Trump turned clemency into his own little cottage industry


Gatekeepers to a pardon

The Constitution gives the president the virtually unchecked power to grant clemency. Trump’s use of that power reflected how he viewed the presidency through the prism of his own interests and as a way to reward friends and spite enemies, according to longtime clemency advocates and people who participated in the process.

During his tenure as president of the United States…Donald Trump granted executive clemency to 237 individuals charged or convicted of federal criminal offenses…

Of the pardons and commutations that Trump did grant, the vast majority were to persons to whom Trump had a personal or political connection, or persons for whom executive clemency served a political goal. A significant number had been convicted of fraud or public corruption. The New York Times reported that during the closing days of the Trump presidency, individuals with access to the administration, such as former administration officials, were soliciting fees to lobby for presidential pardons.

Those who find no harm or evil in this abuse of presidential power – I’m afraid – are likely to be folks who would excuse many more categories of evil in the name of power, as well.

American Dark Money Funds Europe’s Far Right/Populist Politicians


Pier Marco Tacca/Getty

❝ Five years ago, Matteo Salvini stripped and posed half-naked for a series of “sexy” photos that were auctioned on eBay…Today, Salvini’s party has transformed itself into one of the most prominent nationalist movements in Europe (now known only as Lega). Salvini himself has become Italy’s interior minister and the country’s most recognizable politician…

❝ Along with Marine le Pen in France, leader of the National Front (now rebranded as the National Rally party), Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and others, Salvini is leading a startling resurgence of Europe’s far right…Holding up a rosary, kissing a crucifix, and thanking the “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” he proclaimed it time to “save” Europe’s “Judeo-Christian roots.”…

These movements did not emerge overnight, nor will they fade anytime soon. Since mid-2016, together with colleagues at openDemocracy, we have tracked the growth of Europe’s nativist movements, from the Brexit campaign, to Orbán’s increasing stranglehold on the levers of power in Hungary, to cross-border networks seeking to block or roll back women’s and LGBTQI rights. Their strategy begins by influencing elections, courts, education, and healthcare systems, as well as policymakers and public opinion, and ends by taking power.

RTFA. Not quite up to the beerhall putschists of the 1930’s. The mindset is the same. Lots of the money comes from “the land of the free, the home of the brave”. Trumpkins.

A plague on both their houses!

Genie Energy Ltd. is an American energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. It is a holding company comprising Genie Retail Energy, a retail energy provider in the United States, and Genie Oil and Gas, which is pursuing a conventional oil project in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal members of America’s political Establishment, these misleaders of the wonderful 2-Party System of electoral politics all wave the same flag, owe their allegiance to profits before people.

The Fake President is starting to lie about the lies he lied about before

❝ President Trump is running out of things to lie about, so now he’s getting around to lying about the lies he lied about before.

This was the inevitable result of his ever-increasing rate of lying. When you have blanketed the earth with an unbroken surface of lies, covering every subject, you have no choice but to start a second layer contradicting the first. This, of course, makes the proof of lying rather simple. All you need to do is place two contradictory Trump statements side by side, and one of them has to be a lie. Alas, it does not make the job of fact-checking any easier, as the accumulating sticky goo of lies atop lies makes penetration with a shovel problematic at best.

This, of course, is the point of nonstop lying.

The Republican Party has surpassed any previous lead the Democrats had in opportunism. From gerrymandered electoral districts to bald-faced lies [from their own spokespeople] defending the White House flavor of lies, they are committed to the Fake President as their last best chance to maintain control of our government. Sharing their allegiance between corporate greed and the bigotry and racism of “the base”.

The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall — Inevitably


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The California Public Utilities Commission will wait until next year to make a decision on PG&E’s application to shutter Diablo Canyon in 2025…

If the five-person commission, which governs utilities in California, follows precedent, it will likely approve the application per the recommendation of administrative law judge Peter Allen…

County officials said they were optimistic after the commission delayed the decision on Thursday.

“Despite our radically diverse interests and viewpoints, a broad community and business coalition all came together and agreed that the proposal would help us protect local public health, safety and economic stability,” County Counsel Rita Neal said in a news release. “This continues to be our top priority. We will wait to move forward and when the commission reaches a decision, we will consider all of our options and next steps.”

PG&E applied in June 2016 to decommission the plant when licenses for its two nuclear reactors expire in 2024 and 2025.

Overdue.

Chinese province runs seven days on renewable energy alone


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❝ Northwest China’s Qinghai Province has just run for seven straight days entirely on renewable energy.

From June 17 to midnight of June 23, Qinghai used only wind, solar and hydro power stations.

Quan Shengming, general manager of the provincial grid company, said during the period, electricity use was 1.1 billion kilowatt hours, equivalent to 535,000 tons of coal.

❝ Hydro power plants supplied 72.3 percent of the electricity, with new energy like wind and solar supplying the remainder for the province, which is home to 5.8 million people, said Han Ti, vice general manager.

Laxiwa hydro-power station in Guide county, is the largest on the upper stream of the Yellow River. On average, it generates 10.2 billion kilowatt hours a year…

❝ Home to the source of China’s major rivers, Qinghai has strong hydro-power and solar supplies.

Clean energy is the ultimate way. We need to reduce reliance on fossil fuel, improve our energy structure, and reduce carbon emissions,” said Han.

It’s happening all around the world. In the United States, the changeover will continue upon the efforts of states and localities – now that we have a federal government run by 18th Century ideologues.