Trump on climate: I don't believe it. Trump on Khashoggi: I don't believe it. Trump on Russia: I don't believe it. Idiocy? A canny game? Doesn't really matter as much as the underlying intellectual autocracy. In this administration only one opinion matters.

It's an assault on facts and reason. It's an assault on good governance. It's an assault on the bureaucracies that are being discounted. It's an assault on science and history. But it is also an assault on one of the underpinnings of democracy.
We live in a system that is grounded on the idea of collaborative government. Leaders may have a final word but even then, there are typically checks and balances. Hopefully, in this case, such checks and balances may work. But they also are being tested.
The president's position that he is smarter than all the world's scientists, than the entire intelligence community, than experts who have studied any issue all their lives, is, of course, asinine. But his belief that government turns solely on his opinion, is monarchic.
Louis XIV reportedly said, "L'etat est moi." That he was the state. Trump asserting that he knows better than all, discounts all advice, that his brain is enough to chart the course for America alone, is essentially saying the same thing.
That kind of arrogance would be dangerous in anyone. But in one who is as ignorant, uneducated, intellectually lazy, and corrupt as Trump makes it truly terrifying. We can only hope that as the CIA and his own climate scientists have done, experts will speak truth to power.
Because if Trump's is the only opinion that matters, then US leadership is not only done, but we as a nation have effectively been blindfolded & turned out to stumble in darkness for the remainder of his tenure (which we must all pray will be brief.)

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My piece in the NY Times today: "the Trump administration is denying applications submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at a rate 37 percent higher than the Obama administration did in 2016."

Based on this analysis: "Denials for immigration benefits—travel documents, work permits, green cards, worker petitions, etc.—increased 37 percent since FY 2016. On an absolute basis, FY 2018 will see more than about 155,000 more denials than FY 2016."

"This increase in denials cannot be credited to an overall rise in applications. In fact, the total number of applications so far this year is 2 percent lower than in 2016. It could be that the higher denial rate is also discouraging some people from applying at all.."

Thanks to @gsiskind for his insightful comments. The increase in denials, he said, is “significant enough to make one think that Congress must have passed legislation changing the requirements. But we know they have not.”

My conclusion:

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