Sunday, 20 August, 2017

John Oliver takes on Trump and the coal industry

Screengrab via LastWeekTonight  YouTube Screengrab via LastWeekTonight YouTube
Melissa Porter | 20 June, 2017, 02:23

On last night's Last Week Tonight on HBO, Oliver took aim at Trump's ignorance about the coal industry.

Citing job statistics that the Trump administration claims they "brought back", Oliver said: "Those numbers are bulls***, the Bureau of Labor Statistics have the actual number of coal jobs created since past year has been just 1,300 so that "50,000 new jobs" plane was off by 48,700 which for this administration is actually uncharacteristically accurate". "We all do", Oliver said. You just hand them your ducky and then you get cookies, you idiot.' ... "He barely gets what mining is", the host shouted.

"He may very well think it's running up to things he wants and yelling, 'mine!',"Oliver joked".

In fact, Oliver points out, Trump's new budget proposal would cut funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, which helps revitalize communities affected by coal mining job losses.

But as Oliver demonstrates, it's the coal barons like convicted criminal Don Blankenship who enjoy the tender concern of Trump and the far right. "Which for this administration is actually uncharacteristically accurate". But the host ultimately circled back to Trump, highlighting a troubling quote from a 1990 Playboy interview: "If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines". "The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the actual number of coal jobs created since past year is actually just 1,300. Murray's company recently unsuccessfully sued to block a rule aimed at reducing miners" exposure to coal dust, which causes black lung, a disease that killed as many as 10,000 people between 1995 and 2005 ... and if you even appear to be on the same side as black lung, you're on the wrong f*cking side! "And Trump didn't create them, he just remembered 12 times in his life he saw a lobster". "They don't have 'it'".

President Donald Trump's pledge to revive America's struggling coal industry is doomed to join the list of other broken campaign promises - like listing China as a currency manipulator, to releasing his tax returns, and pledging to support medical marijuana. "Stop telling them that coal is clean when it isn't, and stop pretending this isn't an industry in the middle of a hard and painful albeit necessary transition".