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Normalizing Lies

Lost in the post-election blues was Oklahoma’s U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s comment about president-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Let’s parse through some of it. Here are the first two sentences:

Congratulations to President-elect Donald J. Trump who the American people voted to serve this great nation as our 45th president. A Republican-led Congress is ready to work with Trump and move our nation forward with a platform that promotes economic opportunity for all, values life at every stage, and is committed to bringing about peace and stability by strengthening our own national security.

First, the American people didn’t vote for Trump to “serve this great nation.” The last count I saw had Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton ahead by 2.3 million votes and her lead was expected to grow to 2.5 million votes. Trump won the electoral college, sure, and those are the rules, but the American people voted for Clinton. Second, generally speaking, Republicans do NOT support economic opportunity “for all.” They support tax cuts for the wealthy and the dismantling of Medicare and Social Security. Third, “life at every stage” is code for a potential Trump U.S. Supreme Court appointee that could ensure abortion becomes illegal in the country or at least in many red states, including Oklahoma.

Fourth, and finally, Trump has already created havoc in the geopolitical world even before officially becoming president. He has already bewildered the government of China, and this will surely continue. How can anyone believe Trump will bring about “peace and stability” on any issue, especially international affairs?

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Trump Saga Officially Begins

I’m traveling again over the next few days and so I only have time for a short post.

Many of my post-election posts have been about how deeply unusual and frightening someone like Donald Trump was elected president. Most of the blame goes to the mainstream media, especially the major television networks, for their breathless coverage of Trump’s outlandish criticisms of Hillary Clinton and her supposed email scandal, which wasn’t a scandal at all. Some of the blame, of course, rests with our electoral college system, which enables someone to win the presidency without winning the popular vote.

The last time I checked, Clinton was ahead of Trump by more than 2.3 million votes as counting and recounting continues. More U.S. voters wanted Clinton as their president than Trump. That’s obvious, and Trump can whine about it all he wants, but those are the facts. It’s not a case of Trump becoming an illegitimate president. It’s a case of an illegitimate system that needs to be modernized. It’s unlikely, of course, that will happen under Republican control of our government.

So take a deep breath and get ready for two extremely frightening years in which this country’s safety net—Medicare and Social Security, for example—will come under fire and perhaps altered to significantly lower benefits, two years in which Trump could take us into a new war, perhaps even a world war, with his egotistical blustering.

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Is Oklahoma Microcosm Of Coming Trump Presidency?

That president-elect Donald Trump is highly unpredictable is widely accepted, but what does seem something to securely bank on is his commitment to tax cuts for the wealthy given his connection to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who has been appointed to his transition team, and local oil baron, Harold Hamm, who is rumored to be in the mix for energy secretary.

As you might recall, both Fallin and Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources, hammered out a 2014 tax-break deal for the state’s oil and gas companies that lowered their gross production rate from 7 percent to 2 percent for the first three years of any oil and gas well drilled vertically or horizontally.

This is what Fallin said about the deal after it was pushed by local oil and gas executives, which included Hamm:

“The new 2 percent tax rate is fair to the state and sends a clear message to energy producers worldwide: Oklahoma is the place for energy production and investment. We want to be a leader in this field not just today but for decades to come.”

Fair to the state? A year later the tax break, along with a slow down in fracking, led to a 12-year low gross production revenue drop.

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