Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Seven Words

        Last December, in order not to annoy the White House, the budget staff at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly banned the use of the following seven words: “vulnerable”, “entitlement”, “diversity”, “transgender”, “fetus”, “science-based” and “evidence-based.” Not exactly George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” but troubling nonetheless. What hasn’t yet been revealed are the additional word excisions planned by other federal departments and agencies so as not to run afoul of the Trump administration. Thankfully, the usual unreliable sources have leaked them to us.
The Internal Revenue Service
     With Donald Trump’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” now the law, this agency will be facing a difficult task in tracking down tax cheats. That job will be even harder once the IRS is prohibited from using the following seven words: “rich”, “audit”, “billionaire”, “unfair”, “evasion”, “offshore” and “capital gain.”
The Environmental Protection Agency
     Already hampered by budget cuts and rescinded regulations, the EPA will now have to try to do its job without using the following seven words: “climate”, “warming”, “solar”, “wind”, “geothermal”, “polluters” and “pollution.”
The Justice Department
     Times are tough at the Justice Department as President Trump seeks to limit certain investigations. However, it looks like they might get even tougher once these seven words are cut from the department’s vocabulary: “Russia”, “collusion”, “Mueller”, “recuse”, “subpoenas”, “impeach” and “unconstitutional.”
The U. S. Department of Education
     It’s bad enough that this department has been saddled by the woefully unprepared Betsy DeVos as its secretary. Now it will have to try to do its job without the use of these seven words: “growth”, “proficiency”, “testing”, “public”, “grants”, “loans” and “funding.”     
The Census Bureau
     Things were already not looking good for the nation’s statisticians ever since President Trump appointed the supremely unqualified Thomas Brunell as their new deputy director. And they will likely get even worse once the following seven words are banned: “nonpartisan”, “elections”, “fair”, “voting-rights”, “gerrymandering”, “minorities” and “underrepresentation.”
The Department of the Interior
     It’s one thing to put up with Secretary Ryan Zinke’s special flag flown at Interior’s headquarters when he’s in town. It’s another to have to worry about your job as Zinke cuts the department’s workforce to the bone. And now those folks will also have their storehouse of words reduced by these seven: “parkland”, “environment”, “endangered”, “Superfund”, “hazardous”, “clean-up” and “wildlife.”
The Department of State
     Morale is reportedly at an all-time low in this department thanks in part to its current head, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. His attempted overhaul of the State Department has driven out veteran diplomats and left the place in tatters. The days ahead won’t be any easier after the guardians of Trumpspeak have put the kibosh on these seven words: “multicultural”, “diplomacy”, “multilateralism”, “negotiated”, “humanitarian”, “NATO” and “UN.”

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