In the aftermath of Irma, some daunting figures: between 6.5 and 15 million Floridians are without power; Florida Power and Light has some 16,000 workers laboring to repair the lines. Worst hit is the Florida Keys, where 25 percent of the homes have been destroyed. Florida Governor Rick Scott said officials are doing everything they can to get power back on. Alex Madrigal is keeping track of all this for the Atlantic.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Candidate Donald Trump said the Environmental Protection Agency was more about politics than science. Administrator Scott Pruitt got the message. He's weakening rules for clean water, methane leaks, chemical explosions and pesticides as EPA scientists are bought out or retire. One environmental group sees a "corporate takeover" of the agency -- created by Richard Nixon to monitor environmental threats to public health. Pruitt says there's been federal overreach. So, how will a weakened EPA handle the dangerous consequences of massive natural disasters?
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (@eilperin)
Judith Enck, Pace University (@enckj)
Jeff Ruch, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (@PEERorg)
Luke Metzger, Environment Texas (@lukemetzger)
Eilperin on EPA requiring political aide's sign-off for agency awards, grant applications
PEER on EPA criminal pollution enforcement withering away
Environment Texas on federal budget cuts hurt clean energy, clean air in Texas
The Trump Justice Department has filed a "friend of the court brief" on behalf of a baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, arguing that he was exercising his right to free speech. It reads, in part, "Just as a painter does more than simply apply paint to a canvas, a baker of a custom wedding cake does more than simply mix together eggs, flour, and sugar: Both apply their artistic talents and viewpoints to the endeavor.” The ACLU calls that an argument for a Constitutional right to discriminate. Jess Bravin, who covers the Supreme Court for the Wall Street Journal, says the case weighs the power of religion, sexual orientation and basic civil rights.
More From To the Point
Restoring public confidence in our institutions Are President Trump and allies in Congress eroding public trust in democratic government? Even a former Republican governor warns that attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller have gone too far. A constitutional scholar and a former FBI agent see real threats to both federal law enforcement and national security.
Has the ‘Year of the Woman’ finally arrived? Women’s Rights are still not guaranteed by the Constitution, despite generations of effort. Will #MeToo, #TimesUp and backlash against President Trump make this a year of liberation? More women are running for office than ever before. And black women are especially energized. We’ll hear how times may be changing for women--in culture and at the ballot box.
The shutdown highlights a broken system “To the Point” goes beyond the current blame game and explains the political calculations behind government shutdowns. You need to know, because the next one may be just weeks away. You’ll get the history of a self-defeating strategy the mainstream media don’t have time to tell you. On our Talking Point: the continuing Trump Campaign wears out the best of reporters.
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