What the Trump government will sound like, look like, and do to our country.
Steven Mnuchin's past—kicking retirees out of their homes, funding police-run "boot camps" for children—is unbefitting of a Cabinet nominee.
Trump's Treasury Secretary pick, the impossible-to-pronounce Steven Mnuchin, ran a bank that tried to force people out of their homes without any actual cause, was accused of of "widespread misconduct" by an initial California Department of Justice investigation (that Kamala Harris declined to prosecute), and cultivated close ties to the LAPD by funding disturbing "scared straight"-style boot camps for young children.
Prospective future senior member of our national security apparatus meets with Nazis, hates Muslims
Trump's pick for National Security Adviser, former Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn, allegedly met the leader of a far-right Austrian party founded by Nazis with direct ties to the Kremlin this week.
Related: An analysis of Flynn's tweets by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows the disturbing extent of his fanatic Islamophobic beliefs.
"[Zinke’s actions] run counter to the things that Theodore Roosevelt stood for."
Ryan Zinke, Montana's sole representative and Trump's pick to head the Dept. of the Interior, has roots in Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican conservationism, but while trying to attain higher office, sold out to the oil, gas, and coal industries. As it so often goes.
Related: Did Trump pick Zinke just because Donald Jr. wants to kill things on federal land?
Dec 19, 2016
As governor, he accepted more than $14.3 million in campaign cash from energy and natural resource interests, according to the National Institute on Money and State Politics. To join Trump’s Cabinet, Perry must comply with laws seeking to prevent financial conflicts of interest.↩︎ Texas Tribune
More questions around Tillerson's connections with Russia
Offshore documents obtained by Süddeutche Zeitung (recently of the Panama Papers) reveal Trump's Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson (who sounds like a villain from Dallas?) to have been the head of a joint US-Russian oil company for the past 18 years.
Labor advocates not exactly pleased by Chao
By the end of Elaine Chao's two-term tenure at George W. Bush's Department of Labor, her administration was known for favoring business over workers, violating its mandate to enforce laws protecting workers. A 2008 Government Accountability Office report into the DoL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) put that squarely in perspective:
"Posing as fictitious complainants, GAO filed 10 common complaints with WHD district offices across the country. The undercover tests revealed sluggish response times, a poor complaint intake process, and failed conciliation attempts, among other problems. In one case, a WHD investigator lied about investigative work performed and did not investigate GAO’s fictitious complaint."
Liberal, heal thyself
The liberals who excused the precedent set by President Obama's wild expansion of Dick Cheney's unconstitutional surveillance state, unconstitutional foreign wars, limitless worldwide drone program, and intense and record-breaking classification and censorship of government documents don't look very good right now.
“They think of these jobs as lollipops.”
In case you want to know what it's like inside the Trump transition, a bird's-eye view, as cited in this exposé of the chaos that even has Giuliani backpedaling.
After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly.— Eliot A Cohen (@EliotACohen) November 15, 2016
Let us help you to keep track
A useful guide broken out by executive actions, legislation, international obligations, federal agencies, and little things like Common Core and Syrian refugees: "Twenty Things Donald Trump Said He Wanted to Get Rid of as President."
Wilbur Ross Jr., New York's "connoisseur of failed companies," is gross
In addition to being a formerly Democratic "bottom feeder" billionaire investor, and one of Trump's reported two choices for Secretary of the Treasury, Wilbur Ross is a very nasty person, as recounted by former financial reporter Kevin Roose:
In addition to running a shady hedge fund (was fined $2.3 million by the SEC in August), Ross is one of the scariest people I've ever met.— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 15, 2016
I met Ross in 2011 at the annual dinner of Kappa Beta Phi, a secret fraternity of Wall Street tycoons. He was the "Grand Swipe" (president).— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 15, 2016
The ceremony was horrifying. Ross made sexist and homophobic jokes, and then drunk bankers did skits and sang songs mocking poor people.— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 15, 2016
How to protect your life in less than an hour from Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich said in June that he wanted to bring back the McCarthyist House Un-American Activities Committee. Now that he's up for a cabinet position, you should consider using encryption.
What Trump hopes to achieve in his first term
In no particular order, a list of things President Trump wants to do shortly after taking office, according to a deeply-reported September Evan Osnos feature:
—Renounce America's participation in the Paris Agreement restrictions on emissions
—Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline (the new Canadian PM is a supporter)
—Pause the federal government's Syrian refugee resettlement operation
—Direct the Department of Justice to give priority to his enemies—Amazon, perhaps, or Hillary Clinton
—Follow through with his deportation promises—which he has already reaffirmed
—"Renegotiate" the Iran nuclear deal—which was conducted throught the UN Security Council, so it's a bit more difficult than he may be anticipating—which would be a "gift" to Iran, according to a Carnegie Endowment expert
—Apply tariffs independent analyts say could trigger a trade war costing four billion American jobs
Despite Trump's rhetoric about the size of the government, many conservatives have rejected that notion in the face of his actual proposed policies. Altogether, it's not difficult to make the argument that Trump wants to make his government even bigger.
A different kind of "better way"—faster, more secretive, more sledgehammer-y
President-elect Trump's apparent desire for a huge government doesn't jibe at all with House Speaker Paul Ryan's agenda. Titled "A Better Way," Ryan repackaged his same tired, dangerous austerity government arguments to appeal to Republicans—which was entirely unsuccessful, by the way—and is already publicly disagreeing with Trump on basic things like whether the government is going to build a "deportation force" or not.
He also tipped his hand as to when he's going to get his agenda on Trump's desk. (We remind you here that Trump possibly cannot read?) “Much of this you can do through budget reconciliation," Ryan said at a conference last month, referring to a controversial process allowing for "expedited consideration" of money-related legislation.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "In the Senate, reconciliation bills aren’t subject to filibuster and the scope of amendments is limited, giving this process real advantages for enacting controversial budget and tax measures."
- A justice system in Tennessee is accused of arresting and jailing children illegally. Updated Oct 11, 2021
- Agnes Callard argues that the real college scandal is how we’ve forgotten the joys of intellectual engagement.
- Over two dozen former champs and current pros explain what happened to US men's tennis. The problem? An obscure Austrian prince.
- Our championship match is decided in the Tournament of Books, with news of a Rooster surprise debuting this summer. Updated Mar 31, 2017
- In Thursday's action, Reyhan Harmanci sets up a colossal final.
- The Zombie round opens with Buzzfeed's Isaac Fitzgerald reading The Nix and The Underground Railroad.
- "Will Putin expose the failings of American democracy or will he inadvertently expose the strength of American democracy?" Updated Mar 3, 2017
- Wilbur Ross just wanted to make some money in ethically gray areas (that should've prevented him from taking office).
- Jeff Sessions's spokeswoman can't help but continue to lie.
- Trump's assault on the environment begins with American headwaters. Updated Mar 1, 2017
- Don't just blame the oil companies for destroying the oceans—blame sushi restaurants.
- Nothing escapes the deepest trenches of the ocean floor. Not light, not nutrients, not pollutants.