1. DonDueed says

    Raise your hand if you think the next person Trump puts in there is going to be a staunch defender of the environment.

  2. alixmo says

    Good news! But can the EPA be saved? Can the dismantling of the regulatory and welfare state by the Republicans be stopped?

    I fear long term propaganda has destroyed many people`s belief in the EPA. Wrongly – it is needed more than ever.

  3. cartomancer says

    Has he resigned? Or is it just that the spells of binding that keep him in our world have degraded, and he’s escaped back to the fume-choked hell dimension from whence he came?

  4. tomh says

    Great, Pruitt’s gone, here’s a description from the NYT (yeah, I know, the NYT, but their news reporting is as good as any) of the acting head of the EPA.

    “Mr. Wheeler is viewed as a consummate Washington insider who avoids the limelight and has spent years effectively navigating the rules. For that reason, Mr. Wheeler’s friends and critics alike say, he could ultimately prove to be more effective than his controversial former boss in implementing President Trump’s deregulatory agenda.”


  5. robro says

    The reports I’ve seen about the Pruitt resigning are leading with recent accusations of abuse of Federal funds since he took the position. They are not leading with his deep and long time connections to industries under EPA regulation, which were well know before he was approved by the Republican Senate. Or what he’s given those industries by undermining regulation and enforcement.

  6. jrkrideau says

    The major news networks need a “Resignations Today” report like a daily weather report.

    I am getting the feeling that working for Joe Stalin meant a longer career in Gov’t than with Trump. Is there an American Gulag for ex-Trump officials? If not, there is probably room at Guantanamo.

  7. microraptor says

    If he thinks this is a way to get out of prosecution, unfortunately he’s probably right.

  8. xmp999 says

    I think I’ll hold off the rejoicing until we know who the replacement will be. As for prosecution, I don’t think he has anything to worry about. Trump will just pardon him…

  9. willj says

    Loved his resignation letter: “I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence.” Yup, he’s senator material.

  10. Saad says

    It’ll almost certainly work.

    Didn’t Sarah Sanders violate some ethics rule in using her Twitter account to talk about Red Hen restaurant? Her punishment consisted of people pointing it out.

  11. raven says

    So Pruitt is gone. Big deal.
    He is one of many interchangeable anti-environment clones
    It’s not like wrecking the environment takes any sort of special talents.

    I can see the perfect replacement.
    James Watt, Reagan’s secretary of interior. He is still alive.
    James Watt. We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand. … After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back,”
    (This quote is sometimes disputed. It is true though that James Watt was a wild eyed fundie Rapture Monkey. He certainly acted like the environment was disposable.)

  12. says

    Raven @12: “We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand. … After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back,”
    Our Lord and saviour was nailed to a wooden cross, of course he hates trees. Wood stops zombies AND vampires, all these blood smokers hate trees.

  13. says

    Pruitt was placed in that position to dismantle the EPA. He has done a great job of that. The Republicans won’t go after him for doing their bidding.
    I wonder if the edict signed by our dear leader can be used to charge him of infiltrating a government agency in the name of lobbyists?

  14. jack16 says

    I’ve heard a suggestion that Pruitt will “Retire” to a very comfortable position.


  15. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    I wonder if he thinks that is a way to avoid prosecution for corruption?

    What country do you think this is exactly? Pruitt did what he was bidden to do. His extravagant expenses on security are simply indications that he vehemently believes the “ecoterrorist” propaganda. That there might have been an environmentalism uprising when he started to shred the EPA. Pruitt came, he shredded and is now willing to fall on his sword for dear leader. Trump will pardon if the need arises, he’s done well for the administration.

    You see Pruitt’s leaving as a reason to rejoice. It’s not. This is how it’s done, Pruitt goes berserk and then takes off. They bring in another berserker who will do their part, take as much heat as they can before they bail too. This slash and burn tactic is a symptom of a larger strategy, it’s not a minor reason to rejoice. Things are about to get a lot worse.

    On a wider analysis, why do you suppose Trump had Pruitt go as berserk as he did? They could have been much lower key about it all. It’s because they have limited time to do what needs to be done. Gutting the EPA is a giveaway to sectors of the economy and Trump expects something in return. What do you suppose he’ll ask for? I’ll tell you what. Trump wants money, not for himself though.

    I need to put this here first. When Umberto Eco wrote of future fascism he said.

    Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority…

    The Democratic party has essentially abandoned the working class in favor of moderate republicans. So those frustrated, humiliated and frightened blue collar workers Schumer is talking about feel like they have nowhere to go. It’s blatantly obvious what the Trump administrations next strategic move is, to capture a larger voter base for a second term. With one fiasco after another how are they going to do that?

    Trump is giving some sectors of the economy huge gifts, like the gutting of the EPA for example, so that they will throw resources into a new massive infrastructure program. (Just like he promised in his campaign) Trump’s also hitting up countries like Saudi Arabia et al. It will be billed as a public infrastructure/jobs program, a regular orgy of public spending on private enterprise to rebuild a failing infrastructure. they are calling it a “Marshall plan”.

    The point is to win over those disenfranchised middle class voters that the Democratic party holds in such disdain. We’ll have to see in time if my reckoning is half what it used to be.

    Not altogether beside the point, how did the NAZI party get the backing of the middle class? People were hauling around wheelbarrows full of Deutsche Marks, by the time Hitler was done building the middle class they would have followed him into hell. Which they did. They were willing to turn a blind eye to the most outrageous policies as long as it didn’t “break their leg or pick their pockets”. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes the Trump admin has made, if he comes through with that infrastructure program it’s game over. He can grab all the pussies he wants and people will cheer him for it.

    But, you know, I’m just a doddering old fool that’s probably been watching politics too long. Maybe I’m full of it, I’m seeing crap that ain’t there. Could be. Or maybe things are about to go to hell in a handbasket. We’ll see in a bit, because if that is the Trump card they’re playing, (oh damn that pun was bad), it’ll have to be done after midterms but before his next bid for Pres. Like I said, Pruitt’s job was to gut the EPA for various interests and he had to do it aggressively. You have to take it all in context. It’s like rejoicing that a robber left without taking anything from the safe, but they decimated all your security devices. Golly wasn’t that a weird thing for a thief to do. Just wait, the stage was being set and the second act is about to start.

  16. tacitus says

    On a wider analysis, why do you suppose Trump had Pruitt go as berserk as he did? They could have been much lower key about it all. It’s because they have limited time to do what needs to be done.

    You’re wrong there. A much lower key, more calculating EPA boss would have been far more effective over the last 18 months that Pruitt has been. A number of Pruitt’s initiatives have floundered because his half-assed approach didn’t pass muster with the courts.

    Also, you are mistaken if you believe this was part of Trump’s plan. He’s been winging it all along.

  17. Ichthyic says

    I’m with MrDead. his take is spot on. don’t follow what trump is doing, you idiots. follow what people like PAUL RYAN are doing.

    you’re letting this all happen because you think the stupid will just implode in on itself, but you’re just watching the puppet.

    and if you think the midterms are going to change ANY of this… you’re all deluded morons.

  18. bassmanpete says

    If Trump pardons someone, is it possible for the following president to say “To hell with that mate, you’re going down” and annul the pardon? Or possibly find some other charges to bring against the pardoned person?

  19. says

    @#20, bassmanpete:

    Hahahaha! Oh, that’s hilarious! You think there will be a president who will actually prosecute any of these jerks? Don’t you remember 2009? We had what was the greatest war criminal of modern times, somebody who was absolutely a shoo-in for either a hanging or life imprisonment at a trial, the case would practically have built itself, all they had to do was turn him (and his VP) over, and the Democrats told us “we have to look forward, not backward” instead of lifting a finger. Bush and Cheney might as well have received a pardon from Obama — but they didn’t because Obama did things which are just as bad (hey, remember that fellow Gaddafi who was the leader of a sovereign government we overthrew on a whim?) and so nobody can prosecute them without prosecuting Obama as well and most Democrats would sooner kill themselves than admit the Obama was a war criminal just like Bush.

    And all of that’s because the infrastructure of the Democratic Party will do anything whatsoever — including scuttling candidates who are projected to win — for corporate cash. If anybody wins office and then goes off-script and tries to act in the actual public interest, jeopardizing the cash flow, they are quickly set up for failure — remember Elizabeth Warren’s consumer protection agency? Remember how Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the actual chair of the DNC, sided with Republicans to make sure that agency had no teeth?

    It’s carefully done — no one Democrat scuttles left-wing policy on all the issues and risks being voted out of office; Wasserman Schultz and Kaine (and, back when they were in Congress, Lieberman and Clinton) make sure there’s nothing to stop the banks and Wall Street. Manchin is one of the healthcare-suborning crew. They take turns approving Republican appointments and nominations. It’s all theater — the party exists to put up “resistance” to the Republicans which consistently just barely falls short of succeeding in a dramatic way, always because of one or two “dissenters” (who are really doing exactly what the party wants). Whenever things go so far that not even corporate money and corporate media can keep the Republicans in control, suddenly the Democratic Party turns into the Keystone Kops and bungle everything they try to do until the electorate gives up.

    Assuming the Democrats don’t run another corporation-in-a-pantsuit-style candidate in 2020 and manage to beat Trump — which is by no means certain — we will see a repeat of the Obama playbook which worked so well last time: calls for reasonable compromise no matter how clearly-stated it is that the Republicans absolutely will not change any of their stances one iota, a refusal to punish the guilty from previous administrations, and if all else fails an issue which was barely mentioned during the campaign will suddenly be brought forward as the only serious issue, for which all other business must wait, so that Congress can wait out the clock to give us some mediocre garbage bill which was originated at a right-wing think-tank. Then the Republicans will, predictably, declare that garbage bill a threat to America because it was passed by the Democrats, and Democratic Party Loyalists — who have, on average, about three more functioning brain cells than Republican Party Loyalists, giving them a total of 12 — will insist that no, the garbage bill is the greatest thing since sliced bread and absolutely the best that the Democratic Party could possibly have done. Meanwhile, the 1%, who pulled all those strings, will laugh all the way to the bank.

    It wasn’t even funny to watch Lucy pull away the football in the comic strips. Seeing the Democratic Party do it to their base in real life is nauseating.

  20. bassmanpete says

    OK Vicar, so it’s going to take a revolution to change things. The trouble with revolutions is that the idealists who start them tend to get bumped off by the thugs who take advantage of the situation. End result; nothing really changes.

  21. alixmo says

    I agree with MrDead (no17) and The Vicar (no 21), which is absolutely frightening. I would like to say “leftists of the West, wake up!”, but the whole “waking up”-shtick is already getting ab-used by far right propagandists. I am a bit depressed, thinking how this will all play out.

    There is an article in the Guardian: “Global temperature rises could be double those predicted by climate modelling / Researchers say sea levels could also rise by six metres or more even if 2 degree target of Paris accord met”

    This is the result of failed politics from “both sides”. Both are upholding a destructive economic system that is absolutely failing not only socially (the Wealth Gap is enormous, yes, obscene) but also risking the future of humanity (and of course democracy and civil society) by destroying the environment.

    The sociopathic callousness of the Republicans is the main problem. They lie, manipulate and cheat. And the Democrats are enablers. Both coming together brought us the very real return of fascism – in the worst moment in time ever: Humanity has to (!) cooperate to tackle global problems like Climate Change. Instead, we fight like dogs over the crumbs that fall from the master`s table. We get pitted against each other (working class people versus migrants etc).

    Meanwhile the kleptocracy continues to get richer and to destroy the biosphere.

    And the mainstream Media fails us again, not talking about the real, the main issue at hand.

  22. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    18 tacitus

    You’re wrong there. A much lower key, more calculating EPA boss would have been far more effective over the last 18 months that Pruitt has been.

    They don’t have time for subtlety, a few years election cycle seems like a long time, it’s not. Let me put it this way. Pruitt wasn’t chosen for competence, but for his willingness to swing a scythe. Sure it’s not all going to work out perfectly, that’s not really going to matter in the long run. As I said, half Pruitt’s purpose was to slash regulations, the other half is to burn. There has been a lot of very precisely aimed regulatory rollbacks and outright lawlessness which are going to tie the EPA up in lawsuits with the private sector for a long time to come. Each of which represent an opportunity to make Pruitt’s changes permanent. Trump expects quid pro quo for that. He’s going to get it too. Because as good as Trump et al have been for them this term, a second term will be where the real money is at.

    Also, you are mistaken if you believe this was part of Trump’s plan. He’s been winging it all along.

    I agree, Trump relies on impulse with little to no forethought, I’ll give you that. Reactionary to the core and I mean that in more than the political sense. The guy literally reacts to stimuli without a modicum of thought. He will even contradict things he says only moments before. That isn’t necessarily a disadvantage with him though. You want to know why most of the chicanery and lies slide off Trump’s back? Because it’s so difficult to establish mens rea with a cretin. Sounds like a joke, unfortunately it isn’t.

    At the same time there is still quite a bit of competency within the administration’s bureaucracy. While the buffoon is taking up our attention, there are a lot of people working very diligently to bring about their version of America. They’re the real deal just like we were warned, wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross, the slippery slope. The whole shebang.

    I hope I’m wrong. We’re going to find out soon enough if my, admittedly, heuristic analysis is correct. Mid to late 2019 thereabouts.

  23. mikehuben says

    The basic problem is that regulatory capture is not a crime. As long as businesses can legally have the government do their bidding, they can be unrestrained in their struggle against our interests and for their own.

    Any other corruption from Scott Pruitt is penny-ante and not worth discussing.

  24. says

    @22, bassmanpete

    OK Vicar, so it’s going to take a revolution to change things.

    I’m not sure about Vicar’s conspiracy theory, but a forceful revolution probably isn’t actually necessary. Some hard-core grassroots democracy could make changes. And some people are trying, see the Democratic Socialists of America.

    I’ve got ideas, like a democratic organization (properly democratic, proportional and ranked preference). With a constitution to limiting it and guiding it (preventing money in elections, enshrining some basic progressive goals). Could do all kinds of things (like whatever people vote for it to do?). Lobbying to get the real governments to do what the people want, getting money out of real politics…

  25. Ichthyic says

    Lobbying to get the real governments to do what the people want, getting money out of real politics…


    good luck getting the money out of politics. it’s all that has been driving it so far this century.

    you’re gonna have to eat the rich first. that’s just the way it is.