The Spoils System Redux – Climate Version

Spoils system reinstated by choice of grant subject.

In memoriam–our civil service as it was, a political cartoon by Thomas Nast showing statue of Andrew Jackson on a pig, which is over “fraud”, “bribery”, and “spoils”, eating “plunder”. Featured in Harper’s Weekly on 28 April 1877, p. 325. Source: Library of Congress

Clifford Eddy, PhD writes:

After James Garfield’s assassination, the spoils system of granting government jobs was replaced by the civil service system, with merit being the criterion for hiring rather than political loyalty to those in high political office.

[via Wikipedia]

In the politics of the United States, a spoils system (also known as a patronage system) is a practice in which a political party, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its supporters, friends and relatives as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party—as opposed to a merit system, where offices are awarded on the basis of some measure of merit, independent of political activity.

The term was derived from the phrase “to the victor belong the spoils” by New York Senator William L. Marcy, referring to the victory of the Jackson Democrats in the election of 1828, with the term spoils meaning goods or benefits taken from the loser in a competition, election or military victory.

After the assassination of James A. Garfield by a rejected office-seeker in 1881, the calls for civil service reform intensified. Moderation of the spoils system at the federal level came with the passage of the Pendleton Act in 1883, which created a bipartisan Civil Service Commission to evaluate job candidates on a nonpartisan merit basis. While few jobs were covered under the law initially, the law allowed the President to transfer jobs and their current holders into the system, thus giving the holder a permanent job. The Pendleton Act’s reach was expanded as the two main political parties alternated control of the White House every election between 1884 and 1896. After each election the outgoing President applied the Pendleton Act to jobs held by his political supporters. By 1900, most federal jobs were handled through civil service and the spoils system was limited only to very senior positions.

The separation between the political activity and the civil service was made stronger with the Hatch Act of 1939 which prohibited federal employees from engaging in many political activities.

The spoils system survived much longer in many states, counties and municipalities, such as the Tammany Hall ring, which survived well into the 1930s when New York City reformed its own civil service. Illinois modernized its bureaucracy in 1917 under Frank Lowden, but Chicago held on to patronage in city government until the city agreed to end the practice in the Shakman Decrees of 1972 and 1983. Modern variations on the spoils system are often described as the political machine.

In today’s climate science, merit criteria have been replaced  by a spoils system of giving grants to those loyal to the political doctrine of Climate Change caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

The US government claim is that $36B has been spent on climate research.  The terms of the resulting grants assured that their recipients would support the entirely political doctrine of  anthropogenic origins of climate change.

This has particularly evil implications such as “scientific truth can be sold to the highest bidder.”

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April 29, 2015 3:20 pm

Its a pigs world in Washington

Reply to  cnxtim
April 29, 2015 7:16 pm

One can eat pig, whereas politicians are too vile in smell and texture to even consider eating them.

Reply to  gbaikie
April 29, 2015 9:20 pm

All such laws to reign in the feeding of the pig is just so much lipstick.

Reply to  gbaikie
April 30, 2015 6:47 am

One evening last October, when I was far from sober
And dragging home a load with manly pride
My feet began to stutter and I fell down in the gutter
And a pig came up and parked right by my side
Then I mumbled, “It’s fair weather when good comrades get together”
Till a lady passing by was heard to say,
“You can tell a man that boozes by the playmates that he chooses”
Then the pig got up and slowly walked away

Fred Harwood
April 29, 2015 3:20 pm

A foundational notion, that petitioners at court were costly, and that a limited government would limit the petitioners, at least for a while.

Alan McIntire
April 29, 2015 3:23 pm

The argument against the “spoils system” was that incompetent supporters were put in office at the expense of competent non-supporters. The argument in favor was that the bureaucrats in office had to respond to the voters, else they’d be voted out of office.
Under the spoils system, the votes of a small number of suppoerts was being bought with political patronage. Nowadays, EVERYBODY is being bought with various programs- agricultural price supports, home mortgage deductions, student loans, financial system bailouts, etc. The spoils system is now orders of magnitude more corrupt and expensive than it was at the time of Jackson and van Buren.

Reply to  Alan McIntire
April 29, 2015 4:56 pm

welfare, food stamps, immigration,,, etc etc

chris moffatt
Reply to  Latitude
April 30, 2015 4:14 am

Corporate handouts, oil depletion allowances, agribusiness subsidies, crony capitalism, bankster bailouts, defence contracting etc, etc – the list is endless

Leo Smith
Reply to  Alan McIntire
April 30, 2015 12:44 am

Big government means plenty of money around to buy the expertise you need to keep your ideology afloat long past its Titanic date…

Alan McIntire
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 30, 2015 1:50 pm

“long past its Titanic …” I’m going to remember, and use that phrase-
April 29, 2015 3:25 pm

I thought referencing it was verboten.

Reply to
April 29, 2015 3:53 pm

Wikipedia is generally OK for non-controversial subjects.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 29, 2015 4:17 pm

And there are not too many of those. Even claiming on the internet to have the best brownie recipe can bring on death threats.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 29, 2015 10:35 pm

@ Max,
That was funny.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 30, 2015 8:56 am
Alan Robertson
Reply to
April 29, 2015 4:24 pm

No, not verboten, not here. Not much is verboten at WUWT. However, one’s reputation for apparent perspicacity diminishes, following a Wiki climate reference.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
April 29, 2015 5:39 pm

Alan :”perspicacity” love the vocabulary at WUWT

Reply to  Alan Robertson
April 29, 2015 6:53 pm

I like ‘apparent perspicacity’ even more!

Reply to
April 30, 2015 4:32 am

Wikipedia is not a reliable source.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 30, 2015 6:25 am

Wikipedia can be a good place to start your search, but always go to the primary documents.

Eustace Cranch
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 30, 2015 10:11 am

Come on. Wikipedia is fine for basic information. What’s the atomic number for bismuth? When was the Magna Carta written?
You shouldn’t use it to make critical decisions, or to found your beliefs. But it’s a very handy quick resource.

Reply to
April 30, 2015 6:03 am

If wikipedia was even referenced in a paper doing my MSc the paper was failed instantly.

Reply to  gaz
April 30, 2015 5:57 pm

Luckily comboxes aren’t quite as formal.

April 29, 2015 3:36 pm

Unfortunately, they control the data/satellites etc. Therefore, politicians control the “scientists” {I use the word loosely, since the “scientists” have sold out to the system}. The worst are the “solar scientists” they have all the answers! BUT, they can’t predict a solar cycle! This is what caused the CO2 scam! The “solars” said the Sun is a constant. But, wait, it isn’t: it is now a variable star.

April 29, 2015 3:42 pm

The DEA does the same thing with grants to police departments and schools all over the country. It’s not until people retire from such institutions that some of them speak out against Prohibition.

April 29, 2015 4:15 pm

After his election, Lincoln was overwhelmed by supporters looking for spoils, to which he replied, “Too many pigs for the tits.”

April 29, 2015 5:30 pm

I thought the spoils system still applied in the US, especially with the appointment of ambassadors.
I recall an economics conference in Tokyo. The British Ambassador gave a talk in Japanese. The French Ambassador asked questions in Japanese. The US Ambassador needed an interpreter. He had no Japanese.
(The Mongolian Ambassador’s Japanese was not so good, either. He had the help of an interpreter But his English was better than the US Ambassador’s. With an upper-class British accent, of course.)
I also recall reading that the Chinese Ambassador in Lebanon had a PhD in Arabic Literature. The US Ambassador had contributed to a Presidential election campaign.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  RoHa
April 29, 2015 5:51 pm

Please don’t leave out Secretaries of Whatever –
Mr. Kerry comes to mind. You know the fellow who said

Try and picture a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity – that’s how thick it is. It’s in our atmosphere. It’s way up there at the edge of the atmosphere. And for millions of years – literally millions of years – we know that layer has acted like a thermal blanket for the planet – trapping the sun’s heat and warming the surface of the Earth to the ideal, life-sustaining temperature.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
April 29, 2015 6:11 pm

“You know the fellow who said”
For the sake of my mental hygiene, I try not to attend to what politicians say. Especially American politicians.

Reply to  RoHa
April 29, 2015 9:27 pm

… and please don’t leave out all of the newer czars …

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
April 29, 2015 11:56 pm

In the UK there are over 1000 QUANGOS stuffed with friends of politicians paid large sums of (taxpayer) money and filled with unelected friends of politicians. There is no visibility of the selection process. Here are a few examples (DEFRA = Department of Farming and Rural Affairs)
Defra Advisory Committee on Packaging
Defra Advisory Committee on Pesticides
Defra Air Quality Expert Group
Defra British Waterways
Defra Commission for Rural Communities
Defra Darwin Advisory Committee
Defra Farm Animal Welfare Council
Defra National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources
Defra Pesticide Residues Committee
Defra Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
Defra Veterinary Residues Committee

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  RoHa
April 30, 2015 4:19 am

The difference between English and Mongolian is huge. Well done! Mongolians can learn to speak Japanese in about 4 months, Korean 3. They are closely related.
Do you remember the MAD Magazine definition of the number 227? That is the volume in decibels necessary for tourists to be understood by non-English speaking foreigners. The graphic included a figure wearing Hawaiian shorts.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
April 30, 2015 5:25 pm

I’m pretty sure the Mongolian ambassador was new to the post, and hadn’t had much chance to polish up his Japanese.
“non-English speaking foreigners”
They only pretend they can’t speak English. Just to annoy us.

William Astley
April 29, 2015 5:37 pm

Billions of dollars pushing an incorrect scientific paradigm is one of the many reasons why we are deep in the climate change twilight zone.
Reality does not change in proportion to the number of people who repeat or believe in their silly mantra.
It is impossible at this time to have a serious discussion as to what is going to happen next to the sun and to the earth.
I am curious as to the order and ramp time of the imminent anomalies. Will atmospheric CO2 fall before or after the anomalously significant drop in planetary temperature? Will the anomalous changes happening in time to affect the presidential election? How will the IPCC backtrack? How will the media and the public respond to the change? When will there be public panic?

April 29, 2015 5:53 pm

Science can seek to pursue greater understanding of our world using curiosity and scientific integrity or it dump the curiosity and integrity, and then bend over for politics in exchange for fame and fortune.

Lawrie Ayres
April 29, 2015 6:16 pm

I can understand less than competent climate scientists bowing to whatever agency is signing their cheque since other employment is out of the question. What I don’t understand are people who are not beholding to those agencies still parroting belief in a hypothesis that has been thoroughly disproved by nature itself. What drives otherwise intelligent people to be so gullible? We need their names because I have some swampland for sale.

Reply to  Lawrie Ayres
April 29, 2015 8:53 pm

Swamp land?? I have some valley bottom fertile land with a clean burbling stream, snow capped mountains filled with wildlife, wild fruit and nut trees with none blemished fruit, the sun sets are to die for and temperatures that vary between 20 and 23C every day and night, the wind blows from the same direction at a mild calm 10 kms/hr and is always warm, and it only rains when we are asleep

Reply to  asybot
April 29, 2015 10:57 pm

Sounds like a Green AGWarmist’s idea of heaven. Could you add 72 virgins?

April 29, 2015 6:31 pm

Well at least Oklahoma Governor Fallin issued an executive order yesterday forbidding the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality from developing a State Implementation Plan (SIP) as required by the EPA. OG&E had ask for an additional 1 billion to mod power plants to meet the EPA requirements which would raise rates 15-20%. Will be interesting to see how this plays out with the lackeys in D.C.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  BFL
April 30, 2015 4:21 am

Gov. Mary Fallin just earned her weight in diamonds.

Steve Case
April 29, 2015 6:38 pm

Tell us something we don’t know.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 29, 2015 7:02 pm

e^e = 15.1542622415

Reply to  Max Photon
April 29, 2015 7:40 pm

Who’d a’ thunk that?

Reply to  Max Photon
April 29, 2015 9:05 pm

Actually, I knew that
15.1542622414792 (from memory)

Reply to  Max Photon
April 29, 2015 9:38 pm

e^e^-1 is a more useful constant.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Max Photon
April 30, 2015 12:04 am

e^(i*Pi) = 1

Reply to  Max Photon
April 30, 2015 12:32 am

Is that in degree C or F?………:-)
(Only kidding)

Reply to  Max Photon
April 30, 2015 12:52 am

Leonard, e^(i*PI) = -1

Reply to  Steve Case
April 30, 2015 4:38 am

No one knows the probability of seeing a sunset.
No one knows why rivers alternate between fast and slow sections.
No one knows exactly why wet soil is dark.

Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
April 30, 2015 7:31 am

The probability of seeing a sunset is 1 (who didn’t ?)
Rivers alternate between fast and slow sections because they cannot run at average speed all the way down.
Wet soil is darker because of refraction (and glass has the very same effect on building for the same reason). But it is not always darker; indeed, sometime, wet soil is brighter because of reflexion (and, again, glass acts idem)

April 29, 2015 7:12 pm

It didn’t take much searching to find a picture of government climate scientists at work.

Reply to  dbstealey
April 29, 2015 7:42 pm

Looks like you’ve been at my neighbor’s place.

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
April 29, 2015 8:00 pm

April 29, 2015 7:16 pm

@ Max Photon 6:53
“Apparent perspicacity”, indeed! What a foggy notion!
Max, we love all of your photonic optical allusions throughout these WUWT threads.
Carry on, brightly!

Bryan A
Reply to  Terry Burch
April 30, 2015 2:26 pm

Ditto…Never a Dim Watted statement

April 29, 2015 7:53 pm

I think the entire government scientific research grant system should be done away with completely and replaced entirely by private sector funding. Period! (TM)
The current research grant system is so corrupt, inefficient, wasteful and frivolous that it cannot be fixed. The private sector demands results, the public sector does not.
Taxpayers are sick and tired of paying for things like $5.65 million grant to teach Arctic communities the dangers of climate change (true example). If the WWF wants to fund bogus projects like this, so be it.

Wayne Delbeke
Reply to  SAMURAI
April 29, 2015 8:49 pm

Taxpayers are sick and tired of paying for things like $5.65 million grant to teach Arctic communities the dangers of climate change (true example).
I wonder what the “teachers” were proposing? Shut down all the diesel electricity in the north. Ban outboard motors? Snow machine? Ban oil heat? Go back to dog sleds, skin Kayaks and tents with blubber lamps? No more wood houses, no modern piles to prevent permafrost melt or sinking into the active layer?

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
April 29, 2015 9:14 pm

Wayne– Many Arctic dwellers living below the tree line have the audacity to burn wood for cooking and heat…
Perhaps this grant was to teach them how to dress more warmly and the joys of eating raw meat…. The Arctic dwellers also use evil snowmobiles, so perhaps they were taught how to walk and fashion snowshoes from navel lint….

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
April 30, 2015 4:31 am

I think they will take away their chocolate bars and Pampers. That will cause a serious revolution. The Great White North is filling up with not-so-white Pampers. (Well, they are full too, of course.)
But it’s really about the diesel generators lighting up the long nights. The Southern Greens want their civilisation back.

April 29, 2015 8:39 pm

What is really bad now, is that if a big storm (hurricane) hits the US east coast with damage… they are back on track and it is because of climate change ie. CO2 etc. etc. etc….
After all Superstorm Sandy wasn’t even a hurricane when it hit NJ/NYC…but they keep referring to it.

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
April 30, 2015 11:23 pm

Hurricane Sandy had sustained winds of 80 MPH when it hit New Jersey so yes it was a Hurricane when it hit NJ/NY. Hurricane winds are anything over 74MPH.

April 29, 2015 11:22 pm

Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
This is provide some opposition to the ludicrous claims by the “CO2 danger” fraternity that the “denier’s of CO2 dangers” are funded by industry.
Ironic, that it is the other way round!

Reply to  Ken McMurtrie
April 30, 2015 7:05 am

Ken, this is what is normally done in political warfare; blame the opposition for what you are doing.

Dodgy Geezer
April 30, 2015 1:25 am

Presumably this was inspired by the British and their Northcote-Trevelyan Report of 1853…?

April 30, 2015 2:10 am

that etching type drawing would probably look nicer if the pig was tinted green

Jeff B.
April 30, 2015 3:34 am

implications such as “scientific truth can be have been sold to the highest bidder.”
Fixed that.

Reply to  Jeff B.
April 30, 2015 10:37 am

Beat me to it.
Gotta get up pretty early in the morning to get in ahead of Jeff! 🙂

Bruce Cobb
April 30, 2015 3:42 am

Climatism is an industry whose product is lies dressed up as science. Produce and you get paid. Don’t produce, and you won’t. It’s as simple as that. Science for sale, or climate whoremongering.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 30, 2015 4:36 am

And here I thought it was a materialistic religion whose product is an evolving set of eschatological prophecies preached as the natural consequence of Original Carbon Sin. In a hundred tongues they proclaim it, proving the Whore of Babylon has decamped to Babel.

April 30, 2015 5:24 am

“In the argument over global warming, one has to make the distinction that pollution especially affects birth weight. The means by which birth weight is affected is through the placenta. All of this carbon dioxide gets deposited into the placental tissues, which clogs adequate transfer of nutrients and oxygen to the baby— similar to how smoking can cause low birth weight.”
Found this on Fox News web site by a Dr. Manny Alverez. Is this true? How does atmospheric CO2 get deposited into the placental tissues?

Reply to  mkelly
April 30, 2015 6:31 am

It doesn’t. The body automatically regulates CO2 levels.

Reply to  mkelly
April 30, 2015 7:59 am

If you find a good summary of the original research, in which China’s reduction of air pollution in preparation for the Olympics resulted in increased birth rates, it says: “These measures helped to produce a drop in the concentrations of particulate matter and gaseous air pollution during week six and seven of the Olympic games with a 60 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide, a 48 percent reduction in carbon monoxide, a 43 percent reduction in nitrogen dioxide, and a reduction in particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter.”
Manny does not understand the difference between carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide, and has ignored the potential contributions of the other pollutants.
No medical professional should confuse carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. His degrees should be revoked along with his medical license.

Reply to  Jtom
April 30, 2015 8:01 am

Yeah, I know. It should be the difference between carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Sigh.

April 30, 2015 5:36 am

No real, honest science can come from government funded and controlled science. We saw horrors in “science” in the old USSR, and also in middle ages Europe when the Roman Catholic Church controlled science.
Grant chasing is an abomination and helps lead to the horror that is modern government controlled medical science as well as government controlled climate science.

Gerry, England
April 30, 2015 5:52 am

All that money and what have we learnt? Nothing given the floundering of the settled sciencers in explaining why it isn’t warming anymore.
The unlamented former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair reintroduced the spoils system into the UK and ruined a functioning civil service.

April 30, 2015 6:34 am

We have abandoned a system where govt worker’s first loyalty was to the party that appointed them.
And replaced it with a system in which the govt worker’s only loyalty is to govt itself.
And proclaimed that progress.

April 30, 2015 7:07 am

The amount of money now moving through the federal system is so vast that eventually it will corrupt even the most well meaning politicians as well as any group (climate “scientists” for example) that feeds at the federal trough. The best solution is to restore political power to the states as originally intended. This means that federal taxation and spending should be reduced while increasing it at the state level. The states need to decide how to spend tax dollars of their own citizens under the watchful eyes of those same people.
Furthermore, federal officials spend WAY too much time in Washington DC. They should maybe meet 4 quarters of the year for perhaps 2 weeks per quarter. The rest of the time should be spent in their home states and districts where they are more accessible to their constituents and less accessible to lobbyists for special interests. Since the states would be taking over more of the fed’s business, federal officials won’t need to spend as much time in DC anyway.
Unfortunately, the only way to bring about something like what I’ve proposed above, would probably be through a convention of the states – difficult to bring about, although provided for in the constitution I believe.

April 30, 2015 7:14 am

Thanks, Anthony, for the political history lesson. It’s universal.
Federalism would be the cure, who dares?

April 30, 2015 5:59 pm

Considering the amount of green money out there, most of the climate industry double-dips.
And considering the tax credits many “charities” get, its almost a double-double dip. (Canadian reference there)…

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