Air Trump: The swamp dwellers fly high | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 29, 2017

Air Trump: The swamp dwellers fly high

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 7:02 AM

click to enlarge AIR TRUMP: His cabinet demonstrates a liking for private travel at taxpayers' expense.
  • AIR TRUMP: His cabinet demonstrates a liking for private travel at taxpayers' expense.

The rarified tastes of Trump cabinet members for private air travel continue to draw attention worth summarizing this morning as the president touts a tax plan that benefits the wealthy and which his own spokesman says he can't guarantee won't raise middle-class taxes.

* HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY TOM PRICE: An avowed foe of government waste as a congressman, has run up hundreds of thousands of costs in flying charter and military jets to far-flung outposts, sometimes to have lunch with family, and with wife in tow. He's now apologized and agreed to repay about $50,000 — a fraction of government expense and equivalent to, he says, business class tickets not the private air he seemed to enjoy so much. PS: The tab is up to a million now.

* EPA LEADER SCOTT PRUITT: In between devastating regulation of polluters, the former Oklahoma attorney general, too, has demonstrated a fondness for the air travel of the rich. He's run up some $58,000 in private air travel. The article also notes he takes first or business class whenever possible "for security reasons." Another reminder is in order that this environment-destroying plutocrat was recommended as a great pick not only by, as you'd expect, Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, also a dedicated foe of environmental regulation, but by her predecessor, Democrat Dustin McDaniel. You have some explaining to do D-Mac.

* INTERIOR SECRETARY RYAN ZINKE: In between despoiling national treasures (national parkland that he'd like to see drilled and mined), he's also enjoyed private flying to both the Virgin Islands and a $12,000 flight home to Montana (on an OIL EXECUTIVE'S PRIVATE PLANE.)

And in other fill-the-swamp news:

* SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH: In between delivering a far-right political agenda to match Clarence Thomas, he's also raised a few questions about whether he has a tin ear on ethics issues, such as by trotting around Kentucky to the political benefit of traveling companion Sen. Mitch McConnell. Also yesterday: The Supreme Court decided to take up a case over mandatory union fees for government workers. This means four justices are poised to deal a punishing blow to government unions. Same day, Gorsuch caught flak for speaking at the Trump Hotel (where else?) to a conservative interest group, one of several on his coming agenda. It's legal, but as an ethicist said — just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should. He talked Thursday about "civility."

There's undoubtedly much more, though more attention probably should be played to Puerto Rico. Heckuva job, Donald. Matt Yglesias has observed on Twitter that an administration that can't get sufficient diesel fuel shipped to a nearby island probably shouldn't be posturing about warring with Iran.

PS: And I never got around to Mnuchin, whose high-class flights include a jaunt with his wife to get a privileged view of a solar eclipse.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • 'Transforming government' = capturing cash

    I wrote a column this week about what's known so far about Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plans to "transform government" by combining state agencies into fewer departments answering to the governor. Now comes a state employee with more insight on possible motivation.
    • Sep 24, 2018
  • More national attention to Arkansas's flawed Medicaid work rule

    The New York Times is the latest to focus unflattering attention on Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Medicaid work rule, which has already eliminated 4,300 from medical coverage. Many thousands more are likely to come.  One big problem: People don't know the rule exists.
    • Sep 24, 2018
  • Joe Jett opponent jumps on news of legislator's loan to benefactor

    Republican Rep. Joe Jett is drawing political fire for the disclosure Sunday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he'd loaned House Speaker Jeremy Gillam $16,000 in 2016 shortly before the financially strapped Gillam appointed him chair of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.
    • Sep 24, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Slideshows

Most Viewed

  • Joe Jett opponent jumps on news of legislator's loan to benefactor

    Republican Rep. Joe Jett is drawing political fire for the disclosure Sunday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he'd loaned House Speaker Jeremy Gillam $16,000 in 2016 shortly before the financially strapped Gillam appointed him chair of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.
  • More national attention to Arkansas's flawed Medicaid work rule

    The New York Times is the latest to focus unflattering attention on Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Medicaid work rule, which has already eliminated 4,300 from medical coverage. Many thousands more are likely to come.  One big problem: People don't know the rule exists.
  • Is the legislature 'routinely corrupt'? A few dozen examples say yes.

    Is the Arkansas legislature routinely corrupt? In the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today, one  legislator wrote in the op-ed section that it is not while Michael Wickline reported a powerful argument in favor on page one. And I list a lot more.
  • UA-Little Rock copes with enrollment decline and charter high school

    UA-Little Rock is facing a financial pinch because of a sharp drop in enrollment and Chancellor Andrew Rogerson talked bluntly about it Friday in a campus meeting, remarks that included a reference to simmering unhappiness over the eStem charter high school that opened on campus last year.
  • Six Supreme Court justices found to have violated ethics code

    The Arkansas Judicial and Disability Commission has announced the filing of formal charges of ethics violations against six members of the Arkansas Supreme Court for their handling of a case involving Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation