“Generals, dictators, we have everything,”

President Donald Trump, living alone inside the White House, often hungers for friendly interaction as he adjusts to the difficult work of governance. At his clubs, he finds what’s missing.

That showed last November at a cocktail and dinner reception celebrating longtime members of his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club. Deep into the process of meeting potential Cabinet nominees, the president-elect invited partygoers to stop by the next day to join the excitement.

“We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything,” Trump told the crowd, according to an audio tape of his closed-press remarks obtained by POLITICO from a source in the room. “You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government.”

For Trump, the “Winter White House” of Mar-a-Lago offers him more than a warm and gilded setting outside of Washington, D.C. — it puts the isolated president back in the mix with his club family, where friends said he feels most like himself.

“So, this is my real group,” Trump said at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, on November 18, according to the audio tape. “These are the people that came here in the beginning, when nobody knew what this monster was gonna turn out to be, right?”

He added: “I see all of you. I recognize, like 100 percent of you, just about.”

[…]

Turning to a longtime club member that night, he said: “We were just talking about who we [are] going to pick for the FCC, who [are] we going to pick for this, who we gonna accept — boy, can you give me some recommendations?”

The supportive crowd ate it up as the relaxed Trump, in his element, gave them a close-up view of how he was setting up the government. “You are the special people,” he told the crowd of about 100 members, who mingled around a sushi station served by a waiter wearing a camouflage “Make America Great Again” cap.

Politico has the full story on this, and it should upset the hell outta people. It upsets me, and it’s fucking infuriating. The only thing that matters to Trump is being the center of attention, and that attention is best when people are paying obscene amounts of money to be one of the Tiny Tyrant’s “friends.” The special people – filthy rich lickspittles. Obviously, the rest of us don’t matter in the flaky crust of Trump’s manufactured reality.

Turmoil and Trouble.

Twitter.

Twitter.

So many Trump supporters think he’s a good businessman, and that’s why they retain a great deal of faith in him, but Trump’s no businessman, never has been. He started out with not a silver spoon, but a whole set. He’s dismissed his trust fund, and the “little” loan of a million bucks from daddy. For reasons beyond my understanding, supporters don’t seem disturbed in the slightest about any of that, or the numerous failed “businesses”, the open frauds, or the lawsuits. This myth of the “good businessman” persists. Trump sucks at business, and he’s not worth what he claims, either, one of the reasons he doesn’t want those tax returns seen by anyone. I’m sure that’s not the only reason.

Bert Spector has an excellent article up at The Conversation, explaining how Trump does not have business chops, in detail. There’s a big difference between being the CEO of a company, answerable not only to a board, but to shareholders as well. Trump has never done that. He has an LLC, which basically allows him to run a family business, which is not answerable to anyone, so there’s no need to do things in the proper manner, at least not until you get caught. When it comes to Trump, he’s been caught, numerous times, and eventually leaks money out in a settlement, then goes right back to scamming again. The article is in-depth, so just a bit here.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump made much of his business experience, claiming he’s been “creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods my entire adult life.”

The fact that he was from the business world rather than a career politician was something that appealed to many of his supporters.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of a president as CEO. The U.S. president is indisputably the chief executive of a massive, complex, global structure known as the federal government. And if the performance of our national economy is vital to the well-being of us all, why not believe that Trump’s experience running a large company equips him to effectively manage a nation?

Instead of a “fine-tuned machine,” however, the opening weeks of the Trump administration have revealed a White House that’s chaotic, disorganized and anything but efficient. Examples include rushed and poorly constructed executive orders, a dysfunctional national security team and unclear and even contradictory messages emanating from multiple administrative spokespeople, which frequently clash with the tweets of the president himself.

Senator John McCain succinctly summed up the growing sentiment even some Republicans are feeling: “Nobody knows who’s in charge.”

So why the seeming contradiction between his businessman credentials and chaotic governing style?

Well for one thing, Trump wasn’t a genuine CEO. That is, he didn’t run a major public corporation with shareholders and a board of directors that could hold him to account. Instead, he was the head of a family-owned, private web of enterprises. Regardless of the title he gave himself, the position arguably ill-equipped him for the demands of the presidency.

If, like me, your understanding of just how businesses work isn’t all that, go have a read, and learn why the whole “I’m a businessman!” rhetoric from Trump is nothing more than another lie.

White House in turmoil shows why Trump’s no CEO.

Excuses, Republican Style.

EXCUSE

The excuses for not doing a damn thing about the current clusterfuck are flying fast, and none of them are remotely good. Think Progress has outlined four of them.

This might be bigger than Watergate. Late Tuesday night, the New York Times reported that U.S. spy agencies had intercepted multiple phone conversations between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian intelligence agents. That means Trump allies may have colluded with a foreign power in an effort to undermine the American democratic process — and that Russia may now have access to the highest levels of American government.

[…]

But lest anyone think GOP lawmakers are dragging their heels, it’s important to note they’ve offered up some good reasons for their desultory approach. Here are some of the best ones.

1. There’s already an ongoing investigation, so a new one would be redundant.

That’s a favorite excuse of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who have now spent months deflecting calls for an independent commission by gesturing at existing committees and U.S. intelligence agencies.

[…]

2. Executive privilege means we can’t get the information we’d need.

Speaking of Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee leader said Tuesday that he would not examine conversations between Flynn and the president because of executive privilege.

[…]

3. Flynn resigned, so the whole thing took care of itself.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) told reporters Tuesday the fact of Flynn’s resignation meant there was no point in scrutinizing the events leading up to it.

“It’s taking care of itself,” he said.

[…]

4. We’re too busy trying to repeal Obamacare.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) thinks a full investigation would get in the way of all the other important work that Congress needs to do — such as cutting people’s health insurance.

“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” said Paul. “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

All the excuse details are at Think Progress.

Survival Mode.

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© DonkeyHotey.

Seems that everyone in the White House is close to panic, and in survival mode. Perhaps we should all be in survival mode, too.

The past several days have been tumultuous for the Trump White House, and administration sources are now leaking information about the mood of panic that’s emanating from the West Wing.

Sources tell Axios’s Mike Allen that the White House at the moment is in a state of “borderline chaos” and that “some staff is in survival mode” and is “scared to death” by what’s about to happen.

A “West Wing confidant,” meanwhile, tells Allen that it looks like “nobody is in charge” at the White House at the moment, and that the scandal surrounding fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn shows the Trump administration is either “reckless” or simply has “total incompetence.”

[…]

On Tuesday evening, both the New York Times and CNN reported that senior Trump campaign officials were in constant contact with Russian intelligence officers during the 2016 presidential race.

Here’s hoping the current mess is one the repubs will not be able to ignore and handwave away. Full story here.

Also see: I was hoping you could tell me what the fuck is going on over there.

The GOP? Oh, Having Breakfast With Their Wives.

CREDIT: CNN screengrab.

CREDIT: CNN screengrab.

So, where are all the repubs, and why are they keeping so darn quiet over the Flynn mess? Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, so…it must be the wives’ fault! Or something.

Asked on Tuesday morning about the conspicuous silence of Republican leadership about the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) dismissed the scandal.

“Well, it’s Valentine’s Day and I guess they’re having breakfast with their wives,” Collins said during a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo. “Really, all I can say is I’m sorry to see Gen. Flynn go. I don’t know the details of what transpired. I do know Gen. Flynn, I know that he’s very loyal to President Trump, I know he’s a great American.”

I don’t do Valentine’s Day, never saw the point, but somehow I never got the impression it was a breakfast sort of thing. You don’t know details. That little song and dance is getting seriously old, and it’s only been a month. Yes, yes, Flynn’s a great guy, he just seriously fucked up, indulged in illegal behaviour, and may have been subject to extortion, but of course, that doesn’t require any sort of investigation, no.

Collins, who served on the Trump transition executive committee and was President-elect Trump’s congressional liaison, went on to repeatedly say he thinks it’s time to “move on” now that Flynn has resigned.

He’s far from the only Republican who thinks that. On Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chair and tireless Benghazi investigator Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he doesn’t see a need to further investigate Flynn’s pre-inauguration contact with Russian officials, including conversations about Russian sanctions.

Oh, Chaffetz, who also doesn’t think there’s any need to investigate the Tiny Tyrant’s violations of the constitution, and is protecting the public at large from those tax returns being made public, under the rubric of American freedom and privacy. Yeah.

Trump also tried to shift focus from the Flynn scandal to leaks on Tuesday morning.

Of course. Donny changes his opinion so damn much he makes wheat in the wind look ramrod straight. Whatever lie will serve at the moment, that’s our Tiny Tyrant. The full story is at Think Progress.

It’s Only 3 Million Per Weekend.

President Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on February 10. CREDIT: MPI10 / MediaPunch/IPX.

President Trump and his wife Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport on February 10. CREDIT: MPI10 / MediaPunch/IPX.

On February 17, President Trump will head to his $200,000-per-membership Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach for the third consecutive weekend, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Each trip reportedly costs taxpayers upward of $3 million.

Trump’s reluctance to spend a weekend in Washington stands in contrast to what he promised during the campaign, when he said he’d “rarely leave the White House.”

“I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done,” Trump told a reporter in 2015. “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off… You don’t have time to take time off.”

Three million. More than that actually, but even a flat three million, for a fucking weekend? This totals to over 9 million for a month in office. Repubs howled with outrage if the Obama family even mentioned the word vacation, but this flagrant misuse of funds meets with silence? That’s bad enough, but given Trump’s penchant for being seen unpresidenting and making himself a massive security leak, shouldn’t someone in the capital tell Donny no? As there seems to be no effort at all in impeaching the tiny tyrant, someone will have to step up and explain to his idiotness that no, the presidency is not a reality show.

Earlier Saturday, Trump played golf with Abe — marking the second time he hit the links since his January 20 inauguration. Trump repeatedly criticized President Obama for golfing during his presidency:

If the hypocrisy of republicans were a noise, everyone on the planet would be stone deaf. Disgusting. Think Progress has the full story.

The Power Must Not Be Questioned!

Stephen Miller, policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Stephen Miller, policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

As most everyone is aware, Stephen Miller did the media dance all of Sunday, spreading bullshit far and wide. It’s no secret that the Tiny Dictator is displeased with Spicer, and tweeted happily about Miller’s performances. Those performances should disturb the hell out of everyone with a brain and the ability to use it.

Senior White House Policy Advisor Stephen Miller raised plenty of eyebrows on Sunday as the perused the talk-show circuit talking about cases of voter fraud (that don’t exist) and Steve Bannon’s lack of involvement in drafting executive orders (which, according to most reports, is the exact opposite of the truth).

But perhaps his most alarming statement was in reference to the federal judges in Washington rejecting President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

“I think that it’s been an important reminder to all Americans that we have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government,” Miller told John Dickerson of CBS News, as first noted by Will Saletan of Slate. “The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.

Emphasis mine. This is the boot stomp of authoritarianism, the herald of a regime which wants no dissent whatsoever, from anyone. What’s even more frightening is the amount of people willing to go along with it. Elsewhere I wrote: I think there’s a place for the very worst truth of all: it does not take much to normalise the most monstrous of behaviours, and it takes very little indeed to make people willingly join in said behaviours. The time and place is now.

Think Progress has the full story.

Oh, that fucking wall.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

The projected cost for President Donald Trump’s border wall continues to rise, and Trump has no good plan to contain it.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the border wall will be much more expensive than the $10 billion figure Trump repeatedly cited during his campaign or the $12–$15 billion cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last month.

“Trump’s ‘wall’ along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct,” Reuters reported, citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document the outlet obtained.

And it could end up costing even more than that.

“Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion,” Reuters reports.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to that news by assuring Americans that costs of constructing the wall will come “WAY DOWN” as soon as he gets involved in the negotiations.

<Tweets snipped.>

But Trump’s citation of the reduced cost of F-35s should give no one confidence he’ll be able to bring down the exorbitant cost of his border wall.

That’s because on January 30, Trump took credit for cost cuts to the fighter jets that were already put in place before he got involved. A Washington Post fact-check gave Trump’s claim that he was responsible for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program “Four Pinocchios.”

[…]

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for deals that were in the works long before he won the election or became president. For instance, he’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs.

[…]

Last year, Reuters reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents don’t think the type of border wall Trump has long supported is necessary for national security. Instead, they seek better equipment and technology.

Not only is this wall idea the epitome of idiocy, people tend to forget a different cost of such idiocy – the high cost imposed on animals, the environment, and various ecologies. This sort of arrogant assholery is little more than a chest-pounding display of cruelty, a game for bully boys. Unfortunately, such people don’t much give a shit about the planet which gives them life, or the diversity of life on our earth, which has no use for the concrete idiocy of naked apes intent on warring with their neighbours. You can read a bit about this high cost here.

Full story at Think Progress.

“3.49 ‘rounds down’ to three.”

This sixth grade student is held to a higher standard than the United States Department of Health and Human Services. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ty Wright.

This sixth grade student is held to a higher standard than the United States Department of Health and Human Services. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ty Wright.

The devil is in the details, so it’s said. There’s such a constant thower of thit, to quote Igor, that it’s very easy to miss the smaller things, the fine mitht of the thit thower, as Igor might say. First is the news that our current health regulators aren’t good at math. At all.

…Thus, for example, a fifth grade student is expected to understand that the number “3.49” is greater than the number “3.” The Trump administration, however, appears to be struggling with this concept.

Under the Affordable Care Act, “the premium rate charged by a health insurance issuer for health insurance coverage offered in the individual or small group market . . . shall not vary by more than 3 to 1 for adults” due to the age of the person seeking insurance. In other words, insurers may charge older consumers (who tend to have more health problems and thus are more expensive to cover) up to three times more than younger individuals, but no more than three times as much.

Nevertheless, according to the Huffington Post’s Jonathan Cohn, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted a proposal which would permit insurers to charge older customers premiums that are “3.49 times as large as those for younger customers.” This proposal would be a federal rule, not a new law, so HHS apparently hopes to implement it without changing the law saying that insurers can only charge older customers 3 times as much, not 3.49 times as much.

According to Cohn, HHS would argue that this is okay because “3.49 ‘rounds down’ to three.”

If you find yourself prone to shrugging over this, have a second think. 3 and 3.49 might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re going to be charged that difference financially, it’s a big difference. It’s a difference which could determine whether or not you can afford healthcare. Full story at Think Progress.

Prepaid cash and credit cards have been a gold rush for the financial industry — and not everyone in the business plays fair with customers. CREDIT: AP Photo/Swayne B. Hall, File.

Prepaid cash and credit cards have been a gold rush for the financial industry — and not everyone in the business plays fair with customers. CREDIT: AP Photo/Swayne B. Hall, File.

In a very quiet move, consumer protections are going to be removed from pre-paid debit cards, and this will disproportionately affect those who are poor. We all know how much the GOP cares about poor people.

…But prepaid debit card companies are suddenly holding a get-out-of-jail-free card, courtesy of Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). Perdue is pushing legislation to override and permanently derail the CFPB’s three-month-old rules package for the cards, reviving even the most deceptive practices over expert advice to the contrary.

Prepaid debit cards now account for tens of billions of dollars in financial activity each year, creating a giant profit opportunity for the financial companies that issue cards to consumers. One Federal Reserve report in 2014 found the average customer pays $15 to $17 in fees each month on the cards, and that fees skew higher for customers who are black, younger than 15, widowed, or living in areas with relatively high rates of violent crime.

[…]

Only one major provider of prepaid cards charges overdraft fees. NetSpend, which does most of its business by partnering with storefront payday lenders, is uniquely reliant on the most deceitful species of fee-for-service practices.

Again, CFPB’s rule doesn’t bar the overdraft charges; it just forces companies to be honest and forthright about them. NetSpend couldn’t stand that sunlight. NetSpend and its parent company, Georgia-based TSYS, say they would lose some $80 million a year if consumers were finally protected from its policies.

Perdue and his co-sponsors say their move to end consumer protections for prepaid cards is about preserving access for consumers. The fact that it is also an $80 million favor to an unsavory financial company based in his state—and a thumb in the eye of the millions of people who have turned to the cards as a substitute for traditional bank accounts — is apparently a coincidence.

This will have a devastating effect on way too many people, and it’s doubtful most people will even be aware of this, and won’t be able to employ more vigilance against those looking to rob the poor and mire them into never-ending debt. Think Progress has the full story.

Confirmed. Fuck.

Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos arrives before testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing. CREDIT: AP/Carolyn Kaster.

Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos arrives before testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing. CREDIT: AP/Carolyn Kaster.

Think Progress has the story. All the bad news is at Pharyngula, where I first saw this, and experienced that caved-in, sinking chest feeling, in spite of being heavily medicated.* All I can say right now is go read. Read, and renew your conviction and commitment to fight back. We are in situation dire as fuck.

*Dealing with extreme stress right now, PTSD shit. Likely to be on the erratic side for a bit, can’t focus right now. There will also probably be mass amounts of typos, please be kind in your corrections.

Multi-Million Dollar Deals.

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In a lawsuit filed today, First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.”

These kind of endorsement deals would be especially lucrative while Melania Trump is First Lady and thus “one of the most photographed women in the world.”

So many Trumpoids just wouldn’t shut up about how nice it would be to have a “classy” (read: white) first lady. Yes, that’s class alright, nothing but a laser focus on how much the wallet could be fattened, and how often her face would be plastered all over. Used to be, that sort of behaviour would have been termed crass.

According to the lawsuit, because of the Daily Mail’s inaccurate reporting, these business opportunities will be less available to her while her husband is in the White House.

The strategy Melania Trump lays out in her lawsuit is similar to the one already being executed by President Trump.

Most people already know how Trump has refused to divest, how he has openly violated the constitution, and how he’s leveraging his position to make more money, but if you don’t, head over to Think Progress.

A Peek Through the Window…

Via Twitter.

Via Twitter.

The NY Times has a look into the state of things in the white house. If anything, I’d say the article tries much too hard to be kind to the Tiny Dictator, and to paint him in a good light. You need to look past all the sweet icing smeared about, and pay attention to the substance. The Times describes Trump as an “outsider” president, which is utter bullshit. Trump is a sociopathic con man with absolutely no political experience. Tell the fucking truth! The substance is not at all good. As it turns out, the executive order Trump signed, placing Bannon on the NSC? Trump didn’t have the slightest idea that’s what he was signing, and he’s busy sulking about it now. Apparently, we not only have an unpresident who won’t look in the rearview mirror at all, but one who won’t read “his own” orders prior to signing. Outside of the whirlwind clusterfuck, Trump seems to spend most of his time rattling about the white house, watching television and tweeting.

[Read more…]

The Stream Protection Rule. Pffft.

The Stream Protection Rule is an update to existing mining regulations. It compels companies to restore the “physical form, hydrologic function, and ecological function” of streams after mining operations are complete. And, it calls for monitoring pollution levels in streams near surfaces mines.

In Appalachia, mining companies regularly blow the tops off mountains to access stores of coal beneath, a practice known as “mountaintop removal.” They dump the debris into valleys below, filling rivulets and contaminating downstream water supplies. Mining firms have decapitated more than 500 mountains in Appalachia and buried some 2,000 miles of streams, according to Appalachian Voices, an environmental advocacy group.

This poses a threat to wildlife and people who live nearby. Numerous studies link mountaintop removal to higher rates of cancer and heart disease among residents of neighboring communities.

[…]

“The rule spells out best practices for reclaiming land and reforesting with native species. It strengthens protections for ephemeral streams that are necessary for good water quality and quantity downstream,” said Davie Ransdell, a retired surface mine inspector for the state of Kentucky. “In my view, it’s also a job generator, since it prevents mining companies from just pushing material over the hill and into streams below.”

[…]

Lawmakers will likely vote Wednesday to overturn the rule, using the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the power to scrap executive actions issued in the last 60 working days.

“I would encourage the House to act quickly so that we can send this resolution to the president’s desk as soon as possible,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. Throughout his career, McConnell has opposed coal mining regulations. He also blamed what he called “Obama’s War on Coal” for the decline of the mining industry, although energy experts say it is largely the low cost of natural gas that is responsible for coal’s demise.

According to the Center for American Progress, the 27 representatives that sponsored or co-sponsored the Congressional Review Act bill received nearly $500 million from mining interests last year.

And there you have the bottom line of rethugs everywhere. Their only line – how well will their pockets be lined? They don’t give a fuck about the planet, they don’t give a fuck about clean water, they don’t give a fuck about wildlife, and they don’t give a fuck about people other than themselves. The full story is at Think Progress. In the same vein, the rethugs are looking to help big oil by making bribery and a lack of transparency okay again:

The House will vote as early as Wednesday to nullify a rule that makes it harder for U.S. oil companies to engage in bribery and corruption in developing countries.

In June 2016 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized the “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers” rule, requiring oil, natural gas, and mining companies to publicly disclose the billions of dollars they pay to foreign governments for drilling rights around the world. This rule — meant to promote transparency and fight corruption — now faces the prospect of repeal as Republicans look to rollback a myriad of Obama administration rules.

“On the same day as the Senate is considering the nomination of former Exxon CEO as next Secretary of State, the House of Representatives is deciding whether or not to vote to license the bribery and corruption that the oil industry has lived off for decades,” Corinna Gilfillan, head of the U.S. office at Global Witness, said in a statement. “We cannot stand by while the interests of a few powerful oil companies trump the safety and values of our country. We need this law to protect investors, developing countries, and our own national security interests.”

That story is here.