Trump So Far (Part 4)

This is a continuation of a series begun in Part 1 and continued in Part 2 and Part 3 in which I am reviewing Trump’s actions since he won the Presidential election and up to the day of his Inauguration.

Six. According to Robert Reich, Trump has used a cadre of seven techniques to control the press/news media. Historically, these seven techniques have been used by demagogues to erode the freedom and independence of the press. Even before he’s sworn in, Trump seems intent on doing exactly this.

Who is Robert Reich? Reich is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. In President Bill Clinton’s administration Reich served as Secretary of Labor, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. The rest of his accomplishments (including his 14 books) can be reviewed on his blog.

Here are the seven techniques; as you observe the Trump Presidency, see how many you can identify:

  1. Berate the media.
  2. Blacklist critical media (a.k.a., Washington Post and CNN).
  3. Turn the public against the media.
  4. Condemn satirical or critical comments (a.k.a., Saturday Night Live).
  5. Threaten the media directly (a.k.a., fictitious libel laws and frivolous lawsuit threats).
  6. Limit Media Access.
  7. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly (a.k.a., Twitter).

Seven. Trump has handed United States foreign policy over to the oil industry with the nomination of former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Do I really need to go here? Is it really necessary for me to list all of the ruthless, greedy and self-serving crimes (both legal and illegal) that the oil industry has committed against the earth and humanity?? I really do try to keep these blog entries short and sweet, so let’s just keep the number of entries at seven:

  1. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America’s air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. All three are connected to the coal and oil industries.
  2. According to Oil Change International, international governments pour $775 billon to $1 trillion in subsidies EVERY YEAR. What is a subsidy? Direct funding, tax giveaways, loans and guarantees at favorable rates, price controls, providing resources like land and water at below-market rates, research and development funding…anything that rigs the game in favor of fossil fuels compared to other, less polluting energy sources.
  3. Even as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Standing Rock has galvanized Native Americans across the U.S., a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Utah Republican Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz seeks to take 100,000 acres of Ute tribal lands and hand them over to oil and mining companies; the first land-grab of native-american lands in 100 years.
  4. In 2010 the now-infamous Deepwater Horizon experienced a blowout that released 4.9 million barrels (210 million U.S. gallons) of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico…the largest such man-made disaster in. Transocean, British Petroleum (BP) and Halliburton were convicted for reckless negligence.
  5. Shortly after midnight (local time) on 24-March-1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, piloted by a drunken captain, struck Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef and spilled 10.8 million U.S. gallons of crude oil over the next few days. It is the second largest spill in US waters after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, eventually covered 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline, and 11,000 square miles (28,000 km) of ocean.
  6. How things begin determine how they progress (and end). Established in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller as a corporation in Ohio, The Standard Oil Company (which later became Exxon, Mobil, Socony, Chevron, Texaco, Amoco, Atlantic Richfield, Kyso, Sohio, Marathon and many more) was the largest oil refiner in the world of its time. Its controversial history as one of the world’s first and largest multinational corporations ended in 1911, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil was an illegal monopoly.
  7. According to The Thistle, during World War II (WWII) Standard Oil supplied fuel to the German and Japanese air forces. In fact, without the explicit help of Standard Oil, the Nazi air force would never have gotten off the ground in the first place.
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