Day 280: WhiteFished

I don’t know what it is about the state of Montana, but it seems to produce a special breed of political thug.

Some might say that the lineage of this animal starts at Max Baucus, the former Congressman and Senator from the Treasure State that loved to give away our country’s riches to any lobbyist that came a calling, no matter how sketchy the industry.

At some point evolution occurred and the office occupants went from their weasel-status as mere homo-corruptus to the more malevolent homo-ergangster. This particular form of the animal is known for their aggressive behavior in the face of scrutiny. Indeed, one must reason that it was pure biological instincts of the alpha male when current Congressman¬†Greg Gianforte body slammed a reporter for asking a question. He later lost a member of his proverbial entourage after one Republican official resigned following her threats to the reporter’s life.

It’s not merely enough for these genetic mutations to physically assault and threaten the press. No, to reach their final form, to truly become goons among men, they must fuse the two practices. Enter Ryan Zinke, our Interior Secretary and a dangerous tool (of Trump).

Zinke fancies himself to be a Lone Ranger, except instead of threatening train robbers he threatens sitting U.S. senators. He has a flag hoisted for his presence, uses lobbyist resources to violate the Hatch Act and has (for now) taken the top spot in the Trump Corruption Contest with a giveaway so shameless it would make Jack Abramoff blush.

A $300 million power line repair pact for Puerto Rico was given to a company in Montana with two employees. The company happens to be based in Whitefish, Montana, happens to be owned by Zinke’s neighbor and his son just so happened to work there. But that’s only the hook on this short sell of taxpayer money. To get to the “good” stuff, let’s take a dive into the details.

The biggest absurdities are without a doubt the “non-audit” and “claim waiver” clauses, which prevent the contract costs from being audited and the Puerto Rican government from filing any claims for work delayed. More than $40,000 in the contract goes toward to cost of helicopters. Each person on the contract gets a $330 dollar daily hotel subsidy. Ask a question about the deal and you’ll get the Twitter version of the Gianforte treatment from the company.

Bob McNair, the Trump loving owner of the Houston Texans, said something incredibly racist today about how continuing to let the NFL Players protest would be akin to “letting the inmates run the prison.” Guess what Bob? Thanks to your support, and the support of countless others, for our criminal-in-chief and his syndicate, we all get to experience what it’s like when people who should be inmates run the country like a prison.

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