Behold the Latest In Management Consultant BS for the State Department

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been busily decimating the State Department despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans want the department staffed at roughly the same level as last year. But will Congress ever do anything about this? Apparently they’re getting close, and Politico’s Nahal Toosi reports that even Sen. Bob Corker is starting to get impatient:

Tillerson’s proposed cuts to the State Department’s staff and budget have drawn growing bipartisan fire from Capitol Hill for months. But Corker’s criticism stands out. Until recently, Corker has been a steadfast ally of Tillerson, whose nomination he championed and whom he has described as one of the adults around Trump who “separate our country from chaos.”

….Last week, a bipartisan group of Senate staffers met with Tillerson aides to get an update on Tillerson’s plan to reshape his department. The State staffers shared a presentation, a copy of which was obtained by Politico, that infuriated the Senate aides with its lack of substance. “Part of the frustration is that they briefed entirely on process as opposed to what they actually plan to do,” said a Senate aide who attended the session.

….In a hearing Tuesday, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blasted Tillerson, pointing to reports of an exodus of senior diplomats from the Foreign Service. He also slammed Tillerson for being slow or simply unwilling to answer lawmakers’ questions about what is happening to America’s diplomatic ranks. Corker said he agreed with “many” of Cardin’s criticisms and mentioned the “unsatisfactory” meeting between Senate and Tillerson aides.

“Unsatisfactory”? Check out a typical slide from the presentation Tillerson’s staffers shared:

After nine months, this is all they’ve got? Management consultant gobbledygook? And it gets worse. Here’s a description of how they’re going to develop high-performance leaders:

For senior leaders accountable for the future of State and USAID and for fulfilling the organizations’ missions, each participant will lead a Breakthrough Project in their work area with defined mission impact, taking them to an entirely new echelon of impact, leadership, inspiration and delivered results.

A new echelon of impact! This is flat-out embarrassing stuff. Can’t Tillerson at least pay for good management consultant BS? Or does he not know the difference?

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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