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REVEALED: Burning Houston chemical plant successfully lobbied Trump to strike down safety rules

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Arkema, the company that owns the chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, that suffered at least two separate explosions on Thursday, successfully lobbied the Trump administration to delay new safety rules for chemical plants that were due to take effect this year.

The International Business Times reports that Obama-era regulations of chemical plants that were supposed to take effect this past March 14 “were halted by the Trump administration after a furious lobbying campaign by plant owner Arkema and its affiliated trade association, the American Chemistry Council, which represents a chemical industry that has poured tens of millions of dollars into federal elections.”

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In killing the new rules, the industry had the help of several Texas Republican lawmakers, including Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. Pete Olson, Rep. Pete Sessions and Rep. Kevin Brady. Democratic Texas Rep. Gene Green also lobbied to have the new regulations killed.

Arkema directly objected to the new proposed rules in a letter it sent to the EPA this past May, in which it said the rules “will likely add significant new costs and burdens to the corporate audit process.”

According to the International Business Times, Arkema specifically took issue with new “Safer Technology and Alternatives Analysis” (STAA) rules that would have, among other things, encouraged companies to “simplify covered processes in order to make accidental releases less likely or the impacts of such releases less severe.”

Read the whole analysis at this link.

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Trump supporter flattened for pushing debunked Biden smear: This is what ‘happens in a banana republic’

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Appearing on MSNBC early Sunday morning, a supporter of Donald Trump attempted to push the debunked smear of Joe Biden and his son only to have a critic of the president explain to him that he should be outraged at Trump for once again seeking foreign interference in U.S. elections.

Running a clip of the former vice president firing back at Trump and telling reporters they need to ask the right questions, host Philip Mena asked Liberty Government Affairs founder Brian Darling what he thought of Biden pushing back.

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Kellyanne Conway lashes out at Democratic voters as ‘racist and sexist’ at Ohio GOP dinner

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Making an appearance at a Republican Party dinner in Columbus, Ohio, Kellyanne Conway accused Democratic voters of being "racist and sexist," in a diatribe as she tried to boost the fortunes of her boss, President Donald Trump.

According to a report from Cincinnati.com, Conway attacked the leading Democratic presidential nominees before making her claim.

“Their top three candidates are white, career politicians in their 60s and 70s, which I have nothing against except they (Democrats) certainly do,” Conway reportedly told the crowd. “I don’t know why the heck the Democratic party electorate is so racist and sexist. I can’t figure it out.”

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Betsy DeVos’ DOE threatens to cut university funding for positive portrayal of Islam

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The U.S Department of Education threatened to pull federal funding from a Middle East studies course jointly run by Duke University and the University of North Carolina because it portrays Islam too positively.

The DOE ordered the universities to change their program or lose its federal grant money. In a letter to UNC, the department criticized the program, arguing that topics like Iranian art and film have “little or no relevance” to the Middle East studies program. The letter also argues that the program “appears to lack balance” because its programs are not focused on the discrimination faced by “religious minorities in the Middle East," including Christians and Jews.

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