Tonight former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders squared off for their 6th Democratic Debate. The debate came at a pivotal time for both candidates as Hillary Clinton needs to stop the momentum of the Sanders campaign after his big win in the New Hampshire Primary, and Bernie needs to convince minority voters he is the best candidate as the campaigns head to the more heavily minority populated states. Sanders is behind Clinton in just about every state primary poll because of the lack of minority support but some believe with his convincing win in New Hampshire and continued effort to reach minority voters he has a chance to pull some of the remaining states his way. The Nevada Caucus will be the next test for the candidates on February 20th.
The over forty day stand off in Burns, Oregon may be close to ending as reports say the last four armed protesters occupying the nation wildlife refuge building are allegedly set to surrender. According to a Facebook post by one of the remaining occupiers the group will be quote “standing down.”
Tensions grew last night as an occupier was riding an ATV outside the barricades they had set up and the FBI was closing in. The group is allegedly being escorted out today by Reverend Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, and Nevada State assemblywoman Michele Fiore.
The FBI also reported to have arrested Cliven Bundy on Wednesday evening in Portland. The father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy who led the armed group, was reportedly on his way to support the militants at the refuge before being arrested for conspiracy and weapons charges. Cliven has a history with the FBI, notably the 2014 standoff in Nevada with the government over grazing rights.
The community and the entire state of Oregon will breathe a sigh of relief if this is all resolved peacefully.
The Supreme Court voted Tuesday in favor of putting on hold President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The vote, 5-4, grants the request of twenty seven states, including businesses, to block the shift to renewable energy away from fossil fuels.
The Clean Power Plan included a set of regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions primarily from coal-fired power plants and was the centerpiece of Obama’s strategy to combat climate change. The goal being carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2030.
The court’s decision supports the idea that the costly move away from fossil fuels would have crippling effects on the economies of coal and oil prominent states like Texas and West Virginia.
While it is quite the blow to the Obama administration’s climate change plan they consider the vote a quote “procedural decision” and are confident that the remaining states will cooperate, as well as new and additional steps to combat climate change.
With President Obama’s term ending in January, the next president will have the say on whether to keep fighting for the regulation.
The results are in for the New Hampshire first in the nation primary. Reports are that Donald Trump won on the Republican ticket and Bernie Sanders won for the Democrats, much like the polls lead us to believe the past few weeks but what does this mean going forward?
The Democrats have the Nevada Caucus later this month, with experts weighing in and initial polls having Hillary Clinton ahead by double digits over Bernie Sanders. Much like Iowa, polls have Sanders inching closer and closer but Hillary may just have this one in the bag.
The Republicans shift their focus to South Carolina next with the forecast looking familiar. Donald Trump sits on top by double digits with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz jockeying for second place. Jeb Bush is also performing well in early polls and could provide an upset by stealing second or third.
President Obama delivered his final budget proposal to Congress today. The new spending plan that starts October first is proposing to spend a record four point one trillion dollars. Initiatives within the plan span everything from fighting ISIS, global warming, and cancer.
The budget would increase taxes by two point six trillion dollars over the next ten years and also includes a ten dollar per barrel tax on crude oil. Part of the President’s efforts to combat global warming is with the additional money the oil tax would bring in.
A notable surge in spending for benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare is linked to the expected retirement of millions of baby boomers.
The proposal is expected to be dead on arrival in the Republican lead congress as House Speaker Paul Ryan has already lambasted the budget proposal for growing the federal government and specifically the oil tax saying quote “Americans deserve better.” The House Republicans are apparently producing a budget of their own in the coming weeks.