Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Document the Atrocities, 1/24/17: Extreme Forced Birth Policies, Extreme Government Opaqueness, and Having a Thin Skin

1.  The global gag rule on abortion has not only been renewed.  It has been madly enlarged:

In the past, the global gag rule meant that foreign NGOs must disavow any involvement with abortion in order to receive U.S. family planning funding. Trump’s version of the global gag rule expands the policy to all global health funding. According to Ehlers, the new rule means that rather than impacting $600 million in U.S. foreign aid, the global gag rule will affect $9.5 billion. Organizations working on AIDS, malaria, or maternal and child health will have to make sure that none of their programs involves so much as an abortion referral.
That just might be a punishment of the women who dared to march against Dear Leader.  Of course the people who will die (women, men and children) weren't in the US marching, but narcissists don't care about that distinction.

2.  Silence.  Silence is what we are going to get from the Trump administration.  That is the reverse of transparency:

President Trump has banned employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from giving social media updates and speaking with reporters, according to The Associated Press.
The EPA ban comes amid other reports of agency staff being restricted from interacting the members of the Congress or the general public. 
BuzzFeed reported Tuesday that the Department of Agriculture instituted a similar ban, telling its employees not to distribute information about research papers or to post on Twitter under the agency's name. A Tuesday report in the Huffington Post said agency employees under the Department of Health and Human Services were told not to speak to public officials.

The people who pay for all those departments, American tax-payers, are not allowed to know what might be taking place.  New research findings will be kept secret.  Even other public officials might be kept in the dark.

I don't know about you, but this does not smell like democracy to me.

3.  Our Dear Leader is upset.  Upset, do you hear me?  He needs adulation and a worshipful attitude from his people.  If he doesn't get those he will be cranky and punish us.

After relishing in Friday's inaugural festivities, the new president grew increasingly upset the next day by what he felt was "biased" media coverage of women's marches across the globe protesting his election, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Trump was particularly enraged with CNN, which he thought was "gloating" by continually running photos of the women's march alongside the smaller crowds that attended his inauguration the day before, according to this person, one of several White House aides and associates who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Sad!  Bigly sad!  Unfortunately, being the president is not the same thing as being elected the most popular student in the class.  Equally unfortunately, the presidency is not about the feelings of the president, but about the good of the whole country.  But then, of course, dictatorships often tend to cater for the dictator's feelings, because Bad Things happen otherwise.

I wonder if it has ever occurred to Trump that he would be more popular if he pursued policies which the majority like or at least if he stuck to the traditional rules of democracy.