The Trump Administration saved its worst for last, dumping ten terrible decisions on the unsuspecting American public during the end of the 2017 holiday season when they figured the news media wouldn’t notice.
President Obama worked hard for eight years building up rules and regulations to protect America’s elderly voters, to nurture important infrastructure projects, and protect the environment.
Now, as average voters were visiting family over the holidays and nor paying attention, President Trump did his best to tear it all down in the cover of night. The Washington Post was paying attention, however, and caught these 11th-hour moves he tried to bury in the middle of the winter holidays via the Post:
- Overturning key regulations on fracking (link)
- Weakening the rules that were designed to prevent another Deepwater Horizon spill (link)
- Declaring open season on migratory birds (link)
- Reinstating mining leases for Ivanka Trump’s landlord (link)
- Letting nursing homes off the hook when patients suffer in their care (link)
- Civil servants may not get a bonus because the rich got a tax cut (link)
- Undercutting workplace and environmental regulartory enforcement across multiple agencies by waging a war of attrition against the bureaucracy (link)
- Reneging on a federal commitment to fund a major infrastructure project in his home state (link)
- Firing all the members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (link)
- Maneuvering behind the scenes to “sabotage” the Census (link)
The last point, his attempt to add spurious questions to the United States Census, is perhaps his most sinister move, and potentially the most far-reaching.
The decennial Census is the apolitical bedrock of how American political power is democratically apportioned amongst the states. It seeks to measure all persons in the United States, and then Congressional seats are apportioned to the States by population counts, then later made into districts by their Legislatures.
Pro Publica released a thorough report on December 29th outlining how the Trump administration’s plans for the 2020 census could fundamentally alter the balance of power in America injecting an element heretofore avoided by both parties.
The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent.
The DOJ made the request in a previously unreported letter, dated Dec. 12 and obtained by ProPublica, from DOJ official Arthur Gary to the top official at the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department. The letter argues that the DOJ needs better citizenship data to better enforce the Voting Rights Act “and its important protections against racial discrimination in voting.”
A Census Bureau spokesperson confirmed the agency received the letter and said the “request will go through the well-established process that any potential question would go through.” The DOJ declined to comment and the White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The census is just the tip of the iceberg. Each one of these stories impacts Americans across the country, from a million federal workers – many of whom are unionized – who will lose their raises and their families to a million other citizens who are managing their health with the HIV virus.
Trump’s decisions alone to encourage fracking will threaten drinking water supplies across multiple states. It has depressed real estate values and has turned the state of Oklahoma into an earthquake zone.
The rescinding of federal rules put in place specifically to prevent another horrible Gulf Oil platform crisis will endanger millions of people’s livelihoods that depend on their local environment for fishing and tourism, not to mention the terrible impact oil spills have on water-based animal-life and ecosystems.
This is the culmination of Trump’s stick-it-to-the-environment and to the little guy policies, which he sold to desperate suckers who believed he would somehow improve their lives even the tiniest bit.
Released in the dark. In the middle of the holidays on a Friday afternoon.
Make no mistake: President Trump’s plan to “make America great again” isn’t just thinly-veiled racist policies. It is about using the votes from angry Republicans and “economic anxiety” voters to benefit polluting energy companies, the wealthiest 0.01% of taxpayers and big corporations in their tax bill, and let the old people, the birds, the workers and the sick suffer the consequences.