Pruitt’s Dinner With Cardinal Accused of Abuse Was Kept Off Public Schedule – The New York Times

emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that as early as May 12, Mr. Pruitt’s scheduler, Millan Hupp, was working on plans for Mr. Pruitt to meet with Cardinal Pell. “Dinner with Cardinal Pell and others,” an email says, proposing the dinner for June 7 and adding, “Note: His 76th birthday is tomorrow.” The dinner Cardinal Pell attended ultimately took place June 9 at La Terrazza, a restaurant in the five-star Hotel Eden overlooking Rome. Mr. Pruitt’s trip was an official E.P.A. visit tied to the G-7 summit in Bologna. Mr. Pruitt’s frequent first-class travel, including to Italy, is under investigation by the E.P.A.’s inspector general and the House Oversight Committee. An internal debate over whether to proceed with any meeting with Cardinal Pell had begun well before Mr. Pruitt left for Italy, according to three current and former agency officials. Mark Kasman, a career E.P.A. official who helps supervise international affairs at the agency, found media reports describing the allegations against Cardinal Pell and approached Mr. Chmielewski with them, Mr. Chmielewski said, urging the agency to cancel any such meetings.

Nicolás Maduro and the banality of evil

It was Hannah Arendt who noted how banal evil can be. After attending Adolf Eichmann’s trial in 1961, Arendt wrote that the thing that surprised her the most was just how dim-witted and anodyne this monstrous human being really was. The SS officer was one of the key organizers of the machinery that murdered more than six million men, women and children. Arendt says that Eichmann was not very intelligent. He was unable to finish high school or vocational school and only found employment as a traveling salesman thanks to family connections. For Arendt, Eichmann took refuge in “stock phrases and self-invented clichés” and “officialese.” One of the psychologists who examined him reported that his only unusual characteristic was that he seemed more normal in his habits and language than the average person.

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