EPA photo

You have to admire the intrepid investigative reporters at the Washington Post for their willingness to keep digging into Scott Pruitt's Bag of Infinite Grift, which we're fairly certain has been proven to be bottomless

-- especially since Pruitt appears to be so beloved by Donald Trump that as long as he keeps making America safe for polluters, he's got a guaranteed job. Today's fresh example is WaPo's story on Pruitt's frantic mission to find his wife a job with a nice rightwing thinktank of some kind, because what good is being a cabinet secretary if the whole family isn't making bank?

The new reporting goes well beyond that earlier story about Scott Pruitt having an aide harangue Chick-fil-A's CEO about a "business opportunity" -- a job for Marlyn Pruitt -- which we already learned about. Turns out that was only one instance of the Pruitt Family Job Search subsidized by taxpayers. Today's story explains how now-resigned EPA staffer Samantha Dravis, who had a hand in the Cone of Silence, the sekrit pay raises, and the Luxury Trip to Italy scandals, among others, (as well as, near the end of her tenure, allegedly getting paid for not coming to work), was Marlyn Pruitt's personal job-finding concierge. Dravis was assigned by Scott Pruitt to contact big GOP donors to see if they could find Ms. Pruitt a job.

Eventually, those efforts led to at least some short term work; Marlyn Pruitt managed to hire on with the "Judicial Crisis Network," which has "financial ties" with the rightwing Federalist Society, and whose offices are conveniently located in the Federalist Society's headquarters building. A spokesperson for the organization said Ms. Pruitt had worked there

"temporarily as an independent contractor," but it did not disclose via email how long she worked there or what she was paid. The spokesman said the position came about after the group received her résumé from Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society.

Hey! By pure coincidence, Leonard Leo helped to arrange Scott Pruitt's great big vacation working trip to Italy, which Samantha Dravis tagged along for. It's nice to have friends! About $100,000 in taxpayer funds of nice.

The spokesperson said that Ms. Pruitt had finished her work at JCN earlier this year. It sounds like a really important place, and she had some really important work to do there, and boy, was JCN a big fan of Scott Pruitt, too:

The Judicial Crisis Network, which historically has pushed for the appointment of conservative judges, has given millions of dollars in recent years to groups associated with Pruitt, according to IRS filings. [...]

Its spokesman said Marlyn Pruitt's work was related to setting up new offices. "She has great organizational skills, and she was retained by JCN at a time when the organization needed those skills," he said.

As it happens, the JCN seems to have contributed millions of dollars to a constellation of PACs and other organizations Scott Pruitt ran. The spokesman explained that was because JCN is "among the most active defenders of the rule of law and limited constitutional government" and "Pruitt was among the AGs who shared those principles and beliefs." Nothing more than that. Pure coincidence they hired Marlyn Pruitt, who had some really awesome organizational skills the group needed for make-work projects.

Also fun: Whatever Marlyn Pruitt got paid for her important work, Scott Pruitt didn't include it on his financial disclosure form, which listed "none" for his spouse's income. Maybe it will show up in this year's disclosure, which is late -- it was due in May, but Pruitt requested an extension. With a big check from a coal CEO stapled to the form, we bet. WaPo also details Pruitt's many close connections with the Federalist Society, which is perfectly normal of course.

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! Pruitt had Dravis pester another big donor, Doug Deason, whose family business has all kinds of neat investments in oil and gas. While Deason said he couldn't hire Marlyn Pruitt because of some quaint old worries about conflict of interest, what with his having a financial stake in how EPA regulates the energy bidniss, he sure did try:

"I couldn't find anything that made sense, that wasn't some kind of conflict," he said. "I'd get a list of names, and say, 'Here are some people, here's what they do,' and it didn't take long before it was pretty obvious that I was not going to be able to help."

And even though Dreason wasn't able to get Marlyn Pruitt a job, he stayed in close touch with Scott Pruitt, and arranged for him to give the keynote speech to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the climate-denying and industry-loving think-tank, when the group had a big confab in DC. He says he'll never stop loving Scott Pruitt and his beautiful freedom-loving deregulatory agenda, which he's "100 percent convinced" will keep Pruitt in his job at the EPA.

It's unclear whether Marlyn Pruitt, entrepreneur, has yet found a grift job in Washington, which is probably a concern for the family, which somehow has to maintain homes in DC and Oklahoma on a simple cabinet member's salary. We can see why they'd want to economize by buying a used Trump Hotel jizz-mattress.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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If it's a day, the New York Times is fucking shit up, but today, it fucked up BIGLY.

Fresh-faced access journalists Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt have just published what we can only describe as a drive-by shooting against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which reads as some bullshit planted by the White House to give Donald Trump the pretext for his Saturday Night Massacre, if he wants it. (He does.)

Maybe the White House is tired of talking about the flailing nomination of Judge Maybe Rapey and how Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and the New York Times was more than happy to help!

Or maybe it was planted by former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just hours before his pension was set to kick in, and may have a serious axe to grind with DoJ officials and leaked a copy of his own memos. (His lawyer says that's not true, but he would say that, wouldn't he?)

Or maybe it's both, somehow! Or one of many other things!

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It's not every day Golf Digest gets noticed as a source of hard-hitting investigative journalism, at least outside of reviews of titanium carbon fiber nanotech infinite improbability drivers or some such. But Wednesday, some journamalisming that started with a Golf Digest story about a guy who drew fantastic imaginary golf courses concluded with that guy, Valentino Dixon, walking out of Attica prison, 27 years after he'd been sentenced for 39 years to life. Not bad, Golf Digest. We give you a GOLF CLAP. And a Pulitzer if we had one, which, sadly, we don't.

As Golf Digest says, the twists and turns of the case are a bit complex (they're unraveled in more detail in this New York Times story), but it basically comes down to a local prosecutor who was determined to railroad Dixon for the 1991 murder of a 17-year-old, Torriano Jackson, in Buffalo, New York. The conviction involved

shoddy police work, zero physical evidence linking Dixon, conflicting testimony of unreliable witnesses, the videotaped confession to the crime by another man, a public defender who didn't call a witness at trial, and perjury charges against those who said Dixon didn't do it.

Dixon had a prior conviction for selling cocaine, and he made a convenient target for Erie County prosecutor Chris Belling, who was weirdly determined to ignore even statements from the actual killer, LaMarr Scott, who pleaded guilty to the killing shortly before Dixon's release this week.

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