Trump Archive

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Trump Roundup - 5

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.

Although I usually only post these updates every few weeks, and the last update was just a week ago, a lot happened in the past week worth mentioning. Here are today's links:


NPR - Trump Denies Allegations Of Secret Ties, Collusion Between Campaign And Russia

[Let me stress that the document mentioned is still unverified. If it's true, it's huge news, but it may just as well turn out to be false. For now, this is just a story to keep an eye on.]
"Top U.S. intelligence officials have briefed leaders in Washington about an explosive -- but unverified -- document that alleges collusion between Russia and President-elect Donald Trump, NPR has learned." ... "NPR is not detailing the contents of the brief because it remains unverified, but it describes a concerted effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his camp. The document, which describes information provided by Russian government and other sources, details behavior by Trump that could leave him open to blackmail, as well as alleged secret meetings between Trump aides and Russian officials called to discuss the campaign against Clinton and potential new business relationships."


The Atlantic - Donald Trump's Conflicts of Interest: A Crib Sheet
A semi-comprehensive list of the business concerns that may influence the president-elect as he prepares for the nation's highest office

"Since his election, an ever-increasing level of attention has been paid to the unprecedented conflicts of interest that President-elect Donald J. Trump seems likely to bring with him when he assumes office. His responses to the concerns have been varied and, at times, contradictory." ... "Unless Trump acts to put appropriate distance between himself and his business ventures, these questions are likely to continue throughout his time in the Oval Office. Below is an attempt to catalogue the more clear-cut examples of conflicts of interest that have emerged so far" The article then goes on to detail 20 different cases.


Vox - US spies just briefed Trump on the Russia hack. His response barely mentions Russia.

"It's important to take stock of how astounding this is. A Republican president-elect is signal boosting the ideas of a Russian-linked, anti-American activist who literally published a book titled The World According to US Empire. It's a telling little moment that offers a glimpse of just how strange international and domestic politics are going to be in the Trump era." ... "What this statement reveals, more than anything else, is Trump's priorities. He is not interested in a dispassionate assessment of the Russian hack of the election, or the threat such hacking poses to US democracy. He is interested in minimizing any perceived threat to his own legitimacy from people who decide he owes his election to backing from the Kremlin."

Related: Vox - Trump is siding with Julian Assange against the US intelligence community


CNN OpEd - The folly of Trump's palace guard

"At the end of the day we might conclude that the private security detail isn't that big of a deal -- it satisfies the President-Elect's princely pretensions and gives him an excuse to keep his buddies close by. But make no mistake: There is much at stake when it comes to tolerating such a detail. Acquiescence signals a willingness to credit arguments that an elite federal institution such as the Secret Service is unreliable, that armed contractors acting somewhat under the color of state law are acceptable, and that self-funded bureaucratic fiefdoms insulated from congressional control are anything but constitutionally offensive. "


CNN OpEd - Donald Trump is 'gaslighting' America

"Mental health professionals have made much of the practice [gaslighting], said to be a favorite of narcissists and abusive spouses. But more recently the tactical tampering with the truth has become a preferred method of strongmen around the world. Gaslighting by other means was always a common feature of dictatorships, but it has found new vogue as a more subtle form of domestic political control even in countries with varying degrees of democracy. / Now Trump has brought it to the United States. The techniques include saying and doing things and then denying it, blaming others for misunderstanding, disparaging their concerns as oversensitivity, claiming outrageous statements were jokes or misunderstandings, and other forms of twilighting the truth." ... "In the end, few people can keep up with all the facts all the time. And as he [Trump] tries to undercut the credibility of serious journalists, he makes it even harder for everyone else to find an easy path to the truth." ... "The challenge will be a steep one for journalists and for all Americans, when so much of what comes from the next president has to be checked and double-checked. The first step is to establish when there is a gaslighting operation in progress. / Then comes the battle to hold on to the facts."


Slate - Ethics Office Warns Trump Cabinet Confirmations Are Moving Too Quickly

"The nonpartisan federal agency that is in charge of vetting those who have been selected to take a seat in President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet says confirmation hearings are being scheduled before ethics reviews can be completed. In a letter to Democratic Senate leaders on Saturday, Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub said the schedule for confirmation hearings is 'of great concern' because his office has not had time to review everyone's potential conflicts." / " 'The announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me. This schedule has created undue pressure on OGE's staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews,' wrote Shaub. 'More significantly, it has left some of the nominees with potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues shortly before their scheduled hearings.' " / "Shaub noted this situation appears to be pretty unprecedented. 'I am not aware of any occasion in the four decades since OGE was established when the Senate held a confirmation hearing before the nominee had completed the ethics review process,' he wrote."


Washington Post - Donald Trump's 'first attempt to ignore the law'

[Referring to anti-nepotism laws and Trump appointing his son-in-law as a senior adviser] "Is Trump going to be able to get around this, because I see this as Trump's first attempt to ignore the law, act in violation of the law, and he's going to see if he can get away with it. We have a statute that names the president, that names the son-in-law relationship, that Congress identified a problem and enacted a statute prohibiting a president from hiring a son-in-law. President-elect Trump, in my view, is testing the waters to see if he can get away with violating what I would call this government ethics provision. And whether President-elect Trump gets away with this depends, it seems to me, in part on the public response as well as the congressional response.... / We'll see whether President Trump is required to follow the law or not. And so, I think this is enormously significant, because it's an initial test of whether -- we've seen as a candidate, Donald Trump has violated norms, and now we're going to see whether he also plans to violate the law."


Politico - Why Trump's Meeting With RFK Jr. Has Scientists Worried

"Of all Donald Trump's conspiratorial obsessions, perhaps one of the most dangerous has been his long promotion of the much-debunked theory that vaccines cause autism." ... "Now, Trump is going to be the president of the United States, and doctors and scientists are raising the alarm about the potential consequences of having a man in charge of the country's public health system who dabbles in discredited scientific theories. / Those concerns only grew on Tuesday, when Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer who has long been immersed in those discredited theories." ... "Which is why the news of the meeting--and Kennedy's subsequent confirmation on Thursday that he will leave his environmental group to chair a vaccine safety commission for the president--has sparked immediate condemnation from experts in the medical and scientific communities, who worry about what Trump's choice of advisers says about his public health agenda."


---

The remainder of the linked articles deal with some of Trump's cabinet picks, demonstrating his poor judgment in picking such people.


L.A. Times - Rocky confirmation hearing expected for Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick for America's top diplomat

"As chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp., Tillerson championed energy development projects in Russia and developed such close personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he is one of the few Americans ever awarded Russia's 'Order of Friendship.' / Their relationship has raised questions about whether Tillerson would take a forceful position against an adversary that, U.S. intelligence agencies say, used hacked emails, propaganda and fake news to try to help Trump win in November and to "harm" Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's chances."


Wired - Tillerson's Hearing Seals It: the US Won't Lead on Climate Change

"At Exxon, Tillerson was charged with maximizing profits even at the expense of a warming planet. As secretary of state, he'll play a key role in negotiating a global strategy to combat climate change. The question is whether he'll be able to set aside his allegiance to the fossil fuel industry in favor of true progress on the climate. His noncommittal answers at today's hearing --including his refusal to admit that the scientific evidence for human-caused climate change is conclusive--didn't inspire confidence."


Politico - Flynn under fire for fake news

"As Donald Trump's national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will have to advise the president of the veracity of foreign and domestic threats, separating those that require immediate policy action from propaganda or misinformation. / But Flynn himself has used social media to promote a series of outrageous conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and their inner circles in recent months -- pushing dubious factoids at least 16 times since Aug. 9, according to a POLITICO review of his Twitter posts. Flynn, who has 106,000 Twitter followers, has used the platform to retweet accusations that Clinton is involved with child sex trafficking and has 'secretly waged war' on the Catholic Church, as well as charges that Obama is a 'jihadi' who 'laundered' money for Muslim terrorists. / Now some say Flynn's fondness for spreading fake news casts doubt on his fitness to serve as the White House's national security adviser, suggesting that he either can't spot a blatant falsehood or is just ideologically bent to believe the worst of his perceived enemies."


Chicago Tribune - More than 1,100 law school professors oppose Jeff Sessions's nomination as attorney general

"A group of more than 1,100 law school professors from across the country is sending a letter to Congress Tuesday urging the Senate to reject the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for attorney general." ... " 'We are convinced that Jeff Sessions will not fairly enforce our nation's laws and promote justice and equality in the United States,' says the letter..." ... "The law professors wrote that some of them have concerns about Sessions's prosecution of three civil rights activists for voter fraud in Alabama in 1985, his support for building a wall along the nation's southern border and his 'repeated opposition to legislative efforts to promote the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community.' "


Huffington Post - An Open Letter From Urban Affairs And Housing Scholars To The Senate: Reject Ben Carson As HUD Secretary

"Some of the nation's leading scholars on housing and urban affairs have signed an open letter opposing president-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The letter, addressed to Republican Senator Michael Crapo, chair of the Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democratic on the committee, notes that Carson not only remains dismissive of government responses to poverty in general, he has publicly expressed disdain for HUD's particular mission to ensure a safe home for every American."

Full Letter


NBC News - Trump Picks Energy Department Opponent Rick Perry for Energy Secretary

"President-elect Donald Trump has selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- who famously once forgot that he wanted to abolish the Energy Department -- to be secretary of energy, two sources familiar with the transition process told NBC News on Monday night." ... "As governor, Perry championed the oil industry, questioning science that shows that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change and deriding what he called 'the secular carbon cult.' / At a presidential town hall in 2011, he said, 'I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.' "


CBS News - Trump official Monica Crowley accused of numerous instances of plagiarism

"Monica Crowley, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run communications for the National Security Council, is being accused of numerous instances of plagiarism that took place throughout her career. / CNN reports that HarperCollins will no longer sell new copies of Crowley's 2012 book after a number of instances of plagiarism were found. And according to a Monday report by Politico Magazine, Crowley plagiarized a number of passages in her 2000 Columbia University PhD dissertation." ... "In a statement to CNN, the Trump transition team initially defended Crowley ... 'Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country.' "

Friday, January 6, 2017

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."


Friday, December 16, 2016

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."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Petition President Elect Trump to Act on Climate Change

Climate Change Map

Scientific American has just published An Open Letter from Scientists to President-Elect Trump on Climate Change. So far, it's been signed by more than 800 earth scientists and energy experts, all of whom either have or are pursuing PhDs, and all of whom are American or work in the U.S. Along with the letter, there's a public petition that you can go sign:

change.org - Tell Trump To #ActOnClimate

For reference, here's the opening of the letter.

To President-elect Trump

We, the undersigned, urge you to take immediate and sustained action against human-caused climate change. We write as concerned individuals, united in recognizing that the science is unequivocal and America must respond.

Climate change threatens America's economy, national security, and public health and safety1-4. 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...

It goes on to list six concrete steps with further explanation than what I'm quoting here:

  1. Make America a clean energy leader.
  2. Reduce carbon pollution and America's dependence on fossil fuels.
  3. Enhance America's climate preparedness and resilience.
  4. Publicly acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat.
  5. Protect scientific integrity in policymaking.
  6. Uphold America's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

If you care about the planet's future and the future for our children, go sign the petition.

Image Source: Scientific American

Friday, December 2, 2016

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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