On Tuesday, Senate Democrats defeated an attempt by Republicans to kill—of all things—a Clean Water Rule. Because, you know, overreach by the Obama administration in trying to make our water clean.
The rule, which was finalized in June and which clarifies what water bodies get the protections of the landmark Clean Water Act, restored safeguards for streams and wetlands that lacked clear protection.
The Senate voted on a motion to take up a bill sponsored by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) that would have killed the rule. As the White House pointed out in threatening a presidential veto of the bill, it would also “require the agencies to define [protected waters] in a manner inconsistent with the [Act] as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting in more confusion, uncertainty, and inconsistency,” and would “result in higher drinking water treatment costs, increased contamination of fish and
Did Ben Carson really have a violent childhood in which he hit a classmate in the head with a lock in his hand, among other incidents? CNN has gone looking for anyone who knew Carson when he was young and remembers the Republican presidential candidate having the violent temper he has repeatedly described in his books and speeches, but no one seems to remember Carson that way. This allegation that Ben Carson may not have been dangerous and violent in his youth has angered Ben Carson. Carson is outraged that CNN would dare question his accounts of his own life (the details of which have shifted from telling to telling) and because—get this—the media didn’t apply this level of scrutiny to President Obama! Reminded that “it’s called vetting” and provided with specific instances of questions the media raised about Obama’s autobiography, Carson laughed “give me a break.”
It has to be fun for President Obama to watch the current mess of a Republican presidential field without the stress of having to campaign himself. And he’s making it fun for the rest of us, pointing out a few of the absurdities the Republicans spew on a regular basis. There’s their tough-guy pledges in contrast with their constant whining:
“Have you noticed that everyone of these candidates say, ‘Obama’s weak. Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out,'” Obama said, impersonating a refrain among Republican candidates that he’s allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin too much leeway.
“Then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you, if you can’t handle those guys, then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you,” Obama said.
Just weeks after becoming the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, President Obama is ramping up his efforts to make criminal justice reform a key target in the last phase of his presidency. According to The Huffington Post:
President Barack Obama, who has made criminal justice reform a top priority of his last years in office, will announce actions on Monday to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into society.
The White House said the steps, to be unveiled by Obama at an appearance in Newark, New Jersey, would include up to $8 million in federal education grants over three years for former inmates as well as new guidance on the use of arrest records in determining eligibility for public and federally assisted housing.
Obama is also directing the Office of Personnel Management to take steps where possible to modify its rules in order to delay inquiries into
I believe we can disrupt the pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. I believe we can address the disparities in the application of criminal justice, from arrest rates to sentencing to incarceration. And I believe we can help those who have served their time and earned a second chance get the support they need to become productive members of society.
Criminal justice reform is once again the topic of President Obama’s weekly address this morning, building on a series of meetings he’s had with stakeholders in the system, from police officers and corrections officers, to inmates and families fighting drug abuse.
And he was clear about what he’s learned: “We know that having millions of people in the criminal justice system, without any ability to find a job after release, is unsustainable. It’s bad for communities and it’s bad for our economy.”
Over the weekend, New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie forcefully—and shamefully—declared that the Black Lives Matter movement encourages the killing of police officers, joining the likes of Fox News in smearing the activists and organizations involved.
Appearing on CBS’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Christie was responding to host John Dickerson, who asked whether or not he agreed with FBI Director James B. Comey’s suggestion that increased calls for police accountability have made police officers less aggressive in doing their job of curbing crime. Comey made the comments during a speech last Friday at the University of Chicago Law School.
Christie started out by saying there is no problem with police not doing their jobs in his state, because he tells them to perform without exception and that he backs them. He then pivoted to what he calls President Obama’s encouragement of “lawlessness” in the U.S.
Paul Ryan wants you to know he doesn’t like this deal.
Congressional conservatives are not happy that outgoing House Speaker John Boehner negotiated away all their favorite hostages until 2017 in the newly announced budget deal. They’re trashing the deal in both the House and the Senate, though their opposition doesn’t seem large or organized enough to derail the package.
On the Senate side, it’s all Boehner’s fault.
Asked about the tentative agreement after the briefing, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions replied: “My knees quiver at the sound.”
In an interview, Sessions expressed frustration that outgoing Speaker John Boehner was hammering out the deal just days before he plans to give up the gavel for good. “What does Boehner got to do with it?” said an exasperated Sessions, the former top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “I’m worried about how fast it’s moving. I see no reason for