If President-elect Donald trump's nominees do not want to make their financial sources and possible conflicts of interest public, the candidates have every right not to. Instead, they should withdraw their nominations. That is the way an open government works. The Senate should rubber stamp presidential appointees if the candidates pass non-partisan scrutiny. For example, the upper chamber acted dysfunctionally in handling President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Because Obama won re-election in 2012, Garland should have received a hearing and been seated.

Rex Tillerson

Such is the battlefield Democrats and Republicans are fighting now over confirmations. Take the case of Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, for example. He is a plutocrat and comes from Big Oil. That is not so troubling to his critics on the left and in the Mainstream Media (MSM). Their concern is that Tillerson lacks government experience, and that he has successfully negotiated deals with countries some on Capitol Hill insist on calling “our enemies.”

If senators want war with Russia, or anyone else, they have the authority to introduce legislation for a declaration of war. Let’s have that debate. On the other hand, if these war-hawks are simply posing for the MSM, these fine journalists should turn off their mics and find some real news.

What doesn’t work

Given the situation the Bush and Obama State Departments have left the United States in, a businessman who has successfully worked with governments around the world for years is a nice option. The Senate should require Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobile, and all nominees, to submit all data to the Office of Government Ethics at least 72 hours before his hearing.

Critics will say that is not enough time to vet him, but it is about 48 hours more than Americans had to digest the Affordable Care Act before it was thrust upon them. The Senate, Democrats, and Republicans should question Tillerson, and the other nominees, on everything.

Trump says he wants peace with Russia. Peace is good. Peace is in the United States’ best interest. Let the new State Department work toward peaceful U.S. relations wherever it can.