While the shutdown is ostensibly about a border wall, I think it’s useful to remember that infamous statement from Steve Bannon during his brief tenure as White House strategist, in which he called for “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” Yesterday, an anonymous Trump administration official wrote an op-ed in Tucker Carlson’s journalistically-challenged tabloid site The Daily Caller, suggesting that the shutdown “is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.” From TPM:
The op-ed’s author wrote that “many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce” and that “we do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them.”
Ha, right! That’s 800,000 people! Meanwhile, unpaid TSA screeners are calling in sick, aircraft safety inspections are stalled, FDA food inspections have stopped. The list goes on.
In case you missed the news about Joshua Tree National Park, some idiots took advantage of the shutdown to chop down threatened Joshua trees to make illegal trails for off-road vehicles.