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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/29/16

Trump Initiates a Political Inquisition; the GOP Attacks America's Most Important Social Programs

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   15 comments
Message Michael Payne

Even though he has yet to enter the Oval Office it appears that President-elect Donald Trump is already showing clear signs of how he intends to conduct his presidency. Let's call what we are currently seeing under Trump's direction the initiation of his agenda of intimidation, i.e., a political inquisition.

Additionally the GOP and, especially Paul Ryan, are making it clear that they want to repeal Obamacare as quickly as possible even though they have no plan of any kind to provide medical coverage to the many millions of Americans who are now enrolled in it. And this is just the start of the coming GOP attacks on important American social programs.

The Inquisition Begins

Trump's first act under this political inquisition began when his transition team requested the Energy Dept. to furnish it with a list of the names of that department's employees who were engaged in work related to the issue of climate change.

This from the Washington Post: "Donald Trump's transition team has issued a list of 74 questions to the Energy Department, asking agency officials to identify which employees and contractors have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation's carbon output."

As the Post pointed out, "Trump and his team have vowed to dismantle specific aspects of Obama's climate policies, and Trump has questioned the reality of climate change." After that request was received and reviewed by officials of the Energy Dept. they replied that, though the department would cooperate with the new administration, it would not furnish the names of the individuals doing this work.

Then this transition team directed another email to the State Dept. asking for it to furnish a list of individuals who are working on anti-extremism programs. It said, "Please indicate names of people serving in those roles and status (political or career)." The very ominous part of that request has to do with asking about these employees' career status.

A similar request was also made of the Dept. of Homeland Security which operates within the jurisdiction of the State Department. The request was made because Homeland Security handles threats posed by foreign extremists and terrorist groups such as ISIS.

One of the next targets of this administration will be the Consumer Protection Agency, created through the efforts of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and which has the responsibility of taking actions against companies violating consumer financial laws, including engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. This is the agency that recently fined Wells Fargo $100 million for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.

Trump has promised to dismantle this agency and the question is why in the world would he want to tear down an agency that guards against companies doing things that hurt the American people financially? The answer is that he is going to do anything he can to advance the interests of the Corporatists of America.

So this is how his Political Inquisition has begun and we, no doubt, are soon going to see which government agencies are his next targets.

Let's turn to a different subject, but one that is also another good example of how Trump is already going in all the wrong directions. Recently he made these Twitter comments about nuclear weapons; "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes." Well as soon as that message about increasing America's already huge arsenal of these weapons of mass destruction hit the news alarms should have sounded across this entire nation.

What exactly does he mean when he says, "until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes?" Except for North Korea's constant threats about using nuclear weapons against America and other nations, which of the current nuclear powers in the world have lost their senses about these weapons of mass destruction?

In fact, the danger of some nation using those monstrous weapons has been lessened somewhat in recent times when the Obama administration, together with Russia and several other countries, concluded an important agreement with Iran so that country would not move ahead with a program to develop nuclear weapons. So what is Trump talking about?

Trump's friend Putin announced that "Moscow must "strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems." Right now out of the 9 nations that possess nuclear weapons only three, the U.S., Russia and North Korea are the ones that should "come to their senses" and stop talking about ways that would even increase this threat.

What might Trump do when he becomes president and has the capability of launching an attack using nukes? Here's a critically important question: does a U.S. president have the authority to launch a nuclear attack without proper justification?

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