Ever since Trump announced his candidacy, up has been down, black has been white, wrong has been right. That trend continues as a man who is viewed by his supporters as a populist (seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people) obviously cares nothing about the 800,000 federal employees (about a quarter of all government employees) who are not being paid during this partial government shutdown.
This Trump Shutdown is now in its 16th day and some 420,000 government employees designated as “essential” (in some cases, the lowest paid) are being forced to work without pay. The New York Times writes,“This includes upward of 41,000 law enforcement officials [including FBI and DEA], 54,000 Border Patrol agents, and 53,000 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers”.
It can be no surprise that now some of those TSA employees have begun to call in sick in protest. According to CNN,“as many as 170 TSA employees called out [sick] each day this week” at New York’s JFK International Airport. At the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, “call outs have increased by 200%–300%.” And, union officials are predicting call-outs will increase when agents miss their first paycheck, forcing them to find other jobs to put food on the table, or pay their rent, or to stay home with their young children because they can no longer afford child care. What will happen is largely unknown though, since as TSA Administrator David Pekoske said, “We’ve never had a situation where officers did not get paid” since recent shutdowns have been of a duration that didn’t result in pay delay. Continue reading
Season 3 of the alt-reality TV series The Apprentice – White House premiered Tuesday with Donald Trump trying to cash in on the trendy revival of old TV series this season by adding elements of his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fake wrestling days. Trump invited Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over to the White House for some pre-match bluster and braggadocio in an overly contrived episode one: “The Wall Brawl.”
Dana Milbank has the play-by-play. “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Emergency! It’s time for Trump to fabricate another crisis!
Robert Mueller is circling, recessionary clouds are building, and Democrats are rising to power. For President Trump, this can mean only one thing: It’s time to fabricate a new crisis.
And that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Trump summoned Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to the Oval Office on Tuesday for what was supposed to be a negotiating session about border security. Instead, he used them as props in an impromptu, 17-minute reality-TV show.
“Look, we have to have the wall,” Trump bellowed at the Democratic Senate and House leaders — seated awkwardly on couches — while the TV cameras rolled. “This is a national emergency. Drugs are pouring into our country. People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many cases it’s contagious.”
Emergency! Drugs and contagion! And then, a threat: “If we don’t get what we want one way or the other. . . . I will shut down the government, absolutely.” The president added: “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. . . . I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”
The Trump Shutdown. Own it.
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Tagged Fact Check, government shutdown, Mexico border wall, Trump Shutdown