Trump Gonna End 'Anarchy' By Cutting Health Care During Pandemic. Take That, Antifa!
Excellent news, everybody! Donald Trump is gearing up to rescue American cities from the grip of anarchy, or at least punish four cities with Democratic leadership for not respecting his authoriteh. His administration is poised to make the cities cry Uncle Sam by chopping funds for a whole bunch of healthcare programs, because nothing teaches unruly cities to behave like "slashing millions of dollars for coronavirus relief, HIV treatment, screenings for newborns and other programs," as Politico reports. It probably isn't legal, and it's a transparent abuse of government power to make Trump look like he's beating up on those terrible Democrat cities that aren't stopping the riots that burn them to the ground every night, so obviously it's worth doing to keep Trump voters happy.
Back in September, Donald Trump vowed he would cut federal funding to what he considered "anarchist cities," and he even issued an executive order of dubious legality (but aren't they all?) proclaiming that cities that insufficiently loved their local cops would have funding for non-law-enforcement programs cut. As Wonkette's Liz Dye 'splained at the time, it's almost certainly unconstitutional bullshit, but federal agencies are going along with it, at least until the White House actually tries to make the cuts and the lawsuits start flying. (And with the Trump-McConnell judiciary, Crom only knows what crazy shit might end up being approved.)
As part of the early going, Attorney General Bill Barr dutifully declared three cities, New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, to be "anarchist jurisdictions," and the White House budget office added Washington DC to the list. Federal agencies were instructed to compile lists of federal grants going to the four cities, identifying whether any of the spending support law enforcement activities. Those are the only grants supposedly exempt from possible cuts. Federal departments have until Friday to submit the lists to the Office of Management and Budget, which will make the final decisions about what gets cut.
HHS's own list, which made its way to Politico somehow, includes some 1,500 grants that have gone to the four cities since 2018, and it includes a whole bunch of stuff that these damned anarchist cities clearly don't deserve:
The list includes 185 programs that touch on everything from Trump's own initiative to end HIV transmission by the end of the decade to the opioid crisis and research into lung diseases. The list also includes funding for other programs, like $423,000 for universal hearing screenings for newborns in the District of Columbia, housing for people in addiction recovery in Seattle, and services providing nutrition and mental health counseling to elderly New Yorkers. [...]
Truly, Anarchist babies must not be allowed to get hearing screenings, not in Trump's America. Only six of the grant programs were flagged by HHS as being connected to law enforcement, so the rest can be targeted for cuts, to encourage Democratic mayors to get with the program and bust some heads like Donald Trump wants.
In Normal America, when Congress appropriates funds and grants are made by federal agencies, the White House doesn't get to swoop in and say "but not for these places where I have a political grudge," but Normal America has been on hold for a while.
While the White House has said the information was needed to decide about how to punish anarchist cities (again, not a real thing) in the future, a "senior administration official" told Politico that current funding might be on the chopping block, too.
"As the data comes in, OMB will collect it and make a decision," said the official, who requested anonymity. The review is in the preliminary stages, and the official said the administration will make decisions about each grant individually.
We need to review the information with agencies before we know," according to the official. "Grant programs all have different authorities so it's going to be case by case."
Not surprisingly, Politico notes, leaders in New York and Seattle have already said that if this idiocy continues to the point that there's an actual attempt to block funds, they'll go to federal court. The US Conference of Mayors has similarly promised legal action if Trump drops the OMB on American cities.
And the expected crowd of experts on public health and good government, always a pesky lot, have chimed in to say it's a terrible idea to threaten to cut health funds to cities during a freaking pandemic, which just shows how useless experts are. What good is "public health" in cities that won't even shoot rioters to prove that there's no problem with police violence?
While the process of reviewing hundreds of grant programs to the four cities continues to grind its way through the federal government, Politico didn't say whether Donald Trump still has any particular interest in the thing he ordered over a month ago, or even remembers that he said it was a top priority. He's far more interested these days in "Hunter Biden's" laptop computer.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.