The Dissemblers


6/09/2017 – Marble Falls, TX


Vern Turner

 “Everybody loves to hate government workers, but Republicans have set out to dismantle merit-based civil service rules that protect against patronage and graft.  The administration’s eagerness to fire government employees, for political or other reasons, has been on display since his campaign pledge to freeze federal hiring and end “waste, fraud and abuse.” Presidential chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon put it more bluntly following Trump’s election, pledging the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

These are the monkeys with the loaded weapons, Trump is only the fire shield with his tweeting and toying with the press.  Don’t be too diverted by the monkey in the center ring. Keep an eye on the sideshows in Congress and the Cabinet. “ (editors note)


VP Mike Pence 
Choosing Pence is pretty much Trump’s way of doubling down on the intolerance and far-right ideology that has characterized his campaign thus far.  Heck, fellow governors have labeled Pence a “bigot,” meaning we’ve got an all-bigot ticket on our hands! If that’s not alarming enough, here are some other reasons to panic about this choice:

Secretary of State:  Rex Tillerson is the CEO of EXXON/Mobil oil, the largest oil company in the world. He is also the awardee for Russia’s Medal of Friendship, given him by none other than Vladimir Putin himself. Reason? Tillerson wanted to help Russia extract oil and gas from the Arctic regions of Asia. Five hundred billion dollars isn’t chump change. Does anyone see a possibility for conflict of interest here?  BTW, OLIGARCH should be all Caps!

Secretary of the Treasury: Steve Mnuchin is that kind of Wall Street insider that people love to hate. So, naturally, as a former partner at Goldman-Sachs, he will be given the keys to the vault. What could possibly go wrong here? It seems that his confirmation hearings may be the most entertaining of the bunch in light of all the entanglements he has in the business world. Then, his new boss is so entangled; it may take all of the coming four years to find the end of that pasta noodle.

Secretary of Defense: For the first time in our history, our defense secretary will be a retired military man, USMC General (ret.) James “Mad Dog” Mattis. But general Mattis hasn’t been retired long enough to be legally considered for this post unless he (or somebody) can talk Congress into allowing him dispensation to serve. Somebody nicknamed “Mad Dog” sitting next to a narcissistic paranoiac President in times of crisis sends shivers up the spine of this old dog. How are you doing with that?

Attorney General: Picking Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the chief law-enforcement officer of the land has already sent chills down the spine of everyone not white, not Christian and not a naturalized citizen. In fact, his home office in Montgomery was picketed today by protesters opposing his confirmation. He may not get confirmed, and it will be a hard hearing series. His racist decisions from the past as the Alabama AG will haunt him throughout his time in Washington.

Secretary of Interior: Ryan Zinke from Montana is another of the legion of climate change deniers that Trump surrounds himself with. Zinke is a clear-cut House representative and former Navy Seal. Coupled with Perry and Pruitt, our environment, National Parks and wild places look to be put up for grabs and the driller’s rig. Looking at these selections in total appears to represent a grave threat to our nation’s natural beauty and majesty. But it’s all for profit, don’t you see?

U.N. Ambassador: Nikki Haley is a woman, and she’s the daughter of immigrants. Trump wants a few non-white non-males in his cabinet, and he likely couldn’t care less about the UN. So why not? He’s not rewarding anyone and he’s not worried about 2020. Nor does he care that Haley is bizarrely unqualified for a job that dozens of people would kill for. He’s just checking off a box.

Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross is most known for being the mortgage repossession king at Invesco. He seems to be more committed to getting people out of their homes so he can re-sell them for a profit, than keeping people IN their homes so they can pay taxes. Another very curious choice…unless you were considering further attacks of the poor and middle classes.

Secretary of Labor: Andrew Pudzner is the CEO of Carl’s Junior and Hardee’s fast food chains, among others. He has been a vocal critic of the minimum wage and has stated that he wants to replace most or all of his restaurant labor with robots. He has been part of scandals and lawsuits related to overtime pay and firing practices. This is yet another curiosity pick in that Pudzner seems more inclined to eliminating labor that seeing to its justice in the work place. I wonder if those annoying labor laws that people and unions have worked for over the past decades will survive Pudzner’s term in office.  Back to flippin burgers!

Secretary of Health and Human ServicesNot only is Dr. Tom Price, the current chairman of the House Budget Committee, he is another surgeon on the cabinet. Doesn’t the medical profession pay as well as it used to? Well, Dr. Tom has long been an advocate for eliminating Medicare and Medicaid. He just might be the guy who figures that the best way to cure sickness in old people is to let them die. On the other hand, if he floats his plans to Congress to kill these highly necessary and popular programs AMONG THE PEOPLE, he may just start the revolution that will end this sort of backward thinking forever.

Secretary of HUD: Picking Dr. Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, for this post is a lot like picking your school janitor to build an aircraft carrier, but in reverse. Another way of looking at this pick is: Yes, Carson has lived in houses in an inner city, therefore he is qualified to run a major, multi-billion dollar bureaucracy that sees to public housing for millions of mostly poor people. It’s almost the same as saying, “Wow. What a great dinner. I’m full. That must mean that there is no world hunger.”

Secretary of Transportation: Meet Mrs. Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao for your new transportation secretary. Despite the obvious nepotism and favor swapping, Ms. Chao is an experienced hand at managing bureaucracies. We wish her well, and she will be great … as long as she stays away from her husband.

Secretary of Energy: Picking Rick Perry for this post has to be Trump’s idea of an eye-poke to those who work hard at ensuring energy availability and those who are trying to move us toward renewable energy to replace our dependence on fossil fuels. Perry has stated, though in a somewhat truncated manner, that he would like to eliminate this department from the executive branch of government. This is yet another of Trump’s antithetic selections to a positive outcome.

Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos has never attended a public school. Her children have never attended public school. But she is of the DeVos mogul family of Amway pyramid scheme infamy. She has used her vast wealth to champion the overthrow of public schools in Michigan with various voucher and charter school schemes, all designed to garner profits for her pals trying to operate those schools and make money off of public funding. This appointment begins the list of cabinet choices that seem to dissemble the very department they will be in charge of. Why would this have a positive outcome for our children, especially those trapped in the inner-cities?

Small Business Administration: Another non-cabinet post… The president-elect picked another entertainment mogul, Linda McMahon to be the SBA’s chief. Her claim-to-fame? She is CEO of the World Wrestling Entertainment part of “niche” show business. Her small business experience? None. Oh. She did contribute millions of dollars to the Trump campaign. That’s making it to the top the hard way, isn’t it?

Secretary of Homeland Security: Another retired USMC General, John Kelly, was picked for this newest cabinet position. His record is one of exceptional service while fighting in the Bush wars. What experience he has in intelligence gathering and anti-terrorism remains an unknown factor in his confirmation.

Environmental Protection Agency: While not a cabinet-ranked position, Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma was selected. Mr. Pruitt has been a staunch opponent of everything and anything that threatens the freedom of oil companies to drill and pollute at their leisure. He is also an avowed climate change denier, claiming “hoax” as his operative word. So, which environment will he be protecting? The closest guess would be the environment for de-regulation and maximum profit at the expense of the environment, not its protection.

Not Pictured: “I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,” – Michael T. Flynn, after 26 days as the National Security Adviser.