US Customs and Border Protection photo, hup! hup! hup!

Donald Trump didn't just promise WALL in 2016. He also promised he was going to put Homeland Security on a hiring binge, because while government is unnecessary, having lots of ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents is absolutely necessary to Make America White Again.

Yeah, this is the part where we tell you the two agencies actually have fewer agents now than when Trump signed the executive order asking for 15,000 new immigration cops, as the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. Surprise! But at least CBP paid an assload of money -- $60.7 million! -- to a consulting firm to hire thousands of new agents. But actually the company only scraped up 33 new agents, and we suspect at least one or two of them were actually cardboard standees of Charles Bronson in the 1980 movie Borderline. Whaddya want to bet the interviews were all carried out in meeting rooms at Trump hotels? (We're just guessing, there.)

Still, hiring for CBP is looking up overall! 2018 was the first time in five years the agency actually had a net increase of agents, with a total of 120 new hires. It's a bit underwhelming as far as "hiring surges" go:

But the agency has come nowhere close to adding more than 2,700 agents annually, the rate that Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, has said is necessary to meet Trump's mandated 26,370 border agents by the end of 2021. [...]

"We have had ongoing difficulties with regards to hiring levels to meet our operational needs," a Homeland Security official told The Times on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity. He described the Border Patrol's gain last year as a "a huge improvement."

Thank Crom Trump's panicky rhetoric about the US being overwhelmed by a huge invading army of 8-foot-tall MS-13 gangbangers driving through the desert in unstoppable Mad Max rigs is all bullshit. Otherwise, that failure to ramp up CBP staffing in accordance with the goal might be something to worry about. As it is, it's merely wasteful and incompetent, plus maybe a little deadly to little children with medical issues. It's not like they're human.

Fortunately, illegal immigration is at some of the lowest rates in 20 years, and even the Homeland Security's Inspector General questioned the need for a buildup. But Trump needs it to be a crisis, so we need THOUSANDS more Border Patrol agents.

Also, as McAleenan pointed out in 2017, building up the Border Patrol is a tad tricky, since CBP loses about 1,380 agents a year to retirement and agents finding other jobs. A few, we suppose, may even just decide to walk away from Omelas. But all that attrition makes a "surge" difficult to get going. One source told the Times the changing demographics of the immigrant population makes more agents necessary. CBP was built to handle single men from Mexico who came to the US for short-term work, but now just look at all these damn refugees saying they deserve refuge!

"The number of families and children we are apprehending at the border is at record-breaking levels," another Homeland Security official said. "It's having a dramatic impact on Border Patrol's border security mission."

Remember, though, it's only a "record" for families and children -- overall undocumented entry to the USA is way down. And yes, the Border Patrol union insists agents have to pull lots of overtime at some "critically understaffed" parts of the border -- not that we necessarily trust that crowd of fascist thumbheads. As we've noted several times, the ports of entry don't necessarily need more cops, but they're in dire need of asylum officers and immigration judges.

All in all, Trump is simply not making much headway on his January 2017 executive order to hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents and another 10,000 new officers for ICE (which handles arrests and deportations outside the border area). You might even say it's laughably bad.

Today, Customs and Border Protection — the Border Patrol's parent agency — has more than 3,000 job vacancies, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

That's about 2,000 more than when Trump signed the orders, according to a Government Accountability Office report on CBP's hiring challenges.

Oh, and how about that fancy recruiting contract! Headhunting consultant Accenture Federal Services was awarded a $297-million contract to bring in 7,500 new agents over five years. The actual performance was a bit less impressive: Just the 33 new hires, although as an incentive, Accenture does get a $44,000 per head bonus, which is pretty generous! An entry-level Border Patrol agent's annual salary is just $52,583 in salary, plus we assume a modest allowance for head-waxing and mustache maintenance. After criticism from DHS's Inspector General, CBP "subsequently scaled back the Accenture contract from $297 million to $83 million and issued a partial stop-work order" -- the $60 million is what's been spent so far -- and may cancel it altogether. So let's see, that would be a bargain price of just $1.8 million per new agent, which seems like a reasonable price to get new agents, particularly the ones fashioned of gold.

The Times notes that hiring new Border Patrol agents has been at least slowed due to congressional skepticism about the need for a surge, resulting in smaller than hoped-for appropriations. Also, the process is particularly challenging because in 2010, Congress told CBP to screen people a bit better. You see, another hiring surge in the late Twenty-Oughts had brought in a bunch of assholes who turned out to be both corrupt and trigger-happy, which made for a bad look. So far, CBP hasn't been successful in requesting a bit more laxity, so there are probably a whole bunch of willing applicants being excluded for dumb things like felonies and illiteracy.

Heck, if it weren't for all that bureaucracy, we bet the comment sections of Breitbart alone would yield thousands of applicants.


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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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