Early Thursday evening I was sitting in a fast food restaurant trying to eat with my oldest grandson. I had just thrown my sandwich in the garbage receptacle, which gives you an idea of what I thought of it. I sipped my soda as he finished his meal when my iPhone vibrated with a news alert from the Washington Post informing me that Donald Trump had just announced he would nominate Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration. All of a sudden the sandwich was pretty good in comparison. Here is the really bad news: it wasn’t Trump’s only bad move of the day let alone of the transition. I invite you to come along and explore with me but caution you not to do it in near proximity to mealtime!
Linda McMahon is the wife of Vince McMahon both of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fame. The McMahon’s are wealthy Republican donors and have a long standing relationship with Trump. This nomination is similar to the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Neither nominee appears to be qualified for the job. Trump really doesn’t care about either organization. Both families made their money by running scams. Both families are wealthy. In making these nominations Trump gets to make his administration look diverse. Trump really doesn’t care about the mission of the organizations in question. In fact he is appointing someone who should be able to effectively “blow the organization up” while stifling the enforcement of any regulation he doesn’t like but cannot nullify legislatively.
While not officially announced, it was widely reported that Trump was going to tap Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection agency (EPA). This is like the Catholic Church selecting an atheist for its next Pope. Pruitt is a climate change denier whose claim to fame is a plethora of lawsuits pending against the EPA. Yes, you read that correctly.
This week we also learned that the rumored nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to head Housing and Urban Development (HUD) became a reality. Carson was a brilliant neurosurgeon but judging by his failed campaign his knowledge and wisdom seems to stop in the operating room. I do agree with Carson’s self-assessment that he was unfit and unqualified to run HUD or any other federal agency. However his nomination allows Trump to point to an African-American in a high position on his team and at the same time put someone incompetent and disinterested in charge of an operation Trump doesn’t care about and doesn’t want to support the mission of. Shuttering and defunding HUD would be difficult; neutering it is as simple as putting a Ben Carson in charge of it.
While Jeff Sessions is a white male, many of the same traits exist in his appointment. Sessions is about the last of the segregationists left in the Senate. Does anyone actually think he will enforce voting rights and fight voter suppression? The Supreme Court has largely gutted the enforcement mechanisms in the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Now with Sessions running Justice we are on the verge of a new, new Jim Crow. In fact if he does deploy investigative personnel to look at voting it will probably be to chase the wild geese of right wing mythology about all the dead people of color casting multiple ballots for Democrats.
Speed limits only mean something to those who want to break them if they feel a cop might be watching. Trump is taking the cops off the “federal block”. I think comedians may be laying off some of their joke writers. Who needs them? This stuff writes itself and you can’t make it up.
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