12/7 — In which we examine appointments…again!

Three things that happened:

1—Trump made two picks for his administration today, one rather traditional, one… not so much. The first, Retired Marine General John Kelly has been picked to lead the Department of Homeland Security. My immediate reaction to this was, “Oh good, it’s not David A Clarke, the Milwaukee County Sheriff who let someone die of thirst in his jail and who thinks that Black Lives Matter are a terrorist organization.”

So, let’s look at General Kelly instead. The Washington Post calls him “a blunt-spoken border security hawk who clashed with the Obama administration over women in combat and plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to people familiar with the decision.” He’s someone who has called concerns about human rights violations at Gitmo “foolishness” and should be considered a bit of a border hawk.

But he’s also a gold-star father — his son was killed by a landmine in 2010, and he knows the pain of losing a child in the military. The New York Times reports that this played a role in General Kelly’s selection, “Mr. Trump, his aides said, wanted people on his national security team who understood personally the hazards of sending Americans into combat.”

2 — The second of Trump’s two picks today is…odd. He’s tapped Linda McMahon to be the administrator of the Small Business Administration. Now, why is this an odd pick? You may not know who Linda McMahon is, but you know her product —World Wrestling Entertainment (the WWE). She’s had two unsuccessful runs for a US Senate seat in Connecticut, and called PEOTUS’ comments about women “deplorable” during the campaign, but PEOTUS has a history with the WWE. He’s in the WWE Hall of Fame (not joking) and appeared in the ring a few times, even taking a “Stone Cold Stunner” from Stone Cold Steve Austin at one point.

The McMahons gave $6M to a Trump super PAC helping to fund Trump’s Presidential run, and are the largest outside donor to the Trump Foundation, giving $4M in 2007 and another $1M in 2009. The New Yorker had a long piece about Trump’s charitable giving in September, based a lot of the reporting of the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold.

With those two donations, McMahon and his firm had given more money to the Trump Foundation than Trump ever had. This revelation didn’t go without notice in the philanthropy world. In 2012, Rick Cohen, the late nonprofit advocate and journalist, wrote at NonProfit Quarterly, “the interesting aspect of the Trump Foundation is that its most significant source of contributions hasn’t been Trump, but Vince McMahon of Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment.”

Barry Petchesky (Deputy Editor of Deadpsin) said about her appointment:

It is hard to think of any person whose life work has been more inimical to workers, and indeed to small businesses, than McMahon. WWE has made untold profits from using labor loopholes to classify its employees as “independent contractors,” denying them overtime despite grueling travel schedules and health care despite the physical toll taken by the job.

3 —The New York Times has published (in part) an interview with the Sunday afternoon gunman from Comet Ping Pong in Washington DC (actually about 2 blocks from my home). It is a rather chilling interview as gives insight into just how propaganda and fake news can consume someone who is not seeking out contradictory information.

Three more things, tomorrow evening.