Trump’s Cabinet choices reflect deep Koch influence

A rundown of the people with ties to ALEC, the Koch brothers and federal land transfer legislation.

 

President-elect Donald Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” and rid Washington D.C. of lobbyists, corporations and industry influence. But with each new appointment, it becomes clearer that many his transition team members, Cabinet picks and close staffers are the very types he said he would steer clear of.

Donald Trump in Washington D.C.

According to an ongoing analysis by the left-leaning Washington D.C.-based policy research and advocacy organization Center for American Progress, nearly a third of Trump’s transition team has ties to Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers that own the second largest privately held company in the country, Koch Industries, and have founded and funded many conservative organizations. That’s 72 of the 236 people the organization researched, including those on Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and Department of Energy.

The attention is on high level Cabinet picks, but those people working under the Trump administration on the ground, leading or working with transition teams inside each agency, are important to watch, too, says Jenny Rowland, research and advocacy associate for public lands at the Center for American Progress. “Historically, these people have been tapped for undersecretaries or leading smaller departments within agencies. We wanted to keep an eye on where they’ve been.”

Many of Trump’s picks have ties to Koch Industries and Koch Enterprises, which are corporations founded by Charles and David Koch that own a variety of manufacturing, energy, technology and distribution companies. Koch Industries executives and lobbyists have also given to Democrats, too, including the Clintons – though not nearly as much as Republicans.

Some of these people are also tied to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative nonprofit organization that pushes principles of free-market enterprise, limited federal control, and more power for state governments. Based in Arlington, Virginia, it is funded largely by the Koch family and its corporate advisory board includes ExxonMobil and tobacco giant Altria. ALEC is closely affiliated with the State Policy Network, a right-wing network of conservative organizations and think tanks, many of which are funded by Koch money.

ALEC has also become a leader in the land transfer movement by providing bill templates, research and public support to state legislators. For example, Utah Rep. Ken Ivory sponsored the Transfer of Public Lands Act, which demanded that Congress give states control of public lands. It passed in 2012, but little action has been taken to fulfill the bill's goals. About a year later, ALEC wrote a similar model bill for land transfer laws, urging “all executive officers of this State, to exert their full powers to cooperate and assist Utah and the other States” to sell public land to state governments.

It’s not clear what the Trump administration public lands agenda is or whether these links will come into play. Trump himself has made comments both in support and against public land transfers. However, based on these choices, it is clear that one priority of this administration will be fossil fuel development and the oil and gas industry.

Below is a list of members of Trump’s transition team and Cabinet picks so far who are tied to the Koch brothers, ALEC or the land transfer movement in some way. We will update as more people are named or appointed. 

Vice President Mike Pence has had Koch ties for many years. The Nation reported that in 1991, Pence became president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, which is part of the State Policy Network. Koch Enterprises and Koch Industries have been big campaign donors throughout his career.

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State nominee, is the CEO of Exxon Mobil, a corporation that advises and is a top sponsor of ALEC. He has no experience in the public sector, having worked for Exxon since 1975. The company has acknowledged the issue of climate change, but it’s unclear what his political stance is on most environmental and climate issues.

Rick Perry, Energy Secretary nominee, is on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, which is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners has agreements with subsidiaries of Exxon, a member of ALEC. In July 2016, Perry gave a speech at ALEC’s annual meeting. 

Mike Pompeo, CIA director nominee, is a longtime ally of Koch Industries. He has business ties with the Koch brothers: they’ve invested in his firm Thayer Aerospace and Sentry International, a company that sells pumping units for oil and gas development, of which he is the president, partnered with Koch Industries through its Brazilian distributor. Pompeo also received campaign contributions from Koch Industries and is involved with Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group founded by David Koch. 

Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator nominee, is affiliated with the Federalist Society, a nonprofit organization of conservatives and libertarians. The Koch Foundation has funded the society. Koch Industries has contributed to Pruitt’s Attorney General campaigns in Oklahoma, as have many other companies with ties to ALEC. Pruitt is currently suing the EPA, and is a proponent of looser federal regulations on the oil and gas industry and increased drilling on federal lands.

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General nominee, has received campaign contributions from Koch Industries.

Ryan Zinke, Interior Secretary nominee, currently sits on the House Natural Resources Committee. He has opposed land transfer legislation in his state of Montana, but is a proponent of pipelines and the recipient of large oil and gas-linked campaign donations.  

Wilbur Ross, Commerce Department Secretary nominee, is a billionaire who has been cited multiple times as a friend of David Koch.

Nikki Haley, United Nations Ambassador nominee, is a former ALEC member and has pushed many of ALEC-sponsored model legislation, including one about voter identification laws and a charter school bill. 

Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary nominee, led a campaign for representative in Georgia that was partly funded by Koch Industries.

Betsy DeVos, Department of Education head nominee, is a billionaire who has given millions of dollars to Republican candidates and super PACs. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, she has attended many Koch fundraisers and has donated to Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-funded organizations. DeVos has also pushed legislation for the privatization of school systems – which ALEC is a proponent of and has model legislation for.

Myron Ebell, who is leading Trump’s EPA transition team, works for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank that is funded by Exxon and the Kochs and a member of ALEC’s State Policy Network. Ebell is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, which has partnered with ALEC in the past.

Elaine Chao, Transportation Secretary nominee, is affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, which is a member of the State Policy Network.

Doug Domenech, who is leading Trump’s Interior transition team. He was a George W. Bush administration as the deputy chief of staff to the Secretary of Interior who now works at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank partially funded by the Koch brothers and member of the State Policy Network. Domenech has reportedly brought up lawsuits against BLM over public land ownership issues. 

Ned Mamula, on the Interior transition team, works for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Cato has long pushed for the privatization of public lands. More recently, the institute sent representatives to speak at FLAG (Federal Land Action Group), a Congressional group with the goal of seizing public lands. 

Scott Cameron, a member of the Interior transition team, wrote a blog post during Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville standoff in 2014 that proposed it is time to “fundamentally reconsider land ownership in the West.” He wrote: “Wouldn’t everyone be better off if the Western states were to be given more authority over much of this multiple use real estate?” 

Thomas Pyle, who has been leading Trump’s transition team for the Energy Department, is a former Koch Industries and National Petrochemical and Refiners Association lobbyist. He is also the president and founder of the American Energy Alliance, an affiliate of the Institute for Energy Research, which supports free market energy policies.

There are many other transition team staffers involved with Koch-funded ventures and ALEC members. Quite a few work for or have been funded by state, regional, or local conservative think tanks and organizations affiliated with the State Policy Network. For example, Daniel Simmons, who is working for the Energy Department transition team, works for the Institute for Energy Research and previously ran the ALEC task force on energy issues. David Kreutzer, who is working on the EPA transition team, was a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, and Austin Lipari, on the EPA transition team, was deputy director of the student division at the Federalist Society.

Lyndsey Gilpin is an editorial fellow at High Country News. She tweets

Robert Hooper
Robert Hooper Subscriber
Dec 16, 2016 12:53 PM
If Federal lands are lost to the several states, the environmental left and its rabid NGO's are totally to blame.
Jim Bolen
Jim Bolen
Dec 16, 2016 01:09 PM
 These nominations of mainly old white men are a group of climate change, anti science deniers who are in bed with the biggest corporate rapists of public lands and the environment. Oh yes I forgot to mentioned the outright racist they have nominated in Jeff Sessions as attorney general.. The white nationalist party is asking us to ignore these picks come together behind the president elect. But of course it isn't just Trump, it is the whole Nationalist party. If you read the Republican platform adopted at the convention these picks would not surprise you. they are doing exactly what they said they would do. The republican party of Teddy,Ike and even Richard is gone replaced by this plutocratic self interested party that is willing to take in racist and right wing religious fundamentalist into their fold to achieve their ends. If Trump is truly a populist outsider why did he pick these people. He is the just another republican elitist beholden to the same powerbrokers who control this country
Marcia Ewell
Marcia Ewell Subscriber
Dec 16, 2016 01:50 PM
Nice work Lindsey to help us all understand how much influence the Koch Brothers have had and are about to have on our government. I would like to see a flowchart through time of this information and how they ultimately end up coming back to Koch Brothers funding and their "radical" conservative organizations that all help their goals. I noticed just after elections some "feel good" Koch Brother commercials starting to appear on TV. Get ready folks, the Koch Brothers are coming out of their closet and are working on some marketing strategies to try and distort the truth about their destructive fossil fuel/extraction interests. After reading this article, the marketing strategy makes perfect sense knowing how openly involved with our government the Koch Brothers will be in the new administration.
David W Hamilton
David W Hamilton Subscriber
Dec 16, 2016 04:56 PM
What we are witnessing here, as predicted, is another classic example of the populist Demagogue gaming the easily stampeded populace into rapturous and unquestioning support....and then pivoting to govern in the interest of the Plutocracy! The mob will get its White Nationalist State back ...as it did at the end of Reconstruction!....and the Plutocracy will gets the end to regulations and greatly reduced taxes....so things will look even more like the Gilded Age.

Can a Plutocracy also be a Kleptocracy and a Kakistocracy all at the same time??....Oh yes!!...absolutely!!...and the Gilded Age is the perfect precursor to where we are heading here....as is pretty clear as the Trump- induced fog of the transition begins to clear and the patterns and structures....such as the very important one that Lindsey Gilpin
 lays out here!) begin to emerge.

The populace is going to get nothing other than lots of "red meat" and lalapalooza tours by Trump (less bread...more circensis!)....while there will be an increased concentration on reducing the franchise by doubling down on voter suppression and manipulation of voting processes....to make certain that future election come out as planned .....one must admit that.. (through Citizens United and the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act)...we are getting better at controlling elections all the time.

Public Lands transfer will, I believe , become less attractive to the Plutocracy as it realizes that, like in the 19th century, it can get all of the access to plundering Public Lands w/o the complications of a bunch of states involved (something that was only attractive so long as it appeared that the Federal Government's policies and regulations were going to continue to impede corporate exploitation at the level desired). Big business and Eastern money will get what it wants one again .....that is really what the Werewolf means when he says he will "Make America Great Again!".
 
Dale Lockwood
Dale Lockwood Subscriber
Dec 16, 2016 08:10 PM
The more you hear about the email hacking Russians and Trump defending them and knocking are own CIA and other intelligent services. I wonder if Trump new all along about the hacking? Sounds like treason to me.
Also last year his son told his dad it is scary about the large sums of money we have borrowed from the Russians.
Daniel Watts
Daniel Watts Subscriber
Dec 17, 2016 08:36 AM
At least the new administration does not dance around the further selling off of our government institutions to corporations and the ultra wealthy. It's right out there in the open now for everyone to see.
David Green
David Green Subscriber
Dec 17, 2016 09:06 AM
Robert Hooper: The 'radical environmentalists' are the primary supporters of the concept of public lands. You can include in this group the many millions of hunters and fishermen who also support public lands. If the Federal Government starts a divestment I guarantee that it will be met by fierce resistance from brave people who work to protect your (and our) collective assets. Show some respect for the people who work hard to protect our natural heritage.
Robert Hooper
Robert Hooper Subscriber
Dec 17, 2016 10:23 AM
David Green: I have no respect for the left wing environmental agenda. You say the 'radical environmentalists' are the primary supports of the concept of public lands. I say they are the major part of the problem. The NGO's contest nearly every effort of management. They push for 'preservation' of area after area to the detriment of multiple use. I don't defend the notion of 'local rule', but locals have been using these lands for generations. They deeply resent outsiders having a greater influence in how these lands can be used. And this resentment has grown as the left wing drives the wedge in deeper and deeper. NGO's are a big industry and they need issues, real or not, to maintain income and membership. The members rarely have a clue what is going on, but having a love of the land, they buy the half truths and even lies of the NGO's. I worked for the USFS for 3 decades and I know from first hand experience NGO's don't always tell the truth. Too, I led many local Sierra Club trips. I was astounded at the ignorance of my fellow member's regarding natural resources and land management history. But I agree with you that it will take a combined effort to defeat attempts at divestment. That doesn't mean approve of what the 'radical environmentalist' have done and continue to do. They will be fixing a problem that they are largely responsible for.
David W Hamilton
David W Hamilton Subscriber
Dec 17, 2016 05:21 PM
So....It appears that Mr. Hooper would have us believe that NGOs (AKA: environmental groups, I assume)...are far more powerful and influential on Public Lands management decisions than the army of K Street lobbyists that represent Big Business interests ( such as the corporate world of extractive industries ).....the Chambers of Commerce...(local and national.... that also represent the extractive industries (as well as such helpless and powerless entities as the American Cattle Growers and the tourist industry)....ALEC and other lavishly funded corporate and industry organizations!.....and these groups, contrary to NGOs, do always tell the truth!!
He would also have us believe that , while he is not a defender of "local rule", these are the people who are the most disinterested in Public Lands policy while also being the best at it...despite a well documented history over a hundred plus years of, all too frequently, making a bolix of our Public Lands whilst attempting to "manage" them locally!
We should also believe that it is only those benighted local Sierra Club members who know nothing of natural resources and land management history....while their friends and neighbors are, undoubtedly, not merely founts of wisdom and lore on such issues....but paragons of virtue on land husbandry as well! He states that "locals" deeply resent "outsiders" having a "greater" (than who?) influence on our Public Lands.....even though Public Lands belong to....well...the Public....not just the Locals!!....and what about the numerous local grassroots NGOs all over the place at state and local levels (such as the local Sierra Club members that he disparages!)...who, frequently, must rely on the assistance of various National environmental groups to counter the clout of the Multinational Corporations at the Federal level where most Public Lands policy decisions are made?....They appear to have no standing with Mr. Hooper!!....so the question is....Who does have standing in Mr. Hooper's constrained world of Public Lands policy, anyway!?.
 
Robert Hooper
Robert Hooper Subscriber
Dec 17, 2016 08:29 PM
David W. Hamilton: Gee David, I didn't mean to upset you. I was simply responding to David Green's comment that I should respect radical environmental organizations. I pointed out why I didn't and why they are a major part of the problem, in my opinion. I never said they didn't have standing. If anything they have too much. NGO's file an environmental lawsuit against the federal government about every other day (not all involve public lands of course). As a result federal lands are basically managed by the courts. These lawsuits cost the tax payer many millions of dollars, much of which ends up in the coffers of NGO's, win or lose. Clearly, this is a lucrative business. I do think the other 'non-environmental' groups you listed also have standing, as does the ordinary citizen. The ones lacking much standing, or so it seems, are the professionally run land management agencies. What gets in my craw worse than the endless lawsuits, is the fact that the major NGO's are silent on population growth. That stance is hypocritical to say the least. They were vocal of that subject up to the 1960's but it is rumored their silence was bought by large donations from a single individual. That's a rumor, but the fact remains they sure shut up about population growth.
Actually (in my opinion) some NGO's do good work. I would put the Nature Conservancy at the top of that short list.
David W Hamilton
David W Hamilton Subscriber
Dec 17, 2016 10:08 PM
My dear Mr Hooper.....You did not upset me in the least!...one does not have to be upset, as I am sure that you were not by David Green in countering his post, in order to respond to yours! You appear to be unaware of the fact that population is the new "third rail"!....and are unacquainted with the Hell that the Paul and Greta Ehrlich went through over "The Population Bomb" through the 1960s and 1970s (and still get pilloried at regular intervals). More to the point concerning your accusation...The Sierra Club was roundly trashed by the MSM and conservative groups a number of years ago for publicly taking a strong position on population...and basically had to recant w/o further comment! Their silence on the subject...which, I agree, is cowardice, despite your rumors, was...and is....a result of attacks by religious groups and anti-environmental groups....and cost Sierra Club dearly!! (money wasn't given...it was withheld!!). As Ed Abbey said...."To say that human breed like rabbits...is an insult to rabbits!".. My view is that people should not be having kids, period...for a variety of reasons....we would still have more than enough by accident, if you will!

Has the thought ever occurred to you that, just perhaps, those lawsuits that get in your craw happen because that is the only mechanism, given the inside influence that the Plutocracy has in getting what it wants, of countering those inside deals. You may not be aware that corporate America brings a huge number of lawsuits challenging environmental policy as well...Are you aware that the Chamber of Commerce brings more suits before the Supreme Court that any other single entity?
And.... not to worry....we will be seeing the courts removed from access by environmental...and other inconvenient... groups very shortly under our Autocrat in Chief!.....and our Public Lands will be opened for commercial exploitation just as they were in the halcyon days of the Gilded Age! The Billion Dollar Babies will be running the Reality Show!
Jim Bolen
Jim Bolen
Dec 17, 2016 10:34 PM
Robert
it sounds like you worked for the USFS at the time when it acted more like an agricultural entity where harvests of animals,timber and minerals was the mission of the Agency. In more recent years The USFS has what I feel is a more balanced approach taking in account wildlife and old forests etc. I think that the term "multiple use" is currently being abused and now used to justify destructive practices on Fed lands. It is used by people like the koch brothers, the Bundys, Gas and Oil people, The ATV industry etc. to further their selfish interests. I am not sure what groups you feel are radical, probably some that I am a member, We need these so called radical groups because that is where the passion is to take it to the ones who would destroy the things we hold dear. sadly I am afraid we are going to need these groups more then ever to fight the new administration.
We also need the conservative non political ones like the Nature Conservancy who do good work in their own sphere
Robert you are right on about the population issue. The silence of groups like the Sierra club (They took the bribe) on population and rampant immigration shows they are more concerned about offending certain elements of their liberal base then the environment
David W Hamilton
David W Hamilton Subscriber
Dec 18, 2016 12:39 PM
Missing from the roster of Billion Dollar Babies in what is already the most gilded cabinet in history is "Buzz' Windrip's pick for Agriculture secretary. Since the ongoing theme is fossil fuel advocacy coupled with Global Warming denial...we can certainly expect more of the same.....as to whether or not we get back to the good old days when the major concern for head of the USFS was completing forest surveys of future timber sales and getting roads built in order to "get out the cut" on schedule.....I suspect that we can count on that as well! Growing up in the Pacific NW, we were able to watch whole forests disappear before our eyes as the land was denuded by clearcuts!.....it was both awesome and horrifying!

I am not at all certain that the Sierra Club would have been able to make much of a difference on world population growth in any event. It is clearly inevitable that Homo rapiens is going to overpopulate the world into environmental collapse....there clearly is nothing for it! The projections are that Africa and Asia are going to be leading the charge for future population grwoth....and that countervailing forces such as wars, disease and infant mortality are not projected to have much effect on the demographics (as counter-intuitive as that appears prima facie!).

While the Nature Conservancy does, indeed, do good work in its major sphere of activity....which is predominately with private and corporate landholders....it is only tangentially involved with Public Land management issues. I, therefore, fail to see its relevance in this discussion.....though I am sure it is pleased to receive the kudos!.....it is easy to be seen as a universal good guy when you "don't have a dog in this fight!"!.

 
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Dec 18, 2016 01:53 PM
Robert Hooper: "NGO's file an environmental lawsuit against the federal government about every other day (not all involve public lands of course). As a result federal lands are basically managed by the courts."

Can you offer any numbers to back up your claim, Mr. Hooper? The data I've been able to find doesn't support it. For example, a 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled "FOREST SERVICE Information on Appeals, Objections and Litigation Involving Fuel Reduction Activities, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2008" (http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/301415.pdf) summarized its findings as follows:

• In fiscal years 2006 through 2008, the Forest Service issued 1,415 decisions involving fuel reduction activities, covering 10.5 million acres.

• Of this total, 1,191 decisions, covering about 9 million acres, were subject to appeal and 217—about 18 percent—were appealed. Another 121 decisions, covering about 1.2 million acres, were subject to objection and 49—about 40 percent—were objected to. The remaining 103 decisions were exempt from both objection and appeal. Finally, 29 decisions—about 2 percent of all decisions—were litigated, involving about 124,000 acres.

So, only 2% of all the fuel reduction decisions made by the Forest Service, covering a little over 1% of the land affected, were litigated. It doesn't sound to me like National Forest lands, at least, are "basically managed by the courts".

Robert Hooper
Robert Hooper Subscriber
Dec 18, 2016 03:00 PM
Karl Anderson: Thanks for that information. Do you have the data for other years and other activities, such as timber sales and management plans? What about BLM activities? If what you find is consistent with what you presented so far I will stand corrected regarding the courts. Be that as it may, I will not stand down regarding my comments regards radical environmental organizations.
Karl Anderson
Karl Anderson Subscriber
Dec 19, 2016 08:06 AM
Mr. Hooper:

I spent about an hour googling before I posted my previous comment. It's not easy to find primary data bearing on this issue. By "primary" I mean verifiable numbers obtained by original research. The GAO is probably the best source. I also found two reports from 2014, "USDA LITIGATION: Limited Data Available on USDA Attorney Fee Claims and Payments" (http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/661942.pdf); and "ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION: Impact of Deadline Suits on EPA's Rulemaking is Limited" (http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667533.pdf); I didn't find any recent GAO material regarding the overall impact of lawsuits on the BLM.

OTOH, I found a bunch of newspaper articles and blog posts making claims similar to yours. In several cases, they quote-mined the same GAO reports I cited, to support politically-motivated arguments that "radical environmentalists" were abusing laws passed specifically to protect the environment. The take-away, IMO, is that if truth matters to you it pays to dig for the actual data.
David W Hamilton
David W Hamilton Subscriber
Dec 19, 2016 08:36 AM
Karl...The rest of us get what you are saying here.....what you are up against is our "post-factual" culture illustrated beautifully by Mr. Hooper telling you that he will not change his position one iota no matter how many facts you place before him. This, in a nutshell, is the reason we are going down....this same pattern is appearing all over as we sink into a new "Dark Age" at the very worst point for us and our planet!
Robert Hooper
Robert Hooper Subscriber
Dec 19, 2016 09:36 AM
David W. Hamilton: David, I don't think that you understood a word I said. You seem to have a reading handicap. But relax. I am not posting any more on this issue. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Jim Bolen
Jim Bolen
Dec 19, 2016 02:10 PM
Robert
I imagine that most Forest service employees believe in doing what's best for our Forest and I am sure that includes you as well. So in that light, I would think that you along with the rest of us who love and respect our Forests must be dreading the eventual pick for Ag secretary. If the other nominations are any indication, the Ag nominee will hate everything the USFS stands for. I fear we will have a person who will cut funds for any studies on the effect of Global warming on our forests, deny endangered species listing and go back to a time when our forest were overgrazed, clearcut and relaxed mining regulation leading to polluted streams and diminished air quality. I fear that he/she will cut funds so that the forest people can't do their job then complain how incompetent government workers are.
since you like the natures conservancy, I assume you like a market based approach. Unfortunately as wealth continues to be concentrated at the top and in corporations and the middle class continues to declined, we are coming more and more a plutocracy. The effect is the market based solutions means only that the very wealthy decide what's best for our country. The cabinet nominations reflect this realty.
So what I am getting to is that when other avenues of recourse are shut off to us so called "environmental radicals "; you think we have too many Lawsuits?. you haven't seen nothing yet
Dale Lockwood
Dale Lockwood Subscriber
Dec 19, 2016 02:19 PM
Pretty bad when one of Trumps people want a list of all EPA employees who believe in Global Warming. That is something you only heard from some dictator country or Russia Putin than you mysteriously disappear.
Throughout history even most Republicans respected our public lands and environment. Things changed-sad day for this Country.
David W Hamilton
David W Hamilton Subscriber
Dec 19, 2016 05:06 PM
What Lindsey Gilpin has layed out for our contemplation and edification is the tip of the iceberg aspects of a whole new configuration of government for anyone who wasn't around before 1929!....What we can all expect to be seeing is the cultural foment of the 1850's overlaid by the unrestricted chicanery and corruption of the Gilded Age!
What changes everything is not the corrupt Congress and corporations under the control of the Plutocracy (we had all of that in the Gilded Age!)...but the fact that it is all going to be led by an Autocrat posing as a Populist Demagogue! I see our Berzelius Windrip starting out as Caesar and evolving into Caligula.

I see and hear a lot of talk about "recourse to the courts".... I see that remaining as a possibility over the short haul......but the GOP/WNP operatives are well aware of this and, with the placing of a throughly vetted SCOTUS justice (with more to follow!) and lots of new Federal Judges filling all of those empty slots that Obama didn't/couldn't....we will soon begin to see the court system sailing off into the world of the Cato Institute and the Federalist Society as standing and access is denied...and decisions are being written by the ghosts of court justices of the 19th century!

We are venturing into a "Brave New World" of "1984"....before it devolves into "Splinterlands"!!.....and is consumed in the effects of The Global Warming that Trump's policies are very quickly going to exacerbate!

   
Jim Bolen
Jim Bolen
Dec 19, 2016 07:13 PM
Right David
Our recourse to the courts is in serious jeopardy. I will never forgive the white nationalist party from taking away President Obama right to appoint a supreme court justice during his term. I am hoping and praying that the liberal judges don't retire or die. Please Judges hold on until we can rid of Trump
and this cabinet of right wing conspiracist full of religious fundamentalist,anti science, anti environmental, anti government, profiteering, fake news supporters,safety net destroyers, war mongering individuals. Have I missed anything?
Dale Lockwood
Dale Lockwood Subscriber
Dec 19, 2016 07:27 PM
Its ironic we suppose to have three separate branches of government. But Trump will appoint only people who will decide issues his way. Democracy is in trouble, it is ironic Putin is the only person or government he has not criticized.
Call it a Chicken Little attitude on my part "The Sky is Falling",but I believe it may be.
Steve Bonowski
Steve Bonowski Subscriber
Dec 20, 2016 12:53 PM
Robert Hooper wrote: "I am not posting any more on this issue." That's unfortunate as he seems to be mis-informed, in characterizing environmental groups as left (wing) supported by rabid NGOs. Guess he never heard of the old Republicans for Environmental Protection, now divided into a .501(c)4 PAC (ConservAmerica) and a .501(c)3 educational organization (Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS)).

Then there are various sportsmen groups that are strong supporters of our citizen-owned public lands; like Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited, and others. I seldom hear anyone referring to such groups as being "left" in political orientation.

(Disclosure: this writer is a CRS board member)
Alexander Clayton
Alexander Clayton Subscriber
Dec 20, 2016 09:48 PM
This is, of course, the most extreme regressive coup in American history - we are almost no longer a republic with democratic institutions or laws (or law enforcement personnel) that protect regular people, and that's just the way the Crook brothers and their ilk like it: a land of feudal lords and serfs like in the "good old days", with no middle class to speak of.

As with most (all?) presidential elections in the past 40 years, this one was predetermined by a concerted dark money effort that included disenfranchising minority and poor voters in myriad ways. Unlike the last two elections, the Democratic candidate did not get overwhelming enough voter support to counteract the vote suppression machine that has been going on for years; and don't think that gutting much of the Voting Rights Act BEFORE this election didn't play a part in this. It was all part of the plan, along with Citizens United, McCutcheon, Buckley v. Valeo and other democracy-killing decisions by "the nine" over the past four decades.

This time, the corporate, mainstream media that incoming president "Sauron" professes to hate aided and abetted his electoral college election by normalizing hate speech, violence against dissenters and fascist rhetoric (and actions surely ahead), all to make a buck (or tens of millions of them). As Mussolini said, fascism is the merger of the State and Corporate power, and with the incoming wave of anti-worker, anti-environment, pro-plutocrat/corporate hacks, the evil genie is finally completely out of the bottle.

The question ahead is: will the incoming regime's extreme sociopathic actions cause equal and opposite reactions across the country and across the globe?