Trump is now trying to expedite final approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline. What’s going on? In case it didn’t come to your attention last year, efforts are underway to build an oil pipeline through parts of North Dakota. The pipeline’s course brings it to within 500 feet of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, not to mention beneath the Missouri River–a vital water source. This means that a break in the pipe would be potentially catastrophic, contaminating the land and water.
The Environmental Protection Agency may well be facing its greatest threat since its inception. What’s going on? Trump has essentially frozen the activities of the EPA, and has forbidden employees from commenting about EPA activities on social media and to the press. Why is it important? The EPA is an essential regulatory agency. Our land, air, and water are all vital, irreplaceable resources which ultimately belong to the public and need to be protected for present and future generations.
Here are three of Trump’s recent executive orders to pay attention to. What’s going on? Trump has signed executive orders on three policies: * Signaling our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement negotiations. * Reinstating the "Mexico City policy" with regard to abortion, which puts certain restrictions on foreign aid. * Instituting a federal hiring freeze. Why is it important? Withdrawing from TPP is difficult to gauge as wholly positive or negative, especially for an agreement that has never gone into effect.
This isn’t a hard one: it just involves spreading the truth. What’s going on? Trump is claiming the media is being “dishonest” about the paltry size of the crowd that attended his inauguration. Why is it important? The Trump administration is likely to be characterized by spats with the media, in which facts and evidence are dismissed as lies and propaganda. He and his supporters need to be challenged on this as often as possible, lest they take control of the public discourse and obtain a monopoly on defining “truth.
Trump has launched his opening salvo against the Affordable Care Act. What’s going on? Within hours of his inauguration, Trump signed an executive order designed as the first executive step to dismantling the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In brief, the executive order commands federal agencies to interpret the law as loosely as possible in enforcement terms, and gives states more flexibility in how they implement the law’s requirements.
It’s been a while. Let’s catch up. By the time you read this, Donald Trump will be President of the United States of America. This is a dark time for America, and indeed the entire world. Kleptocrats and religious zealots, no longer content with influencing government policy through bribery and media warfare, have now been invited into the halls of power by the narcissist a minority of voters put into the White House.