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Friday Trump Roundup - 3

Donald TrumpThis is my semi-regular feature to post links to articles about Donald Trump along with excerpts from those articles. Trump 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 and our other elected officials to try to minimize the damage. To be honest, even this is only a sampling of the negative actions Trump has undertaken in the past couple weeks. I fear it's going to be a very bad four years. To read previous entries in this series and other Trump related posts, check out my Trump archives.

Anyway, here are this week's links:

Scientific American blogs - Trump's Presidency Will Be a Disaster for Public Education

"Trump is already showing which direction he's taking the country's public education. If you care about kids being taught science, you'd best gird yourself for a war, because we're going to have to fight to preserve our children's right to a strong STEM education. / To begin with, Trump's Vice President, to whom he plans to delegate most of the actual presidential work, is an evolution-denying Christian extremist who wants creationism taught in public schools. He's also brought all his political power to bear on overturning the will of Indiana voters while he pushes for expansions of school vouchers and charter schools." ... "So Trump went with his second choice: a conservative Christian billionaire who also loves charter schools and vouchers for private (including religious) schools. She pours money and support into anti-evolution Christian schools and organizations like Grove City College and the Willow Creek Association. Betsy DeVos has been a disaster for education in Michigan. Now, she's being given the chance to push that failure of an agenda nationwide."

Scientific American blogs - An Open Letter from Scientists to President-Elect Trump on Climate Change
(I did already post about this.)

"Climate change threatens America's economy, national security, and public health and safety. Some communities are already experiencing its impacts, with low-income and minority groups disproportionately affected. / At this crucial juncture in human history, countries look to the United States to pick up the mantle of leadership: to take steps to strengthen, not weaken, this nation's efforts to tackle this crisis. With the eyes of the world upon us, and amidst uncertainty and concern about how your administration will address this issue, we ask that you begin by taking the following steps upon taking office..."

Washington Post - Trump's unpredictable style unnerves corporate America

" 'When a chief exec is making individual calls to individual companies, he's in some sense acting like a central planner,' Mankiw said. 'We have a lot of history under communism that suggests it doesn't work well in practice, and that's the direction you're heading in as the president starts to weigh in on individual business decisions.' "

Nature - Trump's pick for environment agency chief sued government over climate rules

"President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Oklahoma attorney-general Scott Pruitt to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). / Pruitt, who must be confirmed by the US Senate, is an ardent opponent of federal regulations to curb climate change and has questioned the science underlying global warming. He is one of dozens of state officials who have mounted a legal challenge to President Barack Obama's limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants -- regulations that Trump has promised to repeal."

Quora - Thomas Friedman - Did [his] opinion of President Elect Trump change after meeting him in person?

"what I learned at the meeting was a lot about the people he's surrounded himself with. Because no one thought he was going to win for fifteen months, he could only attract extremists and goofballs. Now that he's won you realize he's been talking to Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, and the Mike Flynns of the world. It's the Star Wars bar of extremists and nut cases." ... "I'm encouraging everyone to engage him. You cannot underestimate how much he's been living in a bubble talking to the Rudy Giulianis of the world."

Vox - Trump is trying to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip with China. Bad idea.: China's government won't risk looking like it's giving in to a bully.

" 'That's particularly important to Chinese nationalists, who have great sway over the political dynamics of the country. And that means China is unlikely to back down on Taiwan. "China would be willing to suspend all negotiation rather than let him move the status quo on the issue,' she says. / If that's true, Trump's apparent willingness to roll the dice on abandoning decades of tradition out of a belief that his negotiating skills could give the US a leg up over China could in fact leave Washington with a weaker hand that it had before. Trump may not want to admit it, but the US can't just get it wants simply by pretending the rules of the game don't exist."

Vox - The real reason Trump's denial that Russia hacked Democrats' emails is so worrying

"The bigger picture here is that Trump's actions over the past few days have sent an unmistakably clear signal across the government, and among those who will soon staff it. People who agree with the consensus conclusion of those 17 agencies will likely now feel distinctly unwelcome in the new administration, and fear political pressure to deny evidence and realities that are inconvenient to Trump. That helps ensure that people who have no compunctions about lying to advance Trump's agenda, will fill top posts. And intelligence agencies will feel pressure to cook their findings." "But in another sense, it's extremely troubling. Potential Russian interference in US elections is a very serious matter. And again, the consensus conclusion of 17 intelligence agencies is that the Russian government or entities closely tied to it are behind the hackings. Yet Trump's team is making it loud and clear that their conclusions will not be accepted, because they aren't what the president-elect wants to hear."

Vox - Trump's team is asking for the names of Energy Department employees who worked on climate issues

"What's unusual here, though, is the request for a list of any career agency employees or contractors who even worked on the issue. Indeed, it's unclear why this would even be necessary. 'It reads more like a subpoena than a request for information,' says Michael Halpern, deputy director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concern Scientists. 'I've never seen transition teams asking for list of civil service employees.' "

Bad Astronomy - Trump Advisor Turns the Anti-Science Up to 11

"You might want to read that last sentence again. Yes, Scaramucci said the Earth is only 5,500 years old. / I'm not surprised by this, to be honest. A lot of the people Trump has enveloped himself in are creationists as well as climate change deniers; VP Mike Pence is one, Rick Perry appointed creationists to the Texas State School Board over and again, and Ben Carson said evolution is Satanic and the Big Bang is a fairy tale." ... "Instead, Trump nominates a passel of fossil-fuel driven climate change deniers to his cabinet, including ExxonMobile CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and former Texas Governor Rick Perry (who has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry) for the Department of Energy. / Actions speak louder than words here."


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