Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jesse Jackson: Trump's Cabinet nominations are calculated insult

Trump's Cabinet nominations are calculated insult
Trump's Cabinet nominations are calculated insult
November 22, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump protests that he isn’t really the racist, sexist, anti-immigrant Islamaphobe that his rhetorical excesses in the presidential campaign suggested he was.
Then he appoints as his “chief strategist” a firebrand who published white supremacist, anti-Semitic and misogynist provocations on his media platform. He appoints as national security adviser a retired general who calls Islam an ideology rather than a religion. And now he seems intent on nominating Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general, despite racist views that led Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject him for a federal judicial appointment during the Reagan years.
The appointment of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III can only be a calculated insult to people of color and people of conscience. It shows that Trump is itching for a fight with the civil rights community. During his Senate hearing in 1986 it was revealed that Sessions told a Civil Rights Division attorney that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK” until he learned they smoked pot. Sessions said he was joking. Sessions also called a black assistant U.S. attorney — the only black assistant A.G. in his office — “boy.” He dismissed the NAACP, Martin Luther King’s SCLC and PUSH as “un-American” and “communist inspired.”
After his rejection, Sessions curbed his tongue a bit. He voted to confirm Eric Holder as the country’s first black attorney general. He co-sponsored the Fair Sentencing Act that aims at reducing the stark disparities in sentencing for black and white drug offenders.
Yet Sessions continues to stand in the doorway against progress toward equal rights. He dismissed the Voting Rights Act as a “piece of intrusive legislation.” As senator, he peddled nonsense about voter fraud and voter intimidation. He’s defended state voter ID laws, part of the voter suppression package that Republican governors have pushed in states across the country.
He opposed hate-crime laws and supported the effort to end affirmative action programs. Even after the murder of nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., led to removal of the Confederate flag across much of the South, Sessions called the criticism of this symbol of slavery and secession an effort by the “left” to “delegitimize the fabulous accomplishments of our country.”
Sessions has also been — no surprise — a venomous advocate for a crackdown on undocumented workers. He opposes any easing of immigration laws, denounces President Barack Obama’s decision to defer deportation of the families of children who have been born here, and even opposed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court
This appointment comes with the Trump administration threatening a rollback of basic rights — women’s right to control their bodies, gay rights, voting rights, immigration enforcement, drug legalization and the escalating effort to challenge systemic racism in our criminal justice system. Sessions would lead a reactionary assault seeking to reverse or weaken all of these rights.
“If you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen, Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez said in a news release.
But Trump is about to discover this country has changed. We aren’t going back. African Americans won’t accept a criminal justice system that puts the lives of their children at risk. Latinos and Asian-Americans won’t huddle, frightened that ICE agents may invade their homes. Women and the LGBT community won’t give up their push for equal rights.
If Trump goes ahead with the Sessions nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should hold extensive public hearings on his views and his record. His nomination is more than a disgrace. It is a provocation, a declaration that the Trump administration wants to rollback rights that were won after decades of struggle. The president isn’t picking a fight with minorities. He is picking a fight with the vast majority of America — and we won’t go back.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump names Big Food lobbyist to set up Dept of Agriculture

lobbyists that candidate Trump railed against are now among President-Elect Trump’s most prominent advisors.

The New York Times reports that the very same special-interest corporate consultants and lobbyists that candidate Trump railed against are now among President-Elect Trump’s most prominent advisors.
Notably, Trump has named Michael Torrey, a lobbyist for the American Beverage Association and Dean Foods, to help set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.
The hypocrisy is astounding. And what they end up with will probably be horrifying.
Help CSPI blow the whistle on appointing individuals with clear conflicts-of-interest to high-level policymaker positions. Managing government is not about getting rich quick. It is about providing the public with much-needed protections from vested interests whose motivations are either shrinking government or turning a profit.
CSPI is on high alert, and we will do all we can to defend the public’s health and the safety of the food system. A gift today will come at a critical time, just as the lame duck session of Congress begins Monday morning.

Donald Trump’s early decisions regarding USDA, EPA, and other major agencies indicate that he is declaring a war on science and bent on returning us to the dark days of uninspected meat and junk food in schools. Please consider making a monthly contribution to help us hold the line and protect the gains that we’ve made over the past eight years.


Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
P.S. Send a message to the new Administration and Congress that we won’t be silenced if they try to dismantle all we’ve accomplished to protect the public’s health.  Give now. Give generously. Your voice will be heard—whether they like it or not.