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 national affairs correspondent (@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
Imprisoning our mentally ill? American jails and prisons have become hospitals for the mentally ill. A murderer doing 20 years at New York’s Sing Sing prison works with schizophrenics serving 24 months for misdemeanors. He tells Warren that sick people should be treated outside. The Sheriff in Chicago says it’s not just inhumane but a waste of taxpayers’ money. How did we get here? What can be done?
Did Trump get conned by Kim? Six months after threatening nuclear warfare, “little rocket man” and the “dotard” were talking peace in Singapore. Beyond the hype, did President Trump and Kim Jong Un really mean it? A seasoned diplomat, a UN nuclear weapons inspector and veteran journalists provide contrasting assessments.
Post primary wrap, what’s the takeaway? California’s billed as the heart of “resistance” to President Trump. But in this month’s Golden State primary, young and Latino voters stayed home. That’s produced a clash of voices between Progressive Democrats and Clinton-era Centrists. What will that mean come November with control of the Congress at stake?
The politics of prison reform Prison reform is moving in Red States, Blue States and (maybe) on Capitol Hill. But America still incarcerates more people than any other country-- including China. Meantime, the Trump White House is divided. Jared Kushner is pushing sentence reform, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to stay “tough on crime.” What are the prospects for much needed change?
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