And The Hits Keep Coming…

Every day, it seems, the Trump Administration sheds an advisor who is–whether or not one agrees with that person’s policy preferences–seemingly sane, and announces yet another appointee who is either deeply corrupt or factually-challenged or both.

The war being waged on public schools, the blithe disregard for the consequences of a trade war, the evisceration of HUD’s mission to help the poor, the reinstatement of a failed and flawed drug war–all of this is depressing. But the assault on the environment, the rollback of regulations that protect American air and water, is arguably the most sustained assault on science and sanity.

This morning’s media reported on a speech made by Interior Secretary Zinke, in which he asserted (without evidence) that wind power was largely responsible for global warming.

Last week, we learned that Trump and Pruitt had nominated a Dow Chemical executive to run the Superfund program.

Today’s report of rampant corruption comes, not surprisingly, from the EPA. Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have nominated an attorney from Dow Chemical, one of the nation’s worst polluters, to run the Superfund program that cleans up after that company and many others.
In addition to his blog, Ed Brayton writes for a newspaper in Michigan, and his reaction to that nomination was based upon his reporting.

Dow is based here in Michigan and I’ve been reporting on them for many years. To call them environmental criminals is an insult to criminals. They are responsible for the enormous damage done by dioxins and furans, particularly in the Saginaw Bay area where their plants are located. The Tittabawassee River is massively contaminated, as are the soils around it. They have dragged their feet on cleaning it up for decades. Even the Bush-era EPA got so frustrated with them that they ended negotiations on just studying the problem in 2008. That contamination has spread from the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers into Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, helping spoil one of the world’s most important freshwater reserves.

The Hill reports that the entire administration is being stacked with climate change deniers.

Even as leading scientists, environmentalists and most Democrats accept research that shows climate change accelerating — and as some see it contributing to the two mammoth hurricanes that have threatened the United States this year — some in Trump’s administration have openly raised doubts.

Administrator Scott Pruitt has questioned carbon dioxide’s role as a “primary contributor” to a warming climate, something accepted by most researchers. He’s also called for a public debate over climate change science, a proposal that has caused scientists, environmentalists and former regulators to bristle.

“I think it’s going to have a chilling effect on science overall because it’s going to elevate those scientists who are in the vast minority and give them a stage that, frankly, they don’t deserve,” said Christine Whitman, President George W. Bush’s first EPA administrator, who called the proposal “shameful” in a Friday New York Times op-ed.

“It’s wasting taxpayer money and making it an even more difficult issue for the average person to wade through, which I think is part of the political agenda, to make the case that we don’t need to do anything about this issue.”

The EPA has removed its climate science website. Pruitt has put a political appointee in charge of reviewing grants, and that official is reportedly targeting grants that focus on climate change. The EPA keeps rolling back regulations that protect our air and water. The list goes on.

What is it that Neil DeGrasse Tyson says? Reality doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not.

There’s another saying: Reality bites.  And that doesn’t bode well for our children or grandchildren–or for the planet.


  1. For some reason, Republicans just LOVE Dirty air and water. At least they are consistent in that love affair.

  2. Expect more of the same throughout 2018; the Republicans have their foot on our necks and will continue increasing the pressure unless and until we vote them out via strong Primaries and a major turnout of voters in November. Even then; it will be long after January 1, 2019 before we see the beginning of recovery because we will still have the Trump administration in control with him carrying that VETO stamp with him at all times. Our road ahead is long and rocky; also costly and we will be working through the polluted environment all the way. Any of you out there cheering Trump’s “tax cuts” as compensation for all of this?

  3. Trump & Pence for Guantanimo in 2018! – the ONLY answer (and make sure we throw in the rest of the gang with them. Camp Five needs to fill some vacancies!

  4. This is what happened during the Reagan administration. It will take a long time to ferret out the trolls being implanted in the agencies.

  5. Tax Cuts; They need Treasury blood to suck. Just look at their grim faces when they dare to appear on TV. The only one beaming with self-satisfaction is Saint Pence. It’s a grand conspiracy and they are laughing on their way to their banks. We let it happen. Our own push-back is miserably weakened daily until the Primaries and Election Day.

    GOP despots are clearly no more benevolent than foxes in the henhouse. Does the American electorate deserve this torture?

  6. “GOP despots are clearly no more benevolent than foxes in the henhouse. Does the American electorate deserve this torture?”

    OMG; the current Republican party is using the same Republican General Sherman’s “scorched earth” tactics on their march through the entire country. Their tactics of Sherman’s march from Atlanta to the sea gives “…from sea to shining sea…” new meaning as their rampant destruction intends to leave nothing of democracy standing in their path.

  7. JoAnn,

    “… meaning as their rampant destruction intends to leave nothing of democracy standing in their path.”

    And you’re going to stop all of this with the vote in November? Good luck!!!

  8. Republicanism now equals profits before people and party before nation. They simply do not CARE about the environment and the damage their mad dash for profits creates. Since they are pre-programmed to lie about everything, it seems to me that the flip side of that is they KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING to the people and the environment. Republicans are craven, corrupt, not that smart and committed to themselves. The donor class runs the GOP absolutely.

    Since they know their crimes, they have to lie and obfuscate to cover their asses. Equally stupid and corrupt people vote for today’s Republicans. How does THAT get fixed?

  9. At the beginning of this mess John Cleese observed that is was difficult to tell whether Trump was assembling a Cabinet or the crew of a pirate ship. I think the answer is clear now and never was a more blood-thirsty band of cutthroats and villains gathered than this so-called crew of our ship of state. Captain Hook/Trump is not just some Neverland bad dream from which we’ll awaken scared but not scarred. Every day he’s in office we lose a bit more of who we really are. We can only hope that the damage done is not permanent and that we’ll recover our sanity and senses, as well as our dignity and purpose and not give this nightmare a second term. Hopefully like the clock in the croc, time is running out for this band of pirates.

  10. Careful now, the GOP isn’t the only political party to stack the deck in favor of their donors. Who did Obama appoint to his administration during the Great Recession of 2008?

    You do remember how the banking industry, thanks to Bill Clinton’s administration, melted down the global economy bankrupting millions of pension members.

    That’s right…Obama appointed Banksters. And guess where all of Obama’s appointees landed jobs after the stuck the taxpayers and shareholders with the check for cleaning up their balance sheet.

    In fact, we’ve been cleaning up their balance sheets ever since. I stopped counting at $13 trillion being pumped into the banking industry under “easy money” which has inflated the stock market quite well.

    How many Banksters were jailed for committing fraud?

    Not. A. Single. One.

    Instead of breaking up the banks, Obama created the embarrassing Dodd-Frank which is now being rolled back by both the DNC and GOP. The Kleptocracy reins with the help of both political parties.

    And when they tank the economy again, who will be forced to bail them out?

    We need to construct guillotines for the next collapse created by the Kleptocrats and their puppet politicians.

  11. Well Marv; can’t live with ’em, can’t kill ’em! That November vote is the only ammunition we have at this time.

  12. Irrespective of Todd’s attacks on Democrats, they didn’t come close to hiring such wicked and mindless profit mongers like Scott Pruitt and Zinke.

    I read in this morning’s Denver Post that Zinke is now considering drilling leases near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This park receives upwards of 400,000 visitors each year. It is a unique and spectacular place, yet….

    The first step in our healing is to vote out or drive out all Republicans at every level. Todd may think Democrats aren’t any better, but let’s just give them a try. The results will be starkly different.

  13. Vernon,

    “Since they know their crimes, they have to lie and obfuscate to cover their asses. Equally stupid and corrupt people vote for today’s Republicans. How does THAT get fixed?”

    There’s only one way to fix it…..PROVE to them that they are committing POLITICAL SUICIDE. Let them see that they are taking the U.S. along the same path as Nazi Germany and will UNAVOIDABLY duplicate, FOR ALL OF US, the same NATIONAL TRAGEDY or something even possibly worse.

    This would be best DESCRIBED through an “MRI” of the BODY POLITIC starting from the beginning when the PLATFORM for releasing the NEW STRAIN OF THE HITLER VIRUS was first put into action up until the present.

    An important reference: “They Thought They Were Free” by Milton Mayer.

  14. Let’s have a constitutional convention. Do you think the NRA would survive it? How about the Electoral College? Do you think the People want votes of States and Corporations to “trump” the popular vote, the vote of women and men citizens? Do you think Court Justices should serve for life? Do you think politicians applying for office should publish their resumés, their tax returns? When running for executive office, do you think their mental and physical health should be certified?
    Or are you satisfied with the status quo?

  15. Mitch McConnell has stated his goal of loading the federal courts with true believers. These appointments are for life and will serve as a deterrent to progressive movements into the next generation. He is a real problem Kentucky

  16. Marv,

    I agree totally, but there will be the 30% who will not get it because it means their whole schema of understanding the world blows up. Those are the hardcore Trump voters that he talked about when referring to committing murder on 5th Ave.

    I’ve tried to do that in my books, but no publisher will look at anything from someone without a “platform” where they can guarantee sales. In fact, publishers expect the author to travel the country and the world selling their books for them. Anyway, my next book will be out in a couple months. It addresses exactly what you describe here today.

  17. Vernon,

    “I agree totally, but there will be the 30% who will not get it because it means their whole schema of understanding the world blows up. Those are the hardcore Trump voters that he talked about when referring to committing murder on 5th Ave.”

    I agree about the 30%, but I have Republican friends who can relate to my position much better than many on this blog. They can make a big difference.

    Looking forward to your new book. I’ve learned a lot from your last one.

  18. Environmental issues logically seem to be something everyone should be able to agree on. There’s only one Earth and we all live here and don’t want to suffer or die prematurely from preventable causes. Despite NASA’s ambitions, our progeny will be living here. There was a time when we didn’t understand the impact of our actions on our home planet–for instance, we didn’t understand that DDT never degrades and continues killing living things forever, even after it’s washed into the water. Shell Tox, which is Shell Oil Company’s trade name for DDT, is still sold in Jamaica, I was told. People spray it on screens to keep flies out.

    We didn’t used to understand the effect of belching toxic fumes into the air or discharging waste into rivers and streams. Then, we got acid rain, birth defects, abnormal levels of cancer premature deaths and fish kills and began studying the causes in earnest. Now, we do understand, and, as it turns out, these problems aren’t due to the effects of humankind’s ordinary interactions with the environment, but rather, to big business dumping and spewing waste. Remediating these things cuts into the profits of huge corporations, so instead of it being a public health issue, it’s now a political one. Republicans, always on the side of protecting profits, call those who want to outlaw pollution “job killers”. That’s to appeal to the blue-collar workers. They also attack scientists who report the truth, again to appeal to people who aren’t well-educated or to those who are cynical.

    Makes you wonder how bad things will be 100 years from now. Will all of the progress made in extending life expectancy be wiped out because people will be dying of cancer in their 40’s?

  19. I know a lot of DNR is funded by the Teddy Roosevelt Foundation, which is separate from feds. They’ll do what they can to maintain during this fiasco Administration.

  20. Every day Sheila comes up with a new perspective on the magnitude of incompetence that TrumPence brought to DC. Everyday she presents the evidence for that incompetence. Everyday she details the cost to our once great but gaining speed on a slippery slope towards global trailer trash country.

    Every single day.

    What do all of those charges have in common? The fall of Republicanism from what many of us used to be proud to call our own to the most threatening enemy we have ever faced because if it goes on America won’t.

    While there are more than enough problems so that everyone can select a favorite to help solve, we first have to rectify the big picture by clearing the board of Republicans. Completely and ruthlessly.

    Only after that is accomplished are we in a position to work on unwinding the clock to pre-TrumPence.

  21. Todd great comments. Senator Elizabeth Warren is now feeling the wrath of the Corporate Establishment Wing of the Democratic Party for calling out these Vichy (Dinos) Democrats for voting for “Bank Lobbyist Act”. Democrats Who Don’t Like Being Criticized By Elizabeth Warren, Say Progressives, Could Just Vote Against Big Bank Giveaways.

    The Republicans today are a repulsive bunch. They do have a determination to get to their goals. They look at a political Mount Everest and plan carefully how to get there. The Establishment Corporate Democratic looks at the political Mount Everest takes a couple of tentative steps and stops and calls it being pragmatic.

    A good example is Health Care – Max Baucus a “Democrat” single handily axed any consideration of Single Payer in 2009. The result was we got ACA, which was and is a corporate welfare program for the Insurance Industry.


  22. Marv,

    The working title of the new book is: “The Angels Wept: The Shocking and Unlikely Election of Donald Trump.”

    I hope it will serve you and others well.

  23. I wonder,if all the news media would quit using those cheap sound bites of trumps voice in any
    thing hes doing,and make the story sound cheap,if he would take it as a slant,and feel rejected?
    also, make a lost of advatisers who support right wing media,and such,and boycott them..
    seems my steel needs just took a hit too…
    fact,,,,,,most steel mills in America are,running at capacity,,,so,weres the steel going to come from?,,,

  24. OMG

    A constitutional convention is the last thing we want at this time. Republicans have control in 2/3 of the states. The 2nd Amendment would become Article I. Life would begin at conception. White Fundamentalist Christianity would be the official religion. Corporations would be people and people would be subject to them.

  25. Good article to read with plenty of links: Did You Hear the One About the Party That Self-Destructed?

    A link to a 2017 Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed this: Asked whether people thought the Democratic Party stands for something or just stands against Trump, and people chose the latter by a 52-to-37 margin. So that is a majority of registered voters who think the opposition party isn’t defined by anything except opposition — that the Democratic Party has no real message.

  26. ML. I can’t even imagine a more necessary or energy consuming political position than standing against Trump. Compared to that everything else is a detail.

    The media time thing may or may not be a problem. From my perspective every time TrumPence makes the media it the revelation of a new and worse than any before blunder. The scoreboard counts that as a media time win for Trump but even if it is I personally am pretty glad Democrats avoid it.

    Trump has removed solutions from campaign fodder. He has none, he can’t talk about any progress he’s accomplished so the clown act is is whole CV.

    So, what should Democrats run on? Complex political progress or gutfelt defense against our biggest threat?

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