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AT&T’s attempt to buy Time Warner suffers a blow in court

Enlarge (credit: Mike Mozart)

AT&T's court defense of its merger with Time Warner Inc. suffered a blow today, as a judge ruled against AT&T's attempt to find evidence that President Trump meddled in the government's merger review.

AT&T claims that its merger is being singled out by the Department of Justice because of Trump's hatred of CNN, which is owned by Time Warner. This "selective enforcement" defense would require AT&T to show that the DOJ hasn't tried to block similar mergers and is selectively enforcing antitrust laws.

AT&T thus asked the DOJ to produce logs related to conversations with the White House and logs related to internal communications about the White House's views on the merger.

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AT&T tries to prove Trump meddled in merger review because he hates CNN

Enlarge / AT&T will own a bunch of new media properties if it is allowed to buy Time Warner. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

AT&T and the Department of Justice are fighting in court over whether President Trump's hatred of CNN played a role in the DOJ's attempt to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner Inc.

In a pre-trial court hearing on Friday, AT&T demanded "that the Justice Department hand over additional evidence to prove that President Trump did not wield political influence over the agency as its antitrust enforcers reviewed the company's bid to acquire Time Warner," The Washington Post reported.

AT&T wants the DOJ to provide logs of any conversations about the merger between the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The DOJ should also have to "disclose any conversations between Sessions and the agency's antitrust division," the Post wrote.

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Op-ed: The story behind the satellite that Trump wants dead

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

There were plenty of striking things about Monday's budget news, given that it contained lots of draconian cuts that were simultaneously restored because Congress had boosted spending the week before. But perhaps the most striking among them was an item in the proposed budget for NASA: Trump wants to block the follow on to a highly successful NASA mission.

To truly appreciate just how awful this is, you have to understand the history of that satellite and what it means to the scientific community as a whole. So let's step back and take a look at why the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (or OCO) exists in the first place. It turns out it was built specifically to handle some outstanding questions of the sort that people in the administration say are important, and killing its successor would mean the existing mission never lives up to its full potential.

Real uncertainty

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory's primary job is to see what's happening to the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere. You may think that's a solved issue: we're emitting a lot, and levels are going up. And that's true to a point. But once you pass that point, you enter a world where there are lots of details, and many of them matter.

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Trump’s infrastructure plan has no dedicated money for broadband

Enlarge / President Donald Trump unveils his infrastructure plan in the State Dining Room at the White House February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla )

President Trump's new 10-year plan for "rebuilding infrastructure in America" doesn't contain any funding specifically earmarked for improving Internet access. Instead, the plan sets aside a pool of funding for numerous types of infrastructure projects, and broadband is one of the eligible categories.

The plan's $50 billion Rural Infrastructure Program lists broadband as one of five broad categories of eligible projects. Here's the full list:

  • Transportation: roads, bridges, public transit, rail, airports, and maritime and inland waterway ports.
  • Broadband (and other high-speed data and communication conduits).
  • Water and Waste: drinking water, wastewater, storm water, land revitalization, and Brownfields.
  • Power and Electric: governmental generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.
  • Water Resources: flood risk management, water supply, and waterways.

Eighty percent of the program's $50 billion would be "provided to the governor of each state." Governors would take the lead in deciding how the money would be spent in their states. The other 20 percent would pay for grants that could be used for any of the above project categories.

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Trump ‘supports the idea’ of a nationwide internet sales tax, Treasury Secretary says

Internet sales tax collection, Trump

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Tuesday that President Trump would be in favor of the idea of a national internet sales tax, throwing the White House's weight behind a controversial proposal that would change the landscape of online shopping.

Mr. Mnuchin told members of the Senate Banking Committee that there are components of a nationwide sales tax that Trump "likes a lot," and that that President looks forward to working with Congress on a proposal.

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Trump ‘supports the idea’ of a nationwide internet sales tax, Treasury Secretary says originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 31 Jan 2018 at 23:34:12 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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