Living Large in Carson City: The Little Prince Plays Politician

Honestly, I feel as if I’ve awakened from a dream and have been transported back in time to the Middle Ages in a European country that just lost their fabled and beloved king. Standing in the wings is the semi-illiterate, detested only son who is set to assume the throne despite his obvious lack of ability or inclination to rule. The son’s thin skinned, hostile and cruel nature is legend and bodes badly for much of the kingdom’s inhabitants, especially those who disagree with his faults and beliefs. The nation despairs as the subjects prepare for the worst.

Like a presumptive king to be, The Donald is poised to take over the reins of power in a matter of weeks at this point. He continues his erratic behavior of tweeting, attacking both imagined and real opponents, making outlandish statements, and generally, acting anything but presidential. One of his latest and most disturbing acts of idiocy is his refusal to engage in daily intelligence briefings. Wisecracks aside, this is truly disturbing and begs the question why? This is the man who will have access to nuclear launch codes in late January, and he can’t be bothered to educate himself on the state of the very dangerous world in which we live. Yet, the man finds time to tweet lies and false accusations in the wee hours of the morning as if anything he has to say would be found enlightening or interesting to the average American voter.

Of course, his appointments to his White House staff are also quite concerning. Bannon, Sessions, Flynn, and now, Tom Price, avowed enemy of Obama Care and free market privatization advocate, all fall in the worst case scenario docket for American progressives, the middle and lower classes and just about anyone hoping to live in a free and democratic society. Really though, what did we expect? Trump rode into the White House with the support of right wing wackos, fundamentalist Christians, the Alt-Right (or is it White Supremacists now?), and although it sounds harsh, an unexpected host of old white people who it turns out are actually racists, misogynistic, and self-serving entitled bigots who lack the empathy to understand that it’s not just about them.

What concerns me even more are often lesser appointments that are either motivated by party loyalty and payback to long time Republican hacks. Rachel Maddow on Monday night demonstrated just how deep and insidious the sleaze factor is when The Donald picks and chooses. In  her opening segment, Maddow highlighted K. T. McFarland’s appointment as  Deputy National Security Adviser. While I urge you to watch the video, this little nugget of wisdom should scare the hell out of you.

But in Trump’s America, experience or actual bona fides don’t really matter.

Said Maddow,

Now, the “upper east side society matron” who was registered to vote at two addresses, who illegally charged her Rudy Giuliani golf games to her donors, who said she was the highest ranking woman in the Pentagon when she was not, who said she was the first female staffer on the Senate armed services committee which she was not, who said she wrote [Ronald Reagan’s] Star Wars speech when she did not, turns out what she did do after that hilariously inauspicious obscure debut in electoral politics, what she did do is she got a contributor gig at Fox News after all of that. And that is apparently enough because now she is about to become the deputy national security adviser to the President of the United States.

As Maddow notes in the clip, McFarland not only registered to vote at two addresses, she actually voted twice. More troubling as the clip reveals is the fact that the Deputy Security Adviser is not some lame, feel good position. It is, in fact, the position that does the leg work on a day to day  basis that accumulates security data and briefs the actual Security Adviser (Flynn in this case) on threats to America’s safety and security. Here is the YouTube video of Maddow’s segment.

Then there is his pick for Education Secretary:

President-elect Donald Trump’s recent appointment of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary again provides more evidence that this administration aims not only to undermine public education and the public sector at large, constituting a direct assault on democracy, but also to further a two-tiered society of haves and have-nots by making access to quality education increasingly inaccessible to the children of working-class and middle-class families.

Of course, to understand these consequences of a DeVos appointment, we have to look behind the rosy rhetoric of “school choice” to understand that “school choice” actually means diverting money from the public education system to private schools and allowing a good number of public, particularly public neighborhood, schools to deteriorate by under funding them.

As it has been widely reported in the press,

Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, billionaire Betsy DeVos, has no education degree or teaching experience, has never attended a public school or sent her children to one, and supports the funding of for-profit Christian schools over public ones; she got the job because she donated $9.5 million to Trump’s campaign.

This seemed preposterous on the face of it. I went to to verify this statement and found it to be more true than false: Snopes

Finally, in the spirit of political incestuousness, we have Elizabeth Chao as Transportation Secretary. Chao has been around for a while on the national scene. She was Secretary of Labor under George W.’s reign of terror and a scourge to unions, but more problematic is who she sleeps with at night. Her husband, the man turtle Jon Stewart often mimicked on the Daily Show, and Senate Majority leader is delighted with his wife’s appointment.  How that will unfold is a question yet to be answered.

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