Bearing Witness to Trump Week 13-14

Week of April 16 -29, 2017

The assault on the environment continues as the EPA is reconsidering Obama rules that regulated the storage of hazardous coal ash. The pressure is on the EPA from big Trump inauguration donors, like Dow, to ignore the findings of harm to endangered species by a number of dangerous pesticides

It was reported that Trump collected over $100M for his “biggest of all” inauguration festivities from companies and individuals who wanted to ingratiate themselves to the new president.

A tax reform plan is rolled out all on one page. It is not a reform that promises to help all Americans, but a reduction of taxes mostly for the wealthy of course. And in the process the true colors of the Republican party are shown as under Democrat presidents they were always railing against the deficit. This tax plan promises to increase the national debt by trillions. Where are all the conservative Republicans now?

As part of this debate, the uninformed public was manipulated again as the administration kept talking about the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rates in the world, at 35%. No one wanted to talk about that few pay that rate, as the effective rate is less than half that closer to 14% with many hugely-profitable global corporations paying no taxes at all.

Trump ordered the Interior Dept. to review the protection of national monuments and public lands across the country. This will likely lead to oil and gas extraction on these lands.

The most important Trump advisers to emerge on the nation’s big issues are his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Kushner. They are undoubtedly smart, but their professional credentials are as models of inheritors of wealth, status, and influence.

Another health plan is floated. This time instead of rolling back protections for minimum coverage requirements, essential benefits, coverage of preexisting conditions, higher prices for the elderly….they now say conveniently we will let the states decide what is best. That’s right, let the state’s decide on things they want to get rid of but demand that federal law be respected for all those things they want to keep which some state’s don’t like.

One of those items is AG Sessions threatening to turn off federal grants to sanctuary cities. A federal court promptly shuts that down, and Trump goes on a tirade against the judiciary.

Trump’s FCC is plotting the course to ease rules on the Internet wrt net neutrality and thus ensure that broadband providers are not treated as utilities. This will only open up the gates for price hikes, gouging, and increased distortion of the information that feeds the public good. Broadband providers will be able to slow down or block feeds from whomever they choose, or ask to be paid more as they hold content hostage.

Trump continues to shake a rattle in a war of words with the North Koreans. With two unpredictable egotistical authoritarian leaders, what is the chance one of them will do something stupid that leads us to stumble us into another war, like most wars have started?  In response to the brewing crisis this administration can’t even be honest where its Navy is heading. After Trump said he was sending an armada off the coast of Korea, the handful of ships were seen sailing to the Indian Ocean instead.

As Trump approached 100 days in office, he reported that he was surprised by how hard the job is. Duh, it must even be more difficult when he has spent most weekends in Mar-a-Lago playing golf.

Trump signed over 90 executive orders in his first 100 days. This is the president from the party that absolutely railed against Obama as ruling like a King with executive orders. Of the over 100 agenda items Trump promised to take care of in his first 100 days, he has accomplished 6 of them. Of course he blames everyone but himself, and now says that the first 100 days don’t mean much and gives himself a grade of A.

What he has done a lot of in his first 3 months is reversing his opinions, positions and pledges on so many topics it makes your head spin: NATO, Russia, China, Syria, Walls, Taxes, Drug Prices, Health Care, Fed Interest Rates, Military Interventions, Korea, Border Taxes, Export-Import Bank, Draining the Swamp, NAFTA, Tax Audits, Golfing Presidents, and even the Arnold.

We are all emotionally exhausted at the 100 day mark of the education of this president.

The above news items have been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources, both print and digital. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.

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