Friday, September 15, 2017

Nominations for Scriber's Scumbaggery award

Here are some numbers to consider. The first three are from the FiveThirtyEight Significant Digits email. All are in my list of candidates for the Scumbaggery award.

$5,000
Martin Shkreli, the widely reviled pharmaceutical representative convinced of fraud, has had his $5 million bail revoked after he used his pre-sentencing time as a free man to put up a $5,000 bounty for one of his fans to grab former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hair. This was considered bad behavior by the judge. [CNBC]

$25,000 per hour
Hourly cost of the U.S. Air Force jet that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, independently wealthy from his time at Goldman Sachs, asked the government to use to fly him to his honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy. The request to have the taxpayers fund the vacation was declined. [ABC News]

$500,000
Minimum amount that Equifax spent on lobbying Congress and regulators in the first half of 2017, including pursuing legislation that would limit the liability of credit reporting companies in the courts. Given that Equifax oversaw the personal financial data of 143 million Americans that was hacked in a cyberattack, that sure would be a useful law to have on the books so they wouldn’t have to pay victims all that much. [The Wall Street Journal]

Priceless
This is not in the same genre as the significant digits but it is an example of a heartless immigration law run amuck. The application of that law puts this in today’s nominations for Scumbaggery.

Sunayana Dumala is the surviving wife of Indian national Srinivas Kuchibhotla. If you do not recall the name, he was the man who was gunned down in a crowded Kansas bar by a racist man earlier this year. Dumala has lived in the United States for ten years, and attended college here. Sunayana Dumala lost her US resident status after she lost her husband and was facing deportation. The Kansas City Star reports that Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) has worked to get Dumala a one-year visa in order for her to be able to stay in the country. [Daily Kos: People rally around widow of Indian engineer killed in hate crime facing deportation.]

“We are not going to deport the widow of the victim of a hate crime,” Yoder said in an interview Thursday.

Dumala, also a native Indian, has lived in the United States since she enrolled in a Minnesota college 10 years ago. She married Kuchibhotla, a technical engineer, in 2012, and soon they applied for a green card on his H–1B visa, issued to workers in specialized fields.

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