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    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Trump's Legislative Failures Hide The Damage Being Done At Federal Agencies

    While there is rightly a lot of focus on just how little the Republicans and Donald Trump are getting accomplished legislatively, there is still an enormous amount of damage being done with only the use of executive power. From climate change and other environmental issues to voting rights to turning over the airwaves to right wing propagandists, Trump and his executioners are doing real damage, damage that will take years to rebuild.

    Scott Pruitt, working under lock and key and surrounded by armed guards, has been systematically removing data from the EPA web site, eliminating monitoring of oil and gas well emissions, and ordering the economic benefits of wetlands to be removed from any analysis of the protection of large bodies of water implemented by the Obama administration. In addition, Pruitt is also planning to water down the limits on water pollution from coal-fired power plants, another rule implemented by the Obama administration. As one environmental lawyer cried, "It’s hard to believe that our government officials right now are so beholden to big business that they are willing to let power plants continue to dump lead, mercury, chromium and other dangerous chemicals into our water supply." Welcome to the Republican party and the Trump administration.

    Over at the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions is leading the continual attack on innocent undocumented aliens, refusing to defend voting rights, and going after colleges and universities over mythical "reverse discrimination". His latest attack on civil rights was to demand 1.3 million IP addresses accessing an anti-Trump website that was trying to organize protests at Donald Trump's inauguration.

    Meanwhile, the goals of Trump's  "Election Integrity" Commission, headed by Mike Pence and Kris Kobach and abetted by Sessions at the DOJ, have made their goals quite clear and that is to make sure that state and local election boards remove as many people from the voting rolls as humanly possible on the flimsiest of grounds. The aim of the commission is to "prove" there are far more registered voters on the rolls than are actually eligible to vote and force the election boards to purge those rolls. Those purges will inevitably lead to eligible voters being unwittingly or illegally purged.

    There are plenty of other terrible policies being implemented across a wide variety of federal agencies headed by Trump's oligarchic cabinet. And, like Pruitt at the EPA, much of the dirty work is being done as far under the radar as possible because they know none of it will be popular. The changes these agencies make have no basis in facts or policy and will cause lasting damage. that damage will cause the next Democratic President, whomever that may be, to waste valuable time and resources merely rebuilding what the Trump team has destroyed. But that is pretty much the general GOP policy these days.

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