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Sunday, February 19, 2017






Today, the Oklahoma County Court found Trump EPA nominee Scott Pruitt in violation of the state’s Open Records Act. The Center for Media and Democracy filed a lawsuit against Pruitt for improperly withholding public records and the court ordered his office to release thousands of emails in a matter of days.

In her ruling, Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons slammed the Attorney General’s office for its “abject failure” to abide by the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

The judge gave Pruitt’s office until Tuesday, February 21, to turn over more than 2,500 emails it withheld from CMD’s January 2015 records request, and just 10 days to turn over an undetermined number of documents responsive to CMD’s 5 additional open records requests outstanding between November 2015 and August 2016.

Today’s expedited hearing was granted after CMD, represented by Robert Nelon of Hall Estill and the ACLU of Oklahoma, filed a lawsuit that has driven unprecedented attention to Pruitt’s failure to disclose his deep ties to fossil industry corporations. On Friday, Pruitt is expected to face a full Senate vote on his nomination to run the EPA.

On February 10, Pruitt’s office finally responded to the oldest of CMD’s nine outstanding Open Records Act requests but provided just 411 of the more than 3,000 emails they had located, withholding thousands of emails relevant to the request and still failing to respond to CMD’s eight other outstanding requests. On February 14 CMD filed a status report with the judge detailing the scope of missing documents, including 27 emails that were previously turned over to The New York Times in 2014.

“Scott Pruitt broke the law and went to great lengths to avoid the questions many Americans have about his true motivations,” said Nick Surgey, CMD’s director of research. “Despite Pruitt’s efforts to repeatedly obfuscate and withhold public documents, we’re all wiser to his ways and the interests he really serves. The work doesn’t stop here to make sure communities across the country have the information they need to hold him accountable to the health and safety of our families.”

Ahead of today’s hearing, Senators Carper, Whitehouse, Merkley, Booker, Markey and Duckworth – all members of the EPW committee – weighed in on the case, urging the Oklahoma court to require the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General to release documents relevant to CMD’s open record requests as a matter of “federal importance.” In a letter to the OK Court, the Senators stated:

"We are providing this information to the Court today because we have concluded [the] pending Open Records Act requests may be the only means by which the Senate and the general public can obtain in a timely manner critical information about Mr. Pruitt's ability to lead the EPA."

"We need to understand whether . . . Mr. Pruitt engaged with the industries that he will be responsible for regulating if he is confirmed as Administrator in ways that would compromise his ability to carry out his duties with the complete impartiality required."

Pruitt’s continued lack of transparency extends from a difficult nomination process in which research from CMD demonstrated Pruitt’s repeated pattern of obfuscating ties to deep-pocketed, corporate interests.

At his hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Pruitt faced a series of questions about his private meetings with major fossil fuel companies while chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association and fundraising for the Rule of Law Defense Fund. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse concluded his questioning telling Pruitt his testimony “just doesn’t add up.” Despite failing to respond to any records requests for the past two years, Pruitt told U.S. Senators last week to file more open records requests with his office to answer 19 outstanding questions from his confirmation hearing.

After Democratic Senators twice boycotted the EPW Committee vote due to concerns over Pruitt’s conflicts of interests and failure to fulfill open records requests, Republicans resorted to suspending Committee rules to advance his nomination.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Dave Lindorff: THEY SHOOT REPORTERS DON'T THEY? U.S. MEDIA LIMITS SPECULATION TO PUTIN @ This Can't Be Happening!


It’s amazing to watch how shallow and self-censoring our corporate media can be. Take the remarkable interchange between President Donald Trump and Fox right-wing talkshow host Bill O’Reilly. In an interview that aired before the Super Bowl, Trump had responded to O’Reilly’s question about how he could respect Russian President Putin, whom O’Reilly called “a killer,” by saying, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country’s so innocent? You think our country’s so innocent?”

Most news organizations reporting on this included the response of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Trump’s comment, in which the Senate Majority Leader said, “Putin’s a former KGB agent. He’s a thug. “

Left unsaid was the fact that this country also once had a former intelligence agency “thug” as its president: George H.W. Bush. Bush was named CIA director in 1976 by then President Gerald Ford, and during one-year tenure as head of the Agency, he reportedly worked assiduously to protect it from post-Watergate investigations and reforms of its past dirty behavior by shipping agency operatives abroad and out of reach of investigators. Furthermore, as investigative reporter Russ Baker, author of a book on Bush called Family of Secrets, reports, Bush’s connection to the CIA, kept secret for years, stretches way back to the days of its precursor agency, the OSS, and lasts at least through 1963 and the Kennedy assassination.

It was during Bush’s tenure as CIA director that agents of Chile’s intelligence service, the DINA, planted a bomb in the car of former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier, then living and working in exile in Washington, DC. The bomb killed Letelier and an American assistant, Ronnie Moffet. DINA was very closely coordinated with the CIA, which had orchestrated the 1973 military coup that overthrew the elected Socialist government and murdered Chilean President Salvador Allende, for whom Letelier had worked, later becoming a chief critic of the subsequent military dictatorship. At a minimum, Bush’s CIA appears to have known about the plot to kill Letelier, and he subsequently worked to cover up any links to either DINA or the CIA. Bush’s CIA also helped coordinate a continent-side Murder Inc. project against leftists in Latin America called Operation Condor.

In any event one could even more properly refer to President Obama as a thug, courtesy not of any nefarious background as a former CIA operative, but in his role as murderer-in-chief with his Tuesday morning “kill list” sessions, where he would decide whom to target next for a drone attack...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3437


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Monday, February 06, 2017

"A SUCCESS BY ALL STANDARDS" - WH PRESS SEC




Daily Beast, "Report: Yemen Raid Missed Target" 

Daniel Lippman & Anna Palmer: TV NETWORKS HIKING AD RATES FOR SHOW TRUMP WATCHES @ Politico

Mike DeBonis: AFTER TRUMP MOVES TO UNDO FINANCIAL REGULATIONS, SANDERS CALLS HIM A 'FRAUD' @ Washington Post


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) [Excerpt] ... “Man, this guy, he is a
good showman, I will give you that,” Sanders continued. “He is a good TV guy, but I think he’s going to sell out the middle class and the working class of this country. … It is one thing if you run a campaign that says, ‘Look, I think Wall Street’s great. I think the drug companies are great. I think we have to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,’ and if people want to vote for that, that’s fine. That’s democracy. But you have a president who I think in a totally fraudulent campaign said that ‘I’m going to stand up for the working people.’

“Look at his Cabinet: We’ve never had more billionaires in a Cabinet in the history in the country. Look at his appointees: These are people who are going after the needs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. That is called hypocrisy.” ... [End of Excerpt]

Read more.