Russia: US Congress reach deal on fresh sanctions, part of which limits Comrade Trumps ability to meddle with it.

Leaders of both parties in the US Congress have agreed on legislation that allows fresh sanctions to punish Russia for alleged election meddling.

The new legislation would also sharply limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift any sanctions against Russia.

He has previously said he needs diplomatic leeway with the Kremlin.

Mr Trump’s time in office has been dogged by claims that Russia tried to influence last year’s US election.

Moscow denies any wrongdoing but several US investigations are looking into whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.

Correspondents say the bipartisan agreement indicates determination in Congress to maintain a firm line against Russia, whatever Mr Trump’s view.

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ExxonMobil Fined $2M for Russia Sanctions Breach Under CEO Tillerson, now your Secretary of State

HEADLINEJUL 21, 2017

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The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia three years ago, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served as the oil company’s CEO. The Treasury said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic. The move violated sanctions placed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Tillerson said at the time his company opposed Russia sanctions, calling them “ineffective.” At the State Department Thursday, spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked whether Tillerson had changed his views on Russian sanctions.

Heather Nauert: “This all predates his time here at the Department of State.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand that.”

Heather Nauert: “And so, I’m going to refrain from giving any comment on that at this time.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them, so I think it’s relevant to know what he thinks about this decision today.”

Heather Nauert: “I think—I will say this. The secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from Exxon-related activities.”

Secretary of State Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. The Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against ExxonMobil was the maximum amount allowed by law. It represents just over two hours’ profit for the oil giant.

Let’s have a big hand for all of my fellow Amerikans who voted for Comrade Trump.  Stupid is as stupid does, and evil is what evil does.

God have mercy on your souls.

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Trump to “Let Obamacare Fail” After Republicans Fail on Health Bill. (Fuckin’ right on.)

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President Donald Trump said Tuesday he plans to “let Obamacare fail,” after Senate Republican leaders failed in a bid to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement in place. The move was opposed by four Republicans, including three women—Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski, who along with Rob Portman said the effort would deprive millions of Americans of health insurance. All three Republican women were left out of a Senate working group comprised of 13 white men that drafted the initial healthcare bill. On Tuesday, President Trump suggested he might let insurance markets created under Obamacare go under, and then try to work with Democrats on a rescue.

NYT: Trump regrets hiring Sessions

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

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Way to go, humans! Scientist Warn Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Has Already Begun – democracy.org

Scientists are warning that the Earth’s sixth mass extinction is already underway. In a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said billions of populations of animals have disappeared from the Earth, amid what they called a “biological annihilation.” They said the findings were worse than previously thought. The scientists say the main causes of the mass extinction of wildlife is human overpopulation and overconsumption, especially by the rich; the destruction of animals’ habitats; toxic pollution; and climate change. The report also warns that humans will be impacted by this mass extinction, writing, “The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic and social consequences. Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe.”

100 companies responsible for 71% of all global greenhouse emissions; Rex gets an award.

A separate report, also published Monday, reveals that only 100 companies are responsible for a shocking 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. The Carbon Majors Report, published in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute, found that ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are among the worst polluting investor-owned companies. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is former longtime CEO of ExxonMobil. This weekend, as Tillerson received a lifetime achievement award from the World Petroleum Congress, a climate change-fueled heat wave shattered temperature records in Southern California, including in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Woodland Hills, where the temperature soared to 110 degrees on Saturday. Climate change-fueled wildfires also continue to burn uncontrolled across California and Canada’s British Columbia, forcing thousands to flee their homes.