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The DC: Prisoners released under the First Step Act, and... 💬 Should Trump be allowed to give a State of the Union address? (Plus...a sneak peek of our podcast!)

by Countable | Updated on 1.17.19

Welcome to Thursday, captains of this ship of state...

Some of the first eligible federal prisoners have been released under the First Step Act ― a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2018.


The bill offers low- and minimum-risk federal inmates who participate in recidivism reduction programs the opportunity to earn time credits toward prerelease custody or supervised release at the end of their sentences.

Some think is the first step forward…

Some think this is 2,500 steps back...

And you? How do you feel about the First Step Act?

On the Radar

  • Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, raising serious questions about who will shoulder its $30 billion of liabilities associated with the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons. PG&E’s insurance isn’t enough to cover its liabilities for wildfires for which it’s partly to blame, and regulators are currently examining how much of that cost can be passed on to ratepayers. Ratepayers in PG&E’s service territory have no choice in utility providers because of PG&E’s status as a government-sanctioned monopoly, prompting debate over whether it’s fair to hold them financially responsible for the company’s history of neglecting the risks associated with wildfires. Is it time for state governments to stop granting electric utilities effective monopoly status?

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has asked President Trump to reschedule his State of the Union Address or deliver it in writing to Congress if the government remains shut down. "Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your [SOTU] address in writing to the Congress on January 29th," Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump. Should Trump be allowed to give a State of the Union address?

Under the Radar

  • A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that furloughed government workers who are currently not being paid because of the partial shutdown must continue to do their jobs. "At best it would create chaos and confusion. At worst it could be catastrophic...I’m not going to put people’s lives at risk,” the judge said. The National Treasury Employees Union had brought the suit in consolidation with a claim from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The workers had petitioned for a temporary restraining order that would remove the obligation to go to work if they weren’t being paid. "Calling people back to work, as the federal government is doing, without paying them is unlawful," said attorney Gregory O'Duden, who’s representing the unions. Should "essential" employees have to work without pay during a shutdown?

  • The House on Tuesday formally rejected Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) remarks questioning why “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” is controversial language. The vote was near-unanimous, and the Republican Party has also stripped the hardline politician of his committee assignments. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said King should look for another job. While various politicians and papers continue to call on King to step down, Iowa voters were aware of King’s nationalist ideology, racially offensive comments, and ties to white supremacist organizations in November 2018—and re-elected him into office during the midterms. Though King’s comments may be offensive to some, they are protected free speech and not against the law. Is calling for King’s removal ignoring the voters who re-elected him?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.

  • At 11:00am EST, the president will participate in the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon.
  • At 1:45pm EST, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.

The House of Representatives: In

  • Voting on a bill to reopen agencies affected by the partial government shutdown through the end of February.
  • Voting on a bill to include data about federal grants in a searchable online database.

The Senate: In

  • Voting on a bill to permanently ban federal funding for abortions (with exceptions).

What You're Saying

Here's how you're answering Should Congress Approve $12 Billion in Emergency Disaster Relief & Reopen Gov't Thru February 8th?

(Follow Vanessa's comment here.)

(Follow Denise's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Do you need a quick and lively way to keep up with your government? A way that doesn’t require hours of slogging through hype & spin?

Take a sneak peak at The Daily Dose, our new podcast. You’re among the few who have access to it, and we’d love your thoughts before we fully launch. Give it a listen!

DD10: Should the Shutdown Scuttle Trump's State of the Union?

What do you think of the new podcast?

Happy birthday to Countable's spirit animal, Benjamin Franklin,

—Josh Herman

Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(46)
  • Dicr
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Mitch can’t take a vote to open the government but he’s got time to do his part to lift sanctions so Russians don’t suffer. If you’re blaming democrats you’re as clueless as your leader.

    Like (67)
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  • Jerry
    01/17/2019
    ···

    The elections have provided a mandate. The public doesn’t want to pay for the vanity wall, which is a low IQ response to an easily solved problem. The public doesn’t want to hear Trump speak. They want the government shutdown to end. The only person standing in the way of reopening the government is Trump himself. He is an incompetent leader, and lousy negotiator that has destroyed all trust in the political process of compromise.

    Like (39)
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  • Ellen
    01/17/2019
    ···

    No SOTU. No more lies from #45. He can deliver his bullshit in a note to congress.

    Like (20)
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  • USoSirius
    01/17/2019
    ···

    To all Republicans who are furloughed; you got what you voted for.

    Like (17)
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  • Robert
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Trump averaged over 15 lies per day in 2018. How many lies do you think he will tell in his state of the union speech?

    Like (14)
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  • Michael
    01/17/2019
    ···

    To often ex-prisoners are let go without the ability to get a job because of mistrust or lack of skills. Many return to what they know because of no positive support systems. We need to work to reduce recidivism by providing a different avenue. I agree that this will not be a cure all but a first step. If you tell a person they are a throw away then they will act the part. It’s real simple, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he”, Proverbs 23:7

    Like (13)
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  • Bernie
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Democrats don’t debate, they shut down debate. They don’t believe in speech they believe in Power. Theirs.

    Like (11)
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  • Robert
    01/17/2019
    ···

    If you want to hear...more LIES or Trumpish takes on the the STATE OF OUR DISUNION...then YES😩

    Like (9)
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  • Glowurm
    01/17/2019
    ···

    No State of the Union address! We already know the lies he’ll spew. Same old, same old! Don’t waste our time and money just to give him his narcissistic orgasm - being on National tv. Enough already!

    Like (8)
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  • Mary
    01/17/2019
    ···

    I think there were issues of safety of the body of listeners given the shutdown. Safety is important more than the bully pulpit.

    Like (8)
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  • DrCindyBean
    01/17/2019
    ···

    No State of the Union address until government is reopened.

    Like (7)
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  • Daniel
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Let him tweet the SOTU address like his traitor ass does everything else.

    Like (6)
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  • Jose
    01/17/2019
    ···

    To all you moaning about Trump, just remember, the last three shutdowns have happened with almost all the same Congress people in there, and 2 out of 3 of them happened with Democrat presidents. Where was the moaning then? Oh that’s right, THOSE times was Congress’s fault, right? Congress haven’t done their job or even pass a normal budget in 2 decades or more, Trump has been here 2 years. Think about that and get over yourselves and your election loss. The same Schumers and Pelosis have been there through the worst shutdowns in history, doing the same crap: Nothing. Oh and resisting....

    Like (5)
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  • Dua-ken
    01/17/2019
    ···

    No and No! Open the government!

    Like (5)
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  • Mark
    01/17/2019
    ···

    I am , definitely, not a MORON in the White House fan, however , there is precedence REAL PRESIDENTS just writing ✍️, and sending it up to Capital Hill...

    Like (5)
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  • Caren
    01/17/2019
    ···

    YES!! President Trump should continue with the State of the Union address as this is constitutional. I can’t recall anything worth anything that has EVER come out of Nancy Pelosi’s mouth. No one should listen to her!’

    Like (4)
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  • Chuck
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Of course we want to hear our President speak! You would never have asked that question when the biggest form of sabotage and treason, the community agitating race-hustling Fraud Barry Soetoro AKA Barack Obama was in our White House! Now that we have a President that wants to Make America Great Again and put America First you demonize his every chance you get!!!

    Like (4)
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  • Mark
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Allowed? Are we a police state now? WTF, he’s the POTUS. If he chooses to do the SOTU no entity of the fed govt can stop him. POTUS gives the SOTU annually and it is critical he do so on schedule. #FundTheDamnWall

    Like (4)
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  • Robin
    01/17/2019
    ···

    Yes Absolutely. Pelosi’s excuse has been debunked as a lie by Homeland Security and Secret Service. We want to hear our President and he shouldn’t be quieted by partisan politics.

    Like (3)
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  • Sandra.
    01/17/2019
    ···

    It’s our representatives not doing their jobs by resisting Trump and not doing what needs to be done to secure our borders; take their salary away and give it to the other government workers who are not getting paid and really need the money. Then our reps will get to work and do their jobs.

    Like (3)
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