Trump has been making waves the last few days with his appointment announcements. Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current appointments. Thank you for joining me on the twenty-fifth episode of The LAVA Spurt, The Trump Appointments Edition.

Trump has already announced many of his appointments, so let's take a look at them. Keep in mind, most of these will have to be confirmed by the Senate, but that is generally not a problem with an incoming administration, especially with a Republican-controlled Senate. While I won't be able to hit all of his appointments here, there are some that stand out.

The Good

Tom Price – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Scott Pruitt – Head of the Environmental Protection Agency

Betsy DeVos – Secretary of Education

The Bad

Ben Carson – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Nikki Haley – United Nations Ambassador

The Ugly

James Mattis – Secretary of Defense

Jeff Sessions – Attorney General

Mike Pompeo – Director of the CIA

Michael Flynn – National Security Advisor

Trump's good are pretty decent, but his bad and ugly lists far outweigh any good that could be accomplished by this team. This is a pretty scary fucking list, frankly. We're going to be in for a hell of a ride the next four years. Put your tray tables in their upright position and hold the fuck on, because it's going to get ugly.

 

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Trump has been making waves the last few days with his appointment announcements. Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current appointments. Thank you for joining me on the twenty-fifth episode of The LAVA Spurt, The Trump Appointments Edition.

Trump has already announced many of his appointments, so let's take a look at them. Keep in mind, most of these will have to be confirmed by the Senate, but that is generally not a problem with an incoming administration, especially with a Republican-controlled Senate. While I won't be able to hit all of his appointments here, there are some that stand out.

There are, believe it or not, some fairly good appointments in the list.

Tom Price, a Republican congressman and orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, will be appointed as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He's been one of the leading voices in congress calling for the repeal of Obamacare, drafting multiple bills to replace it. He will be Trump's right-hand man in making this happen. If it's going to happen, it will be because of Price. Price is personally against same-sex marriage, but his appointment as HHS secretary will have no impact on that issue at all.

Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, will be appointed as the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and he has to be the first person ever appointed to a position where he is suing that department. Yes, Scott Pruitt is currently in the middle of a lawsuit with the EPA as the attorney general of Oklahoma. That's pretty bad-ass if you ask me. He has actually repeatedly sued the EPA to roll back environmental regulations. Hopefully, this appointment will lead to ending crippling regulations by the EPA.

The Secretary of Education will be Betsy DeVos, one of at least 5 billionaires appointed by Trump. Public school unions are furious over her appointment, which means it is likely going to be an excellent appointment. The head of one of the largest teacher's unions called DeVos, "the most ideological, anti-public education nominee" since the development of the department. Beautiful! She and her husband spent nearly $1.5 million of personal money to prevent the state of Michigan from adding oversight to charter schools. She has also sought to steer money from public schools into private schools. This sounds like a good combo. Get the money out of public schools and get the regulation out of private schools. This is a win-win!

Just today it was announced that Trump is expected to name Andy Puzder, CEO of the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's burger chains, as the labor secretary. Puzder has been a vocal advocate for cutting back regulations he says have stifled growth in the restaurant industry. Mr. Puzder has criticized the Affordable Care Act and argued against raising the federal minimum wage higher than $9 an hour. His appointment could mean scaling back many regulations that hurt businesses and make hiring people too expensive.

Now for the bad. We'll start with Ben Carson, being nominated as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Why is this bad? His only experience with public housing was growing up in it when he was a child in Detroit sixty years ago. However, he has said in the past that "we the people have the responsibility to take care of the indigent in our society; it's not the government's job." This one honestly could go either way, but I'm leaning bad on it.

Nikki Haley has been appointed as the United Nations Ambassador. She's the youngest governor in the country and the first female governor of South Carolina. She has zero foreign policy experience and opposed allowing Syrian refugees into South Carolina. However, she did call Trump's call to ban Muslims from the US "un-American."

And now for the ugly, and goddamnit if it isn't ugly. First, we have James Mattis as Secretary of Defense. He's a retired Marine Corps general who is known as "Mad Dog." He share's Trump's position of taking a stronger approach with Iran and sees political Islam as a significant threat to the US. In 2005, he was quoted as saying, "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys that slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." Mattis has had a hard-on for Iran for 33 years, going back to the Beirut suicide bombing in 1983 that killed 220 Marines and 21 other Americans. In fact, Mattis’ anti-Iran animus is so intense that it led President Barack Obama to replace him as Centcom commander. Interestingly, Mattis disagrees with Trump on Russia and President Putin, seeming to agree more with Clinton in this area than Trump. So, basically, the Defense Secretary wants war with Iran and Russia. We may as well make it official and change the name of the department back from Department of Defense to the fucking War Department.

Jeff Sessions will be the incoming top law enforcement official of the country as attorney general. A junior senator from Alabama for the past 20 years, Sessions is a staunch racist and pro-drug war. He once described the Ku Klux Klan as "okay until I found out they smoked pot." He's been described as a "Drug War Dinosaur" and could bring back the worst of the war on drugs to this country. He's called cannabis reform a "tragic mistake" and that is is a "very real danger" this is "not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized." His racist roots are further evident in that he said a white lawyer who takes on black clients is "a disgrace to their race." Sessions has also made comments that make it appear that he's against end-to-end encryption and has called for government officials to have complete access to encrypted devices.

Mike Pompeo has been tapped by Trump to be the Director of the CIA. Pompeo has spoken out in the favor of the CIA's use of torture, which, according to a Senate report, included "waterboarding...the use of electric shocks, dogs, nudity, hypothermia, and mock executions." He supports government surveillance programs, like the NSA's mass collection of data from Americans' phone calls. And he thinks Edward Snowden should be put to death.

And, finally, Michael Flynn will be the National Security Advisor for Trump. A former Army lieutenant general, he believes the greatest threat to America is "radical Islamic terrorism." He's called Milo Yiannopoulos on of the bravest people he's ever met, and is a pretty staunch member of the alt-right. As the Director if the Defense Intelligence Agency, which he was later fired from, his subordinates started a list of what they called “Flynn facts,” things he would say that weren’t true, like when he asserted that three-quarters of all new cell phones were bought by Africans or, later, that Iran had killed more Americans than Al Qaeda. So, here we have a guy willing to stretch the facts openly to get his way. He'll make a nice fit with Trump.

Trump's good are pretty decent, but his bad and ugly lists far outweigh any good that could be accomplished by this team. This is a pretty scary fucking list, frankly. We're going to be in for a hell of a ride the next four years. Put your tray tables in their upright position and hold the fuck on, because it's going to get ugly.

Until next time... keep striking the root!

 

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