Posts Tagged ‘travel ban’

In the executive and judicial branches, Trump appointees will advance ever more severe conservative principles

July 20, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 20, 2018

When the history of Donald Trump’s presidential administration is written, a chapter will likely be devoted to Scott Pruitt’s feckless reign over the Environmental Protection Agency.

The former Oklahoma attorney general’s 17-month tenure at EPA was a microcosm of Trump’s chaotic rule. Disdain for science, contempt for the rule of law, indifference to sound policy-making, eagerness to appease business interests, hunger for personal gain — the Pruitt era featured all the hallmarks that have come to represent Trumpist governance.

Pruitt’s replacement will be Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who once served as an aide to Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who is the Senate’s most ardent climate skeptic. Wheeler will be hard-pressed to match Pruitt’s record of corruption and incompetence, which led to his resignation and distracted from his attempts to dismantle environmental regulations. It’s yet to be seen if Wheeler will be more effective at unraveling anti-pollution measures, although some pundits fear that he will surpass his former boss in this regard.

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The news cycle gazes fondly upon Trump, but only for a brief moment in time

March 3, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 3, 2017

President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday was, by his low standards, not a bad speech. Trump largely stuck to his script, offering little in the way of needless provocation. While the address contained plenty of misleading information, it featured a notable dearth of novel or headline-making lies. This is, shall we say, a slender basis for praising the leader of the free world. Then again, that’s where we are in 2017.

Unfortunately, much of what the president said was undercut either by the facts or by his earlier statements — in some cases, ones that Trump had made that very morning.

Trump took a few seconds at the beginning of his remarks to condemn the wave of anti-semitic bomb threats and cemetery vandalism as well as “last week’s shooting in Kansas City,” an apparent reference to what appears to have been a racially motivated murder in Olathe, Kansas. Some commentators called this a grace note, but this was literally the least that the president could have done — Trump, who is quick to snipe at people who disagree with him on Twitter, had been silent on the subject for days. Moreover, that morning, he’d suggested to Fox News interviewers that the wave of anti-semitic incidents might be a false-flag operation designed to make him and his deplorable followers look bad.

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Divert, distort, distract: An early controversy sets the tone for Trump’s reign

February 1, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 1, 2017

As the ghastly mess that was the drafting and rollout of the new executive order limiting the entry of refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations became fully apparent over the weekend, I wondered about this episode’s implications for the remaining 207 weeks of President Trump’s administration.

As noted Monday afternoon, the incompetence displayed by the newly installed executive and his crew was deeply troubling. But that wasn’t the only striking thing about the incident; indeed, I think many of the patterns that we saw over the past few days will recur time and again over the coming three years, 11 months and change.

Consider the following:

The administration bypassed normal government operating procedures. As discussed yesterday, a number of lawyers and agencies weren’t consulted about the travel ban. Trump, a business executive unused to working within governmental constraints, loves to make his own rules, even when he’s been warned that there are very good reasons for following established procedure.

The administration got help from congressional employees while keeping Republican lawmakers in the dark. On Monday evening, Politico reported that top Trump aides had recruited senior congressional staffers to help draft the order without informing any actual members of Congress; indeed, the staffers were required to sign nondisclosure agreements. Competent, transparent administrations don’t work that way; but of course, Trump’s crew has not yet developed a feel nor show an inclination for working conventionally and has never displayed any desire to be transparent.

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