Trump Chooses Qualified Candidate to Be Transportation Secretary

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The latest from Team Trump:

President-elect Donald Trump plans to name Elaine Chao — a former Labor secretary married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — as his Transportation secretary, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). Chao’s establishment ties conflict with Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington and promote outsiders to lead his government. But Chao’s connections could be an asset in Trump’s plan to promote a major infrastructure proposal that could face resistance from within his party.

Here’s the weird thing: Chao is actually very qualified for this position. That’s…a little unusual for Trump. So it’s hard to make too big a fuss over the obvious cynicism of picking Mitch McConnell’s wife to be the head cheerleader for his infrastructure plan.

Still, this is not exactly draining the swamp, is it? Chao is married to the Republican majority leader; has been a Washington fixture for more than two decades; and spent eight years in the Bush cabinet. She’s also a woman and an immigrant, which will help Trump with his “white guy cabinet” problem.1 But that’s OK. I can handle a bit of cynicism and a bit of political maneuvering. At least Chao is a normal, well-qualified, conservative, choice. If only we could say that about the rest of Trump’s choices.

1As near as I can tell, Trump’s approach to this problem is to appoint white guys to the important posts and then toss in a few women and minorities at the bottom of his cabinet. But maybe I’m wrong! We’ll have to wait and see who he appoints to head up State, Defense, and Treasury.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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