Saturday, February 4, 2017

Add It Up: It's not a Pretty Picture.

Threat Against Democracy (TAD). On January 25th I wrote about alternate facts and the threat they pose if the people don't believe the administration if there comes a time when they are actually telling the truth.  And this week the administration made claims that Iran is violating UN rules.  Most people don't believe it.  Those people are probably right.  After all, the UN hasn't confirmed it.  So, this probably isn't one of those times. But it does make the point.  Mark one against Mike Flynn.  At least a little TAD from him.

A few other recent events that I consider TADs:
Steve Bannon tells the press to shut up and calls the press outrage over propaganda secretary Sean Spicer's lying "a badge of honor."

Kellyanne Conway uses the Bowling Green massacre as an example to underscore her point - a massacre that never occurred.

Public access to climate change data is removed from government web sites.  If you don't like the data, deny it and hide it.

Betsy DeVos knows little about education, but it appears she knows that data about charter school performance don't support their effectiveness.  Why else would she want to exempt them from the accountability standards public schools are measured against?  Next week, Pence will cast his first tie-breaking vote in the Senate to confirm her despite the clear evidence that she doesn't understand the issues, appears to have serious conflicts of interest, and plagiarized part of her confirmation testimony.

It really is sad that we got to a place in this country where we actually needed a rule to tell financial advisors they had to put their clients interests above their own.  It's even sadder when the administration decides not to implement the rule.  It may not be a direct TAD, but it's certainly an attack on the core values upon which our country was founded.  So, yeah, it's a TAD.

The big one, of course, is the not so thinly veiled discrimination against Muslims embodied in the immigration ban.  Whether this is a headshake designed to allow retreat to a still unacceptable, but less extreme position remains to be seen.  What is clear to me is that it's a huge TAD and an attack on the Bill of Rights.  It's a hopeful sign though to see the continuing protests against the ban.

On a side note, did you hear that the administration will include checking social media as part of its extreme vetting program?  Of course, that's been part of the current vetting process for a long time.  Checking social media posts isn't a TAD.  But saying it's a new procedure is.

The examples vary in their impact and I don't mean to treat them all as equal.  But, when you add them all up, it's not a pretty picture.  A lot more than just a TAD.

What are your thoughts about these events?  Do you agree that they are TADs?

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