The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Ryan Zinke, the controversial Secretary of the Interior now facing multiple investigations into his official conduct and business deals, resigned on Saturday. While Trump announced the departure in a tweet that praised Zinke, his resignation came after weeks of quiet pressure from White House officials, who had given him until the end of the year to leave. Trump tweeted:

Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation.

Top among more than a dozen separate scandals that cost Zinke his job was a Justice Department referral by the Interior inspector general, concerning a real estate deal with the chairman of Halliburton, the giant oil services corporation, in his Montana hometown. 

Zinke aggressively pursued energy and mineral development in the West, which drew protest from environmental organizations and scrutiny of his conduct in office as well as his finances. He often complained that opposition to his pro-corporate and environmentally destructive policies was “politically motivated.” An active sportsman and Navy SEAL veteran, he liked to portray himself as an acolyte of Teddy Roosevelt, often seen as the first conservationist president.

Not surprisingly, environmental and conservation groups welcomed the departure of Zinke, whom they regard as a corrupt ideologue rather than a conservation advocate.

Said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities:

Ryan Zinke will go down as the most anti-conservation Interior secretary in our nation’s history. By following President Trump’s marching orders to attack our public lands, Secretary Zinke oversaw an unprecedented and likely illegal attack on America’s national monuments.

“Surrounding himself with former lobbyists, it quickly became clear that Ryan Zinke was a pawn for the oil and gas industry. We can expect more of the same from Acting Secretary David Bernhardt, but without the laughable Teddy Roosevelt comparisons.

IMAGE: Ryan Zinke arrives for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Stephen Colbert Returns To Mocking His Favorite Target

Ever since the Republican party was hijacked by a clownish, failed businessman and reality tv host turned fascist dictator, many on the left have pined for the simpler days of George W. Bush. Putting aside his obvious failure of a lifetime in launching a brutal, unnecessary, and costly war in Iraq, the not-so-bright former president would probably be considered a leftist by today's deranged Republican party of rabble-rousing misfits. Stephen Colbert, like many of us comedians at the time, took great pleasure in jostling George Bush over his failures in Iraq.

Although he has since dropped his more arcane Colbert Report far-right character after taking over hosting duties at the Late Show, Colbert is as political as ever. Having been said, Colbert mocked George W Bush, who gave a speech in Dallas on Wednesday for an event called “Elections – A More Perfect Union”, which focused on how elections work.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Ted Cruz

A group of lawyers has submitted a 15-page ethics complaint to the State Bar of Texas demanding an investigation of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his “leading role” in the far-reaching Republican effort to keep former President Trump in power despite his reelection loss.

The complaint — filed by the 65 Project, an organization of lawyers seeking to hold attorneys accountable for lending a hand in pro-Trump efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections — called for an examination of Cruz’s conduct in the weeks before Election Day in 2020 and on January 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol insurrection.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}