Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Cabinet From Hell Is Going To Ruin Your Life And The Lives Of Your Children And Their Children


Pruitt and McMorris Rodgers, tasked with destroying America's environment

Of Washington's 10 congressional district, there really are only 2 that are safely red-- WA-04 and WA-05. Both go from the Canadian border to the Oregon border and both are large and largely rural. The 4th, represented by Republican sophomore Dan Newhouse, is the center of the state and includes Grand Coulee, Yakima and the Richland/Kennewick metro. The 5th district, basically the eastern third of the state includes Walla Walla, some suburbs of Lewiston, Idaho, Pullman and, primarily, Spokane. Local far right politicians are always agitating for statehood for the two districts and they call it Eastern Washington (land-wise, 60% of the state). Looks like there may be a special election coming up soon for WA-05 since Trump has decided to add Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the local Congresswoman and the only Republican woman in House leadership, to his Cabinet from Hell. An advocate for all the wrong policies, McMorris Rodgers would be Interior Secretary; better than Sarah Palin, I guess.

Bill Clinton won WA-05 both times he ran, although in the middle of his first term, the local Democratic congressman, House Speaker Tom Foley, was defeated. The district has been red ever since. Obama only got 46% against McCain and 44% against Romney. Trump won both the 4th and the 5th districts and McMorris Rodgers was reelected 59.6-40.4%, with an over 60,000 vote margin against Democrat Joe Pakootas, who managed to spend just $348,873 to her $3,221,433. The DCCC took no notice of the race. We'll see if they recruit a candidate and put up a battle for the open seat next year. (It's worth keeping in mind that Spokane County, from which most of the votes come, was pretty evenly split between Democratic Senator Patty Murray and GOP challenger Chris Vance (who refused to back Trump):
Vance- 106,555 (50.5%)
Murray- 104,578 (49.5%)
The margin was identical in Walla Walla, the only other county in the district with any kind of population base. If it starts becoming apparent that Trump is going to be the worst president in history and that the Republican Congress is going to overreach and do things like destroy Social Security and the health care system, it will be a district worth fighting for.

McMorris Rodgers is a predictably rotten choice for Secretary of the Interior. In the words of Friends of the Earth, "In a leaked memo, Trump plans to expand oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters and lift the moratorium on new coal mining. During her time in office, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has consistently voted in favor of accelerating fossil fuel development and against the protection of wildlife and sensitive, natural areas." They refer to her as "a rubber stamp for the fossil fuel industry." Ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund sees it much the same way, pointing out that just this week the deceitful Trump promised to follow 'the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt… one of our great environmentalists. But his nomination of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Secretary of the Interior does not inspire confidence that he meant what he said. In Congress, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has, among other things, voted to open up our public lands and waters to widespread oil and gas production and end the congressional ban on selling public lands for private gain. If the President-elect truly wants to claim the mantle of Theodore Roosevelt, he will need to recognize that Roosevelt built his legacy by protecting and defending our precious landscapes for this generation and future generations of farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, hikers and all Americans."

In a normal administration, she would be a nightmare, but how does that compare to Jeff Sessions as Attoney General? Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education? Andy Puzder for Labor? Steven Mnuchin for Treasury? Wilbur Ross for Commerce? Tom Price for Health? Ben Carson for Housing? John Kelly for Homeland Security? Linda McMahon for Small Business Administrator? Gary Cohen, President of Goldman Sachs as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors? And of course Steve Bannon as National Security Advisor? This really is the Cabinet From Hell. Oh, and let's not forget Trump's new EPA Director, Scott Pruitt, who will work with McMorris Rodgers to wreck the environment. Not familiar with Pruit yet? This week Jane Mayer, writing for the New Yorker stripped the bride bare. "Garvin Isaacs, the president of the Oklahoma Bar Association," she explained, "isn’t one for understatement, but he topped himself in his reaction to the news that Donald Trump is expected to nominate Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, to run the Environmental Protection Agency. 'It’s the worst thing in the history of our environment! We are in danger. The whole country is in danger. Our kids are in danger. People have got to do something about the Citizens United decision that is turning our country into an oligarchy, run by oil-and-gas interests.'"

Until now, Pruitt’s greatest claim to national fame was his star role in a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Times, in 2014. The investigation revealed that a letter Pruitt sent to the E.P.A in 2011, complaining about federal regulators’ estimation of the air pollution caused by drilling in Oklahoma, was actually written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of the state’s biggest oil-and-gas companies. (“Outstanding!” the company’s director of government relations wrote in a note to Pruitt’s office.) The Times found that Pruitt had sent similar letters, drafted by energy-industry lobbyists, to the Department of the Interior, the Office of Management and Budget, and President Obama. Pruitt has also taken a lead role in coördinating a twenty-eight-state legal challenge to the Obama Administration’s regulations on fossil-fuel pollution, which are at the center of its larger effort to stem climate change.

In taking these anti-regulatory positions, Pruitt has clearly aligned himself with his right-wing campaign donors, including Charles and David Koch. Kochpac, the political-action committee of the brothers’ Kansas-based oil-and-chemical conglomerate, Koch Industries, contributed to Pruitt’s campaigns in 2010, 2013, and 2014. Pruitt has also been backed by several other billionaire oil-and-gas executives, who joined political forces with the Kochs during the Obama years, becoming “investors,” as they called themselves, in the Kochs’ anti-regulatory, pro-business political movement. Harold Hamm, the billionaire founder and chief executive of Continental Resources, and Larry Nichols, the chairman emeritus of Devon Energy, have both supported Pruitt. Hamm, in fact, was the co-chairman of Pruitt’s 2013 reëlection campaign. This year, Hamm became an early and ardent Trump supporter and adviser on energy matters. In September, Politico reported that Nichols had become a close adviser to Trump on energy, too. It’s not clear that Pruitt will continue to take dictation from his fossil-fuel backers, but they almost certainly will have a lot more to thank him for if he enters the Trump Administration.

During the Presidential campaign, Trump signaled his support for the fossil-fuel industry and his lack of concern about climate change, which he called “a hoax.” He also echoed the industry’s calls to dismantle the E.P.A. In that sense, Trump’s nomination of Pruitt would not be unexpected. But it is deeply inconsistent with his populist rhetoric during the campaign. Trump mocked billionaire Republican political donors, including the Koch brothers. Steve Bannon, his campaign manager and now his chief strategist, derided the “donor class,” which he said had sold out ordinary voters, while Trump promised to take on corrupt special interests in Washington, and, as he put it, “drain the swamp.” With the choice of Pruitt, though, Trump appears to have once again chosen the plutocrats over the populists.
The first time I visited Nepal was in 1971 and they had just built the first paved road. The country was pretty pristine but when I was back in Kathmandu in the mid-1990s and it seemed crowded and far less pristine. I went again in 2011 and the pollution was so overwhelming that I can't imagine ever going again. I couldn't go outside without a heavy duty carbon filter mask. To turn the country into that was a decision made by people, people like Trump, Rodgers and Pruitt. Count on it.

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At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can attest to the awful stench of McMo-Ro. The majority of Wa-05 hate her, but the majority of THEM have never had anyone worth voting for so half of them stay home. Even Foley wasn't worth a shit except to his donors.

I can also attest to Wa-05 being perhaps on the low end of the curve in intellect. The entirety is lousy with churches and bars. The folks there who participate in elections are a bunch of redneck fucktards. McMo-Ro proves this.

Those dipshits would vote against FDR if he were running.

At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had kids after 2000, their lives will be ruined by climate change before they reach the new stunted life expectancy.
If they have kids by 2040, climate change will probably kill their kids before they reach even their parents stunted life expectancy.

And those would be the same no matter who won in 2016... or any time since 1980. And it's impossible to imagine any us government this century ever changing that.


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