Sometimes it’s hard not to think that Unpresident-Elect Trump’s cabinet picks aren’t all an elaborate joke, given how utterly unprepared most of them have been, not to mention the hostility so many of them have for the departments they hope to run.
Unfortunately, if they get through the confirmation process — and most observers think most of them will — the joke will be on all of us.
So who’s on the docket for today?
Well, we’ve got former Texas governor Rick Perry, picked to run the Energy Department, despite (or because of?) the fact that he has argued that the department should be eliminated. Also, he apparently only discovered what the department actually does after he got the nod from Trump. The New York Times reported this yesterday:
When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
What the hell.
Also testifying today: Steven Mnuchin, Der Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary. Here’s what The Week says about him:
[F]ormer Goldman Sachs partner Mnuchin, … will likely face questions interrogating his time at OneWest Bank, which is accused of merciless foreclosure tactics during the housing crisis. Mnuchin has also faced trouble with his financial paperwork, admitting in a revised questionnaire that he is the director of an investment fund based in the Cayman Islands and that he forgot to disclose over $900,000 worth of artwork held by his children, The New York Times reports.
“Merciless” seems to be a bit of an understatement as a description of OneWest’s foreclosure tactics. Numerous homeowners say that OneWest lied to them in an attempt to drive them into foreclosure.
One more cabinet hopeful I probably should have mentioned yesterday: Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection agency. Or maybe I should say Scott Pruitt against the EPA. The Huffington Post notes that
Scott Pruitt … has sued the agency 13 times as Oklahoma’s attorney general. Pruitt, a climate change denier with close ties to the fossil fuel industry, has a long record of attacking the EPA and undermining environmental regulations. On his LinkedIn page, Pruitt refers to himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
During questioning yesterday, while admitting that climate change is not a “hoax,” Pruitt refused to answer when asked what extent of climate change is caused by humans.
So get calling or emailing! Pick at least one of these dudes to focus on if you can’t do all three.
You can find contact info for your senators here.
See my posts here and here for information and advice on how to make your calls and emails effective. If making these sorts of calls is tough for you, here’s some advice on calling politicians if you have social anxiety.
Before calling, check to see if either of your senators sits on any of the committees considering these nominees.
Perry is appearing before the Energy and National Resources committee; see a members list here.
Mnuchin is appearing before the Finance Committee; members list here.
Pruitt appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; members list here.
Also, if you have the energy and haven’t done so already, ask your senators — and congresspeople — to oppose the GOP’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (See my post here.)
Also. encourage them to boycott Trump’s inauguration. (See my post here.)
Also, you can call about any of these things (except, obviously, the inauguration boycott) next week, if you can’t do it today.
Give yourself a big round of applause for all the calls you’ve made and/or emails you’ve sent this week! Tomorrow, the Inauguration.