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What are we witnessing? Whatever you call it, it's not pretty. (Image: DonkeyHotey/flickr/ccO

This 21st Century Modern Presidency Is a Spectacular Sh*tshow

And it's not just on Twitter.

Charles P. Pierce

 by Esquire

While we were all beginning the celebration of the nation's founding by plumbing the depths of 21st Century Modern Day Presidenting, which looked a great deal like 20th Century Modern Day SummerSlam, and while Chris Christie embarked on a new stage in his effort to end his governorship with an approval rating in negative numbers, the administration was engaged in making sure that there would be even fewer inconvenient facts presented to unsettle the president*'s fragile little mind or to stand in the way of the general grift. From the International Business Times:

Hui Chen -- a former Pfizer and Microsoft lawyer who also was a federal prosecutor -- had been the department's compliance counsel. She left the department in June and broke her silence about her move in a recent LinkedIn post that sounded an alarm about the Trump administration's behavior.

"Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome," Chen wrote. "To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. Even as I engaged in those questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts. Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct. I wanted no more part in it."

Meanwhile, over at the EPA, the war against empiricism continues apace. As EcoWatch informs us, Scott Pruitt, the energy-industry sublet who runs the agency, has gone well past simply ending the country's efforts to combat the climate crisis.

The program will use "red team, blue team" exercises to conduct an "at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science," the official said, referring to a concept developed by the military to identify vulnerabilities in field operations. "The administrator believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organize a specific process in which these individuals ... provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science," the source said. "We are in fact very excited about this initiative," the official added. "Climate science, like other fields of science, is constantly changing. A new, fresh and transparent evaluation is something everyone should support doing."

We will now have an exercise in taxpayer-funded climate denialism. The oceans will not give a damn about whatever this exercise produces.

For any number of reasons, from sheer ignorance all the way to deliberate sabotage, the administration has decided to give the federal government a pre-frontal lobotomy. Maybe they're just trying to reduce its function to a level that is comprehensible to the president*. That's terrifying.


© 2021 Esquire
Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a writer-at-large for Esquire and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine, the Nation, the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated and The Chicago Tribune, among others.

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