Teresa Hanafin: Trump Reduces More Environmental Regulations, While Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Hides Trump’s Travel Expenses

Trump is gutting President Nixon’s 1970 National Environmental Policy ACT (NEPA) that was designed to clean our air, water, and soil. Because of the millions of people that will die from increased soil, air and water pollution, Donald Trump is more than just a war criminal (Iraq); he is also a mass murderer of the citizens he is supposed to serve and protect.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I fear we are becoming insensitive to shock in the Trump era. And the very concept of “government ethics” seems to be an oxymoron in this era. Here are two shocking reports by Teresa Hanafin, who writes the Fast Forward commentary of the Boston Globe:

Trump holds another campaign rally tonight, this time in Toledo. Earlier in the day, he’s scheduled to announce some proposed National Environmental Policy Act regulations, and that’s never a good thing.

Trump is dramatically reducing the authority of the act, signed by Richard Nixon in 1970. The idea was that the federal government would protect the environment from excess by assessing the impacts of major projects — and include the public in the deliberations. Trump’s instinct is to protect private companies from any restrictions, nature be damned.

His action will make it easier to for companies to build pipelines, clear-cut forests, dig mines, drill for…

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Eric Holder Blasts Bill Barr for Acting as Trump’s Lapdog

As William Baar shows us by his every word and action, every vote cast in the November 2020 election will be a vote for Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

Anyone that does not realize this is a total fool and/or a totally deplorable white supremacist.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Today in the Washington Post,  Eric Holder criticized Bill Barr for his aggressive, partisan support of Trump.

Holder was Obama’s Attorney General. Barr is Trump’s Roy Cohn.

Barr has professed his belief that the president’s powers have no limits; Congress must bow to the president.

He has joined the “culture wars” by attacking “liberals,” which is an opinion, not an expression of the law.

Republican moderates, a nearly extinct breed of person, once hoped that Barr would be a stabilizing force in this administration.

They were wrong.

Whatever and whoever Trump touches dies or loses their reputation.

As a former U.S. attorney general, I am reluctant to publicly criticize my successors. I respect the office and understand just how tough the job can be.

But recently, Attorney General William P. Barr has made a series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan

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Happy Thanksgiving: A Meditation on Religious Liberty

Without separation of Church and State, what will happen to an individual’s freedom of choice?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day when we pause and give thanks to whatever deity we worship (or not) for the blessings we enjoy: our freedom, our family, our friends, and our good fortune to live in a democracy where we are all responsible for making it better for our brothers and sisters.

I want to share with you a profound speech delivered by our good friend Rev. Dr. Charles Foster Johnson about religious liberty and the public schools and the future of our democracy.

Charlie Johnson is the founder and leader of Pastors for Texas Children. PTC has led the fight against vouchers in Texas and has helped like-minded religious leaders in other states form their own organizations to support religious liberty and public schools. I never expected, at this late chapter in my life, to discover that I have a dear friend who is a Baptist minister in…

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Paul Waldman Remembers When Republicans Thought Trump Was a Charlatan and a Kook

Diane Ravitch's blog

Paul Waldman of the Washington Post went down memory lane with prominent Republicans who called out Trump as a phony before he was elected.


On Friday, the president of the United States called in to the daily festival of idiocy that is “Fox & Friends,” where he blathered and rambled for an entire hour. He slandered people, repeated ludicrous conspiracy theories, told numerous lies, and devolved into incoherence, leaving even the show’s trio of devoted handmaids puzzled and confused.

In other words, it was a typical morning in the Trump era. As Republicans buckle down to defend him in the next phase of the impeachment process, they have made clear that there is almost no malfeasance on Trump’s part they will not countenance and no betrayal of his office they will not excuse.

What makes their own moral complicity even more profound is that this didn’t come as…

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33 Writers: Please Stop Using Term “Quid Pro Quo”

Regarding Trump’s CRIMINAL actions, “Quid Pro Quo” means “bribery” or “extortion” to describe Donald Trump’s demand to the President of Ukraine to find and/or makeup dirt on Biden. This is very clearly a crime.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This letter appeared in the New York Times on

To the Editor:

A plea from 33 writers: Please use language that will clarify the issues at hand.

Please stop using the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” regarding the impeachment inquiry. Most people don’t understand what it means, and in any case it doesn’t refer only to a crime. Asking for a favor is not a criminal act; we frequently demand things from foreign countries before giving them aid, like asking them to improve their human rights record.

That is not a crime; the crime is President Trump’s demand for something that will benefit him personally. But using this neutral phrase — which means simply “this for that” — as synonymous with criminality is confusing to the public. It makes the case more complicated, more open to question and more difficult to plead.

Please use words that refer only to criminal…

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Ron Chernow: Alexander Hamilton Would Support Impeachment

Diane Ravitch's blog

Ron Chernow, author of Hamilton, wrote in the Washington Post that Trump is the populist demagogue that Alexander Hamilton feared and warned about in The Federalist Papers.

He wrote:

There seems little doubt, given his writings on the presidency, that Hamilton would have been aghast at Trump’s behavior and appalled by his invitation to foreign actors to meddle in our elections. As a result, he would most certainly have endorsed the current impeachment inquiry. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Trump embodies Hamilton’s worst fears about the kind of person who might someday head the government.

Among our founders, Hamilton’s views count heavily because he was the foremost proponent of a robust presidency, yet he also harbored an abiding fear that a brazen demagogue could seize the office. That worry helps to explain why he analyzed impeachment in such detail: He viewed it as a crucial instrument to…

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Teresa Hanafin on Trump’s Stonewalling of Impeachment Inquiry

Diane Ravitch's blog

Teresa Hanafin writes the daily Fast Forward for the Boston Globe.

As he did with the Vietnam War, Trump has decided to sit out the House impeachment inquiry, using what constitutional experts say are bone spurs spurious arguments to claim that Democratic House leaders are conducting an illegitimate inquiry.

He not only is refusing to cooperate with the investigation, he also has declared war on Congress’s very right to investigate the executive branch. It’s a remarkable moment.

The result is that Trump is blocking all employees of the executive branch from testifying before Congress, will withhold every document Congress requests, and will ignore every subpoena that congressional committees issue. We’ll see today what the Dems do next.

Just remember this: Under the Constitution, the House is empowered to impeach, and can conduct an inquiry and hearings any way it wants. The president doesn’t get to tell the House what to…

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