Corker's final shot at Trump: Embedding Obama holdouts into cushy jobs at VOA
Is outgoing Sen. Bob Corker trying to outdo Sen. Jeff Flake in blowing up the joint for President Trump on the way out?
Sure looks like it. How else to explain the NeverTrump GOP senator's obnoxious last act of sneaking in a rider to embed the Obama administration political holdovers in the U.S. broadcasting apparatus (which includes Voice of America) into a critical budget bill?
Here's the Washington Free Beacon describing what Corker did:
[T]he vocal Trump critic quietly held a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote approving a bill that would greatly curtail the power of Michael Pack, the incoming new head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, or USAGM.
Corker, who is retiring at the end of the year, and Sen. Bob Menendez, (D., N.J.), who sponsored the bill, are rushing the bill through committee this week in an effort to attach it to the government funding bill that must pass before Congress adjourns at the end of the month, according to several government officials.
And in so doing:
Critics say the Menendez measure would prevent Pack from firing any top officials at the VOA and related agencies, including Amanda Bennett, the controversial current VOA director who is at the center of a fierce partisan battle over her leadership. Corker and Menendez have held up Pack's confirmation for months.
The bill makes the current board members, many of whom were appointed by President Obama and are operating on expired terms, the members of the advisory board.
It gives the advisory board a veto in the hiring and firing of the VOA head and all other top officials of related agencies, including Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Network, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
That's a lot of power.
Number one: two years into the Trump administration, these Obama holdovers were supposed to have resigned. These were political appointees, and they were put there because their agenda was the Obama agenda. What's more, they took their jobs knowing they'd eventually have to leave when there was a change of administration. Even if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, they could have legally been asked to leave. It's what is meant by a change of administration. White House smarmy jackass and deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes knew that, and he packed up, give him credit for that much. The ambassadors who ended their tenures at President Trump's order, amid considerable complaining, also packed up.
But these Obama holdovers at VOA and other government broadcasting operations think they're something special. For reasons unclear, they never packed up.
I know some people at one of these agencies, and rest assured, they are appalled at the blatant rule-breaking of these holdovers, embedding themselves like lice in the woodwork, and refusing to get out. Most of them are veteran leftist journalists who got caught in the layoffs of the entire news industry and now are happily ensconced in six-figure jobs, courtesy of Uncle Sam. A huge number of them are doing nothing, and the ones who aren't are busy undercutting President Trump and his agenda.
They are useless deadwood and should be busted for not leaving as promised.
Now Corker wants to institutionalize these people? Entrenching them with vast power? Rewarding them with vast permanent powers? When they should have been out? So that President Trump will never have any influence over the operation? And so that these people can continue to snipe at him from the government payroll? Who says crime doesn't pay in Washington? This whole thing stinks.