The first sign of trouble came when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau changed its mission statement to show that in the Trump era, the CFPB would be less focused on protecting consumers' finances.
Soon after, it was U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services changing its mission statement, eliminating the phrase "America's promise as a nation of immigrants." Then it was the Department of Housing and Urban Development mission statement, which will apparently no longer reference "free from discrimination," "quality homes," or "inclusive communities."
The Interior Department's mission statement no longer references native Americans or providing "scientific and other information." The State Department's mission statement no longer prioritizes the goal of a "just and democratic world."
And then there's FEMA and its new strategic plan.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government's first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years.That document, released by FEMA on Thursday, outlines plans for building preparedness and reducing the complexity of the agency.
FEMA's strategic plan mentions expected cost increases "due to rising natural hazard risk," but makes no mention of the global crisis that contributes to those risks.
The Washington Post's Christine Emba did a nice job describing the significance of the administration's editing pens: "Changing missions has real-world ramifications. What does it mean when the State Department is no longer in the business of democracy promotion? When the federal consumer protection bureau privileges cutting regulations for companies over protecting citizens? The answers are important.... Words matter. Trump's appointees haven't forgotten that -- and neither should we."