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

Latest Trump Ruling Risks An American Bhopal Disaster To Enrich Oligarch

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

The weakening of regulations that save us from oil chemical apocalypse appears to have been influenced by a friend of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's oligarchs.

Putin, of course, is the presumed friend of lame-duck and impeached President Donald Trump who is a proven enemy of environmental safeguards.

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States Banning Deadly Paint Stripper Allowed By Trump

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Wendy Hartley, whose son Kevin died at age 21 after using a toxic paint stripper, met with ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt two years ago to urge him to ban a chemical in the stripper that has killed people since 1947.

But when the EPA evaluated the chemical, methylene chloride, under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the agency decided the chemical didn't present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment under some conditions.

"Nothing short of a ban would be sufficient," said Hartley, who brought photos of her son and his death certificate to her meeting with Pruitt.

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Judge Strikes Down Trump Scheme To Force Elderly Into Nursing Homes

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

TheTrump administration has lost a court battle that could have pushed our nation's low-income elderly, disabled, and blind out of their own homes and into deathtrap nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

A California federal judge called the Trump rule that bars states from withholding part of the paychecks of some home healthcare workers for things like health insurance and voluntary union dues a "legal error."

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Trump Must Go, But He Plans To Kill Grandma First

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Team Trump is trying to force our nation's low-income elderly, blind and disabled out of their own homes and into death trap nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Joseph Hunt, who has since left the Justice Department, represented the Trump administration in a California lawsuit over Trump efforts to weaken working conditions for low-paid aides who help our nation's elderly and disabled stay in their homes. The workers, mostly female, do chores like cooking meals, changing adult diapers and helping with baths.

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Trump’s EPA Permits Dumping Of Poisonous Coal Ash

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Retiree Julie Pease and her husband moved into their modest lakefront home near Herrington Lake in Kentucky eight years ago, but she won't eat the fish. The lake is polluted by coal ash from the nearby power plant.

Team Trump recently pushed back the deadlines for utilities to close an estimated 523 leaking, unstable or dangerously-sited coal ash ponds. Kentucky Utilities, which operates the E.W. Brown power plant in Harrodsburg, Ky., closed its main coal ash pond in 2008, but the six million tons of coal ash that remain at the site has polluted Herrington Lake.

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Fearful Senate Republicans Drop Pendley Nomination

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

William Perry Pendley, the embattled attorney who is acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, is out as a candidate for the permanent job.

Trump withdrew Pendley's nomination on Saturday because it could have caused problems for three Republican senators in tough re-election races who would have voted whether to confirm him: Steve Daines of Montana, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona. He is expected to remain as acting director.

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Minnesota Natural Wonder Is On Trump Team’s Hit List To Despoil

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Trump administration action that could spoil a Minnesota wilderness with acidic damage for centuries would benefit the landlord of the president's children.

Former President Jimmy Carter signed a law more than four decades ago to prohibit mining in the Boundary Waters, a pristine wilderness. With more than 1,000 lakes, it stretches almost 200 miles along the U.S.-Canada border in Minnesota.

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Trump’s USDA Speeds Up Meatpacking Despite Virus Deaths

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Trump administration officials may have used misleading data to analyze safety so that meatpacking plants could skirt a safety rule regulating their processes. The rule regulates how fast pigs can be slaughtered.

The USDA Office of Inspector General recently released a report expressing concern about faulty data, as COVID-19 cases soar in the meatpacking industry.

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EPA Allows Agribusiness To Keep Using Widely Banned Poison

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Bayer, the giant German chemical company, has agreed to pay up to $400 million to U.S. farmers whose crops have been damaged by the deadly herbicide dicamba.

The poison is still being used on genetically modified crops until July 31, despite a court order that threw out the Trump EPA approval.

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Trump Appointees Permit Higher Soot Emissions, Increasing Covid-19 Mortality

Reprinted with permission from DCReport.

A new Harvard study has found that long-term exposure to microscopic soot in the air appears to be associated with higher death rates from the coronavirus.

But Trump's EPA has recommended keeping the 2012 standards for microscopic soot that are linked to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year.

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McConnell’s Scheme To Protect Corporations From Covid-19 Liability May Fail

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

The landmark Supreme Court decision that upheld most of the Affordable Care Act could help doom efforts by Trump Republicans to shield companies from COVID-19 lawsuits.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to give companies that reopen during the pandemic immunity from liability. Such a law, which would supersede state liability laws, could run afoul of the Commerce Clause.

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Trump Administration Rigs Market For Big Beef Packers

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Trump's Agriculture Department is turning our nation's cattle ranchers and feedlot operators into modern-day sharecroppers as beef prices soar during the pandemic.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) asked the Senate Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee to hold a hearing on claims of price manipulation and collusion in the beef meatpacking industry. Fischer pointed to the spike in the index of prices for butchered beef compared with the 30 percent drop in cattle futures after Jan. 24, when the country's first coronavirus case was reported.

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Trump Republicans Care Less About Workers Than Hogs

Reprinted with permission from DCReport.

Donald Trump and Republican legislators behave as if the lives of the immigrants working in meatpacking plants are worth less than the lives of pigs in a slaughterhouse.

Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), a former GOP governor, asked Trump to intervene to keep meatpacking plants open during the pandemic.

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Nursing Homes Fouled By Lax Regulation And Lobbyist Influence

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat but the CEO of a nursing home industry group, wrote Trump after the 2016 election seeking a "collaborative approach" to regulation, much like the one the Federal Aviation Administration has had with the aircraft industry.

Team Trump acquiesced, rolling back fines and proposing to weaken rules for infection prevention employees. That collaborative approach has failed, much as it did with the FAA , the agency that enabled failures in the design of the Boeing 737 Max.

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Beware Of This Allergen When Washing Your Hands

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Even washing your hands has its drawbacks. A common preservative in soaps and household cleaners is putting thousands of people at risk of developing painful, debilitating allergies.

The preservative, methylisothiazolinone, or MI, inhibits the growth of bacteria, yeast and molds. It is made by Dow. It's widely used in our country … a 2016 study found that MI is in 47 percent of household cleaners and 29 percent of soaps. It's restricted in Europe.

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Trump Appointees Revive Payday Lending To Exploit Newly Unemployed

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

New unemployment claims reached 22 million on Thursday while the Trump administration is helping banks and financial institutions fleece out-of-work Americans and those who could lose their jobs because of Trump's pandemic.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency set up to protect consumers but has been neutered by Trump and other financial agencies, are telling banks they can practice "responsible small-dollar lending" or payday loans in areas affected by the coronavirus.

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Kushner Family Seeking To Profit From Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

The Kushner family is trying to cash in on the pandemic that could kill millions of us.

Oscar Health, the health insurance company co-founded by Jared Kushner’s younger brother, announced Friday it has launched a testing center locator for COVID-19. It shows where more than 100 centers are in the United States. The company is also offering a risk assessment survey and means to talk to a doctor online.

The coronavirus is predicted to kill anywhere from almost 500,000 Americans in the next year to more than 5 million. At least 62 people in the United States had died by Sunday; 3,130 have tested positive.

Team Trump announced Saturday that Trump tested negative for the virus despite presiding over a coronavirus hot zone at Mar-a-Lago. Testing efforts have been marked by delays and dysfunction. Just a few thousand people were tested during the weeks the virus spread across our country.

Trump reportedly tried to woo a German company working on a cure for the coronavirus to move here and make a vaccine only for us.

Joshua Kushner co-founded Oscar Health in 2012. His co-founders are Mario Schlosser, the company CEO, and Harvard Business School classmate Kevin Nazemi who left the company in 2015.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has become increasingly involved in Team Trump’s response to the pandemic. He helped write Trump’s half-baked Oval Office speech on the disease. The Kushner brothers co-founded Cadre, a real-estate investing start-up.

Oscar Health was criticized in 2018 for selling health insurance in Ohio through the Affordable Care Act with a deductible of $15,800. The company sold health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in 15 states for 2020.

Billionaire Peter Thiel, a Trump supporter who co-founded PayPal, invested millions in Oscar Health through his Founders Fund. Joshua Kushner’s father-in-law is New York doctor Kurt Kloss who turned to his Facebook group of emergency room doctors for advice to pass onto Team Trump about how best to handle the pandemic.

Oscar Health lost $110 million in 2019, almost double the $57 million the company lost in 2018.