December 11, 2016

Week 4

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

The week of silencing dissent.

  1. This was the week of Trump silencing dissent:
    – the arts (comedy) — a tweet attacking Baldwin, and calling SNL “unwatchable.”
    – corporate America — Trump sent a false tweet about the cost of Air Force One after Boeing’s CEO spoke out against starting a trade war with China. Boeing stock cratered.
    – private citizens — Trump’s tweet at union leader Chuck Jones, after Jones spoke out on the Carrier deal, led to death threats against Jones.
    – protest march — Trump tried to squash the Million Women March by changing permitting. A new location was found.
  2. Variety reported that Trump will continue in his role as Executive Producer of Celebrity Apprentice. 2 days later, Trump called it “fake news” and blamed CNN.
  3. NBC, host of Celebrity Apprentice, also had refused to release tapes of Trump rumored to be damaging during the election.
  4. WAPO reported on a CIA report which claimed Putin interfered in our election to help Trump win. Trump’s response amounted to defending Russia, and questioning the CIA’s capabilities.
  5. According to WAPO, Mitch McConnell had refused to allow the CIA report out before the election. McConnell’s wife was appointed by Trump to a cabinet position.
  6. The next day, Trump appointed Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Tillerson has no experience with government or diplomacy, but has a close relationship with Putin.
  7. In responding to why he has availed himself of only 4 of 31 intelligence briefings, Trump responded, “I’m, like, a smart person.”
  8. Attacks against Muslim Americans were reported nationwide, including a Congresswoman in DC, and a teenager in New York.
  9. An Atlantic article titled, “Are Jews White?” drew a response by former KKK leader, David Duke.
  10. Trump is seeking ways to include both his daughter and son-in-law in his administration, despite laws to the contrary.
  11. Trump appointed 3 generals into leadership positions in his cabinet — a disturbing trend, indicative of authoritarian leadership.
  12. Trump appointed another Goldman Sachs executive into a major leadership role. GS stock is up 33% since election day, and composes 1/3 of the DJIA’s rise.
  13. Trump invited celebrity types on the environment — Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio — for well-promoted, reality-tv-like meetings at Trump Tower, while appointing an EPA head who doesn’t believe in climate change.
  14. The RNC will hold its holiday party at a Trump Hotel (and pay him for it). Several GOP appendages are doing the same.
  15. Trump continues to keep full ownership of his businesses, brushing off the need to explain conflicts of interest.
  16. Trump’s economic team is all men and all white. Five of the 13 are named Steven or Stephen.
  17. Mark Burnett will help Trump plan the inauguration, with a reality-tv type build-up.
  18. Rudy Giuliani “withdrew” his candidacy for a cabinet position, and the lawyer of Woman in Gold fame filed under the FOIA for Giuliani’s connection to the FBI’s search warrant.
  19. Trump changed his iconic hat from “Make America Great Again” to simply “USA.” Said hat is sold exclusively by Trump for $40.
  20. Trump put out his first policy related post on Facebook.
  21. Trump continues his Victory Tours in states he won.
  22. Trump, with the help of the GOP apparatus, shut down the recount efforts in MI, where he won by 10k votes out of 4.8 million cast, with many anomalies. Efforts to do the same in WI failed. Efforts in PA also have led to recount efforts being stifled.

Copyright Amy Siskind, December 11, 2016

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999 representing Carrier workers, received death threats after Trump’s tweets.