January 28, 2017

The NYT view of "Trump’s First Week" — "Misfires, Crossed Wires, and a Satisfied Smile."

This sign over the door says: If you loathe Trump, you will get comfort here. The readership — dwindling? surging? — is offered a safe space. I don't want a safe space. But let's see what's beneath that headline:
If other new occupants of the White House wanted to be judged by their first 100 days in office, President Trump seems intent to be judged by his first 100 hours. No president in modern times, if ever, has started with such a flurry of initiatives on so many fronts in such short order.

The action-oriented approach reflected a businessman’s idea of how government should work: Issue orders and get it done. But while the rapid-fire succession of directives on health care, trade, abortion, the environment, immigration, national security, housing and other areas cheered Americans who want Mr. Trump to shake up Washington, it also revealed a sometimes unruly process that may or may not achieve the goals he has outlined.
That's a fair start. If you like Trump, you can read that as high praise. Imagine if a liberal President entered the White House and got things moving so quickly. The NYT would lavish praise.

What gets counted as "unruly" and potentially ineffective?
Orders were signed without feedback from the agencies they would affect. Policy ideas were floated and then retracted within hours. Meetings and public events were scheduled and then canceled....
I'm pretty sure those who like where Trump seems to be going have no problem with any of that and might even portray it in a positive light. He's not getting bogged down in process...
To get off to a powerful start, Mr. Trump chose speed over process.
... and the process is shaping up as he goes:
In hopes of sharpening the process, Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, are forming what is being loosely called the Strategic Initiatives Group, a mini-think tank within the White House comprising analysts who can grapple with large-scale issues like cybersecurity.

Such a group would have as many as a dozen strategists, and could help to centralize policy-making on some topics by Mr. Bannon and Mr. Kushner. Reince Priebus, the chief of staff, who knows Washington well and who works in conjunction with the two, is likely to run more of the day-to-day operations of the West Wing, according to one person involved in the planning....
There's much less comfort here for Trump-haters than the headline seems to promise:
Mr. Trump has historically run his business, and his campaign, with a high level of intentional chaos. 
So he knows what he's doing! Other people just can't see it, especially if they are afraid of what looks confusing and don't like where it's going whether it's organized or not.

The power struggle is fascinating:
Mr. Kushner has emerged as the most important figure in Mr. Trump’s White House besides the president. He has told several people that all things on nearly every topic “run through me,” according to two people with direct knowledge. He had previously sought to limit Ms. Conway’s influence, according to insiders, although she consistently has Mr. Trump’s ear.

The internal sway of Mr. Bannon, a former chairman of the conservative news and opinion website Breitbart, has grown with the advance of Mr. Trump’s agenda this week, much of which he helped shape. Mr. Priebus is still struggling to master the building. He has not always been kept abreast of what is taking place, and Mr. Spicer’s troubles have been seen as potential strikes against Mr. Priebus, who brought him in from the Republican National Committee.
I'm tempted to say that sounds like a new season of "The Apprentice." But I'd be losing my grip. This is real.

That was a great article in The New York Times. Written by Charlie Savage, Peter Baker, and Maggie Haberman. The headline is completely off however.

145 comments:

madAsHell said...

I think I read this column 8 years ago, and after one week, Obama was still pissin' rainbows, and fartin' unicorns.

Michael K said...

The Trump haters are focusing on "too many EOs" and "Chaos."

Why would Trump be asking for input from EPA after they ran to the newspapers about him asking for their meeting schedule before inauguration?

The EPA staffers are "still coming to work crying." They know they are on the menu, not invited to dinner.

The WaPo has been outed for their fake news "All senior State Department management resign rather than work with Trump."

That story went virile and I was attacked on facebook by an idiot accusing me of "lying" for saying this was a routine resignation that was accepted.

HT said...

Too many rapid assessments. It's impossible to know the impact of what he's done now. As I said previously, speaking for myself I alternate between depression and elation. I need a monitor - can't get much info from any one moment in time, gotta look back at weeks or months. People will say they know, but it's just our feelings (I feel). Who knows. If you asked me this past weekend, he looked really bad. If you ask me this weekend, I'd say on balance he had a great week.

traditionalguy said...

One man's unruly process, is another man's ooda loop. The NYT may finally be embarrassed.

Fernandinande said...

The situation of undocumented[sic] Mexicans in the U.S. remains a priority for the government, the NYT, er, Carlos Slim said Friday.

Danno said...

The agencies work for the people of America, not vice versa. Why would Trump consult with them?

Michael K said...

"his false claim that illegal voters cost him the popular vote. "

I stopped reading there.

MayBee said...

I feel like the news cycle is running off the rails.

M Jordan said...

Trump,

That sums up all the comments for the last 18 months and the next 8 years.

David Begley said...

See Scott Adams for a different take. Trump has flooded the zone (intentionally!) with a bunch of Executive Orders so that the MSM can't fixate on any one thing. The MSM has gone off on a tangent regarding crowd size while POTUS accomplished more in one week than Obama did in 8 years.

Bannon and Trump schooled the MSM. The crowd size controversy was rope-a-dope.

Gahrie said...

The agencies work for the people of America, not vice versa. Why would Trump consult with them?

My boss rarely consults with me. He usually just tells me what he wants done. When I get a new boss, he has different ideas of what he wants done, and my job is to implement those new ideas, not argue with him that I liked the old way better.

roesch/voltaire said...

He is re-making the Republican party which now stands for huge deficits, against open trade, increasing the infrastructure amount denied to Obama and against anything that starts with P: Planned Parenthood, PBS, PRN, public protests, publics petition for his taxes,public facts about the inauguration, public vetting of ethic standards for cabinet members and on it goes-- what is not to like?

Owen said...

traditionalguy: "One man's unruly process, is another man's ooda loop. The NYT may finally be embarrassed."

OODA loop for sure. It would be fun to ask DJT if he read anything by or about Col. John "Forty Second" Boyd. He certainly seems to have mastered Boyd's methods.

I doubt the NYT is capable of embarrassment.

damikesc said...

I'll be honest, seeing what all Trump has done and how little bitching has been done is making me think that his "petty feud of the day" strategy is working. He has done A LOT of stuff already and all the press wants to discuss, still, is immigration crowd size and his speeches to the CIA et al (which both helps Trump by atomizing criticism AND it makes the press look useless since they won't cover, you know, news). They seem either oblivious or ignorant to what he is actually doing, most of which I support.

And Addams is right. If you do so many things the Left hates at one time, they have a really hard time focusing on which one to bitch about. So they turn into sputtering blobs of bitching.

mockturtle said...

Neither the NYT nor NYC is as important or influential as it thinks it is.

Danno said...

Thanks for raising the Scott Adams reference. Most excellent.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/156399716951/outrage-dilution

MountainMan said...

He is simply acting like the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company. It is going to take a while for the bureaucracy to figure out that they now have to take these directives and figure out how to implement them within the law, quickly. I expect some of the new cabinet secretaries, like Tillerson and Ross, who have extensive private sector experience, will see that happens. I see there were some articles this morning complaining about chaos created by the visa ban that was issued. It should have been up to personnel at State and Homeland Security to immediately figure out how to accomplish that, taking into account what was already in progress and how things should work moving forward. Anticipating that something like that was coming they should already have been working on it. Knowing what I know about government bureaucracies I would say they were not.

My wife worked for the Federal Government for the first 16 years we were married, 8 for Social Security then 8 for the IRS. When we went through a re-location she took off from working while our three children were in school and later, after we were empty nesters, she went to work for the same Fortune 500 company from which I retired last year, where she still works. It was a tremendous culture shock for her. People actually had deadlines and budgets, all employees were held accountable for their work, and when it came time to have reductions in force the weak performers were given severance packages and let go. She had a hard time adjusting to the stress, which she had never experienced in government work, where nothing ever seemed to change. But we were talking about this after looking at the news this morning and she said she would never go back to working for the government again. I saw somewhere today that up to half of EPA workforce may be let go. It's about time. I doubt they will be missed.

damikesc said...

For a guy "unqualified to be President", he's done way more in a week than anybody else I can think of. Before FDR, the first 100 days was a nothingburger also. Then somebody comes in and upsets the apple cart. This flood of everything also gives YEARS for this to become old news.

Bob Boyd said...

"Mr. Trump chose speed over process."

At this stage the process is the product. Trump chose to make a better product.

HT said...

He has done A LOT of stuff already and all the press wants to discuss, still, is immigration crowd size and his speeches to the CIA et al (which both helps Trump by atomizing criticism AND it makes the press look useless since they won't cover, you know, news).

The press or Trump is focusing on crowd size? At any rate, no one is focusing on it anymore. It's been left in the dust, rearview mirro and no one will be baited (Trump or Dems) anymore. Well maybe Trump will. He is very baitable.

But your use of the word "stuff" is good. I'm not clear on what all these executive actions add up to.

damikesc said...

He is simply acting like the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company. It is going to take a while for the bureaucracy to figure out that they now have to take these directives and figure out how to implement them within the law, quickly. I expect some of the new cabinet secretaries, like Tillerson and Ross, who have extensive private sector experience, will see that happens. I see there were some articles this morning complaining about chaos created by the visa ban that was issued. It should have been up to personnel at State and Homeland Security to immediately figure out how to accomplish that, taking into account what was already in progress and how things should work moving forward. Anticipating that something like that was coming they should already have been working on it. Knowing what I know about government bureaucracies I would say they were not.

I'd wonder if their inability to keep up could lead to a culling of the workforce. They have an expected workload they anticipate and dramatically increasing it might drive some to quit. Others might refuse and I have to assume insubordination can show somebody the door.

I saw somewhere today that up to half of EPA workforce may be let go.

Seems too low. If they are crying over an election, then anybody who has cried about it should be let-go. We don't need snowflakes in power.

Sebastian said...

@MK: "That story went virile" Good one.

Too early to say if the shots are hits or misfires. Issuing orders is one thing, executing another.

HT said...

Neither the NYT nor NYC is as important or influential as it thinks it is.

And yet, here we are, commenters on a blog that week after week after month after year after decade never stops quoting the New York Times.

David in Cal said...

Media rarely discuss competence (nor are most of them qualified to judge it), but Bannon and Kushner have records of tremendous success as managers of their endeavors. Conway isn't on their level, but her success as campaign manager of a highly flawed candidate was most impressive.

Danno said...

"...sputtering blobs of bitching

Is this similar to nattering nabobs of negatism?

Darrell said...

Chuck assured us that Trump was not going to act on any of his campaign promises. He must have convinced the NYT as well. Chuck is persuasive.

Darrell said...

It would be a shame if the EPA bus went over a cliff and there were a few empty seats. Same for most other government departments. And we have a lot of buses.

Danno said...

HT said..."And yet, here we are, commenters on a blog that week after week after month after year after decade never stops quoting the New York Times."

Ann uses the NYT as a source, and I believe she subscribes. Where else do you find so much stupid reporting?

Most of us get locked out after 10 free articles a month, and see Ann's analysis or other rebuttal sources around the web.

James Pawlak said...

The sign should read, "TELL A LIE OFTEN ENOUGH AND IT BECOMES THE TRUTH:.

That is good practice for their future doorway as reads, "ABANDON HOPE ALL WHO ENTER HERE". (Do not pet the three-headed dog.)

Owen said...

Sebastian: "Too early to say if the shots are hits or misfires. Issuing orders is one thing, executing another." Indeed. But as noted above, at this point the process is the product. Not (only) in the sense that, "doing something" is what the political script requires this week; but in the sense that, he has to pick up the flight controls and see how the craft responds; he has to get stuff started and then see where the openings and resistance points are. To change the metaphor: this is reconnaissance in force. The other side can't tell which probes represent a strong and lasting commitment; all are credible; all are costing them ground and improving his position. They have to fall back on a stronger line and figure out where the main blow will fall, how to counter it.

Insofar as sabotage (leaks, slow-walking, accusations of illegality, walkouts of workforce, etc) become important, I think they will happen after a lag and once the situation settles. Saboteurs need to work within a relatively stable occupation zone. If they are caught in the open, they are outgunned and strung up. So the question for me becomes: will DJT ever allow the situation to settle enough for significant sabotage to occur? Or will it be rolling chaos for the whole term?

holdfast said...

Policy ideas were floated and then retracted "

OMFG!

IDEAS! Were Retracted!

Oh the humanity!

I know the NYT hasn't had a truly new "idea" since Stalin and Mao parted ways, but still.

rehajm said...

Trump has flooded the zone (intentionally!) with a bunch of Executive Orders so that the MSM can't fixate on any one thing.

Yes. It makes it nearly impossible for leftie media to coordinate narratives into cohesive weapons. The GOP Congress has been signaling this is how they would work for policy as well.

Bay Area Guy said...

Nobody on Planet Earth - except the nerdy logothetes at the NY Times - gives a hoot about "unruly process".

We care about Trump's policies and how they impact our country. So far, I am delighted.

"May our enemies continue to be confused"

AprilApple said...

"Process" Busy-body bureaucrat shorthand for "If democrats cannot profit, the process is all wrong. Drag it out.'

Bad Lieutenant said...

I'd wonder if their inability to keep up could lead to a culling of the workforce. They have an expected workload they anticipate and dramatically increasing it might drive some to quit. Others might refuse and I have to assume insubordination can show somebody the door.

Presumably some of the work must needs be done, but of course that is the hostage the rest of the bureaucracy uses as its shield. I wonder whether the head-chopping or the shuffling off to Buffalo can be done to scrape off the encrusted barnacles, and the necessary functionality be provided by consultants who would not be susceptible to civil service barriers. That's what businesses do when their HR policy prevents increases or changes in headcount.

cubanbob said...

I'm waiting for my tax rate reduction. Yo Donny, get moving!

Mark said...

The NYT view of "Trump’s First Week" — written weeks ago — "Misfires, Crossed Wires, and a Satisfied Smile."

Headline clarified.

bgates said...

it also revealed a sometimes unruly process that may or may not achieve the goals he has outlined.

TRUMP'S GOALS: MAYBE HE'LL REACH THEM, MAYBE NOT

Michael K said...

"The crowd size controversy was rope-a-dope."

I've been saying this since the inauguration.

A shiny object for the left to fixate on while the adults get the jobs done.

The Blogress reads and links to the NYT and WaPo. Neither do I read or subscribe.

I did subscribe to the LA Times because my wife likes to read it. I quit when we moved and now it won't let me read even one article. Do they understand how little that bothers me?

Fabi said...

Over a hundred hours wasted and his promised wall isn't finished -- Impeach the bastard!

Fernandinande said...

speed over process.

Dilbert:

Pointy Boss: Patty is our new "process manger." Patty doesn't know how to do anything. She only knows how to do things better.

Patty: Process!

Fernandinande said...

"process manager." Robot fail.

jaydub said...

"I'd wonder if their inability to keep up could lead to a culling of the workforce. They have an expected workload they anticipate and dramatically increasing it might drive some to quit. Others might refuse and I have to assume insubordination can show somebody the door."

Those who have never seen the federal goverment bureaucracy in action, up close and personal have no idea how hard it is to get rid of worthless, even insubordinate, employees. The standard practice becomes to assign them nothing to do, or move them to a job they really, really don't want to do and force them to quit. Unfortunately, most of the deadwood are such dolts they don't have other options for employment. It's going to take a while to break enough eggs to make this omelette.

SGT Ted said...

The Democrat Party Press have the mistaken notion that he has to consult with the bureaucracies that he runs. This is also code for protecting Obamas policies by not changing anything.

He does not. All he has to do is remain within the law. They work for him now. It reminds me of how the Military is run. You do what you are told, or you get relieved.

Chaos? Welcome to the rodeo, cowboys. You shouldn't have gotten complacent in your thinking.

mockturtle said...

Unfortunately, most of the deadwood are such dolts they don't have other options for employment.

And don't forget, jaydub, that they are hanging in there for the benefits. It's all about the benefits.

tcrosse said...

NYT has its uses. If anybody has doubts whether a Class System exists in America, I would direct them to the NYT Sunday Wedding Announcements.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Credit where it's due, though: sounds like a reasonably enhanced article, so good for the NYT for that.

The Media pish to judge ever Trump action so quickly (I have reward a couple of "x is happening in Trump's America" already!) is probably a combination of liberal bias and a need for immediate reaction/hot takes--they seem to feel the need to be the first to make a definitive judgement on everything even when doing so makes them seem ridiculous.

walter said...

"Mr. Priebus is still struggling to master the building."

Comanche Voter said...

Forgotten whether it was LBJ or Nixon that had the USAF launch "Rolling Thunder" over North Viet Nam. As I recall the results were mixed--a lot of bombers shot down--some political movement on the p art of the North Vietnamese government.

And now Trump has launched "Rolling Chaos". I predict results will be mixed, but you need to abide for a while to see how it all works out. My vote for Trump was really a "Not Hillary" vote; my progressive friends (and I have a few) have their tidy whities in a terrible knot over the vile and vulgar Trump. Well I ask you, do you want a perpetual prevaricator or a Vulgarian as President? I said let's hear it for the East Europeans!

That said--bad pun and all--there's a terrible rumpus under the political bedcovers these days. Give it two or three months to settle down, and lets see what 90 days of Rolling Chaos looks like in the rear view mirror. Could be a good thing--or a smoking smoldering ruin.

Michael K said...

Unfortunately, most of the deadwood are such dolts they don't have other options for employment. It's going to take a while to break enough eggs to make this omelette.

Maybe they will like Detroit. If they refuse to move to Detroit, I understand Fairbanks is nice this time of year. 71 below zero the other day.,

Oso Negro said...

Of course, Donald Trump was always going to act like a CEO. Business has been the central experience of his life. He is going to get some stuff wrong and some of his people are going to fuck up. But he isn't going to stop and consult the Democratic bureaucracy. Those people are pretty much goners, it seems to me. They will dance to his tune or he will push them out.

Danno said...

Michael K said..."Maybe they will like Detroit. If they refuse to move to Detroit, I understand Fairbanks is nice this time of year. 71 below zero the other day."

Maybe some could be posted at abandoned military bases and shutdown factories across the country.

Susan said...

I suspect the largest casualty Trump has caused to date is the idea that a politician is and must lie to the constituents to get elected and that none of them should be held accountable for broken campaign promises. So far he seems to be making a concerted effort to do what he said he would do.

No whining about how Congress, the bureaucracy, weather, or difficulty keeps anyone from getting anything done in this town.

mccullough said...

The Trump administration is running the two-minute offense with plenty of audibles and the defense can't get its players on the field or call out coverages. Bannon told The NY Times it's the opposition. The defense needs to up its game or keep getting beat

JML said...

MK - "The EPA staffers are "still coming to work crying." Mark Steyn said they better be careful least their face be designated a wetland.

Mountain Man, I did get a Federal Employee terminated. It took 8 months of dedicated service on my part and a sympathetic HR staff to do so. Not easy. I'm looking forward to retirement so I can really discuss issues like this. But for now, I am going to have to be careful.

Greg Hlatky said...

Robert Moses, when he took over the New York Department of Parks in 1934, fired every political employee he could. The civil servants either had to work much harder or got sent to assignments in distant boroughs, e.g. someone living in Staten Island had to work in the Bronx.

JML said...

Commanche Voter, a bit off topic, but here is an outstanding film of Line Backer II and the Hero who changed the tactics that cost him his career.

This is a privately produced and directed video, very nicely edited and is an in-depth tribute to the father of the director/co-producer and all the B-52 crews that flew so courageously during what became a turkey-shoot at the onset of LB II. Stunning to learn that 113 sorties hit Hanoi and Haiphong within a 15 minute period on one of the final nights. For those interested, the length is 39 minutes

https://vimeo.com/channels/peachtreefilms/195186849

dda6ga dda6ga said...

"Ann uses the NYT as a source, and I believe she subscribes. Where else do you find so much stupid reporting?"

Washington Post
Boston Herald
Chicago Tribune together with their WGN Super Stations news, the local Chicago WGN news broadcasts are only one degree of separation from CNN.

Birkel said...

Blustery Blobs of Bitching

It has the appropriate alliteration.

Birkel said...

Also, it reminds me of Christopher Robin in the Hundred Acre Wood.

All the complainers are will, nilly, silly old bears!

wildswan said...

Summary of Trump and Chaos: Chaos means we, the media, don't get it.

Trump Ran 'Most Chaotic, Poor' Campaign in Modern History
www.newsmax.com/FareedZakaria/alan-gerber-karl-rove/.../755789/
Oct 28, 2016 - As this presidential election draws to its close, I keep wondering: Why has Donald Trump run such an ineffective campaign?

Trump's Campaign
Trump Campaign Chaos: Deja Vu All Over Again | MSNBC
www.msnbc.com/.../trump-campaign-chaos-deja-vu-all-over-again-7768...
Sep 30, 2016 - GOP strategist and NBC News political analyst Mike Murphy says Donald Trump is "doubling down on failure" by launching an overnight Twitter

Trump throws GOP into chaos - CNNPolitics.com
www.cnn.com/2016/10/08/politics/donald-trump-gop-chaos/
Oct 9, 2016 - The mess enveloping the Trump campaign is just the latest stunning lurch

Donald Trump's chaotic campaign - Detroit News
www.detroitnews.com/story/.../10/.../trump-chaotic-campaign/91931648/
Oct 11, 2016

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Trump's campaign chaos - Daily Kos
www.dailykos.com/.../-Abbreviated-pundit-roundup-Trump-s-campaign...
Oct 14, 2016

Trump Ran 'Most Chaotic, Poor' Campaign in Modern History
www.newsmax.com/FareedZakaria/alan-gerber-karl-rove/.../755789/
Oct 28, 2016 - As this presidential election draws to its close, I keep wondering: Why has Donald Trump run such an ineffective campaign?


Trump's Victory
Stocks bounce back after Trump win causes market chaos - NY Daily ...
www.nydailynews.com/.../global-markets-mexican-peso-hit-due-trump-vict...
Nov 9, 2016


Trump's Transition
With transition in chaos, McCain warns Trump on Russia | Chicago ...
chicago.suntimes.com/.../with-transition-in-chaos-mccain-warns-trump-o...
Nov 15, 2016

Donald Trump transition team descends into chaos | The Independent
www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Americas
Nov 16, 2016

Inside Donald Trump's Chaotic Transition | Time.com
time.com/4574493/donald-trump-chaotic-transition/
Nov 17, 2016

Trump Transition Chaos Claims Another Victim | Vanity Fair
www.vanityfair.com/news/.../donald-trump-mitt-romney-secretary-state
Nov 17, 2016

Trump is setting up the government in a way that promises chaos - Vox
www.vox.com/2017/1/19/14265392/trump-cabinet-executive-branch
Jan 20, 2017

Trump's First Week
Chaos Defines Trump's First Week in Office - NBC News
www.nbcnews.com/.../first.../chaos-defines-trump-s-first-week-office-n7

Trump's first week: 'Chaos rules at this White House,' analyst says ...
www.today.com/.

The Chaos Presidency: Trump Week 1 | MSNBC
www.msnbc.com/..

Owen said...

Danno: "Maybe some could be posted at abandoned military bases and shutdown factories across the country."

Excellent suggestion. The EPA staff could work on cleaning up the superfund sites that many of these bases and factories contain. Infrastructure gets improved, environmental goals are met, and a whole lot of Federal workforce gets fresh air, exercise and an appreciation for the virtues of real work.

Maybe we could do a TV show, along the lines of "Dirty Jobs," which profiles each week a different Federal worker, formerly pushing a desk and now turning a wrench or lifting a shovel. President Trump could make guest-host appearances.

Endless potential. Endless!

Yancey Ward said...

Trump understands an important chess concept even if he has never played the game- initiative. There are two common definitions of the word, but in chess it is the second one that applies: "the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do." It also is one of the concepts behind the war term Blitzkrieg.

mockturtle said...

Nice summary, wildswan!

Bill Peschel said...

I wish I could dig into the old Associated Press archives. I remember on the newspaper copy desk back in '08 stories about how the incoming Obama administration was prepared to do a ton of work during its first 100 days.

Afterwards, I was still following the news of his accomplishments and hearing crickets.

mockturtle said...

Yancey Ward explains: Trump understands an important chess concept even if he has never played the game- initiative. There are two common definitions of the word, but in chess it is the second one that applies: "the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do." It also is one of the concepts behind the war term Blitzkrieg.

Like Patton would say, "L'audace! Toujours l'audace!"

walter said...

"Chaos" as presented by synchronized swimming of team Journolist.

mockturtle said...

Excellent suggestion. The EPA staff could work on cleaning up the superfund sites that many of these bases and factories contain. Infrastructure gets improved, environmental goals are met, and a whole lot of Federal workforce gets fresh air, exercise and an appreciation for the virtues of real work.

Hanford would be a good place to start. Not sure how fresh the air would be...

steve uhr said...

Trump would never impose an across-the-board hiring freeze when running his business. If he wanted to reduce labor costs he would do so in a thoughtful deliberate manner. A government-wide hiring freeze guarantees that some critical positions will go unfilled. That's no way to run a business of the government.

steve uhr said...

"or the government "

Susan said...

Chaos. They keep using that word. I don't think it means what they think it means.

clint said...

"cubanbob said...
I'm waiting for my tax rate reduction. Yo Donny, get moving!"

Timing is everything. I bet President Trump will coincidentally say something "stupid" about the tax rate in early April.

walter said...

"A government-wide hiring freeze guarantees that some critical positions will go unfilled."
Maybe this will help identify what/who is "critical" and whether positions can be consolidated to get the "critical" work done with less.

Mark said...

So, Steve, I take it that you want Trump to hire a bunch of people who think like Trump or are otherwise conservative? That would seem to be appropriate after the Obama Administration scrambled in the final days to fill the bureaucracy with leftists.


stever said...

Yeah people don't quit government jobs. Benefits is right.They retire and every one knows when they can, down to the date. And getting fired ain't happening.

Mark said...

As it is right now, the managers doing the hiring in the mid and lower level positions are hold-overs from the Obama Administration.

No -- they should not be the ones making hiring decisions.

steve uhr said...

I am talking about filling critical positions that are vacant through normal attrition. Not political positions which are not covered by the freeze. Think nurse at a VA hospital.

donald said...

Oh hell yes Mockturtle. ..."Here's a hazmat suit".

mockturtle said...

This happens when one fails to worship at the altar of the Fourth Estate. But that altar's decrepitude has been exposed and its deity discredited.

Drago said...

HT: "And yet, here we are, commenters on a blog that week after week after month after year after decade never stops quoting the New York Times."

As an object of ridicule and case study in how our inferiors patronize us, as Peggy Noonan so eloquently wrote.

Carry on lefties!

Original Mike said...

"I am talking about filling critical positions that are vacant through normal attrition. Not political positions which are not covered by the freeze. Think nurse at a VA hospital."

Once the Dems confirm his people he can address such issues.

Drago said...

steve uhr: "I am talking about filling critical positions that are vacant through normal attrition."

Lefties concerned about critical positions.

Oh well, get back to us when Trump nominees are at the same acceptance levels as obamas after the first week.

Until then, your admonitions will receive that appropriate amount of deference: Zero.

Mark said...

Even after Trump's election, if you are a conservative who may have graduated from a traditional religiously-affiliated college and/or who has prior job experience with conservative-type employers, even if you were high in your class with excellent references -- try applying for a regular civil service position with the federal government. See how far it gets.

The left has infested the bureaucracy and pervades throughout. And they hire their own. Sure, a few conservatives will sneak through, but they will keep their mouth shut and lay low because they know if they are openly conservative, unless they know the hiring manager, they will not be hired.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Birkel said...
Blustery Blobs of Bitching

It has the appropriate alliteration.
1/28/17, 11:39 AM


If I may: Blustering Blobs of Bitchery

Birkel said...

steve uhr:
In a private business Trump would fire a lot of people. It is your side that developed the rules that stop him doing so. And now you complain about the consequenceof the policies you prefer?

Feh!

Earnest Prole said...

It sounds like Trump is from California. From the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley, the motto has been Fast Failure: "Let’s not stand around debating whether it will work; let’s build it quick, see for ourselves, and then make improvements.”

steve uhr said...

Mark- most gov workers care a lot less about politics than you think. Do you think air traffic controllers are hired bas d on their political views or their skill and experience?

WilliamHR said...

"A shiny object for the left to fixate on while the adults get the jobs done."

Yes, Trump keeps fixating, tweeting and complaining about coverage of the crowd's size while Bannon writes Executive Orders. Then they give Trump a pen and Trump pretends he's an adult and signs away. They even let Trump play on his Android and watch TV so he stays out of their way while they run the government.

Breezy said...

The company I work at (~many-k employees) imposes across-the-board hiring freezes every so often. I don't think this is unusual. In fact, they also impose layoffs every so often. Trump is very much acting as CEO in similar fashion...whittling and shaping the govt company to be lean, efficient, productive, and directed toward the primary goals, and none other.

And yes, it sometimes feels chaotic at my company too.... its life. If the company (stock) does better, the chaos pays off. It also certainly tends to improve focus among the employees - the survivors make sure they are working on the priorities and meet the goals.

There is no reason government employees should be protected from this type of swirl.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Do you think air traffic controllers are hired bas d on their political views or their skill and experience?

You mean, after PATCO?

WilliamHR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bad Lieutenant said...

WilliamHR,

Yes, Trump keeps fixating, tweeting and complaining about coverage of the crowd's size while Bannon writes Executive Orders. Then they give Trump a pen and Trump pretends he's an adult and signs away.


Please keep telling yourselves that. Please. I'm begging on my knees, keep slighting and underestimating this shock-haired realtor.

I mean, keep underestimating this President of the United States.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem with dead wood is that not giving them work doesn't get them out of there. When I was working on the 1980 Decennial Census, we had a GS-12 programmer who had taken on-the-job retirement. She spent her days on the phone with her D.C. Bus driver husband. Spent a year writing a program, then went on vacation right before it went into production. It, of course, blew up. Two of us GS-9 programmers rewrote it from scratch in 2 days, and it worked. Sure, she couldn't do GS-12 level work, so wasn't assigned GS-12 level work, and couldn't be fired because of that. But, if they had, she would have failed, and the numbers would have been late to Congress. So, it was better to just pay her to talk on the phone with her husband, and leave the real work to all of us hungry junior programmers.

So, that was how the 1980 Census was run. The deadwood was collected in a deadwood branch and ignored. After the Census, the first thing done in the inevitable downsizing was to eliminate the deadwood branch. But, they all had seniority, which meant bumping rights, which meant that the hungry junior programmers (now GS-12 journeymen) were the ones pushed out, and not the deadwood. I had moved on by then, to a private contractor (Sherry Univac), but was still in the same building. Luckily.

steve uhr said...

Breezy - I don't know where you work but I doubt very much the freeze applies to filling key positions open as a result of normal attrition. That would not be in the best interest of its stockholders.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Bruce, can't the deadwood branch be made a punishment branch?

Seeing Red said...

I must be really old. I remember the 70s and hiring freezes in lots of companies. Then came the massive firings in the early 80s.

It can be done, Steve.

People need to step up. It shows a willingness.


True story. Back in the 90s I spent time talking to people in Accounting. We talked about the 70s and 80s, it was their experience vs my mom's.

A sister of a co-worker worked for I think Contrail? One if the big railway companies. They had a hiring freeze. Her sister kept her job by chipping in and doing what needed doing. One of her jobs was cleaning the bathrooms. In the 90s, she had sinificantly moved up the ladder.

My mom had a salary freeze for 3 years.

Her company shed almost 100,000 employees in about 3 weeks.

She retired with 37 years of service.


It's time for Federal workers to join reality. I tapped my sympathy meter. Not a twitch.

Breezy said...

@steve Uhr
We occasionally will be granted special hires during these times for the unique skills needed, but they typically need approval at CEO level. Naturally there is reluctance to do this - needs to be an air-tight clear justification.

You'd be surprised at how hungry the more junior folks can get - they will step up and start taking on all or part of the gapped role in order to get the visibility and earn the responsibility for their own. My guess is 90%+ of the cases are resolved this way.

Employees happy for new challenges, stockholders happy for positive results. Stockholders appreciate a lean team.

Seeing Red said...

PATCO sent a message to the unions -and they deserved to be fired -and the commies that Ronnie meant business.

Mark said...

You mean, after PATCO?

That's an excellent point. With public unions, every government job has political implications and, thus, so is the potential for politicized hiring decisions.

Seeing Red said...

Short version of PATCO for the young'uns.


Air traffic controllers were in negotiation for a new contract.

Their contract said they do NOT have the right/authority to strike.

They struck.

They were fired.



steve uhr said...

Wouldn't it make more sense to order a x percent reduction in employees over the couse of the next year. Then one can give thought to which positions should be cut. The decision should not be made by a flip of the coin.

steve uhr said...

And the freeze hits vets especially hard because they get preferential treatment in hiring by law.

Seeing Red said...

everyone can justify their position.

But in this case, it may be better for them to decide to leave.

Mark said...

Air traffic controllers were in negotiation for a new contract.
Their contract said they do NOT have the right/authority to strike.
They struck.
They were fired.


To be clear --

Air traffic controllers were in negotiation for a new contract.
Federal law said they do NOT have the right/authority to strike.
They struck.
President Reagan: "I didn't fire them. They quit."

Seeing Red said...

It used to be that certain positions in banks were required to take a minimum week vacation to see if funny business would pop up.

Seeing Red said...

That's right! Federal law!

Thanks!

mockturtle said...

There should never be an 'across-the-board' RIF. That is assuming equal value of all departments when we know that there are entire departments that could be cut with no discernible fallout. The hiring freeze is a good start. I like it that Trump has demanded every facet of federal government to account for its existence and worth. High time!

Seeing Red said...

Ok, so the vets have to wait a little longer, what's your point?

mockturtle said...

Mark quotes Reagan: President Reagan: "I didn't fire them. They quit."

When you don't show up for work it is assumed that you no are no longer employed.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Uhr, it's not necessarily the positions that have to be cut, it's the people.

MountainMan said...

"Trump would never impose an across-the-board hiring freeze when running his business. "

Oh yes he would. In my 41 year career in a Fortune 500 company I saw: across the board hiring freezes (sometimes with exceptions that could only be approved by a VP or senior VP); across the board budget cuts of at least 5%, sometimes more; across the board elimination of all bonuses and performance awards; across the board salary reductions; across the board reductions in travel and training; across the board head-count reductions, both of employees and contract employees. Saw this in the extreme back in 2008, when 50% of our demand disappeared in just a couple of weeks. Reductions were immediate and mandatory, no exceptions. We avoided a layoff only by everyone taking an immediate salary reduction and all bonuses eliminated. Even outstanding offers to new employees who had not reported yet were rescinded.

Seeing Red said...

This is how the real world works, Steve. Some of us here have either been thru hiring freezes or know someone who has.


So what is your point?


They are entitled, because they work for We, the People, not to experience what We, the People, experience?


Which is partially why DJT is Mr. President?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Seeing Red,

2 weeks for some positions, and it is still in effect some places, some more, some less.

Seeing Red said...

Your check will still get cut and sent.

hombre said...

'He has told several people that all things on nearly every topic “run through me,” according to two people with direct knowledge.'

More unimpeachable testimony from the NYT's ghost army.

Seeing Red said...

Thanks, BL!

Original Mike said...

Can Trump get rid of the union?

Bad Lieutenant said...

YW Red. The idea is that any complicated fraud scheme, that requires the intervention of the employee, will be interrupted by his or her absence. Say, every year, during his mandatory, bounced checks go from 0,1,1 per day to 213,191,811 per day. You deduce that he has been covering those checks in the system. Just one example.

Quaestor said...

roesch wrote: ... and against anything that starts with P: Planned Parenthood, PBS, PRN...

By PRN I suppose you mean National Public Radio and not pro re nata.

The Public in those entities is a joke played on the taxpayer. It means that their worth is less than their expenditure. If NPR is worth its keep it will find funding in the private sector, if not... well, it will go the way of Air America.

It's time for the Left to start funding their hobbyhorses without using state coercion. Do you suppose you can do it, roesch? Quaestor doubts you have the competence.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Spot fires. Spot fires everywhere to keep the media running around wildly with their hair on fire. Trying to stamp out each ember. Trying to cover each random spot fire and create stories about how bad it ll is. Spewing out embers here, there, everywhere...while the real cleansing fire that Trump is managing is getting rid of the deadwood, thinning the forest of the dead, dying trees and freeing up the forest floor from the clogging underbrush.

LOL. Trump has them spinning ineffectively while he is getting on with his work.

Drago said...

steve uhr: "Breezy - I don't know where you work but I doubt very much the freeze applies to filling key positions open as a result of normal attrition. That would not be in the best interest of its stockholders."

LOL

The "Stockholders" exercised their voting privileges to replace the entire leadership team in order to take the "corporation" in a radically different direction.

I'm sorry if you missed that. It was in all the papers.

Original Mike said...

I'm not very confident in my recollection, but I thought I read that JFK enabled the federal worker's union with an executive order and that it could be undone in the same manner. What's the legal basis for the federal union?

Drago said...

DBQ: "LOL. Trump has them spinning ineffectively while he is getting on with his work"

Not true according to Chuck! According to Chuck it's all a disaster and we were very unfortunate to not have lost in a respectful manner to Hillary. If only we had nominated Kasich we could be fully engaged with the Chuck strategy to lose the Presidency and Senate to the dems but beginning work on our plan to elect enough republicans by 20XX to impeach Hillary!

Brilliance such as that is quite rare and dizzying indeed.

Drago said...

What we are witnessing is Cloward-Piven in reverse.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

"Orders were signed without feedback from the agencies they would affect."

Wait, wait... So this was a report on the last days of the Obama administration?

It's funny how expeditious action is praised one week, and condemned two weeks later. Almost as if the concern isn't about the process at all, but about the policies.

BJM said...

The MSM is accustomed to politicians assuming control of the Executive Branch where every move is political/election optics first and management second. They have no frame of reference, so it must be chaos.

Trump had eighteen months to plan a course of action. He is approaching the task as he would a corporate acquisition; choose staff for key positions, establish goals, short and long term, layout a plan of action, and execute it.

The assimulation of the incoming management with the acquired corporate structure is what makes or breaks a successful merger. Of course, the difference at hand, is that a company has at-will employees, and the government tenured careerists.

The threat of budget downsizing, from which their union cannot shield them, may be a compelling motivating factor. Human nature being what it is, just as in business, some will trigger their retirement parachutes, and others who may have waited years to move up the flow chart will seize the opportunity for self advancement over political loyalty. We shall see.


Birkel said...

A few years ago friends of mine at law firms were laying off entire classes of associates, indiscriminately. If you were in your fifth year toward partnership, you were canned. BOOM!

steve uhr is a dullard.

Mark said...

It has been reported that there are 2.1 million civilian employees in the executive branch, with a payroll of $267 billion.

Frankly, instead of a freeze, I would not object to a hiring explosion that doubles that 2.1 million. Hire a new person for each existing position, with the same duties. But this time hire people who are hard-working, servant-minded, and fair-minded, with a pro-freedom, limited government philosophy.

Then assign the person currently in that position to reporting to special buildings where their work duties shall consist entire of counting the dots on the ceiling each day and marking that number on a pad of paper. Every month, with those numbers collected on a single sheet of paper, they are to take that paper and shred it (for security reasons or something). Then the following month, repeat. These existing employees are to do nothing else.

Mark said...

It would be worth it to send the entire federal workforce home and get paid to do exactly nothing, and then hire replacements for each one.

That would probably end up saving us $300 million annually, the first year alone, so it would be a net wash financially, but we would get a lot better government out of it.

BJM said...

It sounds like Trump is from California. From the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley, the motto has been Fast Failure: "Let’s not stand around debating whether it will work; let’s build it quick, see for ourselves, and then make improvements.”

Poppycock, it "worked" until politicians assumed control. Since you mention the Gold Rush, take Charles Crocker for example, under Crocker's direction, the Central Pacific constructed it's part of the the first transcontinental railroad, seven years ahead of schedule without government funding. See Brown's $65 billion dollar boondoggle to nowhere.

Given that we're using personal computers on a Google platform to communicate, I'd argue that Silicon Valley is indeed successful and in a large part because it is a private entity.

Bad Lieutenant said...

steve uhr is a dullard.
1/28/17, 2:40 PM

No, Birkel (or rather Yes, but also),

steve uhr is a viper.

Earnest Prole said...

wildswan: Exactly -- everyone on Journolist got the memo.

Milwaukie guy said...

Only one free article a month but check out http://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/01/28/civil-service-reform-reassert-the-presidents-constitutional-authority/

A very thorough and historical look. [No I don't know how to do html on a blog comment.]

Alex said...

Ask yourself this - has any President ever had a real impact on your day to day life? I can't really say it has. I'm far more impacted by incompetent city and county officials than Obama ever was. I honestly believe that people obsessed by the Presidency are uneducated and lack perspective on life.

mockturtle said...

Alex, if people are obsessed with the Presidency it's because the media are obsessed with the Presidency. If we had more/better coverage of state and local government the populace would be informed that government doesn't just mean D.C.

Alex said...

mock... I believe it's a deeper psychological issue with people. Life can seem so boring or unimportant. If you attach yourself to the Presidency(good or bad) you think that somehow it elevates you above the dreariness of local affairs. Why do you think 3 million women did this march-thing? They bought into the old-line Communist Manifesto that everything is global. But if everything is global and nothing is local, then you achieve a kind of homogeneity. Maybe that homogeneity is appealing to these activists, but that would create a world I would find utterly revolting.

Jon Ericson said...

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/01/28/civil-service-reform-reassert-the-presidents-constitutional-authority/

At your cervix.

Earnest Prole said...

BJM: Ummmmm . . . that's the point. Trump wants to run the country like a private enterprise. We're in violent agreement.

Seeing Red said...

Better not be violent.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Good article, Jon. Pity about that dig at Scott Walker at the end, but perhaps the time has come where there will be a groundswell of public support for reform.

Obama once said, At some point you've made enough money. I wonder if it is not heresy to say, At some point you've been given enough rights?

Achilles said...

steve uhr said...
I am talking about filling critical positions that are vacant through normal attrition. Not political positions which are not covered by the freeze. Think nurse at a VA hospital.

1. They are still hiring Nurses at the VA hospitals. My wife is watching for a position.

2. Fuck any leftist that pretends that they care about the VA and how it treats vets. None of you give a shit. We hate it when you pretend. Obama clearly wanted the VA to treat us as badly as they were. The Vet community is ready to burn the whole place down.

Achilles said...

steve uhr said...
And the freeze hits vets especially hard because they get preferential treatment in hiring by law.

This is an absolute lie and you probably know it.

Cletus said...

I saw someone else mention the OODA loop; TBH he is moving so fast that he's so inside the opposition's OODA loop that they cannot respond. I have to say that this first week is making me smile.

ganderson said...

dda6ga dda6ga - you mean the Boston GLOBE, not the Herald, I assume?

Martin said...

I don't see that Trump has done anything as big as the bank holiday that FDR declared on his first day in office.