January 20 to February 7: the all important first 19 days.

Trump, Donald J. Trump is President.  There are many ways to evaluate and see his administration so far which is astonishing almost considering how briefly he has been in office. I remember before the election how many people in how many media outlets claimed this simple fact could never occur. Many believed he could never be the Republican nominee. I was not one of those people and this was not one of those outlets. Posts about Trump before his inauguration can be found here and here among other places. Since his presidency began here and here among other places.  I am not inclined to trust Donald Trump to always do what is right and necessary to make America great again. I am not inclined to believe that there are no real risks in his proposal. But I am inclined to agree with him that this is a dread and dark time that must be faced boldly. Such a position is inherently risky. My own political proposals are vastly more radical than anything trump is doing however, I am careful to show my work in advance, to include the adherence to American checks and balances and to be very transparent. I may do these things more definitely than the President of the United States. Here I will try to take a quick and dirty look at what conflicts really amount to in the country today.

I will be posting a sort of personal bullet pointed article which is a long litany of complaints about the administration that appeared in the first few days that he was in office in several places around Facebook. The mechanism of transmission is described by the purported author in the last line of the message — which I reproduce here in advance of the main text instead. If you plan to share, please copy and paste rather than share. You’ll reach more people. Thanks. This is just one of the  many Facebook campaigns that has been out there over recent months.  The whole question of what is and what is not Fake News is of course relevant to all of these campaigns. You can see some of the engines of truth here and here and see if you trust them to evaluate these allegations.

The mosaic of American life and information is a very complex one currently. it is not so easy to take in what people are feeling and why they address things as they do. Breitbart News Network associated with Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon has expressed legitimate concerns about a climate of violence directed against President Trump by the left. this is doubtless driven home for them by the violent demonstrations staged against the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos at U.C. Berkeley. America has been dealing with those events and so has Breitbart. This event strikes a special chord in American political consciousness because of UC Berkeley having once been designated as the home of free speech, based on other demonstrations and protests that took place before most of the current demonstrators were born. There certainly are people and institutions in the American left who greatly dislike this British homosexual journalist of Greek descent and believe he and his association with Breitbart News are threatening to American Democracy and society — articles substantiate this animosity. Steve Bannon the Irish lapsed Catholic of several divorces (like his boss) really is linked to the controversial Yiannopoulos. So they should all have a feel for the hate and rage out there.    But really where do we stand with the Trump phenomena so far?

 

Yiannaopoulos has been a strident critic of the establishment left and of positions taken by mainstream feminists and representatives of the LGBTQ community. In addition, there is a sort of cultural critique of where we as a public culture have been headed. Trump according to the Left and some others has been active in restricting the promulgation of a Leftist agenda which has the cultural trappings of that largely feminist and LGBTQ defined established intellectual space.  The Facebook campaign I site begins with Trump’s alleged action on January 19, 2017. of course anyone who actually pays the slightest attention to politics in the United States of America is aware that the Republicans and others right of center have a strong desire to reduce many government programs considerably – but here is what Trump has allegedly done.

To recap:* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

 

Of course there are many who have felt threatened and oppressed and put upon by the institutions that Trump has tried to bring to heel. There is also little chance that we can fully detect the direction that these agencies will take in moving into the future. the whole point of many of the media, education and art programs is that they do go very much and very directly to the inner values and the social and communal core of the society in which we all must live. A brief and limited example of this point of view from the right  which is excerpted below is linked here.

It’s amazing how quickly artists’ fear of government censorship evaporates when a candidate they support takes office. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the arts community vigorously protested when conservatives questioned whether the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) should fund art works that many considered acts of blasphemy, obscenity and pornography.

That was during the days when Andres Serrano dunked a crucifix into a jar of urine and photographed it. The public was outraged to learn that the NEA provided a portion of the funding for a North Carolina arts group that celebrated Serrano’s work and awarded him $15,000. The arts community responded by screaming “censorship” over efforts to cut funding for these displays. It was equally outraged at the suggestion that government policymakers should have a say in the content of their art work. Left-leaning arts groups said bureaucrats and congressmen should play no role in artistic decisions made with taxpayer money.

The recent administration also was eager to allow for a public insistence that conservative artists must support celebrations and  rituals which offended their conscience. Photographers and cake decorators many Obamaniacs should be legally prohibited from the activity which feeds their family if they would not support a gay wedding. The position is extreme on many levels. The Facebook cut and paste campaign piece goes on:

* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

Statistics and studies here are all but useless. But the underlying connection of groups like the Black Lives Matter movement and even the Clinton campaign with a variety f realities ranging from mild violence at Trump rallies to well organized slaughter of police is a murky world in which just and fair analysis is difficult.  There was bound to be a reaction and now it is starting.

there has been an untrammeled extremism of the acceptable Left in recent years which reminds me a lot of the Weimar Republic that gave birth to the Third Reich. Whether the forces of that period are matched by a really Fascist element near to the heart of the Truimp regime remains to be seen. But there are no easy promises that all will be more or less as it has been.  As President trump meets more and more ineffectual but uncompromising opposition what real choices will he have? The Facebook campaign goes on to assert problems around us due to Trump :

 

* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.
And today: the wall and a Muslim ban.

At the time I am posting this the travel ban from several predominantly Muslim countries is being contested in court. There will be a lot more of this. Vice President Pence will be casting a tie breaking vote to confirm De Vos as Secretary of Education. The President of the Senate is deep in conflict. So where are we headed. I only have time to raise the questions now. I have little else I can do just yet.

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