“You judge a man by the companies he keeps”
When the time comes to write the history of the Trump reign in Washington, we can look to the people he picked to sit at the big table. The President’s Cabinet are the most important members of his team. These members are so powerful in the government that they have to be confirmed by the Congress.
Many articles are written as the season begins in any specific sport. The armchair coaches and managers at the magazines, web sites and TV networks tell us why one team is better than the other. It’s only been a little over 100 days since this administration has started and some of these characters weren’t confirmed right away. However, they all are now official, so let’s take a look at each person.
One of the most important people regarding how our country deals with the many hotspots and countries in the world is the Secretary of State. Traded form the EXXON MOBIL team and playing this position is Rex Tillerson. Rex carries himself well, has the gravitas and voice that can impress you on the get go, but don’t expect to have him ever say anything that matters. You can’t see the strings coming from his arms, but Trump speak is in his speak. I love when he says what Trump wants him to say, then a minute later, actually says that Russian hacking was a bad thing. He’s no Hillary Clinton, but you knew that.
The person in charge of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, was brought in from Goldman Sachs and has a nasty curve ball. While at ESL Investments he helped Trump secure lots of money for his building projects. He gave Trump money and the Donald paid him back with a job taking care of our money? This guy was involved in the housing crisis (OneWest) and foreclosed on a lot of Americans while his company reaped rewards. Of course, this is too easy. It’s putting the wolf in charge of the hen house. We just hope that our nest eggs aren’t cracked by this inarticulate banker.
On Defense, and we mean Secretary of Defense, James N. Mattis is a lifelong military man with excellent credentials. But sadly, many critics of President Trump believe that the driving force on this decision was Mattis’ nick name, “Mad Dog Mattis” which Trump loved saying at his rallies. Mattis carries a big bat and understands global conflicts and the nuisances of specific cultures. As long as Mattis stays, we have some sanity in the ranks.
The Attorney General’s job went to longtime supporter and campaigner Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, whose law and order message was blended with Trump exaggerated views on crime and who commits them. Sessions is not a player on the team, he is the umpire who wants a certain crowd to like him (yes, that was a whisper). Under Sessions, we will fill up the prisons due to his mandated sentencing decree, which will help some of Trump’s contributors, GEO Group, the largest for-profit prison firm and the other large prison company, CoreCivic, who both gave as much as a quarter of a million dollars to support Trump’s inauguration. Sessions also had to recuse himself from any Russian election investigation because of his failing to admit under oath that he, too, met with the Russians. Rule of Law?
Ryan Zinke, appointed and confirmed as the Secretary of the Interior, may have a degree in geology and a military record but the thing that stands out here is that he served on the board of the oil pipeline company QS Energy. During the primary, Zinke said that Hillary Clinton was “the real enemy” and the “anti-Christ” due to her position on freedom of choice for women. While Zinke wants to decide what a woman does with her interior, this guy wants to destroy our land. He wants to burn more coal for electricity and has zero care about Native Lands. To the Native people of America, he is indeed an evil spirit.
Sonny Perdue, may be the Agriculture Secretary, but he is NOT related to the Perdue Chicken Company. As governor of Georgia once asked his state to pray to ask God to end a drought. This is a guy who wanted to returned to the stars and bars flag for the state of Georgia (the one that looked confederate). And ironically, he was sworn as Secretary of Agriculture by Clarence Thomas. It’s too soon to see if this guy has any real understanding of farms, but he is a “Bull Dog” and has a degree from University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. So, he knows animals.
And finally, in Part One, let’s take a quick look at the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, who is a son of judge from New Jersey. When Ross was the Senior Managing Director of Rothschild Inc., a firm that specialized in bankruptcies, good old Wilbur figured out a way for Donald Trump to keep control of his failing casinos. In settlements that came after a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into overcharging of fees by WL Ross & Co, his most recent firm, he paid more than $100 million in fines and shareholder reimbursements. Of course, he only deals with trade, so his background won’t keep him from pissing off Canada, Mexico and eventually all our trade partners.
In Part Two, we’ll take a look at the rest of the people in the clown bus.