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GOP lawmakers strip rail safety money from North Dakota budget: ‘Accidents are gonna happen’ anyway

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Despite a series of train derailments across the country in the past several years, North Dakota’s GOP-led House Appropriations Committee stripped funding from the  budget for a state rail safety program, with one lawmaker saying, “accidents are gonna happen” anyway.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, the $972,000 to pay for a program that would have added two rail safety inspectors and a rail safety manager was dropped because lawmakers felt safety inspections that benefit the public can be best left to the rail companies.

Due to the oil boom in North Dakota, rail activity  in the state has grown more than 230 percent between 2007 and 2012, leading to fears of fiery derailments. According to state officials, 60 percent of the nearly 1.2 million barrels of oil per day produced in North Dakota is leaving the state by rail.

Diminishing the need for adding safety inspectors as a preventative measure, Rep. Jeff Delzer (R) questioned whether it would increase safety.

“Would this guarantee any more safety? We would hope it would, but it wouldn’t,” he said, before adding, “Accidents are gonna happen. It’s unfortunate.”

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Rep. Kenton Onstad (D) found Delzer’s comments odd, saying, “That’s like saying ‘why should we have highway patrolmen ‘cuz there’s still going to be accidents out on the highway.”

However, Rep. Roscoe Streyle (R) noted that rail companies, who maintain their own staffs of inspectors, can handle the job adding that they have the most to lose in a major derailment.

According to  Rep. Corey Mock (D),  it is the public, and not rail companies, who have the most to lose.

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“They [the public] may have just a little bit more skin in the game if a train comes off the track or there is an explosion or an incident,” he said.


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Republicans in Congress are angry about Trump’s latest racist comments — but not because they’re racist

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There can be no denying that amid the firestorm from President Donald Trump tweeting that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) should "go back where they came from," Republicans in Congress are upset.

However, as many of them make clear in conversation with reporters, the fact that these comments were racist is not the main reason they are angry at the president. Rather, they are frustrated that his comments are hogging the news cycle, which leaves them incapable of discussing their agenda — and of criticizing the agenda of the Democratic representatives he targeted.

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George Conway declares ‘Trump is a racist president’ in brutal Washington Post column

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Prominent Republican attorney George Conway blasted President Donald Trump in an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Monday evening.

Conway explained how he avoided thinking of Trump as a racist, despite the president's actions.

"No, I thought, President Trump was boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive. He’s a pathetic bully but an equal-opportunity bully — in his uniquely crass and crude manner, he’ll attack anyone he thinks is critical of him. No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I gave still him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot," he explained.

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‘He’s the one who hates our country’: Rep. Rashida Tlaib rips Trump’s ‘failed presidency’

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) ripped President Donald Trump for his "failed presidency" during an interview on CNN following her press conference with the three other young women of color in Congress known as "The Squad."

"You’re a child of immigrants here to the United States," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer noted. "I’m a child of immigrants here to the United States as well. And all of us can relate specifically to what’s going on, because I’m sure you’ve heard basically most of your life go back where you came from."

"As you point out, you are the first of two Muslim women to serve in the United States Congress. Why do you think President Trump specifically chose to paint the two of you as disloyal?" Blitzer asked.

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