Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Snake Oil Salesman and His Liniment

snake oil salesman -- someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself a fraud, quack, or charlatan
We've never had a fraud in the presidency like Donald Trump. He said all sorts of things during the campaign to make himself popular with the groundlings, but those promises proved to be mere quackery. Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, a concoction for menstrual cramps sold widely in the 19th century, made women feel better temporarily -- it was mainly whiskey.

"Drain the swamp." That was the snake oil salesman's main cry to the masses, who kept pushing toward the stage for a taste of that sweet, sweet relief. Here's what "drain the swamp" has turned out to contain:
WASHINGTON — President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck.
The potential conflicts are arising across the executive branch, according to an analysis of recently released financial disclosures, lobbying records and interviews with current and former ethics officials by The New York Times in collaboration with ProPublica.
In at least two cases, the appointments may have already led to violations of the administration’s own ethics rules. But evaluating if and when such violations have occurred has become almost impossible because the Trump administration is secretly issuing waivers to the rules.
Trump "eliminated an ethics provision that prohibits lobbyists from joining agencies they lobbied in the prior two years," and the recent decision to keep White House visitor logs secret will allow the swamp creatures to come out and play without fear of exposure.

The fact that most of Trump's supporters haven't yet tasted anything suspiciously oily in his concoction of lies and misinformation does not fill us with despair, because there are more of us than there are of them. The 2018 elections are coming.

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