Rachel Maddow used the example of Trump’s acting director who was overseeing rail safety with no experience and a second job as an example of how incompetence and corruption are at the heart of Trump’s “infrastructure week.”
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 13, 2018
Here’s the key quote from Maddow, “Federal rail safety obviously an issue right now, there have been four fatal Amtrak crashes since September, including one carrying all Republican members of Congress when it crashed into a dump truck. There hasn’t been a confirmed director for the agency for more than a year. That left the deputy running the agency instead; the deputy is this guy Heath Hall. He once worked as an intern at the rail agency, when he was a kid, other than that he had no expertise in rail safety whatsoever. He’s a political consultant and PR guy. That’s why he was the public relations guy for Canton, Mississippi. There’s a question how he got the number two job in safety, especially because it meant him being the director of that agency all yearlong when he has no experience in the field whatsoever. Even if it did make sense to hire him, once he was in place at the agency he was not supposed to keep his job back home. Senior government officials are not allowed to have second jobs.”
Rachel Maddow raised a vital point
The point of Maddow’s story wasn’t just that incompetence and corruption are running through the Trump administration. The more significant point is that when vital government functions like competent public servants do not oversee rail safety, the result is that people die. Heath Hall should have never been managing rail safety. Trump’s nominee to head up rail safety is caught up in a Senate dispute, which happens all of the time in modern American politics. It wouldn’t be a problem if the government was run competently.
Trump’s infrastructure week is a joke. It’s a scam. Trump intends to cut infrastructure by more than he is proposing to spend.
The combination of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and Trump’s disinterest in governing means that daily events like riding the train could have life and death consequences.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association