Trump’s wall of bullying baffling bullshit, a national embarrassment


‘Standing by sir’: Proud Boys praise Trump’s comment telling them to ‘stand by’ during first presidential debate

Shedding all semblance of decency, let alone public civility, a desperate Trump turned Tuesday’s presidential debate not only into a brawl but also a national embarrassment. Behaving like a petulant teenager, Trump rolled his eyes, constantly interrupted, hectored, tried to pick fights, and generally made a fool of himself as more than 80 million Americans tuned in, most of whom were likely thinking, ‘What have we become as a nation?’

It was clearly the worst presidential debate in American history, as Fox News moderator Chris Wallace got completely steamrolled by Trump’s bullying ways. And it was a debacle that Trump pre-planned. Allergic to debate prep and still seething about the blockbuster revelation about his massive tax evasion practices, Trump arrived with one goal — to make sure the debate was incomprehensible and that viewers learned as little as possible.

That’s why it’s time to call off the next two debates. Tuesday’s car wreck was a complete waste of time.

Months ago, I urged the Biden campaign to not show up for any of the debates this election season because I didn’t see the benefit of sharing the stage with a madman for 90 minutes. There’s no upside to normalizing his behavior with a presidential debate and the legitimacy it provides. Now everyone sees the results. Biden held his own last night, there’s no question, telling Trump more than once to “shut up,” which in the past would have been unthinkable for a Democrat to utter on a debate stage. And it was exactly what was called for.

But there’s no need to repeat the fiasco. There’s no need for Biden to show up again so Trump can smear Biden family members, make a mockery out of public discourse, and lie relentlessly about every topic discussed during the forums. Running for president is serious business, and Trump is a child.

And yes, the 2020 debates are already so much worse than the 2016 debates, when, in retrospect, Trump at least pretended to occasionally follow some of the norms of public behavior. But all of that is gone now. Lost in the authoritarian power that he craves in the White House, Trump deems it beneath him to share the stage, and the spotlight, with another politician.

Another reason for Biden to politely bow out is because while the press is going to correctly portray the Tuesday debate as a stunning failure, they’re going to couch it in Both Sides language, suggesting Biden was somehow at all responsible for the national embarrassment when it was entirely Trump’s doing.

That was apparent in real-time last night. From Politico: “The first Trump-Biden debate: A trainwreck.” New York Times: “Sharp Personal Attacks and Name-Calling in Chaotic First Debate.” CNN: “Pure Chaos at First Debate.” The Washington Post: “First Trump-Biden meeting marked by constant interruptions by Trump.” Technically those headlines were accurate, but all the news outlets presented the story as if both sides were to blame for the televised disintegration.

There’s also the simple fact that unless the Commission on Presidential Debates allows moderators to cut off Trump’s mic for the next two forums, it’s not possible for any moderator to keep control of the event. Wallace was completely humiliated by Trump, who ran over the Fox News anchor at every turn, making it impossible for there to be anything remotely resembling a revealing or intelligent debate.

Comically, Wallace told the New York Times he wanted to be “invisible” during the debate, meaning it was up to the candidates to engage each other. Commission officials actually thought Wallace would act as a “facilitator,” gently walking Trump through the evening’s topics. That makes sense if you think Trump is a rational, sane person. But Trump’s a nihilistic actor. And the Beltway’s refusal to acknowledge that — to think that protocols like presidential debates could still be adhered to — fueled last night’s disaster.

It also lends credence to canceling the next two debates, because it’s not possible to stage a two-person debate when one of them is a sociopath. The debate Commission can act quickly to try to save this format, by allowing Trump’s mic to be cut. But anything short of that would be a waste of time. It would be a waste of Biden’s time, and a waste of Americans’ time.

Trump has torn up so many norms and traditions with his radical behavior. So let’s add another one to the list — let’s cancel the next two debates. Nobody will miss them.


Eric Boehlert Press Run


In honor of RBG here’s what we propose:

Jail time for causing more than 200000 deaths from the Trump Enabled Coronavirus


Win back the Senate

Win back the White House

Solidify our hold on the House of representatives

Statehood for Washington DC and Puerto Rico

More judges for the Supreme Court so it doesn’t tilt right or left

Bill Barr should be charged with his crimes and stand trial

Mike Pompeo should be charged with his crimes and stand trial

The whole Trump crime family should be charged with crimes and stand trial

Trump has infected his cult followers with his symptoms

A Yale psychiatrist who has sounded the alarm on Donald Trump’s mental health for years warns that the party’s attempt to stoke fear in the electorate at the Republican National Convention could lead to violence against his opponents.

The convention featured an unprecedented number of false claims and downright lies, unhinged conspiracy theories, and hours of racial fear-mongering. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine who taught at Yale Law School, told Salon that the stoking of fear was so coordinated that pushing back could provoke a violent response.

Lee has studied violence for years. She is the author of the textbook “Violence,” editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President (Trump),” and president of the World Mental Health Coalition, which recently issued a “Prescription for Survival Refill” and is releasing a new collection of statements, conference transcripts, and columns called “Documents.” She recently interviewed Mary Trump on her new website about Trump’s mental health.

Lee said that the American Psychiatric Association, which warned against mental health professionals offering their opinions of the Trump’s mental health, had denied the public a full view of what is happening in the White House.

“The public has been deprived of expert knowledge for too long, as it misunderstood and normalized serious pathology to a level of profound danger,” she told Salon. “Professional institutions should not function as lackeys of the government but do their public function. I have criticized from the very start the way the American Psychiatric Association intervened to mislead the public into believing that they cannot hear from mental health experts about the mental health of a president (Dictator). Imagine the American Bar Association prohibiting all legal professionals from commenting on societally relevant legal matters unless they personally represent the public figures and obtain consent from them to speak about them. It is absurd, and it is about time we stop treating mental health issues so differently and esoterically, when science demands the exact opposite.”

Other experts suggest a cautious, precedent-setting approach. “I think the same way that candidates have their physical health scrutinized, they could have their mental health scrutinized,” Amy Barnhorst, a psychiatry professor and the vice-chair for clinical services at UC Davis, told Salon in January. “But we have to ask ourselves: What would we do with that information?”

Lee spoke to Salon about the convention and how it could affect the electorate heading into November.

As a psychiatrist who has been sounding the alarm on this presidency for years, what were your takeaways from the convention? Did anything surprise you?

It has not been surprising, but impressive in how well-orchestrated and coordinated the convention was, starting with holding the event on the White House lawn. No breach of rules or actual harm matters, as long as there is impression management, which is the key to psychological conditioning, manipulation, and control. Republicans understand this power of the mind and use it perversely. Democrats do not even inform themselves of it to achieve their political goals, let alone protect the population, as we learned from our attempts to obtain consultation. This election will be more difficult than 2016, since Donald Trump has infected his followers with his symptoms, by sheer duration in office. He will also no doubt use the full powers of the presidency now to choreograph his remaining in office, regardless of the means — and I believe people realize by now that there is no limit to what he will do to “win.”

Many of the speakers described a very different presidency than we’ve seen, one that successfully accomplished many things and beat back the coronavirus. Kamala Harris said the goal of the convention was to “soothe Trump’s ego.” Do you think that’s accurate?

That would be the most minimal description, falling far short of what the situation demands. Politics, without grounding in reality, seems to have become a circular enterprise that has to do with nothing but power: this side impeaching only because the other side has in the past, or hesitating with a valid intervention “in case” it backfires. Journalists need to offer grounding in facts, and experts must give evidence based on the best available knowledge. Politics should be based on facts and evidence. Our system is unusual in that we not have freestanding scholarly advisory boards or other means for scientists and other intellectuals to give independent input into governance. This was criticized in the 1970s, and now it is far worse: experts convene only when politicians invite us, for their purposes, and the end result for mental health is that administrations that need consultation the most will be the least likely to seek it.

Trump and other speakers repeatedly lied throughout the event. How does that affect the psychology of the overall electorate, to have a four-day stream of lies broadcast by all the major networks for four straight days?

This has now become a societal phenomenon. We do not think of mental symptoms as infectious, but they are potentially far more so than Ebola or coronavirus since you do not need physical contact for the symptoms to transmit to millions, as long as you have emotional bonds. The end result is dramatic, as we now see before our eyes.

In our individual-oriented culture, not even psychiatrists consider this phenomenon sufficiently, but contagion is well-documented in the literature, and especially my colleague at the World Health Organization, Dr. Gary Slutkin, has long advocated approaching violence as a contagious disease. [Editor’s note: Other experts have pushed back on this model.]

It is rather a mistake to believe that mental symptoms cannot transmit when we have set up the perfect conditions for it. Those who do not succumb also generally grow exhausted and acquiesce. The good news is, like the pandemic, we can contain it if we intervened intelligently and scientifically.

How can Democrats counter Trump’s lies? Is it possible to counter this non-stop narrative with facts and reality?

When lies are of a pathological degree, they may arise from delusions, which means they are resistant to facts and reality—all you will likely do is arouse defensive “doubling down.” This is what you see with the growing detachment from reality and the embracing of conspiracy theories like QAnon.  As evidence of Trump’s incapacity and criminal-mindedness mounts, increasingly outlandish explanations are necessary to hold onto cherished fixed beliefs: such as that the person one supports is a savior figure who can do no wrong. Donald Trump is masterful at cultivating and stoking this need since his (political)—or more importantly, his psychic—survival depends on it.  This level of denial can be dangerous, as challenging it could provoke a lot of violence.

How to intervene? The situation has gotten so serious, we are at a point where we need specialists. You would not order heart surgery by a politician, just because it is occurring in another politician, would you? And so why do we attempt to tackle a serious mental health problem politically? My colleagues and I have issued a “refill” to our “Prescription for Survival.”  People will see that what we issued in March of this year when we had about 1,000 COVID-19 deaths, is all the more applicable now.

Edited from a story by Igor Derysh in Salon / Alternet

Trump is destroying everything else why not sabotage Social Security and Medicare

Trump’s executive action suspending collection of payroll taxes is nothing less than a declaration of war on Social Security and Medicare. The payroll tax funds those two vital and beloved programs. When you suspend the collection of the revenue that funds those two programs, you endanger their viability.

The Center for American Progress jumped on this like a duck on a June bug. Even before Trump announced his executive order and three memorandums on Saturday, CAP was out with a memo slamming Trump. CAP says that if his scheme works it “would divert hundreds of billions from Social Security and Medicare.”

Trump is an impulsive, impetuous man; that we know. But on the issue of cutting Social Security and Medicare, this is not his first attempt. His 2021 and 2020 budgets each proposed deep and painful cuts in Social Security and Medicare. How deep? How painful? $2 trillion over ten years, according to the Wall Street Journal. What a coincidence: that’s about how much Trump’s 2017 tax cut for corporate America cost. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Trump’s corporate tax cut has a price tag of $1.9 trillion.

While hanging out with the forgotten upper class in the globalist hangout of Davos, Switzerland in January, Trump said he was open to cutting entitlements– in other words, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. He even said, “that’s actually the easiest of all things.” In March, he returned to his desire to cut entitlements, telling a Fox News town hall meeting, “Oh, we’ll be cutting.” Trump did not specify which programs he was referring to, but the big-ticket items are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits. He later tweeted that he would not cut Medicare or Social Security, but as we have learned, Trump’s tweets are often not worth the pixels they’re printed on.

Even the conservative National Taxpayers Union Foundation is dubious of Trump’s payroll tax suspension — but for different reasons. Joe Bishop-Henchman, vice president of tax policy and litigation, wrote, “there are many potential legal challenges associated with a unilateral Presidential payroll tax suspension… Without detailed answers to some of these questions, employers might just steer clear of all of it by continuing to do what they’ve always done, blunting the desired economic impact of reducing taxes.”

Other dubious Trump executive memorandums seek to suspend the collection of student loan debt, postpone evictions and extend unemployment benefits. The unemployment benefits order is especially galling, as it requires states to foot one-fourth of the bill; the same states he is refusing to aid as they stare at a revenue collapse that could compel them to cut schools, hospitals, and other vital services.

Beyond that, Trump is offering out of work Americans just $400 extra per week, a significant cut from the $600 they’ve been getting. Why the cut? “There was a difficulty with the 600 number because it really was a disincentive,” Trump said.

He means that people who get an extra six hundred bucks to keep body and soul together during this COVID crash will suddenly become lazy and refuse to go back to work. That is an insult to every working woman and man, and People should call Trump out on it.

Trump seems to believe $600 a week is too generous. Meanwhile, he gets free housing, free health care, a free helicopter, and a jumbo jet. Oh, and his family charged the taxpayers nearly $1 million to house Secret Service and other federal employees at Trump-owned properties. So, $600 is too much for you, but a million bucks is just fine for the Trump family.

Fittingly, Trump issued his order and memorandums at his Bedminster, New Jersey country club, where the initiation fee is reportedly $350,000 — yet another proof-point that Trump’s heart is really with the Forgotten Upper Class.

Edited from CNN Opinion by Paul Begala

AG Barr is taken apart as a despicable and lying Trump flunky

United States Representative Pramila Jayapal from Washington State excoriated Attorney General William Barr over his response to Black Lives Matter protests during a contentious congressional hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The Democratic congresswoman scrutinized the Trump administration’s directive to deploy federal agents across the country to domestically police major US cities amid protests, whereas the same response was not present during anti-lockdown protests earlier this year.
In a heated exchange, Jayapal said there is a “real discrepancy” in the attorney general’s “aggressive” approach to handling the Black Lives Matter protests and pointed out that the anti-lockdown protests outside the Michigan capitol building, where demonstrators wearing swastikas and waving confederate flags “swarmed” the building armed with assault weapons! This mob also had a black-haired doll with a noose around its neck and called for the beheading of the female democratic governor and that all of this seemed to be of no concern to Barr.
“You are supposed to represent the people of the United States of America, not violate people’s first amendment rights,” she said. “You are supposed to uphold democracy and secure equal justice under the law, not violently dismantle certain protesters based on (Trump’s) personal agenda.”


Billboard face down in the Elk River wetland: Recycle the wood and haul the rest to the landfill

Remove this trash!

From the Sunday Times-Standard

I spent years working for economic development and job creation in Eureka and was a proud member of Keep Eureka Beautiful because we long have known that business and tourism depend on our area’s natural beauty. It does not depend on a billboard.

As you approach Eureka from the south, in the middle of the Elk River Wetland, there was once an ugly billboard that greeted our visitors. Nature removed it, and as a permit for a new billboard would never be approved based on today’s standards, the planning commission wisely denied the permit to rebuild this one.

If this billboard is rebuilt, it will stand, marring our beautiful wetland for decades to come. I urge the Board of Supervisors to affirm the planning commission’s decision and vote to enhance the scenic beauty of our entrance to Eureka.

Christopher L. Kerrigan, former two-term Eureka City councilperson

Pathetic and wimpy Eureka City Council

It seems it takes a voice from the recent past to point out the shameful failure of the current City Council to speak out about what should be a very easy topic to weigh in on.

Let get real, the vast majority of us hate billboards we mean like 9 out ten of us. So why did the so-called progressive city council choke when it came to taking a stand. It seems the current officeholders view the position as being prom queen or having 1000’s of followers on Facebook. They don’t seem to realize it not a status symbol it’s a job. If you do the job right you’re going to piss off someone like “Allpoints sign company” a business whose owner will give money to their opponent’s weather they vote his way or not.

By failing to even send a letter of disapproval this current City Council continues to disappoint with its timidity and lack of direction.

Take Action

Last winter, an old billboard collapsed into the Elk River wetlands just south of Eureka. This sign was built long before current state and local rules governing billboards were adopted – no billboard would ever be allowed in a coastal wetland by today’s standards. On May 7, the County Planning Commission denied the permit, but the sign owner appealed that decision, and on July 28, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether this sign should be allowed to be rebuilt under the guise of grandfathering in mistakes of the past.

While Eureka is spending taxpayer dollars to beautiful the southern “gateway” to Eureka and the South Broadway Corridor, the Board of Supervisors is considering overriding the Planning Commission’s recommendation to DENY the application to rebuild this billboard on coastal wetlands.

One can’t help but wonder why the Board of Supervisors would be more concerned about the special interest of one well-connected business over the greater good of the community?

Do we want visitors to first see the beautiful Elk River and Humboldt Bay or do we want them to see a row of billboards in our wetlands?
Contact your Supervisor directly. Emails and phone numbers listed below:

Board of Supervisors:

Rex Bohn

Estelle Fennell

Mike Wilson

Virginia Bass

Steve Madrone



Chalk up another one for the demented bully

The hero Army officer who played a high-profile role in Crime boss Trump’s impeachment proceedings is retiring from the military over alleged “bullying” and “retaliation” by despicable Trump, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who served as a national security aide at the White House until earlier this year and was up for promotion to colonel, will leave the military instead, his lawyer, David Pressman, said in a statement.

“Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, Trump attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing Trump. Between honoring his oath or protecting his career. Between protecting his promotion or the promotion of his fellow soldiers,” Pressman said. “LTC Vindman’s patriotism has cost him his career.”

Vindman, who was the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert, testified last fall about his concerns surrounding a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Washington Post last month reported that government officials were concerned that the White House would move to prevent Vindman’s promotion. Last week, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said she would block the promotion of more than 1,000 officers unless the Pentagon ensured Vindman would not be the subject of retaliation. Let’s hope she follows through.

A news report from Washington Post


Fat-Elvis covidiot Trump will not leave even when defeated

Appearing on MSNBC, the founder of CNBC walked viewers through a scenario where Donald Trump would attempt to remain in office even if he is rejected by the voters in November.

Speaking with hosts, Tom Rogers along with co-author former Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO) explained the central point of their piece in Newsweek that proposes: “How Trump Could Lose the Election– and Still Remain President. (dictator)”

According to Rogers, who began by saying his scenario was “not farfetched” he believes Trump has no chance of winning the election and will do anything to remain in office.

“This is how it happens, Biden wins,” he began. “I don’t just mean the popular vote, he wins the key swing states, he wins the electoral college. Trump claims there’s been Chinese interference in the election. He’s been talking about Biden’s soft on China — China wanted Biden to win so he says a national emergency; the Chinese have intervened in the election.”

“Why do I think that’s real?” he continued. “Just ten days ago he tweeted, he actually tweeted, ‘rigged 2020 election,’ millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries it will be the scandal of our times. so he’s laying the groundwork for this. So he does an investigation and [Attorney General Bill] Barr backs this up with all kinds of legal opinions about emergency powers that the president has.”

“Then what happens is it’s all geared towards December 14th. Why December 14th? Well, that’s the deadline when the electors of the states have to be chosen,” he elaborated. “Why is that key? Because that’s what the Supreme Court used in Bush v. Gore to cut off the Florida counting. They keep this national emergency investigation going through December 14th. Biden, of course, challenges this in the courts and says, ‘hey, we won these states, I want the electors that favored me named. The Supreme Court doesn’t throw the election to the Republicans as it did in 2000, instead, it says, ‘look, there’s a deadline here.’ If they can’t be certified in these states because of this investigation going on, there’s a constitutional process for this.”

“What’s the constitutional process? It goes to the House of Representatives,” Roger continued. “Everybody says, ‘that’s good. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats control the House. No. when a presidential election is thrown into the House of Representatives under the Constitution, it’s state-by-state vote. Each state gets one vote based on the number of Republicans and Democrats in that delegation. Today Republicans control the House on that kind of vote it 26-23 with on delegation, Pennsylvania split. Even if Pennsylvania was to elect a Democratic delegation, come this new election because it’s the new Congress that votes here, it would be 26 to 24 Republicans and Trump retains the presidency.”

He then concluded, “It is not so farfetched — he [Trump] is planning to do this.”

From AlterNet


Bolton the Coward’s karma, is messing with his greedy plans

For one brief moment, the eyes of the nation were on Chicken Hawk and former National Security Adviser John Bolton. The impeachment of Donald Trump was ongoing, and Bolton was known to have played a critical role behind the scenes of the Ukraine scheme at the heart of the proceedings’ charges. Reports indicated that his potential testimony would be explosive.

But greedy and cowardly Bolton refused to testify before the House of Representatives’ impeachment hearing, later saying he was only willing to testify for the Senate, knowing he wouldn’t be called. The shameless Republican Party that would ultimately acquit Trump in the Senate refused to call any witnesses, so Bolton’s voice was never heard. At a critical moment in the nation’s history, Bolton chose to withhold potentially vital information from the public and from the officials tasked with adjudicating the president’s fitness to serve.

Now that cowardice has come back to bite him in the ass.

Bolton has sought to publish a book recounting his time in the White House, which will delve into key events in the Ukraine saga. But with impeachment over and that scandal in the rearview mirror, interest in Bolton’s recollections has seriously waned. So when his lawyer, Chuck Cooper, took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to complain that the White House is preventing Bolton from publishing his book, few observers were overflowing with sympathy. In fact, most of us are laughing at him.

Cooper whined: Tyrant Trump doesn’t want John Bolton to publish his book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.” It was supposed to come out in March, but Simon & Schuster was twice forced to push the publication date back more than three months, to June 23, while the manuscript underwent “prepublication review” by the National Security Council (NSC).

The purpose of the prepublication review is to protect national-security secrets. Regulations disallow its use “to prevent embarrassment to a person.” Yet that’s how the White House has used the process in this case. The effort violates those regulations and Mr. Bolton’s First and Fifth Amendment rights. He should have testified before the House Impeachment hearing the White House couldn’t have stopped him.

Pointing to public reports and Bolton’s own extensive efforts with administration officials to ready the book for publication, Cooper suggested that the book is being blocked to save Trump from any damaging information it contains. But he said it won’t work. “This is a transparent attempt to use national security as a pretext to censor Mr. Bolton, in violation of his constitutional right to speak on matters of the utmost public import,” he wrote. “This attempt will not succeed, and Mr. Bolton’s book will be published on June 23.”

This is, to be sure, a clear abuse of power. As Cooper pointed out, the federal government is not supposed to use the pre-clearance process to prevent former officials from publishing unclassified claims for the purpose of protecting the administration from embarrassment.

And while we should never brush off Trump’s abuses of power, as numerous as they are, Bolton is in the worst possible position to complain. He could have participated in the impeachment proceedings, as was his civic duty, but he hid behind the White House as a shield. So he enabled Trump’s tactics to avoid punishment for his previous abuses of powers. And if Bolton had testified, much of the content the White House is so concerned about becoming public would already be public, so it would have a much weaker excuse to delay publication.

Many speculated at the time, though, that Bolton was afraid of revealing the juiciest details in his book, fearing they would dampen sales. In fact, it may have had the opposite effect. Interest in Bolton and in the impeachment drama has since faded as the pandemic, recession, and nationwide protests have overwhelmed the country.

Former DOJ spokesperson Matthew Miller was sharply disdainful of Cooper’s piece in the Journal:” John Bolton would like us to know Trump is abusing his power to retaliate against an opponent, and because this time it’s him, he’s happy to have his lawyer share details with the press.” …

Bolton may yet get his book published, though the White House could move once again to block him. But his struggle to get it to the presses would probably have been much easier if he had just done the right thing and testified in the first place.


Edited from Alternet story


While we’re dealing with Coronavirus and state-sponsored murder, Tyrant Trump is dismantling environmental protections

In a cynical action to limit environmental regulations in the US, the Trump regime decided to accelerate the construction of infrastructure projects and at the same time weaken the authority of the government to issue a strong climate and clean air policies.

Under this move, agencies can now waive some of the required environmental reviews of infrastructure projects to be built during the pandemic, according to an executive order signed by Tyrant Trump. This adds to a proposed new rule by the Environmental Protection Agency that could limit the strength of air pollution controls.

The move is just the latest in a long list of decisions made by Trump to weaken environmental regulations. The list includes greenlighting the Dakota and Keystone pipelines, appointing a climate change denier as head of the EPA (Scott Pruitt), and reconsidering fuel efficiency standards.

Trump’s made-up rationale for this is: “In light of this and other developments, I have determined that, without intervention, the United States faces the likelihood of a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistent high unemployment,” Trump’s executive order said, allowing agencies to bypass environmental rules to approve new infrastructure projects. (Not to mention line their pockets)

The Transportation Department, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the Defense Department and the Army Corps of Engineers will have to “use all relevant emergency and other authorities” to expedite infrastructure projects, the order reads. They must report back to the White House within 30 days with a list of all projects that have been fast-tracked.

The order essentially undermines and overrides normal procedures under laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water Act. Environmental organizations harshly condemned the move, pointing out it will affect the poor, indigenous groups, and people of color the most.

“A public health crisis is not an excuse to drill, mine and pave our public lands, and the American people won’t fall for it,” Jesse Prentice-Dunn, policy director of the Center for Western Priorities, told The New York Times. “This order will almost certainly increase environmental injustice across America.”