Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took a swipe Thursday at Republicans who have called out the National Park Service for shutdown closures they claim are politically motivated. “It’s wrongheaded and unfair that there are some Republicans who are targeting the National Park Service,” Salazar said. “The approach that’s being taken by criticizing the public servants who are doing their jobs here is wrongheaded.”
Salazar, who held the position for four years under President Obama, spoke on a Center for American Progress press call along with Lynn Scarlett, deputy Interior secretary under President George W. Bush. Scarlett also offered support to Interior employees who have taken heat during the shutdown. “We need to honor the rules and give encouragement to the federal employees who need to abide by the rules,” she said.
Two GOP-led House committees are planning a hearing next week to question the National Park Service on how the shutdown has been conducted.
Salazar also rejected the piecemeal approach put forward by Republicans to fund some aspects of government, including the national parks. Congress should fund “not some of it — all of it,” Salazar said.
The shutdown is having an impact on energy development, Salazar said, especially on the Gulf Coast. Some drilling permits have slowed, and leasing auctions have been canceled. “The sooner Congress moves to fund the government, the better off it’s going to be for the energy future of the country.”
The former officials also lamented setbacks to hunters, vacationers, and tribal communities on federal land. “There’s a lot of frustration among the public that many of their favorite places are closed,” Scarlett said.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."