I’ve frequently written about Trump’s staff picks, for they all seem to be the most un-qualified people for the jobs they are assigned. I mean, he hired Scott Pruitt, a man who had sued the EPA numerous times, to head the EPA! He chose Betsy DeVos, a woman who doesn’t believe in public schools, to head the Department of Education! It doesn’t get much more buffoonish, does it? Anyway, I haven’t written about any of his recent staff pics, but since a couple of them are cluttering up my radar screen, it seems a good time to do so!
Mark Morgan …
Typically, we wouldn’t pay much attention to a new Director of Ice (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), but in the era of Trump, we pay attention to things we never needed to before. And so it was that Trump’s latest staff pick, Mark Morgan, flew across my radar. Well, truth be told, he rather flopped onto it like a dying bird.
The thing that brought Morgan flopping onto my radar screen was his claim that he can look into the eyes of a child and know if that child will grow up to be a criminal. Say WHAT??? In an interview with Fox News’ resident moron Tucker Carlson, Morgan said …
“I’ve been to detention facilities where I’ve walked up to these individuals that are so-called minors, 17 or under. I’ve looked at them and I’ve looked at their eyes, Tucker — and I’ve said that is a soon-to-be MS-13 gang member. It’s unequivocal.”
Morgan likes to be on television … a lot. In addition to at least three appearances on Tucker Carlson’s show, he has racked up more than 100 television appearances on other shows such as those of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. He sure knows how to pick ‘em, yes?
Morgan was head of Border Patrol for the last four months of the Obama administration, but was almost immediately fired by Trump once he took office. Perhaps solely on the basis that he had been hired by President Obama … we all know how jealous Trump is of anything with Obama’s name on it. However, he has proven his worth to Trump by being a cheerleader for Trump’s ignominious border wall, and Fox News refers to Morgan as a former Obama administration official who “saw the light”.
Morgan has also applauded the administration’s policy for keeping immigrant children in cages, saying how wonderful it is that the cages were designed with the occupant’s safety in mind. Seriously???
His nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate, and that, believe it or not, is not a certainty. Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado, both of whom will be up for re-election next year, are treading softly on the issue of immigration, as they have come under fire from their constituents over the abominably cruel policy of separating children from their parents at the border. Other republicans in the Senate have also expressed concerns, such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Let us hope that at least 5 of the 54 republican senators find a bit of a conscience and refuse to confirm this animal. Of course, it won’t matter, for Trump will no doubt find another who is just as unacceptable.
Steve Dickson …
And then there is the position of FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Administrator. The purpose of the FAA in a nutshell is to regulate all aspects of civil aviation. This includes airline safety. Remember the Boeing crashes in recent months?
For this crucial post, Trump has nominated Steve Dickson, a former Air Force fighter pilot who went on to become a commercial pilot for Delta, where he has worked for 27 years. Dickson retired as the company’s senior vice president for flight operations last year. Okay, so he knows how to fly a plane, but frankly those ties to the airline industry seem a built-in conflict of interest to me.
Initially, Trump had planned to name his own personal pilot, an employee of Trump’s company, to head the FAA, but even senate republicans balked at that one. So, last fall, Dickson stepped down from his position at Delta almost at the same time that Trump announced his decision to nominate him.
On the surface, there isn’t a lot to dislike, but … something is niggling at me. Perhaps it is the fact that he just left Delta as a senior V.P. … it’s rather like having people in the interior department and the EPA with ties to the fossil fuel industry. Inherent conflict of interest.
But perhaps the thing that is causing my antennae to twitch is that two days ago, Nicholas E. Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, sent a letter to Senators Roger Wicker and Maria Cantwell, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, calling for the quick approval of the nomination of Steve Dickson to serve as the next Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. I tend to twitch these days when somebody calls for “quick approval” … remember Brett Kavanaugh?
I would urge caution and research on the part of the Senate, but of course he will be confirmed hands down, in all likelihood, and no doubt quickly. The FAA dropped the ball on holding Boeing to the industry standards when they rolled out their 737 MAX fleet, and as a result, 346 people died in two crashes within a few months of each other. The U.S. was the last country to ground the MAX 8 after the second crash, once again putting corporate profit ahead of human lives. We need to ensure that whoever heads the FAA is independent of Trump and able to stand against industry pressure for profit. I’m not so sure Steve Dickson is that man.
This administration is looking more and more like a circus every day, but do you notice anything? Take a look at this picture … granted, some of these are gone and have since been replaced, but you can still see what I’m driving at in this picture, and then look at the statistics chart at the bottom.
He’s got his ‘token black (male)’ in Ben Carson, but Ben is … well, let’s just say he is a poor representation of his race. And a smattering of women, but not nearly representative of the population of women, and as far as DeVos, I’m not convinced that she is a woman at heart. Oh yeah, folks, we definitely have a racist, misogynistic bigot in the White House, and he is surrounding himself with people who look just like him. Think about that.