Pipes in Williston, ND. Credit: Lindsey G.

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.

Jan 9, 2017

Collectively, the team of Mattis, Flynn, and Kelly could not be more symbolic of the ongoing process of subversion of civilian control of the military.

Retired Lt. Col. William Astore on Trump's generals fetish.
↩︎ TomDispatch
Dec 23, 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.

A breakdown of Rick Perry's long, mixed history of energy policies as Texas governor.
↩︎ Texas Tribune
Dec 19, 2016

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."

Dec 2, 2016

“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.

Nov 16, 2016

This is a man whose career has been marked by prosecutorial excesses, knee-jerk defenses of abusive cops, and an affinity for using the power of his political offices to get vengeance on his enemies.

As Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani oversaw the implementation of stop-and-frisk; attacked freedom of assembly, speech, and artistic expression; and used tools of city government to attack his enemies. He will be a nightmarish attorney general.
↩︎ The Washington Post
Nov 15, 2016

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:

Nov 15, 2016

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.

Nov 14, 2016

People prefer warmer climates. They do better in them. People do better in Phoenix than they do in Buffalo. They feel better, they're happier, they're more productive. They live longer.

From a 2007 profile of Myron Ebell, the oil-funded professional climate skeptic who may very well be the next EPA administrator
↩︎ Vanity Fair
Nov 14, 2016

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."

Nov 14, 2016
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