Bob Franken




For all their bluster and destructiveness, it turns out that the Trumpsters are really just frightened little politicians. They wait until the media herd is focused on overcovering everything Jeffrey Epstein to quietly announce that they are making another move on their continuous rape of the Earth.
It was only in May that a major report from a United Nations science panel warned that because of climate change and other largely human causes, the world faces the loss of a million plant and animal species: “The diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems, as well as many fundamental contributions we derive from nature, are declining fast …”
Not only are we neglecting our responsibilities as stewards of our planet, but we are jeopardizing our own species as well, because spreading extinctions ultimately threaten our food supply and ability to cope with so many environmental challenges. So what is the Trump administration’s response, as officially announced during the swirl of Jeffrey Epstein coverage? The finalization of plans to seriously weaken enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. That’s nothing more than a continuation of the ongoing effort to pander to energy companies and developers, who are major culprits in the relentless pillaging of natural resources. It’s part of an ongoing water torture to eliminate regulations, which threaten the corporate bottom lines.
It was during that same Epstein coverage orgy that other elements of the Trump gang declared war, and not just on the usual illegal immigrants who are trying to enter or stay here in the shadows. Now they are targeting legal immigrants, those who are seeking to become permanent residents. From now on, the path to a green card will be reserved only for those who have the means to live without government benefits like Medicaid and food stamps. Those who are poor or vulnerable are unwelcome.

Much has already been made about the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty poem including “Give me your tired, your poor,” etc., and the underlying argument that with this action, the poor have simply been erased from that welcome to America. Actually, says Ken Cuccinelli, the hard-right newly appointed acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, that poem only applied to “people coming from Europe.” Yes, he actually said that, on CNN. Cuccinelli is only backing up his president’s complaint that so many who were trying to enter the U.S. come from “sh**hole countries,” as opposed to white as Wonder Bread nations like Norway.
Beyond the Statue of Liberty, and any suspicion that these guys are going to replace it with an Ellis Island Trump casino. let’s instead talk about the Bible’s sermon from Jesus. “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
For all of Trump’s gospel of expediency and his good relations with evangelicals, that Beatitude is being cast aside in favor a new attitude: “Blessed is the base,” which can be whipped up to a frenzy over immigrants, or for that matter, by any racism. On the plus side, one can argue that Donald Trump denials notwithstanding, he and his people are becoming more and more blatant about their bigotry.
On the negative side, they sneak hugely significant policies past public debate, while those of us in media are preoccupied with some sex scandal or other smarminess. If the perv news finally starts to die down, Tweetman Trump fans the flames with more outrageous charges or conspiracy theories. Epstein, for example, died under such bizarre circumstances that conspiracy theories seem plausible. Trump even named former President Bill Clinton for his Epstein connections, suggesting still another Clinton murder plot, overlooking the fact that Trump has his own history with Epstein.
Here’s the most dismal point of all: The Trump media strategy of faux outrage to conceal the real outrage. It works. His opposition hasn’t figured it out or is hamstrung with a sense of shame. Unfortunately, under this president, shame has become extinct.

© 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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