Monday, April 9, 2018
Scott Pruitt--Poster Boy for Trump's "Drain the Swamp"
Last week, I spent a few days in southeast Georgia with my family. I was “turned off” and “tuned out” from my usual diet of cable news ten to twelve hours a day. Arriving back home and turning on the news, I was overcome with angst. There was so much craziness for me to catch up on, it was too much for my mind to comprehend. It seemed the level of chaos and turmoil had doubled in a short time. With Trump as President, it’s true, “if you miss a day, you miss a lot.”
FIRST, THERE was the story of the caravans of evil migrants headed to the Mexico/US border that Trump learned about while watching Fox and Friends. It took us days to find out what was really going on with the caravans. In the meantime, Trump calls for sending armed troops to the border and accuses the migrants of wanting to take advantage of DACA. (huh?) If only Trump had read or listened to his Daily Security Briefing he would not have had such a knee-jerk reaction. However, that’s his preferred way to deal with everything and create fear.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency (EPA) Head, Scott Pruitt, had at least two scandals a day last week. Pruitt rented a room from a lobbyist who represented companies Pruitt was supposed to be regulating. That’s normally a no-no for a cabinet official. He also got the room on the cheap. George and I visited Washington, D.C. twice a year for many years and our room sometimes cost as much as $200 per night. I did not know we could have gotten a room in a luxurious condo for the going market rate of $50 as Pruitt claims and Trump affirmed. It was such a good deal, after months of use, Pruitt refused to vacate and the owner had to change the locks. That’s sleazy!
IT WAS revealed that Pruitt has 18 full time security agents working 24/7, even when Pruitt is not on duty. This is triple that of other EPA administrators. Pruitt insists on First Class air travel for he and his security staff because people say things to him. I venture a bet that prior to these scandals being unearthed recently, Scott Pruitt could have walked the streets of New York or Forsyth, Georgia, and no one would have recognized him. Now we know he is paranoid. He built a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office. That begs the question, what is he afraid someone will hear? Security agents guard his office door in addition to the security to get into the building. His receptionist is surrounded by bullet-proof glass.
PRUITT, MEMBERS of his staff, and of course, his security detail, flew to Morocco to lobby the government to buy liquid natural gas (LNG). Clearly not his “yob, mon” except that his $50 room was compliments of the LNG lobbyist. The meeting was only for one day. Pruitt and his staff had a night’s lay-over in Paris and somehow missed their flight the next morning. Too bad. They had to stay in Paris for another day and night at a $44,000 cost to taxpayers.
WHEN THE White House denied Pruitt’s request to give two staffers from Oklahoma gi-normous salary increases, one $24k and the other $58k, Pruitt would not be deterred. He gave them the raise with money allocated for scientists through the Clean Drinking Water Act. When questioned about this, he said he did not know about it before it became public. Documents were produced showing he signed off on the raises. So, we now know he’s a liar. It appears Pruitt cares less about taxpayer resources than he does protecting the environment (if that’s possible.)
SO FAR, Trump seems inclined not to fire him. After all, he’s doing such a great job of destroying all the progress made to protect our environment in the past. A lackey of that caliber would be hard to replace. Just last week, he moved to lower auto fuel-economy standards that Obama set in place to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Trump needs to fire Scott Pruitt, if for no other reason than we cannot afford him!
I WISH Fox News would explain to Trump the meaning of “Drain the Swamp.” They are the only ones he listens to nowadays. The only draining of the swamp he is doing is replacing one creature with another. Every time he fires someone, he replaces them with someone worse. The pond scum is getting so thick, you can’t stir it with a stick.