Of Course Fake AG Matt Whitaker Ran A Daycare With NO TOYS
Donald Trump claims he hires only "the best people," but we know this is a lie because Betsy DeVos exists. He also voluntarily employs his children, which is only excusable if he'd never met them before orientation. The president's latest awful hire is play-acting attorney general Matt Whitaker, who he saw on FOX one night and decided he just had to have. Trump's basically like your grandfather who you don't let watch infomercials within range of a valid credit card and a working phone. There's no telling what useless junk he'll buy, and Whitaker is the legal equivalent to a potty putter shipped postage due to the White House.
Whitaker's resume is high on scam but low on credentials. He's boasted of valuable experience from owning several small businesses -- one of which was the Little Endeavors daycare center in his hometown of Ankeny, Iowa. From 2003 to 2005, people willingly entrusted their kids to someone with more than a passing resemblance to Lex Luthor. Still, this is certainly solid PR for Whitaker, right? How can you not respect and admire someone who works with children? Well, it's actually pretty easy if they suck at it and have no soul.
The Associated Press obtained 49 pages of complaints and inspection records covering Whitaker's ownership under the Iowa open records law. They paint a mostly positive picture of Little Endeavors but also show persistent concerns about a shortage of toys and supplies in some rooms and occasionally serious safety incidents.
Hold up, how is this "mostly positive"? Would you consider a health code inspection of a local restaurant "mostly positive" if there were "persistent concerns" about spoiled food and rodent infestations? The only benign explanation for a shortage of toys in a daycare is that they were secretly alive and had all gone off for an adventure on the day of the inspection. But if you're willingly not providing toys for the 200 or so kids in your charge you're like that creepy Burgermeister Meisterburger from "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" who made it a crime for children to play with them: "Ah, a perfect day. Everybody is glum."
This wasn't just a one-off thing. Inspectors reported a shortage of play items during visits in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2009, an inspector observed children "just wandering around the room as if they were looking for something to do." That's fine if you're an adult like Mike Pence but children need stimulation. Some toddlers got so bored they resorted to biting each other. Or this:
In 2010, an inspector criticized a Lego area that only had "a dozen or so pieces." In 2012, an inspector found "five or six different puzzles in separate baggies," with no pictures of what the puzzles should look like when completed.
Or this, even:
"When some puzzles and other play things were found and put out for these children, it was like Christmas morning," the inspector wrote.
BRB, this cold compress is calling my forehead.
Whitaker and his wife owned the place but they farmed out the day-to-day operations. They also didn't hire the best people. Employees included a stone-cold psychopath who allegedly force fed children until they vomited. The teacher also held a blanket over a student's head as if nap time was some sort of enhanced interrogation. This person did not believe children are the future.
This all might seem irrelevant to Whitaker's current fake job, but the former real attorney general, Jeff Sessions, happily relocated migrant children at the border to government-sponsored day care facilities. Although the children were held for months and not days, and no one really cared for them. But Uncle Jeff's Tender Age Kiddie Jails offered plenty of space inside a converted Walmart Superstore for children to romp around and consider their reckless choice to have poor and desperate parents. Laura Ingraham's Yelp review gave the li'l detention centers four stars and said they were "essentially summer camps." Ingraham has a juris doctorate in evil so she understands that "essentially" is legalese for "not at all like."
I guess a history of treating kids poorly is a solid qualification for employment in an administration that tear gasses children. I'm sure that psycho who used to work for Little Endeavors probably misses their cries.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).