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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 9559 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #690 on: July 04, 2018, 01:50:19 pm »
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #691 on: July 05, 2018, 09:47:30 pm »
Scandal Ridden Pruitt 🦖 Finally Resigns from EPA, Leaving Another Climate Denier 🦕 in Charge 👎

July 5, 2018

Sierra Club’s Mary Anne Hitt says Pruitt’s long list of scandals is only matched by his long list of attempted environmental rollbacks, and new acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler will advance the same deregulatory agenda


Story Transcript

DHARNA NOOR: It’s The Real News. I’m Dharna Noor.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt resigned on Thursday amidst numerous allegations of ethical and legal violations. Trump announced Pruitt’s resignation via Twitter, where he also said that EPA Deputy Administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler will assume the role of acting administrator this Monday. Just hours before Pruitt resigned, two congressmen called upon the EPA’s inspector general to investigate allegations that Pruitt has been hiding and falsifying calendar records of his meetings with industry officials. And these came in a slew of new allegations reported by The Washington Post on Monday. Aides also said that the administrator asked EPA staffers to help his wife get a six-figure job, and to perform many other nonofficial tasks.

Here to talk about all of this is Mary Anne Hitt. She’s the director of the Beyond Coal Campaign at the Sierra Club. Thanks for joining us today.

MARY ANNE HITT: Thanks for having me.

DHARNA NOOR: So first let’s talk a little bit about what we’re losing in Scott Pruitt. Let’s assess his record a little bit. So as you know, and many of you probably know, on Monday a schoolteacher named Kristen Mink actually confronted Pruitt in a D.C. restaurant and asked him to resign. Let’s see that clip.

KRISTIN MINK: I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you’re doing to the environment in our country. Meanwhile, you’re slashing strong standards for cars and trucks for the benefits of big corporations. We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, someone who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children. So I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.

DHARNA NOOR: So Mink castigated Pruitt for being a climate denier, for attacking clean air and water standards, for renting a condo from the spouse of a prominent fossil fuel lobbyist with whom he was in talks. This was just as a reminder at the time that he actually approved the Alberta Clipper pipeline, allowing hundreds of thousands more barrels of oil per day to flow to the United States from Canada’s tar sands. Talk a little bit about his record generally, and what Pruitt’s environmental impact was, and about his deregulatory agenda.

MARY ANNE HITT: Well, let me say first that I am a mom of an 8-year-old, and I found it very heartwarming when that mom stood up and I think said what a lot of us moms wish we could say to Scott Pruitt in person, which is that it’s our clean air and our clean water and the very safety of our kids that is on the line. And Scott Pruitt from day one in office was, frankly, working to dismantle the EPA. It was his life’s work formerly as the Oklahoma attorney general to try to find shortcuts or loopholes around our clean air and clean water standards, and from his first day on the job he began working at the behest of polluters to do just that.

And in doing so, if that wasn’t bad enough, he also was just-. It was just, frankly, a bottomless pit of scandals, of corruption, from multi-hundred dollar fountain pens, to accepting cheap rent from a lobbyist for a fossil fuel company, to tactical paants that were bought for him for the price of hundreds of dollars a pair. So it was really, frankly, I think-. Again, as a mom, as someone who’s worried about the safety of your air and water, the fact that he was that corrupt in his personal dealings was one thing. The fact that he was playing fast and loose with the water that we all drink and the air that we all breathe was what was truly scary about Scott Pruitt.

DHARNA NOOR: Talk a little bit more about what some of the impacts that he had were on clean air and clean water regulations. Talk a little bit more specifically about what some of his legacies will be, moving on from the EPA.

MARY ANNE HITT: Well, the long list of Scott Pruitt’s ethical scandals is only matched by a long list of air and water and climate regulations that he tried to roll back in his tenure at EPA. Everything from standards for how to dispose of toxic coal ash safely so it doesn’t end up in the drinking water, so you don’t have things like arsenic in your drinking water from coal ash, to the first ever climate standards that we had as a nation to reduce climate pollution from power plants. He was working to repeal and revoke those. You can talk about the safety of pesticides. You can talk about-. Really, Scott Pruitt never met an environmental regulation that he didn’t want to try to roll back or repeal. And the good news, if there is any, is that he didn’t get too far in that agenda. A lot of what he was trying to do, we believe, was illegal. And the Sierra Club and other groups were challenging him in court every step of the way. So he set a lot of bad things in motion. And we are worried that Andrew Wheeler, the number two at the EPA who is now in charge, will continue on that toxic agenda. But we also are very determined to fight them every step of the way.

DHARNA NOOR: Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit more about Andrew Wheeler. Again, he’s a former coal lobbyist. And I understand that your organization actually obtained emails between him and Scott Pruitt through the Freedom of Information Act. What did you find from those emails, and what do you generally expect from him as an EPA administrator?

MARY ANNE HITT: Well, I want to give a special shoutout to our attorneys and press folks at the Sierra Club. They paged through, I am not kidding you, almost 60000 pages of FOIA documents from the EPA that are the source of the information about a lot of these scandals that you saw on the news and you wrote about on the front pages of the newspaper. And Wheeler and Pruitt were definitely partners in crime, working to advance this agenda of rolling back our environmental safeguards that they’re going to continue full speed ahead with Wheeler at the helm, to try to get that agenda over the finish line. And we are going to be fighting at the Sierra Club and with all of our partners every step of the way to prevent that from happening. Because it really is, you know, just as the mom who confronted Scott Pruitt in the restaurant put it so so beautifully, it’s our kids future. It’s the safety of the water we drink and the air that we breathe. And that, that is what they are playing fast and loose with to benefit their polluter buddies.

DHARNA NOOR: And then, lastly, how can people hold the EPA administrator, whether it’s Pruitt, Wheeler, or somebody else accountable? What are some actions that people can take to ensure that, you know, we don’t have another EPA administrator like Scott Pruitt? Is that even possible?

MARY ANNE HITT: Well, the Sierra Club tonight is reaching out to all of our members and supporters and asking them to call their members of Congress, because Congress is the agency that does have oversight over the EPA. And obviously Trump is happy to have folks reading the EPA doing the bidding of polluters. And so our check on that is the Congress. And Scott Pruitt did get a lot of a lot of very hard questions, increasingly hard questions, every time he appeared before the Congress and before the Senate. That was a lot of what put him on the hot seat and, again, exposed some of this corruption.

And so we’re going to be counting on members of Congress now to do the same thing with Wheeler who, again, he’s a coal lobbyist. He has a very long and not very pretty track record when it comes to clean air, clean water. He’s got the same agenda as Pruitt and Trump, which is to dismantle all of our environmental safeguards. And so folks should call their members of Congress and ask them to oppose Wheeler and Trump’s agenda, and to actually put someone in charge of EPA who will let the EPA do its job and fulfill its mission. I’m sure the very hardworking folks at EPA are breathing a sigh of relief tonight, and would just like to be able to do their jobs to make sure our air and water are safe. And the Congress needs to allow the EPA to do just that. That’s what the American people are counting on.

DHARNA NOOR: All right. Well, Marianne, as we see what Wheeler and others do in the EPA we’ll be sure to check in again with you. Thanks so much for coming on today.

MARY ANNE HITT: Thank you so much for having me.

DHARNA NOOR: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/scandal-ridden-pruitt-finally-resigns-from-epa-leaving-another-climate-denier-in-charge
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #692 on: July 07, 2018, 08:11:42 pm »
How the Democrats take the Supreme Court back from Donald Trump 🦀

Tim Faulkner | 12:18 am EDT July 7, 2018

Palmer Report » Analysis

Article III, Section I of the Constitution states that “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” While the Constitution established the Supreme Court, it left it up to Congress to decide how to fill the court. The Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number at one chief justice and five associate justices.
 
While the intended purpose of the Supreme Court is to determine the constitutionality of laws, there have been several instances where the court was used for partisan political moves. When the Federalists lost power in 1800 the lame-duck Congress made a play to prevent President Thomas Jefferson from being able to make an appointment by reducing the number of justices to five. However, the incoming Congress repealed this to put the number back at six. In 1807, Congress increased it to seven.

Then in 1837, President Andrew Jackson was able to appoint two justices after Congress increased the number of justices to nine. Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, a Republican majority in Congress voted to reduce the number of justices to prevent Democrat President Andrew Johnson from appointing any new justices. When Ulysses S. Grant won the presidency in 1868, Congress increased it back to nine to allow him two appointments. The number of Supreme Court justices has remained at nine since the Judiciary Act of 1869.

With Donald Trump ready to announce his next appointment on Monday, there have been a multitude of strategies put forth for Democrats to attempt to prevent the confirmation. With so many critical laws that protect the rights of so many people at risk, this is an extremely important effort. When Andrew Johnson was about to be impeached, Congress passed the Judicial Act of 1866, which reduced the number of seats to prevent him from getting any appointments.
 
If the Republicans currently in Congress cared enough to put country over party, they could prevent Donald Trump from making another appointment, but we all know that will not happen. Instead, if Trump is able to push through his next choice, at least we know that once Democrats take back power, they have the ability to counter Trump’s appointments by adding two new seats which can be filled by justices who will actually make decisions to protect Americans, not hurt them.


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http://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/democrats-supreme-court-trump-back/11248/

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #693 on: July 10, 2018, 02:10:24 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Trump 🦀 is following EXACTLY the same playbook Hitler used in Germany to make the courts a handmaiden to fascist murder ☠️ and mayhem 💣. >:( God help us.

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stumbles out of the gate

Bill Palmer | 11:58 pm EDT July 9, 2018

Palmer Report » Analysis

Brett Kavanaugh just did a big favor for those who are seeking to defeat his nomination to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump could have picked any far-right judge and made his billionaire donors and extremist supporters happy. So why did he choose Kavanaugh specifically? You and I know that it obviously involved a private conversation about personal loyalty. But thanks to Kavanaugh’s big stupid mouth, now the whole world knows it.

After Donald Trump introduced Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee, Kavanaugh stepped to the microphone and said this: “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked to more people from more backgrounds to seek input for a Supreme Court nomination.” It was precisely what Trump wanted to hear. It was also the dumbest thing Kavanaugh has ever said in public, because he just personally married himself to Trump in the court of public opinion.

There are two ways we can convince mainstream America to ferociously stand up and fight against this Supreme Court pick. The first is to point out that Brett Kavanaugh will cast the deciding vote to overturn Roe v Wade, gay marriage, and other crucial rulings. This simply requires pointing to his existing record of far-right extremism. The second is to frame Kavanaugh as being a corrupt puppet of Donald Trump. This was going to be a difficult sell, until Kavanaugh just handed us the above quote.

I’ll post Brett Kavanaugh’s words about Donald Trump again, because this is the quote that you copy-paste and send to all your friends who wouldn’t normally care about the Supreme Court but who think Trump is a corrupt criminal: “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked to more people from more backgrounds to seek input for a Supreme Court nomination.”

These are not the words of a legitimate judge. They’re the words of a corrupt judge who is willing and eager to do Trump’s 🦀 personal bidding 🦍 at the expense of America.

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http://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/stumbles-brett-kavanaugh-trump-court/11298/

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #694 on: July 10, 2018, 10:55:12 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: It turns out there was ANOTHER RAT named Anthony Kennedy in the Supreme Crooks Court 😈 👹 💵 🎩 🍌 🏴‍☠️ ALL THE TIME!

Exposed: secret corrupt retirement deal between
Anthony Kennedy and Donald Trump 🦀

Bill Palmer | 6:04 pm EDT July 10, 2018

Palmer Report » Analysis

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was secretly negotiating with Donald Trump about his replacement, even as he was casting major pro-Trump votes that were out of character with his own judicial record. This comes on top of earlier revelations that Kennedy’s son played a key role at Trump’s favorite Russian money laundering bank. We’re now looking at a full blown scandal that’s getting uglier by the hour.


NBC News is now backing off from its earlier implication that Anthony Kennedy only agreed to retire if Donald Trump specifically picked Brett Kavanaugh, and is now reporting that Kennedy provided Trump with five names that would be acceptable to him. Brett Kavanaugh was the only conservative name on the list, so Kennedy would have known that Trump could only pick Kavanaugh. These negotiations reportedly began months ago. This means that Kennedy was secretly negotiating his retirement with Trump while he was casting the swing vote on issues like Trump’s Muslim Ban.


While Kennedy has sided with conservatives on fiscal issues, he’s often sided with liberals on civil rights issues like gay marriage; his vote in favor of the Muslim Ban was out of character. If Kennedy had voted against Trump on the Muslim Ban, at a time when he was negotiating with Trump over his potential replacement, it likely would have prompted the vindictive Trump to break off those negotiations. Kennedy would have known this – meaning that his final votes can be seen as fully corrupt.


If anyone were tempted to give Anthony Kennedy the benefit of the doubt about the corrupt nature of this secret deal, that goes out the window within the context of the fairly straight line that can be drawn from Kennedy to his son to Donald Trump to Russian money laundering to the Trump-Russia election rigging conspiracy. Kennedy’s legacy is clearly ruined; the only question is whether he’ll end up facing criminal charges. Follow the money.

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http://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/corrupt-kennedy-trump-exposed/11311/
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #695 on: July 13, 2018, 04:51:38 pm »
Truthout

July 13, 2018


Exploiting Pensions, Wall Street Cost Taxpayers $624 Billion Over Last Decade

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams: In a frenzied bid for higher profits in the decade following the 2008 financial crisis, Wall Street pension fund managers have siphoned as much as $624 billion from Americans' retirement savings -- and, as a direct result, taxpayer coffers -- through a vicious combination of high fees and foolish investment strategies.

Read the Article
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #696 on: Today at 12:25:46 pm »

Poisoning Our Children: The Parent's Guide to the Myths of Safe Pesticides

July 22, 2018 • 71,521 views 👀




Story at-a-glance

• In the U.S., there are about 80,000 registered chemicals. Of these, only a few hundred have been tested for safety, and even that testing is considered inadequate by most toxicologists

• Chemicals are tested in isolation. In real world application however, chemicals are used in combination, and the few studies done on synergetic effects reveal even nontoxic chemicals can become toxic when mixed together

The agricultural and global chemical industries have manipulated the system to control and suppress safety concerns. Through regulatory capture, regulators end up working for the industry’s 😈 👹 💵 🎩 rather than the public’s interest

• Regulators make decisions on the safety of poisons in our food and environment based on data provided by the company selling the toxin, and outsiders cannot review that evidence

• There’s no specific safety testing done for children, but studies show there is no lower level of pesticides that is safe for children

Read more:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/07/22/no-safe-limit-for-pesticides-for-children.aspx
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