Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Trump's shutdown and the wall - garbage in, garbage out.

Trump's garbage
Garbage in, garbage out

There is an old saying in computer science: ’ garbage in, garbage out describes the concept that flawed, or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or “garbage”. The principle also applies more generally to all analysis and logic, in that arguments are unsound if their premises are flawed.’

So it is with respect to the White House. If you put a deeply flawed person IN a position of authority, you get garbled nonsense being spewed OUT. In 2016, Americans elected the most incompetent petulant narcissist in history. In 2019, he is forcing the people to suffer for his own campaign promise that is founded on nothing more than a campaign slogan: “Build the wall.” You see? Garbage in, garbage out.

Sher Watts Spooner, a Daily Kos Community writer, documents how The human costs of the Trump shutdown will affect all of us. Coming soon to your nation, your community, your income, you personally: bad sh!t inflicted by Trump’s temper tantrum - and we should acknowledge, abetted by the Congressional Republicans. In the latter regard, it’s become so bad that we have a Senator (Lindsey Graham) goading the president to take the legally, constitutionally, politically precarious autocratic action of declaring a national emergency.

Watts Spooner lists the various consequences of Trump’s shutdown.

… The worst-off, of course, are those employees who won’t get paid and are genuinely fearful about their ability to make a rent or mortgage payment. They’re worried about how they’ll afford groceries in the coming weeks to feed their families. They wonder where they’ll find the money for school fees. …

Would you believe that Trump’s idiocracy infected the US Coast Guard evidenced by “its online tip sheet suggesting that employees hold yard sales or babysit to make ends meet.”

Those who don’t depend on the government for a paycheck might not realize how cutting off government services when employees aren’t around can affect all of us. Whether it’s curtailing a visit to a national park, waiting in a long line to board a plane, or worrying whether the food you buy at the grocery store is safe, this Trump shutdown is starting to mean inconveniences and hardships for many Americans.

The Center for American Progress issued an analysis that put the amount of missed paychecks at $2 billion every two weeks. That’s a lot of money to remove from the economy, even for a short time.

Moreover, Trump’s shutdown is, or soon will be, affecting the majority of Americans.

Here are just a few of the ways the shutdown is causing inconveniences and creating dangers for the U.S. population:

Food safety. The Food and Drug Administration oversees about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply. With workers furloughed, the FDA “has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities,” according to a story in the Washington Post. The FDA typically conducts about 160 inspections a week, and a third of those are done at high-risk facilities.

The safety net. Poor Americans count on government assistance for a variety of services, and those services are getting cut off. Whether it’s nutrition programs, housing subsidies, or low-interest housing loans through the government doesn’t matter; many are on hold.

Fear of flying. Employees of the Transportation Security Administration must show up for work, even when they don’t receive a paycheck. But many of those who screen travelers at the nation’s airports have been calling in sick. Some are threatening to resign all together—or already have done so. … It’s one thing to be bothered by the inconvenience of long lines at airports when there aren’t enough TSA agents to process travelers. It’s a more serious safety concern when there are personnel shortages in air traffic control towers.

Data not found. The loss of data collection might not cause any personal hardships now, but the lack of such data will hurt us all in the long run. Pew Research has a compilation of all the agencies that have stopped collecting and supplying data, “affecting everyone from investors and farmers to researchers and journalists.” Those include the Census Bureau, statistical offices in the Agriculture Department, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and more.

The Center for American Progress did a breakdown of how the shutdown is affecting seven states—seven states where Republican senators face re-election in 2020.

One of these is Arizona where:

Seven thousand and three hundred federal employees in Arizona, over half of whom work for the Interior Department, are either furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown. The Interior Department includes workers who support the state’s 24 national parks, monuments, and trails in addition to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The 300,000 indigenous Americans living in Arizona are uniquely harmed by the shutdown, thanks to its impact on the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has said she does “not think there’s ever a time when it’s appropriate to shut down the government over any demand.” Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) has not publicly broken from Trump and McConnell, and did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Another of those states is Kentucky, home of Senate Majority Leader who has gone AWOL, effectively by his disappearance turning over control of the Senate to Trump.

Spooner concludes:

… [McConnell] shows no sign of budging and refuses to let senators vote on the House-passed bill to fund the government. You know—the same bill that passed on a voice vote in the Senate back in December.

“More than 6,000 federal government employees in Kentucky are furloughed or working without pay,” says a Center for American Progress report on the shutdown.

What do you say, Mitch? How much are you willing to screw over your constituents just to appease the big baby in the White House?

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