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December 16, 2011

The U.S. Coast Guard has reduced the passenger capacity of U.S. commercial vessels to reflect the growing weight of the average American. A boat's capacity used to be based on an assumed average of 160 pounds per passenger, but that’s been raised to 185 pounds. Florida pleasure-boat passenger David Kushner said he approved of the change. "Oh, God, yeah," said Kushner. "I'm 251 with sandals." The Week Staff

11:35 p.m. ET
Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

It doesn't matter that President Trump said in June he is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate change accord, actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday, because the rest of the world is still on board.

"The private sector didn't drop out, the public sector didn't drop out, the universities didn't drop out, the scientists didn't drop out, the engineers didn't drop out," he told reporters in Paris. "No one else dropped out. Donald Trump pulled Donald Trump out of the Paris agreement, so don't worry about that." Schwarzenegger was in town to meet with Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and even rode up to Paris City Hall on a green bike. He was there as founder of the nonprofit R20, which works with governments to develop clean energy sources as a way to combat carbon emissions.

Schwarzenegger said that those at the "sub-national level are going to pick up the slack and continue on," fighting for their children and grandchildren because "that is our responsibility and no one will stop us." He also recommended that when people talk about climate change, they focus on how it affects someone's health rather than focusing on glaciers melting and sea levels rising. "This is what people can relate to," he said. "People want to survive. That is the way the human brain is wired." Catherine Garcia

10:37 p.m. ET

Well, that settles it then: While introducing her husband at a rally Monday night in Midland City, Kayla Moore, wife of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, said that "fake news will tell you that we don't care for Jews," but that just can't be true because "one of our attorneys is a Jew!"

"We have very close friends that are Jewish and rabbis and we also fellowship with them," she added. Last week, The Washington Examiner notes, Roy Moore told an Alabama radio host that George Soros, the Jewish liberal fundraiser, "is going to the same place that people who don't recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going. And that's not a good place."

After defending the candidate against accusations of anti-Semitism, Kayla Moore moved on to defending him against accusations of racism. "Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn't support the black community," she said. "Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court. We have many friends that are black and we also fellowship with them in church and in our home." Moore stopped herself before crowing about how great her husband is with kids. Catherine Garcia

9:38 p.m. ET

Standing outside of a Roy Moore rally in Midland City on the eve of Alabama's special Senate election, peanut farmer Nathan Mathis held a photo of his daughter, Patti Sue Mathis, and a sign with a strong message.

"Judge Roy Moore called my daughter Patti Sue Mathis a pervert because she was gay," the sign read. "A 32-year-old Roy Moore dated teenage girls ages 14 to 17. So that makes him a pervert of the worst kind. Please don't vote for Roy Moore!" Speaking to reporters, Mathis said he lost Patti Sue to suicide in 1995, and didn't know what he would accomplish standing there with his sign. "If it's all to no avail, so be it, it won't be the first time I've done something to no avail," he said. "My sign speaks for itself and it speaks the truth."

Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate, has called gay people "perverts, abominations, that's not true," Mathis continued. "We don't need a person like that representing us in Washington." When asked if he was a man of faith, Mathis said yes, and that he used to be anti-gay. "I said bad things to my daughter myself, which I regret, but I can't take back what happened to my daughter," he said. "Stuff like saying my daughter is a pervert, I'm sure that bothered her."

Mathis wrote a letter to the Dothan Eagle in 2012, sharing details about Patti Sue's life and death. She wanted to try conversion therapy, but was told by doctors "you can't help the way you are," he wrote, and she "took her own life because she didn't want to be gay anymore. She was tired of being ridiculed and made fun of. She was tired of seeing how a lot of people treat gay people." Read his entire letter at the Dothan Eagle. Catherine Garcia

8:23 p.m. ET
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

After a delay, the U.S. Treasury Department finally released on Monday a one-page document it called an "analysis of growth and revenue estimates" of the Republican tax plan, agreeing with the Trump administration that there will be an annual economic growth of 2.9 percent, more than enough for the plan to pay for itself over 10 years.

Most economists do not expect growth to be that robust, and congressional tax analysts estimate the plan would add $1 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade. The Treasury's brief report said growth would come from tax cuts and "a combination of regulatory reform, infrastructure development, and welfare reform as proposed in the administration's Fiscal Year 2018 budget."

The conservative Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the document "makes a mockery of dynamic scoring and analysis," while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it "nothing more than one page of fake math." The Senate has approved one tax bill and the House another, with both delievering the bulk of tax cuts to businesses and the wealthy. A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that almost half of all Americans are opposed to the plans, which Senate and House Republicans are trying to reconcile. Catherine Garcia

6:56 p.m. ET
Philippe Wojazer/AFP/Getty Images

Through his "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants, French President Emmanuel Macron has changed the lives of 18 climate scientists, including 13 from the United States, who otherwise struggled to secure funding for their research.

Macron announced the grants just hours after President Trump said he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord in June. Originally, the grants were just going to go to Americans, but more than 5,000 researchers from 100 countries applied, with projects on clouds, hurricanes, and pollutions that are expected to last around three years — covering the rest of Trump's first term. "If we want to prepare for the changes of tomorrow, we need science," Macron told the winners Monday in Paris, adding that France will replace U.S. financing of climate research.

One of the winners is Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas at Austin, who will work at an experimental ecology station in the Pyrenees to see how climate change is affecting wildlife. Knowing Macron is standing up for science "gave me such a psychological boost, to have that kind of support, to have the head of state saying I value what you do," Parmesan told The Associated Press. Catherine Garcia

5:14 p.m. ET

The New Yorker announced Monday in statement that it would no longer be working with reporter Ryan Lizza, due to potentially inappropriate behavior:

Lizza was The New Yorker's Washington correspondent for 10 years as well as a frequent on-air contributor for CNN. Shortly after The New Yorker made its announcement about Lizza, CNN said in a statement that Lizza "will not appear on CNN while we look into this matter."

Lizza became something of a sensation over the summer after he received a surreal phone call from then-White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, in which Scaramucci unloaded on then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen Bannon in rather colorful language. Scaramucci was fired four days after Lizza published details of their conversation.

In a statement to Politico's Michael Calderone, Lizza claimed that The New Yorker's decision "was a terrible mistake" and denied that he'd acted improperly. Kelly O'Meara Morales

4:56 p.m. ET

Three people were injured Monday when a man detonated an explosive in a Midtown Manhattan subway station. The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, was wearing "an improvised, low-tech explosive device" that he "intentionally detonated" around 7:20 a.m. ET Monday morning in the subway station below the Port Authority Bus Terminal, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

Ullah, who is of Bangladeshi descent and lives in Brooklyn, was taken into custody after the blast. He sustained the most serious injuries, though he and the three injured passersby all escaped life-threatening harm. Ullah apparently told police he constructed the explosive at his workplace, while CNN reported, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, that Ullah may have been motivated to act by Israeli aggression.

In response to the attack, Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed America's "failed immigration policies." He said in a statement that Monday's explosion, along with the truck-based attack in October near the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan, were due to policies that "do not serve the national interest," like "the diversity lottery and chain migration."

"It is a failure of logic and sound policy not to adopt a merit-based immigration system," Sessions said, adding that a merit-based policy would mean "welcoming the best and the brightest and turning away not only terrorists, but gang members, fraudsters, drunk drivers, and child abusers." Read his full statement below. Kimberly Alters

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