- “The White House is telling federal agencies to blow off Democratic lawmakers' oversight requests, as Republicans fear the information could be weaponized against [Trump].” Politico’s Burgess Everett  and Josh Dawsey report: “At meetings with top officials for various government departments this spring, Uttam Dhillon, a White House lawyer, told agencies not to cooperate with such requests from Democrats … It appears to be a formalization of a practice that had already taken hold, as Democrats have complained that their oversight letters requesting information from agencies have gone unanswered since January, and the Trump administration has not yet explained the rationale. The declaration amounts to a new level of partisanship in Washington, where the president and his administration already feels besieged by media reports and attacks from Democrats. The idea, Republicans said, is to choke off the Democratic congressional minorities from gaining new information that could be used to attack the president.”

-- “[Trump] has managed to turn America First into America Isolated,” the New York Times’ David Sanger and Jane Perlez write: “In pulling out of the Paris climate accord, [Trump] has created a vacuum of global leadership that presents ripe opportunities to allies and adversaries alike to reorder the world’s power structure … His decision is perhaps the greatest strategic gift to the Chinese, who are eager to fill the void that Washington is leaving around the world[.] China has long viewed the possibility of a partnership with Europe as a balancing strategy against the United States. Now, with Mr. Trump questioning the basis of NATO, the Chinese are hoping that their partnership with Europe on the climate accord may allow that relationship to come to fruition faster than their grand strategy imagined.
 
-- “Trump’s suggestion Thursday that he is willing to renegotiate the deal to make it fairer to the United States doesn’t pass the straight-face test,” says Todd Stern, who served under Obama as a U.S. special envoy for climate change. “The Paris agreement — for anyone who actually understands it — is entirely fair to the United States. The idea that 194 other countries will listen to Trump’s insulting Rose Garden blather and say, ‘Sure, let’s sit down and negotiate a new deal’ is ridiculous. Instead, Trump’s decision will be seen as an ugly betrayal — self-centered, callous, hollow, cruel. The ravages of climate change have been on display in recent years in the superstorms, floods, rising sea levels, droughts, fires and deadly heat waves that will only get worse as the carbon index mounts. Vulnerable countries will look at the United States, the richest power on Earth, the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases, and think — even if they do not say — how dare you?”

I am really going to miss clean air and water.  How long will it take for acid rain to return?
 
The HuffPo has a good article about how China will be stepping in to the vacuum created by the US leaving the Paris Accord.  THIS WEEK European leaders are having a summit with the Chinese.



“Politically, Beijing sees this as a gift-wrapped opportunity to position itself as a responsible global leader at the expense of the United States,” Andrew Small, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund think tank, told HuffPost. “For countries that see climate change as an existential issue ― not least the European leaders who are meeting the Chinese PM for their summit this week ― closer cooperation with China now becomes a necessity.”
The East Asian power house is already working on a new global pact with the European Union to address climate change that will include efforts to develop green technology, a fund to help poor nations adapt to low carbon energy and their own commitments to cut back on emissions.
“No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward,” Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s climate commissioner told the Guardian. “Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit. Now is the time to further strengthen these ties to keep the wheels turning for ambitious global climate action.”


In other news, Trump gave the entire White House staff ethics waivers, so they can do any damn thing they want to.  Bannon's was retroactive since it appears he's been running Breitbart  the whole time he's been in the White House being paid with taxpayer dollars.