For those of you tired of tasteless tweets, blithering bloviating and servile sycophants, let's look at recent developments that may have dodged your news periscopes.
After unanimous agreement among 17 intelligence services that the 2016 election was manipulated by Russians because Vladimir Putin said he wanted Donald Trump to win, the new White House national security adviser, John Bolton, has wiped out the cybersecurity chief's job. That's right! Immediately after the intelligence services said cyberattacks are the nation's No. 1 threat, above terrorism.
No longer will there be somebody in the White House with the express purpose of keeping an eye on cyber warfare and coordinating intelligence about bad actors/hackers.
Incidentally, the Department of Homeland Security just disclosed that Russia has hacked into dozens of power utilities and could shut down electric grids whenever Putin feels like it.
Oh, and if you are worried that the intelligence agencies are correct in saying Russia will try to determine the outcome of the November midterm elections to keep Republicans in control of Congress, you should be. Republicans just wiped out the annual $380 million appropriation for election security, complaining that it's unnecessary.
Canning the cyber guy, however, and not upgrading election security were not done to save money, of which we apparently have lots, having just added $1.5 trillion to the national debt with corporate tax cuts. After starting a trade war that has U.S. producers of soybeans, hogs, cotton, dairy, wheat, corn, etc., whimpering in fear about covering their expenses, Trump has promised to give farmers a $12 billion bailout in taxpayer money through a Depression-era presidential power.
The $12 billion is to offset retaliatory tariffs Trump's brought upon farmers by charging countries buying U.S. products more because he's going to make America great again. Or at least partially bankrupt. (Trump has enormous experience bankrupting businesses, having done it multiple times.)
Remember how the administration took 3,000 children from their parents who were trying to apply to the U.S. for asylum? Well, unable to figure out how to reunite many of those children with their mothers and fathers, the administration simply deported nearly 500 parents back to their home countries without their children.
Instead of a cheap electronic bracelet to keep tabs on which baby belongs in which mother's arms, the government screwed up and decided it was better to spend millions of dollars keeping kids in cages and flying them to shelters or foster care in distant cities.
Another 900 or so parents may not be "permitted" to be reunited with their offspring. Others have two days to decide whether to go back to their violent-torn homelands, letting gangs prostitute their daughters and conscript their sons, or let them stay here, alone. These are not gang members, drug dealers or other lowlifes, just frantic families legally applying for asylum.
Remember how Trump boasted during the campaign that some called him an environmentalist? Not lately. To wit:
More pristine land carved out of national monuments has been given to oil and gas developers than at any other time in U.S. history.
Interior is moving rapidly to permit oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The administration is fighting California's decades-long policy of trying to keep down smog by regulating vehicle emissions.
The administration also is working to prevent cars from becoming cleaner and more energy efficient. It argues the cost is not $900 per vehicle by 2025 but $2,000, which, ironically, is close to the $2,200 cost per car that Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum will add.
Members of Congress and the Trump administration are racing to gut the Endangered Species Act to help developers. Under new rules regulators would have to take into consideration how much money developers stand to lose if they cannot build or mine on protected areas. While laymen sometimes have difficulty understanding the value of insects and exotic creatures, encouraging the rapid extinction of species may have unforeseen detrimental consequences or prevent cures for disease. It angers Mother Nature.
Also, the Interior Department is getting rid of regulations that forbid hunters to use what conservationists call cruel, unscientific and unethical methods to hunt bears and wolves in Alaska.
As for more "crystal clean" water and "beautiful" clear air, forget about it.
There is no question Trump is remaking America. But the adjectives to describe how will not be what he promised.
– Ann McFeatters is a columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at email@example.com.