The God-King will be sad when he reads today’s Washington Post. I wasn’t. (More)
“It seems almost like a dictatorship at times”
Tom Godat, a union electrician who has always voted for Democrats, cast his ballot for Donald Trump last year as “the lesser of two evils” compared to Hillary Clinton.
He’s already a little embarrassed about it.
There’s a lot that Godat likes about President Trump, especially his pledge to make the country great again by ignoring lobbyists, challenging both political parties and increasing the number of good-paying jobs.
But Godat was surprised by the utter chaos that came with the president’s first month. He said it often felt like Trump and his staff were impulsively firing off executive orders instead of really thinking things through.
“I didn’t think he would come in blazing like he has,” said Godat, 39, who has three kids and works at the same aluminum rolling plant where his father worked. “It seems almost like a dictatorship at times. He’s got a lot of controversial stuff going on and rather than thinking it through, I’m afraid that he’s jumping into the frying pan with both feet.”
In this case the plural of ‘anecdote’ may be ‘data’:
Forty-two percent of Iowans approve of the job the newly inaugurated Republican is doing as president, while 49 percent disapprove, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.
The God-King carried Iowa by 9 points in November, and his approval rating was at -7 points in that February poll. That reads like a lot of buyer’s remorse, and Johnson interviewed several Iowans for her story. You should read it. It will make you smile … even if it makes the God-King sad.
“We actually lived through this”
The Trump administration is seeking to loosen some security requirements for hiring Border Patrol agents in order to meet a dramatic surge in immigration enforcement, according to internal memos obtained by Foreign Policy and analyzed by five current and former officials in the Department of Homeland Security.
Customs and Border Protection, part of DHS, is seeking approval to relax some stringent standards that have made it difficult for the agency to meet recruitment targets in recent years. That includes a request to potentially loosen congressionally-mandated requirements such as a polygraph, as well as an entrance exam and background check.
Customs and Border Protection applicants undergo some of the most rigorous screening of any federal law enforcement agents, and two-thirds fail the polygraph exam. But the standards are strict for good reason:
And some current and former DHS officials and outside experts are concerned that lowering standards could allow the influx of less-qualified candidates who may be susceptible to corruption. CBP is uniquely targeted by drug-trafficking and other transnational organizations seeking out agents they can bribe – with money or sexual favors – to allow drugs, undocumented immigrants, or other contraband across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We actually lived through this,” said Jay Ahern, a deputy CBP commissioner under George W. Bush, when the agency doubled in size. When reviewing tens of thousands of applicants, he said, mistakes are inevitable.
“If you start lowering standards, the organization pays for it for the next decade, two, or three,” Ahern said.
Sounds like a case of “penny wise, pound your head on a wall stupid.”
“A child’s idea of what a president looks like”
The New York Times tells us about President Trump’s TV strategy:
One West Wing official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about strategy, said the administration craved the split-screen television images of Mr. Trump at round-table discussions with business executives every few days on one side, and the vehement protesters of his administration on the other.
This sounds right. Trump seems to believe that sitting around a table with powerful business executives is “presidential.” It’s basically a child’s idea of what a president looks like. So that’s what he does. I don’t think it’s even cynical image manipulation on his part. He really does think this is what makes a president presidential.
Alas, the rest of Drum’s piece – about the Trumpublican budget plan to gut the EPA and the social safety net – made me grumpy. So I’m gonna go find some macadamias.
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Good day and good nuts