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Trump just gutted two major Obama achievements while everyone was obsessed with his Twitter rants

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While cable news hashed over President Donald latest Twitter rant, the Trump administration was busy dismantling two key policy achievements of the Obama era, Axios reports.

On Wednesday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced that the Trump administration will expand access to short-term health insurance plans. Under Obama, the short-term plans could only be used for three months at a time.

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That restriction was designed to force young, healthy people to go through the exchanges. Letting healthy people opt for short term plans with very limited benefits means the exchanges will be left with only the elderly and sick.

“Short-term plans don’t have to meet the ACA’s benefit requirements. They can deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, don’t have to cover any specific set of benefits, and can cap how much they’ll pay in a year,” Axios notes.

On Thursday, the Trump administration also rolled back environmental standards for motor vehicles. EPA head Andrew Wheeler announced the loosening of greenhouse gas emissions, citing the American public’s desire for the policy shift towards vehicles that spew more greenhouse gases.

“We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.”

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As the environmental website Oil Price noted, it’s actually the motor vehicle lobby that’s behind the change. Automakers  had accepted the standards set by Obama’s EPA. But with Trump in the White House, they seem to have found a way to take advantage of a looser regulatory environment.

“Under the Trump administration, automakers sensed an opportunity, lobbying to roll back the fuel efficiency requirements,” Oil Price notes. ‘But they got a lot more than they bargained for. The Trump administration sought to gut the standards, which sets up a predicament that the auto industry wanted to avoid: A patchwork of regulations across various states,” Oil Price observed.

In what appears to be a direct provocation of more progressive states, the EPA is also denying states, like California, the right to set tougher standards.

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Former Obama administration official David Axelrod knocked the policy on Twitter.


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‘Trump people lie — we know that’: Ex-House GOP staffer shreds Democrats for letting Lewandowski off the hook

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MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski denounced President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as "rude" and "insolent" -- but her fellow "Morning Joe" panelists ripped House Democrats for letting him off the hook with obstructing their investigation.

Lewandowski turned the House Judiciary Committee hearing into a "circus," Brzezinski said, and panelists agreed he unlawfully claimed executive privilege, and a former Republican House staffer said he should have been charged with contempt of Congress.

"He was a mini Trump," Brzezinski said. "You can speak to Corey Lewandowski in real life, and often you can see someone who doesn't seem like Trump. In front of the cameras, he was playing for an audience of one. He was rude, he was insolent, he was stonewalling and, ultimately, being revealed to be a liar after being shown that he went on a national TV show, Ari Melber, it's not like a camera was shoved in his face, and he chose to lie to the American people."

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Pennsylvania Republican senator arrested and charged with possession of child pornography

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According to a release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Republican state Sen. Michael Folmer has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

The release said that the investigation began as the result of a CyberTip about Tumblr discovering that a user had uploaded child pornography onto their site. It ultimately led to the home of Folmer in Lebanon, PA. A search warrant yielded images on Folmer's phone.

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Netanyahu refuses to concede after he falls short — blames media instead

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Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to concede after being down in the election night polls. Like the last election, Netanyahu is claiming his own personal victory and blaming the media for all of his woes.

Senior Diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid, at Channel 13 News in Tel-Aviv, was live-tweeting the election results late Tuesday night.

https://twitter.com/barakravid/status/1174116674225758209?s=21

"Netanyahu says Israel needs a Zionist government that is committed for Israel as a Jewish state. No government can be based on support from Arab parties," Ravid said.

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