Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News skewered President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal “to drain the swamp in Washington” in a cartoon illustrating Trump’s racist, anti-abortion. anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agendas.
The cartoon decries the damnable truth: Trump bodes ill for America.
Proposed members of Trump Cabinet: (All need approval of the Senate.)
Rex Tillerson, secretary of state. Former CEO of Exxon Mobil. $151 million in stock from that firm which does business in 50 countries on six continents. Steeped in oildom. Trump’s kind of guy.
James Mattis, secretary of defense. Retired general who led a Marine division in Bagdad during the 2003 invasion of Iran. Trump called him “the closest thing to Gen. George Patton.” High praise. Patton was the best U.S. general in World War II. Mattis led the Central Command, directing operations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia from 2010 to 2013. He calls Iran “the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East.”
Tom Price, secretary of health and human services. U.S. representative from Georgia. Trump calls him “exceptionally qualified to repeal Obamacare.” Price is also anti-abortion, arguing that as an orthopedic surgeon he learned that government should “get out of the way of doctors and give patients more control over their health care.”
Mike Pompeo, CIA director. U.S. representative from Georgia. Republican. Trump’s rationale: Pompeo argued against Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, declaring “Clinton made America less safe.”
Jeff Sessions, attorney general. Republican senator from Alabama. If confirmed, he would be the nation’s law chief. Supports Trump’s proposed tough immigration laws.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, national security adviser. Flynn and Trump share anti-Muslim views. Trump demands that Muslims be banned from entering the United States. Flynn pedaled conspiracy theories about Clinton and used social media to spread fake news stories linking her to underage sex ring.
Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council. It oversees economic policy in the White House. Cohn is a long-time second-in-command at Goldman Sachs. The firm’s outsize influence in the White House would be still more influential if Trump is confirmed.
Ben Carson, secretary of housing and urban development. Retired neurosurgeon. Trump chose him because of his rags-to-riches biography. Fox News asked him what he knew about the HUD job. “I know that I grew up in the inner city,” Carson replied. “I had lots of patients there. That qualifies me.”
Andy Puzder, labor secretary. Wealthy restaurant chain executive (fast foods Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s). Opponent of raising minimum wage, paid sick leave and extending Obamacare to businesses. Puzder calls the Affordable Care Act “a government-mandated restaurant recession.”
Betsy DeVos, secretary of education. Billionaire heir to the Amway fortune and big GOP donor. Trump chose her “as someone who will break the bureaucracy holding our children back from delivering world-class education.” DeVos is committed to charter and private schools and favors vouchers. The DeVos family wealth is $5.1 billion. Her brother is Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, a private security contractor. It is “notorious for its lucrative and deadly role in the Iraq War.”
Rick Perry, energy department. As former governor of Texas, he pledged to eliminate the department. A TV “star” like Trump,” he is “famous” for being a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Steve Mnuchin, treasury secretary. Former Goldman Sachs executive. His OneWest Bank in California became a “closure machine.” Most of the foreclosures affected black homeowners. Worth $46 million when he left Goldman Sachs in 2002.
Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary. Billionaire private equity investor. Failed to heed hundreds of safety violations at his Sago Mine in West Virginia where 12 miners died in 2006. Forbes: Ross is worth $2.9 billion. Trump picked him because “he vows to bring back lost coal- and steel-industry jobs.”
Todd Ricketts, deputy commerce secretary. Forbes estimates his family worth is $5.3 billion, the fortune amassed with a discount brokerage firm. (Ricketts is co-owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.)
Elaine Chao, transportation secretary. Her husband is Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate Majority leader. McConnell could be big help. Daughter of a shipping magnate, Chao made more than $1 million serving on four powerhouse boards like that of Wells Fargo.
Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations. Governor of South Carolina. Young political star of GOP. Trump chose her because she is one of the party’s few non-white women in power.
Scott Pruitt, environmental protection agency. Ally of fossil fuel industry. His mission: dismantle the EPA. Trump calls climate change a hoax and President Obama’s global-warming policy “a war on coal.”
John Kelly, secretary of Homeland Security. Retired four-star Marine general. As head of the Southern Command, he ran the Guantanamo jail and learned of immigration, drug trafficking and other border problems.
Linda McMahon, small business administrator. Former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment. Yet another billionaire.
Reince Priebus, chief of staff. Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Donald McGhan, White House counsel. Fought fiercely to stop limits on big money in politics. Matches Trump’s personality. Would you believe it? He’s a guitarist in a rock band.
Summing up the proposed Trump Cabinet: billionaires, millionaires, autocrats and mostly white men.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)