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“Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?”  “If he [Biden] comes in, … the Christmas season will be canceled.” — President Donald J. Trump, October 18, 2020

Trump’s pardon spree is a series of corrupt gifts, administrative vandalism on the way out of the bunker, expecting others to clear up afterwards.

The White House is stripping a good governance provision from the budgeting process that requires agencies to set goals and meet them in order to get funding, lifting the protocols just before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The memo, posted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website on Christmas Eve, completely deletes from a government guidance the requirement that agencies do strategic planning and publicly share progress in meeting their goals.

OMB’s plans to overhaul the process, first reported by The Hill on Tuesday, surprised observers. A source familiar with the discussions described the mechanism as “in place to really make government, ideally, more efficient.”

In a memo to agencies, OMB Acting Director Russell T. Vought said the measures were being removed, in part, due to a lack of interest from the public.

“The thousands of pages of performance data generated by agencies and posted on performance.gov each year attract little interest,” Vought wrote, calling the effort one of many to “reduce the burden and expense of low-value government work [that] have been a hallmark of this administration.”

thehill.com/…

In Bill Barr’s resignation letter, he explained he would “spend the next week wrapping up a few remaining matters important to the Administration and depart on December 23rd.” Barr stopped off at the White House yesterday for a short visit. He and his spox wrote his good-byes during the day and then left DOJ in charge of Jeffrey Rosen.

And then after all that, Trump pardoned Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. The Manafort and Stone pardons — for which the paperwork must have been done ahead of time but held until Barr was no longer Attorney General — only cover the crimes for which they’ve been found guilty. That means both men would ostensibly remain under investigation for their coordination with Russian Agents during the election (and both men assuredly did coordinate with Russian Agents during the election.

https://t.co/1fuAOHRiYR?amp=1

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