Making people “Look over there!” is a classic magician’s trick. The magician misdirects the audience’s attention, while palming a coin or putting a dove in a pocket. Misdirection is also used by con men far and wide.
The Trump spectacle
The public is being misdirected by the spectacle thus far of Trump’s presidency. While we recoil from his latest nasty tweet, count how many lies he put into a speech or wonder if the teleprompter will keep him from biting the head off a bat, Trump’s loyalists are busy rushing to roll out his far-right agenda, destroying our government out from under us.
Trump provides the bizarre behavior that will get us to “Look over there!” And while we’re all gazing at the shiny object, the pro-corporate and anti-worker agenda unfolds:
- The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scrapped a crucial greenhouse gas rule requiring oil and gas companies to report methane pollution. The rule was “deemed crucial to cutting planet-warming emissions as part of the Paris climate deal.” And Trump’s budget will dramatically cut the EPA’s “climate-change programs and those designed to prevent air and water pollution like lead contamination.”
- Trump signed an executive order that aims to “eliminate” the “Waters of the United States” clean water rule.
- Filling government commissions that were bipartisan with right-wing corporate-captured Trump loyalists, including at the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Election Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Trump administration has begun pulling pending nominees from various federal commissions in a manner that has left Hill Democrats concerned that the practice of bipartisan inclusion on regulatory panels will be upended.
The administration’s efforts, these sources told The Huffington Post, could result in commissions tasked with overseeing trade enforcement, election law, and financial and energy regulation being stacked with nominees sympathetic to the president.
- Trump’s FCC commissioner plans to undo Net Neutrality, which will consolidate control of the Internet by four giant companies. By undoing the rules that create a level playing field online, Trump’s FCC will empower companies like Comcast to decide who gets Internet access, and what price, as well as what We the People get to see and say on our phones and computers. This could also mean these companies can restrict our ability to organize online.
- Trump signed off on blocking our government’s ability to keep mentally disabled people from buying guns.
- Trump is preparing to block the “fiduciary rule” that compels financial planners and brokers to act in their clients’ interests and not defraud them, when giving advice on retirement investments.
- Trump rolled back protections that gave transgender students the right to use public school restrooms matching their gender identity.
- Republicans have introduced the National Right-to-Work Act in Congress. This would defund labor unions by removing requirements that workers benefitting from union contracts pay dues to cover the union’s costs of negotiating, administering and meeting the union’s obligations under the contract. their
- The administration appears to be preparing to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the regulations implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which requires federal contractors to report when they are found in violation of labor and civil rights rules, including for wage theft.
These are just a few of the things Trump and the Republicans in Congress are doing to destroy our government. All this, and he’s only been office a little over a month.
Oh, and by the way, building aircraft carriers is not a jobs program. It’s a war plan.