In the third year of the Trump administration, how’s that “draining the swap” thing going?

Not too well, if the ongoing corporate capture of our government was the swamp Trump had in mind.

Trump may not know much about history, science or foreign policy, but he does know where the money is, and he has acted accordingly.

Mere months into his presidency, he had already placed 70 former business lobbyists or executives in his administration. By March 2019, that number had grown to more than 350. (

Such cozy behavior once made headlines. The 1920s Teapot Dome scandal, in which bribes bought no-bid oil leases on public lands, sent a secretary of the Interior to jail and prompted passage of the law that allows Congress to request a copy of anyone’s tax return (the law Trump is currently defying).

Today in Trumpland, the close relationship between government and business is out in the open. Instead of governing harmful business practices, this president works directly for business. His administration has clawed back thousands of acres of public land for private mineral and oil interests. It has sided with Bayer in the dispute over the harmful effects of the herbicide glyphosate. Though touted as a win for workers, NAFTA 2.0 heavily favors pharmaceutical and technology giants, and the actions of the Trump Labor Department have rendered its very name a joke.

Trump offers strident warnings about “socialism” as his excuse for running the government on behalf of corporations instead of the people.

A commenter on a recent Krugman column in the New York Times had the perfect response:

“The government should not own the means of production ... But neither should those who own the means of production own the government ... which is pretty much what the Republican Party now stands for.”

Ken Winkes


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