Schwab: 19 things that really ought to upset us

If you find them upsetting, whether you’re red or blue, now would be a good time to speak up.

By Sid Schwab

Allocated about 700 words once a week, I’m always playing catch-up. So here’s a time- and space-limited selection of mentionables from an endlessly accruing heap of Trumpworld items that should concern all Americans. Confirmatory links provided on request to the email address below.

  • In the White House, Jared Kushner negotiated around $500 million in personal loans from American banks. Shortly after Qatar denied a similar request, Kushner enabled a Saudi Arabia/UAE blockade against that anti-ISIS partner.
  • An indispensable article by Jane Mayer, providing revelatory, non-Foxolimjonesified background on Chris Steele and his “dossier,” and what the FBI did and didn’t do, almost parenthetically includes a claim that Russia vetoed Mitt Romney as Secretary of State, preferring someone more likely to end Obama’s sanctions. (OK, here: The New Yorker: If Trump isn’t fully in Putin’s pocket, he’s half-asset.
  • Of $120 million budgeted to fight Russian election interference, our State Department has spent none. Of the assigned analysts, none speaks Russian.
  • Whatever one thinks about tariffs, it’s consumers who pay for a trade war. Reports say Trump’s half-baked plan followed a fit of (stable genius) rage.
  • Shortly before Trump’s announcement, his pal, billionaire Carl Icahn, unloaded $30 million of stock in steel-dependent companies.
  • Trump took, and, from the Foxified, received credit for the economy since inauguration day. Now, having added $1.5 trillion to this year’s deficit and more trillions to future debt, he’s earned it. His simple-minded tariff misconceptions will cost jobs in addition to money. Even cowardly Paul Ryan was appalled by Trump’s impulsive plans. Chief economic adviser Gary “Tax-cuts-for-the-rich” Cohn resigned over them. Trump’s support of Nazis didn’t do it for him. This did.
  • Devin Nunes, who pushed a pile of prevarication in his “memo,” evidently leaked classified information to Fox “news.” Then he called Stephen Colbert a danger to America.
  • First-Amendment-loving, small-government-pushing, free-market Republicans in Georgia would use public law to punish Delta Airlines, a private corporation, for charging NRA members what they charge everyone else.
  • Reversing Obama rules on coal ash, Trump has green-lighted pollution of America’s drinking water.
  • Ben Carson, after approving massive cuts in HUD’s budget and saying public housing shouldn’t be “too cozy,” got caught buying $31,000 in furniture for his office, and giving no-bid contracts to family members. Ryan Zinke’s and Scott Pruitt’s personal use of tax money makes Carson look cheap, though. So does Pruitt’s graft. Nearly the whole cabinet’s, in fact. Only the best people.
  • Contrary to Zinke’s lies, emails show shrinking Bear’s Ears Monument was about oil and coal.
  • Speaking of falsehoods, after promising the opposite, Trump cut Medicare and Medicaid significantly. Social Security looks to be next. And elephants. People actually believed his lies. Mysteriously, many still do.
  • Trump joked Fox “news” is the “fourth branch of government.” Later, praised China’s Xi for becoming leader for life. Said he might try it. It was a joke, too. They were, right? Jokes?
  • There are laws against appointing relatives to positions of power by federal government officials. Same with using one’s position for self-enrichment. Now we know why. What we don’t know is why Congress no longer cares.
  • People still apoplectic over Hillary Clinton’s carelessness with emails are silent about Trump’s with security clearances for his White House enablers. (Irony: I needed top-secret clearance for some of what I did in Vietnam. It was delayed because I’d studied Russian and traveled the U.S.S.R. in college.)
  • Putin displays an animation of Russia’s “unstoppable” new missiles hitting Florida. Trump’s response: silence. Maybe he expects a Mar-a-Lago tax write-off. He did attack Alec Baldwin right after, though, so there’s that.
  • Benefitting his admired dictators, Trump is undoing Ronald Reagan’s “Infrastructure of Democracy” around the world.
  • The NRA made a deeply disgusting ad against critics.
  • Red states don’t like liberals voting.

Drip, drop, tick, tock.

For these things, concern ought to be universal. Mistaking cri de coeur for partisanship, people email me criticizing my tone, claiming they’re “reasonable” NRA members, or “thoughtful” conservatives, so I should be nicer. Time for those good folks to act on their professed moderation. Relieved as I am to learn of their unhappiness with Trump and/or NRA leadership, when I ask if they’ve sent complaints their way, too, none have. Maybe they’re planning to show their displeasure with their votes.

A guy can dream.

Email Sid Schwab at

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

FILE - A worker cleans a jet bridge at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., before passengers board an Alaska Airlines flight, March 4, 2019. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines owns Horizon Air. Three passengers sued Alaska Airlines on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, saying they suffered emotional distress from an incident last month in which an off-duty pilot, was accused of trying to shut down the engines of a flight from Washington state to San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Editorial: FAA bill set to improve flight safety, experience

With FAA reauthorization, Congress proves it’s capable of legislating and not just throwing shade.

French: In war, the grieving must wait until the return home

When death comes for your brothers in war, it leaves a wound on your soul that never fully heals.

Blow: How to respond to childish taunts meant to go viral

When members of Congress descend into click-bait-intended insults, has all focus on legislating been lost?

Krugman: How do you solve a problem like ‘vibesession’?

Most people will tell you they’re in good financial shape, but the economy isn’t. Except, it is.

Friedman: Western Europe sends Israel message it can’t ignore

The decision by three nations to endorse a Palestinian state won’t move Israelis. It will move others.

The vessel Tonga Chief, a 10-year-old Singaporean container ship, is moored at the Port of Everett Seaport in November, 2023, in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald file photo)
Editorial: Leave port tax issue for campaign, not the ballot

Including “taxing district” on ballot issue to expand the Port of Everett’s boundaries is prejudicial.

Snohomish County Councilmembers Nate Nehring, left, and Jared Mead, speaking, take turns moderating a panel including Tulip Tribes Chairwoman Teri Gobin, Stanwood Mayor Sid Roberts and Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell during the Building Bridges Summit on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at Western Washington University Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Candidates, voters have campaign promises to make

Two county officials’ efforts to improve political discourse skills are expanding to youths and adults.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks to a reporter as his 2024 gubernatorial campaign launch event gets underway in Seattle, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. ( Jerry Cornfield/Washington State Standard)
Editorial: Recruiting two Bob Fergusons isn’t election integrity

A GOP activist paid the filing fee for two gubernatorial candidates who share the attorney general’s name.

Expanding grants will help more students get college degrees

For good or ill, the American labor force is being automated. To… Continue reading

Was I-5’s long closure necessary?

It seems there needs to be a rational discussion and possibly a… Continue reading

Balloon releases are harming wildlife

When will the media stop perpetuating the myth that releasing balloons into… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.