I didn’t realize that being so busy at work and then leaving for a girl’s weekend at the beach would put me so far behind on the Trump Administration’s flurry of activity. I sort of feel overwhelmed just looking at this list, but I didn’t want to just ignore what’s been going on. Clearly, if I want to get my two cents in, I’m going to have to start writing more than once or twice a week. I don’t know if I’m ready for that, but I can’t just let these horrendous actions go by without notice. So, here is a list of highlights from Trump’s first full week in office:
January 20: Probably the new ‘day that will live in infamy’, Inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. His speech of carnage and decay is probably the most uninspiring and terrifying inaugural speech ever. He did not try to reach out to all Americans after the most noxious and divisive campaign in the history of American politics, and instead, reached out only to his base. He then declared it a ‘National Day of Patriotic Devotion’ in his first executive order. Devotion to whom, I wonder??
His next order of business was an EO to limit the power of the Affordable Care Act. This is an effort to give authorization to federal authorities to ‘waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation’ of the act. But the reality of it is, is that this is just symbolic. The act will have to be repealed by Congress and the more they hear from their constituents, the more they are backing away from a full repeal, especially without a replacement in hand. Another thing the Trump Administration did is force federal agencies to stop advertising the ACA. So, basically, they want to take healthcare away from upwards of 20 million people, but also keep them from getting it now, when they still can. However, with massive public pressure, the administration had to backtrack on that one.
January 21: Trump went to the CIA to brag about the size of his inaugural crowds and lie about his war of words with the intelligence community, blaming it all on the media. Unfortunately, his own tweets betrayed him. Also, worth noting, he brought in his own followers to cheer and give standing ovations for him as he lied, bragged, and talked mostly about himself. All of this in front of the Memorial Wall with the stars of those who have fallen in duty to this country. How unbelievably disgraceful.
January 23: Trans-Pacific Partnership officially dead. Some democrats were not fans, even my presidential candidate, Senator Sanders. This is where he and I differ. I had the opportunity to be involved on a conference call with President Obama regarding the TPP and while the economic benefit would have been marginal at best, the countries involved would have become the world’s largest free trading zone, which would have forced CEO’s of major corporations to stabilize international supply chains and lower costs around the globe. This trade pact had very high standards for the environment, worker’s rights and even animal rights among many other strict regulations. It also kept China at bay. They were not a part of this agreement, and because they would have been all but surrounded by the countries in the pact, they would eventually have been forced to change their practices. That would have been a boon, not only for their people and environment, but everyone else too. Now China has all the power to make trade deals of its own, with no oversight on how they do so.
Mexico City Policy re-implemented. This is a policy that began in the Reagan administration, which prohibits foreign aid to non-governmental organizations that provide or promote abortion. So, basically think of this as our government getting their wish to fully de-fund Planned Parenthood, except the people affected here are often times in worse situations than the men and women who use PP for family planning and other health related issues here in the states. President Obama had reversed this policy during his time in office. The U.S. typically spends about $1.3 billion on gender issues around the globe, and those funds usually go toward violence against women and girls, education, economic issues, job training, etc. And a majority of the countries that this money is sent to have their own abortion laws, often times even more restrictive than our own. But by putting the policy back into effect, Trump is saying to these NGO’s, ‘if you even use the word abortion’ you won’t get any funding from us’. Now, instead of just wanting to force women into pregnancy and birth here at home, they get to do it around the world.
January 24: Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines back in business. Great idea. Let’s endanger the environment and people with inevitable leaks and spills, not to mention stealing tribal lands. Did I mention Trump has shares of stock in the companies responsible for these pipelines? Oh, and neither of these are job producers. While many people will be put to work to build them, permanent jobs number about 50. Let that sink in.
Trump orders media blackout on EPA and climate change. They were originally told not to interact with both the media and congress and to take down any and all mentions of climate change. The latter was retracted after massive public outcry. He also ordered freezes on the departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Interior, and the Centers for Disease Control. This is how fascism starts folks…control the information.
January 25: Because Trump is so thin-skinned and he cannot stand the fact that he lost the popular vote, he has been pushing forward a ridiculous narrative of rampant voter fraud. Apparently, in the mango Mussolini’s mind, 3-5 million people voted illegally. Really? What’s his proof? That people are registered to vote in multiple states and dead people are also registered to vote. Okay…let’s parse through this. I, myself, was probably registered in two states and may still be. I never cancelled my voter registration in California when I moved back to Washington State, most people don’t do that either. Your name will most likely get purged when they see that you haven’t voted in several elections. But you know who else was registered to vote in two states? Steve Bannon. Jared Kushner. Steve Mnuchin. Sean Spicer. Tiffany Trump. Also, we may want to forgive the dead people who forgot to remove themselves from the voter rolls before they died. I’m sure they had other things on their mind.
This was also a ‘yuge’ day for Trump supporters when he signed an executive order to implement the building of the wall. However, he apparently now doesn’t think Mexico will pay for it, so he’ll have to ask congress for the funds. Where does congress get those funds? From us taxpayers of course. So now, we’re on the hook for a $14-$20 billion wall. He thinks he’ll get the money back by placing a 20% tariff on Mexican goods, but we will explore how that won’t work in a later blog. On a related note, he ordered ICE to hire 10,000 more border patrol agents that they don’t have funding for and threatened to removed funding from sanctuary cities. Good luck with that.
January 26: President Pena Nieto of Mexico cancelled a meeting with Trump over the wall brouhaha, although, Trump tried to take credit for it. Dude! Mexico cancelled first! I somehow don’t think this will be the first time Trump is cancelled on and/or disinvited. It’s just the beginning.
Trump signed an executive memorandum to build up the military. Build it up to what exactly? We have the largest military in the world. We spend over $700 billion per year. The next closest is China at $170 billion. We could burn the rest of the world to the ground in a day if we wanted to. How much bigger does our military need to be? How much more money do we need to spend? Regardless, his EM was symbolic, again just to galvanize his base. Those of us with actual intelligence and understanding of how policy works, know that the only way this happens is with congressional approval and a passed budget. But hey, all his followers need to hear is ‘more guns’ and they start jumping for joy.
And let’s not forget his EO on extreme vetting. Rudy Giuliani admitted on Fox News that the president asked him how he can legally get away with a Muslim ban. I’m not joking, he actually said that. They try to blame it on Obama (again, totally not kidding) and say that since he put a temporary ban on Iraqi citizens back in 2011, that this really was his idea. The Iraqi ‘ban’ wasn’t really a ban, but more of a slow-down and it was also related to a direct threat. This is apparently a pre-emptive move, but we all know it’s just a racist, xenophobic action. One thing to notice though, is that the ban doesn’t include Saudi Arabia (majority of 9/11 hijackers were from there), Egypt, and the U.A.E. Trump does have business ties in those countries though, so you know…
President Obama said on January 18, that he wouldn’t weigh in on the Trump administration unless he felt our democracy was at stake. He released a statement on January 30. It took Trump 10 days to worry Obama enough that he had to speak out. 10 days.
I feel like I have so much more to say. I can’t wait to dig a little deeper into some of these issues and the many more I haven’t talked about, and the many more still to come. This is a scary, yet interesting time for politics. Stay tuned…