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.
It seems like a good time for an update. So, Donald Trump won the election. This was not the outcome I wanted. Indeed, it is not the outcome a majority of voters wanted. But it is the one we’ve got. Now, the next move is how to keep Trump from implementing his agenda. Massive protests swept the country. There were smaller ones for each of Obama’s victories, but nothing on the scale we’ve seen so far.
Tomorrow is Election Day in the US. If you’re American, able to vote, and haven’t done so yet… do it! And whatever you do, don’t vote for Donald Trump. Please. You’re smarter than that, aren’t you? (I can’t imagine anyone who reads this blog would vote for Trump.) I voted a couple weeks ago. I’m hoping tomorrow is an early night, with Clinton taking Florida or North Carolina quickly and dashing the GOP’s hopes for at least a few more years.
Here is a book that attempts to pick apart the fundamental contradictions of the American South, with mixed success. Tracy Thompson’s The New Mind of the South seeks to find truth in that slice of America that puzzles everyone outside it. I must admit to a particular fascination with the South, myself, both because of its continued importance to American politics and the economy, and also thanks to my personal connections to it.
I’ve been doing this every day for a year. It’s time for a change. Regular readers of this blog won’t find this announcement a surprise. On October 12, 2015, I launched this blog. I have made at least one post for every day since. Whether sick, on vacation, entertaining guests, on the road, or working late nights, I made sure a new post went up every day for the past year.
This may be the last link roundup for a while. Try to hold back your sobs. Tech * [RIP Galaxy Note 7: Samsung permanently ends production](http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/rip-galaxy-note-7-samsung-permanently-ends-production/) -- They couldn't stop the phones from exploding, so they just won't make 'em anymore. * [When free speech and German law collide on Facebook](http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/facebook-under-pressure-for-violating-german-speech-laws-a-1115271.html) -- Facebook apparently makes it almost impossible for governments to communicate with it in order to take down illegal content.