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Friday Trump Roundup - 2

Donald TrumpTwo weeks ago when I wrote my first Friday Trump Roundup, I said I wasn't sure if I was going to make it a regular feature or not. Well, I think I'm going to make it a semi-regular feature - not necessarily every Friday, but at least once a month. I didn't posted anything last Friday because of Thanksgiving, and I'd much rather enjoy my time off with my family than post stuff about Trump on this blog. But I still feel the same way I did when I wrote that entry two weeks ago - I don't want to become obsessed with Trump and spend all my free time writing about him, but he has the potential to cause so much damage to our country and the world that it's every citizen's responsibility to keep pressure on him to try to minimize the damage. So, I'll compromise by posting links and excerpts from stuff other people have written, to help draw attention to Trump's actions. Granted, right now it's still a lot of speculation given that he hasn't been sworn in, yet, but his cabinet picks and other actions since winning the election haven't done much to ease my worries of the damage he could cause. To read previous entries in this series and other Trump related posts, check out my Trump archives.

And, since I anticipate posting quite a bit about Trump in the coming 4 years, I've created a sub-category to Politics, Trump, where you can go to read all my Trump related posts. I've already added everything I've already written about him from before the election to now.

Anyway, on to this week's links:


Nature - Trump's pick for US health secretary has pushed to cut science spending

"He [Tom Price] has taken few public positions on science, but has consistently pushed to cut overall federal spending. Last year, he voted against a bill that would overhaul FDA regulations and provide US$8.75 billion in mandatory funding to the NIH over five years." "Price has also pushed to repeal the Public Health and Prevention Fund (PHPF), a roughly $1 billion to $2 billion fund provided yearly to the CDC to support public-health programmes." "And Price has also consistently opposed embryonic stem cell research, saying in 2009 that Obama's executive order to permit such research would 'force taxpayers to subsidize research that will destroy human embryos'." "He has also supported numerous efforts to defund the reproductive non-profit healthcare group Planned Parenthood..."


Nature - Tracking the Trump transition, agency by agency
"Nature's list of the key issues and appointments facing US government science agencies." A lot of concerns over Trump's potential direction with the NIH, FDA, CDC, EPA, DOE, USGS, NASA, and the NSF.


Bad Astronomy - Trump's Plan to Eliminate NASA Climate Research Is Ill-Informed and Dangerous

"In an interview with the Guardian, Bob Walker, a senior Trump adviser, said that Trump will eliminate NASA's Earth science research. This is the mission directorate of NASA that, among other important issues, studies climate change. / In other words, Trump and his team want to stop NASA from studying climate change."


Bad Astronomy - Follow-Up: More on Trump's Catastrophic Plan to Gut NASA's Earth Science

"We need to arm ourselves against the barrage of weaponized denial we'll be facing for the next four years. Trump himself, and his proxies as well, have no trouble at all just bare-faced lying to the American public. We must stand ready to fight against this. Whether it's the racism, the xenophobia, the misogyny, or the attacks on science, it is no exaggeration to say that our culture, our country, and even our very existence depend on us."


Friendly Atheist - Anti-Vaxxers Are Thrilled to Finally Have an Ally in the White House

"One of the many ways in which President-elect Donald Trump has already shown signs of being a disaster for the science community is how he talks about vaccines. Not only did his foundation once give $10,000 to Jenny McCarthy's anti-vaccination organization, he has consistently perpetuated the lie that vaccines lead to autism, a conspiracy that has never been confirmed with evidence and which has been firmly discredited by experts."


Vox - It turns out we should have taken Trump literally as well as seriously: He's really doing what he said.
"Life is inherently unpredictable. And Trump is more unpredictable than your average politician. But the best information about how he will govern is still the literal text of his formal proposals. It's true that this is a bad way to understand what his supporters like about him, but it's the best way to understand what he will do."


Vox - 11 things we learned from Donald Trump's meeting with the New York Times
"Because Trump can be so inconsistent, of course, it's not a great idea to assume that this -- or anything he told the Times -- is set in stone. But ultimately, the Times meeting was less useful for what Trump thought he was saying than as another display of some of his most deep-seated character traits: a total disinterest in self-reflection, an ideological flexibility that can be indistinguishable from (or a cover for) ignorance, a morality defined by success. Trump's willing to "move on" from some of the things he did to win the election, but those appear to be too deeply ingrained to cast off."


Vox - The Carrier deal shows a big problem with Trump's approach to the presidency
"But a series of Carrier-like deals doesn't add up to a viable economic agenda. For one thing, these deals are way too small. There are 150 million workers in the United States, and the US economy needs to create about 200,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth. Trump would have to negotiate dozens of Carrier-sized deals every week to have a serious impact on job growth -- and so far he's announced only two deals in three weeks." "What Trump needs is a policy -- a consistent set of rules for how the government will treat companies employing US workers. Maybe that means manufacturing tax breaks or higher tariffs or interest rate cuts or stronger "buy American" provisions for US procurement. Or maybe none of these are good ideas and Trump should accept that there's no good way to prevent some jobs from going overseas. But only by focusing on an overall strategy, rather than obsessing over the decisions of particular companies, can you make intelligent decisions about an economy as large as the United States."


Politico - WSJ editorial board comes out against Trump's Carrier deal ( I'm only linking to Politico because the actual WSJ editorial is behind a paywall))
"The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, a reliable bastion of free-market conservatism, isn't cheering the Carrier deal that Donald Trump is touting as his first major political victory since becoming president-elect. / In an editorial published Thursday evening, the Journal argued that Trump's method to convince the manufacturer to keep some 1,000 jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico -- what it described as an "arm-twisting" -- in the long run will lead to a loss of jobs."


Vox - Trump's call to ban flag-burning isn't about patriotism. It's about silencing dissent.
"His statement can easily be interpreted as yet another inflammatory and distracting Trump tweet -- there have been many, after all. But Trump's calls for punishing flag-burners hinges on more substantial themes behind his political rise: an intolerance for dissenting voices and critique, and a willingness to turn a blind eye to certain inalienable rights afforded by the US Constitution."


Washington Post - Trump turning away intelligence briefers since election win
"President-elect Donald Trump has received two classified intelligence briefings since his surprise election victory earlier this month, a frequency that is notably lower -- at least so far -- than that of his predecessors, current and former U.S. officials said." "But others have interpreted Trump's limited engagement with his briefing team as an additional sign of indifference from a president-elect who has no meaningful experience on national security issues and was dismissive of U.S. intelligence agencies' capabilities and findings during the campaign."

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