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Weekly Primer: Failing Coal And Nuclear Plants One Step Closer To Cash Gift From Trump

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August 9, 2018 5:47 p.m.

The independent federal commission that in January unanimously rejected the Trump administration’s shady plan of simply pouring money into failing coal and nuclear power plants might soon have a new member — one of the people responsible for coming up with that shady plan.

There’s a shadow Veterans Administration and, surprise, its made up of a bunch of civilians whose only qualification is their willingness to give the President money.

Finally, the truth is out: the FCC lied to the public and members of Congress. There was no cyberattack on its public comment system last year, the FCC’s inspector general said, just a whole bunch of comments from politically engaged people angry about net neutrality. Faced with the truth, Chairman Ajit Pai deflected blame.

Yes, the Education Secretary’s family yacht was mysteriously untied and left to float off into Lake Erie last month. But did you know it flies a Cayman Islands flag, which allows the DeVoses to avoid a buffet of taxes and regulations?

Early in 2017, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama administration effort to ban a pesticide, chlorpyrifos, which EPA scientists had found damaged children’s brains. Environmental groups and several states sued. At one point, it was revealed that a nominee (who eventually withdrew) to lead the Office of Chemical Safety took money from Dow Chemical, which makes the pesticide, and also trashed scientific studies critical of the pesticide.

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban the pesticide, and chastised the agency for ignoring Pruitt’s critics and clear science.

The Trump administration is shrinking the Office of Financial Research, created after the financial crisis as an independent watchdog within the Treasury Department tasked with identifying risky financial behavior.

ICE simply lied to the Texas Observer about a van crash involving 8 detained immigrant mothers. “There was no crash,” a spokesperson said, a day after the agency admitting to a congressman that there had been a crash. Elsewhere, The Intercept profiled an 18-year-old in ICE custody who was also questioned — and pressured to become an informant — by FBI agents.

A Mexican mother whose 16-year-old son was shot and killed across the border fence by a Border Patrol officer in 2012 can sue the officer who fired the shot and the government, the Ninth Circuit said Tuesday. The boy “had a Fourth Amendment right to be free from the unreasonable use of deadly force by an American acting on American soil, even though the agent’s bullets hit him in Mexico,” a judge wrote.

Yes, the Trump administration can massively shrink national monuments like Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante. No, it doesn’t have to release documents showing us why.

Finally, read this profile to learn how Commerce Secretary Wilbur “Short Sale” Ross may have stolen $120 million from business partners over the years.

“If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history,” Forbes reports. “The SEC has never initiated any enforcement action against me,” Ross responds, inaccurately.

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