We’re running out of analogies at this point. It’s a card trick, sleight of hand, three card monte, a shell game, whatever you want to call it, we’re all falling for it. While the public discourse focuses entirely on twitter lies and the disgusting assertion that there might be such a thing as, “alternative facts,” the GOP is plunging the country into their darkest fantasies.
Reports started surfacing today of federal agencies being issued orders to cease communications with the public, issuance of research grants, and initiation of any new regulations. The NIH, USDA, FDA, EPA, and others were included on the list that can be seen on the Sunlight Foundation’s website.
The move is an effort to stifle any information that would measure the devastation that will be wrought by their policies. American carnage is coming, and it will be in the form of a post-apocalyptic wasteland where robber barons rule the country again.
Here is the way this plays out. First, the GOP continues running a no huddle offense and ram through everything they’ve ever wanted. Second, the country is stripped down and sold for parts (National parks, public lands, Medicare and school funding, etc), the damage to the environment and civil rights will happen, but the government will no longer give you the data about it. It clears the path for their alternative facts to become the only government facts that are available.
Big oil has certainly made some significant improvements to the big tobacco playbook. At this point it wouldn’t be surprising to see a bill hit congress outlawing solar power because there won’t be enough energy left for the plants.
The question now becomes, can private citizens and even progressive corporations fill the gap where the federal government will not? Can the public pressure companies into making conscientous decisions? Maybe in some cases they can. One thing is for certain, if any meaningful research on climate change and a whole slew of other issues is to be done in the next four years, it will have to be done without any kind of federal research grants.