Pinning My Hopes on the “Iron Triangle.”

In the Public Interest issues a weekly privatization report, detailing efforts around the country to “outsource” management of public programs to the private sector. This interesting nugget was reported in a recent one:

Emanuel Savas, one of the key figures driving the privatization agenda for the right wing for five decades, has some advice for Donald Trump on “personnel”: follow Reagan. “Early in his administration, Reagan held frequent cabinet meetings, sometimes two or three a week, the principal purpose of which was to acclimate the members of his cabinet to the idea that they worked for the president, not for the Iron Triangle. By coming so frequently to the White House, Reagan’s appointees bonded with their peers—and with the president. If he is to avoid the threat to his agenda posed by the Iron Triangle, Trump should follow Reagan’s lead.” The “iron triangle” is “(1) the permanent employees of a department or agency; (2) the congressional committees with a stake in the growth of—and deference to—a corresponding executive department or agency; (3) the department or agency’s constituents.”

I hadn’t heard the phrase “iron triangle,” but anyone teaching public policy or government administration is familiar with the phenomenon of “capture”–the undeniable tendency of agency employees, Congressional committees and even the businesses or industries being regulated to resist proposed changes to business as usual.

Humans have a tendency to prefer the known to the unknown, to feel uneasy when rules and structures with which we are comfortable are upended. Typically, this resistance to change is considered a problem to be overcome, and it can be a barrier to needed reforms.

But it can also be a safeguard against unwise or ill-advised change.

Government agencies are staffed with workers having professional expertise in the agency’s mission. The political appointees who come and go with various administrations may or may not know very much about those missions; in the era of Trump, we have been treated to a lineup of nominees who have displayed a stunning ignorance of the rules they will be expected to enforce and/or dismissive of the challenges their agencies are meant to confront.

When ideologues hostile to science and evidence are put in charge of agencies staffed by people who actually know what they’re doing and why they are doing it, that staff can slow– or even in some cases subvert– efforts meant to undermine the work of the agency.

In just the first week since his inauguration, Trump and a number of his cabinet nominees have displayed a total lack of understanding of how American government actually works. (If we are to believe the numerous leaks from his still-skeletal White House staff, Trump himself has very little interest in learning how it works.)  Politico recently reported that the administration issued its flurry of Executive Orders without bothering to check whether there were laws or practical impediments to their enforcement.

The breakneck pace of Trump’s executive actions might please his supporters, but critics are questioning whether the documents are being rushed through without the necessary review from agency experts and lawmakers who will bear the burden of actually carrying them out. For example, there are legal questions on how the country can force companies building pipelines to use materials manufactured domestically, which might not be available or which could violate trade treaty obligations. There’s also the question of whether the federal government can take billions from cities who don’t comply with immigration enforcement actions: Legal experts said it was unclear.

“You want to make sure when you’re dealing with high stakes, important issues you’re getting the best information from the breadth of expertise that exists in government,” said Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan nonprofit that supports the civil service. “You don’t know what you don’t know.”….

By contrast, the Obama White House ran executive orders through a painstaking weeks-long process of soliciting feedback from agencies and briefing lawmakers, according to a former official. Sometimes it even asked expert lawyers in the private sector to check its work.

Being President is nothing at all like being the CEO of a family-owned business, and that recognition will come as a very unwelcome surprise to the Man Who Would Be King.


  1. In classes I taught (at CTS) I always referred the resistance to change in social systems as homeostasis.

  2. The problem is that Trump pretends (I don’t think he actually believes it) he is much smarter than the collective intelligence and experience of the federal agencies under his command. There are legal histories of all the laws and regulations that are codified in various places; they are connected to issues, discussions, negotiations, and were agreed upon as solutions by a consensus of parties. In Trump-world he is the final word; in the real world it’s messy and complex. It’s already ugly and will only get uglier.

  3. One of the trade treaties (perhaps NAFTA) has a rule about restricting materials for things like pipelines to locally produced ones. I believe Quebec ran into that once.

  4. I Googled what I could remember of an old saying by someone; found it was one of W.C. Fields’ famous quotes. My response to our horrendous political situation today will consist of those that best apply.

    Trump’s business acumen prior to this ill-fated election, “You can fool some of the people some of the time – and that’s enough to make a living.”

    The explanation for the 2016 election results, “I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.”

    What we have seen so far in Trump’s Tweets and public speeches explained here, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

    “I am free of all prejudice, I hate everyone equally.”

    “A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.”

    Added reference to results of Trump’s EPA actions and appointment thus far, “I never drink water, fish fuck in it.”

    Trump will long be remembered but for different reasons that we treasure the words of W.C. Fields so I will end by copying and pasting Sheila’s quote as a vivid reminder.

    “Being President is nothing at all like being the CEO of a family-owned business, and that recognition will come as a very unwelcome surprise to the Man Who Would Be King.”

  5. Just saw Charlie Rose interviewing Michael Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and former US Trade Representative (under four presidents) Michael Froman. Both had interesting things to say about the policies of previous White House administrations, and timely warnings and advice for the new administration. I highly doubt the newbies will take heed. King Drumpf and his minions are not only ignorant, they are arrogant. This is a rare occasion when I gladly say, “thank goodness for bureaucracy and red tape!”


    All through the campaign Drumpf showed he had no idea how the government works. As much as we might like, you can’t just throw a political opponent in jail. However, in Drumpf’s case it would be a good idea to force him to undergo mental health testing. If a person? was ever in need of an intervention it is the mangled apricot hellbeast. Then we can intervene on behalf of the people that voted for this cluster####!

  7. My husband stated that Trump and team are treating the government like it is a hostile takeover of a company. I thought that was a fair assessment.

    I’ve been stating to friends and my background is not in academics and I’m not an attorney just a regular labor worker bee and so I’m curious about others thoughts. My observations is that there is a significant segment of the GOP that no longer believes in democracy. They want an authoritarian style government and they have been at this for many years setting all the variables up to achieve this endeavor. Variables like “right to work” stripping away Union powers, gerrymandering, restrictive voting laws, decades statements that government is inept, etc…they were brilliant they started at they he local and state level. Now they have total power and the man in charge is mentally ill and too many are trying to normalize him.
    I get amused when I watch people try to rationalize Trump and the things he says. I find myself screaming at the TV.. he has a cluster B personality disorder!! If you look and analyze Trump through the prism of someone who has this disorder than the things he says and does is easily explained. Stop trying to normalize or rationalize him.

  8. daleb, I disagree. Trump is delusional. Of course he believes he ‘s right. Otherwise spot on.

    Mr. Lindley, in the Fortune 500 we referred to it as Institutional Constipation, or IC. When some mid-level manager would drone on about why something couldn’t be changed, I would stroke my chin and say “I See”. Anyone in on the joke knew I was really saying “IC”.

  9. I seriously doubt that Trump will ever recognize that running a government is not like running a family business. The only thing he seems to recognize is his own “excellence” and he has surrounded himself with those who will only reinforce that belief.

  10. Just an example- I saw a news item yesterday that one of the EOs prohibits application of the Privacy Act of 1974 to non-US citizens. The act already applies only to US citizens, except for matching programs. A review of the EO against existing law would have found that.

    The short-fingered vulgarian knows as much about how government works as anyone who spends all day on social media pontificating about how government should work because they have nothing else to do with their time. The s-fv obviously thinks it works like a business. But even in business, a CEO will vet decisions through legal and other filters. The hubris is breathtaking. No wonder he ran his own companies into the ground, was it 6 times? As we learned from the last GOP administration, running a country into the ground has much bigger consequences.

  11. Don the Con by his appeal to the base instincts and frustrations of an historic minority of the voters (including millions who voted for neither Hillary nor Trump but rather in favor of Third Party candidates) is engaged in his usual bullying tactics but on the grandest scale of his life what with the resources of the U.S. at his beck and call. His narcissistic mindset must be off the charts with his “landslide” victory. Someone needs to tell him that he is the greatest loser in history to occupy the Oval Office as measured by the vote and that he won by a geographical fluke, not by the will of the voters. The only mandate he has is to try to understand the mandate that millions more than his puny minority vote didn’t want him to win and voted against him. Since he makes up his own facts to suit his narcissistic mindset, of course,that option is off the table, but given reality and arithmetic, it is not surprising that he is now faced with marches and other demonstrations of the majority who thought and still think that democracy requires majority rule, irrespective of the old and outmoded concept of election by electoral college, that people and not geography elects candidates to office. I agree with them.

    However, since his image at the pool tells him he knows more than all the admirals and
    generals (and anyone else who questions his supreme intelligence ranging from trade to taxes to budgeting etc.), they had better agree with him and his superior knowledge on such topics or else risk political death by tweet bulldozer and executive order. Appointment of like-minded billionaires to cabinet and advisory positions help, especially with a fascist adviser and a plethora of generals to conduct muscular foreign policy and perhaps occupation of Chicago unless “the carnage” stops.

    Our democracy is at its greatest risk for survival since Pearl Harbor, but this time fascism is coming at us from within. We must resist it if our democracy is to survive in more than name only, and if that requires a march a day to honor the blood spilled at Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Okinawa and elsewhere, let’s start walking.

  12. I’m wondering this morning how the Green Party supporters are dealing with their consciences.

  13. We all have known numerous people over our years who possessed loud opinions on everything including government that were patently rediculous but we tolerated hearing them because we sensed that the issue was not worth correcting given that their minds were closed.

    A couple of my favorites were that Social Security and Medicare came out of the General Fund and that America couldn’t be a Democracy because we were a Republic.

    Of course oligarchs sensed what all of us did, that those people represented a break in the bulwarks of Liberal Democracy and, never having met a dollar that they didn’t like, they considered it a business opportunity especially vulnerable to covert advertising through mass media.

    Their efforts paid off for them. Now they are the kids in the candy store.

    We all know that this will end badly for them and us but when and how?

    It may well be the long predicted end of Capitalism and Liberal Democracy hastened by over consumption, but what takes their place?

  14. This inability to understand how government actually works is not only in the Federal domain but, as we have all seen so very well, also exists at the state and local level. This goes back to what Sheila has been keying in her blog posts for months on end. Those that are elected to office that don’t understand how government works at whichever level they operate then may appoint additional people that don’t know how government works. The lack of knowledge, very basic knowledge, of how all our system of governance permeates everything at every level.

    We used to have governmental leaders that knew where the levers of power were and how to use them. We use to also have citizens they understood their own roles in this process and that had, from their own primary and secondary educational experiences, how all this fit together. It was always probably a component, a big component, in their enthusiasm for electoral politics. Now, since that component of education in this country has largely been neglected we have a situation that is akin to the blind leading the blind. It explains the massive levels of incompetence and corruption that are running rampant right now. It also explains why Americans who were frustrated with what they see as government incompetence and corruption boated for unspecified change which went to us having the dismal situation we are all now coping with.

    Until there is some effort made to restore basic civics education to the curricula of our educational system starting at the very bottom rung and for seeing all the way to the top this is just going to continue and things will grow worse and worse. Since it seems as if those that are now in power want to do whatever they can to diminish any chances of their ruling ending keeping us all a undereducated and informed with ‘alternative facts’ as bald faced lies are now referred to euphemistically the chances of this changing grow dimmer and dimmer by the day and at some point we’re gonna have to band together to stop this unless we just want to see 240 years of progress go down the drain and this country right along with it. The choice is ours and no one else’s.

    We’re all in totally unknown territory right now and there is no way we’re going to be able to deal with any of this if we don’t all go on something akin to a war footing on this and also have clarity of purpose in regard to what we need to accomplish and how we do it. I really don’t want to see the United States of America become an also ran on the world stage but if we don’t fix this that’s likely where we’re going to end up and the ramifications of that are too bitter to contemplate.

  15. Thanks AgingLGirl.

    We have a bunch in the beltway now learning all this for the first time in their lives. They are learning it by causing accidents rather than by educating themselves.

  16. The Descent into Tyranny


    Vern Turner

    It cannot be ignored any longer. With less than one week in office, the Reich of Trump is on the march to destroy our government one agency at a time, our nation one freedom at a time and our Constitution one Amendment at a time. With each passing day something more horrific, illegal, disgraceful or pathological comes tumbling out of the White House either from the lips of the despot himself or from those of his beleaguered surrogates. When will it stop? Probably only when the Reich of Trump ends. Here are a few examples of how despotic dictators take over a democracy.

    Federal funding cuts for the arts, humanities, violence against women programs, PBS, NPR, civil rights (DOJ), environment (EPA, DOJ branches), Planned Parenthood, renewable energy and sanctuary cities that try to protect innocent immigrants from the jackboots.
    Gag orders for the National Park Service, EPA and international organizations that even mention abortion (First Amendment). The NPS committed the unpardonable crime of not telling the world that Trump’s inauguration crowd was the largest in history. In fact, the news media produced pictures of the crowd compared to Obama’s first inaugural, and it was embarrassingly small…like so many things. The bleachers along the parade route looked more like the day after the Rose Parade than celebrating the new President. These reports of facts brought more and seemingly endless wrath from Trump for being so dishonest.
    Threatened our biggest trading partner over islands in the South China Sea. Does this put us on a war footing with China?
    Stated publicly that he wants the U.S. to take Iraqi oil as payment for our forces killing all those Iraqis and now ISIS fighters. Since we already have over 5,000 troops fighting alongside Iraqi soldiers against ISIS, one can only wonder when they will turn on our troops to defend their country and its resources from our takeover and hegemony.
    Makes war on the media (That pesky First Amendment again). He has to do this to control the audience and the content of the news. Blame them for all the lies coming from the Reich of Trump and you cast doubt with the fourth estate in the minds of the people you are trying to control – not govern. Discredit the media for telling the truth and justify “alternative facts” and declaring “the right to deny facts”. This is how third-world dictators do it and Trump has watched those movies.
    Nominate corrupt and corruptible people for important government posts and cabinet slots. Nominate people with no experience or knowledge to those important posts. He even nominated people who have spent major portions of their professional lives trying to destroy those very offices.
    Dismiss all the U.S. ambassadors around the world on 20 January, 2017. Appoint an oil mogul as Secretary of State who is also a friend of Russia and Vladimir Putin, the man who arranged the hacking of our political system to defraud the election and allow Trump to win. After all, Trump still has to keep defeating Hillary Clinton and her State Department career as if he’s still campaigning. Apparently, Trump still needs to have his straw men (and women) to knock over and feed his massive, desperate ego.

    Okay. If these aren’t bad enough, there are the graceless and classless moments too. Despite trying to make nice with the intelligence community Trump kept slandering before and after the election, He spoke in front of the Wall of Honor at the CIA and talked about…wait for it… himself. Yes, after a few conciliatory words, the new president launched into talking about crowds at the inauguration, his face plastered on TIME covers (he does not hold the record) and how we should take Iraq’s oil. Every psychologist in the country watching this clown show must be pouring over their manuscripts to find new definitions for narcissism, paranoia and xenophobia.

    Oh. Right. Xenophobia. Yesterday, 25 January, 2017, Trump signed an executive order directing Congress to fund the building of a wall along our southern border with Mexico. While Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell held off their apoplexy at where the money would come from, the President of Mexico, broke the date with Trump on 31 January. Gee. Imagine that. It’s like your neighbor inviting you over for dinner, but building a twenty foot fence between your yard and his…for security purposes and to keep YOUR kids from walking on HIS lawn. Classy.

    Then there are the issues with our veterans. It sounds like this:

    “We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before.” – Donald Trump accepting the Republican nomination.

    Trump has been in office less than one week, and here’s what he’s done for veterans:
    1. Implemented a hiring freeze that will cost thousands of veterans jobs and keep at least 2,000 positions unfilled at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    2. He has talked about bringing back secret detention sites and torture, which only serves to help our enemies, recruit more terrorists, and endanger American troops.
    3. He has put a stop to many refugees — almost all women and children — from coming to the United States from the Middle East. A move that alienates our allies in the War on Terror and usurps any goodwill we’ve built up. This puts our troops in further peril.

    There are some other disturbing threats coming from this White House. The president ordered the renewal of two oil pipelines across Native American sacred ground and areas where human drinking water sources are at risk. He even put the city of Chicago on notice that he will institute martial law if the crime and the shootings don’t slow to a point that HE finds acceptable. And even after being inaugurated, Trump is till raging about the popular vote count claiming that illegals voted for Clinton thus giving her the three million vote advantage. It’s almost like he’d rather have won the popular vote and not be President, than win the Electoral College and be the president. By the way, between Clinton’s votes and those of the third-party candidates, Trump lost the popular vote by almost NINE million votes. Oh well, narcissism is a very weird and individual thing.

    There are some promising signs that rational life is poking through the snows of this winter of our scariest election season since 1860. The gagged employees of the National Park Service have gone underground with Twitter accounts to keep the science and information coming from the research being done in the parks. Scientists from the EPA, OSHA and the NPS are going to have their own demonstration and march to protest being gagged by the paranoia of the gagman. Man, when you can get scientists out of the lab and in the streets, it must really be bad.

    Speaking of which…. The entire senior staff of the State Department resigned en masse’. One can only wonder what the absolutely inexperienced Rex Tillerson will do with no ambassadors and nobody with any working knowledge of one of our most important departments in government. Is this a sign that the rebellion against fascism and tyranny is already under way? Tillerson may even have to fly coach, because nobody will be there to find him a reservation.

    Tyranny is defined by verbiage having to do with abuse of power, overreach and irresponsible despotism in government. From Trump’s first week in office, it certainly seems like he’s stepped onto that slippery slope without looking down. How far well we slide before we the people stop him. There is the 25th Amendment, of course. Go read it. It’s fascinating.

  17. Frist, in reference to Reagan ‘s efforts to get his Cabinet heads to recognize that they worked for him (doubt Reagan personally came up with it):

    The Bully-In-Chief currently in the White House thinks we all work for him now; not that he is employed by and is supposed to be working for all of us; not just family and rich friends.

    Second, many Republicans in Congress and conservative talking heads such as Jonah Goldberg and George Will — of course during the years there was a Democratic President in the White House — bitterly complained about the “Imperial Presidency,” government by Executive Orders, and rules and regulations drafted and issued by the Executive Agencies (even though it was Congress that gave those Agencies the authority to draft and issue regulations to carry out broad policy goals in their legislation). They, and even some Democrats, also often mentioned that it just might come back to bite the Democrats in the ass someday.

    That “someday” is obviously upon us with a vengeance like nothing I have ever witnessed. Government by “Executive Order,” of course, is right up Don’s wheelhouse. It’s how he’s always run his own businesses — usually for the worse. Truly Don-The-Con’s and his group of miscreants first week in “power” has been far worse than I ever imagined — even though what I imagined was pretty horrible.

    There are limits, however, to running the government through “Executive Orders.” At least hopefully there still are. We are shortly going to find out whether there are or not.

    Hopefully, there are real questions about whether much of what is in the Executive Orders Trump has issued so far can be carried out without Congressional approval and action — not that he won’t likely eventually get Congressional approval for much of it. But paying the $15( or more) Billion that his proposed wall will cost to build — which even the Boarder Patrol says most of which is unnecessary — is a really Big Deal, especially when you’re proposing big tax cuts for the rich and corporations and a even some smaller ones for the rest of us. And “taxing” Mexicans legally in the U.S. when they send money back to Mexico or slapping “taxes” on goods imported from Mexico also probably can’t be constitutionally done without Congressional approval or at least the negotiation of Treaties, such as NAFTA, which must be approved by Congress.

    Strap yourselves in. It’s going to be a rough ride when the Bully-In-Chief finds out he can’t just say “Your Fired!” when his every whim and desire isn’t immediately satisfied and carried out.

  18. Vern: that was brilliant – one week. what will week 2 look like? Thanks for sharing.

    Nice to see you again David F. Heading your way in March. Hope to meet you finally.

  19. This will be such a bonanza for the ACLU. It’s easy to order people, but then you have to make it happen. With the Iron Triangle sandbagging so many poorly thought through commands and the ACLU cleaning up, these guys won’t know what’s hit them. Even the most conservative judges will have to rule in their favor.

    I can just see one of those extreme cabinet members looking at the pile of law suits and his minion saying, “You’ve got a problem there, boss. Too bad I can’t help, but here is a 5,000 page book of rules that might help. Gotta go.”

    Then the real problems come, so they turn to Mike “Empty Suit” Pence to get them out of their jam. Trump can give orders but has no idea about getting his hands dirty and helping. People forget that disturbed individuals are rigid with a limited number of coping styles. All these people are rigid, authoritarians with few problem solving methods. This ain’t going to be pretty.

    Rainer has reported that Trump has never came nsulted with him about Chicago, and the governors in the south have had to muddle though their disaster. This is certainly one way to give the states the power.

  20. David F; some really great points, especially that last one that he can’t just say “you’re fired”. All previous presidents were gentlemen (even those we were against); they presented themselves in a businesslike manner and spoke lucidly, using lengthy, knowledgeable vocabularies and made their points (even those we didn’t like). Trump is learning he cannot fire those who disagree with him who have top level elected positions and knowledge of laws far behind his limited awareness of anything but money. Due to their almost always relaxed appearance he had no idea that their job of being president was a 24/7/365 – 24/7/366 during Leap Year – situation with no time off even when on “vacation”. He is frantic, frenzied, frenetic, frequently flustered and repeats the limited words and phrases he is familiar with without the necessary formality to be a respected leader.

    His memory; like those short little fingers, cannot grasp the core meaning of many of the issues he has signed Executive Orders against or Executive Orders to enact new laws of the land beyond their scope of control. He may continue to be the CEO of his many privately owned businesses (acting against our Constitution) but he is not the CEO of this country and this country is not one of his family-owned businesses. Neither his trusted son-in-law or the GOP can control his rampant rages and misdirected tangents because he cannot control them himself. He has broken his irresponsible words and campaign promises and “walked them back” using “alternative facts” supported by Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer.

    He could not bully Mexico’s President Nieto yesterday into paying for the “Great Wall of Trump” and his attempts at solutions to find ready money are questionable. What will transpire between he and Briton’s Prime Minister today and in the future and what will be the outcome of his (probably against U.S. and foreign protocol considering the current circumstances regarding the relationship ) conversation with President Putin of Russia.

    I don’t believe we – by “we” I mean not only American citizens, but the sitting administrations (elected and appointed) on all levels of government – have no comprehension of the disastrous situation he has put this entire country in at this time in less than one week. We are not the only country with nuclear weapons; they are in the capable hands of our allies and our enemies who may not be so tolerant of his mentally unbalanced antics.

    I much prefer my earlier W.C. Fields outlook on the situation but; I made the mistake of switching to news channels a few times this morning and lost all semblance of humor.

  21. Thank God for the government careerists with institutional memory for the laws and rules. I worry a LOT when the senior staff of the State Dept. resign en masse rather than work for this President. The country desperately needs those folks to hang in there to prevent this ‘bumper car president’ from crashing through the guardrails of sanity and democracy.

  22. I was over in Vietnam during that War. There was a place just to the north of Saigon which was referred to as the The Iron Triangle. It was a Viet Cong strong hold.

    There is another take on the Iron Triangle term. Congress, Interest Groups (Including Lobbyists) and the bureaucratic agencies. You might think here in America that the “people” – voters would be a point on the triangle. You would be wrong. The Interest Groups exert a far greater force than the people or voters, even though the interest groups cannot vote.

    Inverted Totalitarianism, it is a term that was first introduced by Sheldon Wolin. In Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union for example, the state was dominated by its individuals. In the United States, through Inverted Totalitarianism, the country is dominated by its corporations. This is mainly done in the form of lobbying, large contributions, and other (unethical to some) means in what are commonly called iron triangle relationships.

    The Trumpet and VP Dense has probably in less than week out done Nixon – Agnew. Another example:
    The conservative activist cited by Donald Trump as an authority on voter fraud owes the US government more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes, was once accused of lying about his qualifications, and has faced several allegations of ethical impropriety.

    Gregg Phillips’s unfounded claim that three million people vote illegally in the US was championed in a tweet by Trump on Friday morning, as the new administration prepares to launch what he says will be a major inquiry into the integrity of American elections.

    In 2003, Phillips took a job as the second-in-command in Texas’s own human services department, where he was put in charge of a drastic privatization of many services. An investigation by the Houston Chronicle in 2005 alleged that Phillips had been involved in awarding tens of millions of dollars worth of state contracts to companies with which he was personally linked.
    Conflict of interest would appear to be a necessary qualification for the Trumpet Government.

  23. Bring on the lawsuits! We need to keep Trumpet & Dense (thx Louie) in perpetual gridlock (and frustration haha).

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