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Don't Let the Left Take Scott Pruitt's Scalp

Aside from the propitiatory human sacrifice to the gods of radical feminism known as abortion, there is no pagan totem more worshiped on the Left than the environment. Since the original Earth Day back in 1970, the idea that Mother Gaia is under constant attack by rapacious human beings has become an article of faith, and no amount of ameliorative activity since will suffice to placate them. Indeed, as the environment has been substantially cleaned up, their zealotry has only increased. For the environmental Left, the Hudson is always polluted, the forests are always vanishing, and the Cuyahoga River is always on fire.

A case in point is the media-fueled targeting of "embattled" EPA chief Scott Pruitt who, in a constantly revolving cast of villains in the Trump administration, has latterly emerged as Public Enemy No. 1, always excepting the president himself. Having set their caps to get Pruitt's scalp, the media has been targeting him with both sneers and smears in a host of stories questioning his ethics and his need for heightened security measures when he travels. This story is typical:

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s concern with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes. Altogether, the agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time detail that is more than three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent.

New details in Pruitt’s expansive spending for security and travel emerged from agency sources and documents reviewed by The Associated Press. They come as the embattled EPA leader fends off allegations of profligate spending and ethical missteps that have imperiled his job.

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Pruitt demoted the career staff member heading his security detail and replaced him with EPA Senior Special Agent Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who operates a private security company. An EPA official with direct knowledge of Pruitt’s security spending says Perrotta oversaw a rapid expansion of the EPA chief’s security detail to accommodate guarding him day and night, even on family vacations and when Pruitt was home in Oklahoma. The EPA official spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

Perrotta also signed off on new procedures that let Pruitt fly first-class on commercial airliners, with the security chief typically sitting next to him with other security staff farther back in the plane. Pruitt’s premium status gave him and his security chief access to VIP airport lounges. The EPA official said there are legitimate concerns about Pruitt’s safety, given public opposition to his rollbacks of anti-pollution measures.

But Pruitt’s ambitious domestic and international travel led to rapidly escalating costs, with the security detail racking up so much overtime that many hit annual salary caps of about $160,000. The demands of providing 24-hour coverage even meant taking some investigators away from field work, such as when Pruitt traveled to California for a family vacation.