Thursday, January 10, 2019

It's Not About the Wall

President Trump has been diverting attention from his concerted effort to discredit (with the goal of greatly reducing or eliminating, although of course he says the opposite) the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and other agencies that stand in the way of unfettered commercial and industrial development of federal public lands since before he took office.

To this end Mr. Trump tacitly supports a step-by-step reversion of the land to the states led by his friend's cousin, Sonny Perdue - the president's appointed head of the USDA - despite a lack of authority to do so (pg. 4). When the states can't afford to do their part in managing those lands under newly-signed Memorandums of Understanding (e.g. these from the DoI and BLM), the lands will be 'disposed of'. Fears of a sell-off are probably unfounded, as the goal is far more likely to be to give private interests the ability to use (and abuse and profit from) the land while taxpayers subsidize their activities.

Where Mr. Trump is able he'll skip the state-ownership step altogether, as he's attempting to do in this case, making it appear to his base - many of whom are already on the 'no federal lands' bandwagon - and, he hopes, to others as though the states too fail to manage the land properly. Eventually, the public will be denied access, resources will be plundered, and recreational opportunities in what's left of these areas when he and his ilk are done with them will be limited to certain socioeconomic classes. (See "Why You Don't Want the States Managing Public Land")

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and other federal organizations are being subjected to the same kind of insidious erosion of confidence in their usefulness in order to curtail their impedance of certain types of business practice. The current shutdown, as with much of Mr. Trump's activity while occupying the Oval Office, has been more about proving (albeit unsuccessfully thus far) that these organizations are unnecessary than it's been about 'The Wall'.

We've said it before and we'll say it again before all this is over, the man is a genius... when it comes to misdirection, obfuscation, and keeping the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing.
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