It took a week and a half following the election, but President-elect Donald Trump has finally begun selecting cabinet members. On Friday, he announced that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is his choice for Attorney General. Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will be his National Security Adviser.
Jeff Sessions has referred to the 1965 Voting Rights Act as a “piece of intrusive legislation” and reportedly suggested that a white lawyer might be a “disgrace to his race” because he represented black clients. The NAACP routinely gives him an “F” on its congressional scorecard.
Michael Flynn has repeatedly made it clear that he draws no distinction between organizations like ISIS and Islam as a religion. In the past, he has tweeted that fear of Muslims is “RATIONAL” (emphasis his) and that “Arab & Persian world ‘leaders’” must renounce “Islamic ideology.”
There’s much more at Think Progress. Right here is the reason that I think the disparate efforts to oust Bannon fail. Yes, Bannon is bad, seriously bad news. If Bannon was the only problem, I’d be more comfortable with the various attempts to get him out of the cabinet. The problem which needs to be tackled however, is Trump. There is one very slim possibility of seeing him kicked out, and that’s with the electoral college. See here. This is all the more crucial when you pay attention to what’s happening. Trump has one of his children sitting in on a meeting, which is a serious no on more than one level. He’s refused to deal with his assets in the correct way, hand-waving any inquiry to his obvious conflict of interests. He appears to not understand the nepotism laws, but it’s more to point assuming he’s simply choosing to flout them. On top of all that, Trump has appointed the five horsemen of the climate apocalypse. Here’s a bit from that last article:
Trump, on the other hand, does not believe in the scientific consensus on climate change. He has called climate change a “hoax,” and has vowed to roll back nearly every single climate policy enacted under the Obama administration, from the Clean Power Plan to the Paris climate agreement.
So it should be no surprise that, when it comes to climate change, Trump’s first five advisers also reject the scientific consensus, as well as national security community’s warnings, regarding the dangers of global warming.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions has a long history of denying climate science. In 2012, during a Senate hearing on climate science, Sessions refused to accept the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists believe that climate change is both happening and is driven by humans.
In Congress, Sessions has repeatedly voted for policies that expand fossil fuel development and restrict regulations on greenhouse gases. He voted in favor of a measure that would prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, and has argued that carbon dioxide is not really a pollutant because it is “a plant food,” and that it “doesn’t harm anybody except that it might include temperature increases.”
In 2010, Rep. Mike Pompeo rode into Washington on the coattails of the Tea Party movement, which saw a wave of ultra-conservative representatives elected to Congress. Pompeo has deep ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch: He gained most of his wealth from a firm he founded with investment funds from Koch Industries, and relied heavily on campaign donations from Koch Industries’ PAC to power him through his primary and the general election.
Pompeo has also been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s climate policies, lambasting the president for his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and arguing that by supporting the U.N. climate agreement, Obama was “prepared to handcuff out nation’s economy for the sake of advancing his radical environmental agenda.” In reality, the Paris agreement was a stellar deal for the United States, requiring minimal action for a potentially very big economic payoff. Moreover, while certainly historic, the Paris agreement was far from “radical” — most climate scientists agree that the steps outlined in the agreement would still fail to get the world below the 2°C (3.6° F) warming threshold set by the agreement.
Michael Flynn used to serve as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, until he was forced out in 2014 for allegedly being a bad manager who “left chaos in his wake,” according to NBC News. Since then, he has been a loyal Trump surrogate and was even floated as a potential vice presidential candidate.
Flynn does not seem to care that the Department of Defense has called climate change a “threat multiplier” and that prominent members of the national security community, like Dov Zakheim, who served in the Department of Defense under both Reagan and George W. Bush, have highlighted climate change as a risk to U.S. military operations.
Steve Bannon — who ran Trump’s campaign and has been named Chief White House Strategist — is many things. He is a racist whose appointment to the White House has been cheered by the Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. He is a misogynist and bigot who has called women “dykes” and ran a website that disparaged Jews and minorities.
And on top of all of that, he is a climate denier and peddler of climate conspiracy theories.
Bannon has also argued that Obama’s focus on climate change has come at the expense of national security — which, again, runs counter to the Department of Defense’s own opinion on the matter.
Reince Priebus, whom Trump poached from the Republican National Committee to become his Chief of Staff, shares the opinion of others on this list that climate change is not a threat to national security.
“Democrats tell us they understand the world, but then they call climate change, not radical Islamic terrorism, the greatest threat to national security,” Priebus said during the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference. “Look, I think we all care about our planet, but melting icebergs aren’t beheading Christians in the Middle East.”
As RNC chair, Priebus oversaw an organization whose platform criticizes “Democratic party environmental extremists.” It calls the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “a political mechanism, not an unbiased scientific institution.” It rejects crucial international climate agreements, like the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, and calls for shifting environmental policy from the federal level to the states.
All that will not change if Bannon is ousted. Even if he were, he’d still be operating Breitbart, and doing Trump’s bidding. There’s nothing stopping Trump from seeking advice from Bannon if he is ousted, either. I know Bannon is a walking shitshow of a person, but liberals need to widen their sight, rather than behaving like everything will be okely dokely if they can just get Bannon out. That is not the case.
One more time: Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19.