Welp, I think we’re all going to have a bitch of a time remembering all the fucking awful things Trump has done, because he keeps piling them on. So I am constructing the ultimate Your Fave Is Problematic post starting today (29 November).
My policy is going to be that I’ll only include stories and links to things that Trump and his hires have said; i.e., Trump’s friends and supporters may say and do things that won’t make the list. I’m trying to stick to just the things that are official words and deeds coming out of the Trump administration. Will update as warranted. If you notice any mistakes, inaccuracies, etc., please comment and let me know!
If I don’t specifically mention where a link is headed in the text of my sentence, I’ll include a parenthetical note on the source. When referencing local stories I will do my best to cite local newspapers, TV, and radio rather than national. I don’t have time to watch video so I’ll be sharing articles rather than videos, nearly always. I will tend to cite neutral/conservative-leaning news sources over liberal-leaning ones where basic facts are concerned (though I’ll try to include both conservative and liberal analysis), since it’s been very difficult for right and left to agree on what actually happened at any given time.
The Financial Times broke the news that President-Elect Trump called Taiwan, marking the first contact between the Taiwanese and US governments since diplomatic relations were cut in 1979. According to Fox News, the White House did not know about the call until after it happened; and the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said that China does not expect any alteration in US foreign policy towards China and Taiwan. China subsequently lodged a complaint (BBC News) about the call.
Trump tweeted (here and here) (still not threaded, please God someone teach the man to thread tweets):
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you! Interesting how the U.S. sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call.
That is interesting. I have to go to work right now, but I will swing back by later and see if I can help the President-Elect out on this.
Victory rally in Cincinnati
President-Elect Trump’s totally normal, not at all disturbing series of victory rallies kicked off today in Cincinnati. According to Business Insider, he pointed out the members of the press assembled in the arena and said, “The people back there, the extremely dishonest press. Very dishonest people … I mean how dishonest.” The crowd booed enthusiastically. The Cincinnati Enquirer says that he then added, “I love this stuff. Should we go on with this a little bit longer?”
(You can watch all this on video, if you wish.)
So yeah. The rhetorical delegitimizing of a free press continues. It’s also alarming that Trump continues to point screaming mobs at specific people he doesn’t like.
Corey Lewandowski thing that I’m not going to worry about for now
A couple of people sent me this story about Corey Lewandowski, so I’ll address it quickly. At a Harvard event for Trump and Clinton staffers (which sounds like a shitshow (Bloomberg)), Lewandowski criticized Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, for expressing his willingness to go to jail (CNN) in order to publish Donald Trump’s tax returns. Lewandowski cited Baquet’s words from earlier in the year and added: “He’s willing to commit a felony on a private citizen to post his taxes? . . . It’s egregious. He should be in jail.”
Lewandowski is not currently employed with the Trump campaign / administration, but some people are spun up about this comment in the context of the possibility that he will get a job in the Trump administration. If he does, I’ll keep this story here. If not, I’ll try to remember (or you can remind me!) to come back and delete it.
Global Warming Jesus Christ
Okay, this one can’t be blamed on Trump but it’s so fucked up that I’m sharing it here anyway. The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (Wikipedia gives you an overview of its history and jurisdiction) retweeted (badly–can someone please teach our government officials how to use Twitter?) a story from Breitbart claiming that global temperatures had dropped by an unprecedented amount in the second half of the year.
The Breitbart story drew most of its information from a Daily Mail (I know) story by David Rose. The Washington Post explores which data Rose was using and why they present a very incomplete picture (short version: he used data that only measure land temperature, i.e., only 29% of the entirety of the earth’s surface).
The Breitbart piece also cites David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate change skeptic that has about 80 annual members, doesn’t disclose its funding sources, and is directed by a social anthropologist and chaired by a Tory politician (i.e., actual climate scientists are not involved). David Whitehouse is a longtime science reporter whose science education and expertise is in astrophysics (space science), not climatology or any other branch of atmospheric science.
Also, the chairman of the House Science Committee writes for Breitbart sometimes. Not worrying at all.
Trump announced a deal with heating and cooling company Carrier to reduce by half the number of jobs the company will send to Mexico, receiving criticism from liberals and conservatives. Though we don’t have a ton of details about the deal, Carrier received $7 million in tax credits, and we can safely assume that their parent company, United Technology Corporation, was aware of the potential loss of federal contracts (NYTimes) if they failed to agree. Fox News explores what we do and don’t know about this deal:
The prospect that the White House might directly intervene is also a concern to some economists. The incentives needed to keep jobs from moving often come at the public’s expense. They note that Trump’s activism might encourage companies to threaten to move jobs overseas in hopes of receiving tax breaks or contracts with the government.
“It sets up a race to the bottom,” said Diane Lim, chief economist at the nonprofit Committee for Economic Development.
NPR explores some of the job problems that a Trump presidency will need to address in the next four years. Reuters notes that United Technology Corporation still plans to close a separate Indiana branch that employs 700 American workers. The economic minister of Nueva Leon, Mexico, said this deal was reminiscent of “[what] they call banana (republics) in the United States” (Reuters). The National Review called the deal “straight-up corporate welfare.”
Rafael Sanchez, an investigative journalist at Indianapolis’s ABC affiliate TV station, has covered Carrier’s proposed closures and the lives of its workers extensively. He was refused press credentials to the event where the Carrier deal was announced, apparently at the behest of the Carrier team rather than the Trump/Pence camp.
Trump released a series of tweets in the wee hours of the morning saying that he’ll give a press conference on December 15th to explain the disposition of his business assets. Newsday makes the case that handing the running of his business over to his children would be sufficient. Washington Post explores why it may not be. The Sunlight Foundation is now maintaining a running list of potential and confirmed conflicts of interests between Trump’s administrative duties and his business ties.
5:55 AM, Trump tweets:
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!
Context: The Supreme Court cases Texas v. Johnson (1989) and U.S. v. Eichman (1990) (links go to Oyez.org) ruled that flag-burning is constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment. Since these Supreme Court cases, constitutional amendments prohibiting flag-burning have been proposed over a dozen times.
Since everybody seems to think I have forgotten a thing I have in no way forgotten and indeed brought up semi-regularly over the course of the last election season: In 2005, then-Senator Hillary Clinton sponsored a law that would have made flag-burning illegal in certain contexts. These contexts were vaguely defined in the language of the bill, and it was never assigned to committee or sent to Congress for a vote. Clinton voted against a constitutional amendment against flag-burning in 2006.
Also, “loss of citizenship” is a thing nobody, until today, has proposed as a response to flag-burning. Because it’s, you know, horrifying.
Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus went on Fox News to discuss some of the President-Elect’s positions and said this about climate change (from the Fox News transcript):
As far as this issue on climate change — the only thing he was saying after being asked a few questions about it is, look, he’ll have an open mind about it but he has his default position, which most of it is a bunch of bunk, but he’ll have an open mind and listen to people. I think that’s what he’s saying.
Trump scheduled, then canceled (via Twitter), then rescheduled a meeting with the New York Times. Three sources confirmed to the Times that chief of staff Reince Priebus, who had been urging the president-elect to cancel the meeting, incorrectly told Trump that the Times was changing the terms of the meeting, and that this was what led Trump to Twitter-cancel the meeting.
Okay, I’m not going back in time because it’s impossible for me to keep up, but real quick, here’s a New York Times article on some of Trump’s business holdings in foreign countries and why they are a problem.
And also here is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on hate crimes following the election.