Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters (see link at top of page). You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC. Conversation began Entry #289.

Jordan:  “OK, break’s over.  Any more thoughts on having Leviticus as the standard for behavior inside the Beltway?”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Look, I like the idea of ‘treat thy neighbor as thyself’ as the standard for behavior.  But let’s not be naïve.  What do we do about those people who don’t follow the rules?”

Greenie:  “You mean like Trump and his gang?”

JC:  “Exactly.  Trump’s behavior pointed a flaw in the Constitution – the assumption that members of the Legislative and Executive branches would behave reasonably civilly.   And, with a few exceptions, that assumption proved correct for 200+ years.”

092615_2031_Characters12.gifGreenie:  “Until Trump.  Then he and his gang basically gave the finger to everyone.  He even trashed people in his cabinet who supported him from the get go.  Some display of appreciation and loyalty, huh?”

Jordan:  “So what can be done to stop Trump-like behavior in the future?  What do we recommend to the post-Revenge-Revolution Congress…assuming some of them are willing to listen.”

JC:  “Listen or not, we’ve still got to try.  Greenie, any ideas on how to enforce more civilized behavior?”

010414_1635_16TeachingS2.jpgGreenie:  “A start would be to reinstate the 60-vote rule in the Senate for approving appointments, whether for the agencies or the courts.  A 60-vote rule would force the White House to offer nominees toward the middle politically…not the extremes.”

JC:  “Good start.  We’d eliminate some bomb throwers from the courts and the agencies – like Trump’s Pruitt at EPA and Mulvaney as Budget Director and head of Consumer Protection.  Behavior of both was way out of line.  I mean, Pruitt and his quest for a used mattress from a Trump hotel.  That sounds almost kinky.”

JudgeJordan:  “On the Judicial side, even with the 60-vote rule, what about limiting tenure of Senate-approved judges?  Right now these judges have lifetime appointments.”

Greenie:  “Maybe there could be an appointment period – say 20 years – and then some way to renew the appointment.”

JC:  “I don’t have any idea what the average tenure of a Federal judge is but being on the bench without a review for 20 years seems more than fair.”

Greenie:  “Maybe add a clause about a renewal option.   Whadda say in the military when you agree to extend your time?”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Re-upping.”

Greenie:  “That’s it, re-upping.  Maybe the default is the judges re-up automatically unless reviewed and denied by the Senate.  But make the re-up period for 10 years, not 20 years.  Think about it – 30 years on the bench is a long time.”

JC:  “Would you apply the 30-year limit to all time spent on the Federal bench or a specific court?”

Jordan:  “The only judges that I think are approved by the Senate are for the Appellate, Circuit and Supreme Courts.”

supreme_court_buildingGreenie:  “I don’t know if the limit should be at the court level or in total.  For now, let’s assume the limit applies to a specific level.  Otherwise someone might get to SCOTUS with only 6-7 years left out of the 30-year limit.  That doesn’t seem fair.”

Jordan:  “What about rules for enforcing behavior in the agencies and in Congress, especially the Congressional committees.”

JC:  “Such as the Judicial Oversight Committee in the House?  During the Trump Administration, good ol’ boy Chairman Nunes took classified information from the Mueller investigation to the White House?  Some oversight, huh?  Tried to give the keys to the henhouse to the fox.”

PoliceGreenie:  “OK, Jordan, any ideas how to stop such behavior?  And what about all the obvious ethics violations by Trump, the Trump family and some cabinet officials?  How do we stop that going forward?”

Jordan:  “We need to be realistic.  Whatever the rule, someone is going to try and get around it.”

JC:  “You going to answer Greenie’s question or mumble like some politician?”

Jordan:  “I’m trying to buy time while I think of a good response.”

Greenie:  “What about this idea as a start?  The office of Ethics…or whatever it’s officially called…used to have some power and was respected by the Executive and Legislative branches…at least until Trump.  Why not give the office more teeth?”

Sharks TeethJC:  “More teeth and more transparency.  I realize there’s some information cannot be disclosed.  But, and this should be a big but…no comments, please about personal appearance…the baseline should be to make the public as aware as possible of the shenanigans and unethical behavior by people inside the government, especially members of Congress and high-ranking agency personnel.  The disclosures might force some people to stop.”

Greenie:  “For those who don’t stop, then give the Ethics Office the right to take them to court for a public trial.  No plea bargaining, no consent decree, no sealed documents or other copout.  Make the record public.”

Jordan:  “Court instead of impeachment?”

Judge with GavelGreenie:  “Make it in addition to impeachment.  Some of the behavior will be illegal.  Why shouldn’t that behavior get punished like the rest of us are subject to?”

Jordan:  “Theoretically the behavior is subject to punishment.”

Greenie:  “Two words you just stated are the problem – ‘theoretically’ and ‘subject.’  Too often the SOB’s in Congress or the Executive Branch who blatantly screw the public are given a slap on the wrist at worst, then sent home with most of their pilfered goodies.”

JC:  “You’re getting tough, Greenie.”

Greenie:  “We need to get tough on these bums.  Otherwise the Revenge Revolution will have been for naught…and I don’t like naught.”

JC:  “Agreed.  Now, ought naught we should take a break?”