Category 4. Government

What We’re Not Talking About

The cage match over whether or not Congress will agree to fund President Trump’s $5.7bn request for a wall along parts of the border with Mexico continues. The latest move in this battle is that Congressional Democrats have offered $5.7bn to fund non-wall security enhancements; it’s not the money they’re worried about but the possibility that they might be seen as caving to the hated Trump. Meanwhile the president has offered a concession too – he’ll extend legal protections for the so-called dreamers for three years if Congress will just give him bragging rights for having delivered the wall he promised. So far: no deal. Apparently, each side cares far more about the politics of the issue than its substance, or than it does about other, far more important issues.

I thought I ...

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A Suggestion for the President

Apparently, it isn’t true that federal agencies are able to terminate any or all of their presently furloughed nonessential employees because they have been out for thirty days – they can only do that in the case of administratively planned furloughs, not as a result of “emergency furloughs” based – as at present – on lapses in Congressionally-approved funding. Even so, the Administration could use its ability to engage in such administratively-planned-furloughs-leading to-terminations to dramatically turn up the heat on House Democrats to fund the president’s plans for a wall.  

In spite of the fact that I am broadly pro-immigration in cases where people want to come here to become Americans – i.e...

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Nighty Night, Little Knights

By now you have doubtless read about the letter signed by numerous former high-ranking members of the intelligence community decrying President Trump’s revocation of MSNBC commentator John Brennan’s security clearances, or seen the hilariously funny clip (https://youtu.be/udblJfjYttI) of former CIA analyst Phil Mudd, now employed by CNN, exploding in anger at the very suggestion that he and others like him might also lose theirs.

Apparently, security clearances are viewed by many former government officials as rights belonging to them. They think they get to know about things that we mere peasants do not because, … because those are their rights as (former) knights of the realm...

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