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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

President Trump

I won't hide the fact that I don't like President Trump.  I don't say that (or anything to follow) to mean that others can't like him or that he has nothing to offer.  Just that *I* can't stand him and will say so for as long as he is in office.  And keep in mind that it is my OPINION, not some absolute fact of his incompetence. 

This past week has proven my fears about him to be correct.  I live in a world of evidence, proof, and fact.  To me, it seems his supporters live in a world of unsupported hopes and promises, decieved by a demagogue.  My apologies to those who like him.  You have the right.

Since President Trump was inaugurated, he has signed many Executive Orders intended to implement policies he promised while campaigning.  I never thought he would actually do that.

They are, so far, both poorly-written and unnecessary. 

The Order to the military to develop a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS was laughable.  What does he THINK they do all day?  Plan how to stop another attack on Pearl Harbor? 

Proclamation 9570National Day of Patriotic Devotion - Does the term "Fatherland ring a bell?

Executive Order 13765: Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal - A first step toward eliminating health insurance to millions of needy Americans.

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: Regulatory Freeze Pending Review - To stop all Federal Agencies from issuing new regulations.  Never mind emergencies and any good rules to protect the public.  All must stop.

Presidential Memorandum: Withdrawal of the United States From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement - Oh good, our year's-long effort to create an economic alliance of Asian nations to restrain Chinese expansion shot to Hell!  The Philippines have just given up on us and surrended to China.  Others will soon follow.  The Donald wants to re-negotiate trade agreements with Asian nations one-on-one.  Loser move!

Presidential Memorandum: Mexico City Policy - The US will withhold funds to any nation or organization that assists in abortion services for any reason.  Any reason...

Presidential Memorandum: Hiring Freeze - Both Federal Civil Service and contracting hires are stopped.  This might be OK, contractors have long been used to make up for Federal hiring freezes.  But contractors have historically over-billed the government for services and been free of oversight and produced less than contractually-required.  In my government career, contractors have been scan-artists stealing billions of public dollars.  But freezing both will mean less government services and the public will learn that the "gummint" actually does good things that they will miss.  I always laugh when thinking about some conservative protesters who demanded that the Government "keep your hands off my Medicare".  Who do they think was providing it?

Presidential Memorandum: Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline - Oil from Canada transported to New Orleans to be shipped overseas.  We don't get that oil (we have our own).  But we will get the environmentally bad oil spills (estimated at one per 5 years by the oil companies).  We don't need that. 

Presidential Memorandum: Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline - See above.

Presidential Memorandum: Construction of American Pipelines - All pipes used in the US will be made in the US.  OK.  But "America First" was a rule when I was starting in Government in the 70s and it caused all KINDS of bad problems.  It is one of those things that sound sensible but don't work.

Executive Order 13766: Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects - Every President tries this.  It never seems to have any practical effect.

Presidential Memorandum: Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing - An attempt to allow businesses to do anything they want.  Who cares about the public, anyway?

Proclamation 9571: National School Choice Week, 2017 - A strictly ceremonial proclamation, but it represents anti-public-school thinking. 

Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements - BUILd THE WALL.  Only the US will actually pay for it.  It can't really be built, and it won't stop anyone from getting past it.  Ask the Chinese about their Great Wall.  It didn't work.  BTW, if you like investments, consider Mexican ladder and tunneling equipment companies.  There might be a boom in sales.

Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States - This is an attempt to force local police departments to enforce Federal laws at their own expense.  That isn't their job, and they don't have the resources to do it anyway.  The idea seems to be that harassing illegal immigrants will cause them to leave.  That doesn't work.

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States - This is the cause of recent and ongoing protests in the US and internationally.  The Order was so BADLY written that even naturalized citizens and Green-Carders from the 7 designated nations could not return from US military duty or legitimate business abroad.  IDIOTS!  And the Trump administration is backing off (screaming and kicking) about it.  They are still trying to hold on to the basic idea of keeping all Moslems out of the US though.

National Security Presidential Memorandum 1: Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces​ - Some plan to "bolster the military" but I can't figure out what the purpose is yet.  Something about the Office of Management and Budget helping to restructure military pay?

Executive Order: Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Employees - A lifetime ban on lobbyists joining the Trump Administration and then becoming lobbyists again.  Only it applies to those who weren't lobbyists before.  So it seems this is some restriction on media, military, and scientists from ever becoming lobbyists later.  The purpose seems to be to prevent non-politicians from lobbying for general causes (like say science or environmental funding) efforts later in life.  Might even apply to protest organizers or people like Al Gore.  Not sure.

National Security Presidential Memorandum 2: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council - Trump has kicked several Security officials off the National Security Council and added a political ideological representative (Steve Bannon) to it.  Obvious watchdog/approval move.  This is unprecedented.  Does the phrase "Politburo" ring a bell?

National Security Presidential Memorandum 3: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - A repeat of a previous Order, but with some recommended changes to any United States rules of engagement" additions.  Meaning water-boarding and other internationally-forbidden forms of torture.  Yes, Trump has approved torture as a means of collecting information.

Executive Order:  Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs - Agencies would have to eliminate 2 regulations for each new one.  This could be silly or it could be horrible.  The main problem is that most regulations exist for a reason.  Business routinely cheat for profit and regulations exist to eliminate or at least reduce that.  If you want your chicken to be 100% contaminated with bacteria or your car tires to "only" blow out 10% of the time, you will love this one.

And that's just the first 10 days!  Get ready for illegal abortions, illegal protests, guns in every school and bar, and a super-conservative Supreme Court. 


Megan said...

Very very disturbing Mark. I know emigration to Australia seems extreme but ... perhaps it warrants further consideration?

Sydney, Australia

Robin Bunch said...

I have been so depressed since T was inaugurated, everything has been worse than I ever imagined possible. I don't understand how his followers can't see him for the con-man he is. Such a disaster.