Soundtracking the Resistance - Protecting the Environment One Used Mattress At a Time

Scott Pruitt, the G7, World Cup Songs, and Ash

Jun 08, 2018 Bookmark and Share


The focus is on Scott Pruitt this week before we head off to international meetings, soccer tournaments, patriotic songs, and Ash.

The Big Event

How much is too much for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt? That question could mean multiple things in relation to a man determined to make his agency do the very opposite of the words written in its name, but right now it applies to a litany of petty abuses he's alleged to have committed.

Facing congressional scrutiny for a number of eyebrow raising decisions, it's hard to feel much sympathy for someone who seems determined to destroy the very thing he's in charge of. His almost cartoonish behavior has led to heavy opprobrium from many quarters.

Not that anything else should have been expected. Pruitt never much liked the EPA before Trump made him the boss. He's on record describing himself as a "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda." At least he's stayed true to his dubious convictions.

His reign of environmental terror has already seen him back Trumpy's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and get the EPA to attempt a rethink on this whole human-caused climate change thing pesky scientists generally seem to agree is real.

He's not just a crusher of international standards either. Back home Pruitt has been keeping himself busy with a variety of exciting initiatives that include reducing car emissions standards, withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan and suspending a rule aimed at slashing water pollution levels.

In defense of those who dislike the EPA, it has certainly faced its share of criticism for going above and beyond when it comes to imposing environmental regulations. Some of the regulations, like those targeted at water pollution, have also been attacked for being overly broad. But defenders would argue someone had to act as Republicans seem hell bent on blocking all efforts to stop us destroying our own planet. Plus, if poorly designed regulations are the problem, the answer is amending, not suspending them.

But that's enough of Pruitt's efforts to pretend the word Protection isn't written on his letterhead. We're here to marvel at his long list of supposed transgressions. Right now, he's drawing attention for sending members of his 24/7 security detail, installed at great cost to the taxpayer, off on personal errands. These are said to include picking up dry cleaning and helping him search for a much-cherished moisturizing lotion.

The full list is quite frankly ridiculous though. Aides have gone apartment hunting for him (he previously had a bargain deal to stay at the condo of the wife of an oil lobbyist when first settling in Washington in 2017), and far more bizarrely, attempted to procure a used Trump hotel mattress. Talk about sucking up to the boss.

He's also been reported as trying to get his security detail to use flashing lights and sirens to get him through traffic for non-emergencies, one of which involved a trip to a French restaurant, and for overuse of the White House Mess Hall which has earned him a rebuke from the White House.

It's utterly ridiculous and dispiritingly close to what one tends to expect from an out of touch ruling class. So how much is too much for Pruitt? He's the C list version of Trump, embroiling himself in minor scandal after minor scandal until it's hard to remember any of them in detail. No wonder Trumpy keeps him around.

If and when he does fall, not many will be sad, and if he does attempt to elicit sympathy, he'll have to work very hard indeed. Cry me a river you might think, but in Pruitt's case we should all try. The waterways of America will need some replenishment once he's through with the EPA.

What's Going On

It's G7 time, in which the leaders of a bunch of rich countries get to gather and pose for awkward photos while discussing pressing issues of the day. Except right now the G7 has become the G6 plus Trump's America as everyone else bands together to criticize his Trumpship's trade war aimed squarely at allies. But we all know Trump; he won't back down. Until he does.

So, Rudy Giuliani doesn't respect Stormy Daniels and her career. He certainly doesn't respect her the way he respects a woman who "isn't get going to sell her body for sexual exploitation." He's made that abundantly clear this week and doubled down on his inflammatory comments. Three questions for Rudy. First, he's clear on what he doesn't respect but where does he stand on a future president who allegedly has sex with a porn star who then later gets paid off by that same future president's shady lawyer? Second, he has less respect for people who sell their body, but where does he stand on people who sell their soul? Finally, and following directly on from the previous question, can a person sell that which they do not possess? Answers coming to a mirror near Mr. Giuliani.

The soccer World Cup kicks off next week, and while America might only pay cursory interest, for most of the rest of the world, it's the sporting highlight of the year. Somehow the U.S. national team contrived to fail to qualify, but at least they're in good company with other illustrious names in the sport such as Italy and the Netherlands missing this year. However, it's not only an international soccer tournament. An entire musical sub-culture exists full of World Cup songs. Most are appalling. Just look at this classic.

However, occasionally, talented musicians get involved, as New Order did for the official England song ahead of the 1990 World Cup. It's actually not bad either.

Speak Up!

For a man so quick to criticize others for failing to respect the great patriotic songs of America, you'd think he'd learn them. But Trump is never one to avoid making a fool of himself, and after a previous effort that resulted in a garbled attempt at the national anthem, he did the same to "God Bless America," coming in and out of the song like that irritating guy at a concert who screams the chorus and mumbles through the verses. This prompted Conan O'Brien to announce a spoof album of Trump mangling a number of American classics.

Song of the Week: Ash - "Confessions in the Pool"

Let's repurpose one of the catchier songs off Ash's very catchy recent record this week. So, without further ado, here's the story of Trump, the great returner of greatness to the country, as told by putting an extreme spin on Tim Wheeler's lyrics.

He starts with lines that go from "You've come to save my life" to "You've come to set me free" and by the end he's switched to "What could we have done/to deserve this misery?" Welcome to Trump, the great hope for the disenchanted masses who has little intention of helping anyone beyond himself and perhaps a few friends.

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.