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Friday Trump Roundup - 7

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.

I've said that this will only be a semi-regular series, and that I wasn't going to post every week, but even though I just posted last Friday, Trump has been busy his first week in office, so there's been a lot to call attention to. I hope this will settle down in a little while (i.e. that Trump quits doing so many bad things), but for now, there's just too much to say. Here are today's links:

Foreign Policy Journal - Trump Promises 'America First' in Defiant and Divisive Inaugural Speech: Anxious allies and a polarized country may find little solace in the new president's isolationist speech.

"Under dark skies and drizzling rain, Donald Trump vowed after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday to make a radical break with decades of U.S. policy, pledging to dump free trade, block immigration, and focus above all on 'America first.' " ... "Trump signaled no retreat from his populist agenda on trade, immigration, and on scaling back commitments overseas. Apart from a passing mention of retaining old alliances, he painted a picture of a hostile world that would no longer be permitted to take advantage of America. Unlike other presidents in the modern era, he offered no pledge to preserve America's global leadership in promoting peace, protecting human rights, or encouraging democracy and open markets." ... "With Trump's antipathy to free trade, his skepticism of traditional alliances, and his affinity for Putin, many around the world began looking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to defend the post-World War II liberal order -- a role typically played by an American president."

NPR - President Trump's Inaugural Address, Annotated

I'm not actually going to include excerpts from this article, because there are just way too many. NPR writers added annotation throughout the transcript fact checking Trump and putting his claims in perspective. Needless to say, he made many, many untrue statements during his inaugurual address.

CBS News - Sources say Trump's CIA visit made relations with intel community worse

"U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump's visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday. An official said the visit 'made relations with the intelligence community worse' and described the visit as 'uncomfortable.' / Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump's campaign. / An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who'd been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams. The Trump team originally expected Rep. Pompeo, R-Kansas, to be sworn in during the event as the next CIA director, but the vote to confirm him was delayed on Friday by Senate Democrats. Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA's senior leadership, which was not cheering the remarks." ... "Intelligence sources say many in the workforce were stunned and at times offended by the president's tone which seemed to evolve into a version of speeches he'd used on the campaign trail."

The Guardian - 'Global gag rule' reinstated by Trump, curbing NGO abortion services abroad

"In one of a number of sharp reversals from the Obama era, Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding. / The rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a critical funding stream. Many international health advocates insist that their efforts are not comprehensive without abortion services. Unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year." ... " 'President Trump's reinstatement of the global gag rule ignores decades of research, instead favoring ideological politics over women and families,' said Shaheen, who serves on the foreign relations committee. / 'We know that when family planning services and contraceptives are easily accessible, there are fewer unplanned pregnancies, maternal deaths and abortions. And when women have control over their reproductive health, it improves the long-term health of mothers and children and creates a lasting economic benefit.' "

The Guardian Op-ed - This photo sums up Trump's assault on women's rights

"The stupidity of the blinkered, religiously motivated agenda on display here is that no matter what legislation these men implement, they will never succeed in banning abortion, per se, only safe, legal abortion. Marie Stopes estimates that, as a result of the reimposition of the global gag order, the loss of their services alone could result in 6.5m unintended pregnancies during Trump's first term, 2.1m unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths. In passing this law, these patriarchs have fathered millions of unwanted children, helping to create lives that could very well turn out to be painful and potentially motherless."

Marie Stopes Int'l - Re-enactment of the Mexico City Policy

"Tragically, the policy will have the exact opposite effect to the one that is intended. By blocking funding to the world's largest NGO providers of modern contraception, it will reduce women's ability to prevent unplanned pregnancy. A 2011 study found that abortion rates in sub-Saharan African countries actually increased while the Mexico City Policy was in force under President Bush. The impact of its re-enactment today will be no less devastating, seriously reducing the impact of US development assistance for family planning in some of the world's poorest countries."

IFL Science - All These Federal Science Programs Will Be Cut Under Trump

"Among the programs being listed for complete elimination, it's perhaps the inclusion of those that aim to prevent violence against women that stands out as being particularly tragic. / However, being a science site, we thought we'd have a look to see if any scientific programs are also being annihilated. Sadly, there are quite a few, especially those relating to - surprise surprise - climate change research. / Two of the top State Department programs focused on climate change mitigation are set to be banished forever more. ... Funding for the Paris agreement, along with donations to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the organization that publishes the most authoritative reports on anthropogenic climate change - are also primed for destruction. At the Energy Department, ... entire research groups are set to be killed off. Particularly noteworthy victims are the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Fossil Energy, both of which are currently developing methods to cut down America's sizable carbon footprint. / Despite being a world leader in nuclear physics research, the Department of Energy will find its funding for this field rolled back to 2008 levels. / Even the Department of Justice is set to be assaulted with anti-intellectual cuts. Its Environmental and Natural Resources divisions - which, for example, work to prosecute those that break civil and criminal anti-pollution laws - are going to suffer some rather severe funding reductions."

Wired - Rogue Scientists Race to Save Climate Data from Trump

"At 10 AM the Saturday before inauguration day, on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 60 hackers, scientists, archivists, and librarians were hunched over laptops, drawing flow charts on whiteboards, and shouting opinions on computer scripts across the room. They had hundreds of government web pages and data sets to get through before the end of the day--all strategically chosen from the pages of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration--any of which, they felt, might be deleted, altered, or removed from the public domain by the incoming Trump administration. / Their undertaking, at the time, was purely speculative..." ... "But three days later, speculation became reality as news broke that the incoming Trump administration's EPA transition team does indeed intend to remove some climate data from the agency's website."

Related: Scientists Scramble to Save Climate Data Before Trump Can Delete It (at the University of Toronoto)
Related: Scientists Race To Preserve Climate Change Data Before Trump Takes Office (Another independent effort)

The Verge - Trump's new FCC chief is Ajit Pai, and he wants to destroy net neutrality

"Donald Trump has elevated Ajit Pai to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, giving control over the agency to a reliable conservative who's been opposed to pretty much every big action the commission has taken in recent years, from establishing net neutrality to protecting consumer privacy to restricting major cable mergers." ... " 'Some of the things we've seen in his record are certainly problematic for consumers and for competition,' Chris Lewis, vice president of the communications advocacy nonprofit Public Knowledge, tells The Verge. 'Whether it's his opposition to open internet rules, or opposition to basic privacy online, or opposition to the effort to extend the Lifeline program subsidies to broadband so that low income Americans have access to basic 21st century communications.' "

Industrial Equipment News - Trump's Trade Plan Put Into Action

"With his rejection of an Asian trade pact, U.S. President Donald Trump has tackled the first in a promised series of far-reaching policy changes that could inadvertently give China room to assert itself as a regional leader and worsen strains over the South China Sea and Taiwan. / The U.S. departure from the Trans-Pacific Partnership could help President Xi Jinping's effort to cast Beijing as a champion of free trade and might increase official interest in a Chinese-led alternative trade deal. The TPP, which excluded China, has been seen as a gambit by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, to counter Beijing's influence."

Politico - How Trump's wall could beckon a global trade war

"President Donald Trump's plans to pay for a Mexican border wall could trigger the global trade war he has long threatened. / A House Republican plan he embraced Thursday as a means of paying for the barrier would slap imported goods with a 20 percent tax -- a levy aimed at boosting consumption of domestic products that could backfire by angering allies and upending the entire global trading system. / Longtime trading partners -- not just Mexico -- could retaliate, making American consumers pay more for everything from food to electronics and putting U.S. companies out of business. The so-called border adjustment tax could trigger cases before the World Trade Organization, spur other countries to slap levies on American products and put some U.S. companies at a disadvantage with international competitors."

NPR - Mexican President Cancels Meeting With Trump As Tensions Rise Between Countries

"Well, it's really hard to overstate this turn of events. This is Mexico the U.S. is feuding with. This is one of its largest trading partners. Five hundred billion dollars of trade a year and millions of jobs in the U.S. depend on that commerce with Mexico. Let alone, it's its neighbor and its partner in security and law enforcement and immigration. I talked to one historian who was comparing this low point in the relationship to back to Calvin Coolidge days, when he was president in the '20s...Or even back to the U.S.-Mexican War of the 1840s."

The Guardian - Even rightwing sites call out Trump administration over 'alternative facts'

"In their false claims about the size of the crowd at the inauguration on Friday, and in the introduction to common parlance of the term "alternative facts", senior aides to Donald Trump managed to achieve the unthinkable: getting rightwing news sites to disagree with the president." ... "Trump used a speech in front of the memorial wall at CIA headquarters in Virginia on Saturday to accuse the media of lying about his crowd numbers. Later, his press secretary, Sean Spicer, repeated the claims at a rancorous press briefing. Senior aide Kellyanne Conway claimed on Sunday that the pair had presented 'alternative facts'." ... "On Thursday, the founder of Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft, reportedly claimed the site had been granted a White House press credential. / Given the site's track record, a White House press credential for Gateway Pundit would set a dangerous precedent. It has published reports speculating that Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and falsely claimed that anti-Trump protests have been funded by George Soros."

Media Matters - New York Times: Trump Ally Roger Stone Under Investigation For Possible Russia Ties
(Using Media Matters because I've already used up my monthly allotment of free New York Times articles. Also note this is only an investigation at this stage, and may not turn up anything. For now, it's a story to keep an eye on. Anyway, quoting their excerpt of the Times article:)

"American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. / The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts." ... "In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort's name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. / The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials."

Business Insider - CBO: The GOP's Obamacare repeal could leave 27 million people without health insurance and cause premiums to skyrocket

[Just to emphasize - this CBO report assumes no replacement for the ACA, only showing the effects if Republicans don't come up with a replacement quickly after repeal.]
"The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan office within the legislature that provides research on the impact of possible policies, said in a report released Tuesday that a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, would have huge effects on the US healthcare system." ... "...congressional Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump have promised to quickly create a replacement for the healthcare law, and these projections do not take into account the possible effects of such a bill." ... " 'The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill,' the report said. 'Later, after the elimination of the ACA's expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.' " ... "In addition to the effects on insurance coverage from a repeal, the CBO report estimates that premiums would be 20-25% more than they would be if the ACA were kept in place over the next year; if the ACA were fully repealed, premiums would increase by 50%."

Related: Reuters - Health insurers quietly shape Obamacare replacement with fewer risks

Reuters - Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website: sources

[Note: for now, at least, this plan has been put on hold, as revealed by E&E News - Staff told to 'stand down' on axing climate page. However, given Trump's views and his cabinet picks, this is something to watch very closely.]
"U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, two agency employees told Reuters, the latest move by the newly minted leadership to erase ex-President Barack Obama's climate change initiatives. / The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA's communications team to remove the website's climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions. The page could go down as early as Wednesday, the sources said."


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