Birds Of A Feather

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Personnel is policy. And here are some of the personnel that America’s president-elect has selected so far:

  • Mike Pence describes himself as “a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in that order”.  He is the Vice-President-elect. He wants to make “the Patriot Act permanent and wants to ban the burning of the U.S. flag. Pence does not believe federal law enforcement agencies should have to get a FISA warrant to conduct domestic surveillance and voted against requiring any warrant for domestic wiretapping. … He does not want congressional oversight of CIA interrogations — which Trump believes should include waterboarding and other torture ‘a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.'” Pence “signed a law requiring fetal tissue from abortions to be buried or cremated” and he said “We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs“. He “opposed efforts to widen hate crimes laws to include attacks on LGBT people“. As recently as last year, Pence signed a license-to-discriminate bill that allowed business to refuse service to LGBT people.”  He is “a strong supporter of stop-and-frisk programs” and “advocated for greater militarization of the so-called war on drugs“.
  • Jeff Sessions has been picked for Attorney General. He voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and opposed extending the definition of hate crimes to include crimes against LGBT people. The Alabama Senator has a “lengthy history of bigoted rhetoric and policies.” During confirmation hearings for a federal judgeship (he was rejected) “former colleagues testified that he used the N-word, called a black assistant US attorney “boy” and joked that the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot”. He was also alleged to have called the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “un-American, Communist-inspired organisations”.His positions on LGBT rights, capital punishment, abortion rights and presidential authority in times of war have been contested by the ACLU and other civil rights organisations.
  • Mike Flynn has been picked for National Security Advisor. He “has far-right, anti-Islamic, and anti-Semitic leanings” and “has shown a stunning contempt for the Geneva Conventions and other laws prohibiting torture.
  • Mike Pompeo has been picked for CIA Director. He “called those at the CIA who participated in torture “heroes, not pawns in some liberal game being played by the ACLU and Senator Feinstein“. He “has advocated a return to the bulk collection of Americans’ domestic calling records.
  • Nikki Haley has been picked for UN Ambassador. “She signed state legislation to thwart a pro-Palestinian disinvestment campaign against Israel, known as Boycott, Divest and Sanction, or BDS.  She describes herself as “pro-life” and has supported legislation in her state to restrict abortion rights. That position raises questions about whether the United States would reimpose a funding ban on groups that promote family planning overseas, and to what extent the United States would undermine a key U.N. goal to advance sexual and reproductive rights.” “Despite her total inexperience, she seems sane by comparison to his other picks.
  • Betsy DeVos has been picked for Education Secretary.  “In nominating DeVos, Trump makes it loud and clear that his education policy will focus on privatizing, defunding and destroying public education in America,” American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said. “She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense,” the National Education Association said. The Acton Institute, a conservative nonprofit that is said to have received thousands of dollars in donations from Betsy DeVos and her family, posted an essay to its blog this month that called child labor “a gift our kids can handle.”  Betsy is the sister of Eric Prince of Blackwater infamy.  The Prince family “consistently poured money into criminalizing abortion, privatizing education, blocking gay rights, and other right-wing causes centered around their interpretation of Christianity.”
  • Tom Price has been picked for Health & Human Services Secretary.  He’s an opponent of abortion and the mandate in the Affordable Care Act’s birth which requires birth control without copay. When asked about his opposition and what would happen to women who can’t afford birth conrol, he said “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”  “He has advocated that Medicare become a ‘defined contribution’ instead of a ‘defined benefit’ — meaning the government can replace the program with a mix of private insurance and vouchers.”
  • Stephen Bannon is the president-elect’s chief strategist. He says “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they (liberals) get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing“.  Insiders and outsiders oppose his selection, saying it “sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House“. “Jewish leaders and supporters of Israel expressed alarm at Mr. Bannon’s appointment, pointing to anti-Semitic writings on the Breitbart website.” “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant, America.

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Some folks say give him a chance to rule. Work with him.

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I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance,Obama said. (I personally think that putting forward a platform & arguments is what the debates were for.) “It’s important for us to let him make his decisions,” Mr. Obama said.The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.

 

 

Work with him? I say obstruct at every possible opportunity. Get creative and come up with ideas on how not to work with him. Get collaborative with others who oppose the policies that will begin manifesting on January 21, 2017. After all, the energy of this man has already begun manifesting.

For full context for the above quotes, see here… [Fortune] and here [New York Times] and here [Huffington Post] and here [Salon] and here [The Guardian] and here [The Atlantic] and here [Huffington Post] and here [The Intercept] and here [Seattle Times] and here [New York Times] and here [The Guardian] and here [The Intercept]

 

 

12 thoughts on “Birds Of A Feather

    1. Thank you David. We mustn’t flag and our spirits ease when we encourage one another.
      I have been at a loss for how to refer to “him”. You’ve supplied me with an appropriate name — predator-elect.
      And thanks for that article. It’s a good one, as are the links within it.

      Like

  1. Yes, I’m tired of being told to try to “understand” those who voted for him. I will never understand ignorance, racism, sexism, homophobia and just plain nastiness. You can sugar coat it any way you want, but that’s what you voted for folks. You own it now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I don’t think they’ve noticed what they’re really getting for their effort–yet. But they may awaken when their “entitlements” (i.e. medicare, social security, health care) get knocked out from under them or from under their parents.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m actually worried about those “entitlements” since I’m just starting Medicare (after gratefully having Obamacare). And Social Security is my pension. But I agree, I don’t think they realized what they signed up for.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Re-framing conversations by selecting a new word is a common strategy. Characterizing social security & medicare as “entitlements” moves them into the category of discretionary spending. For people receiving these benefits, they’re necessities. People set on de-funding these social and legal contracts (medicare and social security) call them “entitlements”. And that very word conjures up resentment. The strategy is extremely effective.

          No one in Congress ever characterizes massive military spending as an entitlement. Although the people and entities which benefit from this greatest piece of the federal tax pie do think of that money as an entitlement. In my opinion.

          Liked by 1 person

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