Tara Culp-Ressler: The Obama Administration’s Strategy On Heroin Addiction: Treat It As A Public Health Problem
The Obama administration unveiled a new strategy to combat heroin abuse on Monday, pledging $2.5 million in additional funds to target five “high intensity drug trafficking areas.” The plan, which aims to pair law enforcement officials with health experts, is notable for its emphasis onconnecting heroin users with treatment rather than focusing on putting them behind bars. In the 15 states participating in the pilot program, a
public health official will coordinate “heroin response teams” and help track the number of overdoses in their region. More first responders will be trained about how to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and prescription painkillers. The new strategy “demonstrates a strong commitment to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic as both a public health and a public safety issue,” according to Michael Botticelli, the Obama administration’s director of national drug control policy.
Katie Valentine: Here’s How The Government Plans To Cut Emissions From Landfills
The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Friday that aim to reduce landfill emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases by nearly a third, in an attempt to more tightly regulate a sector that accounts for nearly a fifth of total U.S. methane emissions. The proposals seek to update methane regulations on new and existing landfills. If enacted, the EPA says the regulations would reduce methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills by487,000 tons a year beginning in 2025. Since methane is about 25 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide, that reduction would be equal to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 12.2 million metric tons — the amount emitted by more than 1.1 million homes.
Under the proposed rules, landfills would have to start capturing two-thirds of their methane and other hazardous emissions by 2023. That’s 13 percent more than they’re currently required to capture. The proposed regulations would apply to the more than 2,000 active municipal solid waste landfillsin the United States, which together make up the nation’s third-largest source of methane emissions. These emissions are produced when organic matter, such as food waste, decomposes in a landfill. Once the EPA’s proposed rules are filed in the federal register, they’ll be subject to a 60-day public commenting period.
For the first time since the Ebola outbreak was declared in Sierra Leone, the country has recorded zero new infections. There were no new Ebola cases reported last week according to the WHO. At the height of the outbreak Sierra Leone was reporting more than 500 new cases a week. Last week, for the first time since May last year, there were zero new cases.
But authorities are warning against complacency. OB Sisay, Director of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), said: “This does not mean Sierra Leone is suddenly Ebola free. “As long as we have one Ebola case we still have an epidemic. People should continue to take the public health measures… around hand-washing, temperature checks, enhanced screening.”
President Barack Obama disembarks Air Force One upon arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 18, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with, from left, Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer in the Outer Oval Office before making a statement in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Aug. 18, 2014. Photo by Chuck Kennedy
President Barack Obama meets the Weithman family: Joe, Rhonda, and their children, Rachel, 9, and Josh, 11, in their home in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2010. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama waits as he is introduced for an event honoring the recipients of the 2011 National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation, in the Blue Room of the White House, Feb. 1, 2013. A bust of Christopher Columbus is seen at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama watches the Vice Presidential debate aboard Air Force One with staff, en route home from Florida, Oct. 11 (Pete Souza)
The full debate:
Vice President Biden: “You probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the American people. My friend [Paul Ryan] says that 30% of the American people are takers, Romney [says] 47% of the people won’t take responsibility. He’s talking about my mother and father. He’s talking about the places I grew up in, my neighbors in Scranton, he’s talking about the people who built this country.
“All they’re looking for … is an even shot. Whenever you give them the shot, they’ve done it. They’ve done it. Whenever you’ve leveled the playing field, they’ve been able to move. They want a little bit of a peace of mind, and the President and I are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they in fact have a clear shot, and they have peace of mind—until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.’ That’s what this is all about.”
Charles Pierce: For the second time in as many presidential elections, Joseph Biden got to debate a young, attractive Republican candidate who was demonstrably less qualified to to be president than I am to be chairman of the World Bank…
There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death….
…. the battering that Biden gave Ryan brought something into sharp relief …. for his entire political career up to that point, on critical economic issues, Paul Ryan was an extremist even by the standards of the modern Republican party, which are considerably high indeed.
…. the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions …. was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney’s judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
You know what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?
NYT Editorial: Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate was one of the best and meatiest political conversations in many years …. Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. would not sit still for a parade of misleading and often blatantly untruthful descriptions of the state of the economy and the Republican prescriptions for it…
Mr. Ryan, as always, refused to acknowledge the improvement in the economy ….ignoring the steady reduction in the national jobless rate, which dipped to 7.8 percent last month.
…. Mr. Biden repeatedly pointed out that Mr. Romney had firmly opposed the federal bailout of the auto industry, which turned out to be the single biggest act of job creation in the last four years. Mr. Ryan responded weakly that Mr. Romney was a “car guy” …
…. he showed Mr. Ryan’s hypocrisy on the subject by pointing out that the congressman had asked for stimulus money for his state of Wisconsin, just as other Republicans did even as they vilified the program.
Mr. Ryan’s performance on foreign affairs and military issues was at best disingenuous and at worst bumbling….
Dana Milbank: In the hours before Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, word leaked that the Romney-Ryan campaign had instructed moderator Martha Raddatz to address Paul Ryan as “Mister” rather than “Congressman.”
To her credit, Raddatz ignored such instructions and referred to the Republican vice presidential nominee by his more relevant title. Not that it mattered anyway: Vice President Biden was not about to let people forget that Ryan, and by extension Mitt Romney, are inextricably bound to the unpopular House Republican leadership.
On issue after issue — Libya, Iran, taxes, debt, Medicare, Social Security — Biden kept turning the discussion toward actions Ryan and his colleagues took in Congress, at one point mocking Ryan for suggesting he could work across the aisle to forge a tax deal. “Seven percent rating? Come on,” Biden needled.
…. Raddatz turned to the challenger for a response. “Congressman Ryan?”
After Biden’s barrage, the honorific sounded like an epithet.