As I try desperately not to think about what’s happening next Friday, I’ve had a weird epiphany: President-elect Donald Trump will, at times, accidentally say something that is factually true. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s still true. During the election itself for instance, he was quoted as saying the U.S. has bad trade deals with China, which only he can fix. Wait, I’m sorry, I’ve misquoted him slightly. That should be CHI-EYE-na, not China. My apologies. He’s not wrong that some of our trade deals aren’t ideal, but he is wrong about the why. They aren’t bad because the Chinese are “winning” some imaginary pissing match that Trump believes he can strong-arm them over. They’re bad because it depresses the U.S. labor market while also allowing for staggering workers’ rights violations in China. Those same deals are good in ways because they provide low cost goods to U.S. consumers while also offering better, although still not great, jobs to Chinese workers. As it turns out, international economics, along with most parts of the President’s job, are complicated.
Which brings me to the recent report from the U.S. intelligence community stating that Russia interfered with the most recent U.S. election. It’s not only Trump and Trump supporters who are skeptical of the report’s findings that Russia, directly ordered by Vlad the Unshirted himself, meddled with the election in the hopes of getting the Orange One elected. Far left liberals (which I should disclose I consider myself to be), distrustful of the scant evidence presented in the report, have latched onto Julian Assange’s denial that Russia supplied WikiLeaks with the emails. So far I’m cool with all of this. I don’t believe that the government is out to get us, but I do believe that citizens shouldn’t accept everything their government says unquestioning.
The problem comes down to Facebook. You might have seen this floating around.
The federal week in review: 1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day. 2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State. 3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest. 4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA. 5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election. 6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it. 7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US. 8. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department—for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don’t like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it. We - progressive, liberal, libertarian and conservative - need to all wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country. #UnitedWeStand via Sean Valla
I posted that one myself. It’s a list of the ways in which Trump and his transition team have been, for lack of a better term, shitheels. Those behaviors above are not the actions of people who are behaving openly and honestly. Those are the actions of people trying to get as much shady shit done as possible without others noticing. Those actions are manifest lies. The issue some people take is with statement 5 and the mountains of evidence. And here is where we’ll have to deal with Trump accidentally saying the right thing for entirely the wrong reason. Because here’s the difference: you, the individual, who is alarmed at the lack of transparency in the report, the intelligence community’s previous violations of the public’s trust, and previous misuse of intelligence for political means (hello, Iraq War!), are correct in publicly questioning the veracity of the report. The President-elect, who spent eighteen goddamn months applying for the job, which oversees the intelligence community and who is integrally tied to the actions outlined in the report, is not. If Trump has doubts about the report then he should spend the time talking to his employees about it. If he feels there are systematic failures in the intelligence collection or analysis of information, he should attempt to correct it. Or to put it plainly, he should do his fucking job instead of going on Twitter to talk shit about people he’s supposed to be leading.
So, always keep in mind that broken clocks and twice a day saying. And keep in mind that if your clock is telling you the correct time to get you out of the house so others can rob it, it’s still not a good clock.