• US Senate Confirms Airline "Fox" To Head FAA "Henhouse"

    From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to All on Wed Aug 14 05:54:15 2019
    Just after it is revealed that the FAA permitted an aircraft
    manufacturer, Boeing, to self-certify their own products for FAA
    approval, resulting in the crash of two airliners loaded with
    passengers, now the US Senate approves the former head of an airline,
    Delta, to the safety watchdog FAA head over the airline industry.

    And, the Republican majority US Senate confirms an airline industry
    insider as FAA Administrator who failed to disclose on a questionnaire
    he submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee that he is involved in allegations of retaliation against two whistle blowers at Delta who
    alleged there were training and pilot fatigue issues at the airline,
    and violation of Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88, the fuel tank flammability requirements that were a result of the in-flight
    explosion of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.

    This should make the flying public feel safer during their airline
    travel. :-)

    ---------------------------------------------- https://www.avweb.com/aviation-news/dickson-confirmed-as-new-faa-administrator/

    Dickson Confirmed As New FAA Administrator
    Russ NilesJuly 24, 20193

    In a vote along party lines, the Senate approved the nomination of
    former Delta VP of flight pperations Steve Dickson as the next FAA administrator on Wednesday. Dickson, who was a line pilot with Delta
    before going to the head office, was nominated by President Donald
    Trump in March. While at Delta, he served on key committees designing
    the future of airspace and air traffic control in the U.S. that led to
    the formation of the NextGen Advisory Committee on which he served
    until his retirement from Delta. Dickson will succeed Acting
    Administrator Dan Elwell who has been in that post since the beginning
    of 2018.

    The news was greeted warmly from commercial aviation given Dickson’s
    decades of service and experience in aviation. “We’re confident he’s
    the right man for the job,” NBAA President Ed Bolen said, citing years
    of working with Dickson on NextGen-related issues. NATCA President
    Paul Rinaldi said he too has spent a lot of time with Dickson. “I have personally experienced his leadership in the aviation safety
    community,” Rinaldi said.

    Dickson had a rough road to his confirmation after it was revealed
    that he had been involved in allegations of retaliation against a
    whistleblower at Delta who alleged there were training and pilot
    fatigue issues at the airline. She was sent for a psychiatric
    evaluation after taking her complaints to senior Delta officials,
    including Dickson. Dickson said the exam was done for safety reasons.
    The Senate voted 52 to 40 to accept Dickson with all Democrats
    opposing his confirmation. -------------------------------------------------------------


    The confirmation of Dickson, who was nominated in March by President
    Donald Trump, ran into some unexpected turbulence when it was reported
    that he failed to disclose on a questionnaire he submitted to the
    Senate Commerce Committee a situation involving a past complaint filed
    by a Delta Air Lines pilot who claimed she was retaliated against by
    the carrier after she reported concerns about safety issues. --------------------------------------------------------------


    Dickson’s nomination quickly became embroiled in concerns about an
    ongoing administrative complaint against Delta in which a pilot,
    Karlene Petitt, contends that the airline retaliated her, including
    ordering her to undergo a psychiatric exam, aftershe reported concerns
    about pilot training, fatigue and other matters to Dickson and another executive. Dickson has said the evaluation was done for the sake of

    Senators didn’t learn about Petitt’s case, or a deposition that
    Dickson had given for it, until after his nomination hearing. Dickson
    said he didn't disclose it because he'd interpreted a Senate Commerce questionnaire as asking after "my personal conduct, my behavior both
    in general and as an officer of a large public company, or any
    instance in which I was a named party to a proceeding."

    Democrats and some safety advocates seized on the accusations to argue
    against confirming Dickson, saying he does not represent the reset the
    FAA needs after the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 people
    and raised doubts about U.S. leadership in aviation safety. The vote
    on Dickson's nomination is still pending, but he is expected to

    On Tuesday, shortly before Dickson passed a key procedural hurdle,
    Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said it's "clear to me he is not the
    right person for the safety culture that we need today at the FAA.”
    She also referred to a prior party-line vote in committee to move his nomination forward as “distressing,” saying “we should have found
    consensus on a nominee for the FAA given all the concerns the public
    has about flying safety.”

    “Someone who takes safety seriously and listens to the pilots is what
    we need on the front line,” Cantwell said.

    Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot at the controls of the
    “Miracle on the Hudson” flight in 2009, cited the whistleblower
    allegations in publicly opposing Dickson's confirmation.

    “His actions and words raise grave concerns about his ability to act
    with the integrity and the independence the next FAA administrator
    must have in order to navigate the challenges of the ungrounding of
    the 737 MAX and to rebuild global trust in the FAA’s competence and
    ability to appropriately certify new aircraft designs,” Sullenberger
    said in an interview with POLITICO.

    “This is absolutely the worst time” for any concerns to be surrounding
    the FAA’s new administrator, said Peter Goelz, former managing
    director of the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent
    federal agency that investigates transportation accidents.

    The FAA’s reputation has “been damaged in part because I think there
    is a perception, particularly among other regulatory agencies, that
    the FAA is not proven to be independent of Boeing, that it has not
    exercised its regulatory oversight in an aggressive manner,” Goelz
    said. “And it’s going to take some time for the FAA to regain its
    worldwide leadership position.”

    Lawmakers tasked with overseeing the FAA have suggested that the
    agency may have become too close to Boeing, and that its process for
    delegating increasing amounts of authority to manufacturers — as
    Congress has repeatedly encouraged — doesn't allow enough oversight.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who opposed Dickson's nomination,
    said his Delta career “should be read as calling into question his
    independence and ability to put the FAA back in charge of safety.”

    At the agency, there needs to be “clear independence, not only an
    expression of independence, but a public perception and a guarantee of independence because of the claims that the FAA has been, in effect,
    delegating too much responsibility to the airlines,” Blumenthal said.

    At his hearing in May, Dickson defended the practice of delegating
    certain certificationresponsibilities to the private sector, though he
    noted his personal experience with delegation doesn't have to do with
    aircraft approval but rather with pilots.

    “It’s made the FAA a much better regulator and it’s made the carriers,
    I think, safer and improved the quality of pilots that are being
    qualified,” Dickson said.... ------------------------------------------------------


    The pilot, Karlene Petitt, filed an Occupational Safety and Health Administration complaint against Delta in 2016. She alleged that after
    she came forward, the airline grounded her and referred her for a
    psychiatric examination by a company doctor who then diagnosed her
    with bipolar disorder. Subsequent medical examinations determined
    Petitt did not suffer from bipolar disorder, and she has since
    returned to flying for Delta. But Petitt alleges she was removed from
    flying for 22 months as a result of Delta’s “adverse and retaliatory actions.”“From our perspective at Delta, they used psychiatric
    evaluation as an alternative to discipline,” said Petitt’s attorney
    Lee Seham.Delta denies Petitt was referred for a medical assessment in retaliation, and says she was referred for a medical evaluation after
    her behavior and statements raised questions about her fitness to
    fly.The Delta executive who oversaw pilots at the time, Steve Dickson,
    has now been nominated by President Donald Trump to the position of
    FAA administrator. The Senate commerce committee held a hearing on
    Dickson’s nomination last month.

    Steve Dickson at a Senate commerce committee hearing for confirmation
    of his nomination as FAA administrator.
    Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    But after media reports on Petitt’s OSHA case, the committee has hit
    pause on the process to confirm Dickson’s nomination.
    Dickson said he decided moving forward with a medical review of Petitt
    “was a sound course of action,” according to a deposition in the OSHA
    case. Dickson is not named as a party to the suit.Committee chairman
    Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said in a written statement that since the
    hearing, “new information has come to the committee’s attention that
    merits further examination.” The committee is reviewing the
    information and asked the White House to also review it, according to
    Wicker. Dickson has been cooperative with staff requests, according to
    a committee aide.

    Sen. Roger Wicker is head of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which is considering Steve Dickson’s
    nomination to lead the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The White House issued a statement saying it “has complete confidence
    in [Dickson’s] nomination and expects him to be confirmed.”OSHA in
    2018 found there was insufficient evidence to determine a violation
    occurred. Petitt appealed, and an administrative law hearing was held
    earlier this year. A ruling isn’t expected until next year.In a report
    Petitt submitted to Delta, she raised concerns about the management
    style of Delta’s Flight Operations department, saying it had an “Old
    school military and completely hierarchy mode of operation.” Petitt at
    the time was pursuing a Ph.D. in aviation safety and raised concerns
    about the company’s culture as part of its safety management system —
    the company’s approach to managing safety risk.She also wrote of how
    she felt she was treated differently than other pilots and retaliated
    against for posting on her blog about aviation and other
    activities.According to a Delta executive’s testimony, the woman who interviewed her for the internal investigation said Petitt “was quite emotional” and that she was concerned “that something would happen to
    her, that Flight Operations was out to get her.”After the interview,
    Delta said it referred Petitt for a medical evaluation, and out of an
    abundance of caution followed its medical review process in its pilot
    contract. In the end, the process concluded she was fit to fly.The
    company said Petitt received pay and benefits for the period she was
    grounded, and said it stands by its decision.It’s not the first time a
    pilot has claimed Delta has used medical evaluations in such a way.A
    former pilot, Michael Protack, filed suit against Delta last year for
    wrongful termination and retaliation. Protack alleges that after he
    reported safety concerns about airplanes and complained about pay cuts
    and pension changes, Delta falsely claimed he was medically unfit to
    fly and required a psychiatric evaluation to fly again. --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    FAA nominee OK'd retaliation against pilot whistleblower, lawsuit says
    Curt DevineDrew Griffin-Profile-Image
    By Curt Devine and Drew Griffin, CNN

    Updated 10:06 PM ET, Mon June 3, 2019

    (CNN)A Senate committee is investigating President Donald Trump's
    nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration, Stephen Dickson,
    for his involvement in a case in which a Delta Air Lines pilot alleged
    the company retaliated against her -- including sending her to a
    psychiatrist -- after she shared safety concerns with him.

    The case, which has not been previously reported, involves Dickson's
    time as a senior vice president at Delta Air Lines and a Delta pilot
    who argues the company retaliated against her after she met with him
    in 2016.

    Dickson did not disclose the case on his nomination questionnaire to
    the Senate Commerce Committee.

    As Delta's then-head of flight operations, Dickson approved sending
    the pilot, Karlene Petitt, to a psychiatrist weeks after she gave him
    and another flight operations manager a report that listed what she
    described as FAA violations by Delta, according to documents.

    The psychiatrist diagnosed Petitt with bipolar disorder and the
    company grounded her for more than a year. Two subsequent examinations
    found that she does not have that disorder, and she is currently
    flying for Delta.

    Petitt is suing Delta in a Department of Labor administrative case
    that remains pending.

    In a deposition, Dickson said he had ultimate responsibility over the
    decision to refer Petitt for a mental evaluation and called it a
    "sound course of action." Dickson retired from Delta last year.
    Petitt's attorney, Lee Seham, told that CNN Dickson allowed what
    amounted to retaliation against his client.

    "This was all a terrible mistake, but it was a terrible mistake that
    went on for a year and a half because of the lack of diligence that
    Captain Dickson accepted," Seham said.

    Commerce committee staffers are currently examining the case, which
    they learned of after Dickson's confirmation hearing on May 15,
    according to two committee aides.

    On his Senate questionnaire, Dickson stated, "During my Delta
    employment, from time to time and in the ordinary course of business,
    Delta was involved in various judicial, administrative or regulatory proceedings relating to its business, although I was not a named party
    in any such actions."
    On another section that asked for "additional information, favorable
    or unfavorable, which you feel should be disclosed in connection with
    your nomination," Dickson responded: "None."


    Initial complaint and bipolar-disorder diagnosis
    Petitt's ordeal began more than three years ago when she compiled a
    list of concerns about Delta. In addition to being a pilot for
    decades, Petitt has a PhD in aviation.

    Petitt had witnessed a variety of events and practices involving Delta employees, training and scheduling practices that she believed
    violated FAA standards.

    She compiled her concerns into a report that described "numerous areas
    where safety culture and ... compliance conflict with the FAA's (2013)
    outlined requirements and the airline's core values," which she
    presented to Dickson and Delta's then-vice president of flying
    operations, Jim Graham, in January 2016.

    In a deposition, Petitt said that Dickson said during that meeting,
    "Some people like to sit in the back of the room and throw spit wads,"
    which she interpreted as dismissive of her claims. Dickson said in a
    deposition he did not remember making that statement.

    A Delta employee-relations manager then conducted an interview with
    Petitt in March 2016 about some of her claims, during which Petitt
    became frustrated, and her eyes filled with tears, according to her
    attorney. That manager reported that Petitt believed "something bad
    eventually will happen either to her or to a Delta flight," according
    to documents.

    Graham held a teleconference with that manager and others and decided
    to ground Petitt and mandate that she receive a psychiatric
    evaluation, with Dickson's approval, according to court documents and
    Petitt's attorney.

    The mental health evaluation by a Delta-hired psychiatrist resulted in
    Petitt's bipolar-disorder diagnosis, which rendered her unable to fly.
    During this time, the FAA sent Petitt a letter in September 2016 that
    notified her an investigation had substantiated one of her safety
    concerns. The FAA determined Delta had failed to count employee
    "deadheading," where the airline provides an employee with a flight to
    another location, as flight time for computing daily and weekly flight
    limits, which Petitt said could affect pilot fatigue. The FAA did not substantiate three of her other allegations.

    While Petitt remained grounded, a panel of doctors from the Mayo
    Clinic rejected Delta's psychiatric evaluation. Due to the
    disagreement, Delta's psychiatrist and the Mayo Clinic doctors
    selected a neutral medical examiner who in turn determined Petitt was
    medically fit. She began flying for Delta again in 2017.

    Petitt's attorney Seham said he has no doubt that the decision to
    ground Petitt, overseen by Dickson, was linked to the safety report
    she shared, which he said amounts to retaliation by Delta and sends a
    troubling message to the company's pilots.

    "What's the impact of safety in terms of the message to 12,000 pilots
    that after you submit a safety report you're off to a psychiatrist?"
    Seham said. "Captain Dickson did nothing in terms of stopping what
    happened." -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    Second Delta Pilot Claims Retaliatory Action by FAA Nominee
    Christine Negroni
    June 10, 2019

    Substantial allegations against Steve Dickson, the nominee to head up
    the Federal Aviation Administration have been made by two pilots who
    worked for him. These suggest the former senior v.p. of Delta flight
    operations may be the wrong choice to head up a government safety
    agency with monumental tasks before it. Already the Senate Commerce,
    Science and Transportation Committee has slowed the confirmation
    process to investigate Dickson more thoroughly.

    A number of news outlets have reported the charge that Karlene Petitt,
    a Boeing 777 pilot with two decades of commercial flying experience
    and a Ph.D. from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, was grounded
    after reporting safety concerns to Delta management including Dickson.
    Within weeks of submitting her critique, the airline forced her to
    undergo a psychiatric evaluation that determined she suffered from
    bipolar disorder. Dickson ratified the decision to have her examined,
    saying it was a “sound course of action.”

    But two later exams found that the initial diagnosis of bipolar
    disorder was unfounded. Petitt returned to work then filed a
    whistleblower suit claiming the mental health exam was retribution for reporting safety issues.

    Dickson failed to disclose that he had been deposed in the lawsuit,
    which is required. There’s a larger issue, though, that goes to the
    heart of aviation safety. What kind of advocate for the flying public
    will Dickson be, if in his job with Delta, he seemed more inclined to
    target the messenger than investigate the message?

    Members of the Senate committee should be hyper-focused on this
    question as the FAA faces one of the most consequential periods in its
    recent history. The next few years will likely put much scrutiny on
    the role of businesses in overseeing their own safety certifications
    as a result of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

    While Petitt is back flying the line, another Delta pilot who was
    fired after reporting safety issues under Dickson’s watch remains out
    of work, his whistleblower suit not scheduled to be decided until the
    end of this year.

    Karl Seuring flew for Delta for over 30 years but when not flying for
    the airline, he had a side business doing technical consulting on fuel
    tank safety as the holder of a supplemental type certificate (STC) for
    737 auxiliary fuel tank systems. Sometimes he supplied parts and
    assisted Delta with its contract maintenance business.

    In 2016, while Delta was servicing a 737 for a foreign head of state,
    the airline opted to return the airplane to its home country without
    complying with the full SFAR-88 fuel tank flammability requirements
    that were a result of the in-flight explosion of TWA Flight 800 in

    Seuring and Delta’s technical operations folks apparently disagreed as
    to whether the flight was legal under post-TWA 800 fuel tank safety regulations. Delta’s argument appears to be that since the plane was
    destined for another country, the regulation did not apply. Seuring
    claimed the flight would operate over U.S. airspace and therefore the
    flight “exposed the plane, its occupants and Delta to safety risks.”
    As a holder of the STC, Seuring claimed he was responsible to the FAA.

    Months after the dispute, which Capt. Seuring elevated to the FAA, he
    was fired from his pilot’s job. Delta claimed he’d misused his travel
    passes and abused his sick leave. His whistleblower case against the
    airline is pending and, as in the Petitt case, Dickson failed to
    disclose to the Senate, his role in Seuring’s lawsuit.

    In a letter Seuring sent last month to Sen. Roger Wicker, chairman of
    the committee charged with vetting the FAA nominee, Seuring urged the
    committee not to rush Dickson’s confirmation. “Americans expect a
    safety leader to head FAA,” he wrote.

    The public expectation that the FAA will prioritize safety has already
    been undermined by the ongoing revelations about the 737 Max. Now we
    have two pilots telling their personal stories about the man who might
    lead the agency next. This is hardly the right stuff to elevate the expectations of the flying public.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Mei@none.i2p@21:1/5 to All on Sun Aug 25 00:52:18 2019
    No! Please? Do they have to ruin everything?

    Fuck this world.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to Mei@none.i2p on Mon Aug 26 10:55:36 2019
    No. Fuck the bankers/Wall Street, military profiteers (the military
    industrial complex), Charles Koch, Mercers, Adelson, Putin's Russia,
    Eric Prince and his sister Betsy DeVios, and the neo-Knight's Templar
    spreading their corrupted evangelical new-world-order dogma throughout
    the world.

    Have a look here, and you will begin to understand who is behind
    today's worldwide unraveling of democracy: https://www.netflix.com/title/80063867 https://people.com/politics/why-the-family-netflix-series-fellowship-foundation/

    But, we can vote the bums out of office if we can get everybody to the
    poles in 2020.

    On Sun, 25 Aug 2019 00:52:18 +0000, <Mei@none.i2p> wrote:

    No! Please? Do they have to ruin everything?

    Fuck this world.

    Here's a clue:

    How Trump is dismantling a pillar of the American state
    Donald Trump is presiding over the most withering, devastating, and
    trenchant attack on the American administrative state this nation has
    ever known

    by Jon Michaels

    Main image: ‘In a little more than nine months, Trump has taken aim
    and hit his bull’s-eye.’ Composite: Getty Images

    Tue 7 Nov 2017 08.36 EST Last modified on Thu 5 Jul 2018 16.47 EDT

    There is no shortage of adjectives to describe the Trump presidency.
    Venal. Shameless. Bigoted. Impulsive. Feckless. Amid the never-ending
    stream of scandals and outrages, it is easy to lose sight of just what
    this administration is doing well – and where it is proving to be
    spectacularly disciplined, calculating and effective.

    Donald Trump is presiding over the most withering, devastating, and
    trenchant attack on the American administrative state this nation has
    ever known.

    The latest major Trump resignations and firings
    Read more
    The administrative state, a pillar of modern American government, is
    tasked with making and enforcing economic and environmental
    regulations, designing and running social welfare programs, fighting
    crime and corruption, providing for the national defense and so much

    Yet, in a little more than nine months, Trump has taken aim and hit
    his bull’s-eye. Far from the public’s gaze, he’s rescinded, rolled
    backed, and reversed countless environmental, labor, education,
    transportation, food and drug, and consumer protection rules and

    Cast largely as liberty enhancing, these deregulatory efforts endanger
    the safety, health, and welfare of all Americans, not to mention a
    good deal of the rest of the world who depend on the United States to
    do its part to combat global warming, banking and securities fraud,
    and worker exploitation.

    At the same time, Trump is vilifying the professional bureaucracy,
    that vast community of apolitical, career officials whose work it is
    to design, administer, and demand compliance with administrative regulations—and who are, by congressional design and longstanding
    practice, well positioned to question and challenge the directives of
    an abusive, impulsive, or simply hyperpartisan president.

    Trump has repeatedly referred to the bureaucracy as a “swamp,” which
    must be drained; his surrogates have repeatedly alleged that these
    officials are part of a shadowy “Deep State” – and intent on
    subverting our democracy; and his deputies have taken steps to
    marginalize their involvement in federal policymaking.

    This one-two punch of policy deregulation and bureaucratic
    delegitimization is a combination that erstwhile White House
    strategist Steve Bannon gleefully calls the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Already this deconstruction is turning back the
    clock, sometimes years, sometimes decades, on the kinds of protections
    and assurances that enable Americans to be confident and productive participants in the national political economy.

    Consider the Trump administration in action. While all eyes are drawn
    to the three-ring circus of White House saber-rattling, indictments,
    and Twitter wars, Trump and his cabinet secretaries have been quietly
    at work on this project of regulatory deconstruction.

    Let’s start with the basics. Donald Trump is hardly the first
    president to rail against the administrative state, or to promise a
    massive downsizing of the federal bureaucracy. But, so far, he’s been
    the most unflinching.

    Previous presidents – including Ronald Reagan who famously intoned:
    “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the
    problem” – either softened their stance once confronted with legal and technocratic arguments in favor of basic safety, health, and welfare
    rights and protections; or they took their hand off the deregulatory
    throttle once they encountered sufficient public or congressional

    Conservative folklore aside, public pressure during the Reagan years
    led to the preservation and partial strengthening of the Clean Air
    Act, the softening of the campaign promise to “mine more, drill more,
    cut more timber,” and the expansion of federal welfare and education
    programs that the Gipper regularly attacked.

    By contrast, Trump, in this respect, has been a conservative’s dream. Championing the interests of big business, Trump has engineered the
    rescission of 14 major environmental, financial, and labor rules.
    (Prior to 2017, only one other rule had been formally rescinded, in
    2001 under George W Bush.)

    In addition, Trump has begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris
    Climate Agreement; relieved builders (just a couple weeks before the devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida) of the responsibility to
    account for increased flooding, rising sea levels, and other
    manifestations of climate change in their design plans; reversed a ban
    on drilling for oil in the Arctic; and revoked an order requiring
    federal contractors to take affirmative steps to prevent and combat
    sexual harassment and discrimination as well as to reduce wage
    disparities between men and women.

    Trump’s surrogates – those hand-picked to lead the various
    administrative agencies – are proving similarly committed to the White
    House’s deregulatory agenda. Consider, for example, the current EPA
    chief, Scott Pruitt.

    A climate change skeptic and long-time critic of the agency he now
    runs, Pruitt has blocked or delayed dozens of would-be clean air,
    clean water, and carbon emission rules. He has also worked to rescind
    the heralded Clean Power Plan, and rejected the recommended ban on
    certain agriculture pesticides, reversing the expert findings of
    career staff detailing the disastrous effects of these chemicals
    particularly on low-wage farm laborers and their children.

    Pruitt is hardly alone. In department after department, Trump
    appointees are busy dismantling critical health and safety regulations
    – much of this work happening light years away from a spotlight hardly
    large enough to cover all that is salacious and scandalous in the
    Trump White House.

    For example, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has made the
    all-but-unprecedented recommendation that Trump declassify protected
    national monuments – sprawling tracts of land possessing significant
    natural, cultural, or historic significance. (No other presidential administration has sought to declassify a national monument in nearly
    40 years.)

    Zinke has also moved to withdraw rules regulating the controversial
    drilling practice known as fracking. And he has shelved an important
    report documenting the health risks associated with specific types of
    coal mining – a report that would, under ordinary circumstances, serve
    as the basis for a federal rule banning or severely restricting such

    Lastly, the Trump Labor Department has, among other things, delayed implementation of important enforcement provisions of a fiduciary rule requiring financial advisors to put their clients’ interests ahead of
    their own.

    This is hardly a comprehensive list. Many more regulatory reversals,
    big and small, have already occurred; and we should expect more in the
    weeks and months to follow.

    Indeed, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently gave voice to these expectations, urging wavering Trump allies to stay loyal, to overlook
    the administration’s glaring failures precisely because the Trump
    deregulatory agenda is so important to the American business

    But in many respects, the instant policy rollbacks and recissions
    aren’t the most profound or important ones. Trump hasn’t just taken
    steps to deregulate in the here and now. He and his lieutenants are
    also damaging the machinery of regulation, perhaps to such an extent
    that federal agencies won’t be capable of swinging back into action
    when outcry over lax environmental, labor, and health and safety
    protections propels a pro-regulation president into office.

    Through active campaigns to, again, “drain the swamp” and disable the
    “deep state,” the infrastructure of government—and not just the
    programs themselves—is eroding before our very eyes.

    To be clear, Trump’s regulatory successes have not been cakewalks. At
    nearly every turn, he and his agency heads have encountered career
    personnel who’ve challenged the administration’s decisions as unsound
    and, at times, illegal.

    But Trump has been waging and winning a battle of attrition. He’s set
    out to fire those he’s allowed to—think FBI Director James Comey,
    Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and US Attorney for New York
    Preet Bharara. He has also disbanded working groups of distinguished
    scientists – the Interior department alone has shut down the work of
    more than 200 such groups – and bullied those career experts protected
    against at-will termination.

    Among the administration’s preferred tactics to cow that last group of
    career employees into submission or, better yet, to push them out, has
    been to cancel, defund, or ignore their programs. That has happened,
    among other places, at the State Department and the EPA.

    He’s conducted investigatory witch hunts against career employees.
    He’s exiled some to positions far outside of their expertise and has
    directed others to advance legally and programmatically unsupportable
    policies. These tactics have been used against employees at the EPA as
    well as the Departments of Education, Interior, Justice, and State, to
    name just a few.

    This attrition campaign has paid dividends. Hundreds of frustrated
    senior officials have already left. The departed are, invariably,
    among the best educated and most talented – those scientists,
    engineers, economists, lawyers, and social workers most readily able
    to secure rewarding employment elsewhere.

    Those left behind must now compensate for the loss of their
    exceptional colleagues and thus are at an even bigger disadvantage in
    efforts to challenge unsound and unlawful deregulatory directives.

    As a result, we already see rudderless program administration, the
    withering of transnational alliances, legal flip-flopping in cases
    being argued in the federal courts, and inadequate responses to
    various crises.

    But, again, that’s just the immediate effect. Attrition will continue
    apace; recruitment shortfalls will soon become evident; after all, who
    wants the thankless task of working for federal agencies demonized
    both within and outside of government? In time, key agencies may find themselves incapacitated, lacking the talent, morale, and experience
    to carry out their congressionally mandated responsibilities.

    Wilbur Ross and others bent on a laissez-faire America may hold out
    hope that Trump is a Joshua to Reagan’s Moses, ready to lead the
    overtaxed and over-regulated into a libertarian Promised Land that
    until now has remained just out of reach.

    But Trump is no Joshua. His corrupt, abusive, and otherwise
    incompetent presidency proves as much. Instead, he’s Fonzie on water
    skis, and his campaign to deconstruct the administrative state may
    well be poised to jump the shark.

    Simply put, Trump’s bullying of the federal bureaucracy may serve to
    show Americans how much they need the administrative state, how
    important professional, apolitical civil servants are to the stability
    and well-being of the nation, and what a dangerous game we play when
    we let presidential surrogates demonize civil servants as part of
    treasonous deep state intent on subverting the government.

    Trump may, in fact, be the only man alive capable of making bureaucrats—bureaucrats!—popular. All of a sudden, we’re no longer
    primed to think of federal employees as lazy and lackluster, an all-too-frequent characterization in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

    Now we think of them as stellar scientists, lawyers, and diplomats—the
    very best this country has to offer—and conservatives and progressives
    both are mourning their untimely and largely involuntary departure
    from government employ.

    When the dust settles on this presidency, we should be ready and
    willing to encourage a bureaucratic renaissance—and make the necessary investments to redeem and restore an administrative state capable both
    of protecting our health, safety, and welfare and serving as a bulwark
    of the rule of law.

    For now, it is best to remember (and remind others) that bureaucracy
    was never a swamp but rather a deep reservoir of talented, loyal, and
    devoted experts, whose effectiveness turned in considerable part on
    their political independence.

    This independence enabled them to serve across presidential
    administrations; to develop technical proficiency uncorrupted by
    political fads; and to speak truth to power to Democrats and
    Republicans alike.

    Jon Michaels is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. His latest
    book is Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American

    This piece is the first in a series of essays entitled ‘While you
    weren’t looking - how Trump is dismantling the administrative state’
    As the crisis escalates…

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