The Trump Presidency has started, and the ‘troublesome issues’ are multiplying rather than decreasing. Beginning with who had seats on the dais (at least seven Trump donor billionaires)1 and then attended the Capitol luncheon thereafter. Add in an inauguration speech that was almost as divisive as his campaign speeches, and clearly aimed at his base. He then goes to the Liberty Ball and calls his critics “enemies”.
Enemies? Is that a really good start to say effectively that pretty much anyone beyond your ‘base’ is your enemy? Is this supposed to bring the country together, or given his vindictiveness and the fact that he now has the reach of the United States government in his hands, that many will fall in line out of fear?
More troubles are the clear signs that the creation and enforcement of Trump positive world came with the tug of war over the number of people attending the inauguration. It is clear that he must be the biggest, the best, beyond compare. It is also clear that anything he does or proposes is seen as an extension of himself – his hotels, golf courses, steaks, etc. Anyone challenging this is an “enemy”. Trump is vengeful and vindictive and will personally call out those who cross him. So what is likely to happen in the world of smashmouth politics? This is likely to get very ugly very quickly.
We have a right to worry when Trump makes statements like he did to corporate CEOs on Monday:
“We’re going to be cutting regulation massively. We’ have regulation, and it will be just as strong, and just as good, and just as protective of the people, as the regulation we have right now.”
“The problem with regulation right now is that you can’t do anything” I have people who tell me they have more people working on regulations than they have doing product. It’s out of control, I mean it’s gotten out of control.”
“If somebody wants to put up a factory its going to be expedited. You have to go through the process, but its going to be expedited.”
“We think we can cut regulations by 75%, maybe more, but by 75%. ”
“…taxes are going to be cut way down…”
Let’s put this through the reality machine. You cannot cut regulations by 75% (or more) and maintain the protections, and checks that are currently in place. This is doubly true when you promise to expedite major construction.
Now let’s take the argument about major cuts to taxes on corporations. The reality is that regardless of actual tax rate, the effective tax rate of major corporations in the United States is among the lowest in the “advanced” nations, with many corporations paying little or nothing.
The ones who don’t get this sweet deal is actually small business, which similar to the average taxpayer miss out on many of the platinum loopholes of the super rich. But wait! Personal taxes are also supposed to drop – with the largest share of cuts for the top .5% (rich). This is not going to stimulate the economy as those benefiting most from the cuts are already spending, and not enough relief is going to be “trickling down” to help the rest of the population.
Another frightening thing that is happening is the gag order apparently put out across all government departments. All communication with the outside world (department social media, listservs, etc) have been ordered silent. All updates of websites has been stopped. All webinars and other activities are on hold. A ‘rogue’ employee at Badlands National Park put out a series of environmental fact tweets after the gag order had come down from on high. They were taken down. At the EPA, they were ordered to stop all contracts and grants – the heart of how the department works – and frankly will unjob a lot of people.
The video below is an excerpt from The Rachel Maddow Show of 1/24/2017, and discusses the gag order that has gone out to the EPA and a number of other agencies.
This is our government; the research paid for with our dollars. They work for our good (hopefully) and get paid with our tax dollars. To have the President in effect shut down the entire scope of government activity is a affront that frankly, I take personally. It is a theft of our government with the stress on ‘our’. We must push back, or we will have lost our government and much more.
We are dealing with a man who (as far as we know) never volunteered for a public service in his like. As far as we know, he not only has not read the Constitution, he has not even looked at little issues like ‘balance of powers’, or the limits of the Executive Branch, or the power (or lack thereof) of Executive Orders.
Trump is not a king and we cannot let him abide under the idea that he has unlimited power.
There appears to be little kindness in this man, nor much sense of responsibility. He is going after the Dreamers aka DACA registrants – those who were brought to this country as children and who registered for DACA under President Obama. He is also going after Muslim immigrants, but most especially refugees. After claiming that Hillary Clinton and President Obama ‘created’ ISIS, he feels no sense of responsibility for refugees from them.
Just as a reality check, the Vice President is not a prize either and allegedly, follows a dominion theology.2 So there are problems in that direction as well. Dominion theology in the Trump administration is a topic needing discussion, but not one I am covering here.
I could go on and on as the Trump crew is a seemingly bottomless pit of bad news and catastrophic tidbits. As tiresome and heartbreaking as it is, we must call out each piece. Keep close track of what is happening, and take action.
The Intercept identified seven donors who were seated not far from the dais: Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn, Carl Icahn, Harold Hamm, Lew Eisenberg, Woody Johnson and Phil Ruffin.
The list, however, suggests that 17 other individuals listed as donors were given seats on the platform as well: Hushang Ansary, Roy Bailey, Brian Ballard, Tom Barrack, Joe Craft, Louis DeJoy, Robert Grand, Diane Hendricks, Peter Kalikow, Richard Lefrak, Ed McMullen, Steve Roth, Anthony Scaramucci, Tommy Hicks, Gentry Beach, Ray Washburne, and Ron Weiser.
2 Dominion Theology is a contemporary grouping of theocratic ideologies that seek to institute a nation governed by Christians based on understandings of biblical law. (Wikipedia)