeatedly lied about Rob Porter. Here’s a timeline: “The White House timeline for how the Rob Porter scandal unfolded — including what they knew and when they knew — has been thoroughly debunked by testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray and extensive CNN reporting.” Despite being a national security risk, Porter was up for promotion despite abuse allegations.
One of Donald Trump’s central arguments against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election was that Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information not only disqualified her for the presidency but was grounds for her imprisonment. “Lock her up!”
It turns out that Rob Porter is just the tip of the iceberg in this incompetent White House which permits the mishandling of classified information and jeopardizes our national security every day. NBC News reports, Scores of top White House officials lack permanent security clearances:
More than 130 political appointees working in the Executive Office of the President did not have permanent security clearances as of November 2017, including the president’s daughter, son-in-law and his top legal counsel, according to internal White House documents obtained by NBC News.
Of those appointees working with interim clearances, 47 of them are in positions that report directly to President Donald Trump. About a quarter of all political appointees in the executive office are working with some form of interim security clearance.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Corruption, Ethics, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals
Tagged FBI, incompetence, Intelligence, National Security, security clearances
You may have been following this story over the past several weeks. Arizona allocated $85 million to wrong schools for special-education, low-income students:
Financial miscalculations by state education administrators have resulted in hundreds of Arizona schools missing out on tens of millions of federal dollars to serve students with special needs and those from low-income families.
According to an Arizona Republic analysis of data provided by the Arizona Department of Education, the state has misallocated $85 million over the past four years, giving some schools too much and some too little.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas last month publicly announced that the state erroneously allocated $56 million in federal Title I funds for low-income students. Last week, she sent a letter to schools notifying them of another problem: $30 million in federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) grants over the past three years allocated to the wrong schools.
For some underfunded schools, this may have required them to pull general classroom funds to cover expenses for special-needs services, and prevented them from hiring additional teachers or giving raises.
“The superintendent and (Arizona Department of Education Chief of Staff) Michael Bradley are not taking this lightly,” said department spokesman Stefan Swiat. “They are taking an audit found under a previous administration and they are tackling it.”
Swiat said the start of both problems dated back to prior superintendents, although the issue with special-education funds wasn’t fully assessed by federal officials until this September.
The disclosures from the Arizona Department of Education has fueled the argument from education leaders that they need more money to properly educate the state’s K-12 students.
Congress returns from its recess next week with a government shutdown looming next Friday. “If Congress does not strike the first truly bipartisan deal of his presidency by then, Donald Trump will spend his 100th day explaining to the public why the government he’s charged with running has partially shut down.” How Trump’s First 100 Days Could End in a Government Shutdown.
But first, Tea-Publicans apparently believe they have enough time to try to raise a zombie “Trumpcare” plan from the dead. Sarah Kliff reports at Vox.com, House GOP members are floating a new health plan. Here’s what’s in it.
House Republicans are floating a new amendment to their health care bill — one that would likely cause even more Americans to lose coverage than the last version.
Leaders of the staunchly conservative Freedom Caucus and the more moderate Tuesday Group have reportedly hashed out a proposal that would let some states ditch key Obamacare policies, such as the requirement to charge sick people the same for coverage as healthy people. States would also have the choice to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefit requirement.
The Huffington Post reported on the development late Wednesday night, and Politico posted a short white paper early Thursday describing the changes. We still don’t know how final this amendment is or which House Republicans support the changes.
What we do know is that this latest proposal doesn’t do much at all to assuage concerns about the older proposals. While it meets many of the demands of the party’s far-right wing — namely, the deregulation of the individual insurance market — it does nothing to address concerns about massive coverage loss. Instead, it likely makes those problems worse.
“It’s pretty frustrating to see they’ve worked so hard to come up with another Rube Goldberg–type solution,” says Craig Garthwaite, a health economist at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Economics, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Party Politics, Polling, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged government shutdown, incompetence, Obamacare