Thomas L. Friedman likes to stick to issues like trade and human rights, illustrated by anecdotes derived from his world travels and conversations with heads of state. This time, though, the subject is at home and the issue is preserving our democracy from the clutches of Donald Trump. Friedman in effect invites us all to become single-issue voters.
From “Sounding Code Red: Electing the Trump Resistance,” New York Times, 5/29/18:
If I were writing the choice on a ballot, it would read: “Are you in favor of electing a majority of Democrats in the House and/or Senate to put a check on Trump’s power — when his own party demonstrably will not? Or are you in favor of shaking the dice for another two years of unfettered control of the House, the Senate and the White House by a man who wants to ignore Russia’s interference in our election; a man whose first thought every morning is, ‘What’s good for me, and can I get away with it?’; a man who shows no compunction about smearing any person or government institution that stands in his way; and a man who is backed by a party where the only members who’ll call him out are those retiring or dying?”
If your answer is the former, then it can only happen by voting for the Democrat in your local House or Senate race.
Because what we’ve learned since 2016 is that the worst Democrat on the ballot for the House or Senate is preferable to the best Republican, because the best Republicans have consistently refused to take a moral stand against Trump’s undermining of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Civil Service, the basic norms of our public life and the integrity of our elections….
Chart from “Tracking turnover in the Trump administration,” Brookings Institution, 3/16/18
The “A-team” is “the most influential positions within the executive office of the president.” These data count only the first appointee in each position, not subsequent departures.
See the cited source also for Cabinet positions, where with 3 departures in his first year, Trump is already 3 ahead of the 3 prior presidents’ first-year totals combined!
Trump’s budget proposal includes a long list of awful ideas that would leave more families starving and more people in poverty. Here are just a few examples:
Massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid
Elimination of student loan forgiveness programs
End food stamp program and replace with a “box” of canned food
Defund PBS and NPR
Huge cuts to science programs
Billions in cuts to K-12 public schools
Many parts of this country, right now, already suffer from high rates of poverty, hunger, lack of health care, and more. Rather than end this inequality and injustice, Trump wants to make that the norm for everyone in this country who isn’t rich.
As long as Republicans control Congress, there’s a good chance some or all of these things will become law — and millions of Americans will be hurt as a result.
He wants big increases in spending on the military, particularly to build a lot of new nuclear weapons that he can use to threaten World War III.
He wants massive increases for ICE, which is already breaking up families and ripping people from their homes and communities in service of Trump’s white nationalist agenda.
And yes, Trump also wants billions for a border wall.
Already Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are using deficits to justify these cuts. We need to make sure that in 2018 we send progressive Democrats to Congress who will not let deficits be used as an excuse to slash Medicare and schools — or as a reason we can’t provide Medicare for All.
by Derek Kravitz, Al Shaw and Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, March 7
For the first time, political appointee and federal financial disclosure information is publicly searchable.
When the Trump administration took office early last year, hundreds of staffers from lobbying firms, conservative think tanks and Trump campaign groups began pouring into the very agencies they once lobbied or whose work they once opposed.
Today we’re making available, for the first time, an authoritative searchable database of 2,475 political appointees, including Trump’s Cabinet, staffers in the White House and senior officials within the government, along with their federal lobbying and financial records….
keep reading at ProPublica. Use the searchable database to find individual appointees. Bottom line:
of 2,475 Appointees:
187 Are Former Lobbyists
125 Worked at Conservative Think Tanks
254 Worked for Trump Campaign Groups