PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The Feuding Kleptocrats” / truthdig / Chris Hedges / 03.26.2017 ☮

The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit.

They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education are eating away the foundations of democratic institutions like gigantic termites. And there is no force inside government that can stop them.

Continue reading . . .

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Sarah Palin Condemns Colin Kaepernick for Feeding the Poor” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

Sarah Palin published a scathing condemnation to her website of Colin Kaepernick, the NFL star that recently donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels in response to President Trump’s decision to cut funding for the program. Meals on Wheels is a program that feeds the poorest Americans, and as someone that identifies with the Christian religion, Sarah Palin should theoretically be in favor of such a decision, but she instead slammed the donation as a “political move.” Hey Sarah, why don’t you reread that bible you like to throw in other peoples’ faces so much.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The Leader of the Free World Meets Donald Trump” / Politico Magazine / James P. Rubin ☮

Angela Merkel, whether she wants the job or not, is the West’s last, best hope.

This time the media hype surrounding a White House meeting is no wild exaggeration. When President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally get together on Friday, the leaders of the West’s two most powerful countries are sure to come off more like an odd couple than two close allies chewing over plans for some joint enterprise. And for good reason. Merkel and Trump are not only polar opposites as people, but they share little in terms of international outlook.

Their styles reflect their vastly different backgrounds. Merkel, Germany’s first and only female chancellor, was raised by a pastor in communist East Germany, where she earned a doctorate in physical chemistry. Although she is the longest-serving and most powerful leader in Europe, she is unfailingly modest, competent and consensus-oriented. Trump’s all-about-me mentality, Queens upbringing and brash, tabloid-and-reality-TV personality couldn’t be more different.

Continue reading . . .