Tag Archives: Republican corruption

Enumerati

Pruitt Owes $124k for Improper Travel Expenses

$124,000

The EPA’s inspector general recommended recovering nearly $124,000 in improper travel expenses by former EPA chief Scott Pruitt, the Washington Post reports. “The findings, issued nearly a year after Pruitt resigned amid controversy over his spending, travel and ties to lobbyists and outside groups, highlight the fiscal impact of his penchant for high-end travel and accommodations.”

Enumerati

Trump’s Big Donors get Ambassadorships

$350,000

An NBC News review of those who donated to the Trump inauguration “found at least 14 major contributors to its inaugural fund who were later nominees to become ambassadors, donating an average of slightly over $350,000 apiece. Though the Trump administration says the business acumen of these nominees qualifies them to represent the U.S. abroad, six of the 14 nominations have languished for months in the Republican-controlled Senate. One nomination has stalled for about two years.”

Verbatim

Brown: If Abrams Doesn’t Win, ‘They Stole It’

“If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it. It’s clear.”

— Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), quoted by The Hill, on Georgia’s race for governor.

Enumerati

Price Wasted $341k on Unapproved Travel

$341,000

“Tom Price, the former secretary of health and human services, repeatedly violated government travel rules and wasted at least $341,000 by billing taxpayers for his use of chartered jets and military aircraft,” the New York Times reports. “The inspector general examined 21 trips in which Mr. Price had used chartered aircraft, military aircraft, commercial aircraft or the fleet of planes equipped for use by the president and vice president. He found that 20 of the 21 flights did not comply with federal requirements.”

Verbatim

With Mulvaney, Money Talks

“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”

— White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, quoted by the New York Times.

Enumerati

EPA’s Pruitt Uses Four Email Addresses

4

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “has used four separate agency email addresses since taking office, according to Senate Democrats and an EPA official, prompting concerns among agency lawyers that the EPA has not disclosed all the documents it would normally release to the public under federal records requests,” the Washington Post reports.

News & Comment

Chait: ‘Corruption, Not Russia, Is Trump’s Greatest Political Liability’

Read Jonathan Chait’s takedown of the Trump gang’s malfeasance at New York Magazine.

Enumerati

Cruz Failed to Disclose Campaign Loan from Goldman Sachs

$1.1 million

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “improperly accounted for loans he received from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. during his 2012 campaign, saying the funds were his own personal contributions to the Senate race,” Bloomberg reports. “The finding, released on the FEC website, marked a rare instance of agreement among the agency’s five commissioners, who voted unanimously that the $1.1 million of loans from the banks should have been disclosed to voters.”

Verbatim

Don’t Do the Crime Unless Your Girlfriend Will Do the Time

Some people would call it chivalry, some people call it sexism — that the man should come forward and not let the woman do time on his behalf.

— U.S. District Judge Robert Scola, quoted by the Miami Herald, who gave former Rep. David Rivera’s (R-FL) friend, Ana Alliegro, a one-year jail sentence.

News & Comment

Obama Thwarts GOP Political Hostage-Taking with Recess Appointment of Richard Cordray to Head Consumer Watchdog Agency

Pres. Obama announces nomination of Richard Cordray, right, with Elizabeth Warren, left, looking on
Pres. Obama announces nomination of Richard Cordray, right, with Elizabeth Warren, left, looking on

If you’re just checking in on Washington politics after the holidays and the Iowa caucuses, you’re likely hearing that Republicans in Congress and their throught-masters at Fox are in a spittle-spewing rage over Pres. Obama’s recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Board, or CFPB, watchdog agency.

After successfully blocking the nomination of Elizabeth Warren, the consumer advocate and Harvard professor who had been appointed to set up the CFPB — and who is now running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts — last year, Senate Republicans tried to stop Cordray’s appointment during the current recess by briefly gaveling the Senate in and out of pro forma sessions every day. Obama went around this and appointed Cordray by using a precedent set by Republican Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, who, in 1903, filled more than 160 administration positions while the Senate was on break for less than a day.

Republicans were holding the Cordray nomination hostage in order to extort a major overhaul of the laws that would, in essence, defang the watchdog agency. The Republicans’ objective was to ensure that their corporate sponsors in the financial industry would be able to continue to rip off consumers, including the constituents of these hostage-taking Republicans senators, legally, as they had been when Republicans controlled Congress, the Judiciary and Executive branches during the Bush administration.

Under the sway of their minority tea-bagger base, Republicans used political extortion multiple times last year to push the national and world economy to the brink of collapse. Their motives then were simply to create havoc. The extortion over the Warren and Cordray nominations has a different goal, says Jonathan Chait:

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