How the White House plans to keep power during “the Apocalypse”

U.S. Dept of Energy

Just because a disaster disrupts the federal government doesn’t mean the White House won’t try to stay in charge. Since the 1950s, the White House has drafted and maintained Pres­id­en­tial Emer­gency Action Docu­ments (PEADS) — a list of secret plans meant to be implemented in the wake of an apocalyptic disaster. Thanks to a new document dump and some clever information requests, we’re finally learning a little bit about how Washington would seek to stay in power should the worst occur.

As first reported by the New York Times, the PEADs documents come courtesy of the Brennan Center for Justice, which obtained the bulk of the documents through Freedom of Information Act requests. The documents cover a period from the Eisenhower presidency all the way to Trump…

A 2016 House Committee Appropriations Hearing gives us an explanation of what PEADs are and what, exactly, they do.

“PEADs are pre-coordinated legal documents designed to implement a Presidential decision or transmit a Presidential request when an emergency disrupts normal governmental or legislative processes,” it said. “A PEAD may take the form of a Proclamation, Executive Order, or a Message to Congress…”

Every President tweaks the PEADs in their own way and every era reflects the different concerns of the different presidents. Until 9/11, the documents were obsessed with ensuring a continuity of government in the aftermath of a surprise nuclear attack on the United States…

The Reagan era plans are similarly obsessed with nuclear war and its aftermath. It isn’t until the 9/11 era and George W. Bush that things change radically…

And so the plot to the White House soap opera wends its merry way through the head-of-state killer klown show. And we all know you can’t have a soap opera without a proper script.

Six Texas doctors received more than $1 million in kickback scheme

Six Texas doctors received more than $1 million in kickbacks for their referrals to two laboratories for diagnostic testing, the Department of Justice alleged in a civil complaint.

True Health Diagnostics of Frisco and Boston Heart Diagnostics of Framingham, Mass. allegedly conspired with small Texas hospitals to pay physicians to make referrals to the two labs for tests, according to the complaint. The complaint named one hospital, Rockdale Hospital, which was located in Rockdale, a city in central Texas with a population of about 5,000 people.

The scheme involved recruiters hired by the hospitals to enlist doctors to make referrals to the hospitals…Rockdale Hospital, now closed, and other hospitals allegedly paid a portion of their laboratory profits to recruiters, who in turn kicked back those funds to the referring physicians…

Nice work if you can get it…says the old song. Don’t think the lyrics include jail time.