By Their Works Shall Ye Know Them

With Trump and his Trumpkins — aka the entire Republican power structure — the extremes of grotesque behavior serve a purpose: in the disgust they evoke, they distract us from the point of the whole exercise.  That would be, of course, extracting as much cash as possible through the exercise of arbitrary power.

Today’s example — actually, now about a week old — comes from griftmonger supreme Scott Pruitt.  All the grandiose corruption, stiffing aids for hotel rooms, buying a Maxwell Smart cone of silence, unobtanium-infused skin cream and the rest was the sizzle. The steak was wrecking the environment at the behest of one corporate master or another.  This was true to the bitter end:

In his last act as EPA Administrator on Friday, Scott Pruitt vacated an Obama-era ruling that dramatically restricted sales of polluting “glider” trucks.

What are glider trucks, you may ask? (I did.)  Do they serve any useful social purpose?

You be the judge:

The glider trucks, led by manufacturer Fitzgerald Glider Kits, are new truck bodies and frames fitted with old, diesel engines that pre-date emissions controls.

Those engines emit as much as 43 times the carcinogenic particulate matter and 13 times as much smog-forming nitrogen oxides as modern diesel truck engines. In the presence of sunlight, nitrogen oxides form smog, which has been linked to asthma.

The whole thing was a scam, exploiting a loophole that was supposed to allow the reuse of new engines if a rig was totalled, but instead installing pre-2007, high polluting engines in new truck bodies.

Pruitt used a debunked and then retracted study that claimed the highly polluting engines were somehow magically transformed into cleaner ones in their new clothes in a move that bars the EPA from enforcing the Obama-era rules this year and next.

I’m not sure exactly what Pruitt’s profit-center is here, given that everyone — and I mean everyone — hates these things.

Manufacturers such as Virginia-based heavy-truck maker Volvo, Illinois-based Navistar, and Cummins, which makes diesel engines in Indiana, all opposed Pruitt’s efforts to keep the loophole open, as did UPS, which buys thousands of long-haul trucks. Name-brand truck and engine makers have invested millions in developing the cleaner engine technology.

“I cannot recall an issue with such a breadth of opposition,” Paul Billings, national senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association told the Washington Post.

Was this simply bidnezz–some quid pro quo between Pruitt and the one truck company making a buck of these shit-spewing rigs? Or was this just one last f**k you to liberals on the way out?

I guess it could be both, or rather, it was certainly the latter, plus whatever personal corruption Pruitt was able to extract from the deal.  But my point (and I do have one, besides generalized disgust and impotent rage) is that this his how Trump’s administration rolls, and it’s exactly as the Republican Party and its paymasters intended it to.

While the gaudy scandals dominate our attention and most of the media effort, the executive departments and agencies are keeping very busy, creating or gutting rules, making decisions, operating almost completely unexamined, in ways that transfer wealth to the chosen few, and risk and consequences to everyone else.

I’m not sure there’s a shovel big enough to clean manure pile these assholes are depositing in our stable.

Pace Adam:  I’m doing a really crappy job staying frosty these days.

Open thread.

Image: Elihu Vedder, Corrupt Legislation, mural in the main reading room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 1896

51 replies
  1. 1
    Yarrow says:

    Pace Adam: I’m doing a really crappy job staying frosty these days.

    Well, it is summer.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Lapassionara says:

    What fresh hell awaits every day that this maladministration is in office?

    Trying to stay frosty is very hard these days.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    efgoldman says:

    Those engines emit as much as 43 times the carcinogenic particulate matter and 13 times as much smog-forming nitrogen oxides as modern diesel truck engines.

    The obvious answer is to make sure the truck route goes right past his house

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Anya says:

    Their actions show they have some deep-seated hatred towards the country and its people. It’s as though they have no stake in it.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    Major Major Major Major says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    piratedan says:

    @efgoldman: I’d say lets park a couple in his driveway and route some exhaust into his house…..

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Tom, Great thread you wrote on Twitter about elite media failures during the 2016.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    indycat32 says:

    To quote Rachel Maddow: Don’t watch what they say, watch what they do.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Tom Levenson says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: thanks!

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    “I cannot recall an issue with such a breadth of opposition,” Paul Billings, national senior vice president for advocacy at the American Lung Association

    Look, Pruitt is just standing up against the forces of Big Lung.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: Does it matter?

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    JPL says:

    In the olden days, the news media could concentrate on one thing 24/7. This administration is so egregious, that most offenses don’t even get a hour of coverage.

    but her emails

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Link??

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    My bet on those engines – F you to the “liberals” with the world “liberal” applied to anyone who isn’t in Pruitt’s support group. Doubtlessly there is some graft involved but my guess it would be so petty that we would have a hard time understanding it since the Trumpists are so transactional, like the CEO of the company doing the glider installs is Pruitt’s landlord.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    lamh36 says:

    Evening BJ.

    Fellas, just a bit of advice…If you think what you consider flirting might be misconstrued as “rapey”…then maybe RE-EXAMINE YOUR FUQ’N FLIRTING STYLE…

    Ugh.. FUQ Henry Cavill and the Superman cape he rode in on..!

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:

    I’m not sure there’s a shovel big enough to clean manure pile these assholes are depositing in our stable.

    I’m sure Trump won’t shovel, but we can get one of these and Donald can toot the horn.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    JPL says:

    More pollution

    GARDEN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence turns nostalgic when he talks about growing up in small-town Columbus, Indiana, where his father helped build a Midwestern empire of more than 200 gas stations that provided an upbringing on the “front row of the American dream.”
    The collapse of Kiel Bros. Oil Co. in 2004 was widely publicized. Less known is that the state of Indiana — and, to a smaller extent, Kentucky and Illinois — are still on the hook for millions of dollars to clean up more than 85 contaminated sites across the three states, including underground tanks that leaked toxic chemicals into soil, streams and wells.
    Indiana alone has spent at least $21 million on the cleanup thus far, or an average of about $500,000 per site, according an analysis of records by The Associated Press. And the work is nowhere near complete.
    The federal government, meanwhile, plans to clean up a plume of cancer-causing solvent discovered beneath a former Kiel Bros. station that threatens drinking water near the Pence family’s hometown.

    https://apnews.com/07f9256ae1984362ba3eff192b4d6dd0/Pence-family-gas-stations-left-costly-environmental-legacy?utm_medium=AP&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    daverave says:

    It’s just Rolling Coal on an industrial level; i.e., FU Libtards!

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @lamh36:
    He was a shitty Superman anyway.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:
    Superman ain’t no MRA-esqe dummy.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    @dmsilev: If I haven’t already done this, I am now adding you to my list of “BJ snarksters who consistently provoke spit-takes over my keyboard.”

    There’s no, like, medal or award anything. Just know that you’re part of the elite group that guides my investment in paper towels and Windex. : )

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    randy khan says:

    I thought I might have the answer, but it turns out that Fitzgerald Glider Kits does not have its headquarters in Oklahoma.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    Aleta says:

    Thx for the explanation. The deluge of horrible stories has had a mental effect on me–I read the gist but move on without underlying details. At this time especially, your skill at explaining with clarity and directness gives relief.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
  25. 25
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @daverave: You beat me. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ keep them coalies rollin’ …

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    Was this simply bidnezz–some quid pro quo between Pruitt and the one truck company making a buck of these shit-spewing rigs? Or was this just one last f**k you to liberals on the way out?

    I’m very comfortable in giving the nod to Cleek’s law here. It was a simple “fvck you” to everybody Pruitt despises, a cohort comprising most of humanity.*

    *And possibly all of humanity given the likelihood anybody who likes Pruitt is subhuman.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’m flattered, thank you.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    JPL says:

    This made me laugh

    Today, @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS had tea with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle before departing the U.K.

    https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1017867274349436930

    He’s going to Scotland.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Tenar Arha says:

    This is no good & very bad. HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines.

    The .gov websites hosted a lot of good reliable information in a standardized format. That’s being slowly trashed. Much like the destruction of the Congressional Research Service, the loss might not be fully or widely understood until long after such a resource is gone.

    TL;DR Simply from the perspective of someone trained, among other things, to cover the reference desk, .gov websites are no longer fully reliable research resources.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    SFAW says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    If I haven’t already done this, I am now adding you to my list of “BJ snarksters who consistently provoke spit-takes over my keyboard.”

    He’s been that way for years, fortunately. Well, not YOUR keyboard, that is, but certainly one of the better snarksters.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Aleta says:

    @efgoldman: How fortunate that the development of gated communities and ‘estates’ coincides with Republican/libertarian desire to escape policy effects.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Aleta says:

    @dmsilev: big lunger, as they used to say

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    trollhattan says:

    Hadn’t seen this Trump-Melania photo before.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Thank you. It was a great thread.

    Even better in paragraph form, though, although I guess tweets get attention. Le sigh.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    patrick II says:

    @Anya:

    Their actions show they have some deep-seated hatred towards the country and its people. It’s as though they have no stake in it.

    Yes, but I sometimes replace the word hatred with resentment. They resent being asked to do anything that is not in their own self interest either for personal gain or their horrible libertarian philosophy that says one should only act for oneself — a self-righteous rationalization for their intensely narrow, rigid, and harmful world view.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Quick note: the reason for the opposition is likely “HEY! We spent a lot of money buying trucks because we knew that we had to buy the new, cleaner, diesel engines! It’s not fair that anyone who didn’t buy these trucks gets to profit now!”

    It’s very unlikely that UPS is all “we are horrified by the harms to people by these trucks being on the road!” so much as “this distorts the playing field, we played by the rules and paid for it!”
    (I’m not saying that UPS isn’t capable of caring about people being harmed by older, deadlier, diesel engines. I’m saying that’s unlikely to be why they have strong opposition to the change.)

    To which I can only say “wow, it’s almost like the GOP policy of ‘DEREGULATE! just DEREGULATE!’ is a dumbass policy. Boy. If only y’all had told the GOP to stop being morons, and come out strongly against an obvious incompetent running for President, you could have avoided this.”

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Honus says:

    @Anya: pretty much this. It’s like rolling coal or the bumper sticker on a Chevy suburban I saw today that said “fuck your Prius”

    It’s not enough for them to do what they want. They have to show their ass to be truly happy. I grew up in West Virginia as a diesel mechanic trained from the age of about 12 to work on my fathers excavating equipment, and I thought that bumper sticker was pathetic

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @Honus: Everything is to “own the libs.”

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not sure what “it” refers to, but I really liked the idea of America, even if sometimes the country did not live up to the idea of America.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Anya:

    It’s as though they have no stake in it.

    I pause, to reflect on a great truth. Trump, Pruitt, and the rest, seem to think that they have no stake in how this country fares. They seem to think they have no stake in how the world fares.

    They act as if they can burn it all down — climate, air quality, democracy, justice . . . all of it — and they will be safe within their own enclaves. As if they could sink the Titanic, but their cabin and their cafeteria would be safe.

    The idea that we’re all in this together doesn’t register.
    They have a different definition of “we” and of “this.”

    We will either pull this nation and this world out of their clutches, or it will all come crashing down on their heads. I can imagine their world of thought, but I can’t fathom it.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    It’s very unlikely that UPS is all “we are horrified by the harms to people by these trucks being on the road!” so much as “this distorts the playing field, we played by the rules and paid for it!”

    And yet that IS a completely valid reason for UPS to get pissed. They played by the rules and then the government screwed them by coming up with new rules for no goddamned reason at all except to be assholes.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42

    @Miss Bianca: He’s particularly snarky in person.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Aleta says:

    @JPL: When I read about Repubs dismantling the EPA and removing its data from public access, I think of EPA’s work following the health records of people who’ve lived at superfund sites. (Many are military families.) The information about effects that surface years later helps some people get earlier and more specific treatment.

    But that might conflict with quick growth of investment returns in toxic pollution.

    Also: from what I understand, the Trump admin. is trying to move the health care program for 9/11 first responders out of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which they say is too research oriented. Instead they want Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to oversee it. I have to wonder if it might be related to their resistance to restrictions on composition of building materials.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    efgoldman says:

    @Honus:

    They have to show their ass to be truly happy.

    Cleek’s law is as inexorable as Newton’s

    ReplyReply
  45. 45

    @Honus: I love my Prius, but I’m not going to have relations with it.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    Some older (possibly conservative) owner operators like the older engines because they don’t have to buy Def nor maintain the systems. Def is diesel emissions fluid, which the engines require to be clean. Also the older engines can be modified for more power. And of course this costs less, up front and in operation.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    How about through and then over what’s left.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Ksmiami says:

    I say we shovel Pruitt and all the protofascists in this administration into a superfund site then pave it over. That would be justice. Oh and fuck civility.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    From my interactions with conservatives, most do believe that environmentalism, concern about Global Warming, regulations, etc are hoaxes generated by liberals to hurt business and take away their freedom. They seriously believe that Democrats support immigration to get more voters and that elections have been stolen by the Democratic Party through voter fraud. They do think the only reason Democrats push a social agenda is to get minorities to vote for them.
    In other words they believe anything that Fox News, etc. shits into their head.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Jake the antisoshul soshulist: In other words, morons.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    @JPL:

    It will come as a surprise to a whole lot of Scots that Trump has left the U.K.

    ReplyReply

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