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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Republican presidential candidates have pledged that one of their first acts as president would be to cut, if not eliminate, the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions and pollution.

Michelle Bachmann, who has referred the EPA the “Job Killing Organization of America,” has promised that she “will begin with the EPA” when she is elected president and begins repealing programs she does not like.

Unlike Bachmann, Cain has only said that the complete elimination of the EPA “would be an option.” Instead, he favors creating government commissions to cut down on government bureaucracy, “starting with the EPA.” And just who would he appoint to these independent commissions? “The people I’m going to appoint to those commissions,” he told reporters a few weeks ago, “will be people and businessmen who have been abused by the EPA for the past decade or so.”

Tim Pawlenty also wants to get rid of the EPA, but he has an actual reason. Republicans in the House of Representatives prevented Congress from passing a law telling the EPA they had to regulate carbon emissions to combat global warming, and Pawlenty is upset that the EPA decided to do so anyway. “The Environmental Protection Agency is now regulating carbon emissions,” he told his supporters in a speech last month, “a policy rejected by Congress.” The policy may have been stonewalled in Congress, but it was embraced by the Supreme Court, who ruled just this week that only the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon emissions in the US.

Gingrich, still technically a Republican presidential candidate, has declared he wants to “replace, not reform, the EPA” with a brand new government agency called the “Environmental Solutions Agency.”

The rest of the Republican field isn’t quite as determined to terminate the agency. Huntsman and Romney, who has publicly admitted he thinks global warming exists, have opposed capping carbon emissions, but have not said they oppose the EPA.

And Ron Paul, opponent of every government entity from the Federal Reserve to the Department of Education, is no fan of the EPA but has admitted it’s “not high” on his list of priorities. [Talking Points Memo]

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)