Did Trump damage American democracy in 2017? Unfortunately, he and his cabinet made great headway into this destruction.
The book covers:
Obama executive orders rescinded;
New cabinet members and steps to disrupt their departments;
The President's "foreign, foreign affairs" and impact on US allies and adversaries
Attacks on free speech;
The rise of hurtful "isms", falsehoods and deceptions;
A timeline of Russian and Trump surrogate relations from 2016 to 2018.
Learn how President Trump is attacking America. Buy The First Year in Hell and see how our country is being burned.
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Executive Orders. In his first year, Trump signed more executive orders
(EOs) than any other president in the past 50 years. This was ironic,
considering he greatly criticized Obama's use of such orders: "Obama
goes around signing executive orders. He can't even get along with the
Democrats. He goes around signing all these executive orders. It's a
basic disaster. You can't do it."
Some "Basic Disasters" Covered in Trump's EOs:
Travel Ban.Trump wanted to ban people who were coming to the U.S.
primarily from Muslim countries. The President's ban was quickly
challenged through the legal system and had to be changed. The six
countries approved in the final ban were Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia,
Syria and Yemen. North Korea and Venezuela were later added. The U.S.
Supreme Court made the travel ban fully operational In December 2017.
In January, 2018, nearly one year after Trump issued his initial ban on
travel from Muslim countries, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve a
challenge to a third, more refined version. In Trump v Hawaii, the Court
will hear argumentson whether Trump's travel ban, Proclamation No. 9645,
also known as Executive Order 3 (EO-3), violates the Establishment
Clause. This issue involves allegations that by applying the ban against
Muslim countries based on religion the Trump Administration may have
showed favoritism to religions.
Transgender Students' Bathroom Use. The Trump Administration rescinded
protections for transgender students in public schools. The move by the
U.S. Justice and Education Departments reversed Obama, who said a
federal law known as Title IX protected the right of transgender
students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender
identities. (Trump also weeted that the U.S. "will not accept or allow
... Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity" in the U.S.
military." This request was later withdrawn because of lack of Pentagon
Refugee Resettlement. The U.S. State Department told refugee agencies it
was sharply reducing the number of offices across the country authorized
to resettle people in 2018. The decision is leading to the closure of
numerous resettlement offices around the country, potentially leaving
some refugees without access to services that could integrate them into
American life. Overall, the number of refugees allowed to resettle was
cut from Obama's ceiling of 110,000 to 45,000, the lowest since the
modern program was established in 1980.
Sanctuary Cities. Trump tried to financially punish sanctuary cities,
which have shielded undocumented immigrants from deportation. A San
Francisco judge blocked the order, since Congress--not the
President--has control over federal spending. The order also violated
the Fifth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution. In November 2017,
U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued a permanent injunction
blocking Trump's EO.
Election Integrity. This EO ignored Russian involvement in the U.S.
election and instead focused on voter fraud, despite all evidence that
such fraud has been extremely rare. Trump established the Presidential
Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to “study the registration
and voting processes used in federal elections, including
'vulnerabilities' that allow for fraudulent voting."The commission
requested voting records from each state.Most states did not send this
information for fear of how it was going to be used. The commission was
sued by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the American Civil
Liberties Union. It was shut down in January 2018 due to "endless legal
Free Speech and Religious Liberty. This EO targeted the Johnson
Amendment prohibits religious groups from endorsing political figures
and concerns the mandate for employers to subsidize birth control
coverage. Changing the amendment altogether would require Congressional
action. This EO is on par with court cases, such as the one for Hobby
Lobby, which ruled that corporations with religious owners cannot be
required to pay for insurance coverage of contraception. If Attorney
General Jeff Sessions uses this EO to his advantage, no religious belief
would be too minor to exempt an organization from complying with federal
law. Corporations and organizations receiving taxpayer dollars would be
able to determine which federal regulations they follow. If Sessions’
interpretation is challenged and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the
EO can change the law for a lifetime.
Border Wall. Trump signed an EO ordering the Secretary of Homeland
Security to “take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design,
and construct a physical wall along the southern border.” He also took
steps to enlarge U.S. resources for capturing and detaining undocumented
immigrants, such as increasing border patrol agents and detention
centers. The EO nixed the "catch and release" policy, which allowed
undocumented immigrants to be set free on humanitarian grounds rather
than be detained.
Crime Reduction. Three EOs directed the U.S. Attorney General to
establish a Crime Reduction and Public Safety Task Force; target
transnational drug cartels by telling federal agencies to "increase
intelligence" sharing; and use current federal laws to prosecute anyone
who commits violence against law enforcement. These orders contradicted
the historic decrease in crime and ignored the impact on communities of
color that have been disproportionately singled out by law enforcement.
America-First Offshore Energy Strategy. Trump signed an EO that
directed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to develop a five-year
plan for oil and gas exploration in offshore waters and to look at
several regulations for these activities. Another order established the
new position of Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy, who will
oversee the Interior Department's energy portfolio across nine of its
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said these orders were aimed at unleashing
America's offshore energy potential and growing economy: “Following
through on the leadership established by President Trump, today's orders
will help cement our nation’s position as a global energy leader and
foster energy independence and security for the benefit of the American
people, while ensuring that this development is safe and environmentally
responsible. We will conduct a thorough review of the Outer Continental
Shelf for oil and gas exploration and listen to state and local
stakeholders. We also will conduct a thorough review of regulations that
were created with good intentions but have had harmful impacts on
America's energy security."
The Trump administration had thus promoted the most sweeping offshore
drilling plan in American history, with plans for extensive drilling in
the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific as well as parts of the previous
off-limit areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts said this proposal called
for a five-year drilling plan for 2019 to 2022 that consisted of over
90% of the entire outer continental shelf, some areas where drilling had
never occurred or experienced such exploration in decades. In short,
Trump wants to allow drilling for gas and oil along the whole U.S.
coast. It is believed that this area holds 90 billion barrels of oil and
319 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or 80% more than what has been
available over time. Zinke said this order would make the U.S. the
strongest energy superpower the world has ever known. A joint letter
from 64 environmental groups responded that this would cause “severe
and unacceptable harm” to U.S. publicly owned oceans, coastal
economies and marine life.
Excerpted from "The First Year of Hell: A Compendium of How Democratic Ideals Fared Against Trump Administration Threats in 2017" by Ms. Sharon L. Cohen. Copyright © 2017 by Ms. Sharon L. Cohen. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.