CBS News’ White House correspondent Ben Tracy said on Monday that he “felt safer reporting” in North Korea than does in the White House, earning him swift condemnation and mockery from across Twitter.
“I felt safer reporting in North Korea that I currently do reporting at the White House,” Tracy said in a tweet posted Monday. “This is just crazy.”
Twitter, especially conservative Twitter, immediately pounced on this statement. President Donald Trump‘s former political aide and contestant on ‘The Apprentice’, Omarosa, even chimed in, simply saying: “Crazy!”
SaraACarter.com’s own Sara Carter joined in, joking that “You need to find your safe space because yes, this statement is really crazy” attached with a GIF of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waving.
Other commentators brought Tracy’s tweet up as evidence for why many people do not trust the press, such as Jon Nicosia, the President of News Cycle Media.
Harmeet K. Dillon, a Republican committeewoman and legal expert from California, pointed out the immense discrepancy between the White House and the authoritarian regime.
“Yes the White House is just like North Korea,” she tweeted, then saying, “other than the beatings, starvation, lack of electricity, organ harvesting, punishment of your parents, your children, your extended family on the basis of your network’s reporting.”
“You are a clown,” she added.
In 2018, Ben Tracy was the only American news correspondent to be invited to the destruction of one of North Korea’s nuclear testing sites. This trip saw him and other journalists follow strict guidelines by their North Korean hosts, including not being allowed to pull up the window shades on their train because their hosts did not want them to “see how people are living,” according to a Business Insider article from the time.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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