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Trump administration blames homeless for water woes in California

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The Trump administration picked another fight with California Thursday, accusing the liberal state of being lax on water pollution and linking the problem in part to feces from homeless people.

“Based on data and reports, the EPA is concerned that California’s implementation of federal environmental laws is failing to meets its obligations required under delegated federal programs,” Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom.

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The federal government and Democrat-run California are at odds over a growing number of environmental issues.

For instance the administration of President Donald Trump, who regularly scoffs at global warming, wants to take away California’s special waiver to set its own stricter auto emissions standards.

California is working to be a pioneer on fighting climate change and go beyond environmental standards set by the federal government.

“The EPA is aware of the growing homelessness crisis developing in major California cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the impact of this crisis on the environment,” Wheeler said in the letter to Newsom.

“Indeed, press reports indicate that ‘piles of human feces’ on sidewalks and streets in these cities are becoming all too common,” he added.

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He said the EPA is worried about the environmental impact of what it said was untreated human waste being washed into the Pacific and San Francisco Bay.

Wheeler threatened federal intervention and gave the state 30 days to respond in writing to his complaints.

The EPA also said drinking water in several cities has been found to have levels of arsenic, lead or radioactive substances above established health limits.

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Last week Trump lashed out at big cities in California because of their sizeable homeless populations.

Asked if the Wheeler letter is linked to that criticism, a senior EPA official told reporters in a conference call, “the letter speaks for itself.”

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“What you have here was multiple programs with multiple problems coming at relatively the same time. And that triggered concerns with the administrator and you see that concern expressed in the letter,” this official said.


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Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."

"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."

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Roger Stone’s health in question as prosecutors have him ‘dead to rights’: NBC reporter

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Jurors deciding the fate of longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone did not reach a verdict during their deliberations on Thursday and will reconvene on Friday morning.

But there were fascinating details from the courtroom revealed by NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian.

"What about Roger Stone, does he look like he’s about to burn here?" MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews asked. "Does he look like he’s going down?"

"He does," Dilanian replied.

"And also, physically, he doesn't look well at this trial. He’s walking around the courthouse kind of unaccompanied, shambling around," he continued. "He doesn't look like a happy warrior, which is usually his persona."

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GOP lawmaker smacked down after suggesting impeachment is only for capital crimes

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tried to argue that impeachment is only intended for when presidents commit capital crimes — and was immediately corrected by anchor Chris Hayes.

"I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd where you didn’t think this was, so far, from what you’ve heard of, the level of impeachable behavior," said Hayes. "I’m curious what you view the standard as the Constitution sets out for you as being high crimes and treason and misdemeanor."

"Crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the Constitution is to me indicating with impeachment," said Reed. "And this whole claim of bribery, the American people aren’t stupid, Chris. This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they’re the ultimate ones who are going to judge this because I don’t see this becoming an impeachable subject to the removal of the president."

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