A trend

I have had several conversations in the past few months with very smart, young people who were soon to finish up their current round of education. They were looking for jobs and trying to figure what would be next. Their education, training and inclinations would normally make federal work attractive. Yet they looked at the Trump Administration and decided to go elsewhere.

81 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    TPM had a golden quote following up on that story:

    Several former White House attorneys told TPM that they too see the current president as a particularly problematic client.

    “He deserves representation. Everybody does. But if I got the telephone call, the answer would be no,” said Lanny Davis, the White House special counsel in charge of political and legal controversies during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. “There are people who say, ‘Davis, you’d represent anyone.” But the answer is no, I would not.”

    Since leaving the White House, Davis’ list of controversial clients include the dictators of Ecuatorial Guinea and the Ivory Coast, and Penn State, which he advised on rebuilding its image after its child molestation scandal.

  2. 2
    Geeno says:

    If you were a young person of potential, would YOU want this stain on your resume?

  3. 3
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Maybe Trump should call Sal’s Muffler and Legal Services in Camden, NJ.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    There was a rumor that Ted Olson was going to take this on, and I was disappointed in him since he seems to have developed into an actual libertarian (hence his arguing in favor of gay marriage at the Supreme Court).

    Looks like he at least had enough common sense to stay away from this shitshow.

  5. 5
    ruemara says:

    Essentially, it’s like working production on Fox News. I was warned against it, as it meant being stuck at Fox. Like the reality ghetto but, more awful. It may have gotten better.

  6. 6
    Yellowdog says:

    There’s a Federal hiring freeze, isn’t there. Nobody is getting a government job.

  7. 7
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Lurking Canadian: But no doubt Sal would expect to be paid as well, which would be a problem.

  8. 8
    Peale says:

    @dmsilev: $20 bet that says Lanny will be working for them by August 1.

  9. 9
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Why would any lawyer want to involve themselves in Trump? He’s a totally corrupt lunatic who would undercut any defense they could drum up. Sometimes money isn’t enough. El Presidente is just that slimy.
    He’ll probably be reduced to having his tax attorney represent him in court; or undercover Russians.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: Exactly. It is a no-win situation to represent Trump.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced steps on Monday to encourage insurers to keep selling health plans in the state’s Obamacare exchange, as the companies withdraw from other markets amid uncertainty surrounding the health law.

    The state is tying participation in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces to other government contracts. Insurers that exit Obamacare’s individual market would be cut off from government business including Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program and the Essential Plan, which offers cheap coverage to some low-income people who don’t qualify for other programs, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

  12. 12
    JMG says:

    Defense attorneys, no, make that all attorneys, don’t want a blabbermouth client.

  13. 13
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dmsilev: How can you possibly be too skeevy for Lanny Davis? I thought that was impossible.

  14. 14
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Gin & Tonic: With El Presidente Trumpo, anything is possible! Haven’t you ever heard of MAGA?

  15. 15
    SRW1 says:

    One could get the feeling the Trump brand is taking bit of a hammering. Not sure Donald’s base will be able to make up for it.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    Their education, training and inclinations would normally make federal work attractive.

    Trump and the GOP (may their souls rot eternally) have done their best to make federal work unattractive to competent honest people.

    We’re going to get an Iraq/African style government at this rate. People are going to have to bribe government workers to get work done because the workers can’t survive on their official pay and their benefits cut.

  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I thought that was impossible.

    When it comes to sleaze, nothing is impossible for Trumpman.

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I know, right.

    I assume his main concern actually is the likelihood of not getting paid, but still.

  19. 19
    Peale says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: Wasn’t there some lawyer with a kilt that he wore because he claimed his dick was too big for pants who represented the guy who claimed to be Obama’s rejected gay lover? What happened to that guy?

  20. 20
    jl says:

    “The buck stops here”. Harry S. Truman

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:

    @Yellowdog: The freeze (which might officially be over) was always more like a chill and waivers are flying aplenty — if you are the right Dept

  22. 22
    Immanentize says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: It’s not his slimyness. It’s the real fear you would never be paid.

  23. 23
    Immanentize says:

    @dmsilev: beat me to it.

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @TenguPhule: I may have mentioned that my son was fortunate enough to be accepted into the International Relations masters’ programs of both Tufts (Fletcher) and Georgetown, with decent financial offers from both, to start in September. While the decision of which grad school to attend is complex and multi-faceted, one of the factors that led him to decline Georgetown’s offer is that they are very strongly oriented toward carrers in the Foreign Service (Dept of State.) He preferred Fletcher because the students, the internship paths and the alumni network offered a wider variety of options, not just State.

    I wonder what next year’s yield for Georgetown will be.

  25. 25
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Peale: Never heard of that and glad I didn’t. Sounds too cray-cray.

  26. 26
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Immanentize: You can argue that his slimyness is apart of that. Like someone who skips paying the bill for dinner at a restaurant, leaving his fellow diners to pick it up. I’d call that slimy

  27. 27
    Origuy says:

    @Peale: Montgomery Sibley. He got his license to practice law suspended in Florida and DC.

  28. 28
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I saw. And he made a wise choice. I know I’m accused of being overly dramatic and perhaps even paranoid, but I can’t emphasize enough just how bad the damage to the system of a professional government workforce is for everyone. It’s been getting slowly worse for years as the GOP has made it their goal to make the public sector a worse version of the private sectory, but Trump is accelerating the rate of decay by blowing giant holes in the various Departments.

    Decades of priceless knowledge and experience are being lost as people leave who knew how things worked and how things got done. It’s not plug and play when it comes to government functions, it takes years to learn the bureaucratic system and function smoothly. When you have to learn everything from scratch with nobody experienced to show you the ropes, things tend not to go well.

    And once a culture of bribery gets rooted in (because its the only way to make a living), rooting it out is really, really hard.

  29. 29
    Gremcat says:

    Does Trump have to pay this himself, or do we the tax payers foot the bill.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    Yet they looked at the Trump Administration and decided to go elsewhere.

    Yeah…I can’t exactly encourage anyone to become a Fed in the current environment. HOWEVER…administrations change. So many civil servants have survived positive and negative administrations because at the end of the day it’s about your work. The fact that the job is actually really stable with great benefits is a nice perk. But civil service as a calling is really a great way to work.

    Also: those great talents would help on the state level.

  31. 31
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @TenguPhule: Totally agree. One of my college buddies is in the Foreign Service stationed in Germany. He’s retiring at the end of the year. No one is happy.

  32. 32
    Immanentize says:

    @TenguPhule: @Yutsano: I agree with you both, but — a different perspective comes from my friend in DOJ who has been in the Civil Rights Division since Reagan was Pres. They just finished hiring about 10 new lawyers in his division. On boarded the last in October. He is hell bent on keeping every one of them making them understand the work remains critical whether the AG is Meese, Reno, Ashcroft , Holder or Sessions (to name a few). There is some institutional value that has not yet, at least in that division, succumbed to the meanness of leaders.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:


    There is some institutional value that has not yet, at least in that division, succumbed to the meanness of leaders.

    Yes, I know. All credit to him and those like him trying to save some of the seedcorn for the future.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:


    IIRC from the Clinton years, Trump has to foot the bill. But I’m sure he’ll figure out a way to grift some government money towards it.

  35. 35
    Это курам на смех says:

    @Immanentize: The freeze was a freeze, but that was lifted. Now it’s a chill. Agency managers have been asked to submit plans by this fall for ways to cut staffing. So outside of a few areas, nobody is hiring. We don’t expect RIFs (reductions in force, aka layoffs) but there will be a big push to reduce the federal workforce through attrition, with ensuing vacancies to go unfilled.

    Of course we will also see efforts to privatize government functions, which costs the taxpayers more but helps shovel money from the Treasury to cronies and contributors.

  36. 36

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:
    I think crucial here is that people who would represent a morally repugnant client still don’t want an incompetent client. Trump is going to be a Sovereign Citizen client, but on a giant scale and less predictable or coherent. Abusive, won’t take instructions, lies to you, doesn’t pay, and does dumb-ass shit both inside and outside of course that torpedoes any strategy you come up with. It’s only indirectly that he’s a grotesque human being. He’s one you can’t work with.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lurking Canadian: “Sorry, Mr. Trump, Sal is working on a ’72 Buick and can’t be disturbed at the moment.”

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Immanentize: The real issue with the wave after wave of the hiring freezes is while the civil service is very experienced it is also OLD. I’m 44 and that’s considered a baby. There are people hanging on 40+ years in the federal work force. There’s going to be a gargantuan retirement wave soon and without new blood to get trained on how things work NOW…the federal government could fall apart from the inside.

    @Gremcat: @Mnemosyne: Outside counsel is not considered an expense of the Presidential Office.

    If the officeholder had any ethics.

    Or oversight.

    Ah buck it he’s gonna grift the shit out of it.

  39. 39
    Gremcat says:

    @Mnemosyne: I wonder if he can use campaign contributions. I know he has already started his PAC for 2020. I bet he will end up that being that billionaire that he always claimed by the time he gets put out to pasture.

  40. 40

    His go-tos so far are ‘offer a government contract as a bribe to get someone else to pay for it’ and ‘use it as an excuse to make the government pay for a Trump service, then use that money to cover his expenses.’

  41. 41
    Shana says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think he made the right decision. Georgetown, all around, is geared toward putting people into Washington and administration jobs. And while Tufts isn’t the prettiest campus, Boston is a lot of fun.

  42. 42
    goblue72 says:

    Better Call Saul.

  43. 43
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:


    Jeremy Joseph Christian began yelling when he walked into the courtroom Tuesday.

    “Get out if you don’t like free speech,” he said, and, “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.”

    Court documents obtained Tuesday reveal new details about Christian and the train attack:
    — Train security cameras showed Christian taking “large drinks from a bladder style container of purple liquid” that Christian later identified as Sangria wine, according to a deputy district attorney’s affidavit of probable cause to support the continued detention of the defendant.
    — When police cornered Christian after the stabbings, he threw a folding knife with a 3.75-inch blade that bounced off a police vehicle, the affidavit said.
    — A video camera inside a patrol car captured Christian saying, “I just stabbed a bunch of (expletive) in their neck. … I can die in prison a happy man,” the affidavit said. He said one of the men on the train kept resisting him, despite his threats. “That’s what liberalism gets you,” Christian said.
    — Christian said he was transient and “does not know the last time he had a permanent address.” Court documents from previous years show he lived with his parents. Christian said he dropped out of high school, but passed the high school equivalency exam known as the GED.
    — He was sentenced to 90 months in prison for the 2002 armed robbery of a Portland convenience store. While fleeing, Christian was shot in the head by an officer who said he thought Christian was going to shoot him. Christian said he robbed the market because ”the guy there doesn’t sell any winning lottery tickets,” the arresting officer said, according to a prosecutor’s affidavit.

    It’s real shame he didn’t die in 2002 from that headshot. Maybe those too men he killed in cold blood would still be alive now. Hope he gets the death penalty. Never thought I’d ever type that

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    Teresa May, UK’s own Female Trump

    Theresa May has declared she is prepared to rip up human rights laws to impose new restrictions on terror suspects, as she sought to gain control over the security agenda just 36 hours before the polls open.

    Corbyn must still be shaking his head in disbelief.

    She said: “But I can tell you a few of the things I mean by that: I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences. I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terror suspects to their own countries.

    “And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.

    “And if human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change those laws so we can do it.”

    I’m actually starting to feel a spark of optimism.

    Own goal doesn’t begin to describe this.

  45. 45
    goblue72 says:

    @Shana: Hey, Meh-fid aint dat bad!

    Once upon a time, options for a Tufts student looking some fun near campus were limited and often required getting on the T to Central Sq or Boston. But Davis Square is basically Brooklyn North these days. Assuming one can even find an affordable place to live in a “Slummervile”.

  46. 46

    @Cheryl from Maryland: My FBI buddy says morale in the Bureau is bad too.

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Lawyers have a rep of being sleazy but I guess not so sleazy that they’ll rep Trump. LOL.

  48. 48

    @Iowa Old Lady: My mom’s friend who just retired from the EPA where she worked as an epidemiologist, reports the same at the EPA. She worked on the link between asbestos and cancer, also smoking and cancer while at the EPA.

  49. 49
    MomSense says:

    My kid was supposed to go to DOD to work on climate change. Oh well.

  50. 50
    Mike J says:


    If you were a young person of potential, would YOU want this stain on your resume?

    If you were hiring and saw service in the Trump admin on a resume, how long would it take you to shit can the application?

  51. 51
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: He sounds mentally ill. At the minimum he’ll spend the rest of his miserable life in jail. The survivor has been speaking out. Very courageous young man.

  52. 52
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mnemosyne: Or just not pay the bill which is his modus operandi.

  53. 53
    efgoldman says:


    I’m 44 and that’s considered a baby.

    And you don’t look a day over 60!

  54. 54

    @efgoldman: But at least he didn’t duck and cover in the 60s!

  55. 55
    Immanentize says:

    @Это курам на смех: @Yutsano:
    Another story to support you both. I have friends in both lawyer and inspector/engineering part of the EPA in the Northeast. One of my comrades told me they were expected to produce budget that would shrink by 10% next year. He said that would be easily met by the anticipated retirements (not early or buyouts) of career people.

    It is going to take a lot of work to replace and repair (to coin a phrase).

  56. 56
    Mike in NC says:

    I thought I read somewhere that Boris Epshtyen was a lawyer.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:


    IIRC, the DOD is still all in on preparing for climate change and doesn’t give a good goddamn what the rest of the government thinks about it, so he may still be okay.

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:


    Assuming one can even find an affordable place to live in a “Slummervile”.

    I saw a pile of refrigerator boxes not far from campus.

  59. 59
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: DOD will definitely still be working on climate change. Did s/he actually lose an opportunity in the freeze? Bad!

  60. 60
    Holden Pattern says:


    We’re going to get an Iraq/African style government at this rate. People are going to have to bribe government workers to get work done because the workers can’t survive on their official pay and their benefits cut.

    This is a feature, not a bug.

  61. 61
    Immanentize says:

    @goblue72: I just lost a draft which was long but can be summed up by — I live in West Medford north of Tufts. I love Medford.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @efgoldman: Sorry, I already let those out to an art student.

  63. 63
    randy khan says:

    @Mike J:

    If it was a civil service job, I would at least give the person some benefit of the doubt. The hiring for those jobs generally does not involve political stuff.

    But, honestly, I would have a hard time working in a government agency if I knew the agenda at the top was going to be as awful as it is with this bunch, even if the job were just an entry-level paper-pushing position.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Just stop for a second…the WSJ editorial page is saying this. The WSJ!

  65. 65
    henqiguai says:


    @efgoldman: But at least he didn’t duck and cover in the 60s!

    Neither did we; of course, this was Washington, DC, and the thinking was ducking and covering would only make you miss the pretty light show. Being right in DC, if the warheads started dropping, there were no civilian survivors anticipated.

  66. 66
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Trump has to foot the bill. But I’m sure he’ll figure out a way to grift some government money towards it.

    “First thing we do, let’s stiff all the lawyers.”

  67. 67
    amygdala says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Seems like the dam has broken there and at Bloomberg. They’ve both had some scathing pieces on the current administration in the past week or so.

  68. 68
    burnspbesq says:


    I would bet money that Gibson Dunn is the firm that passed due to concerns about the effect the representation might have on future recruiting. Among its peer group of large international firms, Gibson Dunn has scored badly on diversity, and Ken Doran is smart enough to not want to throw more gasoline on that fire.

  69. 69
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I would think to a law firm “Trump never pays his bills” would be a deal killer right there will the kind of complex corruption case Trump is facing.

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:


    If you’re seeing Jeremy Corbyn as a win, you’re a candidate for cataract surgery.

  71. 71
    MomSense says:


    He will do similar work but it will likely be in Denmark (for Denmark) until the situation here is resolved. The frustrating thing is that we really do need to be planning now. Parts of Miami already flood twice a day.

    He shared some rumint while he was home that was pretty disturbing and makes me think the trumprussia mess is more twisted than I imagined.

  72. 72
    burnspbesq says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    That’s actually easily manageable. $10 million in up-front, non-refundable cash, wired into the trust account. Monthly invoices applied agains the retainer until it is run down to $2 million. At that point, we don’t do any work until the retainer is replenished. This is not a negotiation, Mr. President, it’s an explanation.

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense: Well Denmark is a fabulous place to study water effects. And the Mothership of Lego is in Billund, Denmark!!! How cool is that? My son got his first driver’s license there when he was six. Now he is 16 getting ready to get his second.

  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I, obviously, am not in sync with the trumpen trumpetariat, but this seems really, really dumb. “Hey! Let’s see if we can make any low information voters curious about what’s going on”

    Kyle Griffin‏Verified account @ kylegriffin1
    Pro-Trump group labels James Comey a political ‘showboat’ in new ad set to air the same day as Comey testifies

  75. 75
    MomSense says:


    INORITE! The poor kid is also being courted by U of Oslo. It’s just sad because he’s a smart kid. He said something so heartbreaking on 11/9/16. He said he was really excited about serving under a woman CIC.

  76. 76
    burnspbesq says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    I am categorically opposed to the death penalty, on both moral and utilitarian grounds. but some days I can accept my fellow man’s foolish fascination with it a bit more easily than others.

  77. 77
    swbarnes2 says:

    @burnspbesq: Is there a chance that Trump could sue his lawyers for …something? I guess lawyers would know how to deal with that, but the cost of defending later frivolous lawsuits has to be part of the fee, I guess.

  78. 78
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Just stop for a second…the WSJ editorial page is saying this. The WSJ!

    So you’re willing to give them a blindfold and final cigarette now?

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:


    If you’re seeing Jeremy Corbyn as a win, you’re a candidate for cataract surgery.

    I’m hoping for a hung bench as an upset. Even a smaller Tory majority would be nice.

    But if Labor actually pulls off a win, I will be happy. And it will show.

  80. 80

    “…no-one but his family…”

    Like any bad monarch who inherited their position.

  81. 81
    artem1s says:

    What, Jerry Falwell Jr doesn’t have some Liberty University hack he can throw at Twittler for the grift? They found someone to represent Kim Davis fast enough. Are they admitting LU supported someone for the convenience? or are they rooting for Pence to take over so they can really screw the poors, blacks, and women?

Comments are closed.