What’s Pissing You Off?

Trump’s Cabinet  

What's even scarier than the notion of President Trump? President Trump's cabinet and staff. In the days after the election, Donald took a field trip to the White House to learn about the duties of the President! The realization of how much thoughtful work will be required to lead the Free World must have been super sobering for the reality star. He quickly realized he was going to need a little -- scratch that -- a lot of help from his friends. Let's line them up:

STEPHEN BANNON – Chief Strategist

The Good:  … still researching this one…

The Bad:  Bannon is a proud member the “alt-right” movement (read “White Supremacist”).  He is a founding member of the board of Breitbart News, an “alt-right” news organization. Breitbart pushes a sexist, racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semetic rhetoric, with headlines like “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage”, “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy”, and “The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off.” He also called the Clinton’s “trailer trash” and George Clooney a “moron”… not cool. 

The Ugly:  "Are there anti-Semitic people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely. Are there racist people involved in the alt-right? Absolutely. But I don't believe that the movement overall is anti-Semitic." (source / source) 

REINCE PRIEBUS – White House Chief of Staff

The Good:  The GOP chairman initially disavowed Trump’s call to ban all Muslims, implying that a ban would violate American values.

The Bad:  “Initially” is the key word above. He has since backtracked a bit, saying he is “not going to rule out anything.” Although he is firm that there will not be a registry, he has stated, “If you want to come from a place or an area around the world that harbors and trains terrorists, we have to temporarily suspend that operation until a better vetting system is put in place.”

The Ugly:  Priebus likened the war on women and reproductive rights to a fictional “war on caterpillars.” (source / source / source) 

MICHAEL FLYNN – National Security Advisor

The Good: Flynn is a registered democrat. 

The Bad:  Flynn was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency until August of 2014 when he was fired after 18 months for a myriad of reasons, but namely for his raging temper. Since then, Flynn has become an outspoken Islamophobe. He is notorious for spreading “Flynn facts”—for instance, he irresponsibly insists that Shariah law is spreading in the U.S. 

The Ugly:  “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” (source / source / source)

JEFF SESSIONS – Attorney General*

The Good: Position requires Senate confirmation.  

The Bad: Sessions is a stark opponent of pretty much any immigration bill that allows for amnesty. He isn't a big fan of legal immigration either.

The Ugly: In 1986, The Senate denied Sessions confirmation as a federal judge based on testimony of his former colleagues that he used the n-word and that he thought the Klu Klux Klan was “okay” until he found out about their marijuana use. (source)

MIKE POMPEO – C.I.A. Director*

The Good: Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point and was the editor of the Harvard Law Review.  

The Bad: Pompeo was an unyielding critic of Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi attack accusing her of a cover up. If approved, Pompeo would be one of the most overtly partisan CIA directors, a position which should be non-partisan.

The Ugly: Pompeo has been critical of the Obama administration for stopping the use of certain interrogation (read “torture”) tactics such as waterboarding. (source / source)

BEN CARSON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary*

The Good:  Carson acknowledges that he is utterly unqualified for the position. Speaking on Carson’s behalf, Armstrong Williams admitted, “His background (as a neurosurgeon) didn’t prepare him to run a federal agency.” We will ignore the fact that this same man ran for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES…

The Bad:  Despite admitting that he is woefully unqualified and unprepared, Carson accepted the offer anyway! On top of that, Carson is a critic of HUD’s “affirmatively furthering fair housing,” dubbing the practice “communist.” 

The Ugly:  Carson commissioned a portrait of himself smiling alongside Jesus Christ. The painting hangs in his home. That takes narcissism to whole new level. (source / source / source)

NIKKI HALEY – U.N. Ambassador*

The Good: Hey! A woman! A daughter of immigrants who signed a bill that brought down the confederate flag, and who has sharply criticized discriminatory bathroom legislation! But, perhaps most importantly, she is a woman who isn’t afraid to publicly criticize Donald Trump. After Trump went on – what else – a Twitter rant to shame Haley for demanding to see his tax returns, she responded in true Southern form, quipping “Bless your heart.”

The Bad: Haley has a terrible record when it comes to reproductive rights. In June, Haley staged a signing ceremony where she passed a bill outlawing abortions at 20 weeks. She also supports abortion penalties, mandatory ultrasounds, and a 24-hour waiting period.

The Ugly:  “Women don’t care about contraception.”  (source / source)

BETSY DEVOS – Education Secretary*

The Good:  DeVos is a lover of the arts. She served on the board of directors of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts from 2004-2010. In 2010, DeVos and her husband donated $22.5 million to the Kennedy Center, the largest private donation in Kennedy Center history. The couple also founded ArtPrize, an international art competition in Grand Rapids, MI.

The Bad:  Billionaire Betsy is best known for her advocacy of “school choice,” a collection of programs that effectively defund public schools and encourage the proliferation of for-profit and unregulated charter schools. She is also *suddenly* a sharp critic of Common Core.

The Ugly: DeVos’s husband has been an advocate for teaching intelligent design in schools, which is what we call “unconstitutional”. (sourcesource) 

WILBUR ROSS – Commerce Secretary*

The Good:  Ross says he is committed to keeping industrial jobs in the United States.

The Bad: Ross has built his fortune on purchasing bankrupt companies and rehabilitating them, often turning a profit by selling these companies to overseas investors building factories overseas. Hmm, that sounds hypocritical…

The Ugly: Ross has said that the biggest challenge for investors is government regulation. (source / source)

TOM PRICE – Health and Human Services Secretary*

The Good: Price is a dog-lover! (JK – can’t confirm that).

The Bad:  Price holds extreme pro-life views and has a 0% rating with Planned Parenthood. As a U.S. Representative for Georgia, Price voted against women’s health and reproductive rights at least 30 times. Specifically, he voted against Obamacare, against funding Planned Parenthood, and against the right to access safe and legal abortions.

The Ugly: Insists that “not one” woman struggled to afford birth control prior to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate… (sourcesource)

ELAINE CHAO – Transportation Secretary*

The Good:  She’s a woman and an immigrant! She adds diversity to the mostly old, white male cabinet! She was also the first Asian American woman to serve in a cabinet position as George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor. 

The Bad:  Chao has worked for the conservative Heritage Foundation and is a frequent commentator on Fox News. She’s also on the board of Wells Fargo.

The Ugly:  She’s an establishment Republican, married to Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader.  (source)

STEVEN MNUCHIN – Treasury Secretary*

The Good:  Wears bold and becoming spectacles and financed Avitar.

The Bad:  Ol’ Steve has zero government experience, but spent plenty of time at Goldman Sachs where he followed in his father’s footsteps (ahhhh, nepotism). His relationship with Trump has also been unsteady. Although he has been dubbed a Trump Loyalist, Trump once sued Mnuchin’s hedge fund and described the chief executive of Goldman Sachs as “global elite” who robbed the working class… awkward.

The Ugly:  Mnuchin is a Wall Street billionaire who cashed in on the collapse of the economy by bailing out a bank for “pennies” then “aggressively” foreclosing on tens of thousands of families. (source)

RICK PERRY – Energy Secretary*

The Good:  Perry and his wife, Mary Anita Thigpen, have hosted the Texas Conference for Women, a conference focusing on philanthropy, health, business, and professional development for women from 2000 to 2014.

The Bad:  Rick Perry has stated that he wanted to eliminate the Energy Department, a department that mainly deals with nuclear weapons. Perry has called the science of human-created climate change “a contrived and phony mess”, worrying individuals such as Bill Richardson, former energy secretary under the Clinton administration, who believes that Perry will dismantle climate change and renewable energy programs already in place. No wonder why Donald picked him! 

The Ugly:  Rick Perry does not seem to be a fan of the LGBTQ community (that’s putting it extremely lightly). In 2002, Perry supported Texas’ anti-sodomy law, which was later struck down as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment by the Supreme Court of the United States. He is not in support of same sex marriage, believes that gay people should choose abstinence, and has called on the Boy Scouts to continue to ban homosexuality. (source / source)

RYAN ZINKE – Interior Secretary*

The Good:  Zinke served as a Navy SEAL for 23 years! 

The Bad:  Mother Jones reported that Zinke took several travel vouchers during his time as a Navy SEAL to scout for training locations but was actually traveling to Montana to renovate his house. He was caught and warned to stop, but apparently kept on doing it! And was later promoted to Navy commander. 

The Ugly:  The League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy organization, gave Zinke a 3% rating on his congressional record. (source / source) 

REX TILLERSON – Secretary of State*

The Good:  …

The Bad:  Tillerson has a 20-year relationship with Russia and President Putin and was awarded the country’s Order of Friendship in 2013. Senators Marco Rubio and John McCain have expressed concern over this relationship.

The Ugly:  Tillerson is currently the CEO of ExxonMobil, a company that has billions of dollars in oil contracts with Russia that can only go through if certain sanctions against Russia are lifted. (source)

JAMES MATTIS – Defense Secretary*

The Good:  Mad Dog Mattis is a four-star general. He also opposes certain torture tactics, like waterboarding. Trump was “surprised” to hear that Mattis has “never found [torture] to be useful.”

The Bad:  Mattis may not be eligible for the position. Civilian control of the military is a fundamental principle of our democracy, which is why there are strict laws in place preventing service members from quickly filling civilian positions, such as Defense Secretary. Mattis retired in 2013, and since he has not been a civilian for seven years, he will need a waiver from Congress in order to be confirmed. 

The Ugly:  “So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people.” (source / source / source) 

JOHN KELLY – Homeland Security Secretary*

The Good:  Like many in Trump’s cabinet, Kelly boasts a long and honorable career serving in the military. 

The Bad:  Kelly has been described as a “border security hawk” – an alarmist who will undoubtedly support Trump’s xenophobic efforts to build a wall and lockdown the Southwest borders. He also staunchly opposed Obama’s efforts to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

The Ugly:  Kelly insists the military would have to lower standards in order to incorporate women into combat positions. "If we don’t change standards, it will be very, very difficult to have any numbers — any real numbers come into the infantry, or the Rangers or the SEALs, but that’s their business.” (source / source)

SCOTT PRUITT – E.P.A. Administrator*

The Good:  Big baseball fan, this guy. Previously co-owned minor-league baseball team, the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

The Bad:  The Sierra Club said it best: “Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires. He is a climate science denier who, as Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA protections.”

The Ugly:  In his own profile for the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, Pruitt is described as, “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” Oh yeah… that activist agenda to ensure clean water and air for all Americans… so avant garde. (source / source 

LINDA MCMAHON – Small Business Administration*

The Good: "As a CEO, I want to show women that there are no limits to what they can achieve, whether through entrepreneurship, government, science or any path they choose, and there is plenty of room for women at the top."

The Bad: McMahon donated $6 million to Trump's campaign despite calling Trump's comments about women "deplorable" during the GOP primary. Sigh.

The Ugly:  As CEO of WWE, McMahon has literally been inside the ring with Stone Cold Steve Austin. The two chugged beers before he kicked her in the stomach and knocked her cold out. Truly hard to watch. (source / source) 

ANDREW PUZDER – Labor Secretary*

The Good:  Cheeseburgers. Everyone loves cheeseburgers… right? Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Yummmm.

The Bad:  Another white, uber rich, middle-aged, misogynist ass hole. He contributed mucho bucks to Trump’s campaign and as Labor Secretary, he will oppose minimum wage increases… sounds about right for a fast food CEO. He is also a pro-lifer who objectifies women and marks it up to good business. Because, in his own words, “ugly [models] don’t sell burgers.”

The Ugly:  “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American." (source / source) 

DONALD MCGAHN II – White House Counsel

The Good:  Don plays bass in an 80’s cover band. Not kidding.

The Bad:  George W. Bush got this guy on the Federal Election Commission in 2008. We can all thank him for the serious loosening of regulations on campaign spending. In fact, he has been dubbed one of the “architects of the campaign finance revolution.”

The Ugly:  As Trump’s White House lawyer, this greedy, big-money loving, corrupt, and excruciatingly conservative man will provide crucial advice on the nomination of judge, including to the Supreme Court. (source / source)

 

Director of National Intelligence – TBD

  

Agriculture Secretary – TBD

  

Secretary of Veterans Affairs – TBD

 

U.S. Trade Representative – TBD

 

* Requires Senate confirmation.