Just a simple update from the past two or three days to remind us all that THIS IS NOT NORMAL:
- Three members of the president elect’s cabinet are generals and a fourth is being considered (Mattis at the Pentagon, Kelly at DHS, and Flynn [a particularly bad choice since he is a conspiracy nut] as National Security Adviser). It is not unheard of to have a general who is even president, but as cabinets go, this one is over-full of them (usually there is just one) and may get fuller. The country was founded on separation of the civilian and military branches of government. How much will the military wag the civilian agencies over which they have been appointed? This is not normal and it is a very worrisome development.
- A climate denier, Scott Pruitt, who is straight out of the fossil fuel industry and lobbied for years against the EPA has been nominated (wait for it) head of the EPA. You have seen what is going on at both poles of the planet at the moment? This is insane.
- The head of World Wrestling Entertainment has been nominated to be in charge of the Small Business Administration (Linda McMahon). Yeah, that sounds like a good qualification. What could go wrong?
- Contrary to reports, the president elect has NOT separated himself from his business interests, and every conservative organization you can think of, including the RNC’s Christmas party will be, surprise surprise, at one of his properties. Emoluments clause people! Not normal, not normal at all.
- Presented without comment: Ben Carson at HUD.
- Reuters reports that the new administration has plans to overturn a century of policy (!) and attempt to privatize Native American Reservations to exploit their oil reserves. The 56 million acres of land represent 2% of American land space but contains possibly as much as 20% of remaining oil reserves. They plan to use willing tribal leaders to push this through. If you think this is right then read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; if you still think this is right then I’ll be happy to personally rip your heart out and bury it at Wounded Knee.
- The president elect lied in his response to TIME when it made him person of the year and referred in its headline to a “Divided States of America”. He pushed back on the Today Show and refused any responsibility concerning how further divided we are after and because of his campaign. We are, and it is a direct result of his rhetoric, his ties to Neo-Nazi and Neo-Confederate organizations, his own history of racism, hatred of Muslims, and misogyny.
- Lots of bright shiny things are getting thrown around. Do not be distracted. The GOP is about to take health care away from 23-29 million Americans. That last number means roughly one in ten Americans will be hurt by the repeal of the ACA. Moreover we have yet to get a clear view of how this will impact insurance companies. Damaging the lives of tens of millions of your fellow countrymen and not caring if you kick one or two industries to shit in the process is not normal. It is malicious in the extreme.
- The cost to tax payers and New Yorkers for having, in effect, two White Houses, I will guess will, over time, be in the tens of billions of dollars in security costs, housing costs (that will invariably benefit the president elect personally), and hidden costs when you consider traffic issues and the potential economic impact to businesses in the city. This is not normal, nor is it acceptable.
- In complete contravention of everything the GOP has preached for years, we are already seeing direct government intervention in the market place by the president elect’s behavior towards Carrier and towards Boeing. It is going to be government interference in business by way of shakedown, will ultimately prove ineffective and counterproductive, and goes against every free market principle the GOP has shoved in our face for, well, ever. This is government by Mafioso.
REMEMBER: This is NOT and administration. This is a wrecking crew. And . . .
THIS IS NOT NORMAL AND IT WON’T BE ALL RIGHT