Federal Employees Want Taxpayers to Keep Their Distance

The Washington Post (WoePost to regular readers) recently had a very ominous quote. Sandra Salstrom, a lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees, told an eager stenographer, “It seems like if they are successful here, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. We don’t know who’s next.”

Rick McKee – Augusta Chronicle, GA

What inhumane, outrageous and bigoted Trump administration policy has attracted the attention of Ms. Salstrom? Has someone purchased a one–way ticket to Somalia for Rep. Ilhan Omar?

Not exactly, but the outrage does involve travel. The Trump administration is planning to move portions of the Dept. of Agriculture and the Bureau of Land Management closer to where agriculture happens and land is managed.

Placing swamp bureaucrats closer to the people over which they rule is evidently inherently offensive. Cong. Steny Hoyer (D–Barnacle) warned, “In the White House, there is, among some people, a real disrespect for federal employees, animated by their disrespect for the government generally. So if you’re hostile to government, you’re then . . . hostile to those who work in government.”

For the USDA this means part of that behemoth will be moving to the Kansas City area. And if I lived in either Kansas or Missouri, I’d be offended. They got some crazy little women there, but I don’t think they hurt no one.

The left is acting like the destination really is Somalia — not that there’s anything wrong with that!

The WoePost, which slavishly covers the federal workforce, even has a swamp columnist. Joe Davidson writes the impending move of the Economic Research Service portion of the USDA has caused employees to “quit in droves.”

Which only proves the “drove” isn’t what it was formerly cracked up to be. The total headcount of this “drove” was six employees. That doesn’t even qualify as a crowded elevator, but it’s typical of the sky–is–falling response to any change in the bureaucracy.

The average employee attrition at ERS had been about one–per–month. After Sec. Sonny Perdue heralded the crack of doom and the arrival of Mayflower, the attrition rate doubled to two–per–month. For a 300–person agency the former rate was 4 percent and the doom–laden rate was 8 percent, which is still much less than the nationwide attrition rate for “government, education & non–profit employment sector” of 11.2 percent.

Even the relatively humane approach of the Trump administration is twisted into a choice between life among the wretches who pay their salary and professional suicide: “The Agriculture Department is offering employees a rare choice: accept a forced transfer to a post 1,000 miles away or be fired.” Having a choice certainly beats the George Clooney treatment where an employee is escorted to a conference room while his office is packed up in his absence. But that’s the savage private sector, not the humane, understanding federal government.

We’re also supposed to be concerned about the priceless “scientific talent” the nation will be using, but when you remember it was USDA “scientists” that foisted the high carb – low fat diet on the nation that resulted in an obesity epidemic, I think we can get along just fine without them.

And they can take their BMI index, too.

The Bureau of Land Management is also pulling up stakes. The plan is to move “84 percent of the agency’s headquarters staff west of the Rockies.” Coverage there was equally grim. “This announcement is deeply unsettling, and has created a lot of uncertainty for us,” the participant said. “The best part of my job is my co-workers, and they are working to tear us apart for purely political reasons. I’m sick to my stomach.”

I’m wondering when we’ll start seeing photos of former USDA employees sitting on the top of railroad cars heading to Canada for asylum when this item caught my eye, “Other employees embraced the reorganization, according to the meeting participant, asking how early they can leave Washington.

Yet, strangely enough, there were no quotes or additional information from employees happy with the impending move.

It’s tough to take this wailing and gnashing of teeth seriously when it’s accepted government practice to shuffle military families like balls in a bingo drum, but somehow moving a bureaucrat is cruel and unusual punishment.

Conservatives should cheer this Trump initiative. It’s not shrinking the size of government, but it is breaking up the concentration of bureaucratic empire–building in the metro DC area. Why shouldn’t the entire USDA be moved to the Midwest where it’s closer to the farming heartland? Why shouldn’t the Dept. of Energy be moved to an area where energy production is supported and not condemned?

Best of all, maybe the work habits of average citizens will rub off on the newly–arrived swamp denizens.

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Trump and the Roar of the Paper Tiger

After spending the last two years on the sidelines warming up on a stationary bike, President Trump has decided it’s time for him to get into the immigration game. When Agent Orange is unleashed illegal immigration will once again be, well, illegal!

Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle, GA

The situation is grim. The Get–Tough–on–the–Border–Guy will be taking in more illegals than Obama did at his laissez-faire peak. Estimates for this year alone are in the neighborhood of 1.5 million more additions to the diversity that is our strength.

So, it’s probably a good idea for Trump to stop being a figurehead in his own government and get serious about fulfilling his primary campaign promise. Or as the Washington Post puts it, “As Trump struggles to curb unauthorized immigration, his rhetoric gets tougher, but quick solutions are elusive.”

That could be because Trump’s a paper tiger. Even his “tough rhetoric” comes with its own set of problems. His pronouncements have a tendency to expire before the problem is solved.

Trump promises to close the Mexico border and then before traffic cones are airlifted from a factory in China he changes his mind and avocado shipments are safe until the next temper tantrum.

Trump tells one audience the US is full up of immigrants and it’s time to call a halt until he can build a fire under the melting pot. Then he tells another he’s decided to double the number of H–2B guest worker visas.

That will certainly cut down on groundskeeper arrests at Trump resorts, but the increase will continue to keep citizen farm wages at Juarez levels while Hispaniard workers brought in for the harvest can scout locations for the rest of their family who will join them after the visa expires.

Our Border–Guard–in–Chief has a list of culprits he’s blaming for the immigration crisis including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. He rails against the judicial system. Trump has special scorn for Democrats who won’t help. And he attacks illegal–enabling lawyers who coach fraudulent asylum applicants on the exact language needed to trigger the conveyor belt of US largesse.

The truth is the person responsible for the failure to keep Trump’s immigration promises is the same person he sees in the mirror each morning when the president conducts a muster drill for his hair. Trump bears 80 percent of the responsibility for the failure and passive–aggressive, housebroken conservative Mitch McConnell, Curator of the Senate, bears the rest.

I’m with Michelle Malkin who told Breitbart, “I don’t want to hear empty threats anymore about how [Trump’s] going to do what he should have done many, many, many months ago. What are you waiting for? Do it.”

Every suggestion that follows should have been done in January 2017. Clean house at the Department of Homeland Security. Kirstjen Nielsen was a start but there are plenty more like her.

Why is the present legal staff incapable of finding loopholes in immigration law that Trump can exploit to expand enforcement? Evidently leftist lawyers can find plenty because thousands of illegals are currently streaming through the gaps. Only those ‘serving’ the Trump administration find the immigration code impervious to an interpretation that puts citizens first.

Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigration Studies gave Breitbart seven actions Trump could take, some of which you’ve read here before. The new ones are force Mexico to sign a Safe Third Country Agreement so ‘asylum’ applicants can wait for a ruling in México lindo. And stop issuing work permits to asylum applicants already in the US.

The Trump voting base was under the impression they were electing a man who would reverse the tide of illegals streaming across our southern border and deport the 25 million illegals, including their dependents, who have taken up an unvexed residence in the US.

Nothing has changed during the months Trump dithered.

A Pew Research Center survey says Republican voters still rank sealing the border and deportations as “their top priority to ensure a better quality of life for themselves and their middle–class families.”

Meanwhile voters are coming to the realization they elected Jeb Bush without the naps.

The Real Conspiracy Against the Working Man

I’ve been resisting the temptation to write about the latest ‘Walk for the Cash’ — the slow–motion invasion that’s gradually approaching our border from Latin America. Illegals have already taken over large swaths of our country, instituted Central America’s wage scale in construction, eliminated high school kids as a viable lawn–mowing alternative, flooded our schools, made hit–and–run a popular pastime and annexed California.

So I was darned if I would allow them to dominate my column, too.

Adam Zyglis: The Buffalo News, NY

But maintaining my willpower is a constant struggle. Particularly when it looks like there are blue–state attorney’s general ready to defend the illegals’ right to take jobs from citizens — regardless of whether the job is with Chipotle or MS–13.

It’s a shame both Democrats and Republicans aren’t as eager to defend citizens who have jobs.

Jay Shambaugh and Ryan Nunn, writing in The Hill, explain that although the economy is booming and unemployment is down, “real wage growth has drifted toward zero. …it has been just 0.4 percent in 2017–18.”

Two of the reasons for the lack of wage growth are systemic and a product of the vast imbalance in power between the job seeker and employer. Regular readers know I’m a conservative and resist government interference in the market. That doesn’t mean I believe individual workers should be at the mercy of soulless Human Resources drones hiding behind the hiring dictates of the executive floor. Currently employers have a de facto union that protects them from employees.

Government at the state level can play an important role in returning competition to the hiring process, which will increase wages as employers are forced to bid for workers. Unfortunately, to date all blue states have done is force nonsensical “ban the box” measures on employers, while red states sleep in the bosom of their corporate donors.

Leftists pushing “Ban the box” want to prohibit employers from asking applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime. This is a sideshow affecting a small portion of the population.

The question Republicans and Democrats should be banning is the one asking the salary of the applicant’s previous job. This invasion of privacy question gives the employer an insurmountable advantage during salary negotiations. The question immediately sets a ceiling on the salary offer and leaves the applicant has no recourse.

If he refuses to answer the salary question he may as well have put “murder” as his answer in the banned box, because neither he, nor a real murderer, will be offered a job.

This collusion has a major impact on worker’s economic lives and helps to reduce wages. And that’s only one of the ways employers conspire together at the expense of job seekers and job holders.

Another way employers limit competition and keep wages artificially low are industry–wide, no poaching agreements where employers informally agree to avoid hiring workers from competitors in the same industry. No poaching edicts bar an employee from seeking a job with another employer in the same industry where he already has all the relevant experience and expertise and is the most valuable.

It’s as if the industry is running its own NFL, where employees are pledged to a single company, only without cheerleaders and kneeling during company functions.

A great employee, working for a lousy widget manufacturer, is stuck without any hope of moving to better working conditions, because none of the competing widget makers will hire someone from within the industry. Changing jobs forces them to look outside the industry where their experience is discounted. The situation has all the disadvantages for the employee, of an H1–B visa without the airplane trip.

The best part is instead of torturing the law to help gangs cross the border, leftist AGs can use existing statues to prevent employers from ganging up on employees and Republicans can demonstrate their “bi–partisanship” by joining the movement.

The best avenue for leveling the employment playing field is the legal concept of ‘tortious interference.’ Wikipedia defines this as “when one person intentionally damages someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party causing economic harm.” That’s a perfect description of a no poaching agreement that prevents an employee (the third party) from changing jobs within an industry and improving his salary and job conditions.

Eliminating the salary question is harder. At the state level, government could expand the definition of privacy to include salary. That would solve one problem, but I fear mission creep in the future.

Results for employees would begin to be felt after the first subpoenas arrived in Human Resources. How about it attorneys general? Why not stop chasing headlines and start chasing employee equality?

Donald Trump Suffers Separation Anxiety

When journalist Lenore Skenazy first introduced the concept of “free range parenting” I knew it was only a matter of time before the idea would careen out of control. Free range parenting is a return to the 1960’s when kids were allowed to enjoy frightening activities like walking alone to the store, playing unsupervised in the park and remaining unwatched and unmonitored for hours at a time.

Free range is a particularly risky choice for citizens who live in a state run by leftist nannies, as Danielle and Alexander Meitiv discovered to their dismay. Their children were spotted walking home from a park located less than a mile from home.

Sean Delonas, CagleCartoons.com

The two were seized by local police and held until their parents could be investigated by Maryland Child Protective Services functionaries. The resulting ‘investigation’ found the Meitivs guilty of neglect.

US children don’t even have to be moving under their own power for parents to have them ‘separated’ by the authorities. If mom runs into 7/11 on a hot day to buy a Powerball ticket, and leaves junior in the car with the windows down, she can be arrested for neglect even though junior is close enough to hit with a wadded–up Powerball ticket.

And the ticket isn’t the only loser. Mom will be separated from junior until she grovels enough for CPS to be satisfied.

That’s not the way Extreme Free Range parenting is practiced in Latin America.

Rango libre parents send their unaccompanied kids thousands of miles north. In the States parents can get in trouble for letting their kids chase the ice cream man. But it’s “no hay problema” when the kids are chasing Uncle Sam.

The Opposition Media ignores the fact that citizen parents are held to a higher standard than illegal parents. For that matter, Walmart shoplifters are held to a higher standard. The first action the police take after arresting the parent is to separate the children.

None of the OpMedia, leftist politicians or spineless Republicans ever ask the obvious question: What kind of parent lets their child travel hundreds of miles with strangers? What parent brings the kids along when they break the law? And how is society served by leaving children with abusive or criminally stupid parents?

That’s not rango libre parenting, it’s felony parenting.

Approximately 12,000 children are being held on our southern border. Only 2,000 of those children are with people claiming to be their parents, the other 10,000 somehow arrived by themselves.

The left claims the border situation is different. While the Walmart shopper is just another petty thief, the Hispaniard is a “refugee” seeking asylum. Just as patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, asylum is the last refuge of the illegal.

My ICE source tells me most of the asylum claims only come after the “refugee” is informed he will be sent back to his country. That’s the point in the interview when the illegal slaps his knee and says, “¡Ay, caramba! I forgot to tell you about the death squad!”

And these are death squads with strange priorities. What is it about the landscaping community that has marked so many of them for pruning? Back during the Reagan administration (home of the one–time–only amnesty for illegals) Central American death squads targeted the elite leadership of a country. Politicians, journalists, educators, lawyers and the wealthy were all in the crosshairs.

But these days it appears instead of concentrating on movers and shakers, modern death squads are after mowers and rakers.

Another fact that works to undermine the credibility of “refugees” and their separated children is geography. If I were a battered woman or a lawn care specialist targeted for extinction, I would apply for asylum at the nearest US consulate. There are four located between the southern border of Mexico and the border of Texas.

Why wait days to apply if you’re in real danger? That’s easy. They aren’t in danger and if an applicant is turned down in the interior of Mexico he’s on his own. But if he can make it to the US border Uncle Sam will leave the light on and take care of food and lodging while the process grinds to a conclusion.

Now President Trump has single–handedly undermined his stringent enforcement policy by cratering and allowing illegals to keep their “children.” For a while Latin America saw there were consequences to violating US immigration law. That’s gone now. The US is once again provides a soft landing for foreigners characterized by recklessness, avarice and contempt for the law.

Even worse, Trump has damaged his own immigration credibility with his base. Now the left knows if they broadcast enough pictures of crying kids, Trump will once again be an immigration tigre de papel.