Swamp Creatures

Although Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to “Drain the Swamp”, he stacked his cabinet with billionaires, big-time campaign donors and former wall-street executives. Not exactly what the American people had in mind when he called for change. Anyways, we’re stuck with them now, so we might as well get to know them a bit.

Legislative Rock Stars

Standing up to Donald Trump is like throwing a rock at the back of a bully as he rides his bike down the street after beating the pulp out of your best friend. But thankfully, there are a few out there willing to risk being the recipient of next punch to save our necks. And we are forever grateful.

Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education

Michigan billionaire who supports unlimited growth of charter (read: for profit) schools and school vouchers, which could potentially divert taxpayer money into religious schools.  Not quite Separation Of Church and State

Swipes Right On: school vouchers, private education

Swipes Left On: Public schools, LGBTQ rights, ‘‘grizzlies’

Clap Back Topic: DeVos performed poorly by nearly all accounts in her confirmation hearings.  Why’d she fail the test?  She unaware of even basic education policy and avoided support of holding accountability use of taxpayer money for education. Vermont Senator Sanders ‘BERN-ed’ her with point blank queries of links between her family’s alleged $200 million in donations to the Republican party and her subsequent nomination.  She plead the fifth.

Elizabeth Warren
Rockstar Senator from Massachusetts

Former prosecutor Warren eviscerated DeVos during her initial hearing, calling out her lack of experience with college financial aid and public schools for either herself or her children.

Rockstar quote: “Making large political contributions to ‘buy influence’ does not qualify you to help set policy for the education of America’s school children.”

Steve Bannon
Chief Strategist to Donald Trump (aka, the Grand Puppet Master)

Steve Bannon: Chief Strategist/Senior Counselor to POTUS.  Lucius Malfoy to Trump’s Voldemort–although some speculate that those roles are actually reversed.

Swipes Right On: Ronald Reagan, Darth Vader, flirting with white nationalism (the real name of the so called Alt-Right)

Swipes Left On: (Allegedly) Jewish People, Abortion Rights, Islam

Clap Back Topic:  Mainstream Media–frustrated with media charges of falsehoods, Bannon gave a response usually uttered on elementary school playgrounds

Lisa Murkowski
Republican Senator from Alaska

The first Republican Senator to publicly state that she will vote against DeVos, she cites the impracticality of DeVos’ charter school plans and voucher programs.

Rockstar quote: “When there is no way to get to an alternative option for your child, the best parent is left relying on a public school system that they demand to be there for their kids.”

Rick Perry
Nominated for Secretary of Energy

Former Governor of Texas and presidential candidate. Had an #AlternativeFact approach to what being the Sec of Energy actually meant.  Oops.  

Swipes Right On: The Death Penalty, the NRA

Swipes Left On: The Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood, Gay Marriage Equality

Clap Back Topic:  His literal On The Job Training is a source of concern for such an important gig.

Susan Collins
Republican Senator from Maine

The second Republican Senator to denounce DeVos, Collins has come straight out the gate against Trump on a number of issues, culminating in her plan to vote ‘no’ on the senate floor.

Rockstar quote: “I am troubled and surprised by Mrs. DeVos’ apparent lack of familiarity with the landmark 1975 law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, that guarantees a free and appropriate education to children with special needs.”

Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State & Former Chairman of Exxon-Mobile

The Exxon-Mobil chairman is the first potential Sec of State to have no experience in the public sector.  Possible exception: he has personal ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin.  Does that count as foreign relations? As of Jan 30th, his path to confirmation was in the clear.

Swipes Right On: Climate change, openly gay Boy Scouts, Free trade, Russia

Swipes Left On: Climate action, Sanctions against Russia

Clap Back Topic:  Tillerson’s relationship with Putin and his business dealings in Russia have been a hot source of concern, particularly for Marco Rubio, who sits on the foreign relations committee.

Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader from New York

The Senate Minority Leader’s words against DeVos’ nomination have never beaten around the bush.

Rockstar quote: “In my mind, she is the least qualified nominee in a historically unqualified cabinet…On conflicts of interest, she ranks among the worst. Frankly, Ms. Devos’ answers at the hearing were embarrassing.”

General James “Mad Dog” Mattis
Department of Defense

His 41 year career in the military included Kuwait, Iraq, and overseeing military action in Afghanistan. He was confirmed Jan 20th with a vote of 98-1.

Swipes Right On: Advancing US Military interests overseas

Swipes Left On: Iran Nuclear Deal, Isolationism

Clap Back Topic:  Gen. Mattis is known for his blunt and tough style of communication, which has sometimes gotten him in the proverbial dog house.

Chris Murphy
Democratic Senator from Connecticut

Murphy, whose constituents include survivors of the Sandy Hook Shooting, is most known for his relentless advocacy for common sense gun laws. He took particular issue with DeVos’ response regarding the issue of guns in schools.

Rockstar quote:Took the 4am shift. The chances you will be watching are bested only by the chances a grizzly bear walks into your kid’s school today.”

Jeff Sessions
Attorney General

Republican senator from Alabama.

Swipes Right On: Aggressive action towards military prisoners, (some parts of) criminal reform

Swipes Left On: Immigration, Climate Change

Clap Back Topic:  Alleged Racism.  For decades, he’s been accused of racism, reaching as high up as the Senate denying him a federal judgeship based on testimony by his own former colleagues.  

General John F Kelly
Department of Homeland Security

Retired US general whose resume highlights include border and law enforcement, notably overseeing Guantanamo Bay.  He was confirmed Jan 20th with a vote of 88-11.

Swipes Right On: Aggressive action towards military prisoners, stronger Mexican borders

Swipes Left On: a “soft” left on whether allowing women into the military lowers the standards of the Armed Forces

Clap Back Topic:  He’s the guy who would be in charge of building that wall with Mexico, a key campaign promise from Trumpland.

*Special thanks to Flickr user DonkeyHotey for the swamp creatures caricatures.