In a normal presidential administration, Ben Carson would have resigned over this. But then in a normal administration, Dr. Carson would never even been nominated for the position in the first place. What exactly were his qualifications? Besides once being poor, and living in an apartment, there doesn’t seem to be much overlap with Carson’s “skills” of Egyptian pyramid sleuthing and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The emails also reveal that Carson’s dissatisfaction with the options readily and cheaply available to him in HUD’s basement took up months of time from the agency tasked with finding housing solutions for the last fortunate, frustrating some employees who viewed the legal $5,000 spending cap as the end of the line.
“He only gets 5k for new stuff,” then-HUD chief administrative officer Helen Foster wrote to fellow employee Kevin Cooke on March 3, 2017, at 2:38 p.m. “He chose to use it on window treatments.” Foster eventually claimed she was demoted over her unwillingness to exceed the $5,000 limit.
Acquiring new furniture for Carson’s office was a priority from day one — and before. On his first official day as secretary, Carson expressed displeasure with the chairs in his office.
“The secretary’s office called and said he doesn’t like his chairs,” reads an email from HUD director of facilities management services Mike Schimmenti to Foster and HUD administrator Laura McClure, in an email headed “secretary’s furniture request” on March 3, 2017 — the same day he was confirmed.
Before that, on Feb. 13 at 5:43 p.m., Foster emailed HUD finance officer Sarah Lyberg, saying she had been repeatedly asked to find more money for Carson’s office.
(click here to continue reading HUD emails show push to find workaround for $5,000 legal limit on Ben Carson’s office furnishings – CBS News.)
Small potatoes compared to Emolument Man, and the Dimpled Slumlord Princeling, but corruption and evasion of law is still unacceptable, or should be. Ben Carson is lucky that there are so so so many scandals in the Trump mal-administration that his office furniture snafu is mostly ignored.
And there are actually worse things Carson’s HUD is doing:
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is changing the mission statement of his agency, removing promises of inclusive and discrimination-free communities.
In a March 5 memo addressed to HUD political staff, Amy Thompson, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs, explained that the statement is being updated “in an effort to align HUD’s mission with the Secretary’s priorities and that of the Administration.”
(click here to continue reading Ben Carson Removes Anti-Discrimination Language From HUD Mission Statement | HuffPost.)
In an interview released Wednesday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that a “certain mindset” contributes to people living in poverty, pointing to habits and a “state of mind” that children take from their parents at a young age.
“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there,” he said during an interview on SiriusXM Radio with Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend.
“And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom,” Carson said.
The Trump administration’s 2018 budget blueprint, unveiled Tuesday, would cut more than $6 billion from HUD’s budget. The cuts would end popular grants that facilitate first-time home ownership and revitalize economically distressed communities, including the Community Development Block Grant. The budget would also cut billions of dollars in funding for public housing support, gutting dollars used to fund big-ticket repairs at public housing developments around the country.
(click here to continue reading Ben Carson calls poverty ‘a state of mind’ during interview – The Washington Post.)
Ben Carson appeared to liken slaves to immigrants who choose to come to the United States while addressing employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development Monday.
Carson, who was confirmed to lead the department earlier this month, heralded the work ethic of immigrants before implying slaves who came to the United States worked harder than others. “There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less, but they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land,” said Carson, who is black. “And do you know of all the nations in the world, this one, the United States of America, is the only one big enough and great enough to allow all those people to realize their dream. And this is our opportunity to enhance that dream,” he added.
“Ben Carson is also the guy who once compared Obamacare to slavery,” tweeted Keith Boykin, a CNN political contributor. “I’m starting to think he may not understand the word ‘slavery.'”
This is not the first time Carson has likened something to slavery.
In 2013, Carson said that Obamacare — the Obama administration’s landmark healthcare law — was the worst thing “since slavery.”
“You know Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”
Carson also compared abortion to slavery in an interview with NBC during his 2016 presidential run.
“During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it — during slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to the slave,” Carson said in October 2015. “What if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery, I think it’s wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do?”
(click here to continue reading Carson: ‘There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships’ – CNNPolitics.)
Ben Carson does not like the creature comforts, at least not for low-income Americans reliant on the government for a helping hand.
As he toured facilities for the poor in Ohio last week, Mr. Carson, the neurosurgeon-turned-housing secretary, joked that a relatively well-appointed apartment complex for veterans lacked “only pool tables.” He inquired at one stop whether animals were allowed. At yet another, he nodded, plainly happy, as officials explained how they had stacked dozens of bunk beds inside a homeless shelter and purposefully did not provide televisions.
Compassion, Mr. Carson explained in an interview, means not giving people “a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: ‘I’ll just stay here. They will take care of me.’”
When Mr. Carson assumed the helm of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he had no government experience, no political experience beyond a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination and no burning desire to run a major federal bureaucracy. But his views on poverty alleviation were tough-minded and well-known
(click here to continue reading Don’t Make Housing for the Poor Too Cozy, Carson Warns – The New York Times.)
Another faux Christian, in other words. If the evasion of statutory law to purchase over-the-top office furniture that cost more than many folks annual salary is the thing that brings Carson down, so be it, but there is plenty to choose from.