What’d I Miss?

Done traveling. Scott Prutt being replaced by an oil industry lobbyist. Not exactly progress.

This time last year, Andrew Wheeler was a registered lobbyist working for the interests of one of the country’s largest coal-mining companies and a major uranium mining company. Starting Monday, he’s expected to become the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, where he’s been deputy administrator since April. …

…But while Pruitt’s ethics problems compounded during his time in office, Wheeler’s potential conflicts of interest are embedded in his résumé. And he’s emblematic of a sort of political dynamic that has come under increased scrutiny in the last decade — a reverse revolving door, through which lobbyists and consultants join the government and regulate the people who used to be their co-workers. …

…Pruitt’s philosophy of narrow EPA powers and state-led environmental regulation was certainly friendly to the oil and gas industry, but he was not formerly employed by it. His lapses have largely come in the form of ethical pratfalls, banana peels that he put on the floor and slipped on in the course of duty. Wheeler’s potential to favor former clients, in contrast, is a part of him. …

…Meanwhile, according to an investigation published in March 2018, the Associated Press tracked 59 EPA administration staffers that had been hired under Trump and found that about a third had been lobbyists or lawyers for fossil fuel producers, chemical companies or other corporate clients. In June 2017, Public Citizen analyzed the backgrounds of 115 Trump nominees to sub-Cabinet roles; 25 were current or former lobbyists or corporate consultants, 26 were corporate lawyers, and 29 were current or former corporate executives. Not all of those people were being hired to regulate the industries they’d recently left, but some were.

Pruitt is profoundly screwy. No halfway intelligent person would have behaved as he did at the EPA who was not pschologically miswired, through and through. Just a couple of days ago reports came out that Pruitt had gone directly to Trump and asked for Jeff Sessions’s attorney general job. That’s more than plain chutzpah.

And then there’s this:

The Trump administration is suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency report that warns that most Americans inhale enough formaldehyde vapor in the course of daily life to put them at risk of developing leukemia and other ailments, a current and a former agency official told POLITICO.

The warnings are contained in a draft health assessment EPA scientists completed just before Donald Trump became president, according to theofficials. They saidtop advisers to departing Administrator Scott Pruittare delaying its release as part of acampaign to undermine the agency’s independent research into the health risks of toxic chemicals.

Andrew Wheeler, the No. 2 official at EPA who will be the agency’s new acting chief as of Monday, also has a history with the chemical. He was staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2004, when his boss, then-Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), sought to delay an earlier iteration of the formaldehyde assessment.

Kinda warms your heart, huh? Or maybe that burn you feel is something else.

Also, too, just reported by the Los Angeles Times:

The worst of this week’s heat wave hit Friday, bringing record-breaking temperatures, at least two brush fires and a good bit of misery to Southern California.

Even before noon, several places broke heat records for the day, including downtown Los Angeles, which hit 95 degrees, Burbank and Van Nuys. The San Diego County community of Ramona reached its highest recorded temperature — 112 degrees — by 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

It’s expected to get hotter in the afternoon, with the National Weather Service forecasting the high in downtown L.A. to reach 106, shattering the July 6 record of 94 degrees. In Woodland Hills, where the temperature hit 110 before noon, could peak at a scorching 117 degrees. Forecasters expect a record-breaking 115 degrees in Van Nuys and 106 in Long Beach.

See also Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week.

And we’ve got an oil lobbyist in charge of the environment. Grand.

12 thoughts on “What’d I Miss?

  1. This is barely being reported at all:

    Russian officials and state media mock 'weak' GOP senators after Moscow visit

    "Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers who visited Moscow over the Fourth of July holiday and gloated about the Kremlin's role in electing President Donald Trump."

    "Seven U.S. senators and one congresswoman — Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) — traveled to Russia for closed-door meetings with high-ranking Kremlin officials."


    "The Alabama Republican dismissed the widespread agreement among U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election, but Russian TV hosts disagreed."

    "'What trouble did we cause?' one Russian TV analyst said last week, before the senators arrived. 'We just elected Trump, that's all.'"


    "Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers as 'weak,' saying their tough talk changed after arriving in Moscow."

    "'We need to look down at them and say: You came because you needed to, not because we did,' said Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko on state-run television."

    So these "tough" GOP senators went to Moscow on their knees, were openly mocked as weak, laughed at for their effort.  Meanwhile, Russian newscasters reported they elected Trump.  And this from the tough guys who complained loud and long about Obama "apologizing" for America.

    Just more circumstantial evidence that its not just Trump, the GOP itself is owned by Putin. Putin has something on the GOP itself that, if published…not sure how to finish that; given the slavish cultishness of their followers, they may even love them more if whatever they got on them was published, not matter what it was.

    This happened on July 4th, and the media basically avoided it.  Just imagine if democrats had done something like this; they'd have the breathless reports with air raid sirens going 24/7.  

    You couldn't have made this up if you wanted to.

  2. Maybe just maybe our MSM will start focusing on the harm being inflicted to our environment instead of Pruitt's many mostly meaningless scandals? The guy was certainly a crook but the real harm he did in the way of scrapping EPA rules got little if any attention. Perhaps that was the plan, to distract the media with juicy scandals while they rolled back everything that been accomplished in the last decade? Unfortunately the same folks that use to pay our new EPA chief are still paying off much of the MSM in ad revenue?


  3. IMO, the scandals are useful because they tell us what kind of people they are. Trails of corruption/selfishness usually means a human who's morally bereft and is usually incorrigibly so.  I'd hope that saner cultures would try to not allow people made like that to be anywhere near positions of power.

    I try to ask conservatives how exactly, they believed the swamp would be drained and what they thought all that talk actually meant.

  4. You didn't miss a trade war! It's gonna be the trade war to end all trade wars. Trump is going to make the world safe for trade again.


  5. CSM: I saw that story. Absolutely pathetic. Are any of those clowns up in November? If I were a Dem candidate, I’d sure be sharpening the attack ads:

    “While you and your family were celebrating the Nation’s
    Birthday, your Senator was playing kissy-face with Trump’s boss.”

  6. Imagine if Brussels, not to pick on them, adopted a policy that any American changing planes at the airport is to be detained. As part of the detention, children are separated from their parents by deception and/or force and sent to Bulgaria. After days of confinement parents are promised they'll be allowed to continue their trip with their kids if they sign a confession. They do.

    Once they board the plane, they discover their kids aren't on the plane. Not allowed to disembark, they try from NYC to locate their kids only to find there is no means or intention to return the kids who are being put in foster care, possibly up for adoption in Europe.

    Americans would be demanding a declaration of war. But based on testimony that's emerging, the Trump policy seems to be this. Kids were separated from their parents at the border when those families legally requested asylum in the US. The assumption of DOJ is thatt the parents proved themselves to be unfit by the action of showing up in the US -legally. Parents were told they would be reunited with their kids if they 'volunteered' to waive refugee rights and sign to be deported. The kids weren't ever joined with parents even though the adults were shipped out. From what happened yesterday in court, the intention seems compellingly clear. The reunification of parents and kids isn't happening because there's no provision for getting them back together. There ne.ver was a plan, because there never was the intent to give the kids back. 

    The scheme is/was too big to keep secret. Some of the orders had to be conveyed in writing. If Dems take the House, there needs to be investigations, demands for evidence and incarcerations for contempt of Congress if one shred of anything is withheld or deleted. This IS the scandal that Benghazi never was.


  7. I had a "discussion" with a couple Trumper friends of mine last night, they are in full FAUX news state media programed mode, everything is great, why he's already made America great again. I asked for just one metric they could point to besides the fact that the air here in Northwest Indiana is as dirty as it was back in the 80's and they both pointed to the stock market. So I showed them of a few facts with my "smart phone" the dow went up roughly 250% under Obama, so far under tRump it is up but just 25%, they shouted "fake news"? I have a few tRumper friends that are on the fence but these two are the worst they sit and watch the rally's, they DVR Hannity, these guys are truly lost to a "Cult".

  8. Trump cultists don't dare speak blasphemy lest they risk being shunned by their tribe to face the fear that alone, they are nothing.

  9. 5pm Friday and I was on the 5 freeway in Orange County California (major north-south interstate), and my Corolla's Japanese-reliable thermometer said it was 117 degrees outside. The climate change denialists are looking more and more stupid with each weather event. Just wait till our expanded fire season really gets going. Again.

    I had slipped into an air-conditioned movie theater to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor – an excellent biography of Mr Rogers. 

     There’s a scene toward toward the end, where, with the conservative revolution of the early 1980s, people were marching outside Rogers’ studio protesting against his (and Jesus’) message that everyone has intrinsic value. Protesters claimed this is what produced a generation of entitled brats.

    Someone observed that the poor kids drafted into their parents’ campaign of hate looked so miserable and sad. They did.

    I never would’ve believed it at the time, but “Mr Rogers Neighborhood” is an artifact from the pinnacle of this country’s fleeting golden age, when something as kind, gentle, and beneficial as this could actually be seen on the public – public! – airwaves.

    There’s a biography of Fred Rogers that exposes his radical counter culture beliefs, partly obscured within a one of a kind children’s show.

    re Scott Pruitt – his replacement will be a much more efficient tool minus Pruitt’s penny ante grifting that got him into so much trouble.

    There’s an incidental scene I remember from a forgotten dystopian novel. The main character is walking by a stream, with a pipe discharging thorium (or some horrible industrial effluent) into the water. The novel noted that the pipe was properly marked as such, implying that this was the entire and complete responsibility of the authorities. Not to stop such horrors, but to make nice about them, to make it seem like everything is well in hand, and to otherwise not lift a finger against them, or do anything on behalf of the beleaguered population.

  10. Jim Jordan misses the exhilaration of having his head scissor locked in his opponents crotch. He says there's no greater pleasure than savoring the sweet aroma of a male musk from a competitor's crotch brought on by state level championship competitions. Ambrosia! 

    Maybe the recent news exposure will bring "coach" out of the closet. The little perv says he going to the mat with his denials, but he's already tipped his hand by following his denial with an, "If I did", statement. 

     Now he's saying that whatever he might have heard about Dr. Strauss fiddlin' with team members was just considered locker room talk. He's taking a page out of Trump's playbook.

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