Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How Trump built the Wall of Shame

Did Donald Trump build a wall? Yes he did! Is it on the Border with Mexico? No. This wall is one that exists within the confines of the White House and it's ancillary executive buildings, and it is called the wall of shame. The wall of shame is a big wall. It's huge! And Americans can see it Big-League. It is so big, in fact, that people from all around the world can see it.

Once seen, cannot be unseen.

Keywords upon which this wall has been built are insanity, corruption, antagonism, and pseudoscience. Since these words constitute the foundation of the wall, we cannot see the words directly. However, the stones that have been placed upon it are evidence to show that it's there. This foundation wouldn't support any other stones. A fair stone would fail to hold the other stones, as it at its core is incompatible with the foundation. 

Let's dissect this wall because we've been beating around the bush for too long, no more metaphors. What are you talking about Mathijs?

The trail of broken promises starts with the election of Trump himself. He is on record saying that he would take on Wall-Street; keep the minimum wage where it is, while simultaneously promising to raise it (which is breaking a promise before you can ever enact any action); Wouldn't take vacations and time off; Drain the swamp and kick out the establishment; Lock Hillary Clinton up; Fix the rigged system; etc. ad infinitem. Trump has already made so many-often times conflicting-promises that he can't possibly fulfil them all. In fact he is breaking them at break-neck pace.

Let's take a brief look at the Cabinet of Donald Trump.

Steven Mnuchin - Secretary of the Treasury.

One thing cannot be said about Secretary Mnuchin, and that is that he cannot count his beans. In fact, he is so good in counting beans that he has worked at Goldman Sachs  for seventeen years (yes, that big Wall street firm). He also owned an investment company called Dune Capital Management, which invested in some of Trump's building projects, and strangely enough this firm actually got sued by Trump. How awkward that must be. Or is it? Subsequently, in 2009, he bought IndyMac-a residential lender-and renamed it to OneWest, which he subsequently sold to the CIT Bank (not to be confused with CITI Bank), of which he became a board member, until his designation as Secretary of the Treasure.

Now something about this tells me that those who voted for trump have been duped. Didn't Trump promise to empty the swamp, and rid it from the establishment? And didn't he promise to be hard on Wall Street? Then how is it possible that an established banker/investor from wall-street ends up as head of the Treasury Department?

Who else could qualify for this job? At this moment the answer is: Anyone who is put forward as a candidate by Donald Trump. No matter how-or good-your qualifications are, the Republican side of the Senate will put you into office, no matter how much you were grilled by Senators Warren, Sanders or Franken. Why? because narrative now trumps facts. It's not a question of who is being put forward to fill a certain position, it's about the proverbial colour of his tie, the promises he made, whether he can fulfil them or not. Qualifications? Shmalifications...

Tom Price - Secretary of Health and Human Services

In a country where the Measles have actually almost been eradicated thanks to vaccines, Tom Price is a former physician who is opposed to mandatory vaccinations. 

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has something interesting to say about the Measles, and I quote :

Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, we estimate that about 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. Of those people, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles.

I would say that the vaccination program against the measles was effective. Do note that according to the CDC Measles Data and Statistics document roughly 146,000 people die from the measles each year, worldwide. In the same document the CDC postulates that thanks to vaccines from 2000 to 2013 there was a 75% decrease in Measles mortality, which equates to 15.6 Million deaths prevented. Despite heavy vaccination efforts, in 2015 people died from the Measles in the US. This man was part of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, of which some believed that Vaccines caused Autism, which isn't strange because the AAPS is a highly politicized organisation, which has-according to their own website-openly campaigned against Obamacare...

Also note that Trump himself is on record in claiming that vaccines cause autism...

Additionally, and potentially worse, Price is a staunch advocate of repealing Obamacare. Trump has already signed an order which makes it possible to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and Price is the man with the sledgehammer. 

I suppose that this is contrary to what Americans truly want? Is it safe to assume that there will be government financial aid left to those in need of it for medical reasons? Even 10% of Republican leaning US citizens are in favour of a program that pays their medical bills according to PEW. And it seems to be fair to assume that there are groups of people in the US who cannot participate in private schemes to insure their health / secure their medical costs. These are the people who should be protected.

Besty DeVoss - Secretary of Education

Now this one cuts the cake! According to the ethics report of January 20th, 2017, She actually owns a stake in a Student Loan Debt Collecting firm called Performant Financial Corporation. This is a business that gets awarded debt collection contracts by the Department of Education!!!

Why would she be in favour of expensive schools? I could call them charter schools, private schools or whatever-else-than-public schools. I think expensive schools will do. Is it because they are more expensive, and cause more debt? What about the tuition costs for college and university programs? She knows their value in terms of debt collection profitability. This very dubious indeed, and I wouldn't entrust my education department to such a person. My pick would be someone from the world of education, someone with experience in moulding a public school system to create higher value for their students. It doesn't seem like Betsy DeVoss is the ticket.

Qualifications? Schmalifications! Right!?!

Rick Perry - Secretary of Energy

Gunning with Rick Perry from Texas may be one of the strangest picks of them all. He wants the "all-of-the-above" energy strategy. Yes he thinks wind turbines are cute, even though they kill the occasional bald Eagle or two; and yes he thinks shiny solar panels could make him some money; but he really loves Fracking for oil and gas. And why the hell not? He's from Texas, isn't he? He doesn't believe in climate change, so why the hell would he put a stop to the exploitation of natural gas and oil? It gets worse since he is on record telling the Senate Committee that he wants to be investing his time and energy in developing and expanding "clean coal". We all know that there's no such thing as clean coal. But since coal-country bob had to keep working, coal is the election buzzword.

Yes, I said coal-country bob, and I think that the US should invest in coal-country bob. Not because I want them to live from mining and burning coal. No, those are out. We should've stopped burning coal somewhere in the 70's, long after John F. Kennedy found out hat nuclear energy should've become the clean power source of the future. No coal-country bob is an excellent, hard-working, rural American with essential skills. We could use them in a plethora of different jobs. What about becoming a forester? Or a technician in a nuclear power plant? Or a builder? Or a factory worker? Or a policeman? Or a mail man? Or a nurse? Or a farmer?

Rick Perry will keep coal-country bob stuck in the mine for another decade... Ask yourself if that's a good thing.

We've now had a series of executives whose questionable track-records have been laid barely bare. We haven't had all the bricks in the wall of shame yet. Consider the biblical literalist and creationist Mike Pence as VP; Too racist to be federal judge Jeff Sessions as attorney general (I shit you not...); or Exxon's (the climate change science obfuscators) Rex Tillerson as secretary of state; Or Wall Street Establishment Wilbur Ross; Or anti-abortion lawyer Andrew Puzder; Or establishment politician and lawyer Robert Lighthizer as trade representative; Or climate change denier Scott Priutt as head of the EPA; and so on and so forth...

One of the most important promises that Trump made has been shown to be broken is the one where he promised to be harsh on Wall Street, and to be anti-establishment. We may note that he meant anti-democratic or anti-federal establishment. Not his kind of conservative / Christian establishment. You see what I did there? I merely added some qualifications and adjectives. The ones Trump left out when he was making promises he couldn't keep. Or did he?

So how did the citizens of the US and their country end up in this imbroglio? 

It all comes down to gullibility. Even smart friends of mine, whom I hold in high regard, came out and said that Trump might be a good leader, and that the nation would benefit from his leadership.I haven't spoken to them since, but I suspect that their opinions may have change for the lies and failed promises of Donald Trump are slowly but surely stacking so high that they will even trump the Wall of Shame.

I think that the outrage that is taking hold of US Citizens is entirely justified. For this cabinet is a disgrace. I sincerely hope that the damage Trump's administration might wreak will be mitigated by fierce and successful opposition.

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