Back in December the Republican Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016 which granted Flint, Michigan $100 million to help rebuild its water system infrastructure in the wake of the disaster which poisoned the water. Today Donald Trump’s EPA made it official, here is more:
The Environmental Protection Agency awarded Michigan $100 million in grant money to replace the Flint water system’s damaged infrastructure.
The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016 provided the funding for this grant that would help Flint replace its lead water pipes that have fallen into disrepair, the EPA said in a statement.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said this grant is part of the Trump administration’s goal to improve the country’s water infrastructure.
“EPA will especially focus on helping Michigan improve Flint’s water infrastructure as part of our larger goal of improving America’s water infrastructure,” Pruitt said.
Here is what Michigan Governor Snyder had to say:
Here is the open thread for Sunday, March 19th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.
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Last week was a relatively slow week at America’s Watchtower with the blizzard wiping out a day of posting and next week could be just as slow for another (better) reason which I will get to after the musical selection.
Here is Talking Heads performing one of my all-time favorite songs–“Crosseyed and Painless.” This line seems appropriate in today’s world of fake news:
“Facts are never what they seem to be
No information left of any kind”
Speaking of being cross-eyed and painless, that leads me to the reason why posting could be light next week. On Thursday Lauri and I will be headed to Key West for a long weekend vacation. We intend to do nothing whatsoever but sit by the pool and enjoy a few cocktails–for all intents and purposes we will be cross-eyed and painless. Other than going away for a night for our anniversary every year this will be our first vacation without our beloved boys. We will be flying home on Monday the 27th.
Of course I will be bringing my laptop and I am an early riser while Lauri is, well, not so much. So I might do some posting in the mornings before our days get started if anything strikes my fancy but we will have to wait and see. I will be providing an open thread on Wednesday so people can post about what is going on while we are gone.
According to this story a Secret Service Agent had her laptop, and documents with sensitive information, stolen from the backseat of her car in the driveway of her house stolen at 3:00 in the morning. Here is more:
A laptop computer containing floor plans for Trump Tower, information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation and other national security information was stolen from a Secret Service agent’s vehicle in Brooklyn, police sources told the Daily News.
Authorities have been frantically searching for the laptop since it was stolen Thursday morning — and are trying to determine if the thief knew what he was taking or randomly targeted the agent’s vehicle.
NYPD cops were assisting in the investigation but had scant information on exactly what’s on the laptop, sources said.
“The Secret Service is very heavily involved and, citing national security, there’s very little we have on our side,” a police source said. “It’s a very big deal.”
And that was not all that was taken:
Late last night or early this morning Donald Trump released his budget blueprint and on the surface it looks like a conservative wishlist and a liberal nightmare. In addition to a defense spending increase there are major cuts to several agencies while others are to be abolished, however there are some somewhat surprising increases which we will get to later in the post.
Here is more:
Well, the blizzard ripped through here yesterday bringing about a foot of snow and some high winds. All in all I do not think the storm lived up to its hype. A foot of snow is not all that irregular for a winter storm in New Hampshire, more fake news. We made out well because we managed to keep our electricity, however we did lose cable and internet so I was out of commission last night.
So tonight I thought we should discuss some more fake news which did not live up to the hype–namely Rachel Maddow’s “blockbuster” news that MSNBC had got its hands on Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The Congressional Budget Office has released its long-awaited report on the Republican establishment’s Obamacare repeal legislation and there are some interesting numbers contained within. I will assume these numbers are correct because this is all we have to go on and the Republicans and the Democrats are going to use them to tout their positions.
According to this story the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million Americans will lose their healthcare insurance under the plan while the Federal deficit will be cut by federal deficit by $337 billion through 2026.
I cannot say this is surprising but today the Democrats found a Federal Judge who would block Donald Trump’s new travel ban Executive Order. Here is more:
A second federal judge—this one in Wisconsin—on Friday blocked President Donald Trump’s new executive order (EO) on immigration travel, while the federal judge who blocked the first EO is reserving judgment on the revised EO.
Judge William Connelly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin did issue a new TRO against the new EO, holding that the plaintiff in that new lawsuit had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, and would suffer irreparable harm under the court provided immediate relief. This new lawsuit in Wisconsin concerns a man with a family member in Syria who has applied for asylum and claims that EO 13780 is thwarting that asylum request.
Connelly has ordered legal briefs filed on an expedited basis for the next stage of litigation and will hold a court hearing on Mar. 21 on whether to convert the TRO into a preliminary injunction, a longer-term remedy that could stay in place for however long it takes to reach a final decision on the legality of EO 13780.
The Trump administration dropped its appeal of the first travel ban when the President signed this new Executive Order but I expect he will take this one to the Supreme Court if needs be. Of course that depends on what happens at the March 21st hearing but I would expect it to go against Donald Trump.
If this goes to the Supreme Court the timing will be interesting because a 4-4 tie would keep the lower court ruling in place, however the tie could be broken if this is delayed until after Neil Gorsuch is confirmed–or should I say, if he is confirmed…
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium