MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Wayne Barrett Exposed The Real Trump. Now There's Only One Way To Honor Him. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>He must have been exhausted. We have all been exhausted, watching America shout down common sense and set ablaze the last few defensible vestiges of circa-1787 political and economic philosophy. But as much as it all weighed on many of us, he&nbsp; carried extra baggage. He had literally written the book on Donald J. Trump&rsquo;s bent psyche and business. He had forgotten more dirt on Trump than reporters of my generation ever dug up.</p> <p>But Wayne Barrett, longtime Village Voice investigative political reporter and mentor to hundreds of journalists, wasn&rsquo;t tired. He wanted to work, man; and work he did, even as he was driven away to the hospital for the last time, dying there at 71 late Thursday. Wayne needed all the time allotted to him, because America needed him.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">On the drive to the hospital where he breathed his last, Wayne Barrett was still doing interviews for a big, tough story on Donald Trump.</p> &mdash; Tom Robbins (@tommy_robb) <a href="">January 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>When it became clear a year ago that Trump&nbsp; actually might ascend to lead the nation&rsquo;s oldest political party, Wayne&rsquo;s 1992 investigative biography, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Trump: The Deals and the Downfall</em></a>, got a reprint&mdash;and an instant audience among other journalists. Based on digging Wayne had done since the &lsquo;70s, it&rsquo;s the keel on which a great deal of the best Trump reporting was built.</p> <p>Trump was only one of the big whales Wayne hunted, though. He wrote two books on Rudy Giuliani, scorching his largely bogus 9/11 heroism, along with his relationship-wrecking and influence-peddling. In 37 years at the <em>Voice</em>, and recently in other fair corners of the internet, Wayne put the screws to Ed Koch, Al D&rsquo;Amato, Mike Bloomberg, and multiple Cuomos.</p> <p>Over the past 18 months, Wayne fielded a steady stream of calls and emails. Reporters asked for help with a distant mob name, a defunct company, a disgruntled counterparty. &ldquo;I got some stuff on it in the basement,&rdquo; he told me on the phone last year when I ran a very specific&nbsp; bit of &lsquo;80s Trump trivia past him. &ldquo;Come on up and dig.&rdquo;</p> <p>Lots of reporters took him up on similar offers, a steady queue of them making the pilgrimage to the Brooklyn house he shared with his wife, Fran, to chitchat and sift boxes on boxes of notes and clippings downstairs. He was there for all of us, even if it the scheduling occasionally had to be done by one of his research interns.</p> <p>Ah, the interns. Wayne maintained an army of them to dig through databases, cajole sources, connect dots, and frequently co-author pieces with him. Like the paper&rsquo;s size, the Voice&rsquo;s office space shrank over the years, and six of us at a time might pile into Wayne&rsquo;s cube for a quick confab. I once tried to spread out into the mostly empty next-door cubicle, which worked fine for a week until <a href="" target="_blank">Nat Hentoff</a> ambled in and cussed me out for a good three minutes, yelling to have his goddamn desk back.</p> <p>The interns of Barrett Nation. You know them, even if you don&rsquo;t realize it. They shape Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Politico, ABC News, every major New York paper, and certainly this magazine, as my former colleague <a href="" target="_blank">Gavin Aronsen</a> and I <a href="" target="_blank">have written</a>. We are not all journalists now, and those of us in the profession aren&rsquo;t all investigative reporters&mdash;one of my cohort is a book reviewer of some note and another is a fast-paced entertainment reporter, but goddamn, if you are hiding dirt, they will find it.</p> <p>I loved Wayne, even when he was screaming at me, a rite of passage any of his interns can describe. He pursued truth and exposed sin with the zeal of a young Jesuit, which was fitting, since he&rsquo;d considered taking up the cloth before a debate scholarship sent him to St. Joe&rsquo;s College in Philly. I&rsquo;d had a similar upbringing, joining the military instead of the church, debating in school, and seeking an outlet for my inflamed sense of justice.</p> <p>Wayne had that fire, and lighting up other people was how it manifested sometimes. We were in a serious business. We had to be thorough, accurate, fair&acirc;&#128;&#145;even when we were breaking shit.</p> <p>But it was all to an end. If Wayne burned for justice, he practiced it, too, singing his prot&eacute;g&eacute;s&rsquo; praises to recruiters, offering a crash weekend at his beach place down the shore in Jersey, taking a sincere interest in his charges&rsquo; spouses, children, money and family issues. &ldquo;He was a family man&rdquo; is often a hollow note in these kinds of tributes. But family&mdash;his and everybody else&rsquo;s&mdash;truly was Wayne&rsquo;s greatest pleasure, and the reason he couldn&rsquo;t not needle the greedy who screwed the rest of us.</p> <p>For more than a year, we watched Republicans slouching toward Trump Tower, saying that yes, seriously, they believed this debauched tycoon with a rambling sales script and an unadulterated id could handle the nukes. We saw Russia tossing gasoline on the fire, beheld our media colleagues collapsing under the weight of takes and think pieces on how maybe facts don&rsquo;t matter. Now we watch the Queens-bred Caligula begin to rip up the things that make America an idea worth defending. And Wayne&rsquo;s illness, exacerbated by his all-consuming work, has chosen this moment to take him from us.</p> <p>We are allowed to be exhausted and dispirited and fearful. This has all really happened, and the ineptitude and malice of the incoming administration will cost lives and livelihoods. But we are not allowed to stop. Wayne wouldn&rsquo;t let us.</p> <p>I worked for Wayne when Rudy Giuliani was making his last serious stab at a presidential bid, and we spent a lot of time running down new stories on the candidate. His campaign had looked formidable early on, but hizzoner flamed out spectacularly and retreated into private consulting.</p> <p>Was it bittersweet, I asked Wayne? His white whale, the subject of years of his life&rsquo;s work, was finished and never coming back.</p> <p>Wayne laughed. It was the laugh of a man who wasn&rsquo;t about to retire from the truth-digging, shit-kicking business, no matter how good or bad it might get. &ldquo;He&rsquo;ll come back, man,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;These guys always come back.&rdquo;</p> <p>The fun part, Wayne said, was that the good guys came back, too.</p></body></html> Media Donald Trump Media Sat, 21 Jan 2017 01:42:36 +0000 Adam Weinstein 323696 at Inaugural Meals, From Turtle Stew to Jelly Beans <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>President Donald Trump famously munched <a href="" target="_blank">on KFC chicken, McDonald's hamburgers, and taco bowls</a> during his campaign, and he picked a fast-food mogul <a href="" target="_blank">as his labor secretary</a>. But when it came time for his first day in office, Trump dined on haute cuisine. The three-course inaugural luncheon included Maine lobster, Angus beef, and chocolate souffl&eacute;, all washed down with California wines. You can see the full menu <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>While it comes as no surprise that a new leader's luncheon would include such fancy fare, that doesn't mean every president has dined in such luxury&mdash;Roosevelt faced butterless rolls at the first lunch of his fourth term, which occurred during the stark days of World War II. Here's a quick journey through some of our past presidents' inaugural meals:</p> <p><strong>1865: </strong>Abraham Lincoln's midnight inaugural buffet serves foie gras, turtle stew, and leg of veal. Too bad a rowdy, drunken mob use it to start a <a href=";f=1001" target="_blank">food fight</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1889:</strong> After a meal of oysters, cold tongue, and quail, Benjamin Harrison and his guests are presented with <a href=";pg=RA1-PA326&amp;dq=Benjamin+Harrison+capitol+cake+building&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwillbS2wdHRAhXH2yYKHY9uBV8Q6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&amp;q=Benjamin%20Harrison%20capitol%20cake%20building&amp;f=false" target="_blank">a cake</a> replica of the Capitol building, measuring six feet tall and weighing 800 pounds.</p> <p><strong>1945:</strong> In the interest of wartime rationing, Franklin D. Roosevelt's housekeeper, Henrietta Nesbitt, serves guests <a href=";pg=PA713&amp;lpg=PA713&amp;dq=fdr+inaugural+luncheon+nespit+coffee+no+sugar+chicken&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=QpcqT1NVNU&amp;sig=b4y_I_K8ifqUpYx2hxhnhjhsiy4&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwirzY-hwNHRAhUG0GMKHYCqDG8Q6AEIKTAC#v=onepage&amp;q=fdr%20inaugural%20luncheon%20nespit%20coffee%20no%20sugar%20chicken&amp;f=false" target="_blank">cold chicken salad</a>, rolls without butter, coffee with no sugar, and cake with no frosting at the president's fourth inauguration.</p> <p><strong>1957:</strong> In the short-lived tradition of "<a href=";pg=RA1-PA326&amp;lpg=RA1-PA326&amp;dq=minorities+dinners+dwight+eisenhower&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=eIwnMwt8TO&amp;sig=gR2O9RgePkYMvbPYFnAa79L5ulc&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwi4paaEusfRAhVo1oMKHeDBD6oQ6AEIMTAF#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false" target="_blank">minorities dinners</a>," Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff serves Greek salad and gefilte fish at the president's second inauguration. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>1977:</strong> Jimmy Carter <a href="" target="_blank">cancels</a> his inaugural meal so he can be the first to walk from the Capitol to the White House in the parade after being sworn in. In lieu of a lavish luncheon, his guests munch on peanuts and pretzels.</p> <p><strong>1981:</strong> Ronald Reagan relied on jelly beans to quit smoking, so for his inaugural festivities, Herman Goelitz Candy Company of Oakland, California, <a href="" target="_blank">sends</a> three and a half tons of cherry, coconut, and blueberry Jelly Bellies to the White House.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Reagan_inaugural.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Former first lady Nancy Reagan toasts Ronald Regan on Inauguration Day in 1985. </strong>AP Photo/John Duricka</div> </div> <p><strong>1993:</strong> Transition aide Richard Mintz <a href="" target="_blank">calls</a> the American menu&nbsp;at Bill Clinton's inauguration a "cross between a Crittenden County coon supper and a formal state dinner."&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2005:</strong> George W. Bush starts his second inaugural&nbsp;meal with a prayer and finishes it with a steamed lemon pudding, one of Teddy Roosevelt's favorite desserts.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Bush_inaguraulmeal.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush bow their heads in prayer after being sworn in. </strong>AP Photo/Dennis Cook</div> </div> <p><strong>2009:</strong> In honor of Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial birthday, Barack Obama chooses a menu inspired by the 16th president's <a href=";pg=RA1-PA326&amp;dq=Benjamin+Harrison+capitol+cake+building&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwillbS2wdHRAhXH2yYKHY9uBV8Q6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&amp;q=obama%20lincoln&amp;f=false" target="_blank">favorite foods</a>: pheasant, duck, and caramel apple cake.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Obama_inaugurallunch.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Barack Obama toasts Joe Biden with "Special Inaugural Cuv&eacute;e." </strong>Obama White House/Flickr</div> </div></body></html> Media Donald Trump Food Sat, 21 Jan 2017 00:10:15 +0000 Jenny Luna 323561 at Obama's Back <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Barack Obama had to hand his <a href="" target="_blank">@POTUS&nbsp;Twitter handle to Donald Trump</a> Friday afternoon. But the now ex-president isn't ditching the social media platform. After he'd <a href="" target="_blank">taken off</a> from DC in a helicopter, Obama revved up his old Twitter handle to reassure people that (after a brief vacation) he'd be back.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Hi everybody! Back to the original handle. Is this thing still on? Michelle and I are off on a quick vacation, then we&rsquo;ll get back to work.</p> &mdash; Barack Obama (@BarackObama) <a href="">January 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Obama Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:19:58 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 323691 at Leading Climate Experts Have Some Advice for Donald Trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>This <a href="" target="_blank">story</a> was originally published by the </em>Guardian<em> and is reproduced here as part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Climate Desk</a> collaboration.</em></p> <p>To fulfill his campaign slogan of "Make America great again," Donald Trump must back the boom in green technology&mdash;that was the message from the leading climate figures ahead of his inauguration as president on Friday.</p> <p>Unleashing US innovation on the trillion-dollar clean technology market will create good US jobs, stimulate its economy, maintain the US' political leadership around the globe and, not least, make the world a safer place by tackling climate change, the experts told the<em> Guardian</em>.</p> <p>The omens are <a href="" target="_blank">not encouraging</a>. Trump has called global warming a <a href="" target="_blank">hoax</a> and is filling his administration with <a href="" target="_blank">climate change deniers and oil barons</a>. But reversing action on climate change and championing fossil fuels will only "make <a href="" target="_blank">China great again,</a>" said one top adviser.</p> <p>Here are the messages to Trump from some of the key figures the <em>Guardian</em> contacted.</p> <p><strong>Michael Liebreich, founder of analyst firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance who has advised the UN and World Economic Forum on energy: </strong>"If I had one minute with president elect Trump my message would be that the best way to 'Make America great again' is by owning the clean energy, transportation and infrastructure technologies of the future. Not only will this create countless well-paid, fulfilling jobs for Americans, but will also lock in the US' geopolitical leadership for another generation."</p> <p><strong>John Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who has advised Angela Merkel, the Pope and the EU:</strong> "Mr. President, if you want to make China great again, you have to stay the course you have promised. I think it would be the end of US domination in innovation, in economics. If you try to take the US backwards to the days of mountain top removal [for coal] in West Virginia and all those things, then you will just make sure China becomes No. 1 in all respects. In the end, you would produce precisely what you promised to avoid to your electorate."</p> <p><strong>Dame Julia King, an eminent engineer and one of the UK government's official advisers at the Committee on Climate Change:</strong> "If President Trump wants to deliver greater job security for Americans, he should focus on clean and sustainable industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Those are the sectors that are set to prosper. He needs to build an economy for 2050, not one for 1950."</p> <p><strong>Lord Nicholas Stern, a leading climate change economist at the London School of Economics:</strong> "If you want to make America great again, building modern, clean and smart infrastructure makes tremendous commercial and national sense. In the longer term, the low carbon growth story is the only growth story on offer. There is no long-term, high-carbon growth story, because destruction of the environment would reverse growth."</p> <p><strong>Mark Campanale, founder of the <a href="" target="_blank">Carbon Tracker Initiative</a> think tank:</strong> "If you're interested in quality, high paying and skilled jobs for the American middle classes, then renewable energy has to absolutely be the place to look. It's a sector with more employees now than in the US coal industry and with a long way to grow."</p> <p><strong>James Hansen, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University:</strong> "If [Trump] wants to achieve the things that he claimed he would: improving the situation of the common man, the best way he could do this would be a program of a rising carbon fee with the money distributed to the public."</p> <p><strong>Jennifer Morgan, co-executive director of Greenpeace International:</strong> "[Mr. Trump,] you might not realize it yet, but your action, or inaction, on climate will define your legacy as president. The renewable energy transformation is unstoppable and, if the US chooses to turn its back on the future, it will miss out on all the opportunities it brings in terms of jobs, investment and technology advances. China, India and others are racing ahead to be the global clean energy superpowers and surely the US, led by a businessman, does not want to be left behind.<span class="section-lead">"</span></p> <p><strong>Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists in the US:</strong> "Trump's stance threatens to diminish America's standing in the world and to weaken the ability of US companies and workers to compete in the rapidly growing global market for clean energy technologies."</p> <p><strong>May Boeve, head of climate campaign group</strong> <span class="inline-quote inline-icon ">"Quit. But if you have to stick around, realize that the clean energy economy is the greatest, biggest job creator in history.</span>"</p> <p class="subhed">Some leading figures, who will have to deal directly with the <a href="" target="_blank">Trump administration</a>, chose more diplomatic messages to the new president, while emphasizing the vital need to act on global warming:</p> <p><strong>Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change&mdash;the UN's climate chief:</strong> "I look forward to working with your new administration to make the world a better place for the people of the US and for peoples everywhere in this very special world."</p> <p><strong>Scientist Derek Arndt, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, presenting the temperature data showing <a href="" target="_blank">2016 was the hottest year on record</a>:</strong> "We present this assessment for the benefit of the American people."</p></body></html> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:50:28 +0000 Damian Carrington and Juliette Jowit 323676 at GOP Senator Calls for Investigating What FBI Did About Russia-Trump Intelligence <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The night before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, the <em>New York Times</em> dropped a <a href="" target="_blank">bombshell</a>: intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been examining intercepted communications and financial transactions in an investigation of possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials. This report seemed to confirm <a href="" target="_blank">previous indications</a> that the US government has collected sensitive intelligence about interactions between Trump insiders and Russians. And hours before the inauguration, I ran into Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has been one of the few Republicans to call for a special investigation of the Russian hacking that helped Trump, and I asked him about this latest development.</p> <p>Graham, a member of the Senate judiciary committee, said that he didn't know anything about the intelligence intercepts. He remarked, "I want to learn and investigate all things Russian, wherever it leads." He noted that it was clear that Vladimir Putin's regime had "tried to undermine our election" and "succeeded in creating discontent and discord." He added, "I want to know what they did and who they did it with." He went on: "I want to see all of it...I want to know what Russia did...If there is campaign contacts, I want to know about it."</p> <p>Graham said he hoped to examine what the FBI knew about any Trump-Russia contacts and what actions the bureau had taken. (Before the election, FBI Director Jim Comey talked rather publicly about the bureau's investigation of Hillary Clinton's handling of her email at the State Department. But Comey has <a href="" target="_blank">declined to say anything in public</a> regarding whether the bureau has probed links between Trump associates and Russians.) "I hope to be able to work with Sen. Grassley [the chair of the judiciary committee] to look into the FBI's role," Graham said, "in terms of what they did, what they know, and what they can provide to Congress."</p> <p>At the moment, the Senate <a href="" target="_blank">investigation</a> of the Russian hacking and possible contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign is being conducted by the Senate intelligence committee. So it's unclear whether Graham will get his wish for a judiciary committee inquiry into the FBI end of this matter.</p> <p>Before darting off to inauguration business, Graham, who often tussled with Trump during the 2016 campaign, criticized the incoming president for trying to downplay Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "Trump," he said, "seems to be in the forgive-and-forget mode." He noted the "biggest mistake" Trump could make would be "forgiving Russia...for what they did in our election."</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Foreign Policy International Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:40:33 +0000 David Corn 323686 at Enormous Crowds Expected at Women's Marches Around the World <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>On Saturday, January 21, more than 200,000 women are expected to march in Washington, DC, to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump. <a href="" target="_blank">The organizers</a> predict that they'll be joined by more than 2 million women in more than 600 marches worldwide. Want to find a march near you? Use <a href="" target="_blank">this tool</a>.</p> <p><em>Mother Jones</em> reporters will be on the scene at the marches. Check back here Saturday for the latest.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">See you tomorrow at the <a href="">#WomensMarch</a> on Washington. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Women's March (@womensmarch) <a href="">January 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Donald Trump Sex and Gender Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:34:07 +0000 Mother Jones 323661 at Trump's First Move as President: Screwing Over Homeowners <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Earlier this month, then-President Barack Obama issued an executive action requiring the Federal Housing Administration to <a href="" target="_blank">decrease insurance premiums</a> on FHA mortgages, a change that could have potentially saved low-income homeowners as much as&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">$900 per year</a>. In his first administrative order as president, President Donald Trump <a href="" target="_blank">suspended this Obama order</a>, which was slated to go into effect on January 27. In practice, this means that low-income homeowners will be stuck paying higher insurance premiums on their FHA-insured mortgages.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">JUST IN: In one of first Trump admin. orders, Dept of Housing &amp; Urban Dev. suspends reduction of FHA annual mortgage insurance premium rates</p> &mdash; CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) <a href="">January 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>FHA loans enable homebuyers&mdash;often those with lower incomes and who have fewer assets or bad credit&mdash;to bypass conventional lenders who would likely deny them loans by taking out a mortgage that's insured by the federal government. The borrowers have to pay FHA mortgage insurance, to protect the mortgage lender from a loss should the borrower default on their home loan. In his announcement of the change, <a href="" target="_blank">Obama said</a> the drop in premiums would help stabilize the housing market and spur growth in housing markets still recovering from the financial crisis.</p> <p>At his confirmation hearing last week, Ben Carson, Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the FHA, said he was concerned about the Obama administration's last-minute implementation of this insurance premium drop and would reexamine it. "I, too, was surprised to see something of this nature done on the way out the door," Carson told members of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee. "Certainly, if confirmed, I'm going to work with the FHA administrator and other financial experts to really examine that policy."</p> <p>Presidential executive orders require no congressional approval to pass or overturn. Trump has vowed to eliminate all of Obama's executive actions during his first days in office. This may be his first step toward fulfilling that promise.</p></body></html> Politics Donald Trump Economy Income Inequality Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:27:42 +0000 Hannah Levintova 323666 at We Asked Trump Supporters at the Inauguration: What Should He Do First? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="354" scrolling="no" src=";show_text=0&amp;width=630" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Thousands of red-capped Donald Trump die-hards lined up early to get into the inauguration Friday morning. They waved Trump merchandise and grinned broadly in plastic rain ponchos.</p> <p>I wanted to know: Now that Trump is officially the 45th president of the United States, what do they want him to do first? Securing the country's borders and repealing Obamacare were among their top choices. Less so: grappling with the swampiness of Washington, DC. "Drain the swamp&mdash;it's not as literal as it sounds," said Evan Jarman from North Carolina, who urged people to trust the incoming president and his Cabinet picks.</p> <p>I also wanted to know about voters' reactions to Trump's relationship with Russia. "I'm not 100 percent comfortable with that, but I don't think Vladimir Putin is the worst person on Earth," said&nbsp;Kenneth Dempsey, who drove up from West Palm Beach, Florida, for the day. "Maybe he can get a Cabinet post, I don't know."</p> <p>"Him and Putin, there are similarities there, and a lot of people see that as a bad thing," said Jordan Horan, a 22-year-old salesman from Lincoln, Nebraska. "But I mean, I don't know, I'm pretty excited for it."</p></body></html> Politics Video Donald Trump Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:15:38 +0000 James West 323681 at At His Inauguration, Trump Signals No Break From His Politics of Fear and Loathing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Today, as of noon, the president of the United States is a man who boasted of sexually assaulting women. The nation&rsquo;s leader is a purveyor of fake news and conspiracy theories who led the racist birther campaign. The commander in chief in charge of the US nuclear arsenal is a fellow who was unfamiliar with the nuclear triad but who is <a href="" target="_blank">obsessed with revenge</a>. The head of the federal government is a businessman who vowed to "drain the swamp" but who has taken office loaded with <a href="" target="_blank">troubling conflicts of interest</a> and flouting multiple ethics norms. The defender of the Constitution is a <a href="" target="_blank">record-setting prevaricator</a> and fabulist who has repeatedly attacked journalists who challenge his false assertions. The guy who oversees national law enforcement is a dishonest developer who was sued for racially based <a href=";ie=utf-8&amp;oe=utf-8" target="_blank">housing discrimination</a> and who <a href="" target="_blank">lied about his mob ties</a>. The person in charge of US national security is a foreign policy novice who has called for enhancing relations with a foreign power that covertly worked to subvert American democracy in order to benefit him and whose associates are <a href="" target="_blank">under investigation</a> by agencies he now oversees for possible contacts with that foreign power. The most powerful man in the world is a thin-skinned, arrogant, name-calling, bullying, narcissistic hotelier.</p> <p>Thank you, America. Or, that is, the 46 percent of the electorate who voted for Donald Trump.</p> <p>Their view of the nation and its current condition was diametrically opposed to the perspective of the majority, who voted for Hillary Clinton. Trump voters bought his spiel and his shtick. He portrayed the United States as a declining hellhole, a dystopia under siege by undocumented Latino immigrants, criminals, and ISIS, with Middle America workers played for rubes by uncaring, screw-you political, corporate, and media elites in league with international bankers. And Trump was the tough-guy white knight who would do whatever it took&mdash;disruption! chaos!&mdash;to restore the lives and dreams of hardworking folks and bring about the return of some mythical (whiter?) American greatness. (Details to come.)</p> <p>And when he gave his first speech as president&mdash;his inaugural address on a dismal and gray day&mdash;Trump, no surprise, stuck with the simple and bumperstickerish themes that had brought him to this once improbable point: There is "carnage" across the land, the American people have been betrayed by a small group of elites, and it's time for America First. Speaking to a sea of white people&mdash;who were being protected by a police force that is mostly black&mdash;Trump peddled the same big and bold promises he slung during the campaign: "America will start winning again, winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams." The crowd cheered wildly for the nation's No. 1 salesman. And they hooted when Clinton appeared on the big screen, and many in the VIP section toward the front of the crowd jeered when Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the speakers before Trump, referred to gender identity equality.</p> <p>Trump turned hate into a political tool. <a href="" target="_blank">He's not the first</a>. But he effectively fueled and exploited long-established conservative hatred of Latinos, Obama, Clinton, the media, Muslims. <a href="" target="_blank">He mocked a disabled reporter</a>. He derided a federal judge who had ruled against him in the Trump University fraud suit as a "Mexican." He described black communities as nothing but crime-infested and burned-out ghettoes. He encouraged voters to detest Washington and government. He made common cause with <a href="" target="_blank">conspiracy nut Alex Jones</a>. He won the support of the Ku Klux Klan and the alt-right (the fancy name for white nationalists). He encouraged violence at his rallies. He denounced his opponent as a treasonous criminal and called for her to be locked up. He obnoxiously insulted and openly feuded with, well&hellip;just about everyone: Miss Universe, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Carly Fiorina, Rosie. Spite was his meme.</p> <p>Worse, Trump hitched hate to fear. He claimed that the nation was gripped by a crime spree (which didn't exist), that ISIS was on the verge of invading the United States (not really), and that hundreds of millions of undocumented immigrants were poised to "pour" across the border (nope).</p> <p>Most people who behave in such caddish and uncivil ways are dismissed as jerks&mdash;not embraced as the embodiment of the nation and its hopes and aspirations. In modern times, no candidate who campaigned so angrily has ever won the presidency. But early in the race, Trump's team concluded that Trump was already widely known for his crass and abrasive public persona. (This was well before he was caught on video boasting about grabbing women "by the pussy.") What was most important, one of his strategists told me this summer, was whether voters accepted Trump's pitch that the country was in free fall (terrorism! no jobs! immigrants invading!) and were sufficiently freaked out to embrace a political novice who would promise extreme measures to deal with all this crap. Were the voters pissed off enough to accept a TV star businessman (forget the bankruptcies or mob ties&mdash;look at that jet) who didn't give a damn about niceties and who would screw anyone who disagreed with him or got in his way? His only chance, his strategists knew, was if enough Americans wanted an asshole as president. As it turned out, a majority did not, but 63 million did&mdash;and that was enough for Trump to bag a win in the Electoral College.</p> <p>After the election, Trump continued to act and tweet like Trump. As if the act had to continue. With inane tweets, he repeatedly dumped on Alec Baldwin and civil rights icon John Lewis. He referred to Americans who voted against him as the enemy. He compared the intelligence community&mdash;which concluded Vladimir Putin had meddled in the US elections to boost Trump&mdash;to Nazis and continued to make nice with Putin and to demonize Clinton. Having won the grand prize, Trump showed not a smidgeon of graciousness. He fibbed about matters large and small. (He <a href="http://d-c-s-dress-shops-are-sold-out-of-inauguration-gowns-wrong/?utm_term=.da3e73d756ce" target="_blank">claimed</a> all the ball gowns were sold out in Washington because so many people would be celebrating his inauguration. High-end clothing outlets told reporters they had plenty of inventory.)</p> <p>Trump demonstrated that his campaign trail populism was no more than an artifice. He appointed billionaires and Goldman Sachs vets to the Cabinet and did little to clean up the swamp he had denounced. His plan to deal with his own conflicts of interest was a sham. (He begins his presidency in <a href="" target="_blank">violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause</a>.) Trump empowered Republicans aiming to privatize Medicare and eviscerate Social Security&mdash;notions Trump opposed during the race. He vowed that his Obamacare replacement would entail "insurance for everybody"; then he backtracked. He demonstrated no core ideological convictions. He showed once again that he is 100 percent situational.</p> <p>His approval rating plummeted to a record low for a president-elect. Yet congressional Republicans stood by him and waved a rubber stamp for his appointees. And it was unclear whether any of his missteps tainted him in the eyes of his die-hard supporters. At the inauguration, his supporters gasped with excitement when he gave the crowd a thumbs-up. Well-heeled folks in the big-donor section applauded his denouncement of the establishment and his vow to give government back to the people. Many went gaga when Melania Trump appeared on the television screens, wearing a fashionable blue coat.</p> <p>During the campaign, one Trump aide told me that the Trump camp understood that many of his supporters were low-information voters. "They mainly just see the headlines," he said. So if a headline said, "Trump Vows to Make America Great Again," that was the message many of these people absorbed. By speaking in slogans and memes&mdash;"Lock her up!"&mdash;Trump was effectively communicating and connecting with a large group of voters. The specifics didn't register&mdash;or matter.</p> <p>This has continued during the transition period, with Trump issuing bold promises and boasting that his efforts have already saved American jobs. (The details, often more complicated, don't reach many of his voters.) He did the same with his short inaugural address, which was light on compound sentences or sophisticated ideas. Consequently, there is no telling if his folks will sour on him, if he keeps insisting that he is doing one helluva job.</p> <p>Trump now shifts from campaigning to governing. It's unlikely he will change his tactics. He will continue to praise himself and his efforts and declare every step he takes a gargantuan win for America. He will continue to blame others, if anything falls short or goes wrong. He will keep on picking Twitter feuds and behaving in a juvenile and puerile manner&mdash;perhaps as a strategic distraction or perhaps because he simply cannot help himself. He certainly is not embarrassed by his behavior&mdash;and a man who cannot be embarrassed is a dangerous man.</p> <p>So for the American majority who voted against Trump and his keep-it-simple politics of fear, hate, and insult, the nation begins the Trump era with no silver linings. A vain, vengeful, and erratic celebrity who has often acted in crude, bigoted, and ignorant fashion is in control. And, ultimately, he is not the problem. The real trouble is with the 63 million who voted for him. How long will they stand by him and buy his easy-answers, reality-defying pitch? In front of the Capitol, Trump told his supporters, "Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come." They have already made great progress on that path of hate and fear.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Congress Donald Trump Top Stories Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:42:20 +0000 David Corn 323586 at Donald Trump Just Replaced the White House Climate Website With…This <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>As Donald Trump was sworn in Friday, the White House website got a major makeover. One of the casualties in the reset: any mention of the need to fight climate change.</p> <p>The original White House page dedicated to the problem of climate change and former President Barack Obama's policies to address it is now a broken link: "The requested page '/energy/climate-change' could not be found."</p> <p>Instead, the White House website features Trump's energy talking points from the campaign. The page&mdash;titled, "An America First Energy Plan"&mdash;makes no mention of climate change, other than to say, "President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years."</p> <p>The page contains only the briefest of mentions of the environment: "Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Here's the new page</a>:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202017-01-20%20at%2012.19.30%20PM.png" style="height: 506px; width: 630px;"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For reference, Obama's climate page <a href="" target="_blank">looked like this</a>:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202017-01-20%20at%2012.11.53%20PM.png" style="height: 295px; width: 630px;"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202017-01-20%20at%2012.12.08%20PM.png" style="height: 395px; width: 630px;"></div> <p><em>Update: If you miss the old White House website, <a href="" target="_blank">it's archived here</a>.</em></p></body></html> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Science Climate climate change donald trump Fri, 20 Jan 2017 17:55:02 +0000 Rebecca Leber 323646 at