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A Guide to Trump’s D.C. Game of Musical Chairs, Part I

President-elect Donald J. Trump has hundreds of appointments to make very quickly, most of whom will be chosen by somebody he delegates.

President-elect Donald J. Trump reportedly was too superstitious to worry about staffing his administration until after he won the election. He now has hundreds of appointments to make very quickly, most of whom will be chosen by somebody he delegates.

President-elect Trump’s first personal act was to jerk back the authority he had delegated to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to head up the transition team. Christie was one of the first establishment Republicans to endorse Trump, and Christie’s appointment came before some of his closest aides and appointees were convicted of felonies for shutting down traffic on the busiest bridge in the U.S. to punish a small town mayor for failing to endorse Christie’s reelection.

The criminal prosecution was vigorously contested, but the one thing the defendants from Christie’s team and the prosecutors agreed about was that Christie knew about the political shutdown, and approved. Christie denies that and he has not been charged in the scandal. Any speculation that Trump demoted Christie for show was crushed when the people Christie had brought with him were reassigned and replaced by staff from Christie’s replacement, Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Christie remains, unless he gets charged in the bridge closing scandal, what we call in the political world a “must hire,” one who has carried so much water for the boss that he is entitled to a government salary, whether or not there is real work attached to it.

In an article titled, “The Trump Cabinet is Shaping Up to be a Total Sausagefest,” New York reported, “loyalty is the golden ticket into the Trump administration.” Since Trump had to fight the Democrats and establishment Republicans to get elected, it’s understandable that he wishes to reward the few, the proud, the Trumpistas.

Trump’s inner circle is his family, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump. Also playing an outsized role is Jared Kushner, aka Mr. Ivanka Trump.

When Christie was a federal prosecutor, he got Kushner’s father Charles a year in the Club Fed for making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. New Jersey.com reported that when Christie had the inside track for Trump’s Vice President, it was Jared Kushner who sunk him.

Powerful as the Trump offspring are, they cannot play Washington musical chairs themselves because of a law passed after Republicans went ballistic over John F. Kennedy turning to his brother Robert F. Kennedy for an Attorney General he could trust. The current crop of Republicans could repeal the ban on nepotism in the Cabinet, but there has been no move in that direction.

From out here in fly-over country, it appears that Trump is trying to reward the people who stood for him. In the service of rewarding those who carried his political water, the same names come up on everybody’s list.

Christie is mentioned for Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security or Secretary of Commerce, according to Buzzfeed, CNN and Newsmax.

Newsmax is probably the best-connected outlet trying to cover this story. Like Fox News, it has a right-wing political agenda and current and former board members are a who’s who of politicians too far “out there” for the mainstream but not quite enough for Breitbart. Newsmax not only presumes to rank the candidates, it asserts that Secretary of the Treasury has been “promised” to Trump's finance chairman, Steve Mnuchin, formerly of Goldman, Sachs.

Goldman, Sachs is the behemoth investment bank that managed to turn a profit on the Great Recession because the taxpayer bailout of investment banks to save the commercial banking system was designed to pay off the exotic obligations that caused the crash 100 cents on the dollar.

The political left dubbed the bank “Golden Sacks” and complained loudly about many high-ranking government officials who had just walked through a revolving door between Goldman, Sachs and the government. That revolving door continued to turn whether the boss was George W. Bush or Barack Obama, and Goldman, Sachs was one of the venues where Hillary Clinton gave her famously expensive speeches.

The Clinton connection added to Mnuchin’s status in Trump’s campaign shows that Golden Sacks was wired to continue its run of good luck with government, no matter how the election went. The restrictions on investment banks contained in the law passed after the Great Recession, Dodd-Frank, will not survive the first 100 days of a Trump administration, if Trump keeps his word.

Also due for an early death is an Obama administration rule requiring investment advisors to act in their clients’ interests rather than their own.

Newsmax listed two other possible secretaries of the Treasury if Mnuchin does not want to take the pay cut.

Wilbur Ross is a billionaire CEO whose investment firm, WL Ross & Co., made billions buying up “distressed assets” at pennies on the dollar and applying enough lipstick to the unattractive pigs to turn around and sell them for bacon. Ross is owed for being one of the first princes of Wall Street to board the Trump train.

Steve Forbes is a former presidential candidate, flat-tax advocate and publisher of the eponymous magazine that covers the news rich people need to stay rich and sells ordinary people a look at the lifestyle of the one percent. It was Forbes (the magazine) that dubbed Newsmax “the Great Right Hope” right after Christopher Ruddy launched it.

Ruddy, still CEO of Newsmax, was an early contributor to the Trump campaign and a proponent of the conspiracy theory surrounding the death of a Deputy White House Counsel under Bill Clinton, Vince Foster.

The Clinton Killed Vince Foster theory was one of several crackpotisms Trump endorsed during his campaign, most famously the one that purported to involve the father of one of his opponents, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in the JFK assassination.

Fact Checker did an analysis of all five of the investigations into Foster’s death and rated Trump’s remarks about a Clinton conspiracy four Pinocchios.

Indians have been watching Treasury for a reason having nothing to do with conspiracy theories or controlling reckless gambling on Wall Street. A group of women set out to get a woman’s likeness on paper currency before the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. This awakened the possibility of righting what many consider a wrong that is in their face whenever they handle U.S. currency.

RELATED: The Odds on Jackson Removal and a Native on Paper Money—Yes, It Happened

Indians involved themselves in the currency redesign in the hope of cleansing the 20-dollar bill of the treaty-shredding Indian fighter, Andrew Jackson. While Trump has taken no public position, one of the pillars of his campaign was to oppose “political correctness.” It’s fairly certain that a change to make women and Indians happy would be labeled politically correct.

RELATED: Dump Jackson From the $20; Replace him with a Mankiller

RELATED: Crowdsourcing Jackson Removal

There was an Internet meme claiming that Trump advocates repeal of the 19th Amendment. While that meme got common enough to draw a debunking from snopes.com, it was not true.

Whether the redesign of the currency gets called off because of expense or because of hostility to “political correctness” remains to be seen. We know that Treasury is one seat in a high-dollar and publicly funded game of musical chairs. In that game, the earliest date the music could stop is January 20, 2017, when President Trump takes power.

RELATED: Trump’s Cabinet Full of Crazy: D.C. Musical Chairs, Part II

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