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
Will the NFL find common ground on national anthem protests? National Football League team owners are meeting today to craft a unified message about political protest. Men and women athletes in other sports are protesting too. We hear how one man's refusal to stand for the flag has demonstrated the inseparable relationship between sports and politics.
Author Masha Gessen on the appeal of Putin and Trump Masha Gessen was born in Russia but emigrated with her parents to the United States. She returned in the early 1990s when political change was afoot. And since then, she’s become a leading observer - and critic - of Russian president Vladamir Putin. She fled Russia again in 2013. In this special podcast, Warren Olney talks with Gessen about her new book, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia .
A month later, Puerto Ricans still stranded by Hurricane Maria Most people in Puerto Rico are still without electricity, and some are drinking from a well contaminated by a superfund site. President Trump's accused of a "shocking lack of compassion" compared to speedy assistance after hurricanes hit Texas and Florida.
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