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Accounting News Roundup: Air Force Jet Requests, Hair Solicitation, and Essence | 09.14.17

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Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the guy in charge of tax reform:

Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News.

Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary’s office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials.

A Treasury spokesperson actually said the following to explain:

“The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” the spokesman said in a statement. “It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft.”

Yep, the numbers guy whose new wife is disgusted by poor people needs military aircraft for his European honeymoon as an option. FFS, I’ll bet Steve Mnuchin makes the PEW PEW PEW sound when he’s shooting down losers during his tax reform meetings.

What’s Martin Shkreli up to?

Noted cartoon villain and all around unlikable guy, Martin Shkreli, was convicted on fraud charges last month, but he’s still finding trouble:

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who is awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, was sent to jail on Wednesday after a federal judge revoked his bail because he had offered $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

Mr. Shkreli, who was free on $5 million bail while he awaited sentencing, had made two Facebook posts offering cash to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Mrs. Clinton during her book tour.

If I were awaiting sentencing for a fraud conviction, I’d be doing lots of things, but offering money to assault a highly visible political figure would not be one of them. This is Martin Shkreli, however, and harassing people is a thing he does:

Just before his conviction, prosecutors wrote, Mr. Shkreli had made a sexual threat toward a female journalist on Twitter; since then, they wrote, “Shkreli has engaged in an escalating pattern of threats and harassment.”

Mr. Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued at the hearing that Mr. Shkreli was not violent and that the post had been “a momentary lapse in judgment.”

The judge presiding was unmoved and sent him to jail. And who can blame her? Shkreli suffers from these momentary lapses in judgment constantly. He’s a criminal nuisance. I imagine he’s on shortlist for a Presidential pardon.


Your must-read of the week is this investigation into what the hell is in LaCroix. The answer, in no uncertain terms, is: Essence. Yes, the bubbles, the flavor, the overall sensation is because of essence. “Essence is our picture word,” says a LaCroix spokesman, explaining everything and nothing, but that’s LaCroix’s story and they’re sticking to it, refreshingly. Also, this quote:

“Essence is, like, a combination of hint and aftertaste,” says Antony Merkel, a 31-year-old from Los Angeles. “You definitely recognize the flavors that are there, but it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking a product of that. It’s not a grapefruit juice, or something of a grapefruit. It’s a little intangible, which is kind of the appeal. I have no idea what it is.” Mr. Merkel says he drinks up to 10 cans of LaCroix a day.

Other guesses as to what essence might be: “something mysterious,” “the sweat of a fruit that you mix with oil,” and “fairies in a warehouse somewhere dancing with fruits, and suddenly you have this amazing drink.”

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