Thursday, September 17, 2020

Off-limits WI Capitol should get extra-deep disinfecting next week

No bills passed in the GOP-controlled Legislature whose bodies have not met in session in five months, but we learn in this installment of Politics in the Time of COVID 19 - 

that an exception to this long taxpayer-paid vacation enjoyed by do-nothng legislators is in the offing, and a headline explains why:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to deliver foreign policy address inside state Capitol

The speech will be held inside the state Capitol at a time when it is closed to the public to curb the spread of coronavirus cases, which have spiked in Madison following the reopening of UW-Madison's campus.  

Also: Know your honoree

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Wednesday rejected Democrats’ charges of improperly firing its independent inspector general and defended its weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Democrats say the two are connected because Steve Linick, the former IG, told lawmakers in June that at the time of his firing, his office had been probing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s emergency declaration that sped up the $8 billion in arms sales. Democrats and some Republicans complained that the move improperly bypassed Congress and that Linick’s firing was part of a “cover up.” 

Three of the department’s top officials testified Wednesday during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that Pompeo had asked President Donald Trump to fire Linick for a variety of management and ethical malpractice practices.

Note, also

The State Department inspector general who was fired by President Donald Trump late Friday night was investigating the president’s effort to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval, according to the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The revelation adds another layer to Trump’s decision to sack Steve Linick, who was also looking into claims that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife improperly directed political appointees to run personal errands for him, including walking his dog and picking up his dry cleaning. was seen as highly unlikely that Congress would approve billions in new arms sales to Riyadh in the aftermath of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which prompted lawmakers of both parties to oppose further cooperation between the two countries and to urge the Trump administration to exact strict penalties on the Saudi government. 

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