Time to Fight Back With Everything We Have…

Much of the damage being done by the Trump Administration can be contained (thanks to the Administration’s rather awe-inspiring incompetence), or eventually repaired (when the GOP’s radical fever breaks). People will have been unnecessarily hurt in the meantime, true, but most of the harms can (and probably will) be addressed when (we can hope) cooler heads prevail.

There are only two exceptions to that comforting thought: war and environmental degradation.

If Trump becomes desperate to divert attention from his governing failures and falling poll numbers, the chances of his starting a war are not negligible. And his assault on the already inadequate measures meant to protect the planet from further environmental degradation–if at all effective–will delay efforts to mitigate climate change and result in a loss of time that we don’t have.

We have to hope that the Generals Trump so disdains can prevent him from starting a war; but Trump has already begun his environmental assault with a vengeance. As Politico reports,

In just 40 days, Trump has made it easier for coal miners to dump their waste into West Virginia streams, ordered the repeal of Clean Water Act protections for vast stretches of wetlands, proposed massive job cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency and prepared to begin revoking the Obama administration’s most ambitious climate change regulations.

Trump is also expected to overturn Barack Obama’s moratorium on new federal coal leases, and is considering automakers’ pleas for relief from a scheduled tightening of vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. Obama’s pledge to send billions of dollars to United Nations climate programs is also likely on the chopping block. And Trump hasn’t ruled out withdrawing the United States from the 200-nation Paris climate agreement, a step that could undercut the international effort to confront global warming.

The Politico article details a number of other actions Trump plans to take–including actions to roll back regulations that protect the nation’s air and water quality. He has already signed off on congressional repeals of some Obama-era regulations, including  Interior Department regulations that protect rivers and streams from coal mining pollution.

And this week, he ordered EPA to begin rewriting the Obama administration’s sweeping “Waters of the U.S.” rule, a move that green groups say could leave 60 percent of U.S. stream miles and 20 million acres of wetlands unprotected from development or pollution.

What makes this assault so senseless is that even people who stubbornly refuse to believe that climate change is real should want clean water and breathable air.

The only saving grace of this wholesale assault on science and common sense is that most of these orders won’t take instant effect. As the Politico article notes, it could take years for the EPA to undo the regulations, and the administration will face fierce legal challenges from environmental groups.

In the meantime…

It’s time for every lawyer who can spell “environment” to challenge the Administration’s actions. Executive Orders cannot unilaterally overrule laws that have been duly enacted. I don’t know enough about the processes of regulatory adoption to know whether such orders can revoke them without invoking substantive procedures, but it seems unlikely that rules adopted after lengthy hearings and expert testimony can be undone with the stroke of a denialist’s pen.

Of course, the President and the head of the EPA can simply decline to enforce existing laws and regulations, but that would seem to put businesses subject to the regulations in a very uncomfortable spot; they have a legal obligation to comply with existing rules, and there are probably non-EPA organizations and individuals who would have standing to sue enterprises that made a calculated decision to violate existing law.

In addition to “lawyering up,” every one of us who cares about the environment–or just wants clean air and water and a government that respects science and the rule of law–should contribute as generously as possible to environmental organizations (preferably those having a legal team).

And last but most certainly not least, every one of us has to begin now to organize for the 2018 elections. Find people to run against Trump-supporting incumbents–either rational Republicans to primary them from the left, Democrats to oppose them in the general election, or both. Register any unregistered person we can find, and make sure that person has identification sufficient to satisfy the relevant Voter ID laws. Get anyone who didn’t vote last November to the polls.

We need to change this feckless Congress as soon as humanly possible, because some kinds of damage can’t be fixed.


  1. I think that for Republicans the Supreme Court seat is the big prize. After they have secured that – and they will, whatever the cost – support for 45 will decrease dramatically.

  2. I just cannot understand why folk don’t wanting to protect the environment? is this GOP ruling this nation just evil? Their actions, on every issue, just leave me gobsmacked and hoarse from calling my Federal representation.

  3. There apparently is nothing on earth as large and important as Trump’s ego, not air, not water. His executive order signings are only another action taken to draw attention to himself – and it doesn’t matter if most of it is negative. This guy is a pitiful metaphor for the politics of the US.

  4. In Texas, if you can find ways to make money (or prevent having to spend it) with a project, that is the best in. I’d need to write a lot to talk about these issues. Don’t try to convince folks about climate change. Just talk about how to make money and jobs. There are still sensible folks. They do have to be made to do it.

  5. To Martha Vaught and readers who might not know:
    2018 is coming soon to oust Trump/Pence, the liars in Washington, and the quislings in Congress and in state government offices who sent delegates to the Electoral College to overturn the otherwise decisive popular vote. Ready for the campaign blitz? Prevent the looming World War before it begins by draining the CURRENT swamp.

    “The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on
    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2018. These midterm elections will take place in the middle of Republican President Donald Trump’s first term. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. 39 state and territorial governorships and numerous other state and local elections will also be contested.”
    “The United States presidential election is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for President and Vice President of the United States.”
    TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2018 is your last chance to make certain that Trump/Pence will not be a two-termers but remain the TWO-TIMERs they already are.

  6. I agree with e everything except the phrase coal miners dumping ash into streams. It is the coal companies. The miners probably live there.

  7. “If Trump becomes desperate to divert attention from his governing failures and falling poll numbers, the chances of his starting a war are not negligible.”

    We Americans have two serious deficiencies, it’s a lack of immunity against, as well as, understanding of fascism, unlike the Europeans. Trump has already started the war…..Like all fascist in the past, his regime will either begin or end with WAR AGAINST THE jEWS.

  8. Consider the damage done in approximately two and one-half months of Trump; urging us to look forward to 2018 is not exactly encouraging for our immediate future. Nine months remain in 2017 plus ten months and one week before the promised miracle date of the the 2018 election of salvation leaves Trump time to complete his destruction of democracy as he further destructs our environment and taxing the majority of Americans into poverty as we are swallowed up by Putin and the Russian stronghold behind Trump.

    Hope; is a four-letter word. Trump has accomplished more in his two and one-half months than it took Hitler 9-10 years to accomplish to begin WWII. What appears to be victories for democracy are only postponements of the inevitable due to the Republican control of the Legislature, the Executive and their soon control of the Judicial branch of government as set by the Constitution. Never doubt that Gorsuch will be seated on SCOTUS; Trump has only been forced into a waiting game.

    “We need to change this feckless Congress as soon as humanly possible, because some kinds of damage can’t be fixed.”

    Sheila’s final comment, copied and pasted above, is our only “hope” but…we have no promises we can make to them and hope to fulfill nor do we have threats we can hold over their heads and carry out. That leaves us with the question of “how”? How do we carry out this change in the Republican controlled Congress which has been in control since 2010? Spearheaded by one ugly little Kentuckian man who brags that he began the movement not to rest till he has stopped any and everything President Obama tried to accomplish.

  9. The regard for the US by other countries in a world of international trade is critical to our economic success. Trump is costing us wholesale chunks of good will with every utterance and the consequences of that will build and will cost us. We have carefully nurtured a strategic position in the world and that rising tide has floated all boats. Now Trump has pulled the drain plug.

    All of his bumbling unleashes slows moving but consequential effects but it’s essential to get him out of office in a little over three years. Remember it took until Chaney’s second term for his fantasy to collapse. Recovery from that took 8 years. Will Bannons unique form of bumbling coupled with Trump’s outsize ego and out of control mouth collapse in time?

    Again the best we can do is very public accountability. Break up the blame game completely, a doable assignment given Republican majorities everywhere.

  10. “We need to change this feckless Congress as soon as possible, because some kinds of damage can’t be fixed.”

    That’s not our only hope. America isn’t the only victim of the Trump regime.

  11. Alphons,

    “I think that for Republicans the Supreme Court seat is the big prize. After they have secured that – and they will, whatever the cost – support for 45 will decrease dramatically.”

    You’re probably right. However, that’s no victory. Our easy target will be gone. It will get only worse.

    Then we will have Mike Pence to contend with.

  12. Why war? Why should the world, Jew or Gentile, die to placate the deep and limitless ego of a terminal narcissist who largely lives and has his being in another world? With the tear this guy is on as he vascillates between his world and ours we may not have time to invoke the 25th Amendment or his impeachment and/or indictment for collusion with the Russians or assorted other such seditious acts or failures to act. As Marv consistently notes, timing is important if not crucial, and the clock is ticking.

    The Republicans filed bills to repeal Obamacare some 60 times, so perhaps some brave soul in the House should file an impeachment petition based on varying premises (and they are legion and continuing) every day the House is open for business to keep Trump’s removal from office front and center in the public’s eye, as Republicans did with Obamacare. An additional bonus of such daily filings is that this guy who loves to sew chaos and confusion in the public sphere (in keeping with his Lenin-loving adviser Bannon’s theory that destruction of society must precede a “New World” for a startover) would himself be faced with daily demands for his sack which may force him to abandon his narcissistic shell and live in our world of reality on more than a part time basis as at present, a world where he is called to account for his destruction of our mores and folkways in addition to our environment, our standing in the world, and most importantly, our democracy. Ridiculous? No more so than what the Republicans pulled off with their constant repealers of Obamacare, and I remain open for whatever else we can do to corral this wildebeest in our China shop. We must use every tool we have to get this beast back in the stockade per Shelia’s advice, and time is not on our side.

  13. Marv,

    “Then we will have Mike Pence to contend with.”

    Yes, you’re right. That’s nothing to look forward to. But what can we do but one step at the time?

  14. Gerald,

    “The Republicans filed bills to repeal Obamacare some 60 times, so perhaps some brave soul in the House should file an impeachment petition based on varying premises (and they are legion and continuing) every day the House is open for business to keep Trump’s removal from office front and center in the public’s eye, as Republicans did with Obamacare.”

    Why don’t we help out our public servants with some good ideas? I went online with http://www.Impeachment.website back on January 10th, 2017. I’ve been tweeting into Europe and blogging with The Guardian this past month.

    Why don’t we just start tweeting (with focus) on different premises for Trump’s removal and help out, as PATRIOTIC CITIZENS, some “brave soul in the house?”

    My bet is on Congressman John Lewis from Georgia. Coincidentally, Jacksonville is only a few miles from the Georgia border.

  15. John Lewis fits the description of the patriotic citizen who could undertake filing such petitions daily. How about emailing his office TODAY with such a suggestion, or with any other suggestions that may come to mind designed to corral this wildebeest before he destroys all the inventory in our jewelry shop?

  16. Gerald,

    We need to SPARK the momentum first. Congressman have to answer to their political party. I don’t know about you, but I don’t answer to anyone here on Earth (at the present time).

  17. President Donald Trump, who had just proposed slashing the National Institutes of Health’s budget for next year by 20 percent, suggested an immediate $1.2 billion cut to the agency Tuesday. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/trump-proposes-slashing-medical-research-year-too-n739761

    So there you have it trash the EPA and NIH. America which was once a bright beacon of science and technology will now be hollowed out. Imagine the effect this will have on Universities and Colleges. Science and it’s search for truth is a direct threat to the anti-knowledge and premeditated ignorance of the Trump-Pence Regime.

  18. Alphons,

    “Yes, you’re right. That’s nothing to look forward to. But what can we do but one step at the time?”

    We need to take the first step right now. Remember Neal Armstrong from the Apollo 11 moon landing: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind [to include women and Western Civilization].

    We can’t afford to continue on this insane path. My speciality as a trial attorney in Texas was the use of the insanity defense in the prosecution of sociopaths. Most of them have suffered from early onset schizophrenia, which I’m not so sure isn’t applicable to Donald Trump. He displays many of the same symptoms. Instead of killing people, he is becoming more and more an ASCENDING killer of democracy.

    The trademark of a sociopath is that his conduct continues to ascend. He has now gone, in just a few days, from attacking medical care to attacking the environment. Is that ascending? In my book it is. I’m sure Pete would agree.

  19. Let the President, Vice President, and Congress have to take a bath every day for a week with bottled water like the folks in Flint do, and maybe then they’ll understand why pollution should be avoided.

  20. Since my move, I’ve had to step away from the blog and politics that I used to study and read daily and I can tell you right now, I’m much happier for it. But this bs from the GOP really upsets me. I’m so thankful to have healthcare and considering all these regulations they are ignoring, we’ll need all of the healthcare we can get. Think of all of the cancers that will need to be researched and patients treated when they are poisoned by these actions. I just can’t imagine what is coming next? This guy is NOT MY PRESIDENT and I will not respect the office until he and his cronies start showing some respect for us, his bosses. We need to fire this guy. good grief.

  21. It’s so bad for me that every time the pussygrabber appears, I yell profanities at the television, startling my dog. Every time I see Pence’s smug ass standing there, with that “I’m trying to suppress a fart” look on his face, I flip him off and scream uncharacteristically (for me) nasty things. I know racists had their collective shorts in a twist when President Obama took office, but I can’t imagine that their racist feelings against him begin to compare with this. I think yelling and obscene gestures serve as a catharsis for me, but as you’ve indicated, we need to get to work and stop complaining.

    Honestly, is nothing, other than money and Trump’s precious ego, sacred to these people? They have to breathe air and drink water, too. Aren’t there any women in their lives that they care about who need preventative health care? Daughters? Wives? How about children who need Sesame Street, school lunches, after school programs and quality public schools with experienced teachers? Don’t they know that the way profiteers make money on charter schools is by diverting money that would have gone to fringe benefits and pension funds into profits? Therefore, only young, relatively inexperienced teachers will be available to teach, and they’ll leave eventually since pay and benefits are poor, to be replaced by a new round of inexperienced teachers. There is no substitute for the skills and ability to reach kids conferred by 20 or 30 years of teaching experience, but money diverted from public schools guarantees that such people eventually won’t be around. Also, these schools aren’t accountable for their outcomes, which at best are equal to, or in many cases, are inferior to public schools. Oh, I know–it’s not about profit, it’s all about parental choice–right? Also, let’s not forget that this is all to “Make America Great Again”–right?

    Sheila, you are right–it’s time to fight for what we believe in.

  22. I agree that climate initiatives are the most important issue of our time. But let’s look at the specter of war. Our sec state Rex tillerson has threatened North Korea with boots on the ground invasion. When in Vietnam a TET offensive crossed the 54th parallel china threw its forces into the fight against the US. The US has the armed forces most likely to prevail against China and Russia has the most to gain in a number of ways should China and The US fight. This should be terrifying everyone but has passed without press attention or public outcry. North Korea is at best the mouse who roared in this situation and should probably be considered a Chinese satellite state with nuclear capabilities in addition Trump has committed additional troops to Syria a Russian satellite state. I call bullshit. We’re sending troops to fight with al qaeda against ISIL with the goal of shoring up Bashir Assad’s dictatorship

  23. Thanks for the belly laugh Natacha. I’ve avoided the news because their mug faces are on every day! ugh.

  24. All for Fake President Donald Trump, stand up and holler. In today’s comments, I don’t see anybody standing up and hollering. Forget the standing up. Hollering would be nice.

    Yesterday’s television coverage showed Trump signing something or the other that will make it possible for all coal miners to get their jobs back. The Republicans know thats a lie. The Democrats know that’s a lie. Even I know that’s a lie. The coal miners are not going to get their jobs back.

    Trump has talked about a nationwide repair of bridges, highways, streets, sidewalks and roller rinks. The sidewalks and roller rinks might be a stretch, but no more so than the bridges, highways and streets. It’s another lie. Trump won’t offer it because Republican U.S. Senators … Representatives .. Governors … and Mayors won’t spend that kind of public money.

    To defeat Trump’s anti-Obamacare bill, citizens forced representatives to attend meetings during which the reps were scolded and threatened. In this old man’s opinion, that’s what’s going to have to happen to win every battle mentioned in today’s comments.

  25. Barack Obama remains Trump’s Nemesis – in the Greek Lit. sense. Ever since Obama trashed him at that correspondent’s dinner, Trump has been “after” him.

    Next, Donald Trump is a very sick man. His psychological pathology is all over the place. He wants to come across as a tough guy, but it is clear that he is frightened to death of not being accepted by everyone. Why else would he openly brag about things done that he had nothing to do with? All the post election lies, the fabrications about everything else, the perverse “promises made, promises kept” meme that betrays everyone listening as well as any truth.

    The coal thing is the most pathetic, because his “promise” to bring back coal jobs is pure fiction. The “extraction” industry is investing 4:1 in renewable energy. Coal mining will be the first casualty. Even China, the world’s largest coal-burning nation, is cutting their coal imports and use by double-digit percents every year. China makes more solar panels than any other country.

    In short, the entire Trump administration is a hoax. It has only to do with Donald Trump’s incredibly fragile ego and sense of self. This is the dangerous part, though.

    He WILL start a war as soon as his personal little feet start feeling the heat of scandal and treason, for which he most certainly will be brought up to answer for. Once the surrogates start flipping and turning state’s evidence, we will have our war…probably with Iran, but maybe North Korea.

    I hope the 62 million fools who voted for this creature are happy and will gladly send their sons and daughters to Trump’s war with flags waving. They will be so proud to have elected the worst person in the world to create a phony war that kills their children.

    That will be the Trump legacy that soils our history.

  26. I teach medical analytics at the University of Indianapolis. One of my summer research students is planning to use publicly available data to determine whether rates of various types of cancer are higher in coal mining areas and areas downstream. If anyone has any suggestions of analyses of this type that could be helpful for environmental causes, I’d like to hear from you.

  27. Leslie; can’t be of help except to hope you get responses to this very worthwhile research.

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