A woman publicly confronted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt while he was eating lunch on Monday and urged him to resign, according to video posted on Facebook.
“EPA head Scott Pruitt was 3 tables away as I ate lunch with my child. I had to say something,” Kristin Mink posted on Facebook with an accompanying video of her encounter with Pruitt.
Minka, who is a schoolteacher according to her Facebook profile, lists off multiple scandals Pruitt has been ensnared in since becoming EPA chief, including the rental of a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of an influential lobbyist.
“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 us, including our children,” Minka said.
“I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out.”
EPA must produce the opposing body of science Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied upon to claim that humans are not the primary drivers of global warming, a federal judge has ruled.
The EPA boss has so far resisted attempts to show the science backing up his claims. His critics say such evidence doesn’t exist, even as Pruitt has called for greater science transparency at the agency.
Now, a court case may compel him to produce research that attempts to contradict the mountain of peer-reviewed studies collected by the world’s top science agencies over decades that show humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented pace through the burning of fossil fuels.
[…] “Particularly troubling is the apparent premise of this agency challenge to the FOIA request, namely: that the evidentiary basis for a policy or factual statement by an agency head, including about the scientific factors contributing to climate change, is inherently unknowable.”
These allegations of misconduct outside the office are matched by
action taken by Pruitt inside the office: his attempt to purchase two expensive desks, one of them bulletproof, valued together at US$70,000.
The purchase of these desks was stopped by staff. But one of the replacement desks Pruitt selected instead has been compared to the Oval Office’s grand and presidential Resolute Desk, which has been used by almost every president since Britain’s Queen Victoria gave it as a gift to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880.
The selection of such an imposing desk is no accident. Instead, it is consistent with his other actions in that it represents a display of power that Pruitt uses to send a specific message to all who enter his office: I am important and powerful.
Desks are one of the most common symbols of power in society.
Starting at a young age, children are taught that the person behind the large desk at the front of the classroom is the one who holds the power. Just like the employees they will grow to be, children sit behind desks that are smaller and more utilitarian than their teacher’s. As people age into the workplace, the characters may change – the teacher or principal becomes our manager – but the scenery stays the same. The desk remains.
How employees, managers and outsiders experience the physical spaces in a workplace or office is greatly influenced by the physical structure of the building and the use of symbolic artifacts. Buildings can send messages and affect behavior through their design.
Client-centered offices, where managers expect to meet with clients and others, are considered to be 99 percent image, according to Franklin Becker, professor emeritus of design and environment analysis at Cornell University.
Similarly, if managers want to be recognized or even revered as powerful and important, they will need to match this desired message both concretely and symbolically. This can be accomplished with the installation of a formal desk that signals to the follower the rank or position of the owner.
A large desk can increase the physical separation between manager and others, thereby supporting the symbolic or hierarchical distance between the two. Thus, desks can be used to reinforce the legitimacy and authority of a manager.
Desks as power
The office desk and the space it occupies is governed by social customs that dictate certain behaviors.
For example, subordinates do not cross behind the desk unless invited, objects on the desk are not touched without asking, and important information is passed over the desk to the manager.
Early research on physical spaces found that face-to-face seating – which is inevitable when a manager is behind a desk – is generally used for adversarial interactions.
Professional persuasiveness coach Shari Alexander recommends that if managers want to reinforce their formal position, they should stay behind the desk. However, if managers want to connect with their workers on a more personal level, they need to step away from their desk.
Certainly, if individuals were to tour an empty office building with the signs removed from office doors, they would be able to identify the offices belonging to senior managers simply by their contents.
Pruitt’s actions thus far are consistent with the image he conveys via his choice of desk: power, importance and authority. His office is his sanctuary, the place where he shares his secrets, wants to feel safe, and likely takes comfort in knowing he is the master of his domain.
However, his actions thus far make clear that he certainly finds comfort in ensuring that all who stand before his desk, just on the edge of the carpet, know that he is the master of their domain as well.
Scott Pruitt’s EPA and the White House sought to block publication of a federal health study on a nationwide water-contamination crisis, after one Trump administration aide warned it would cause a “public relations nightmare,” newly disclosed emails reveal.
The intervention early this year — not previously disclosed — came as HHS’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was preparing to publish its assessment of a class of toxic chemicals that has contaminated water supplies near military bases, chemical plants and other sites from New York to Michigan to West Virginia.
The study would show that the chemicals endanger human health at a far lower level than EPA has previously called safe, according to the emails.
“The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge,” one unidentified White House aide said in an email forwarded on Jan. 30 by James Herz, a political appointee who oversees environmental issues at the OMB. The email added: “The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful. We (DoD and EPA) cannot seem to get ATSDR to realize the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be.”
I have to tell you, it gets harder every day to read this crap. Because I don’t think it matters — assholes will still vote to keep the Trump scam going:
In December 2016, Donald Trump announced that he was naming billionaire investor Carl Icahn as “a special advisor to the President on issues relating to regulatory reform.” In August 2017, a New Yorker investigation by Patrick Radden Keefe found that Icahn had used his special position to advocate for the elimination of a federal rule requiring oil refineries to pay for “credits” if they don’t use enough renewable fuel. In a huge coincidence, Icahn is the controlling owner of an oil-refinery-owning company called CVR Energy that is subject to rule. In an even huger coincidence, Reuters now reports that the EPA has given CVR Energy an exemption from having to buy the credits:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an oil refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, exempting the Oklahoma facility from requirements under a federal biofuels law, according to two industry sources briefed on the matter.
White House officials are cautioning Republican lawmakers and other conservative allies to temper their defense of Scott Pruitt, according to two people familiar with the discussions, in a sign that administration support for the embattled EPA chief may be waning.
The warnings come as several top GOP lawmakers have stepped forward to publicly criticize Pruitt in recent days, marking a dramatic turn of fortune for one of the most conservative members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet who has been heralded for dismantling Obama-era regulations.
Republicans are now sharpening their criticisms about Pruitt amid a revelation that he met at least once with the lobbyist whose wife rented him a bedroom on Capitol Hill.
But don’t worry, Republicans! Andrew Wheeler, his newly-appointed No. 2, is just as indifferent to the fate of the earth as Pruitt was!
As the controversies surrounding the EPA chief have mounted in recent weeks, so have the federal investigations. Now, the EPA’s internal watchdog has lots of questions for Pruitt, as does the top federal ethics watchdog, and the House Oversight Committee, led by Republican Trey Gowdy.
There are at least 10 federal investigations focused on Pruitt’s first-class travel, unusually large security detail, frequent association with lobbying interests, pay raises for staffers, and, somehow, more. The mounting appearance of misconduct and corruption at the EPA has started to attract not just the attention of Democrats — 170 of whom have called for Pruitt’s resignation — but Republicans, too.
Amid all the scrutiny, Pruitt’s office has been quick to deny any wrongdoing. EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox has repeatedly responded to allegations with, “This is not news.” The denials, however, haven’t stopped federal agencies from poking around.
On Saturday, the Dotard in Chief tweeted about Scott Pruitt, his hand-picked administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, after weeks of public discussion of just how corrupt and, frankly, weird and paranoid Pruitt has turned out to be. Continue reading “No record of Scott Pruitt’s death threats”→
Will the imperial Scott Pruitt be gone soon? Trump seems to want him to replace Jeff Sessions:
Sources tell @InsideEPA that former WH aide Rob Porter leaked the damaging information about Scott Pruitt after his former girlfriend, who resigned from the EPA last week, told the WH about his alleged assaults of his ex-wives https://t.co/tWgMT4iPHy
The Daily Beast finds that the lobbyist whose condo Scott Pruitt was renting was personally representing a natural gas company, an airline giant, and a major manufacturer that had business before the EPA at the same time he was renting that room to Pruitt. https://t.co/0IXY3jkDQT
NEW: Scott Pruitt was stuck in traffic. He wanted to use lights/sirens to get to his official appointment, but the lead agent advised him that sirens were to be used only in emergencies. Less than two weeks later that agent was removed from Pruitt's detail https://t.co/yfPYHmFaN0
As someone who occasionally visits D.C., I can tell you that $50-a-night deal was shady as hell:
I looked on Trivago. The cheapest room in Washington is a youth hostel with bunkbeds at $81 a night. The $50 room Scott Pruitt got was a bribe from an energy lobbyist. Need your pipeline approved? Do it through Pruitt! pic.twitter.com/DaSdgvFPmv
NYT reports there were requests for Pruitt to get a bulletproof SUV, for a bulletproof EPA security desk, for Pruitt's motorcade to use sirens to get him faster to meetings and to a restaurant, for a $100,000-a-month charter plane membership… https://t.co/FaIPke4TPf
In 2011 Pruitt bought a property days before a court ruled it'd been fraudulently transferred by a developer on the hook for a $3.6M loan default. He flipped it for a $70K profit 4 months later to a dummy corporation set up by a major campaign contributor. https://t.co/1wBdbri403
On EPA Chief Scott Pruitt: "This is a corrupt guy. You look at this cabinet the use of military flights, first class travel–all of it. There's never been a cabinet in the modern era of politics that we've seen stuff like this."