Open thread for night owls: Interior Dept.’s inspector general starts investigation of Ryan Zinke

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke didn’t leave a severed moose head in Sen. Murkowski’s bed, but threats are threats.

Nicole LaFond at TPM writes—Interior Dept Watchdog Launches Probe Into Zinke Calls To Alaska Senators:

The Interior’s Department’s Office of the Inspector General has launched a “preliminary investigation” into Secretary Ryan Zinke after hereportedly threatened Alaska senators last week in an attempt to get them to support an Obamacare repeal push.


Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) andRaúl Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to the Inspector General on July 27, asking the office to look into Zinke’s calls to Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

“The OIG is undertaking a preliminary investigation into this matter. We will advise you about what further action the results of this inquiry lead the OIG to take,” Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said Thursday in a written response to Pallone and Grijalva.

Sullivan told the Alaska Dispatch News that Zinke called ahead of the Senate’s Obamacare repeal vote last week and threatened to sanction Alaska on energy policy if both senators didn’t vote in favor of repeal. […]



“As if on a conveyer belt, there will be a never ending supply of idiots and jerks that come and go in your life. Whether you stop the belt to dance with any one of them is up to you.”

~Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing



Martin Shkreli at prison commissary:

“Can I buy shower sandals?”

“That’ll be $700”

“I thought it was $13.50”

“The price suddenly went up”

— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) August 4, 2017


At Daily Kos on this date in 2005Lind at TPM Cafe: Dems Must Abandon Social Liberalism:

The grown-ups over at TPM Cafe are taking Democrats to woodshed for supporting silly notions like equal rights for gays, abortion rights for women, affirmative action, etc. In other words, Dems must become moderate Republicans if we want to win elections in America.

The United States has a right-of-center majority with respect to social issues and a a left-of-center majority with respect to economic issues. The stability of this popular consensus recently has been illustrated by the nearly simultaneous popular rejection of gay marriage and Social Security privatization. Social liberals are too far to the left of most Americans on social issues; economic conservatives are too far to the right of most Americans on economic issues.

This combination of moderate social conservatism with moderate economic liberalism explains the success of the New Deal Democrats and the failure of the party that succeeded them, the Civil Rights Democrats.”

Lind doesn’t mention the Iraq War, but presumably “grown-up” Democrats would stay the course and provide de facto support for the president.

Ontoday’sKagro in the Morningshow: Subpoenas start moving. Trump takes a 17-day weekend, his “first” vacation as “president.”Armandocan’t sit still for Trump’s idiocy on his calls with the Mexican president and Australian PM. Don, Jr., King of Trump Tower, kicks the Secret Service to the curb.

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