Trump slaps 30% tariff on imported solar-cells

It's a political no-brainer for Trump, who gets to clobber the renewables market, rattle his saber at China, extend the viable economic life of climate-destroying hydrocarbon fuels (like coal) and rile up the libs. Read the rest

Trump's "consumer protection bureau" will let the $50B payday lending industry gouge the poorest Americans with triple-digit interest rates

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, founded by Elizabeth Warren prior to her career as a senator, was once the gem of the US political system, a consistently effective force for punishing finance industry wrongdoing, until Trump let Wall Street robber barons loose on it, under the direction of a lawyer who represented loan sharks before going to work for the Trump administration. Read the rest

Trump's new assistant Drug Czar: a 24-year-old campaign volunteer with no experience, in charge of billions to end the opioid epidemic

In 2016, Taylor Weyeneth took a break from his studies as an undergrad law student at St John's University and used the skills he'd acquired organizing a single golf tournament and working in his father's chia seed factory (closed abruptly when his father went to jail for processing illegal Chinese steroids in the plant) to campaign for Donald Trump. Now Weyeneth, at 24 years old, is the deputy chief of staff for Office of National Drug Control Policy, in charge of billions of dollars in spending to curb the opioid epidemic and fight illegal drug use. Read the rest

Charts showing how much support Trump has lost from different voting blocs

The New York Times has assembled a suite of charts that help visualize the data from pollsters Morning Consult, who've been tracking Trump's approval rating every day since he took office as the least popular president in US history. Read the rest

If you bought shares in all the companies Trump trashed since taking office, you beat the market

Barry Ritholz maintains two stock indices: the Oligarch Index contains "companies that Trump liked" in his public communications; the Drain the Swamp index has "companies that Trump trashed." Read the rest

Evangelical congregation gives pastor standing ovation for admitting he raped a high-schooler

Andy Savage is one of the powerful, wealthy evangelical clerics implicated in the #churchtoo movement, in which congregants are disclosing the sexual assaults and harassment they experienced at the hands of faith leaders. Read the rest

Trump waives criminal punishments for convicted banks, including Deutsche Bank, to whom he owes $130,000,000-$300,000,000

The Trump Administration just published a small notice in the Federal Register announcing that it would waive the outstanding criminal sanctions against some of the world's largest banks, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche Bank. Read the rest

San Francisco judge says Trump can't kill DACA until lawsuits are resolved

The Trump administration won't be able to order the cancellation the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program until the outstanding lawsuits about the legality of such an order have been resolved, thanks to a ruling by Federal judge in San Francisco. Read the rest

Above the Law's template for reporting on Donald Trump's stupid, doomed legal threats, of which there are so, so many

Donald Trump's legal threats against Fire and Fury publishers Macmillan, USA are merely the latest in the series of absurd, unwinnable, doomed legal threats to emanate from Donald Trump, who is an idiot. Read the rest

Although the upcoming Senate Net Neutrality vote is unlikely to work, it is still an activist triumph with real consequences

After Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai killed Net Neutrality -- a deed so indefensible he literally won't defend it -- activists announced their intention to pressure 30 Senators into calling for a vote to overturn it. Read the rest

$300,000,000,000+: 2017's American "natural disaster" bill was by far the highest in history

Until 2017, the biggest bill Americans ever paid for a year's worth of "natural disasters" was $214.8B, back in 2005: in 2017, it was at least $300B, not counting much of the damage to Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. Read the rest

Rumour mill says that the Mercers are going to axe Bannon from Breitbart over "Fire and Fury" remarks

In his new book Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff says that one-time White House chief strategist Steve Bannon accused the Trump campaign of "treason", a revelation that sparked a hilarious denunciation by Donald Trump, who claimed that his Chief Strategist didn't know anything about his strategies or his chiefs -- which drew more attention to the book (as did the legal threats the Trump administration fired at the book's publisher, Macmillan), widening the rift between Bannon and Trump. Read the rest

Even though Trump supporters are impervious to fact-checks on most subjects, they still know that the GOP tax plan is a giveaway to the super-rich

Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, Russian exile Masha Gessen's essay Autocracy: Rules for Survival swept the internet, offering both hope and caution for the years to come. Read the rest

Trump's Cabinet of Billionaires operates in unprecedented (and illegal) secrecy

Eight of Trump's 17 cabinet secretaries do not release any information about their travel schedules -- a standard practice under the Obama and GW Bush administrations; 4 others only release incomplete, "sporadic" information; Treasury only started releasing Munichin's schedule in November and six departments illegally withhold details on who their cabinet secretaries meet with (two released some information after being sued). Read the rest

Millions of poor rural voters now hate Trump and millions of rich voters still support him, but the press only profiles poor people who remain Trumpists

Trump won the election by welding together a coalition of racist rich people who wanted tax breaks and racist poor people who'd been living in Fox-induced terror for decades and believed the world was ending and thought that Trump would at least make brown people and liberals as miserable as they were on the way to total collapse. Read the rest

Peter Thiel: the "libertarian" who loves mass government surveillance, monopolies, and censorship

Peter Thiel thinks that it was a mistake to let women vote; that democracy is incompatible with "freedom" (because poor people will tax rich people if they get to elect their own leaders); that the major problem with the mass government surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed was that it was incompetently conducted (which is why he started Palantir, a mass surveillance contractor that sells spying services to authoritarian states); that free markets are inefficient and should be replaced with monopolies; and that marketplace of ideas should be replaced by secretly funded litigation campaigns that eliminate publications that say things you don't like. Read the rest

Utah's paper of record calls for Orrin Hatch to step down: "his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power"

In 2016, the deep-red, Mormon-dominated state of Utah had to choose between voting in favor of a rapist, or in favor of allowing women to control their own fertility, and they chose the rapist. Read the rest

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