Friday, December 16, 2016

Too Oily

Finally there's some news about Texas that is bloggable.  As usual, it's something Republican and excessively awful.

The tapping of Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, and Secretary of Energy-designate Rick Perry (a Dancing With the Stars contestant) truly suggests -- as many others have long ago noticed -- that Trump is just trolling us all now.

Rick Perry for the Department of Energy? Perry will be running an organization he doesn’t even think should exist. By that logic, I should be the CEO of Citigroup. Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, for Secretary of State? Negotiating a peace treaty requires a different skill set than getting a permit to drill in the Black Sea.

The New York Times published a thoughtful op-ed by physicist Lawrence M. Krauss noting that the current energy secretary is also a physicist (a Nobel Prize-winning one) and outlining a number of critical issues facing the department. It was headlined, “Rick Perry is the Wrong Choice for Energy Secretary.”

The wrong choice? It’s hard to view these nominations as anything but the deliberate mockery of their departments, and of government itself.

Trump is filling a vacancy previously occupied by two nuclear scientists with Rick Perry, a guy who failed chemistry at Texas A&M.  He did earn a D in a course named Meats, however.  It is worth noting that the DOE has more to do these days with regulating nuclear energy than it does fossil fuels.  Which leaves very little room for mistakes of the cerebral variety.

As with the EPA-head-to-be, these people are no friends of the Earth.

Perry comes across as a likable goofball, but make no mistake: He’ll do a lot of harm in his new role. He’s very close to the oil and gas industry, and he denies the reality of climate change. In addition to steering energy policy, he’ll also be in charge of our nuclear stockpile and responsible for major counter-terrorism efforts.

Worried yet?

After living through and blogging about Perry's terms as governor -- his cronyism, his corruption, his re-election in 2006 with 39% of the vote, the persistent rumors of him being firmly in the closet, his indictments, his skating past his indictments, his Lordapolooza at Reliant/NRG stadium, his inability to find the vagina on an anatomical doll (the 2nd-most clicked post in this blog's fourteen-year history), his outrage at cartoon explosions as opposed to actual ones (in West, TX; the 5th-highest clicked post here) his cuddling a small bottle of maple syrup -- what is there left for me to say about him?

This: assuming there's a United States left after Trump starts WWIII with China, Rick Perry is going to hear God telling him to run for president again some day, and he might just be smart enough to have learned from his mistakes.  For the sake of a God I will never believe in, I hope I'm dead before I see Rick Perry elected president of the US.  Surely there's at least one more shitty neoliberal Democrat that can get in between him and Trump, yes?  No?

As for Tillerson, he's unlikely to survive the confirmation process, with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Tony Perkins all lined up against him.

(Tillerson) made his career by trading with Russia and was now-famously awarded the Kremlin’s “Order of Friendship.”

Even some Republicans are worried about him. “Based upon his extensive business dealings with the Putin government and his opposition of efforts to impose sanctions on the Russian government,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, “there are many questions which must be answered.”

These Republicans don’t mention ExxonMobil’s suppression of scientific data that showed carbon fuels contributed to harmful climate change. For decades it denied that its own products were harming the planet. ExxonMobil spent more than $30 million on think tanks that denied the reality of climate change, despite its own groundbreaking but secret research from the 1970s onward that proved the opposite.

To be fair, Tillerson originally supported Jeb Bush for president, which means the fossil-fuel tycoon isn’t always opposed to “low-energy” alternatives.

Mwahahaha.  If your primary objection to the man is that he turned the Boy Scouts gay, you might just be the most unhinged Christian extremist in the country.

“Trump calls Rex a 'world class player and deal-maker,' but if these are the kinds of deals Tillerson makes — sending dollars to an abortion business that's just been referred for criminal prosecution and risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists — then who knows what sort of 'diplomacy' he would champion at DOS?” Perkins wrote on the Family Research Council’s website, where he serves as president.

Update: Some "hey, it could be worse" than Tillerson from Vox.  There have been many poor choices made by this president-elect to date; it's hard to pick a 'worst'.  But these two Texans are absolutely in the top five.

Trump’s appointees constitute an ‘anti-government,’ to use Eugene Robinson’s resonant phrase. But let’s be clear about what that really means: Trump’s appointees will lead institutions whose functions they fundamentally oppose.

Tillerson has displayed no interest in diplomacy. Rick Perry is the ultimate ‘anti-government’ appointee. His desire to extinguish his new department is matched only by his ability to forget that it even exists. Neither seems to value government’s role in balancing public and private interests.

Trump isn’t just making “wrong choices” for these jobs. He’s displaying his contempt for the positions themselves. He’s showing himself and his friends just how much he can get away with.

Those of us who can see Trump for who he is should stop acting as if he’s unique. His pitch is as stale as an old carny’s. His con is as dated as three-card monte.

Trump voters don’t seem to have figured out yet that they’re being trolled and scammed. They will. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time - not when the world falls into chaos and the air turns dark with poison.

Too dramatic?  You'd better hope so.

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