From Our Future
It's already a Washington truism that Donald Trump, who promised to "drain the swamp" of lobbyists and others who exploit government for personal gain, has turned to it instead for his key appointments.
It's true. The reptiles are taking over. Let's take a tour of the place while we still can.
Welcome to Trump Swamp. Join us on the glass-bottom boat as we gaze on the denizens below. Keep your hands inside the railings -- and please don't feed the gators.
It's hard to get past the white nationalist in any discussion of Trump's team. Sure, they call Steve Bannon's worldview "alt-right," but that's deceptive. That makes it sound like something new, when hatred is as old as the hills.
White supremacist Jared Taylor cheered Bannon's hire, saying he suspected Bannon will serve as an "anti-waffler" to maintain Trump's ideological and racial purity. (Taylor's most recent tweet, as of this writing is, "Excellent Boston Globe article about the Hispanic invasion. This is how we throw away our country.")
"I think that's excellent," said former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke of Bannon's hire.
"Perhaps The Donald IS for 'REAL,'" the chairman of the American Nazi Party exulted, adding: "Time will tell."
Admittedly, when one of the President-elect's appointments gets positive responses from the KKK and the Nazis, it's hard to focus on his other hires. But it's important. If "personnel is policy," as Sen. Elizabeth Warren says, then Trump's policy is plunder.
Billionaire Steve Mnuchin is a leading contender for Secretary of the Treasury. As we first noted last August, Mnuchin ran a mortgage-lending outfit called One West, which was investigated for its abusive treatment of borrowers. The California Reinvestment Coalition asked authorities to investigate One West's pattern of racial discrimination in foreclosures, and specifically cited its "foreclosures of widows."
Looks like the proprietor of Trump University has found a soul mate. There are others.
Trump also sought out JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon for Treasury Secretary. Dimon has presided over a truly epic orgy of fraud during his tenure. Dimon is a generous campaign donor to politicians from both parties, which may explain why he has escaped serious investigation.
(Dimon wisely took his name out of consideration for the job. Elizabeth Warren would have humiliated him.)
Then there's billionaire Wilbur Ross, a leading contender for Commerce Secretary. Ross, who is already reassuring investors that Trump won't do anything rash on trade, invests in "distressed assets." What the aliens in "Independence Day" do to planets like Earth, Ross does to troubled companies. He plunders them for anything of value and then leaves them in ruins.
And speaking of plundering a planet and leaving it in ruins, here are the leading contenders for Trump's top energy and environmental slots: