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Earth Day, 2018
In his zeal to undo all the good that President Obama did for Mother Earth, Donald Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to be his Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
For reasons which we, in our naïveté, fail to grasp, he was confirmed by the Senate on February 17, 2017. The vote was 52-46, mostly along partisan lines, but with Maine’s Susan Collins, a sensible Republican (there are only a few of them), voting no, and with Democrats Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Joe Mancin (West Virginia) voting yes. Both Heitkamp and Mancin are up for re-election.
After he completed law school at the University of Tulsa, Pruitt started a solo legal practice, in Tulsa, which he named “Christian Legal Services,” in which he focused on defending Christians in religious liberty cases.
After five years of practice, he ran for the State Senate representing Broken Arrow. He served two terms as a State Senator.
His representation of Broken Arrow coincides neatly with Oklahoma’s history. When Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson succeeded John Quincy Adams in 1829, he took it upon himself, In the “Trail of Tears," to remove thousands of Native Americans from the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. Over the years, the government of these here United States broke hundreds of treaties with Native Americans.
A Southern Baptist, Pruitt told a radio interviewer in 2005 that there are "not sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution."
In 2010, he successfully ran for Attorney General of Oklahoma, and he was reelected in 2014.
Over the years, the oil and gas industry gave Pruitt more than $300,000 for his campaigns.
As Attorney General, he sued the EPA to block its Clean Power Plan and also the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule. He also sued the EPA on behalf of Oklahoma utilities who were unwilling to take on the burdens of additional regulation of their coal-fired plants.
As of June 2014, all of his lawsuits against the EPA had failed.
Immediately on taking over at the EPA, Pruitt began taking apart all the EPA regulations which had been promulgated by President Obama’s EPA. That’s exactly what Trump wanted him to do.
Recently, Pruitt has committed numerous ethical lapses (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/20/pruitt-condo-lobbyist-leaving-firm-543508), but Trump has yet to deal with him as unceremoniously as he has with HHS Secretary Tom Price, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Rex Tillerson at State, Cary Cohn as the Director of his National Economic Council, and on and on. Why? Because Pruitt’s been very aggressively doing exactly what Trump wants.
It’s no secret in Washington that Pruitt wants Trump to nominate him to succeed Jeff Sessions when Sessions, after many battles with Trump, will either be fired or resign of his own accord to go back to Mobile.
And after he becomes Attorney General, we here at AP have absolutely no doubt that he’ll run for president after Trump completes his third term.
But associate solitary reporter Matt Christensen, who is based in Oklahoma City, has been following Pruitt’s career for many years. So Christensen called us earlier today to tell us that since Pruitt’s days at the EPA are numbered, he’ll have to go back to Oklahoma, where, no doubt, he’ll run for governor.
Christensen is as much of a sleuth as ASR Susanna Sherman. He tells us that when Pruitt runs for governor of Oklahoma, he’ll let it be known that since nobody outside the Sooner State likes Oklahoma, Pruitt will at least plant the seeds of a movement for Oklahoma to secede.
The reasons for Pruitt wanting to do that are simple: Oklahoma loves having earthquakes which have been associated with the state’s huge petroleum industry. As Christensen told Sherman, “The weather here isn’t favorable; the land is mostly flat; Republicans control everything; and it’s in the middle of the Bible Belt."
Christensen talked w 83-year old Sen. James Inhofe and Sen. James Lankford, as well as with Gov. Mary Fallin. All of them are very conservative Republicans, but Pruitt has them all beat. Inhofe is best known as a bigtime climate change denier. Fallin issued a proclamation in 2016, declaring October 13 to be Oilfield Prayer Day, calling upon Christians to “thank God for the blessing created by the oil and natural gas industry and to seek His wisdom and ask for protection."
When he was a State Senator, Pruitt opposed abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and the Affordable Care Act, and, of course, any regulation ever issued by the EPA.
Associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith inserted herself through an open window into Pruitt’s home in Washington, where she observed him meeting with Charles and David Koch.
“Tell you what,” Pruitt said. “The values of we Oklahomans are so different from the rest of the country — and we thrive on that. But eventually, we’re gonna have to secede.”
“When I get ready to do that,” Pruitt continued, “I’m definitely gonna need your Tea Party base.”
Associate solitary reporter Lewis Thompson asked Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a moderate Democrat who is likely either to challenge Colorado’s junior senator, Cory Gardner, in 2020, or to (possibly) run against Trump in 2020, what he thinks about the possibility of Oklahoma, which borders Colorado, seceding.
“Lewis, I would have to reserve judgment on that."
"But there are thousands of Coloradans who would love that."
It beats the hell out of us here at AP as to how Donald Trump gets anything done — although as Apocryphal Press fans know, he hasn’t done anything good since January 20, 2017.
Trump simply doesn’t get the separation of powers in this country.
He spends at least half his time lambasting anybody who disagrees with him, especially his former close personal friend, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or the FBI, led by Christopher Wray, whom Trump picked to run that formerly independent agency.
He greatly envies Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, as they don’t have to trifle with such inconvenient things as term limits (however, we have previously reported that he fully intends to serve a third term).
Now that Trump’s Fixer-in-Chief, lawyer Michael Cohen, is thinking about flipping and spilling the beans to prosecutors to protect his butt, Trump has hired former US Attorney and failed presidential candidate (and fellow loudmouth) Rudy Giuliani, a New Yorker (and you know what that means!) to help him defend himself from Robert Mueller III ((https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/19/giuliani-to-join-trump-legal-team-538371).
Giuliani used to be a Democrat; then he became an Independent; but since the 1980s, he’s been a gawp (GOP). He really really wanted Trump to name him as his Secretary of State or Attorney General, but Trump went for his fellow xenophobe, Jeff Sessions, for AG, and we know what happened to Rex Tillerson — the guy who wanted to shrink the State Department to almost nothing (and CIA Director Mike Pompeo is going to have a really hard time getting himself confirmed…).
General Alexander Haig was Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, and he also served as Gerald Ford’s chief of staff. Haig was Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State; and, in 1981, following the March 30 assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Haig told reporters, “I am in control here” when Reagan was hospitalized (Reagan was inaugurated for the first time on January 20, 1981.)
Rudy Giuliani ran for President as a Republican in 1988.
Trump is clearly incapacitated. Just ask associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones, as well as anybody who watches television.
ASR Lewis Thompson III, who very clearly remembers Haig’s 1981 “I am in control” remark, spoke, moments ago, with associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones.
Jones is in frequent contact with Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers. Only three minutes ago, Jones asked Ayers how ready Pence is to take over.
“Shoulda happened a long time ago, Johanna.”
“But everybody who works in the White House is scared s_____ s__s of Trump. These days, nobody would ever walk in front of a White House camera and say ’'I’m in control whenever Trump has a meltdown.’"
“But don’t tell anybody I said that!”
“After all, don’t forget, I’m only 35, and I sure as hell don’t wanna lose my job."
Raul Castro Tells San Antonio's Castro Twins That They are Fidel's Illegitimate Sons; Cornyn et al. Are Not So Sure About Trump in 2020
86-year-old Raul Castro is still in charge of Cuba’s Communist Party, even though he just turned over the government to 57-year old electrical engineer Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Our chief international correspondent and associate solitary reporter Larry Theis (who is fluent in Spanish and numerous other languages, including Mongolian, Belarusian, Chechen, Georgian, and Swahili) interviewed Raul this morning. “Raul, mi viejo amigo, tienes solo 86 años, entonces, qué siege en tu futuro?" ("Raul, old buddy, you're only 86, so what comes next for you in your life?”)
“Tengo algo que decirles a los hermanos Castro en San Antonio” (“I have something to say to the Castro brothers in San Antonio”).
Raul was referring to 43 year old Joaquin Castro, a Democratic Congressman from San Antonio, and his twin brother, Julian Castro, who was mayor of San Antonio and then President Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Community Development. Hillary almost tapped Julian as her running mate in 2016.
“Entonces, qué quieres decir a Julian y Joaquin?” ("So what do you want to say to the Castro brothers?”)
“Voy a decirles que son los hijos secretos de Fidel” (I’m gonna tell them that they are Fidel’s illegitimate sons.”)
As Raul hobbled off the plane at Washington National Airport with Theis, he immediately spotted Joaquin as he was fleeing the District of Columbia.
“No puedo tolerar estar en el Washington de Trump! Esta completamente loco y esta arruinando nuestro país!” (“I can’t stand being in Trump’s Washington any more! He’s completely crazy and he’s ruining our country!”)
Wasting no time, Raul told Joaquin about his parentage.
“Adivinia qué?" the Congressman said. "Siempre me pregunté porqué quería ir a Cuba y mata a ese tipo.” (“I always wondered why I wanted to go to Cuba and kill that guy.”)
In other news, the Lone Star State’s senior senator, John Cornyn, and other GOP Members of Congress, are wondering out loud whether they can support Trump when he runs for reelection in 2020.(https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/19/politics/congress-republicans-trump-second-term/index.html).
What Sen. Cornyn fails to grasp is that well before then, Trump will be gone.
Why Trump Filed for an Extension on His Taxes; Plus, CNN's Gloria Borger Gives Him a New Title: Lawyer-in-Chief
It’s a taxing day, especially for Donald Trump, who filed for an extension to file his taxes, just so he can continue to deny the American people access to his income tax returns. And that’s because he doesn’t want them to know about his acquisitiveness, and other qualities.
Trump’s had many problems finding lawyers to defend him. That’s why CNN’s Gloria Borger has a new title for him: Lawyer-in-Chief (https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/18/politics/trump-lawyer-in-chief/index.html).
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones congratulated Borger for her perceptiveness.
Donald Trump is trying to figure out how best to pardon his Fixer-in-Chief, Michael Cohen, who is about to be disbarred as well as incarcerated.
He’s already pardoned Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff, for his role in outing undercover CIA agent Valerie Place.
Trump calls Cohen “a good man.”
Yesterday, US District Court Judge Kimba Wood caused Trump a great deal of worry because she made Cohen ‘fess up and admit that he has more than two clients.
One of Cohen’s clients is a former RNC Deputy Campaign Chairman who skillfully impregnated a woman to whom he was not married. And Cohen helped with the payments.
The other one turns out to be Trump’s close personal friend, Sean Hannity. It was Hannity and Trump, working hand in hand, who created the birther movement, which, largely because Barack Obama is black and a Democrat, claimed that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States.
Sean Spicer was Trump’s first press secretary. On July 21, Trump replaced him with former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s loudmouth daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the most prominent graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.
As Trump’s press secretary, Huckabee Sanders has become well known for her facility in deftly cutting off White House correspondents swiftly and without mercy. Associate solitary reporter Chris Colton describes her as the most skillful of all White House press secretaries in verbally humiliating any reporters who cross her.
Hannity, a nutcase with a lot of power (does that remind you of anybody else who has power?), promptly announced on his daily rant show yesterday that he had never made any agreement between himself and Cohen which would even remotely resemble a lawyer-client relationship.
Seems that the fun is just beginning.
Huckabee Sanders loves her job, which involves, among other things, confronting, on a daily basis, associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones.
Early this morning, Jones, who has an unlimited capacity for discerning the innermost secret desires of anyone associated with Trumpism, managed to worm out of Huckabee Sanders the startling admission that though she loves defending Trump, she’d really rather be paid a lot more money for being an anchor on Fox News.
Which is why, moments ago, 21st Century Fox’s biggie, Rupert Murdoch, appeared in the Oval Office with Trump, as that dynamic duo announced that Huckabee Sanders will, beginning tomorrow, anchor what used to be known as the Sean Hannity Show, as Hannity will take over Huckabee Sanders’ duties as Trump’s mouthpiece.
“I am so glad,” Trump said, “that Sarah will be representing me and all my views on Fox News, while Sean will, every day, be tormenting all the White House reporters who make my life miserable."
In other news, Trump held a rally in West Virginia and spent most of his time denouncing his own appointee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, for disagreeing with his plan to deport all immigrants (see https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/17/immigration-ruling-gorsuch-528749).