Trump v Nixon: Disapproval rating

Donald Trump has been President of the US for just over a fortnight now. Gallup, the polling people, have been tracking his approval and disapproval ratings daily. Today, his disapproval rating hit a new high of 53% of all US adults.

Something in the back of my mind stirred. I thought I’d take a look at what was happening in Richard Nixon’s Presidency when he hit that sort of number.

Well, as you can see, Nixon took a while longer to reach Mr. Trump’s level of unpopularity. In fact, by the time he broke the 50% disapproval barrier, the Watergate break-in was already in the past, as were all of the events of All The President’s Men. (The final scene takes place as he is sworn in for his second term.)

However, I thought it was worth recalling just exactly what it had taken to push Richard Nixon to Mr. Trump’s current state of disapproval. The Senate had already launched an inquiry into Watergate. On 13th July 1973, it had been revealed that all the conversations and calls in and out of the President’s office have been recorded. By the 6th August 1973, President Nixon is openly defying a Senate subpoena for the tapes.

This was the first time that President Nixon’s disapproval rating reaches the level achieved by Mr. Trump after two weeks on the job. As it turned out, President Nixon was, at that moment, exactly one year from resignation.

Sample letter to refuse permission for a child’s data to be transferred into POD

The Department of Education has issued a new circular accepting it cannot defund the education of children whose parents do not want their kid’s data to be in POD.

They’ll only accept a written request as the basis of that refusal, however. So, here’s one you can use that meets the requirements (Now in English or Irish, thanks to an enterprising parent). Send or give it to your school.


Dear Principal,
I write further to the proposed transfer of data regarding my child (insert your child’s name here) to the Department of Education as part of the Primary Online Database. I am not satisfied that the Department has acted legally regarding this scheme in the past, and the Data Protection Commissioner’s office has confirmed the lack of legal basis for the transfer of data during the course of the rollout of this scheme.
As I both object to the creation of the POD and have no confidence in the Department’s capacity to process this data in accordance with data protection law, please note that, per Paragraph 2(a) of Department of Education Circular No. 37/2016, I wish no transfer of data relating to my child to be made to the POD database.

Thank you for your assistance.
Yours faithfully

(Your name)


And the same letter As Gaelge:


A Phríomhoide, a chara,

Táim ag scríobh chugat maidir le haistriú beartaithe sonraí a bhaineann le mo leanbh [AINM AN LINBH] chuig an Roinn Oideachais mar chuid den Bhunachar Sonraí ar Líne do Bhunscoileanna. Nílim sásta gur ghníomhaigh an Roinn i gcomhréir leis an dlí i ndáil leis an scéim sin roimhe seo, agus dhearbhaigh Oifig an Choimisinéara Cosanta Sonraí nach bhfuil bunús dlíthiúil ann sonraí a aistriú le linn an scéim seo a bheith á cur i bhfeidhm.

Toisc go bhfuilim i gcoinne an Bunachar Sonraí ar Líne do Bhunscoileanna a chruthú, agus toisc nach bhfuil muinín ar bith agam as cumas na Roinne na sonraí sin a phróiseáil de réir an dlí a bhaineann le cosaint sonraí, tabhair do d’aire, de réir Mhír 2(a) de Chiorclán Uimh. 37/2016 ón Roinn Oideachais, nach dteastaíonn uaim go ndéanfaí aon sonraí a bhaineann le mo leanbh a aistriú chuig an mBunachar Sonraí ar Líne do Bhunscoileanna.

Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair i ndáil leis an ábhar seo.

Is mise le meas,


POD complaint to go to the European Commission

cc Nuno Nogueira

There has been a pretty significant exchange of correspondence with the Data Protection Commissioner over the Primary Online Database since my last post. The result is that I am copying all of the documentation to date and will be forwarding it to the European Commission as part of a complaint regarding Ireland's failures to ensure that Article 8.

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The Dublin InQuirer- A City Desk for Dublin

I only recently became aware of The Dublin InQuirer and have become facinated by it. It started as a website and then, to fend off financial instablity, began offering a monthly print newspaper on a subscription and (limited) retail basis.

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What really makes a civil servant quit?

Between 1996 and 1999 the rate of resignations from the civil service rose by 34%. The civil service had been under resourced and demotivated, while subject to an embargo on hiring staff. Staff careers and earnings had stagnated.

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The PODcast: An interview giving the story so far

The benighted story of the Department of Education's perennially unraveling Primary Online Database of 5+year olds has been bouncing along for over a year now. If you were to scroll through a year's worth of this blog's posts you'd have a pretty good picture of what happened when, but you might also expire with tedium. It'd be a race to see which would happen first.

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Department throws in the towel on a compulsory POD

As longstanding, longsuffering readers will be aware, for the past year and a bit, I have been arguing that the Primary Online Database (POD) was illegal. Though that argument has not come to a conclusion (and I expect it to be successful) the Department of Education has been forced into a series of climbdowns along the way.

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Information Commissioner orders release of POD documents

The Information Commissioner’s office has now published their binding decision in my appeal against the Department of Educations and Skill’s refusal to release certain documents relating to POD to me on foot of an FOI request. With the exception of one document (of which more shortly) all of the Department of Education’s refusals have been overturned.

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