Trump's Cabinet II: Deeper into the Swamp
Last week I did the first part of a series of articles about Trump's cabinet picks, but it quickly became too depressing to carry on down that rabbit hole any further in one sitting. After a week's worth of booze, gun shooting, and maybe a little bit of weeping in broom closets at the grim prospects of a halfway decent future in this country, it's time to cover a bit more. I warn you though, learning about the depraved batch of subhumans that are marching their way into power is a true war of attrition between the preservation of your sanity in exchange for blissful ignorance, and knowing what we're all in for. Ready?
Rex Tillerson- Secretary of State: Tillerson's nomination is the first that seems to have both sides of the notorious aisle on edge. And for good reason.
Rex Tillerson is the current CEO of ExxonMobil, which not only flies in the face of Trump's populist messaging throughout his campaign, but ladles out such a big pile of conflicts of interests between big business and US and foreign governments, that it's hard to know where to even begin this conversation.
Let's start with the obvious. It's either inconceivable or naive to think that Tillerson will have no interest in doing political favors for his current employer. Granted, he's parting ways with the oil giant for now, but it's doubtful that they won't keep his seat warm if he plays ball. For example, we've been on the cusp of renewable energy for a while now, and it's largely insider dealing that keeps that particular industry from moving forward. When the already massively established oil industry gets gigantic tax cuts and has the umbrella of a president who claims that global warming is just 98% of the world's scientists getting together on a conspiracy to make China economically indestructible, it makes competing with them nearly impossible. Pretty simple, right?
There's also the small matter of Russia. Tillerson personally brokered a deal with Russia (and a company that Putin has financial interests in) for $500 billion. So, when he's informing foreign policy in regards to Russia, do you think he's gonna have the interests of dead Syrian children or gross human rights violations perpetrated by his business partners in mind? He's got about a half a trillion reasons not to.
Rick Perry- Department of Energy: As a current Texan, I'm a bit familiar with Rick Perry's state of mind. If you think of a stereotypical Republican policy, inject it in the eye with bath salts, and hand it a chainsaw, you'll have a bit of an idea about the kind of guy that Rick Perry is. He's a big fan of fighting against women's health issues and gay rights, as well as just about any political position that gives those people who the Christian conservatives are pissed about the same rights as straight white men with hair. I know he recently started wearing glasses, but I promise, he's not any smarter for it.
In 2012, Perry mentioned during his presidential run three organizations that he'd do away with: Commerce, Education, and... Um... OK. He named two because he couldn't remember the third. It later came out that he would've said Department of Energy, but I guess that the name was too long for him to recall.
So, now that Rick Perry is in charge of the very department that he forgot he wanted to eliminate four years ago, what can we expect?
Well, he sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, so that tentative truce in Standing Rock is in real trouble. Between Trump's million dollar investment in the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the new Department of Energy head sitting on the board of the same company, I'm sure we're in for a drastic shift in tone up there.
The Department of Energy is also in charge of our nuclear program, so there's that.
Sheriff David Clarke-Secretary of Homeland Security: Sheriff David Clarke has spent the last couple of years making a name for himself on FOX News and other outlets as the black sheriff from Wisconsin who hates the Black Lives Matter movement. He says that they're terrorists and 'thugs,' and he plans to stop them! Conservative outlets love the idea that his skin tone gives their factually deficient arguments credence, so Clarke finds no shortage of air time.
Of course, when Wade Michael Page (an actual terrorist) shot up a Sikh temple in Clarke's state, killing six people and wounding four others, the good sheriff had little to say. He also showed us just how good he is at stopping terrorism as it occurred under his own over-sized goatee.
There's also the spate of inmate deaths that have occurred under Sheriff Clarke's stewardship. There was a recent incident in which a prisoner died of thirst because the administrators of the jail cut off his water. The inmate begged for drinking water for days, until his eventual death from dehydration. The death was ruled a homicide, but instead of leadership (Clarke) being held accountable, he's up for a lucrative promotion. Side note: Clarke not only failed to offer even the slightest sign of humility or apology in the face of this atrocity, but actually harangued the medical examiner's office for releasing their findings.
The next example isn't technically an inmate casualty, since it was a baby who died.
On July 14th, a Milwaukee inmate went into labor, and asked for medical attention. It is her claim that the guard laughed at her when her water broke, and it's a fact that the baby was pronounced dead when medical help arrived two hours after the delivery.
The idea of a man who runs his jails with such callous disregard for human life being in charge of Homeland Security, is gut retching. Sheriff David Clarke should be under investigation for negligent homicide, not being vetted for a top office.
Steve Bannon- Chief Strategist: I'd like to open this segment with a quote from Bannon himself, in case you're not sure what he's about: "Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That's power. It only helps us when they (liberals) get it wrong. When they're blind to who we are and what we're doing."
So, one of Trump's principle advisers is saying that guys like Cheney, Vader, and (to a much lesser degree) Satan, are the models for the future of US governance. With the exception of Satan, none of his examples were actually representative of the desires of the masses, so this sentence is alarming, even before the introduction of context.
Bannon was the leader of Breitbart News, an alt-right (AKA white supremacist) rag, that is as worthy of praise as a medium for propaganda as any state run publication of the modern age. It's full of hatred, vitriol, and misinformation, cloaked under the guise of separatism, not supremacy. It makes the whole thing more digestible to crazy racists who refuse to accept the fact that they are, in all actuality, crazy racists.
Bannon also saw fit to share his interesting views about women in politics in a 2011 radio interview. More specifically he said that progressive women don't like prominent conservatives like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, because those two women love their families, and aren't “a bunch of dykes” like those pesky liberal women who eat their young because of the women's lib movement, or whatever crazy shit ideas that fat Nazi has rolling around under that haircut.
Steven Mnuchin- Secretary of the Treasury: There is a strong argument to be made that the appointment of Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary is Trump's swampiest pick yet. Remember how pissed off we all were about Clinton's chummy relationship with Wall Street? Well, not only is there almost no chance that Trump will hold these financial overlords accountable when they inevitably create another bubble that throws our economy into a desperate tailspin, but he's giving them a seat at the table.
Mnuchin spent 17 years working for Goldman Sachs, eventually becoming a partner at the firm. He broke off in 2002 to start his own hedge fund company, and ran One West Bank during the 2008 financial crisis. It was there that he and his partners saw a direct financial benefit from the foreclosures of people's homes who were suffering from the effects of the economic collapse that his old stomping grounds (Wall Street) created.
Steven Mnuchin is another glowing example of just how Trump swindled his own supporters, yet again proving that he's an entertainer, not a leader. He has no plans of draining anything other than every pocket that his tiny, orange hand can find the bottom of, and any remaining hope of the electorate that things can ever change in American politics. Buckle up.