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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Pruitt’

Given the flaming news cycles igniting the airwaves and the Internet one would think that issues like healthcare, Russian intervention in the U.S. elections, Syria, North Korea and climate change have all been resolved due to incandescent leadership of the Supreme Leader, also known as Donald Trump, also known as Donald Tinyhands. That would be a useful explanation for little or no media attention being focused on the cataclysmic nature of the damage that the Trump Administration has planned for the people of America.

As you are reading this column, countless human hours are being spent recounting and re-recounting every breath and heartbeat of Donald Trump, Jr. as he spins himself into the dustbin of history while crafting lies and counter-lies regarding his more than obvious flirtation with Russia. Not unlike his father, his lust for “winning” seemingly erases any sense of right or wrong and obliterates protocols that should be obvious to a passably bright fifth grader.

And as you are reading this column, Donald Tinyhands is singlehandedly (pun intended) discovering new and increasingly unpleasant ways to mar, deface, denigrate and devalue America’s international alliances much in the way that an unruly child might devastate a china shop if he broke free from his nanny. The saddest part of this incredibly short-sighted behavior is that there may come a time when these alliances will be all that will keep America from standing alone.

Because it is clear by now that Donald Trump does not understand the difference between deviant and devious, there can be no doubt that these distractions from the daily damage that is being inflicted on the United States is unintentional. Nevertheless, the damage is real and history will show that when it comes to damaging a nation, it is very easy to do so, and so very hard to repair.

The Donald Tinyhands Cavalcade and Clowns has diverted attention from the fact that his tiny hands picked Elizabeth Devos as Secretary of Education and that she has embarked on a series of initiatives that have the potential for wrecking national education policy for years to come. By deliberately downgrading the importance of civil rights enforcement in the field of education, millions of men and women of various racial and gender identities will suffer. By limiting, and in some cases eliminating the protections afforded to students at for profit institutions, Secretary Devos is shepherding the concept of predatory learning into reality.

Meanwhile, the United States Environmental Protection Agency is headed by Scott Pruitt, again personally selected by Donald Tinyhands tiny hands. In addition to being a climate change denier, Mr. Pruitt seems to be hell bent on promoting coal – an 18th century fuel – as a 21st century energy option. The pollution of rivers, lakes, ocean beds and parks in the name of fossil fuel exploration and extraction will be part of the legacy of Donald Tinyhands and his minions.

And so, while Ivanka Trump plays musical chairs with presidents and prime ministers in Hamburg, the dismantling of the health care system, the demolition of urban policies and shredding of this country’s social service safety next are all moving forward at an alarming pace.

The distractions offered by the Trump Administration are too numerous to mention and too numerous to be ignored. Nevertheless, the real danger to the Republic are the intentional and malign acts of a soulless presidency that will haunt this country for years after the man with the Tinyhands is forgotten.

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The first 100 plus days of the Trump presidency has turned out to be a compelling horror show for anyone who cares about governance, the Constitution or the future of this nation. It is hard not to watch an individual who seems to be dedicated to offending, insulting and repelling virtually every person who does not swear absolute fealty to him, and him alone. The institutional damage that he has committed in so little time is awesome to behold. But it is important to note that when the history books are written the Hurricane Called Trump may turn out to have been a head fake, a distraction from the real damage that is being done to the American people.

Consider the fact that we stared in awe and dismay at the naked lawlessness and infinitely perfect and disgraceful bad taste of President Trump in firing FBI Director James Comey. Meanwhile a mouth breathing direct descendant of Neanderthals named Scott Pruitt heads up the Environmental Protection Agency.

All that Mr. Pruitt has done has been to fire scientists who have been trying to quantify the effects of climate change. He has also declared the policy of his agency as denying the impact of human activity on climate change. And, just to keep things interesting, Mr. Pruitt has begun to allow coal and oil exploration on federal lands in the Arctic and through the lower 48 states.

One day the Terror of Trump will fade into the dustbin of history, but yet unborn children will suffer from the diminished and degraded environment that they will inherit thanks in no small part to Scott Pruitt and his science denying minions. The damage that Pruitt can wreak in just a few short years is fearsome and real.

Consider the fact we are absolutely dumbfounded by the notion that the President of the United States would bar American press from his meeting with senior Russian officials while allowing Russian press to attend. And then, to keep things interest, Terrible Trump shared highly confidential and classified information with these same Russians.

But while the Trump Circus lumbers through the American political landscape, President Trump appointed as Attorney General, none other than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from Alabama – a state whose flag is modeled after that of a Confederate State of America regiment (to remove any doubt regarding the heart and soul of the ruling citizenry of that state). Aside from lying to Congress regarding his association with representatives of Russia, Mr. Sessions has been quietly at work reviving the spirit of mass incarceration.

Mr. Sessions has already stated his belief that maximum criminal penalties for even low level marijuana usage will be the hallmark of his tenure. He has also directed all United States Attorneys to seek maximum prison sentences whenever and wherever possible. While the executives and shareholders of CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America) are doing the 21st century version of the Macarena, hundreds of thousands of American families and thousands of American communities will suffer due to the revival of punitive action as the driving force of the American criminal justice system.

Recent news has reported that in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Officer Betty Jo Shelby (who is white) has been acquitted of all charges in the shooting of the unarmed Terrence Crutcher (who was black). Prior to this verdict, Attorney General Sessions had announced that the United States Department of Justice will no longer look into these matters, thereby turning back the clock to a time when black Americans could be beaten and killed by police with apparent impunity. Perhaps this is what Making America Great really means.

We have been watching the Trump Rocky Horror Show, wondering who will be fired, indicted or arrested next. Meanwhile his appointee to the Office of Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, has been busy supporting a proposal to totally eliminate the 42 year old Community Development Block Grant Program.

During the Republican presidential primaries Dr. Carson did two amazing things. He made “brain surgeon” a pejorative term and he actually made Herman Cain look good as a black Republican presidential candidate. Now that he has a real job, Dr. Carson seems to be operating on the assumption that he should perform surgery, indeed amputations, on the programs upon which poor and aspiring Americans have depended upon for years. Even the short term impact of his short term thinking can be horrific – and over the long term the damage may well be unknowable.

The point is that in less than four months Donald Trump has proven himself to be miscast as President of the United States. He may or may not be “fired” at some point. But while we are watching the Spectacle That is Trump, we should not lose sight of the real damage that his Administration is doing every day – out of sight of the news cycle.

Watching shiny objects can be dangerous to your health.

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It has now been 50 days since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. That means that there have been 50 days and 50 nights of men and women trying to figure out how a man, believed to be unfit for office by the majority of his supporters, could actually become President of the United States. It also means that there have been 50 days and 50 nights of an intensive, interactive, real time seminar demonstrating that elections do matter.

During the presidential campaign there was too much baseless rhetoric spewing, disseminated the shameful notion that the presidential election did not matter as there was no real difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Even as Trump and Clinton tried mightily to demonstrate the very real differences between their candidacies, there were so many “pure progressives” who tried to persuade their followers (or listeners) that there was no real choice between them and that no vote, or a third party candidate protest vote, was the best course of action. And now, we are witness to the first 50 days of a 4 year seminar on why elections do matter.

Consider the initial Trump cabinet appointments:

Attorney General – Jefferson Beauregard Sessions – That this U.S. Senator from Alabama is named after not one, but two Confederate heroes, should not be a disqualifying factor in and of itself. But Sessions is on record as being against the Justice Department inquiring too closely into police shootings or other local and state violations of civil rights. He is staunchly opposed to Roe v. Wade and is certainly a supporter of less governmental oversight of major industries.

The next time a white police officer unlawfully shoots and kills a black citizen and the Justice Department does not act, remember that elections do matter.

Secretary of the Department of Labor – Andy Puzder – Puzder is the founder and CEO of the company that operates the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains. He is an implacable opponent to raising the minimum wage, family leave, equal pay for women, overtime pay and other seemingly basic recognition of the humanity of workers, particularly low wage workers. There is no doubt that he will do everything in his power to roll back any and all progress and protections for workers that have taken place over the past decade.

The next time workers are needlessly harassed or injured and the Department of Labor stands by and does nothing, or even worse, advocates for more power for employers, remember that elections do matter.

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency – Scott Pruitt – The current Oklahoma Attorney General is a self-described “leading advocate against the activist agenda of the EPA” and will now be in charge of that agency. Since the establishment of the EPA during the Nixon Administration, it has been a matter of rare bipartisan agreement that the EPA is an important component of the effort of the federal government to protect the environment and the health of the American people. Pruitt clearly thinks differently.

The next time that a water contamination tragedy like the one in Flint, Michigan occurs and the EPA does little or nothing, remember that elections do matter.

Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services – Tom Price is a Congressman from Georgia and a dedicated opponent to the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. He has already developed a plan to repeal the ACA, which would leave over 24 million Americans without healthcare coverage. Price (and Trump) supposedly have a plan to replace the ACA so that no one who is currently covered would lose that coverage – but, of course, Donald Trump has a tradition of making a breaking promises and has been a litigant in over 1000 cases to prove it.

The next time that an emergency room in a city near you becomes the source of primary care for poor people – again – remember that elections do matter.

There can be no doubt that if Hillary Clinton had been elected President of the United States, her cabinet would not be overstocked with overwhelmingly white and mean spirited avatars armed with a dystopian vision that includes the few and excludes the many.

In sum, due to the vengeance of 18th century elitist attitudes, aka the Electoral College, and the boneheaded notion that elections don’t matter, the entire American populace will soon have a lesson on why, and how, elections do matter.

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