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The Big Answer


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It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America

a book by David Cay Johnston

(our site's book review)

Make America Great Again . . . NOT!

The Amazon blurb says that this book is a New York Times Bestseller

The Trump administration is remaking the government. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America tells us exactly how it is making America worse again.

Bestselling author and longtime Trump observer David Cay Johnston shines a light on the political termites who have infested our government under the Trump Administration, destroying it from within and compromising our jobs, safety, finances, and more.

Johnston shines a light on the political termites who have infested our government under the Trump Administration, destroying it from within and compromising our jobs, safety, finances, and more
Johnston shines a light on the political termites who have infested our government under the Trump Administration, destroying it from within and compromising our jobs, safety, finances, and more

No journalist knows Donald Trump better than David Cay Johnston, who has been following him since 1988. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America goes inside the administration to show how the federal agencies that touch the lives of all Americans are being undermined. Here is just some of what you will learn:

The Wall. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told President Trump that Mexico will never pay for the border wall. So, Trump is proposing putting a tariff on Mexican imports. But a tariff will simply raise the price of Mexican goods in the US, meaning American consumers will end up paying for the wall—if it ever gets built.

President Trump's border wall with Mexico, like the existing wall, will be trivial to go under, over, or around
President Trump's border wall with Mexico, like the existing wall, will be trivial to go under, over, or around


Border Wall at Tijuana and San Diego Border
Border Wall at Tijuana and San Diego Border

Team Trump Set to Wreck Dozens of Government Agencies

Climate Change. Welcome to the new EPA, run by Scott Pruitt, a lawyer who has spent much of his career trying to destroy the agency he now heads. Secrecy reigns at the new EPA because Pruitt meets with industry executives to find out which clean air and clean water provisions they most want to roll back, and keeps staffers in the dark to make sure these pro-pollution plans don’t leak prematurely.

Stocking the Swamp. Contrary to his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires, from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs and hedge fund veteran who made much of his fortune foreclosing on homeowners to billionaire heiress Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has already put the interests of bankers ahead of debt-burdened students and their families.

Draining the Swamp—Trump promised to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, dumping people who were only there to exploit their positions
Draining the Swamp—Trump promised to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, dumping people who were only there to exploit their positions


Stocking the Swamp—Contrary to his promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires who are already exploiting their positions
Stocking the Swamp—Contrary to his promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires who are already exploiting their positions

The Kleptocracy. Under Donald Trump conflict of interest is passé. When Trump isn’t in Washington, he stays at one of his properties, where the taxpayers pick up the tab for staffers, Secret Service, and so on, all at full price. And back in Washington, everyone now knows that the Trump International Hotel is the only place to stay if you want to do business with the administration. Meanwhile sons Donald Jr. and Eric run an eyes-wide-open blind trust of Trump holdings to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest—but not the reality.

Let us all remember—we must respect Trump's authoritah!
Let us all remember—we must respect Trump's authoritah!

Kakistocracy: Government Run by the Worst, Least Qualified, or Most Unscrupulous Citizens

[What] Norman Ornstein . . . sees with the Trump Administration is something so unique it needs a special word to describe it, a word that has been out of popular usage for nearly two centuries. The word is “kakistocracy.” [government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.] Watching a train wreck like this may have its charms for a certain class of voter for whom anger and prejudice is their only governing impulse. But ultimately the train leaves the rails and heads straight for the spectators, the rest of us who have to live and work in this country. Other kakistrocacies have turned out very, very badly. . . . Millions of Americans chose—with eyes wide open—to elect someone who clearly from his conduct and speeches during the campaign exemplified the absolute worst America had to offer." (Source: The Atlantic Confirms It: We Are Living In A Kakistocracy, Dartagnan, The Atlantic)

Ultimately the train leaves the rails and heads straight for the spectators, the rest of us who have to live and work in this country—other kakistrocacies have turned out very, very badly
Ultimately the train leaves the rails and heads straight for the spectators, the rest of us who have to live and work in this country—other kakistrocacies have turned out very, very badly


Millions of Americans chose—with eyes wide open—to elect someone who clearly from his conduct and speeches during the campaign exemplified the absolute worst America had to offer, because to them he was their Ayatollah Trumpowski, their guru of fascist white nationalism
Millions of Americans chose—with eyes wide open—to elect someone who clearly from his conduct and speeches during the campaign exemplified the absolute worst America had to offer, because to them he was their Ayatollah Trumpowski, their guru of fascist white nationalism


Salon says: I suppose it could be worse. Rational Wiki lists 41 types of government; among them is a capracracy, or rule by goats. Goats could be worse. Although considering the folks running our government, we might all end up wishing they were goats instead
Salon says: I suppose it could be worse. Rational Wiki lists 41 types of government; among them is a capracracy, or rule by goats. Goats could be worse. Although considering the folks running our government, we might all end up wishing they were goats instead; [Actually, the more we ponder it, the better it sounds! Goats or Trump, goats or Trump, goats or Trump, hell—it's a no-brainer!]

Quick Summary: Trump Is a Con Man

Here's a piece of a very capable review by J. Grattan: "Donald Trump, given the totality of his personality and half-baked policies, may turn out to be the person who does more harm to the American democracy than any of his predecessors. The main thing that sticks out about Trump is his disturbed personality, not to mention his behavior. First of all, he is an inveterate liar. Secondly, he has an insatiable need to have his ego stroked. He has no problem cheating people, forcing them to undergo expensive litigation to be paid. And he is a bully, using his position as a CEO or president to intimidate or threaten others, not to mention his degradation of women. Furthermore, he seems to be incredibly ignorant concerning matters important to the US and is apparently indifferent. Of course, his personality directly pertains to some amazingly short-sighted decisions that he has made. Trump is obsessed with eradicating anything that Pres Obama did, regardless of benefit to the American people. He is anti-science, being against climate control and renewable energy. He disavows consumer protections. He expects foreign governments to use his properties at inflated pricing in direct violation of the Constitution. He claims to be for the little man, but stocks his cabinet with the rich, most of whom are tremendously unqualified for their jobs. If his foreign relations policies don’t get us into a war, it will be a miracle. The bottom line is that Trump is a con man." (Source: Total con man, J. Grattan, Amazon reviewer)

More than just a dangerous, narcissistic, racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic liar, some people believe Trump to be a con man as well
More than just a dangerous, narcissistic, racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic liar, some people believe Trump to be a con man as well

The Book Examines What Trump Has Done and What Effects It Has Had

This is very much a fact-based book, examining what Trump has actually done, and the effects these things have had. It also draws a direct contrast between Trump's specific and endlessly repeated campaign promises and his actions. Many of the effects are the opposite of the campaign promises, such as improving things for the rich as opposed to his promise of improving things for "the little guy." Trump uses his position for his own personal gain as opposed to national gain. He is dragging our country down in the eyes of the other foreign leaders of this world, and whatever trust they had that the U.S. had their back is evaporating faster than ice on a hot griddle. The tyrants of the world are using some of the demagogic tactics Trump uses in their own countries, such as declaring that everything not agreeing with him is lies and fake news. He is empowering tyrants worldwide, as well as emboldening them. See Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany. And for a unique perspective on resistance, see Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World.

When you ask how can you counteract  the malevolent Trumpian policies, some answers are unexpected: rice pudding?!
When you ask how can you counteract the malevolent Trumpian policies, some answers are unexpected: rice pudding?! See link above.

Trump is unstable and dangerous and this fact required the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to acknowledge their "Duty to Warn" about the possible dangers posed by Trump's "seeming" multiple psychiatric illnesses. The fact that U.S. is no longer trusted has made it appear that Germany is now the leader of the "Free World". This is ironic if you think about their attempt to turn the world into a Nazi dictatorship in WWII.

Shrinks are warning us about the possible dangers posed by Trump's 'alleged' multiple psychiatric illnesses
Shrinks are warning us about the possible dangers posed by Trump's 'alleged' multiple psychiatric illnesses

The eight chapters in It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America are:

  1. A President Like No Other
  2. Jobs
  3. Taxes
  4. Fossil Fuels and Climate and Science Denial
  5. Global Affairs
  6. Education
  7. Law and Order, Veterans, Race and Guns, Immigration
  8. Conclusion


Pulitzer Prize-Winner David Cay Johnston Has Known Trump for Three Decades

David Cay Johnston was familiar with Trump because he'd known him for three decades and he brought this knowledge to each chapter and section. (The author won the Pulitzer Prize for great journalism.) He details the relatives and sycophants Trump surrounds himself with in the White House. None of his cabinet are good at their specific cabinet position jobs, mostly because they are unqualified. Rich CEOs are unlikely to be especially talented as chief of staff, secretary of defense, secretary of health and human services, attorney general, education secretary, secretary of the treasury, etc. Trump is obsessed with eradicating anything that President Obama did, regardless of its benefit to our citizens. He is anti-science, doesn't read books but obsessively reads social media tweets and Fox News. He is against climate control and renewable energy. He disavows consumer protections, caring only about corporations—so much for him watching out for the little guy! Trump expects foreign governments to use his properties, and do it at inflated pricing. This is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States of America.

The three bozos we unfortunately elected this century have undermined the Constitution at every turn—here an NSA thug is burning the Constitution
The three bozos we unfortunately elected this century have undermined the Constitution at every turn—here an NSA thug is burning the Constitution

Trump's attitude toward the Constitution (and democracy, for that matter) is the same as the rest of the greedy oligarchs actually running things in Washington: it gets in the way of profits so it's an annoyance.

One of the greedy oligarchs does what they've all been wanting to do for decades: bury democracy 6 feet under
One of the greedy oligarchs does what they've all been wanting to do for decades: bury democracy 6 feet under

Trump and His Cabinet Are Brazenly Promoting Their Own Businesses/Industries

Trump is brazenly promoting his own businesses, most notably the Trump International Hotel in Washington and Mar-a-Lago in Florida. And Trump is not alone in his immoral, self-dealing ways. Key cabinet and non-cabinet appointees are promoting the industries where they previously worked. Some are directly profiting from the policies they promote or the regulations they undermine. This corrupt revolving door policy in government results in a movement of personnel between legislator and regulator roles and roles in the industries affected by the legislation and regulation. Talk about using a fox to guard the henhouse! And the damage they are doing is little reported in the news media, since they are guilty of these conflict-of-interest failings as well.

Industry leaders get into government long enough to undo regulations on their industry, then they laugh all the way back to their industry position—talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!
Industry leaders get into government long enough to undo regulations on their industry, then they laugh all the way back to their industry position—talk about the fox guarding the henhouse!


This revolving door policy in government results in a self-serving movement of personnel between government and industry
This revolving door policy in government results in a self-serving movement of personnel between government and industry

Trump Is Setting Us Up for the Next Financial Crisis

By moving to emasculate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Trump Administration is subjecting millions of U.S. citizens once again to the unrestrained schemes of the predatory lenders. Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem at the beginning of the 21st century, the Dubya Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers. Trump's flunkies are repeating Dubya's exploitation of citizens, encouraging another financial crisis to emerge that banks will be rewarded for and citizens, once again, will get screwed. See Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime and Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class—And What We Can Do about It.

Trump's flunkies are repeating Dubya's exploitation of citizens, encouraging another financial crisis to emerge that banks will be rewarded for and citizens, once again, will get screwed
Trump's flunkies are repeating Dubya's exploitation of citizens, encouraging another financial crisis to emerge that banks will be rewarded for and citizens, once again, will get screwed


Offshore oil and gas exploration is endangering the livelihood and the quality of life of millions of Americans who live near the shore, not to mention birds and sea creatures
Offshore oil and gas exploration is endangering the livelihood and the quality of life of millions of Americans who live near the shore, not to mention birds and sea creatures

Trump Is Exposing All Americans to Foul Air and Polluted Water

By Trump's elimination of environmental regulations, they are exposing all Americans to foul air and polluted water and eroding one of our country's proudest accomplishments, our National Parks. It's as if he can just live in the White House or one of his hotels and stay clear of all the pollution—American citizens be damned. By opening up our coastal waters for oil and gas exploration, they are endangering the livelihood and the quality of life of millions of Americans who live near the shore. It's profoundly disturbing to read, chapter after chapter, the evidence of the damage Donald Trump and his appointees have already done to our country.

By Trump's elimination of environmental regulations, they are exposing us all to foul air and polluted water and eroding one of our country's proudest accomplishments, our National Parks
By Trump's elimination of environmental regulations, they are exposing us all to foul air and polluted water and eroding one of our country's proudest accomplishments, our National Parks

Voting for Trump Was Giving the Finger to the Establishment—Except It Backfired

Donald Trump has led a life of sneering at conventions and law enforcement while snuggling up to mobsters, corrupt union bosses, assorted swindlers, and international drug traffickers, according to Johnson, who says: “That millions of people voted for a narcissist, know-nothing con artist who has spent his entire life swindling others while repeatedly urging followers to commit criminal acts of violence against his critics reveals more about America than about Trump.” He isn't President because we like him or his business ethics or his platform. He is President because the nonrich were getting screwed by the rich elites of the establishment and most of us were sick of it. Voting for Hillary (Obama 2.0 in a skirt) was asking for more of the same. Voting for Trump was giving the finger to the establishment. (If we cannot get what we want or what we need, we can at least vote for a narcissist, know-nothing con artist to screw over the establishment. Unfortunately, the plan backfired, and Trump is screwing over the little guy much worse than Hillary ever would have.)

Trump: Make America Great Again is the cover story—the real motto is Trump: Make American Oligarchs Even Richer Again
Trump: Make America Great Again is the cover story—the real motto is Trump: Make American Oligarchs Even Richer Again

"Like Fire and Fury's Michael Wolff, Johnston has been following [Trump's] footsteps for a while, having previously penned The Making of Donald Trump. Both Trump books paint a generally horrific picture of the current administration. But where Wolff's book focuses on the salacious chaos surrounding the Oval Office, Johnston's book delves into the damage being inflicted at the departmental level. So much so, you may find yourself at a loss for words and just desperate for it to end." We find ourselves not so much desperate for the well-researched book to end as for the Trump Presidency to end. (Source: "It's Even Worse Than You Think" is the book you need to read, Kelly Konrad, Chicago Now)


Why Is Trump Like Mae West?

Trump has a life approach similar to Mae West: They both love attention: "Call me anything, but call me often," said Mae. But not as much as they loved themselves: "I never loved another person the way I loved myself," said Mae.

"By being president of the U.S., [Trump] has demonstrated that he is the most successful con artist in the history of the world."—David Cay Johnston


The U.S. Seems Unwilling or Unable to Shut Down the Trump Clown Show

Many have wondered why the U.S. finds itself unwilling or unable to shut down the Trump clown show and have a new election not decided by Russia and the fake news creators. The answer: Trump has made sure that all U.S. oligarchs benefit greatly from his presidency via his immoral, regressive tax plan—himself and his cronies included—and since these are the people who really run the show in the U.S., they will stop any such dump the Trump movement, since Trump's taking from the nonrich and giving to the rich has them all laughing like spotted hyenas all the way to their money bins. See Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany.

Trump's taking from the nonrich and giving to the rich has all the oligarchs laughing like spotted hyenas all the way to their money bins
Trump's taking from the nonrich and giving to the rich has all the oligarchs laughing like spotted hyenas all the way to their money bins


Many have wondered why the U.S. finds itself unwilling or unable to shut down the Trump clown show and have a new non-fraudulent election not decided by Russia and the fake news creators
Many have wondered why the U.S. finds itself unwilling or unable to shut down the Trump clown show and have a new non-fraudulent election not decided by Russia and the fake news creators


Why can't we have a new, non-fraudulent election not decided by Russia and the fake news creators?
Why can't we have a new, non-fraudulent election not decided by Russia and the fake news creators?