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Anti-Trump Watch

What He’s Done So Far (11/15/16)

Bannon; Priebus; Christie; Protocol; Putin; Obamacare; Why Pence Might Be Scarier Than Trump.

Stephen K. Bannon Appointed Chief Strategist

Stephen K. Bannon, nationalist media mogul and Executive Director of right-wing, conservative website Breitbart News, has been named “senior counselor and chief strategist” to Trump, while Trump simultaneously named Reince Priebus Chief of Staff (more on him below). Before we talk about Bannon, it is worth noting that, as the New York Times rightly reports, the dual appointment immediately inspires rivalry between the two men- as if the prospect of our nation being led by either one of them alone wasn’t frightening enough.

Here’s a sampling of some of the horrific things Bannon and Breitbart have said and done in the years leading up to the former’s appointment to the White House:

  • accused President Obama of “importing more hating Muslims”;
  • compared Planned Parenthood’s work to the Holocaust;
  • called the conservative commentator Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew”;
  • advised female victims of online harassment to “just log off” and stop “screwing up the internet for men,” illustrating that point with a picture of a crying child. (Source for first four bullet points.)
  • falsely claimed that the World Health Organization released a report revealing that “trannies” have an HIV rate 49 times that of cis, gender-conforming people;
  • declared that there is no hiring bias in the tech industry, but rather, women don’t get tech jobs because they “suck at interviews”;
  • declared that birth control “makes women unattractive and crazy”;
  • claimed that Clinton campaign staffer Huma Mahmood Abedin is “most likely a Saudi spy” with “deep, inarguable connections” to a “global terrorist entity”;
  • criticized “lesbian bridezillas” for demanding just treatment at a bridal shop; and
  • characterized young Muslims in the West as “a ticking time bomb.” (Source for Bullets #5-present.)

Reince Priebus Appointed Chief of Staff

And now, a sampling of the crimes of the GOP and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus:

  • For starters, have a look at the Republican Party Platform. Then, remind yourself that he is the Chair of this party. Short on time? Take a peak at the “Great American Families…” etc. page.
  • In October 2014, Priebus announced the GOP’s “Principles of American Renewal,” which includes a call for increased military spending; an affirmation that family life has “long been synonymous with religious life” and the government should not “coerce” Republicans to “violate their religious beliefs” (translation: the government ought not to compel bigoted business owners to treat LGBTQ+ people like people); and a ringing endorsement of the Keystone Pipeline, which promises to wreak havoc on the environment by increasing greenhouse gases and the potential for oil spills.

HE FIRED CHRISTIE!!!

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been a loyal servant to Trump from the very beginning, and has been referred to by the press as, among other things, Trump’s “unpaid McDonald’s delivery intern,” “errand boy” and “manservant.” At first, we thought maybe he wanted to be VP, but his fierce loyalty persevered after the selection of Mike Pence for running mate. When he was put in charge of Trump’s transition team, we thought maybe now, finally, his loyalty would be rewarded.

But on Friday, November 11th, Trump once again chose Pence over Christie, unceremoniously firing the latter and hiring the former as head of the transition team. This may or may not have to do with the fact that, as governor, Christie put Charles Kushner– the father of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor– behind bars.

It may also have to do with Christie’s handling of Bridgegate. The obvious answer looks like this: “Christie has his own mess to clean up right now, and probably won’t be able to focus 100% on this task, so it makes sense to pick someone else to do it.” The answer the New York Post and others are reporting looks more like this: “Trump is disgusted that Christie threw Bridget Kelly under the bus (or off of the bridge, if you will), and is sending a soccer mom to jail over his own evil scheme.”

The second answer, of course, suggests that Trump is following some sort of moral compass, which immediately renders it less credible than the other explanations that abound.

Abandoning Protocol Left, Right and Sideways

While Trump has managed to make two appointments and several firings (Christie wasn’t the only one; others who support Christie were ousted, too) from his ivory tower at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street in Manhattan, he and his people have not yet gotten around to filing some crucial paperwork for the White House, including a formal announcement of who will be able to represent his transition team that is required in order for said team to receive confidential briefings and pair up with its Obama administration counterparts.

Some world leaders have had trouble getting ahold of him, while he has spoken to a few others and even set up a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe without any oversight or advice, including the typical logistical support provided by the State Department. In some cases, he simply didn’t bother to reach out, such as to the State Department; in others, such as Obama administration officials, people who would ordinarily advise him are currently legally barred from doing so, owing to the missing paperwork referenced above.

True to form, Trump has already begun to deny all of this via his girlfriend, Twitter.

Already Broing it Up with Putin

Here‘s an article about a little chat they had earlier this week.

Trump Walks Back Tough Talk on Obamacare

One of the key pillars of Trump’s presidential campaign was the repeated promise to repeal Obamacare. A few days ago (11/11), much to the surprise of many, Trump agreed to keep two essential elements of Obamacare on which scores of Americans are currently reliant: the ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, and the ability of young adults to stay on their parent’s or parents’ health care plan until age 26.

This past Sunday, November 13th, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the President-elect is considering calling a “special session” of Congress on the day he’s sworn in to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. Whether or not his commitment to the two aspects of the plan cited above will last from now until then is anyone’s guess. But it should come as no surprise that this would be the first major policy move on Trump’s part, given that there has been massive support from the GOP regarding the end of Obamacare that Trump does not have for some of his other pet issues and projects. The GOP is likely anxious to push through any and all legislation on which it and Trump agree as quickly as possible, in case Trump should be impeached, assassinated or otherwise unable to complete his four-year term.

Which is not something any of us in “resistance mode” should really want, because…

The substitute for Trump would be Mike Pence, who, as I’ve said, is a robot demon from the bowels of Hell. Why?

Here are some things you may or may not know about Mr. Pence, which it would be wise to keep in mind as demands for Trump’s impeachment reach a fevered pitch:

  • For detailed lists with citations on all of his policy positions, visit his On The Issues page.
  • He wants to prohibit federal funding for abortion.
  • In 2011, he sponsored a bill banning federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which even Trump has stood up for (though he characteristically flip-flopped on the issue in September), as it does much more than just provide abortions.
  • In 2009, he declared that fetuses deserved legal personhood and protection under the 14th Amendment.
  • He has and continues to oppose equal pay for women and people of color.
  • He has claimed that the future of conservatism relies on “traditional” (heterosexual) marriages, and that civil rights must be “balanced” with religious freedom.
  • In 2007, he voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • In 2004, he voted YES to ban same-sex marriage.
  • He has spoken against talking about “implicit bias” as recently as last month, claiming that such talk demeans police officers.
  • He supports the Death Penalty. (“But I thought he was a Christian?” Nope; men like Pence have nothing to do with Christianity. They only engage in it to the extent that they can exploit it. Don’t be fooled.)
  • In 2009, he voted NO on enforcing against anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes.
  • In January of this year, he sued the Obama Administration over its Clean Energy Plan.

Finally:

  • Unlike Trump, whose face is filled with hate, Pence looks very much the Boy Next Door. His calm, composed manner during the VP debate stood in stark contrast to Trump’s stalking, red-faced posturing and relentless interjections during all three presidential debates. He is reminiscent of That Racist Uncle in nearly every white family, who everyone else in the family ignores.

We cannot afford to ignore Pence. He’s not some embarrassing relative; he is our nation’s vice president-elect. We must be vigilant in not allowing Pence’s polished demeanor to disarm us; he is every bit as dangerous as Trump, if not more so.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All content ©Saryta Rodriguez, 2016.

Take a Break

Self-care is important, so every so often I will endeavor to lighten the mood a bit with fun stuff. Suggestions are always welcome!

Cartoons; Music; Movie Recommendation; TV; Animal Corner

Cartoons

Music: Cigarette A Bana by Habib Koité and Kélétigui Diabaté

Movie Recommendation: ArrivalBased on the fascinating and deeply moving short story, “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. Twelve spacecrafts land in various parts of the world, and it is up to one lonely, brilliant linguist named Louise (played by Amy Adams) to try to crack the new arrivals’ bizarre nonlinear language, with some help from her expert physicist sidekick, Ian. Louise and Ian work with extraterrestrials who have landed in the US, while teams like theirs communicate with the others around the world in a massive international undertaking. Soon, a translation made by China and some American right-wing punditry set the stage for the possibility of intergalactic war.

TV: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, 11/13/16 (HBO Go required, or else Web surfing…) 

Animal Corner: 

babyfox
Baby fox. Photo credit Ivan Kinslov.

Fox are cool because: they’re adorable when they’re young and handsome when they’re older; they use the whiskers on their legs and faces to navigate; they’re rogues unlikely to succumb to peer pressure; their vertical pupils help them see well at night; they have truly exceptional hearing; they are strikingly similar to cats, even though they are canines; and they have a rep for being pretty awesome parents, among countless other reasons.

The swift fox is currently endangered, while the Arctic fox population has only recently stabilized. Threats to fox include habitat encroachment; hunting; competition with other species, accelerated at least in part by global warming; and habitat degradation and fragmentation. Find out what YOU can do to help fox here and here!

All content ©Saryta Rodriguez, 2016.

NATIONAL ACTION ALERT: Demonstration in D.C. Planned for Inauguration Day; Women’s March, the Following Day.

Women voters and anti-Trump supporters are reportedly joining together to plan a “Women’s March on Washington” in protest of Trump’s presidency the day after Inauguration Day: Saturday, January 21, 2017.

A total of 159,000 people have indicated interest in attending on the group’s Facebook page as of Monday morning, with 68,000 confirming they are going. The group organizing the march has laid out the following plan:

“March from Lincoln Memorial to [the] White House to show our strength, power and courage and demonstrate our disapproval of the new president and his values in a peaceful march. ALL women, femme, trans, gender non-conforming and feminist others are invited to march on Washington DC the day following the inauguration of the President elect. This march is a show of solidarity to demand our safety and health in a time when our country is marginalizing us and making sexual assault an electable and forgivable norm. We align with all POC and LGBTQ causes, and we will show our support in a non-violent protest.”

Meanwhile, thousands have already signed up for a (non-gendered) demonstration on Inauguration Day proper, January 20th, in downtown D.C. The ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) Coalition appears to be behind the protest. Police in the D.C. area are already making preparations, some of which they are unwilling to share at this time. All we really know is that they’ve been “briefed” and are preparing for at least 30,000 protestors.

 

 

Reactions around the World, Week 1

In the US:

Protests have taken off in a number of US cities, beginning the morning after the election and continuing through the time of this writing (Veteran’s Day Weekend, November 11th-12th, 2016). Chants and cries of “Not My President” and “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” can be heard on both US coasts, and in several places in between them. In Portland, one demonstration in particular was classified by police as a “riot.”

Highways have been shut down for hours at a time, and law enforcement and demonstrators alike have been injured.

Click on the links below for details on anti-Trump goings-on in each city. (Note: This list is non-exhaustive.)

Oakland
Berkeley
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Portland
Seattle
Denver
Salt Lake City
Chicago
Omaha
Columbus
Milwaukee (WI)
Madison (WI)
Minneapolis
Kansas City
Dallas
New York City
Washington D.C.
Baltimore
Philadelphia
Richmond (VA)
Atlanta
Orlando
Miami

US Neighbors:

Mexico: The peso has experienced its steepest drop in nearly 20 years. President Peña Nieto nevertheless congratulated “the people of the United States for their electoral process” on Twitter earlier this week (which may or may not be sarcasm, given that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote), and reiterated his willingness to work with Trump “in favor of the bilateral relationship.”

Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu insists that Mexico will not pay for Trump’s Wall: “Paying for a wall is out of our vision…The vision that we have is a vision of integration, of how Mexico and the United States working together are more competitive.”

Canada: The Canadian immigration website crashed on Wednesday as anxious Americans desperately saw a way out of this mess. They may want to think twice upon learning that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to be hedging his bets; rather than speaking out against Trump, as those who are familiar with Trudeau’s past feminists stances in particular may have expected, the Canadian PM said “Canada has no closer friend, partner and ally than the United States. We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment and international peace and security.

(He went on to reaffirm that the US and Canada have “shared values,” something he may have been wiser to challenge given the national values implied by the leader we have just elected.)

Europe:

EU President Jean Claude Juncker warns that Trump’s presidency puts EU/US relations at risk.

Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament, notes that “It will not be easy because during the campaign we heard some elements of protectionism and also some worrying words about women, about minorities.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reminded Trump of the values that tie the US and Germany together on Wednesday: “Democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for human dignity, regardless of ancestry, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political leanings.” She then said: “On the basis of these values, I offer the future president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, close cooperation.” A much cleaner statement than Trudeau’s, as it asserts that Germany will play nice with the US only for as long as the US maintains a non-discriminatory (or minimally-discriminatory) ethos. She has left the door open for cutting ties with the US should Trump turn his past racist, sexist, and xenophobic statements into policies.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin promptly offered their congratulations to Trump, no strings attached.

French president François Hollande said Trump’s win “opens up a period of uncertainty” that “must be faced with lucidity and clarity.” Hollande congratulated Trump “as is natural between two heads of state.” He was one of few world leaders who had openly endorsed Clinton, however, and goes on to say that “Certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be confronted with the values and interests we share with the United States.”

While Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took a page from Japan’s book and reminded his people and the world that the US is an “indispensable” ally, Pablo Iglesias, leader of the anti-austerity Podemos party, rightly decreed on Twitter: “The vaccine against Trump’s fascism is social justice and human rights, not more establishment. There are people in the US who will resist.”

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was one of few world leaders to openly endorse Hillary Clinton, which puts him in a tough spot. While he congratulated Trump and characterized Italy’s relationship with the US as “solid,” Renato Brunetta, parliamentary leader of Italy’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, tweeted that “In America, they voted NO.” He  also warns: “From this day forward, Matteo Renzi is politically finished; he is a dead man walking…No other European country sided with one of the two contenders like Italy did. Now Renzi must reap the consequences and take responsibility for his bad choices.” (Does he mean to imply that it was a bad choice for Renzi to support Clinton, or to do so publicly? I think- and hope- the latter is the case.)

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter told Swiss public radio, RTS, on Wednesday: “The world changes, the United States changes, Switzerland doesn’t change in the same way. We are defending our Swiss interests and values.”

“We work as an intermediary between different countries; that is also important for the United States. This peace work that Switzerland does will become perhaps even more important if Trump handles his foreign policy as conservatively as promised…We will continue our mission to promote peace and security, economic growth, science and research. Switzerland can work with any US administration.”

While Holland has been largely quiet about the election results (as far as I can tell), Dutch right-wing leader Geert Wilders tweeted, “The people are taking their country back. So will we.”

Polish presidential spokesperson Marek Magierowski said Poland cares a lot about whether Trump will implement NATO decisions to deploy military deterrence forces in Poland and the Baltic states. She told the state’s Radio 1 that it is a priority for Poland to see the implementation of NATO’s decision to have a base for battalions in the region, including a U.S. armored brigade to be stationed in Poland, and also the construction of a U.S. missile defense base.

The U.K.’s new Prime Minister Theresa May said she looked forward to working with Trump, saying “We are, and will remain strong and close partners on trade, security and defense.”

Asia:

Chinese spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Lu Kang argues against Trump’s talk on trade, saying that trade has “benefited the people on both sides, including the American people, and has increased employment, rather than the opposite.” Chinese president Xi Jinping congratulated Trump. “I place great importance on the China-U.S. relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Jinping said, according to Fortune.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reminds Trump that the US and Japan are “unshakeable allies,” a clear effort to maintain strong relations with the US in the face of Trump’s threat to reevaluate US alliances.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, thanked Trump via Twitter for “the friendship [he] articulated towards India” during his campaign. India’s Chief Economic Advisor, Arvind Subramanian, worries that if Trump makes good on his threat to scrap all H-1B visas, it will hurt India’s export-led growth.

In North Korea, Aidan Foster-Carter, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Modern Korea at Leeds University and one of Europe’s leading authorities on the reclusive regime, said the following regarding Trump’s presidency:

“I imagine North Korea’s response will be cautious, since Trump has uttered different things at different times…They may remind him that he said he could talk to Kim Jong-un. I happen to think that would be a good idea. There are numerous unknowns, including who [Trump] will appoint. Trump’s win strengthens those who want Seoul [ie South Korea] to go nuclear. Those who oppose this will find it harder to hold the line.”

“Here, of course, we must factor in the whole Park Geun-hye crisis [in Seoul]. But even without that, a year into Trump’s presidency, South Korea, too, will have a new president. All the main current contenders support some degree of engagement with Pyongyang, alongside sanctions. So, overall, I see the pendulum swinging towards renewed diplomacy – which, again, is a good thing, in my opinion.”

“I foresee some big rows on US-South Korea burden-sharing. Unnerving times indeed, overall. But just possibly a small silver lining in one corner, if the shock can kick-start diplomacy with and about North Korea.”

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, one of the world’s eleven female presidents, said she hopes the United States continues to cooperate with her country after the election of Donald Trump “to address pending issues, including the North Korea issue.”

“The Government of the Republic of Korea, upon Mr. Trump’s election, will continue to closely cooperate with the next U.S. administration for the peace and prosperity in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia region, as well as the world, through further deepening and developing the ROK-U.S. alliance,” a statement from a presidential spokesperson said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia’s partnership with the United States will not be affected by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. “I believe that he will find the right approach that can help the US build a (strong) cooperation with other countries,” he said after closing the Daya E-Usahawan conference in Kuala Lumpur on November 9th. Having known Trump personally, he said, “Not many people expected this (Trump’s victory). The US voters want a president who can develop the economy and create high-paying jobs.”

Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thailand would “cherish” its ties with the U.S., saying, “We have to be prepared and adjust ourselves to change. We have to be on the offensive and apply a balanced foreign policy with every country in the world that is our trade or dialogue partner,” according to the Bangkok Post.

Singapore
’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made the following Facebook post:

“Congratulations to President-Elect Donald Trump! His candidacy took many by surprise. At each stage he defied expectations, and his journey has ultimately taken him to the White House. It has been a contentious, ugly election season, that has exposed a bitter divide in the American people. Many will celebrate this result, while others will understandably be surprised and disappointed.”

The Jakarta Post quoted Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as saying on Wednesday (11/9/16): “On behalf of the Indonesian government and all the people, I convey my congratulations to president-elect Donald J. Trump.” Since then, the Indonesian government has said it will not be in a hurry to seek membership of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal following the election of Republican Donald Trump as the country’s president. “We are still calculating the costs and benefits of the TPP. This kind of agreement requires thorough negotiation and recently the discussion was getting stressful,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita said during a media briefing in Jakarta on Friday (11/11/16).

In Southeast Asia, there were congratulations from the offices of the Burmese president and the office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, which released a statement saying the Philippines looked forward to enhanced relations with the U.S. anchored on “mutual respect.”

President Duterte wishes President-elect Trump success in the next four years as Chief Executive and commander-in chief of the US military, and looks forward to working the incoming administration for enhanced Philippines-US relations anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law.”

Cambodia’s Hun Sen issued a statement that read: “Several days day ago, when I publicly expressed my support for your candidacy, some people verbally attacked me by saying that only someone like me would support a dictator like you. Now it is unequivocal that Americans have wanted you as their leader. I was therefore not mistaken to endorse you.”

In Myanmar (Burma), a spokesman for the democratically-elected president said he expected relations between Naypyidaw and Washington to grow stronger.

The Caribbean: 

Puerto Rico‘s right-wing Governor Ricardo Rossello is hopeful that the victories of Trump and other Republicans this year will expedite Puerto Rico’s path to statehood: “Having a Republican House (of Representatives), a Republican Senate and a Republican president, there’s no excuse for not carrying it out.”

The Dominican Republic‘s Administration Minister José Ramón Peralta called Tuesday’s result a “normal event,” and went on to say that: “The United States has been our main trading partner and with whom we have had extraordinary relationships. We will continue to have strong and good relationships. We only have to congratulate the American people.” He said the Trump choice was a sovereign decision of the American people, “for which we as a sovereign country also respect.”

Haiti, still recovering from Hurricane Matthew, is facing a major food shortage at the moment, which might explain why interim president Jocelerme Privert has not said anything about the election results here in the US. He’s too busy trying desperately to feed and/or house approximately 1.5 million people in need.

The Cuban government announced nationwide military drills on November 9th (while pointedly not drawing a direct link between these exercises and Trump’s victory), to confront what it called “a range of actions by the enemy.” The Bastion Strategic Exercise, which will last approximately five days, has typically been undertaken during times of heightened tension between Cuba and the US. (The first Bastion Strategic Exercise was launched in 1980, after the presidential election of Ronald Reagan.)

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness extended congratulations on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica to Trump and also articulated a shared commitment to achieving and maintaining economic growth and development for the benefit of the peoples of both countries and for the peoples of the hemisphere.

Central and South America: 

In Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos said cooperation between his country and the U.S. has always transcended partisanship, and he hoped to continue the work with the Republican elected head of state. He tweeted: “We celebrate the United States’ democratic spirit on #ElectionNight. We’ll continue to deepen the bilateral relation with @realDonaldTrump,” with an accompanying meme that congratulated Trump on the win.

Brazilian President Michel Temer was the first Latin American leader to voice a reaction Wednesday, telling AFP that Donald Trump will need to take into account the goals of all U.S. citizens and stating that he does not believe the victory will affect U.S.-Brazil relations. He said Trump’s victory “doesn’t change [the relationship between the two countries] in any way.” He complimented Trump on his conciliatory tone during his acceptance speech and sent a letter inviting the president-elect to work together in strengthening U.S. Brazil ties.

The Office of the Presidency of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro released a statement early Wednesday afternoon that congratulated Trump and advocated for a respect for state sovereignty and self-determination. Maduro voiced support for Bernie Sanders’ candidacy earlier in the year and, in August, shot down comparisons between himself and the new U.S. president elect. (Read more.)

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski issued a “terse, if not oddly signed” tweet: “Congratulations on your election, @realDonaldTrump. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, President of Peru.” PPK, as he’s known locally, joked back in June about cutting ties between Washington and Lima if Trump were elected.

Bolivian President Evo Morales tweeted: “Here’s to @realDonaldTrump’s win. We hope to work against racism, machismo, and anti-immigration for the sovereignty of our peoples.”

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, a friend of Hillary Clinton’s and former director of UN Women, barely mentioned Trump’s victory at a public appearance in Santiago on Wednesday, saying that she hoped the two countries could continue to collaborate.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri congratulated Trump on his victory and said: “I hope that we can work together for the good of our countries.” Argentina’s government previously voiced a preference for a Clinton presidency. On November 9, Foreign Affairs Minister Susana Malcorra reiterated that her country would work with any U.S. administration, saying, “We can’t think of inserting ourselves in the world without having U.S. ties.”

Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís wrote the following note in his Twitter profile: “The people of the U.S. have elected Mr. Donald Trump as their President. Congratulations, Mr. Trump, my best wishes for your term.” Meanwhile, Franco Arturo Pacheco, President of Costa Rica’s Union of Private-Sector Chambers and Associations, said the news is “not good for Costa Rica, as our country in the last 30 years has grown thanks, in large part, to its exports, especially to the United States, currently our main trading partner.” Francisco Gamboa, executive director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries, also expressed concerns.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez vowed to defend Honduran nationals in the U.S. in the wake of Trump’s victory.

Guatemala‘s foreign ministry released the following statement on Wednesday:

“Guatemala hopes that the actions his administration will take will allow recognition of the precious contribution migrants make to the United States, and that his policies promote and ensure the respect, well-being and protection of the migrant population.”

The foreign ministry of Panama released the following statement on Wednesday, which was published in La Prensa: “The Government and people of the Republic of Panama congratulate the people of the United States of America for their democratic vocation, demonstrated once again in the celebration of the presidential elections, and greets the President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Party for victory.”

Panamanian government reiterated its willingness to continue its “historic relations of friendship and cooperation” between Panama and the United States, especially in areas of great mutual interest: economic relations, security, and peace.

Africa:

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, one of the world’s eleven female presidents, told BBC on Wednesday:

“We are extremely saddened by this missed opportunity on the part of the people of the United States to join smaller democracies in ending the marginalisation of women…We are concerned as to whether President-elect Trump will have an African agenda, will be able to build bridges with Africa. We can only hope that he will do so in due course…I’m worried about trade deals for Liberia, for Africa. I’m worried about investment and the special programmes that have been put in place by President Obama and by President George Bush before him, and we just don’t know what the policy towards Africa will be.”

DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) President Joseph Kabila, who suspects the Obama administration of trying to oust him from power and whose aides have made little secret of their preferred winner, issued a statement congratulating Trump.

Confusingly, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, like Canada’s PM, asserted that the relationship between the US and Kenya would remain strong owing to old ties “…based in the values that we hold dear: in democracy, in the rule of law, and in the equality of peoples.” The implication here is that the US will maintain these principles with or without Trump as our leader. It remains to be seen whether or not Kenya, like Germany, would cease to support the US in the event that Trump blatantly violates one of these sociopolitical principles during his presidency.

Kenyatta has also said: “The ties that bind Kenya and the United States of America are close and strong. They are old, and based in the values that we hold dear: in democracy, in the rule of law, and in the equality of peoples. These values remain dear to the peoples of both nations, and so our friendship will endure.”

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has stated“I congratulate Mr. Trump on his election as the President of the United States of America. Elections in the US or any country are a matter for the people of that country. Our relationship with the United States will continue regardless of which leader or party is leading. I congratulate Mr. Trump once again and look forward to working with him as we have been working with the other leaders before him.”

The Republic of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame congratulated Trump on his “well-earned victory,” adding he was looking forward to a continued good relationship with the U.S.

Ethiopia‘s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn, has released the following statement:

“Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn congratulated Donald Trump today on the occasion of his becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. The PM wished the president a fruitful and successful term. According to Government Communication Affairs Office, the premier expressed his belief that the historical relation of the two countries will reach a new height during Trump’s administration. He further said the long people-to-people and trade ties between Ethiopia and the US will also be invigorated. The countries have worked in partnership for many years to combat terrorism.” 

South Sudan‘s statement, released by Information Minister Michael Makuei, expressed more contempt for Obama than concern about Trump: “I really doubt President Obama had any clear policy to South Sudan other than to destroy it. So we will definitely expect better relations with Trump — and the U.S.A. after the election.”

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud congratulated Trump in a press release, saying:

“On behalf of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Somali people, I would like to offer my congratulations to Donald J. Trump on his victory in the US presidential election. Somalia appreciates and values the excellent partnership between Somalia and the United States that is vital for our mutual security and common goals particularly in the Horn of Africa region.

Somalia is a willing partner ready to enhance our existing cooperation between our two states in order to move forward the aim of safeguarding the peace, stability and prosperity of both Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region. The people of Somalia wish the President-Elect and the people of America every success in their endeavors in the years to come. We are grateful to the government and the people of the United States for the invaluable support they have given to Somalia.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, congratulated Trump on Wednesday via Twitter: “On behalf of the Govt and people of Nigeria, I congratulate President-elect @realDonaldTrump on his victory in the US presidential election.” And: “I look forward to working together with President-elect Trump to build on and strengthen relations between Nigeria & the USA.”

Senegal‘s President Macky Sall also congratulated Trump, saying the West African state “plans to continue its strong ties with the USA.

The Middle East:

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was the first Arab leader to congratulate Trump, with al-Sisi saying that he looked forward to “bolstering ties between Egypt and the U.S.” and that he hoped Trump’s win would  inject “a new spirit” into US-Egyptian relations.

The former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, tweeted his congratulations to Trump and wished him “all the success.”

In a statement carried by Palestine’s official WAFA news agency, Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh declared that the Palestinian leadership would “deal with any president elected by the American people” with a view to “achieving permanent peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution” to the Arab-Israeli dispute.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump on being elected the United States’ 45th President. “President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region.”

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he hopes Trump’s election marks a new era in the U.S. that he hopes will lead to “beneficial” steps for fundamental rights, liberties and democracy in the world.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi nodded to the ongoing U.S.-led campaign to free the city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State, tweeting: “Congratulations to President-elect @realDonaldTrump. Look forward to continued US support for Iraq in the war against terror.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Nov. 9 that Iran’s policies do not change because of changes taking place in the leadership of other countries: “Our foreign policy is based on constructive interaction with the world and lifting the international sanctions on Iran. This is an irreversible path, and [due to that] our economic relations with other countries have expanded.” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: “Every US president has to understand the realities of today’s world. The most important thing is that the future US president sticks to agreements, to engagements undertaken.”

Rouhani has also asserted that there was no way Trump could rip up its recent nuclear agreement. “The accord was not concluded with one country or government but was approved by a resolution of the UN Security Council and there is no possibility that it can be changed by a single government,” Rouhani told his cabinet, according to state television.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz congratulated the U.S. president-elect, expressing hope that Trump’s election would contribute to greater security and stability in the Middle East, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. King Salman praised “historic and tight” ties with the United States and wished him success “in your mission to achieve security and stability in the Middle East and worldwide.”

Lebanon‘s Future parliamentary bloc chief Fouad Siniora downplayed the possibility of Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections having a direct effect on the Lebanese political scene in the near future. In an interview with As-Safir published Thursday, Siniora called on “everyone” in Lebanon to reduce their demands and expectations for the “new era.”

“What is needed from both the politicians and people to be realistic and avoid disappointment.”

Jordan‘s King Abdullah sent a letter of congratulations to Trump expressing his hope that U.S.-Jordan relations will become closer. Jordanian government spokesman Muhammad Al-Momani said:

“Our relations with the U.S. are friendly and strategic in economic, political, military, and security aspects, and they are genuine relations between institutions, not only between leaderships… The U.S. is a state of institutions and cooperation with it continues regardless of the election results… President[-Elect] Donald Trump has already expressed his esteem for Jordan, in several statements in the past, saying that he, like the Congressional leaders, expects to cooperate with King Abdullah II, particularly in matters pertaining to fighting terrorism and to security and stability in the region.”

Syrian MP Muhammad Kheir Al-Akam, who is one of the regime’s representatives in talks with the opposition, declared: “A Trump victory is better than a Clinton victory. [Had she won], the situation in the region would have been far worse, and the Gulf states would have been the big winners.” Political and military advisor to President Assad Bouthaina Sha’aban expressed caution in an interview with NPR:

“Syria does not interfere in the results of the elections and in who won them. What interests Syrians is the policy of the new president. If the policy is in line with Damascus’s aspirations, then Syria will be open to any collaboration with the U.S. as well as with other nations that respect national sovereignty and preserve the interests of people, instead of interfering in their affairs. American interference in the affairs of other countries has brought nothing but disaster. The U.S. must undertake a policy of collaboration with countries, as opposed to one of superiority and [issuing] dictates.”

Australia: 

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the following on Twitter: “The Aus Gvt congratulates President Elect Trump. With our shared, enduring national interests, our relationship will continue to be strong.

What Happened Last Night

Originally published Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 on untileveryanimalisfree.com.

***

My sense of foreboding was heightened by the sound of copter after copter flying overhead of my apartment in Oakland, California’s Temescal neighborhood. Just news copters, probably, I told myself as CNN slowly unveiled count after count.

My sister called me, frantic.

“It’s over!” she cried, “I’m moving!”

“It will be okay,” I naively reassured her. “There are still plenty of votes uncounted. They haven’t even reached the West Coast yet, and there’s still time for Michigan or New Hampshire to flip.” At that point, Hillary Clinton still had a lead, albeit a miniscule one, in Pennsylvania.

We agreed, as scores of Americans all over the country surely did, that the media had to make it seem like a tight race to keep us riveted to our seats, and to encourage any stragglers who may have not yet voted to dash to the polls while they still could.

I had the first of what would be many bowel movements almost immediately after hearing Mike Pence, barely audible over the encroaching air traffic, introduce “The next President of the United States, Donald Trump.” I would rise several times in the next few hours, from a fitful attempt at sleep, to take painful, foul-smelling shits that reflected the attributes of America’s choice and the prospects of its immediate future as much as my own anxiety.

Last night, America held its breath as it awaited a new leader. This morning, the country is at once subdued and raucous. The mood was somber at my local coffee spot, Sub Rosa, where typically gregarious staff and customers alike exchanged dispirited quips between sighs, their eyes downcast.

“Maybe California will finally secede,” I offered.

I was only half kidding.

Meanwhile, not too far away, I heard chanting; but, try as I did, I was unable to find the implied protesters. I hope they return soon, so that I might join them.

Everyone looks uglier than usual this morning, myself included. I haven’t fixed my hair. I’m wearing sweatpants I typically only wear when I know I am going to be home all day, although I suspect at some point I will discover a local demonstration happening today and rush to join it. I am also wearing an old, oversized t-shirt bearing an image and quote from one of my favorite books, A Confederacy of Dunces: “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all of the dunces are in a confederacy against him.”

Hillary Clinton is no genius, but she is certainly more qualified and less socially abhorrent than our new president-elect, and I confess to having felt sorry for her last night. I can relate, as can anyone reared in society as a “woman,” to watching a man less qualified and less deserving than you are nevertheless get something you want— and worked extremely hard to get. Whether you believe she should have been president or not, that being defeated by Trump of all people was embarrassing and unfair to her is undeniable.

This ugly, gloomy Oakland is so unlike the city I have come to know and love it’s eerie. By contrast, the weather today— November 9, 2016— is violently beautiful. The sun is shining full force, piercing the exposed flesh of myriad arms, cheeks and noses. Just shy of 10:30am, it is already 65 degrees. Today’s high will be 73.

True to form, the Oakland sun gives zero fucks about the state of the world right now. I have often joked about our lazy sun: how it sometimes will not come out until 11am or even 12 noon, tempting Oakland residents— particularly those of the freelance or work-from-home variety— to sleep in. How it often teases in the afternoon, ducking behind clouds and poking out from the sides, so that within a single afternoon one can experience two or even three distinct temperatures.

Today, on one of the darkest days in the history of Oakland or any other US city, the indifferent Oakland sun blazes on, reminding us mere mortals that our petty problems are ours to contend with; that no celestial body will intervene on our behalf; that we will not be saved.

Indeed, why should we be? This is a choice we made. Unlike in other countries, where one is often told rather than asked who will be the next President, last night was an election, not an appointment. Trump won the electoral count, reaching the “magic number” of 270; ergo, by and large, Trump is the president our country deserves. To say that his ascent to the Presidency is an injustice isn’t quite right because he adhered to the process. He ran in the primaries, and he won his party’s nomination. He then ran against the Democratic pick, and he beat her. There is no injustice there; the injustice lies in his platform and his plans.

Last night, America voted for injustice.

I understand that many believe voting for Trump was a vote for justice— on their behalf. They felt disenfranchised and ignored by the establishment, and voting for Trump was their way of giving the long finger to Team Clinton/Obama. Still, their desire for their own justice— for economic security, for political consideration— quite literally Trumped any consideration for justice on behalf of their fellow Americans: African-Americans, women, Muslims, and so forth.

Trump’s America put itself first, just as he told it to; in so doing, it entirely divorced itself from “anti-Trump America”:

in which Hispanic women are not called “Ms. Housekeeping;”

in which sexual assault is a prosecutable offense and not the subject of locker-room talk;

in which women are to be respected for their talents and not shamed for their bodies;

in which standing accused of raping a 13-year-old girl immediately disqualifies one from the Presidency;

in which a judge’s ethnicity does not hinder that judge’s ability to render fair and unbiased rulings;

in which no one is banned from entry based on their religion;

in which, when at least thirteen women accuse someone of sexual misconduct, they aren’t all dismissed as liars; and

in which employers are expected to pay what they agreed to pay to laborers they employ, whether they are waiters, dishwashers, painters, plumbers, construction workers, or campaign staff.

This last point is what I find most heartbreaking— or tied for most, I suppose— about what happened last night. So many of the people who cast their votes for Trump are, among other things, waiters, dishwashers, painters, plumbers and construction workers. This man has made his fortune in part by ripping these people off; by lying to them, devaluing their work and putting their lives and the lives of their children and spouses at risk. Still, they have unmistakably knighted him as their champion. Why?

My heart is equally broken by what this means for our country socially. Van Jones hit the nail on the head last night when he announced on CNN that Trump’s victory was “whitelash” against an increasingly diverse and inclusive country, in which adopting an intersectional approach to social problem-solving has become increasingly expected and demanded. Most of us knew that, contrary to what a handful of naïve white folks said at the time, racism in America did not end with Obama’s inauguration; but few among us, I think, knew exactly to what heights the flames of white hatred had been fanned.

As state after state turned pink, then red, on last night’s live-feed map, I saw desperation. I saw dissatisfaction with the status quo. I saw deep-seated economic insecurity and a desire to protect one and one’s own from the liberal agenda— addressing climate change by any means necessary, including shutting down specific industries, like coal; all but guaranteed involvement in overseas conflict, and the maintenance of existing trade deals— at all costs.

I also saw hate. Pure, inviolate, enduring hate.

Hate for the black man who made it to the White House and then raised taxes and tried to help brown people get health insurance.

Hate for the woman who honestly believes she can and should outrank all men in this country.

Hate for the elitists who insist that no one in the Midwest has an education or a moral compass.

Hate for the liberals who prioritize equality over liberty by forcing “Christians” to sell products to gay people and public schools in “Christian” communities to let trans students piss wherever they want.

Hate for the immigrant who may or may not be competing for one’s own job.

Hate for the vaguely-Middle-Eastern-looking person who Trump says is probably a terrorist.

Hate for every woman by whom one has been sexually rejected.

Now, we are tasked with healing these wounds and dissipating this hatred under the reign of the very man who has fanned the flames of hatred throughout the nation for at least the past year.

Under his leadership, we are expected to clean up the mess he has unearthed.

To whatever extent he will allow it; any form of resistance reliant on permission from the oppressor is doomed to failure, as the moment the oppressor realizes that form of resistance is effective, the game is over.

What will become of Black Lives Matter?

What will become of Animal Liberation?

What will become of LGBTQ+ rights under the Vice Presidency of Mike Pence, a robot demon from the bowels of Hell?

Will non-straight and/or non-cis children be forced to attend Straight Camp now?

Will the use of electroshock therapy on them be federally authorized, requiring only parental consent?

Will human and nonhuman animal advocates be thrown into prison cells by the dozen?

What happens when the prisons are full?

I don’t have any answers, for now. I’m probably still in shock.

All I have left for you are the prayers of an atheist, for whatever they are worth.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

All content ©Saryta Rodriguez, 2016.

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