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Friday Trump Roundup - 4

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 read previous entries in this series and other Trump related posts, check out my Trump archives.

This is a rather short entry given that I wasn't reading and collecting too much about Trump over the holidays, but I figured it was about time for another post. Here are this week's links:

Bad Astronomy - Another Day, Another Anti-Science Trump Pick For Federal Office

"In case you were still wondering about the incoming Trump administration's attitude toward science --and at this point you'd have to live on Mars to not see what's going on-- take a look at the person Trump has picked to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB): Congressperson Mick Mulvaney (R-South Carolina). / As we've seen, Trump's choices for government positions have been anything from grossly unqualified to vocally antagonistic toward the agency they'll be in charge of; for his part Mulvaney says Trump will 'restore fiscal sanity back in Washington,' which is at best a bizarre proclamation. And of course he's a climate change denier; that's de rigeur for nearly every Trump pick. / But he's more worrisome even than that. As Pema Levy at Mother Jones has written, Mulvaney questions whether government should be funding scientific research." ... "I keep looking for some ray of hope, some move by the incoming administration that's even just a nod toward reality. When it comes to science, it's become crystal clear the opposite is true: Trump and his cohorts will do what they can to reverse many of the advances we've made, and they'll use their gross (and/or willfull) misunderstanding of the foundational principles of science to do so."

Time - Donald Trump Wants President Obama's Ambassadors Out by Inauguration Day

"In a break from tradition, President-elect Donald Trump has asked that all of President Obama's foreign ambassadors leave their posts by Inauguration Day, according to new reports. / Citing unnamed sources, the New York Times and Politico report that Trump's transition team sent an order saying all ambassadors had to be out of their posts by Jan. 20 "without exceptions." The order was delivered by a State Department cable sent just before Christmas. This could leave the United States without Senate-confirmed ambassadors around the world for weeks or months after Trump takes office."

NPR - On Intelligence And Russian Hacking, Are Trump And His Team Missing The Point?

"But what Trump, as the future president, seems to have trouble accepting is that this is a national security issue, not a political one. Instead, the Trump team continues to focus, be driven by and be defensive about the politics." ... "Let's see how Trump responds after his intelligence briefing Friday, because right now, he and the country are in the very strange position of having an incoming American president who, it seems, would rather believe adversaries than American intelligence when it contradicts his predisposed view."

News Week OpEd - Robert Reich: Rallies and Lies. This Is How Tyranny Begins

"In short, the rallies and tweets give Trump an unprecedented platform for telling Big Lies without fear of contradiction--and therefore for advancing whatever agenda he wishes. / It's no coincidence that Trump continues to denigrate the media, and hasn't held a news conference since July. / A president intent on developing a base of enthusiastic supporters who believe boldface lies poses a clear threat to American democracy. This is how tyranny begins."

Related: Fifteen Ways to Spot a Tyrant

NY Times OpEd - How Republics End (Paul Krugman)

"Many people are reacting to the rise of Trumpism and nativist movements in Europe by reading history -- specifically, the history of the 1930s. And they are right to do so. It takes willful blindness not to see the parallels between the rise of fascism and our current political nightmare." ... "[Referring to ancient Rome] Here's what I learned: Republican institutions don't protect against tyranny when powerful people start defying political norms. And tyranny, when it comes, can flourish even while maintaining a republican facade."


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