Trump Atrocities — Gilding the Swamp
Donald Trump dining on Mitt Romney's frogs legs (click to enlarge)
by Gaius Publius
This whole next administration, all of its people and all of its work, is going to be a horror show of Dantesque proportions. Even if Democrats were organized against it — which I'm certain they won't be — and if they bent every ounce of their will and energy to keep it from being "normalized" in the public's perception — which I'm certain they won't do — where would they begin to fight? They'd have to fight it all.
Not one nomination is acceptable to any pro-worker, pro-rights-of-the-people party. Not one. Which means we'll likely have the twin spectacles, played out in the news, of Trump's destruction of everything a Sanders-populist holds dear, plus the normalization of that destruction by those whom we may have thought were on our side.
Elon Musk: Normalizing a Fellow Billionaire
For example, Elon Musk, he of the ''save the climate" car, is doing this:
WASHINGTON — Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX, has joined a group created by President-elect Trump to provide advice on the economy for the incoming administration.And that's how it's done. Elon Musk, normalizing Trump.
The addition of Musk to the President's Strategic and Policy Forum came as he and a number of other executives from technology companies, including Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, met with Trump and his senior advisors in New York Dec. 14 to discuss economic issues.
The forum, established by Trump Dec. 2 with an initial roster of 16 current and former executives, is intended to serve as an advisory board on economic issues for the incoming administration. "The Forum is designed to provide direct input to the President from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic and non-partisan manner," the office of President-elect Trump said in a Dec. 14 statement.
Gilding the Swamp
For this edition of Trump Atrocities, I want to call your attention to something Marcy Wheeler found and named, and from whom I stole the title of this piece.
As Dan Kopf of Quartz points out, Trump’s 17 cabinet-level picks have more money than a third of American households combined. Rule by the rich indeed. Or, to use Wheeler's phrase, 'gilding the swamp."
The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US.Four appointees with the wealth of 120,000 median households. The whole cabinet, so far, with the wealth of the bottom third of all Americans. Unprecedented indeed. The swamp may never stop filling, but they're lining it with gold to match the gilded toilets that feed it.
Affluence of this magnitude in a US presidential cabinet is unprecedented. ...
Even if we just compare the wealth of Trump’s cabinet to the median household, it is still an impressive concentration of riches. It would take about 120,000 households with the the United States median net worth of about $83,200 to match the wealth of just the four richest members of Trump’s cabinet—Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross Jr., Linda McMahon, and Rex Tillerson.
I wonder how many of Americans in that "lower third in wealth" category were Trump voters — and might they be persuaded to switch if a real progressive were on the menu next time?
All this without touching on the climate problem under Trump. Strap yourselves in, folks. We're in for a bumpy ride.
And as you're holding onto your seats — and your wallets and purses — remember, it didn't have to be this way.