An aide to scandal-scarred EPA chief Scott Pruitt told House investigators that she ran personal tasks for the big-spending cabinet member – including trying to snare him a used mattress from President Trump’s DC hotel.

– New York Post, June 4, 2018


inclement (adjective)

  1. rough; severe; stormy
  2. lacking mercy or leniency; harsh

– Collins English Dictionary



Don’t you think it would be more fun this week to talk about several things rather than one thing? I sure do …


Well, it’s July and, for me, that means my birthday is coming up on July 21.

I’m telling you that not so that you can wish me a happy birthday or honor the day in some way, but instead for another reason that I’ll tell you in a minute.

So, please, don’t make a big deal about my birthday or anything. I truly don’t want or need anything this year and no gifts are necessary. The nice emails we at the Rhino Times receive from people who enjoy reading the paper is enough thanks for me, and, trust me, the very last thing I would want is to walk into my office at Rhino Times, 216 W. Market Street, Greensboro, NC, 27401 and find that people had sent in or brought in a bunch of gifts for me. So don’t do that – because that is, as I say, the last thing I would want to happen.

In fact, the only reason I bring up my birthday this week at all is to make a point about the North Carolina driver’s license people.

You see, this year isn’t just any birthday for me; it’s a very special one because it’s the one on which I have to renew my North Carolina driver’s license. And every time in my life I go through that process I’m more and more amazed at the extent to which the license people are phoning it in. I mean, the renewal period is supposed to be so they can check and see who can still drive and who cannot – but it turns out they don’t check anything at all.

I am like the poster child for bad drivers, but they didn’t even ask me one question. Anyone who knows me knows there is no way they should give me another driver’s license. They should certainly at least ask me a few questions or see me in person.

I say that the driver’s license people “are phoning it in” but they don’t even do that (talk to people on the phone) and every year it’s longer and longer between the time you have to get a new one. I think when I first got my driver’s license, you had to renew it every four years, and then, I believe, it was every seven and now it’s every eight years.

When you get over 66, you do have to do it every five years, but that is still way too long for those people.

All I had to do was ask for a new license. You don’t have to take a driving test or a written test or answer any questions or do anything. It takes two seconds and you pay your $40.

At first I was confused that I could even renew it online because I had no idea what they would use for a picture. But, unbelievably, they use the same picture from seven years ago. That means that, by the time my license expires, the picture on my license will be a decade and a half old. I wish we all looked remotely like we did 15 years ago but we certainly do not.

This all explains a lot.

No wonder no one on the road knows how to drive anymore. No wonder people have no clue their car has something called a “turn signal” and no wonder people are completely and utterly baffled by four-way stops. No wonder a lot of the centenarians who are honored by the Guilford County commissioners at meetings drove themselves to the meeting. They did so legally because they were a spry 95 when they got their license renewed.


On Wednesday, July 4, about 7 p.m. as the sun was starting to go down, I looked up in the sky over Greensboro and I thought to myself: a couple of clouds in the sky, no rain, calm winds; the air is starting to cool down a little – finally a July 4 when the weather is absolutely perfect for fireworks. Later, I heard the fireworks were called off due to “inclement weather.” I don’t think that word means what they think it means.


Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly asked staff members to find his wife a job with an annual salary of at least $200,000, tried to pull strings to help her get a Chick-fil-A franchise, used a secret email address rather than an official one he was required to use, secretly gave his staff raises, accepted living accommodations from a lobbyist and flew first class all the time at tremendous taxpayer expense.

Now, none of that worries me.

But what does worry me – a very, very great deal – is that an aide, Millan Hupp, stated that Pruitt sent her to get an old mattress for him from the Trump International Hotel.

“As I remember, the Administrator had spoken with someone at the Trump Hotel who had indicated that there could be a mattress that he could purchase – an old mattress that he could purchase,” Hupp said, according to a transcript of an interview with an investigative committee.

OK, who wants an old hotel mattress to sleep on? I mean, talk about things that you don’t know where they’ve been. I wouldn’t even touch an old hotel mattress, much less sleep on one. I wouldn’t touch it even if I was in one of those full body Ebola hazmat suits. That goes for any old hotel mattress and this one is one that, for all Pruitt knows, could have been Stormy Daniel’s bed where the magic happens.

The other stuff I heard about Pruitt, I can live with, but someone who’s looking to buy a used hotel mattress is simply not fit to serve in public office in any capacity whatsoever. I’m sorry, but that is just plain animal crackers, and it should instantly disqualify anyone from public service at any time.