Maine: Double-digit snow totals for Sunday

Sunday’s snow storm will start around midnight in southern Maine, but before sunrise pretty much everywhere. Some of us could see around 2 feet of snow, sleet possible closer to the coast

It will be heavy through the morning.

As we get closer to the afternoon, sleet will likely start to mix in along the coast.

Snow and sleet will continue through the evening.

Snowfall rates will be more than an inch an hour at times. 2-3 inches an hour rates are possible at times. Travel will be extremely difficult. Snow will get a bit lighter late Sunday, but snow showers will continues into Monday morning. High temperatures on Sunday will stay in the teen and might make it into the low 20s at the coast. Snowfall totals will be HUGE. 10-18″ at the coast and 18-24″ inland.

Jess Conley

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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SHOCKER: U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin votes in favor of tougher ozone standards

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin won praise from the environmental community Tuesday when he announced his opposition to a bill that seeks to delay the implementation of stricter ozone standards.

The Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, which passed 229-199 Tuesday evening with Poliquin and 10 other Republicans against it, is similar to a nearly identical measure that Poliquin and 9 other House Republicans opposed in 2016. The bill passed 234-177 in the House in 2016 but went on to fail in the Senate, where this year’s bill is now headed.

The 2017 act, which has been dubbed the Smoggy Skies Act by its opponents, would delay new ozone standards developed in 2008 and 2015 for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and loosen review standards for a variety of air pollutants. It would also change criteria for pollution determinations from being based on protecting public health to consideration of “technological feasibility.”

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Poliquin said it goes too hard against important air quality standards.