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10 Questions I Want To Ask President Donald J Trump - #7 (Scott Pruitt)

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      With the full respect of the nation's wealth that a favored prince shows a destitute third world state's populace, EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has spent his way into history.

      With six ongoing investigations - all of them internal, I might add - that have revealed the potentially criminal use of taxpayer money, Trump leaseholder Pruitt has now seem to have set his sights on Jeff Sessions' job.


      Now @realDonaldTrump has already avoided eye contact a number of times with those journalists willing to ask how it is that Pruitt still has a job, much less not be hauled in front of a judge, one must consider that there must be a reason.


      Now there have been so many financial misdealings coming out of the EPA Secretary's office that it is virtually impossible to list them all. One of my personal favorites is the isolated phone booth, an item that seems to have come straight out of a sitcom left over from the 1960's.


      I thank the fine journalists Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin from the Washington Post for the following:

      "The agency paid a Virginia firm $7,978 to remove closed-circuit television equipment to make room for the booth, according to a federal database. Officials hired another contractor to pour 55 square feet of concrete more than two feet thick, at a cost of $3,470, according to invoices released under a public records request by the watchdog group American Oversight. Other workers installed a drop ceiling for $3,361, while still others patched and painted the small area for $3,350, records show.

      In total, the EPA appears to have spent more than $18,000 on the prep work, readying the space for a $25,000 soundproof booth that has brought Pruitt a wave of criticism and official scrutiny. The total cost for the project now appears to be closer to $43,000." - Washington Post March 2018

      Given that the free spending Pruitt - apparently a trait that the Offal Office has a great appreciation for - has been able to rent a room for fifty bucks a night from a lobbyist who arranged a meeting or two for a few mutual friends, we can rest assured that the money he is saving himself will not be spent on things like bio-metric locks.


      We taxpayers are responsible for that. And the Kevlar seats. And the idle 10K a year leased Chevy Tahoe that has not been out of the parking garage for nearly a year. At least his request for $70K worth of bullet proof furniture was denied.


      Even Trey Gowdy and his committee, a few Senators and wrote a letter to the White House cited documents they obtained from a whistleblower.

      The documents “may constitute evidence of a violation of law” an “abuse of authority” and a “gross waste of funds,” the lawmakers wrote. Not so surprising, given the unofficial motto of the Trump Olifascist Regime.



      In fact, Pruitt only flies 1st Class when the taxpayers are paying the freight. Otherwise he flies coach. So does his security detail, since they must be joined at the hip at all times because the EPA Secretary has had "threats".

      Even his tickets to fly home have come under scrutiny. It should also be noted that Pruitt exhibits a high degree of frugality - but only when spending his own money.

      In fact, Pruitt only flies 1st Class when the taxpayers are footing the bill. Otherwise he flies coach. So does his security detail, since they must be joined at the hip at all times because the EPA Secretary has had "threats".



      He is so careful with his own money that he purchased a companion ticket from obtained with frequent flyer miles accrued by Ken Wagner, a former law partner Pruitt hired as one of his senior advisers at EPA. For $5.60 and half of the cost of Wagner's ticket.

      "Former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub said Wednesday the companion tickets provided to Pruitt likely violated a federal prohibition that bars officials from accepting gifts from their subordinates exceeding $10. Shaub said the value of the gift is determined not by what Wagner actually paid for the ticket, but what the full market value would have been had the ticket been purchased with cash." - Associated Press, 18 April 2018



      Representative Paul Tonko, NY-D sent a few choice words over to CNBC ahead of this Thursday's highly anticipated Pruitt roasting:

      "Again and again, Administrator Pruitt has abused his position for personal and political gain, including a sweetheart apartment rental from a lobbyist and a litany of wasteful taxpayer-funded indulgences in first-class flights, personal security, office and official vehicle upgrades, and massive raises for his political friends. His subsequent denials and attempts to justify some of these ethics violations seem to have been complete fabrications".

      It is not a good choice to take on the ranking member of the Environmental subcommittee, and even worse when you are basing your defense on what appears to be a bald face lie - spoken on #FauxSpews no less:

      Pruitt's claim in the Fox News interview that he did not know who went behind the White House's back to approve pay hikes for two of his long-time aides is also contested. EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson has since taken responsibility, but Republican whistleblower Kevin Chmielewski told lawmakers the decision was "100% Pruitt himself."


      So after all of this, I have to ask President Donald J Trump:

      What secret does Pruitt own that makes you too frightened to fire him?



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      9 Democrats Sign Up To Help Wall Street Steal Cars

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          The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was put into place by Congressional Democrats, and signed into law by Barack Obama. It was designed by Elizabeth Warren, so that Americans would have an agency to protect them from scam operators. Now we see that 9 Democrats are backing a bill to undermine that Bureau, so we are assured that they do not have our interests in mind. These nine are currently aligning with Republicans to support legislation that consumer advocates tell us would take from the CFPB the power that they have to bring cases forward and make them pay for serious infractions, just like the one that was just settled with Wells Fargo.

          If anything reminds us that we need to constantly remind Democrats who their constituents are and what is expected of them, these nine Democrats remind us, since they are voting to undermine the CFPBs ability to protect us. Perhaps they should be voted out, but short of that, we must let them know what we think about their backing Wall Street's effort to steal.
          BILL CLARK VIA GETTY IMAGES

          Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is one of nine congressional Democrats backing legislation that would undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bill, authored by one of the bureau’s most ferocious critics, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), has the backing of self-styled progressives, such as Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), along with six more conservative House Democrats.

          The legislation would deny the CFPB jurisdiction over companies that are subject to state insurance regulation that also engage in “offering or providing a consumer financial product or service.” For such firms, which include essentially every major bank, the bureau would lose its authority “to the extent such [company] is engaged in the business of insurance.” State insurance regulators, which have a much weaker record of consumer protection enforcement, would replace the CFPB.

          Americans for Financial Reform sent a sharply worded letter to members of Congress warning that the bill ”strikes a major blow against CFPB regulatory authority over large financial services firms” that “would have called into question the CFPB’s ability to investigate and punish the Wells Fargo scheme to sell unnecessary insurance to its auto credit customers.”

          If an ordinary person committed any of the abuses listed in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest complaint against Wells Fargo, other ordinary people might call it “theft,” or “car theft.”

          Twenty organizations, including the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Consumer Law Center and the Consumer Federation of America, cited the Wells Fargo case as they brought their concerns to Duffy. Not only do state regulators have a weak record of enforcement, many states simply do not have effective consumer protection laws on the books.

          The bill passed the House Financial Services Committee in January by a vote of 37 to 18, with seven Democrats voting in favor. It has yet to receive a floor vote in either chamber.

          The above paragraphs are from a report by Zach Carter. To read the entire report go to

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-wall-street-steal-cars_us_5ada52d5e4b01c279db45991

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          Fox News And Trump's Parallels On Russia Probe

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              CNN's Brian Stelter takes a look at Fox News' coverage of the Russia probe and similarities in Trump's speech on the investigation.
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              When The Veil Comes Off

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                  Once again this weekend the world of twitter was carpet bombed by the pretend president who is slowly but surely imploding as the truth haunts his every thought and between the Mueller investigation and the subsequent evidence handed to Rosenstein and passed to the Southern District of New York to be investigated at state level regarding his once feared attack dog Cohen who now resembles a snivelling rottweiler whose just been castrated.

                  No wonder the twitter and proceeding news feeds were alight with the unhinged scattergun rantings of a man who knows he is in deep and this whole president thing is shedding light on the once dark secrets of a man born of a myth of self enablement and self created wealth, bred by lies told and wrongs aplenty the concept of consequence is becoming a looming reality with every waking hour.


                  (Come with me sir....we'd like to ask you some questions)


                  It isn't a surprise that the world now gets to see the man come unsealed at the hinges, every negative news report one more stinging cut in a death of a presidency that may well not survive to the fatal one thousandth cut.

                  When the reality bites and facts come home to roost this extreme anomaly will come crashing down. With all the talk of probes, pornstars and prison sentences surrounding satellite personalities personally connected to the man who conned a nation's democratic system of government. Those who are seen as his truest allies and acolytes outside and within the White House have their worn out unfounded talking points ready to fire off when the heat of the truth burns.

                  You will hear lines regarding black and hispanic and female employment on the rise and the tax cuts are starting to pay the dividends promised and the wall is being built and Mexico is still paying for it and that he is draining the swamp and of course the recent news from North Korea that their Nuclear development is up for negotiation and there is a new willingness for North Korea to close testing sites and stop testing missiles period.


                  On that.....Of course North Korea are in a position to offer the chance of no more missile tests and test sites closing...........They have no need. They have the missiles they need and the US is being led into negotiations where a US leader and those around him are claiming this is historic, and it is.

                  Because now the North Koreans aren't going into negotiation as lesser but as a Nuclear power with functioning Nuclear Weapons just like the US.

                  There is no chance the North Koreans will simply dismantle their development, testing and ownership of their own weapons of mass destruction. Nor are they going to be happy until the US military apparatus currently in the South of the Korean peninsula.

                  And what about his crusade to rid those white suburbs and communities of their truly horrific drug addiction epidemic spurred on by lethally addictive prescription drugs that lead to the illegal hard stuff that's not actually coming from the southern border where the great wall of Mexico is not being built but through the ports system of America.

                  But make a man desperate.

                  Make him truly angry and frustrated and hate filled and you show his true self.

                  How many times has this current resident in the White House sounded so emotional, so empathetic about the true cost of addiction...

                  How he mentioned his own brother who died as a result of addiction.....

                  How it left an endemic mark upon his life.....

                  We watched as he spoke of those who suffered similar with addicted family members......


                  You'd almost believe him.

                  Almost.

                  As the bad news drops continuously upon the liar he does what he and his surrogates do and peddle the prepared lies out......He unveiled what he truly thinks of those who are resigned to the dark hopeless world of drug addiction in a society that needs education on causes and an adult conversation about those who are in agony.

                  Turns out that when a man is cornered by all his lies and all his wrongs......

                  He exposes his true self and unveils what he really thinks of all those who he once claimed to stand with and stand for......

                  https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/trumps-drun...

                  NYT Reporter Hits Back At Trump, Says She Knows Who The 'Drunk/Drugged-Up Loser' Is

                  All those times he held weeping parents and devastated relatives of dead overdose victims. All those times he looked them in the eye....In his mind he was looking at the families of Drugged Up Losers.


                  But that's what happens when the veil is lifted under the scrutiny of truth and the looming day of reckoning....you turn on those who you conned first.


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                  Christian TV: THE CHURCH OF THE DONALD

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                      What we are seeing these days, is that although Christian TV does not relate well to all Christians, it has become the voice for those Christians who are in the tank for Donald Trump.

                      Christian Television seems to be taking on a sort of worship of one Donald Trump! Along with FOX so called News, the mouthpiece of the Donald and his regime, we can be assured that if we need a good dose of Trump propaganda, Christian Television will give it to us.

                      One of the leaders of the Church of Donald, is Mike Huckabee, father to Trump's Whitehouse Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. His weekly show is peppered with politics, which have become a sort of religion for those watching.

                      Networks known as Christian, are now quite comfortable with the political, as Trump has turned these networks into a "pipeline" for his messaging. Pat Roberson, for example, has offered consistently friendly coverage to Trump.

                      Since Trump's campaign first began, he had given eleven interviews to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN.). Since then, in 2017 , he gave more interviews to CBN than other networks, including CNN, ABC and CBS. That trend continues in 2018.

                      By RUTH GRAHAM, May/June 2018 has written a comprehensive article regarding the way in which Trump has become a savior to the folks that watch Christian Television. Since it is quite long, I have provided only a few selected paragraphs from her article, but it is well worth reading in its entirety.

                      Image result for LOGO OF CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK

                      NEVER MIND FOX, TRUMP'S MEDIA MOUTHPIECE IS NOW CHRISTIAN TELEVISION

                      Today, Christian broadcasters have rewarded Trump not just with airtime for his surrogates, but with uncritical, often defensive coverage of his administration. Appearing as a guest on “The Jim Bakker Show” soon after the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer, Paula White compared Trump to the biblical queen Esther, and told viewers that opposing the president meant “fighting against the hand of God.” CBN’s Brody this year published a hagiographic “spiritual biography” of the president, The Faith of Donald J. Trump, in which he argues that Trump is on a “spiritual voyage” that has landed him surrounded by believers in the Oval Office. The president obligingly sat down for an interview for the book and later promoted it on Twitter as “a very interesting read.”

                      Trump ran his campaign events more like tent revivals than policy symposia. And his books and TV persona dovetailed surprisingly well with the “prosperity gospel” preaching that thrives on Christian TV, the relatively new American theology in which material wealth is seen not only as a reward for good behavior, but a kind of endorsement by God.

                      Trump has always had a particular genius for circumventing normal channels, and he seems to understand the power of Christian television as a medium for directly reaching an important and particularly loyal segment of his base. When Pat Robertson interviewed him last summer, in a period in which Trump had granted no other non-Fox interviews for months, the president put it succinctly. “As long as my people understand,” he told Robertson. “That’s why I do interviews with you. You have a tremendous audience. You have people that I love.”
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                      Smog And Disasters Spurred The Laws Trump Wants To Undo

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                          A huge oil spill. A river catching fire. Lakes so polluted they were too dangerous for fishing or swimming. Air so thick with smog it was impossible to see the horizon. That was the environmental state of the nation 50 years ago.

                          But early in the 1970s people demonstrated throughout our nation, and a different kind of Congress than that which we have today, was instrumental in creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with important legislation: The Clean Air Act; Clean Water Act; and the Endangered Species Act.

                          Today, Trump and his miserable Republican Congress have been doing whatever they can to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency and the very Acts that have helped to keep us in clean air, water and non poisonous food, as well as protecting animal species that are in danger of extinction. The man that heads the EPA - appointed by Trump - is more interested in spending our tax money on himself than he is on keeping us free from pollution.

                          Livia Albeck and Kendra Pierre-Louis have written an article (which I have edited for length) to remind us af what triggered the creation of the EPA, and why it is so important to keep it and our clean air, water and food acts, as well as our protection of endangered animals.


                          THIS FOLLOWING IS JUST SOME OF WHAT AMERICA WAS FACING BEFORE THE EPA


                          The Santa Barbara Oil Spill

                          On January 28, 1969, an oil rig exploded off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., spewing three million gallons of crude oil into the ocean in one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the United States.

                          At the time, there were no federal measures in place to regulate offshore drilling.

                          After the spill local officials pleaded with the federal government to end oil exploration off the California coast. But it was not until 1978 that the first federal regulations were passed.

                          A Santa Barbara beach in 1969. The oil spill killed thousands of birds, seals and sea lions. CreditVernon Merritt III/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images


                          The Cuyahoga River Fire

                          On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland caught fire — both literally and in the public imagination. A few months later the conflagration became a big story in Time magazine, which described the Cuyahoga as a river that “oozes rather than flows.”
                          The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland in 1952. The river burned at least 13 times before the 1969 fire that was covered by Time magazine. CreditGetty Images


                          The Love Canal Disaster

                          In the late 1970s, residents of Love Canal in Niagara Falls, N.Y., began complaining of odd smells, rashes and liquid leaching into the basementsof their homes. Decades earlier, the Hooker Chemical Company had dumped toxic waste in the canal and buried it. Outraged, the residents of Love Canal organized and were eventually relocated from their town.
                          While the residents of Love Canal were not the first or only community to confront the toxic legacy of industry, their plight caught the attention of national media, and ultimately, helped prompt the creation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act,


                          THE SMOG FILLED SKIES

                          The Philadelphia city center at sunset in 1973.CreditU.S. National Archives

                          Pittsburghers used to say that if you wore a white shirt to work in the morning, that the shirt would be as gray as the air by lunchtime. In cities and towns throughout the country, Americans didn’t just breathe the air, they could all but touch it. In the nation’s National Parks, air pollution clouded the views.
                          This was the United States before the 1970s Clean Air Act.

                          In recent months the Trump administration has signaled its desire to undo some of parts of the act. Mr. Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, has said that Obama-era car emissions standards designed to reduce greenhouse gasses and other pollutants linked to respiratory diseases and heart disease are set “too high.”

                          THE NEAR EXTINCTION OF THE GREY WOLF

                          In the early 1970s, the gray wolf was teetering on the edge of extinction in the lower 48 states.
                          In its company were dozens of other species at risk of dying out, with few laws to protect them.
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                              Democrats Have Asked Two Sandy Hook Parents To Rum For Congress

                              For half a decade, Barden and Hockley have been driving forces behind a movement that was born out of the tragedy that took their children’s lives.

                              Hockley, Barden, and other Sandy Hook parents ask New Jersey lawmakers to limit ammunition magazines to 10 bullets in 2013. Julio Cortez / AP

                              Hockley’s son, Dylan, and Barden’s son, Daniel, were among the 26 children and staff murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.

                              These two activist parents of two of the victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre, having been active in the organization called "Promise," which is pushing hard for sensible gun control, has caused them to be noticed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, (DCCC) which has asked them if one of them would be willing to run for Congress in Connecticut's 5th District (which includes Newtown.)

                              Since being approached by the DCCC they have been trying to decide which of them might be the most suitable to be a candidate for Congress, or whether they should both continue with their "Promise" organization to see how much gain they can achieve.

                              “We’ve been on this upward trajectory, regardless of the political climate—we’re a nonpartisan, non-political group,” Hockley told Mother Jones. “To move from that to being a public servant and a government official is a very significant shift.”

                              Unlike many of its allies, Sandy Hook Promise has built an unusual reputation for transcending political divides. While less focused than some of its partner organizations on firearms restrictions, the group has supported tougher background checks and federal funding for gun violence research, as well as mental health and criminal justice reform initiatives. Since its founding, it’s helped pass two pieces of federal legislation aimed at improving the climate in schools.

                              “The skills that Mark and I both have on this issue are the ability to create common ground,” Hockley says. “It’s kind of going back to old school politics, when politicians used to reach across the aisle and work more together.”

                              Barden speaks at the White House after the Senate rejects gun control legislation in 2013. Hockley is to Biden's left. Carolyn Kaster / AP

                              At this point, the only decision Hockley and Bardon have made is that they will not run against each other. If one decides to run, the other will support their candidacy.
                              This is not an easy decision for them, and they have not decided yet
                              whether one of them will become a candidate for Congress or neither will. "“The vacuum one of us would leave would have a big impact. We are actually seeing tangible results of our work. We know we have averted mass shootings.” “To move away from that cerebral world to a policy world—it’s hard,” Hockley says.

                              And Barden and Hockley know first-hand just how hard that policy world can be. In 2013, they lobbied for federal legislation that would have expanded background checks on gun sales and banned some semi-automatic weapons. The bill failed five years ago this week.

                              It was the 2013 setback that convinced Barden and Hockley to focus their school safety work on areas where they could have a more immediate impact.

                              “I could have stepped away from all of it after the Senate background checks failure, but instead I felt compelled to take it even further,” says Hockley.

                              So why think about another change in course now? For Barden, it’s about putting the tragic circumstances to productive political use in an effort to fix Congress from the inside. “I think my particular life experience, and then subsequent education, would lend itself well to that kind of work,” he says.

                              There are other considerations, too. Both Barden and Hockley have surviving children. Hockley is a single mother with a 13-year-old son, and Barden and his wife have teenage daughter and a college-bound son.

                              “I keep hoping somebody will say, ‘Here’s what you need to do and here’s why,’ but of course, they say, ‘You need to make the decision that’s right for you,'” Barden says.

                              Whatever he and Hockley decide, Barden says they’re grateful for each other’s friendship. “It’s comforting to have her as a sounding board, because we have come through this and have arrived at this place in our lives together,” he says. “It’s a real advantage for both of us to have the other—in not only making this decision, but with everything, really.”

                              In my opinion, Democrats would be fortunate to have either of these activists as a candidate for congress.
                              They have honed their political skills for a number of years.

                              The excerpts provided in this post are from the article "Democrats are asking two Sandy Hook parents to run for Congress, It's not an easy decision, written by Kara Voght. To read the entire article click
                              https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/04/democ...

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