Category Archives: Politics

Brace for a flood of GMOs after TrumpAscension™

Each of them accompanied by a Rebel Yell.

From teleSur English:

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump picked the last member of his cabinet on Wednesday. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue — who has been linked to big agribusiness and has sympathized with confederate history — has been tapped to become the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Unsurprisingly, like Trump and the rest of his cabinet, Perdue has links to big business and in particular corporate agriculture. He has been a supporter of factory farms, and in 2009 he signed a bill to stop the local regulation of the industry to prevent animal cruelty.

In 2009, he was named “Governor of the Year” by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which the Organic Consumers Association referred to as “a front group for the GMO industry.” During his campaigns for governor, he also received donations from pesticide companies. After finishing up as governor, he founded his global exporting business Perdue Partners.

The 70-year-old was on Trump’s agricultural advisory committee during last year’s presidential campaign. During his time as Georgia governor from 2003 to 2011, Perdue drew the support of many disillusioned white voters and was well known for leading a service at the state capital building in Atlanta to literally pray for rain during a harsh drought in 2007.

“Farmers need a champion in the USDA who will fight for conservation programs to help farmers be more resilient in the face of extreme weather, not pray for rain,” Kari Hamerschlag, from Friends of the Earth, said in a statement.

In 2010, Perdue signed a law that proclaimed April “Confederate History and Heritage Month.” The month, which was also declared in six other southern states, is particularly controversial because it failed to mention the history of slavery in its proclamation.

Headline of the day II: The usual suspects

From the Intercept:

Who’s Paying for Inauguration Parties? Companies and Lobbyists With a Lot at Stake

  • Corporate interests that were largely reluctant to embrace Donald Trump during the presidential campaign last year are finally opening their checkbooks to underwrite the festivities sweeping Washington, D.C., to welcome his incoming administration.
  • Firms with a great deal riding on the major policy agenda items of the next four years have lined up to sponsor the endless parade of hors d’oeuvres and open bars at parties across the city.
  • Topping the list are firms with interests in pharmaceuticals, oil, and defense contracting — highly regulated industries that have much at stake with ongoing policy discussions over drug pricing, environmental regulations, and the defense sequester.

Charts of the day II: Poles – and polls – apart

From a new survey from the Pew Research Center:


Graphic Representation: A day that will live in infamy

We begin with the Washington Post and a tip of the hat to one of the paper’s greatest editorial cartoonists:

Tom Toles: A Washington Post editorial cartooning tradition continues, sort of


Another historical allusion from the Sacramento Bee:

Jack Ohman: Donald Trump and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural. . .


The Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a global perspective:

Steve Sack: A moment in Earth’s history


The Guardian mines the same vein:

Steve Bell: The inauguration of Donald Trump


From the Arizona Republic, a walkout:

Steve Benson: What if Trump’s inauguration boycott grows?


The Los Angeles Times has a ball:

David Horsey: And a one and a two. . .


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution lays it bare:

Mike Luckovich: Casual Friday


From the Miami Herald, some good advice:

Jim Morin: Fasten your seatbelts!


The Baton Rouge Advocate makes it official:

Walt Handelsman: Inauguration Day 2017  


From the Tulsa World, fired with enthusiasm:

Bruce Plante Cartoon: President Donald J. Trump


And from the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Clay Bennett: Moving In


The Salt Lake Tribune judges the climate of the times:

Pat Bagley: Hottest Year


Finally, granddaughter Sadie Rose captures the mood of the day:


The anti-environment environmental boss

Another gift from President Pussygrabber, via the Los Angeles Times:

Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency kicked off a contentious confirmation hearing Wednesday, expressing doubt about mainstream climate science and harshly criticizing the agency he seeks to lead.

Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt was defiant in the face of questioning from Democratic senators who attacked his record on environmental protection, skepticism about the impact of global warming and financial ties to some of the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies.

Pruitt said the EPA’s aggressive enforcement of federal anti-pollution rules during the Obama administration reflects inappropriate overreach that he would change.

“Regulators are supposed to make things regular,” Pruitt said at the start of the hearing, “to fairly and equitably enforce the rules and not pick winners and losers.”

He charged that the issue of climate change had been overtaken by emotion and incivility.  “We should not succumb to personalizing matters,” he said.

Headline of the day: It was just chump change

From the New York Times:

Treasury Pick Didn’t Disclose $100 Million in Assets to Senate

  • The revelation about Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, came hours before he was scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee.
  • He also did not list his role as a director of an investment fund in the Cayman Islands on a questionnaire.

Quotes of the day: TrumpAscension™ auguries

We begin with a prediction from the former House Speaker who served divorce papers on his spouse while she was in the hospital, recovering from cancer surgery, via Der Spiegel:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Gingrich, what can we expect during the first 100 days of the Trump presidency?

Gingrich: You can expect a great deal of action. Donald Trump is a very action-oriented person. I think in the first few weeks, you’re going to see a lot of executive orders repealed, peeling back the Obama legacy. You’re going to see steps moving forward across a broad range of fronts, and I think they are likely to be very successful opening weeks.

And from Vox, an exchange between reporter Sean Illing and Guardian cultural critic Stuart Jeffries, author of Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School, a study of a group of German scholars, many of whom migrated to the U.S. during the Hitler years, who founded critical theory and studied — among other things — the way media impact society:

Sean Illing: Here’s the thing: If Trump’s rise represented an actual substantive rebellion, that at least would suggest a revolution in consciousness. But it’s not that serious. There’s no content behind it. Trump is just a symbol of negation, a big middle finger to the establishment. He’s a TV show for a country transfixed by spectacle.

And so in that sense, Trumpism is exactly what you’d expect a “revolution” in the age of mass media to look like.

Stuart Jeffries: Sadly, I agree. If you listen to Trump speak, it’s all stream-of-consciousness gibberish. There’s no real thought, no real intellectual process, no historical memory. It’s a rhetorical sham, but a kind of brilliant one when you think about it. He’s a projection of his supporters, and he knows it.

He won by capturing attention, and he captured attention by folding pop entertainment into politics, which is something the critical theorists anticipated.