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Friday, March 23, 2018

With Solar Panel Tariff, Trump Repeats the Folly of Protectionism

Next month, thanks to the tax bill signed by Donald Trump, many Americans will see more money showing up in their paychecks. They should contain their enthusiasm. It won’t be long before his trade policy starts removing that money from their wallets.

On Monday, the president imposed hefty tariffs — taxes, that is — on imported washing machines and solar panels. They will be set at a minimum of 20 percent and a maximum of 50 percent on washers and at 30 percent on solar equipment. Rest assured, the duties will boost prices accordingly.

That’s not a minor side effect; it’s the central purpose.…

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Energy Department Threatens Whistleblower Who Exposed Secret Coal Scheming

A whistleblower leaked a photograph of a private meeting between Energy Secretary Rick Perry and a coal baron who’s also a major Republican donor. Now he’s being threatened.

 Photographer Simon Edelman used to work for the Department of Energy, headed by former Texas governor and failed presidential candidate Rick Perry.

But then Edelman leaked photographs of a secret meeting between Perry and Robert E. Murray, the owner of a major coal mining operation, and a longtime Republican donor and supporter of Donald Trump. The pictures show Perry and Murray embracing and exchanging an “action plan” drafted by Murray — essentially, a list Murray’s list of demands for changes to policy and regulations he wanted that would benefit the coal industry.

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Saudi Prince’s Tantrum Has Global Impact

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

What ails the royal court of Saudi Arabia? The Crown Prince—Mohammed Bin Salman—has arrested 11 rich and powerful princes and about 200 businessmen. These men of great wealth and might are being held in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh. Their assets are being seized in stages. Among these men is Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men on the planet—whose holdings include Twitter and Citigroup, and Miteb bin Abdullah (Minister of the National Guard), Adel Fakeih (Minister of Economy and Planning), Bakr bin Laden (head of the Saudi Binladin Group) and Mohammed al-Amoudi (a businessman with substantial holdings in Ethiopia).…

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