Vincent Viola went to West Point, was commissioned as an officer in 1977, rose to the rank of major, graduated Ranger School, and served with the 101st Airborne. As sports owners go, he’s probably the most likely to be able to kick your ass. As Donald Trump nominees go, he’s probably the most qualified to actually serve in his new government position – Secretary of the Army.
It’s time to get things back on track for the incoming Billionaire Employer-in-Chief, with appointments that get back to the ethos of his administration. We’re talking about someone whose choice for Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, only he couldn’t remember that it existed. We’re talking about someone whose pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has received the Russian Order of Friendship. We’re talking about someone whose pick for Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin – well, you’re reading Dealbreaker, so you already know.
So, who else from the world of sports could the President-Electoral bring into his government?
Daniel Snyder: Yes, he’s a D.C. insider as the owner of the local professional footballing outfit, but they play in Maryland, so there’s no worries about any conflict with the initiative to drain the swamp. The position for Snyder would be under Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the Montana congressman with the 3% rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Yes, the new Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs is the man who heads up the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. Just change redskinsfacts.com to redskinsfacts.gov, and you’re ready to go.
Clay Bennett: Back in 2004, as the importance of facts began to unravel, Bennett’s co-conspirator in robbing NBA basketball from Seattle, Aubrey McClendon, was one of the financial backers of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign. McClendon, a fracking magnate who headed Chesapeake Energy, was indicted by a federal grand jury in March of this year in a scheme to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases. The next day, McClendon died in a fiery one-car crash. What better way to honor him than to make his old business partner, himself once convicted for drunk driving, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs?
Jimmy Haslam: In 2014, the Browns had the No. 26 pick in the draft thanks to a rare good trade, as Cleveland somehow got the first-rounder for horrendous running back Trent Richardson. Having already selected cornerback Justin Gilbert at No. 8 (after trading down from No. 4 and up again from No. 9), the Browns were free to use their lower first-round pick on a quarterback. They needed a quarterback, because the Browns always need a quarterback, and they had shelled out $100,000 for a study in advanced analytics to determine the best quarterback in the draft. The result? Teddy Bridgewater. Score one for analytics, because the competition for the best quarterback of the 2014 draft class is between him and Derek Carr. Unfortunately for the Browns, they did not use their expensive analysis, instead trading the No. 26 pick and a third-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles so that they could move up four spots and take Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M. Why did Cleveland trade up to take Manziel? Because a homeless man told Haslam that they should. No, really. Haslam is an obvious choice for United States Trade Representative, though the $92 million penalty paid by his company, Pilot Flying J, for fraud restitution in 2014, puts the brother of Tennessee governor Bill Haslam in good position for any cabinet spot he’d want.
James Dolan: He’s from the Big Apple. Knicks fans can tell you that his ownership of the team has been fertilizer, to change a word. The music of JD & the Straight Shot has been described by Deadspin as “corny-ass blues.” He owns Madison Square Garden, which true to the Trump regime’s anti-fact bent is neither on Madison Avenue, a square building, at Madison Square, nor a horticultural center. If you don’t think that Dolan is fit to be Secretary of Agriculture, reconsider his expertise in crop rotation, as exemplified by former Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas winding with the WNBA’s New York Liberty. The initial plan was to make Thomas, disgraced in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former Garden executive in 2007, part owner of the Liberty. When the league rejected that, Dolan simply made Thomas the team president. That’s the kind of savvy problem-solving any administration needs.
Betsy DeVos: It’s her father-in-law who owns the Orlando Magic, but still, you have to make room on a list like this for an obvious anti-choice for Secretary of Education. DeVos is a firm proponent of school vouchers and charter school, to the point that The New York Times wrote, “It is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump’s pick as the cabinet secretary overseeing the nation’s education system.”
Oh, right, that one really happened.