Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week 56: Really Bad Television! (January 15, 2017)

Dear Readers,

The Trump inauguration is only five days away, and politics is just as important as ever. A reminder that all newsletters (and more) are available at

Trump Cabinet Confirmation Hearings

This week, work began on the confirmation hearings for the president-elect’s cabinet picks.

Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions: Surprisingly, the Sessions hearing wasn’t all bad. Sessions does have a questionable record on civil rights, and that remains a huge issue, but in his hearing Session vowed to oppose a Muslim registry. He even vowed to respect Roe v. Wade, it being federal law. However, his positions on women’s rights, voting rights, and, most importantly, sentencing and prisons, remain deeply worrying. Another worrying thing is an exchange he had with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Whitehouse asked him whether “a secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious.” Session said that he was “not sure”. This is strange and, frankly, not a good attitude for an important cabinet member to have.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:  Tillerson faced lots of heat on his potential conflicts of interest. The person grilling him over this was, surprisingly, Marco Rubio (R-FL). Tillerson also tentatively opposes a Muslim registry, believes in gender equality, and thinks climate change is real. However, he lied about his lobbying against sanctions, doesn’t care about addressing climate change any time soon, and clearly doesn’t think poorly of Putin.

Secretary of HUD Ben Carson: Doctor Carson is being quoted as saying "It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American.” However, this is an intentionally fabricated quote. Instead, Carson actually said "It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American, particularly. It's for all Americans, everything that we do." It’s a terrible thing for journalists to misquote him just to make fun of him, and anybody who hates fake news should not let people get away with this. However, Carson is still a strange human being who made it a major part of his campaign last year to prove that he did, indeed, try to stab someone, even though the claim is disputed.

Another Week in the Life of Donald Trump

First, Trump held a strange press conference in which he repeatedly lied, revealed his main priorities for being president are building a wall and repealing ObamaCare. This was Trump’s first press conference since late July, and it did little to clear very much up. Also, this:

“Trump falsely claimed that there are “96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get [one].” There are roughly 96 million people not in the labor force, but that includes retirees, students and others who don’t want jobs. Only 5.5 million of them want work.”

Then, Donald Trump announced Rudy Giuliani for a big role in cybersecurity - presumably, he’s only filling the position until Barron Trump gets older: “I have a son—he’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers. It’s unbelievable.”

He also decided to wish everyone a happy Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend by viciously attacking civil rights icon and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner John Lewis (D-GA), by calling him “all talk, no action.” Yes, John Lewis, who was nearly killed at the march on Selma, helped organize the March on Washington, and has served in Congress for 30 years, is definitely “no action.”

And to top it all off, he continued his vicious tirade against a great American enemy - Saturday Night Live! “.@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!”
Donald certainly has his priorities straight! He’ll attack John Lewis and Alex Baldwin, but not Vladimir Putin!

Obama’s Farewell Speech

This Tuesday, President Obama gave his farewell speech. An uplifting speech that brings back memories of his 2008 campaign and the optimism of his earlier years in office, it was a great moment. Obama has under a week left in office, and it will be sad to see him go. He also later gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to VP Joe Biden.

Republicans Move to Dismantle Affordable Care Act

There isn’t much to report on this, but the Republicans in congress have begun to take the steps necessary to dismantle ObamaCare. I’ll write more about this if and when they complete the process.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment.

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