The Baffler,  January 25, 2017

Daily Bafflements

Welcome to This American Carnage, your weekly slice of life from the country of Trump

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• As Democrats roll over and sign off on Trump’s atrocious cabinet appointees, Donald Trump is pressing forward on his campaign promises. Today, his riotous personal Twitter account informed us, is a “big day” for national security. Planning for the wall will be “starting immediately.” His de facto Muslim ban—strictly speaking it’s a ban on visas for refugees from Muslim-majority countries Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen—is on its way through. Oh, and torture? That’ll be all right soon, even though, as Kade Crockford noted in issue no. 30, there’s no way those policies will keep us safe.

• At least six journalists—including Baffler contributor Aaron Cantú—have been slapped with felony riot charges for covering the protests during inauguration. Yet, as the Guardian reported earlier today, “none of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong.”

• Meanwhile, the Trump administration has effectively declared war on sanctuary cities. According to an executive order on interior immigration enforcement, the administration will be publicizing a list of all the crimes committed in sanctuary cities. Trump also has vowed to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding. So far, the cities have promised to stand firm.

• On Tuesday, Trump ordered a media blackout for employees of the Environmental Protection Agency and—although it was later rescinded—the United States Department of Agriculture. Though this order may be a result of the administration’s transition process, a number of outlets have alleged otherwise. And no wonder—at least one national park service Twitter account decided to go rogue and tweet out facts about climate change.

Foreign Policy reports: “Taking aim at U.S. President Donald Trump by name, Transparency International notes that, while populist leaders and movements are on the rise in part in response to corruption, they will likely only exacerbate widespread corruption as it continues to seep into democratic institutions.” Speaking of corruption, check out how Trump is treating his foreign business partners!

Trump got punk’d.

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Further Reading

 November 10

Yesterday’s twin reports on Roy Moore and Louis CK remind us that sexual assault and women’s inequality are still everyone’s problem.

 November 8

Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" finds moral complexity where it needed moral certitude.

 November 6

As the old refrain goes, at Gothamist and DNAinfo the union made us strong---not Joe Ricketts, not his money, not his decisions and certainly not his “direction.”