State of the nation

Posted 2/13/17

Trumped-up (adjective): spuriously devised; fraudulent; fabricated. Synonyms include imaginary, concocted, deceitful, fake, falsified, unfounded, etc . . .

Pig in a Poke: Something bought without …

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State of the nation

Posted

Trumped-up (adjective): spuriously devised; fraudulent; fabricated. Synonyms include imaginary, concocted, deceitful, fake, falsified, unfounded, etc . . .

Pig in a Poke: Something bought without the buyer knowing its true nature. . . buying blindly.

While Donald Trump continues to strut in the spotlight, tweeting and tossing out executive orders—demeaning the news media, the judicial system, Nordstrom’s, our state, California, Elizabeth Warren . . . challenging the U. S. Constitution--he is a distraction from what his subordinate minions are doing somewhat on the sly behind the scenes. The press is still covering it all, but what the Republican-controlled Congress is up to is drawing small headlines on inside pages in the print edtion of such large papers as The Seattle Times and is generally passed over by TV commentators fastened on presidential words, actions, veracity, humungous narcissism . . . ethics, the law, the Constitution, etc. 

Feb. 8, the Times story (page 5), via Associated Press, reported, “The Republican-controlled House voted Tuesday to overturn Obama-era rules on the environment and education as GOP lawmakers undo regulations from the Obama administation.” 

For instance, the House voted 234-186 to repeal a rule that requires federal land managers to consider climate change and other long-term effects of proposed developments on public lands. The Obama-era rule also requires the federal Bureau of Land Management to use the best available science in making decisions about the 245,000,000 acres of public lands it oversees, mostly in the West. 

The House also voted, 234-190, to repeal a separate measure aimed at helping states identify failing schools and come up with plans to improve them. 

These measures now are going to the Senate and follow several others of a week earlier, targeting environmental rules adopted at the end of Obama’s term. Lawmakers scuttled regulations preventing coal mines from dumping debris into nearby streams, restricting oil companies that burn off natural gas during drilling—and forcing energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments related to mining and drilling.

It’s all sort of paving the way for Trump’s proposed head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt—who has disagreed about human cause of global warming, denied any link between fracking and water contamination, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general has repeatedly sued the EPA and other government entities over environmental rules and regulations. One can foresee lots of drilling by Big Oil on public lands. 

And new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil undoubtedly will be right in there backing up Pruitt in whatever ways possible. How soon will drilling begin in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve?

On that schools issue, we have the new and inexperienced Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is weak on public schools, has affection for charter schools and knows squat about educational administration. (But she—like others of Trump’s appointed conservative cadre—is filthy rich, which seems to make it OK). What are chances she will do much to improve failing schools? Just rubbing elbows in elite circles, exchanging compliments over cocktails, won’t get the job done.

INCIDENTALLY, I haven’t blocked emails that come in from a variety of right-wing sources, as I want to see just what they’re up to. One of the latest “Trump Action” items was in support of Laura Ingraham of Fox News as a candidate against Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (Hillary’s vice-presidential pick). The sales pitch says the GOP’s present senate majority is not quite large enough or dependable enough to “push through many of the desperately needed reforms the voters have demanded.”

There it is again! Trump’s and the GOP’s misrepresentation of reality. This item specifies such “voter-demanded reforms” as the repeal of Obamacare, slashing of taxes and regulations, etc. There was  no such “mandate.” We voters as a unit never demanded that. Some did perhaps, but definitely not the majority. The majority of America did not admire Donald Trump on election day (by close to 3,000,000)—and now even fewer have respect for the revealed pig in a poke that was sold to so many that day. 

Much-revered Gallup Poll has tracked every American president since Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. Its latest on Trump is 42% approval and 52% disapproval. Trump dismisses such negative polls as “false news.” 

MISCELLANY—While a Trump administration goes all out attempting to justify its militant and racist isolationism by instilling irrational fear of immigrants in the minds of the public, I find in checking (on the Internet) a few expert studies: The chance of a being killed by a refugee terrorist in the US is 1 in 3,640,000,000 a year. The lifetime odds of dying from a local meteorite, asteroid, or comet impact are 1 in 1,600,000. Perhaps we should be concerning ourselves more with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea and Iran. 

--I hope many of you noticed last week that Nordstrom stock immediately went up 4 points after the firm was tweet-attacked by the president for its dropping of his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line. The stock rose another 3% the following day.

--Trump got caught up in schoolyard petulance still again, and his lies don’t get much more blatant than this one. I can’t insert a video here, so I’ll refer to this link. Scroll down. You’ll come to this Trump tweet: Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave "service" in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” This is followed by a Bottom Line” video in which CNN anchor Cuomo pointedly asks Blumenthal about that very thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lnFxmBM1II

 --Fans of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, recently deprived of Free Speech on the floor of the U. S. Senate, may want to check this link: https://donate.elizabethwarren.com/page/contribute/cordrayvote#.WJ4KfSjvY5Q

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