'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
This blog is a source for intellectual exploration. It includes a list of alternative resources and a source of free books. The placement of an article does not imply that I agree with it, merely that I found it thought-provoking. There are also poems and book reviews. Texts written by me are labelled. Readers are free to re-post anything they like.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Steven Harper on Donald Trump - 100 Days of Deconstruction: Part One
At its best,
government saves the environment from polluters, prevents companies from
exploiting consumers, safeguards individuals against invidious discrimination
and other forms of injustice, and lends a helping hand to those in need. None
of those principles guides the Trump/Bannon government.
Two months into
Trump’s presidency, historian Douglas Brinkley said it would be “the most failed 100
days of any president.” David Gergen, a seasoned adviser to Presidents Nixon,
Ford, Reagan and Clinton, agreed. But they’re using a traditional scorecard. With the
help of Trump Party senators and loyalists, Steve Bannon and his
boss are remaking America. Future generations won’t judge kindly those who let
it happen. Then again, if Trump’s trajectory continues, maybe there won’t be
many more future generations anyway.
After losing his seat
on the National Security Council, Bannon’s influence over US foreign policy
may have waned. But regardless of his future, he has already had an indelible
impact on the country. At CPAC, he declared that key members of Trump’s Cabinet
were “selected for a reason.” In the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, that
reason has become clear. They have demonstrated a collective determination to
deconstruct not only the administrative state, but also the essence of America
itself. They hold views that are anathema to the missions of the federal
agencies they now lead. They blend kleptocracy — government by leaders who seek
chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed — and
kakistocracy — government by the worst people.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt
Anyone who lived
through the 1960s - or observes China and India today - knows what happens when
polluters get a pass. Bill
Moyers’ Jan. 31, 2017 video essay previewed how Scott Pruitt was
poised to return the nation to the darkest chapter in its environmental
history: contaminated water unfit for drinking or swimming; smog-filled air
unfit for breathing; a deteriorating planet careening toward a time when it
will be unfit for human habitation. In 1970, President Richard Nixon created
the EPA for a reason. Now it’s the victim of a hostile takeover.
After the election,
Trump asked one of his billionaire friends, Carl Icahn, to screen candidates
for the job of EPA administrator. As an unpaid adviser, Icahn wasn’t subject to the stringent
ethics and conflict of interest reviews facing Cabinet appointees. During his interview of Pruitt, Icahn asked specifically
about an ethanol rule that was costing one of Icahn’s oil refineries more than
$200 million a year. Pruitt said he opposed the rule; Icahn then supported Pruitt for the EPA job…