Monday, March 12, 2018

Policies, Indeed



Appearing with "sleepy eyes" Chuck Todd on Sunday's Meet The Press, Treasury Secretary Steve Munuchin was not pleased that the NBC host wanted to talk about President Grump's speech in Pennsylvania the night before.  Mnuchin pled "again don't take these campaign rallies and focus them on that's what it is, okay."

After Todd asked whether the media should "stop covering the rallies," Mnuchin whined

No, you’re putting words in my mouth. I wasn’t in any way saying you should dismiss that whatsoever. And you should obviously carry them. Because these are important moments for the president. And this is news. What I’m trying to say is, I’m focused on the policies. And the policies have created results. We’ve had more results in the last year on both foreign policy and domestic matters. So what we should be focused on and what I came to talk about were the president’s policies.





"You should obviously carry them," stated Mnuchin, who also claimed Trump was "using these vulgarities in the context of a campaign rally and obviously there were a lot of funny moments on, on, on that rally."

The jokes from the veteran of the comedy clubs of Queens, NY and New York City, NY, now appearing for a four-year (or less) engagement in Washington, DC included the "son of a bitch" Chuck Todd and the black congresswoman who is "a low-IQ individual." 

Trump's shtick was "hilarious," as Todd pointed out. Still, members of the Administration (such as the Treasury Secretary) and Trump surrogates have been promoting the notion that Trump's domestic, especially economic, policies have been an unmitigated success. Both Democrats and Republicans, unlike Newsweek's Michelle Goodkind, presumably have missed this one:

In all, 15 miners died since President Donald Trump took office in 2017—up from eight in all of 2016.This is the dirty secret of Trump’s much-touted effort to help the coal industry. The president has been quick to celebrate the 771 net workers that were hired in 2017, but the administration's push to support the dirtiest of fossil fuels has been accompanied by a surge in deaths of the workers who procure it. 

The 2017 death toll was the highest since 2014—when there were roughly 60,000 more miners at work in America.Mining advocates put some of the blame on the president, whose support for mine owners has led to relaxed safety enforcement, scores of inexperienced new miners and inconsistent commitment to training programs and courses. 

In the meantime,  Republicans in the House want to cut mine safety budgets further, and Trump, who says he supports coal miners, has been silent on a Senate bill that would shore up miners' pensions.“When you look at the Trump administration policies and his ratcheting back of regulations...this administration has no moral compass about ethics,” said Joe Main, who ran the Mine Safety and Health Administration under President Barack Obama. “Companies now think we have a less aggressive sheriff in town.”





Grasping the larger issues at stake, the  reporter continues

Trump’s support for coal is part of a larger economic vision of deregulation—one that he says is responsible for the stock market’s recent boom and higher gross domestic product.

“The stock market is way up [because] we took off restrictions and we took off regulations,” he said on January 16.

But for coal miners, those restrictions and regulations can be the difference between life and death.  

Munuchin and Co. should be so happy that the scandals of this Administration obscure the President's  disastrous policies. If there is a party in opposition to the GOP, it has to block the agenda of deregulation and destruction, and it's not putting up much of a fight so far.




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