Trump's Secretary of Hate

Trump's Secretary of Hate

Why Rex Tillerson is a bad mama-jama ft. Putin
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Donald Trump recently announced his pick for Secretary of State, and his choice is less than ideal (like, waaay less). I can’t honestly say that I was surprised at Trump’s pick, because at this point I don’t think anything he could do would surprise me, but I did lose some of the already minimal hope I had for his presidency.

First, let’s discuss what the Secretary of State does. He is essentially the president’s right-hand man when it comes to foreign policy. The Secretary of State negotiates for the United States, personally participates in international conferences, ensures the protection of the government to Americans and interests in other countries, informs the people of foreign relations, administers the Department of State, and much more. The Secretary of State is one of the most important people on a president’s cabinet, so making a great selection for the multifaceted job is crucial for any president. This is why the selection of Rex Tillerson is so troubling.

Next, let’s focus on who Rex Tillerson is. He is the CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil, a billion-dollar oil company. He earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and began his Exxon career in 1975 as a production engineer. Eventually, he moved up the ranks within the company to become the CEO that he is today.

Since Tillerson is the company’s top man, he has led many of Exxon’s international deals. He has met with leaders across the world to discuss oil and the expansion of his company’s reach. This is the only type of foreign policy “experience” he has - meeting with leaders to make deals for oil. He has no background in traditional foreign affairs, no formal education on how to interact with other countries, and no real experience in negotiations with other countries outside of business. Some of his past dealings are rather controversial now, because he has been known to be amicable with nations that are not on good terms with the United States, such as Russia.

Tillerson’s relationship with Russia is one of the main reasons for skepticism about his selection for the position of Secretary of State. The relationship started when Exxon made a deal with a Russian oil company - Rosneft - in 1999. Since then, Exxon has made many deals in Russia and has continued interactions with Rosneft, giving the Russian company stakes in many of Exxon’s projects based in the United States. What is most troubling about these deals is that throughout the United States’ shaky relationship with Russia, Tillerson has stayed close to Putin. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Tillerson even condemned the U.S.’s sanctions on Russia, because his own business deal was cancelled. Finally, Tillerson was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship medal in 2013. In the context of this current election and all of the issues surrounding it, this close of a relationship between Tillerson and Putin is troubling.

Everyone and their mother knows that the legitimacy of this past election has been called into question due to the possible intervention of Russia. Seventeen intelligence agencies in the United States have said that Russia was behind hacks into U.S. systems during the election. Therefore, Trump’s selection of someone so close to Putin himself is not a good sign for his own innocence in this situation. If the Russian government is trying to gain access to the inner-workings of the United States government, having Tillerson chosen as the Secretary of State would be a good start. Tillerson’s conflicted interests are troubling to many, since he would hold both the balance of his company and the balance of our foreign relations in his hands. For example, a decision to lift sanctions against Russia would make him richer and affect the United States’ reputation as a foreign policing force. It would remove the United States from the group effort that is in place to warn Russia about taking foreign policy actions that are not condoned by the West.

Tillerson’s relationship with Russia isn’t the only issue, though. Since he is the CEO of a major oil company, the potential danger to the environment is clear. His interests in his company would affect his judgment on the United States’ climate policies with other nations. To summarize the situation in a sentence: the selection of Tillerson as Secretary of State does not have good implications for the future of the fight against climate change. Sorry, Mother Nature.

Rex Tillerson is definitely not the best choice Trump could have made for Secretary of State. When Trump said he would “drain the swamp,” I did not think that meant he would put big oil companies so obviously in charge of the country. Big business has been running the country through politicians for a long time, and now it is becoming painfully obvious. Only now, we don’t get to pretend that we have the control. Trump is pulling out all the stops to show us that we don’t.
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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A Dangerous White House Led by A Dangerous President

With the Recent FBI Raids, President Trump has become even more furious. The question is: why?
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In recent news, the newly appointed Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein approved FBI raids on Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. As a result, Trump has become furious with the Deputy Attorney General, as well as anyone involved with the FBI raid as well as special counsel Mueller, who has been investigating his actions and involvement with Russia. As I have written before, Trump's political isolationism within the White House has already led him to become much more radical and dangerous as a President who is clinging desperately to power. As a result of this, Donald Trump is heavily considering firing several persons, including Rosenstein as well as Mueller. This is dangerous as the current President seeks to consolidate power and is looking into options to remove any players that undermine his authority.

In response to the FBI raids earlier this week, Trump took to the major media outlets and Twitter to voice his disapproval of what he referred to as a "witch hunt." Despite the President's rhetoric, the FBI raids were legal and were given approval via a search warrant and were conducted through the proper legal channels and procedures. Additionally, Rod Rosenstein approved these raids, despite being appointed by the President last year. Trump had also continued his criticism by trying to call those investigating him Democrats and biased. However, Mueller, Rosenstein and most of the people involved in the FBI raids were Republican themselves. With Trump's recent outburst and anger over the events that just transpired, the question that presents itself is: why is the President so angered by these events? There are a few possible explanations, one of which being that the President himself is compromised and that the secrets to him lie in his most loyal associate, Michael Cohen. Another possible explanation is that he continues to despise the current FBI and anyone trying to undermine his authority. Or maybe there may be a combination of both.

The actions of President Trump pose dangerous consequences for the future as the question of Robert Mueller's ability to continue operating as special counsel rises. Trump continues to mull over firing Mueller, which would cripple the President in various ways. After firing Mueller, Trump would then be branded as even more suspicious, regardless of his reasons. Trump's advisers and legal team have urged him to cooperate as much as possible to remove the suspicions surrounding him, however the President has done the opposite. Without special Congressional approval securing Mueller and safeguarding his position, the future of the checks against the President's angry rule over the country seem shakier than ever.

Cover Image Credit: https://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2018/04/10/fbi-raids-trump-s-personal-attorney-cohen-raise-questions

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New York Governor’s Race Coverage: Part 4

Working Families Party Endorses Nixon, Conservative Party Endorses Molinaro
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Greetings, this is the latest installment on a series covering the 2018 New York Governor’s Race. For those who are interested in reading the earlier installments, you can click the following links:

Introduction to New York Governor’s Election

Republican Straw Poll, Corruption in Cuomo Administration, and Other Recent News

Molinaro, Nixon, and Hawkins Enter the Race

Since our last installment, various political parties have moved forward on their decisions on which candidates they will support.

The Working Families Party has decided to endorse Cynthia Nixon for governor. Nixon is the main primary challenger to Governor Cuomo and is seeking to take his place on the ballot lines of the Democrats and the minor parties which tend to cross endorse the democratic candidate. The Working Families Party had endorsed Cuomo in 2010 and 2014. Though in 2014 he had only managed to narrowly gain their endorsement (rather than his 2014 primary challenger Zephier Teachout, who they had seriously considered nominating) through the help of other political figures and by making a series of promises to the Working Families Party (some of which he then failed to honor). This year, the Working Families Party decided that they would opt to support a more ideologically hardline figure, in the form of Cynthia Nixon, rather than the politically established figure of Andrew Cuomo. In an April meeting of the Working Families Party, 90% voted to endorse Nixon over Cuomo. Though in the process, two large union organizations pulled their support from the Working Families Party, due to their support for Cuomo.

The Working Families Party’s decision to endorse Cynthia Nixon over Andrew Cuomo could have significant implications on this race. This a sign for growing support for Nixon, which could give a greater change of gathering support to challenge Cuomo in the Democratic Primary. Though if Nixon fails to win the Democratic nomination, it is possible that she might continue to run for Governor on the Working Families Party ballot line.

In response, Governor Cuomo and his surrogates have been making public attacks against the Working Families Party and have been threating to retaliate against other groups that side with Nixon over him.

The Conservative Party has decided to endorse Marc Molinaro for governor. Marc Molinaro is one of the candidates seeking to become the Republican nominee for governor (which also includes John DeFransisco and Joseph Holland). Molinaro is the current front runner in the Republican race and is on track to likely become their nominee. If that is the case, then Molinaro may be able to put together a combined Republican-Conservative front to seek to be elected governor. Though in order to have any decent chance of competing, he will also need to be highly successful in working to attract the support of independent voters.

In other news, a new Sienna poll was recently done in regards to governor Cuomo and the coming governor’s election. Governor Cuomo’s approval ratings have dropped significantly. He is now down 49% approval and 44% disapproval statewide and has a 60% disapproval rating upstate. His poll numbers for the Democratic Primary have also shifted against his favor. Last month his numbers went from 66% to 19% against Cynthia Nixon. This month, it shifted to 58% to 27%. While Cuomo still maintains a significant lead in primary polling, this shift has taken a significant step in narrowing that lead. Furthermore, his statewide approval numbers among the lowest he’s faced as governor, and if they drop further could indicate a greater chance of him loosing reelection.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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