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Who’s financing deforestation in Papua New Guinea? A new report follows the money.

Papua New Guinea has one of the largest expanses of tropical rainforest on the planet. But in recent years the island nation just north of Australia has seen a surge in deforestation from logging and mining, which has threatened to release large stores of carbon into the atmosphere.

Deforestation has left behind patches of bare land across the country, and indigenous communities bear the brunt of the environmental consequences. Many are wary of companies that clear the land without providing something to the local community in return. So in 2017, when the Malaysian timber company Maxland secured a permit to clear rainforest on the country’s Manus Island, it promised to plant three to five million rubber trees and said it would benefit nearby communities through jobs, royalty payments, and improved infrastructure.

Critics say that Maxland is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. According to a new report released this month by the human rights and environmental watchdog Global Witness, Maxland has not planted a single rubber tree, despite being two years into its five-year contract. Instead, the report claims that the company has prioritized illegal logging and exporting the island’s valuable hardwood timber, raking in millions of dollars in the process.

What’s more, Global Witness discovered that the company is linked to some of the world’s most prominent financial institutions, including BlackRock — the planet’s largest asset manager — which announced in January that it would place sustainability at the center of its investment approach and divest from companies that present significant climate-related risks. The non-governmental organization’s investigation found that BlackRock is among the top 20 shareholders of the three banks financing Maxland’s “mother company,” the Joinland Group, a Malaysian conglomerate with a history of logging projects in Papua New Guinea.

Norway’s $1 trillion Government Pension Fund Global, which just last week decided to blacklist large coal-dependent companies from its portfolio, is also among the top 20 shareholders of those banks — despite the fact that it publicly divested from a slew of companies tied to deforestation last year. Other financial supporters include The Vanguard Group, T. Rowe Price Associates, and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). At the time of Global Witness’ analysis, these financial institutions had hundreds of millions of dollars tied to the banks that made Maxland’s Manus Island project possible.

“It’s broadly understood now that unregulated finance is contributing to climate change by propping up the fossil fuel industry, and the same is true of the financing of industries involving deforestation,” said Lela Stanley, the lead investigator for the Global Witness report. “Ordinary people whose savings are invested with these financiers may be unwittingly connected as well.”

Grist reached out to BlackRock for comment on how this fits into their sustainability goals but did not receive a response in time for publication. In an email to Grist, a spokesperson for the Norweigan pension fund said that, in 2019, it continued “dialogue with banks in Southeast Asia on their policies for lending to companies that contribute to deforestation.” The Vanguard Group told Global Witness it would incorporate the report into its “ongoing analysis with the companies in question.” T. Rowe Price did not comment on its specific investments, but it told Global Witness that environmental and social factors were key components in its investment approach. Meanwhile, CalPERS declined Grist’s request for comment.

Maxland’s Manus Island venture, the Pohowa Integrated Agro-Forestry Project, has frustrated the indigenous residents of Manus Island, according to Global Witness. The local villages are still in dire need of critical infrastructure and services such as major roads, as well as additional air and water transportation options. Some villages are nestled between the rainforest and the sea — and the only way to reach the main market in the island’s port and provincial capital on the opposite side of the island is by boat, which requires a fare and takes two hours each way.

Maxland promised residents that it would build a road to make their lives easier, while also culling the forest and replacing it with millions of rubber trees that would potentially open up rubber farming jobs. Many locals thought it was a good deal, but when Global Witness visited the site in October 2019, Maxland seemed to have failed to deliver on its promises. The investigators did observe a few thousand rubber seedlings on the far side of Manus Island, on a site that did not belong to Maxland, but they appeared neglected and were in poor condition. And by that time, the company had already exported nearly 19 thousand cubic meters of hardwood timber worth roughly $1.8 million to China and Japan.

Josephine Kenni, the head of Papua New Guinea’s National Rubber Board, which manages the rubber industry in the country, told Global Witness that 60,000 more rubber seedlings were expected to arrive from Malaysia by the end of May. However, Kenni also told Global Witness that Maxland was violating the law and the board’s project plan. As of April, Global Witness received local reports confirming that no rubber has yet been planted at the project site. However, a huge logging camp appeared to be operating in full swing, with water tanks emblazoned with Joinland’s company name and a petrol station to serve the company’s fleet of trucks.

Thomas Hah, a Malaysian entrepreneur and founder of the Joinland Group, responded to Global Witness by denying its findings and warning that the organization would receive “an official letter” from his lawyer. (Hah did not reply to Grist’s request for comment in time for publication.)

“For your information, all our projects in Papua New Guinea are granted by the National Forest Authority,” Hah said in an email to Global Witness. “We reserve our legal rights towards any baseless and false allegations.”

The approval of Maxland’s permits was initially rejected by the Provincial Forest Management Committee. However, Papua New Guinea’s National Forest Authority overruled that decision and issued a permit, as Hah noted, despite what Global Witness determined to be the company’s violation of the Forestry Act, which requires permit applicants to submit “evidence of past experience in any agriculture or other land use developments.” Maxland lacks prior experience with rubber plantations, according to the report. On top of that, an earlier Global Witness report documented Maxland’s parent company Joinland performing a similar logging operation on the island of New Hanover.

Since Maxland laid eyes on Manus Island, the company worked hard to court and gain the trust of major players and leaders on the island. The report found that Maxland bought houses for public officials in the area and paid police officers to perform private security functions (a relatively common practice for logging companies that set up shop in the country).

For now, Global Witness told Grist it hopes the report will spur the government of Papua New Guinea into action.

“We hope … that this report prompts the government to thoroughly investigate this instance,” Stanely said, “and to finally enforce its own laws that protect the land and forests that its rural communities depend on.”

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Who’s financing deforestation in Papua New Guinea? A new report follows the money.

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Stock Up on These Foods with Exceptionally Long Shelf-Lives to Reduce Food Waste

Interested in saving money by buying in bulk, but nervous about your ability to consume large amounts of foods before the expiration date? rears its ugly head??I get it. Stocking up on staple ingredients is one of the best things?you can do when it comes to mindful eating and meal prep, but you’re not helping anyone?by buying more than?you can reasonably consume.

Enter these grocery staples. Keeping products with long shelf lives on-hand will enable you to construct a tasty and varied roster of meals around them, all while reducing unnecessary food waste.?Here are seven of those products to stock up on today.

1. Dried Beans

Dried beans are the ultimate product to buy in bulk, because they have a shelf-life listed as indefinite. However, they will begin to lose moisture around two years after their best-by date has passed. Don’t worry, though?that just means you’ll have to soak them a little longer, so they can reabsorb moisture when you finally get around to preparing them.

2. Peanut Butter

Natural peanut butter is the exception here, because it will expire after?two to three months in the pantry?or three to six months in the refrigerator. Other smooth and crunchy peanut butter varieties will keep for much longer?all the way up to a year past its printed date.

3. Coconut Oil

Good coconut oil should be able to last for nearly two years after opening before going rancid. Compare that to olive oil, which bottlers recommended?you use?within six months of?opening it.

4. Lentils and Peas

Much like beans, legumes such as dried lentils and peas have exceptionally long shelf-lives. As in, they won’t expire,?if you store them properly.

5. Rolled Oats

The shelf-life of oats, like most other foods, will depend on the variety and brand of the oats you purchase, but as a rule of thumb, a properly stored package of rolled oats will last for about 18 to 24 months at room temp. Once you prepare it, try to eat any leftovers within 48 hours.


Mix and match here. While buying frozen berries and veggies will also help ensure that your produce doesn’t spoil before you’re ready to eat it, most dried fruits have a shelf-life of about one year at 60?F after you open the package.?Most dried veggies will last about half of that time, except for carrots, which can last longer.

Fermented Foods

In theory, most fermented foods?things like sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi?have an incredibly long shelf-life. We’re talking years. The fermentation process was borne out of a need for a better system of food preservation, after all. For your typical grocery store purchased fermented foods, you’re looking at a shelf-life of anywhere between four and 18 months.

Are there any foods with long shelf lives that you like to stock up on? Share your favorites in the comments.

Related at Care2

These are the 7 Best Fermented Foods for Gut Health
10 Best Foods to Buy in Bulk to Save Money
27 Clever Ways to Reuse Food Scraps

Images via Getty

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Stock Up on These Foods with Exceptionally Long Shelf-Lives to Reduce Food Waste

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Why Detroit residents pushed back against tree-planting

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This story was originally published by CityLab and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

A landmark report conducted by University of Michigan environmental sociologist Dorceta Taylor in 2014 warned of the “arrogance” of white environmentalists when they introduce green initiatives to black and brown communities. One black environmental professional Taylor interviewed for the report, Elliot Payne, described experiences where green groups “presumed to know what’s best” for communities of color without including them in the decision-making and planning processes.

“I think a lot of the times it stems from the approach of oh we just go out and offer tree plantings or engaging in an outdoor activity, and if we just reach out to them they will come,” Payne told Taylor.

In fact, this is exactly what was happening in Detroit at the time that Taylor’s report came out. In 2014, the city was a few years deep into a campaign to reforest its streets after decades of neglecting to maintain its depleted tree canopy. A local environmental nonprofit called The Greening of Detroit was the city’s official partner for carrying out that reforesting task, which it had started doing on its own when it was founded in 1989. By 2014, TGD had received additional funding to ramp up its tree-planting services to the tune of 1,000 to 5,000 new trees per year. To meet that goal, it had to penetrate neighborhoods somewhat more aggressively than it had in the past and win more buy-in from the residents.

The tree-planters met stiff resistance: Roughly a quarter of the 7,500 residents they approached declined offers to have new trees planted in front of their homes. It was a high enough volume of rejections for such an otherwise valuable service that University of Vermont researcher Christine E. Carmichael wanted to know the reasons behind it.

She obtained data that TGD collected on the people who turned them down, and then visited Detroit to interview staff members and residents. What she found is that the rejections had more to do with how the tree-planters presented themselves and residents’ distrust of city government than it did with how residents felt about trees. Carmichael’s findings (with co-author Maureen H. McDonough) were published last week in the journal Society and Natural Resources.

The residents Carmichael surveyed understood the benefits of having trees in urban environments — they provide shade and cooling, absorb air pollution, especially from traffic, increase property values, and improve health outcomes. But the reasons Detroit folks were submitting “no tree requests” were rooted in how they have historically interpreted their lived experiences in the city, or what Carmichael calls “heritage narratives.”

These are the stories that people from all walks of Detroit life tell themselves and each other about why city conditions are the way they are. The heritage narratives that residents shared about trees in Detroit were different from the ones shared among the people in city government and TGD.

A couple of African-American women Carmichael talked to linked the tree-planting program to a painful racist moment in Detroit’s history, right after the 1967 race rebellion, when the city suddenly began cutting down elm trees in bulk in their neighborhoods. The city did this, as the women understood it, so that law enforcement and intelligence agents could better surveil their neighborhoods from helicopters and other high places after the urban uprising.

The city was chopping down trees at a faster clip at this time. And the city was flying helicopters over their homes at one point — to spray toxic DDT from above on the trees. However, the government’s stated reason for the mass tree-choppings was that the trees were dying off from the Dutch elm disease then spreading across the country. These were competing heritage narratives of the same event — the clearing away of trees in the 1960s. The two narratives are in conflict, but it was the women’s version, based on their lived experiences, that led to their decision to reject the trees today. It’s not that they didn’t trust the trees; they didn’t trust the city.

“In this case, the women felt that [after the race rebellion] the city just came in and cut down their trees, and now they want to just come in planting trees,” Carmichael said. “But they felt they should have a choice in this since they’ll be the ones caring for the trees and raking up the leaves when the planters leave. They felt that the decisions regarding whether to cut down trees or plant new ones were being made by someone else, and they were going to have to deal with the consequences.”

There was distrust not only of the city, but of the tree planters as well, particularly considering how TGD staff stepped to the people in the communities they were plotting on. The Greening of Detroit had 50,000 volunteers (during that 2011-2014 time period), most of them white and not from Detroit. The organization had just one community-outreach person on staff. And that outreach apparently did not include involving neighborhood residents in the planning of this urban-forestry program.

“City residents could request a tree planting in their neighborhood from TGD, but TGD’s green infrastructure staff decided in which neighborhoods to plant trees, as well as tree species to plant and tree maintenance protocols,” reads the paper. “TGD’s green infrastructure staff members committed to maintaining trees for three years after planting, which residents were informed of through door hangers and at community meetings, if they attended such meetings.”

Failing to meaningfully involve the residents in the decision-making is a classic environmental justice no-no. However, from reading excerpts of Carmichael’s interviews with TGD staff members, it’s clear some of the tree planters thought they were doing these communities an environmental justice solid. After all, who would turn down a free tree on their property, given all of the health and economic benefits that service affords? Perhaps these people just don’t get it. 

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As one staff member told Carmichael in the study: “You’re dealing with a generation that has not been used to having trees, the people who remember the elms are getting older and older. Now we’ve got generations of people that have grown up without trees on their street, they don’t even know what they’re missing.”

However, environmental justice is not just about the distribution of bad stuff, like pollution, or good stuff, like forestry projects across disadvantaged communities. It’s also about the distribution of power among communities that have historically only been the subjects and experiments of power structures.

In 2014, Detroit had an African-American population of 83 percent, and the highest rate of concentrated poverty among the top 25 metros in the U.S., according to the Brookings Institution. This forestry project was ramping up right as the city was in the throes of bankruptcy. These residents may have had different priorities in mind than those carried by the tree-planters who came knocking. Race and class matters in urban greening agendas, as the City of Houston once learned when it failed to survey non-white, lower-income residents for the creation of its parks master plan in 2014.

One Detroit resident whom Carmichael interviewed for her study told her: “You know what, I really appreciate you today because that shows that someone is listening and someone is trying to find out what’s really going on in our thoughts, the way we feel, and I just appreciate you guys. And maybe next time they can do a survey and ask us, if they would like to have us have the trees.”

Monica Tabares, TGD’s vice president of operations and development, said the organization always had a community-engagement process, but other factors complicated their interactions with residents, such as the city’s poor record of tree maintenance.

“Our capacity to fulfill every community partner’s needs was in hindsight a bit more difficult to achieve, and that resulted in some impressions among some individuals about not feeling the inclusion,” Tabares said. “Also, the city itself didn’t have the capacity to bring down dead trees, nor to prune trees, plus the fact that we were now replanting trees in some really decimated areas with no tree canopy. It left people questioning whether they were going to be taken care of. It just didn’t jibe right with all of our resident partners.”

Since talking with Carmichael and learning her study’s findings, Tabares says TGD has made several changes to its program, adding more material involvement of residents in the tree-planting and planning process. The organization now also has four community-engagement members on staff, all of whom live in the city of Detroit, which Tabares said has encouraged more trust from the residents.

“Having people come in and not be from the city and then dictate what goes on — not that we ever did that — but that’s the feeling. So we want people to feel comfortable with our engagement team that’s talking about the benefits of trees,” Tabares said.

The lessons learned from the study are immediately important, given that environmental organizations often partner with cities for these kinds of services. This is especially true when local governments don’t have the funding to do it (as happened in Detroit) or when the federal government shuts down (what’s happening now). Having diverse staffs that reflect the city’s neighborhoods and understand the heritage narratives that run through them matters.

“Heritage narratives are important because they guide actions that are taken,” Carmichael said. “A nonprofit might say tree-canopy decline can be used to justify their approach to educating residents, because there are people who don’t understand the value of trees. But everyone I interviewed understood those benefits, so it’s inaccurate to say that. Ultimately, the feeling was that they were being disenfranchised.”

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Why Detroit residents pushed back against tree-planting

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This is the Cheapest Way to Make Filtered Water

Generally speaking, in the United States we can consume water from the tap without risking our immediate health. However, as more and more hormones, chemicals and microplastics make it?into our water systems?(note: bottled water is no better), it can be wise to look at the long-term health effects and start filtering water at home.

Enter: activated charcoal. Brita pitchers, fridge filters…most all water filters use activated charcoal as the technology of choice. Why? Well, at a base level, activated charcoal has properties that make it extremely absorbent, allowing it to bind to tiny molecules and remove them from the dissolved substance. As a water filter, activated charcoal can absorb a range of drug particles, mercury, bacteria, viruses, fungus and chemicals found in the water.

Here’s how to make your own for cheap!

There are lots of ways to make a homemade activated charcoal filter, of which this is the simplest. Simply place an entire activated charcoal stick in a glass carafe full of tap water and let it sit for 4-6 hours. Don’t use a plastic jug. If you don’t have a glass container, stainless steel will work just as well.

Charcoal sticks like these will last around 4 months or so. To maintain them, simply boil the stick in water for 10-15 minutes once a month and continue your filtering process as before. After its 4 months is up, simply compost it with your kitchen scraps or use it in the bottom of your closet as a deodorizer.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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This is the Cheapest Way to Make Filtered Water

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So is coal great again or what?

Some of these articles are sensationalized very nearly to the point of inaccuracy. Others are cases of “elaborate misinformation.”

A review from Climate Feedback, a group of scientists who survey climate change news to determine whether it’s scientifically sound, looked at the 25 most-shared stories last year that focused on the science of climate change or global warming.

Of those, only 11 were rated as credible, meaning they contained no major inaccuracies. Five were considered borderline inaccurate. The remaining nine, including New York Magazine’s viral “The Uninhabitable Earth,” were found to have low or very low credibility. However, even the top-rated articles were noted as somewhat misleading. (Read the reviews here.) 

“We see a lot of inaccurate stories,” Emmanuel Vincent, a research scientist at the University of California and the founder of Climate Feedback, told Grist. Each scientist at Climate Feedback holds a Ph.D. and has recently published articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Vincent says that the New York Times and Washington Post are the two main sources that Climate Feedback has found “consistently publish information that is accurate and influential.” (He notes that Grist’s “Ice Apocalypse” by Eric Holthaus also made the credibility cut.)

“You need to find the line between being catchy and interesting without overstepping what the science can support,” he says.

Link – 

So is coal great again or what?

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

Biking to work is a wonderful way to commute. It’s healthy, eco-friendly and saves you tons of money on gas! However, biking to work becomes instantly a lot more complicated in inclement weather. How do you stay safe when visibility is down and it’s cold and wet outside?

Whether you’re dealing with a thunderstorm or a spring shower, these tips for biking to work in the rain will help you get to work safe, on time and completely dry. Before you know it, you might actually learn to love riding in the rain!

5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

1.?Bundle up

First things first, you need to learn how to layer. Layers trap your body heat, ensuring you stay warm during cooler weather.

If you’ll be riding in the rain, you’re going to want to choose a waterproof jacket, rather than a water-resistant one, to keep you warm and dry. Look for a garment that is seam-sealed (turn the garment inside out to check), but also has vents to help release body moisture without letting rain?in.

Your jacket of choice should also fit snuggly over a wool or synthetic polypropylene-polyester base layer, which will help keep sweat off your body (so you don’t get chilled when you stop moving). Just make sure it doesn’t restrict your movement in any way.

Here are a few bonus features?you’ll want to check for as well:

Comfortable cuffs that fit tight around your wrists
Pockets where you can stash your phone and other essentials

2.?Be as visible as possible

Reflective clothing is your friend! If you’re going riding in the rain, make sure you’re wearing a variety of items that will ensure you stay visible on the road. Some great options include: a high-visibility vest, a flashing?light for both the front and the back of your ride and reflective spray (yes, spray!) that helps you show up in the dark and washes off when you’re done.

3.?Learn?the rules of the road

Biking in the city is hard enough as it is; keep yourself safe by following the rules for bikers on the road. Here are some of the basics:

Behave predictably ? stay visible, leave distance and yield as much as possible
Ride on the right side of the road and not on the sidewalk
Yield before entering major?roadways ? stay behind crosswalks and away from the curb
Look before moving laterally or turning ??check your blindspot and?use hand signals
Use correct lanes ? choose right, left or thru lanes like you would if you were driving
Stay visible to motorists who may cross your path and make it clear you need your space

Following these rules and signaling properly will ensure you stay safe and visible to other drivers on the road.

4. Know your bike

Find?a safe, rarely-trafficked area to test your bike’s behavior. How does it respond to wet conditions when you brake? Do you find it more difficult to control? In what specific scenarios should you be wary when you’re riding for real?

Riding in the rain is more challenging for obvious reasons: everything gets slipperier when?wet. So keep an eye out for painted surfaces, metal manhole covers and?rainbow oil residue.?You’ll also want to be careful when you turn; sudden movements or leaning could cause you to spin out.

5. Embrace it

Unless you live where the sun always shines,?rainy days can really mess with your biking schedule. So brave?the rain, power through with confidence and bike like the hero rider you know you are.

Are you a cyclist? What tips do you have for our other riders? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Tips for Biking to Work in the Rain

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The Secret World of Red Wolves – T. DeLene Beeland


The Secret World of Red Wolves
The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf
T. DeLene Beeland

Genre: Nature

Price: $14.99

Publish Date: June 10, 2013

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

Seller: Ingram DV LLC

Red wolves are shy, elusive, and misunderstood predators. Until the 1800s, they were common in the longleaf pine savannas and deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. However, habitat degradation, persecution, and interbreeding with the coyote nearly annihilated them. Today, reintroduced red wolves are found only in peninsular northeastern North Carolina within less than 1 percent of their former range. In The Secret World of Red Wolves , nature writer T. DeLene Beeland shadows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s pioneering recovery program over the course of a year to craft an intimate portrait of the red wolf, its history, and its restoration. Her engaging exploration of this top-level predator traces the intense effort of conservation personnel to save a species that has slipped to the verge of extinction. Beeland weaves together the voices of scientists, conservationists, and local landowners while posing larger questions about human coexistence with red wolves, our understanding of what defines this animal as a distinct species, and how climate change may swamp its current habitat.

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The Secret World of Red Wolves – T. DeLene Beeland

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Donald Trump Doesn’t Like Dealing With Peasants

Mother Jones

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The Washington Post reports that President Trump prefers to receive his daily intelligence briefing in comic book form, but we already knew that. However, this is new to me:

Most mornings, often at 10:30, sometimes earlier, Trump sits behind the historic Resolute desk and, with a fresh Diet Coke fizzing and papers piled high, receives top-secret updates on the world’s hot spots. The president interrupts his briefers with questions but also with random asides. He asks that the top brass of the intelligence community be present, and he demands brevity.

….Though career intelligence analysts often take the lead in delivering them, Trump likes his political appointees — Pompeo and Coats — to attend, along with national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Pompeo and Coats, whose offices are in McLean, Va., have had to redesign their daily routines so that they spend many mornings at the White House.

It’s appropriate for the intelligence chiefs to be present periodically. But forcing two of them to blow off an hour or two of their time every day isn’t. It’s dumb management.

So why does Trump do it? Mostly for ego and dominance reasons, I suppose. He might also still be convinced that the intelligence community is his enemy and will play games with the orders he gives them. So he wants his own appointees present to make sure they do what he wants.

These are both the marks of an insecure leader. It’s not a good sign.

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Donald Trump Doesn’t Like Dealing With Peasants

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Trump Abroad: Big Talk, Not Much Big Action

Mother Jones

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Here’s a headline in the LA Times this morning:

Is this really true? I’m not so sure. What Trump demonstrated was big talk far more than big action. He signed a $110 billion weapons deal with the Saudis that was only a hair different from what Obama had agreed to. He announced a bunch of new business that would have happened with or without him. He supported the Saudi war in Yemen, but Obama did too. He visited all the usual places in Israel, just like Obama. He asked NATO countries to spend more on defense, just like Obama did. He played games with our Article 5 commitment, but afterward his aides made clear that nothing had changed.

Rhetorically, of course, Trump was very different indeed. Obama may have given the Saudis nearly everything they wanted, but Trump explicitly said he didn’t care about their human rights abuses. John Kerry worked endlessly on a peace deal in Israel, but he did it quietly. Trump blared his commitment to PEACE at every opportunity. Obama pushed our NATO allies to spend more on defense, but Trump gave a loud public speech about it.

Rhetoric matters, for good and ill, but the truth is that Trump’s rhetoric wasn’t accompanied by much in the way of action.1 In terms of what the US actually plans to do, there really hasn’t been much change so far.

1The biggest substantive difference is the possibility of US withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement. However, Trump hasn’t announced his decision about that yet.

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Trump Abroad: Big Talk, Not Much Big Action

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Senate Republicans Are Arguing About How Badly to Screw the Poor

Mother Jones

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Medicaid doesn’t get a lot of attention in the debate over Trumpcare, but it’s likely that more people would be affected by Medicaid cuts than by any other single part of the bill. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that Senate conservatives still aren’t satisfied:

Some conservative Senate Republicans, such as Mike Lee, want to immediately start phasing back federal money for expansion enrollees, a process that would take 10 years….Conservatives also hope to use a different formula to calculate federal Medicaid funding that would mean less money for states. The House bill would slash an estimated $839 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, according to the CBO. Senate conservatives want to change federal funding of Medicaid in part by pegging it to a different inflation measure, which long term would mean less generous payments to the states than under the House GOP bill.

….Centrist GOP senators are on board with some Medicaid cuts but disagree over how best to implement them. Some say the House plan to halt federal funding for new expansion enrollees in 2020 is too harsh and want a longer sunset of the program.

Nearly a quarter of all Americans depend on Medicaid as their primary (or only) source of health coverage. That’s the American health care system for you. Nonetheless, of course Republican centrists are on board with “some” Medicaid cuts. They only want to quibble over whether 10 million poor people should be tossed out of the program by 2026 or if it would be more humane to toss out 9 million poor people by 2028. Decisions, decisions.

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Senate Republicans Are Arguing About How Badly to Screw the Poor

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