AP

Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.

Sam Clovis is many things: a failed politician, a former talk radio host who’s compared being gay to child molestation, and an ex-campaign aide to Donald Trump who now finds himself embroiled in the Russia investigation. But Clovis has now added another notch to his belt: a ready admission that he’s definitely not a scientist—which is a bit of a problem since Trump has nominated him to be...the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist.

In an October 17 letter obtained by The Washington Post, Clovis repeatedly made clear that he’s extraordinarily unqualified for the job he’s been nominated for. Clovis was responding to questions about his experience posed by the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee’s top Democrat, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

The questionnaire went like this, per the newspaper:

“Please list all graduate level courses you have taken in natural science,” the second of 10 questions requested.

“None,” Clovis replied.

“Please list all membership and leadership roles you have held within any agricultural scientific, agricultural education, or agricultural economic organizations,” the third question read.

“None,” Clovis replied.

“Please describe any awards, designations, or academic recognition you have received specifically related to agricultural science,” the fourth question read.

“None,” Clovis replied.

Very nicely done! May we all someday know the bloated hubris of Sam Clovis in our own lives.

Advertisement

As the Post points out, the role has typically been held by individuals with advanced degrees in science or medicine, and recent Congressional legislation specified that the appointee be chosen “from among distinguished scientists with specialized training.”

This latest development comes after a group of more than 3,000 top scientists sent a letter protesting Clovis’ nomination to Stabenow and Republican committee chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas, highlighting Clovis’ history of “denial of the scientific consensus on climate change and ill-conceived and offensive racial comments” and a professional background “completely devoid of relevant scientific experience.”

UPDATE, 11:16 a.m. ET: Clovis has withdrawn from consideration for the undersecretary position, writing in a letter to the president that the “political climate inside Washington has made it impossible for me to receive balanced and fair consideration for this position.”

Advertisement

WHAT ELSE?

Advertisement

  • It’s tax reform reveal day, with the bill slated to be unveiled at 11:15 a.m. The Republicans have been fine-tuning the legislation and its rollout for weeks, but the question remains: What will Trump do to fuck it up?
  • Speaking of the president, he is definitely, 100% NOT mad about the indictments of Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos.
  • Michelle Obama’s latest advice for young people: perhaps do not tweet.
  • Top Democratic party operator Donna Brazile says in her new book, which is literally called Hacks, that former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a bad manager who left the DNC is dire financial straits.

Advertisement

For more news and opinions that get under your skin, follow Splinter on Facebook.