Home 2017 Races One Morning with Scott Pruitt, Replete with Scandals

One Morning with Scott Pruitt, Replete with Scandals

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The breadth and scope of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s corruption and disdain for basic legality, along with some basic ineptness in how blatant he is in his self-serving ways and venality, put him in the range of “swamp creature” extraordinaire Donald Trump. Truly, in addition to his devoted attention to the interests of polluting industry over humanity, Pruitt’s blatant and often petty corruption make him a true poster child of the Trump Kakisocracy.*

You have seen, almost certainly, reams of material about Pruitt’s distasteful to illegal practices in office — from his Maxwell Smart-like “cone of silence,” to his lavish travel arrangements, to that $50/night room in DC, to his imaginary security threats driving a massive security detail to…  Then there are all of his actions to undermine the EPA’s core mission(s) and place it in service of fossil fuel industry profits, rather than people or the planet.

Amid the Trump kakistocracy and with Donald Trump himself, part of the problem is the unending wave of scandalous and criminal activity making it impossible to keep up with the scandals and overwhelming all of us with the “news of the day.”

As for Scott Pruitt, before noon today (Eastern Time), four pieces of “news of the day” — any one of which matched or exceeded any individual office holder “scandal” that occurred through eight years of the Obama-Biden administration.

These four:

Meeting with Climate Science Denying Cardinal. On his lavish taxpayer-funded trip to Italy, Pruitt met with Cardinel Pell, an Australian Cardinal who is third in the Vatican hierarchy and notable as the most senior Catholic at odds with the Pope re climate change science.  In addition to his avowed science denial, Pell is also facing an investigation into his role in covering up sexual abuse by priests in Australia.  Amid all of this, one of the striking Pruitt signature elements of his disdain for basic ethics — he and his team repeatedly lied about their role in securing the time with Pell and tried to cover up this meeting. And, also a signature element is Pruitt’s lavish style: this was a $240 per person lunch meeting.

From Lobbyist to Political Appointee In yet another clear example of how Trump’s “draining the swamp” has a different meaning from anything anyone interested in good governance might consider, Bill Wehrum lobbied the EPA on behalf of the brick industry seeking (drastic) loosening of pollution standards and regulations. Wehrum, by the way, wasn’t registered as a lobbyist for a long time — including when he was lobbying Pruitt for the brick industry. Pruitt selected Wehrum to run the office that oversees the regulations that Wehrum was attacking.

Double Dipping is a crime. Scott Pruitt charged to his Oklahoma Attorney office items from two stores … and then, several years later, charged his political campaign for the same items.

Requesting reimbursement from the state and a campaign for the same purchases is known as “double-dipping” and has led to felony charges in Oklahoma before. Last year, a former Republican leader in the Oklahoma House of Representatives pleaded guilty to felony perjury for accepting taxpayer reimbursement for trips that had already been paid for with campaign funds.

Spitting on Scalia’s grave. Scott “Rule of Law” Pruitt distorted (utterly misrepresented) a unanimous Supreme Court decision, an opinion written by radical anti-Catholic leftist SCOTUS Justice Anthony Scalia, in an effort to undermine EPA’s ability to protect human health. In short, Pruitt wants to have economic issues (and distorted analysis of economic issues) included in air pollution standard decision-making at a point in the process where the SCOTUS (as written by Scalia) was quite clear: the EPA cannot do that. A complicated issue, but a pretty blatant misrepresentation of the SCOTUS decision and Scalia’s writing — to the point of putting words into quoting the SCOTUS decision in a way that implies they were Scalia’s words and in a way that reverses Scalia’s quite clear intent.

All of this before noon – and from just one member of the Trump Kakistocracy. I can’t even imagine what the afternoon might bring.

Yet another beautiful day in the dystopia that is Donald Trump’s neighborhood.

Notes:

  • Kakistocracy: Government by the least ethical and least competent of society.
  • Along with many others, I heard countless times during the 2016 campaign “if I had done what she did, I would be in jail.” While there is much to get into about this, it is quite clear that any normal federal employee under any normal Administration who did any of the things Pruitt does would be out of a job pretty quickly … and quite possibly going to jail. And these four items are solely the Pruitt items that crossed my screen in a two-hour period this morning.  Yet, I am not hearing in conversations — at all — “if I did what Scott Pruitt did, I’d be in jail …” … “If I lied, repeatedly, on my security clearance forms like Jared Kushner has, I’d be in jail.” … “If I profited over my government job like Trump is, I’d be in jail …” The same people who expressed outrage about Hillary Clinton’s email server seemingly 24/7 are notably and eerily silent about the Trump Kakistocracy. Why is that?