We're so inundated with Trump news that we shrug off stories and scandals that would've tanked literally any other president. It seems that every day, there's a new horror demanding our attention, whether it's children locked in cages or Trump asking a foreign government to blackmail his rivals. This is why we've decided to bring you some equally awful stories related to the man and his administration that may have escaped your notice. Like how ...
Forget all of the abstracts when talking about immigration and answer this one simple question: Would you take a dying child off life support to deport them? It's hard to imagine even the baldest and most goateed of ICE agents saying yes, but that's exactly what the Trump administration decided to do. In August, Trump ended a rule that allowed undocumented immigrants to stay in the country if they're receiving life-saving care for illnesses such as leukemia, HIV, and other ailments that makes one question why God's being a total dick to them.
Trump canceled the program at the same time that he axed other programs for undocumented immigrants (like providing flu vaccines in detention centers), but there's one other detail that makes it uniquely cruel. While the administration announced the other program cuts publicly, it ended the deferred action program in secret. Which meant that dying patients only discovered this with their notice of deportation. They didn't even get time to prepare, just a boot out of the country and right into a possible grave. As Senator Ed Markey put it bluntly, "This is a new low ... Donald Trump is literally deporting kids with cancer."
UNC and Duke offer a joint program in Middle East studies, which is not particularly radical. Considering how often the U.S. is involved over there, it's probably a good idea for at least a few of us to learn about it. The program focuses on how exactly the region became the quagmire it is today, and students learn its languages, histories, and cultures -- not just those for Muslims, as it is of course extremely diverse. However, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos identified a specific "bias" in the program: It's too positive toward Islam, and not positive enough about Christianity for her liking.
The impetus for the scrutiny and initial removal of funding for the program was its position that Palestinians are human beings who deserve basic rights and dignity. Once they started teaching about that particular issue, the Department of Education got involved. It was obvious what was happening, and one professor plainly stated it: "They really want to send the message that if you want to criticize Israel, then the federal government is going to look very closely at your entire program and micromanage it to death."
The Department of Education then offered some frightening recommendations. If the Institute wanted to remain eligible for future funding, the program had to focus on the national security interests and economic stability of America. In other words, keep viewing the Middle East as our plaything, and don't humanize the people there.
The best argument against Trump being a pig is that he just made slaughtering them far more unpleasant and dangerous. Slaughterhouses have had to comply with federal regulation to ensure they aren't pumping toxic delicious McRibs into our bellies, but Trump has shifted the power of inspection to the pork industry itself.
And that's just one change Trump plans to make to the pork industry. The other is eliminating line speeds, which is the limit on the number of pigs a slaughterhouse can kill per minute. Ditching it means inspectors -- who are now plant employees with little training instead of USDA officials -- have less time to inspect your future bacon. They can jam through as many sick pigs as they want, and you won't know any better until you're sick out of both ends.
The pilot program alone showed what the industry standard could look like. Former USDA hog inspector Joseph Ferguson put it like this: "All the power gets handed over to the plant [...] I saw the alleged inspections that were performed by plant workers; they weren't inspections." We don't even have to take his word for it. An activist group went undercover to film slaughterhouses with the new rules, and captured footage of pigs dripping pus, covered in shit, and sporting festering wounds all getting slaughtered for dinner across the country. (The plant in question claimed the video had been selectively edited.)
If you're wondering why the pork industry specifically, don't worry, it's just step one. The beef and poultry industries are next. Suddenly cricket burgers and nuggets aren't sounding so bad.
The Mexican border wall perfectly embodies Donald Trump's politics: pointless, racist, and cruel. Not only do the vast majority of immigrants arrive here legally, then just overstay their visas, but we actually have an overall net outflow of immigrants. This doesn't even begin to touch upon the mountain of bullshit the government needs to climb to construct the wall. It not only will cost billions of tax dollars to build it on land seized from private citizens using eminent domain, but it will also cost us a link to our past.
The wall would destroy at least 17 archaeological sites in the Sonoran Desert alone. In those areas, we've discovered invaluable insights about the people who lived there, with some of the findings dating back 16,000 years. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bennie Thompson, admits that even just replacing the existing border fence would "permanently damage these areas."
Despite this, Trump has decided to continue playing the part of Indiana Jones villain, and has even given authorized Homeland Security to waive environmental protection laws, which basically gives it carte blanche to destroy the land without a second thought.
National Parks Service
Trump has some bizarre beliefs regarding climate change. He goes far beyond the standard Republican talking points of conflating weather and climate and says insane things like this:
Really think about this. He's acknowledging that climate change is man-made, but only in the form of a hoax designed to destroy the U.S. economy. Trump is so anti-anything regarding action against global warming that he's now using the federal government to limit the ability of individual states to make improvements.
California circumvented Trump's destruction of green initiatives and struck deals with car makers to improve emissions. Volkswagen, Ford, BMW, and Honda all agreed to improve their emissions on an annual basis to reduce pollution. California broke no laws exercising state power, and the deal was perfectly in line with the Clean Air Act of 1970, which grants states the power to set separate regulations from the federal government. However, having a kinship to oversized smoke-blowing vehicles, Trump decided "Nah" and declared that he'd be revoking California's ability to do any of this.
California has since been fighting back. The state sued the government in September and November, but it's still tied up in the courts. 22 other states have joined them in a coalition, but the Association of Global Automakers has aligned with the White House, making for the second-worst political side ever chosen by an auto manufacturer.
For more, check out What If Donald Trump Is Just An Elaborate Prank?:
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