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WH Picks Lobbyist To Dismantle Medicaid, CHIP

The woman who helped demolish health care access in Maine is now running Medicaid for the country. ThinkProgress: “Mary Mayhew was criticized for completely reorganizing the state department in a way that directly harmed low-income people. The Trump administration is putting the health insurance of millions of Americans in the hands of a former Maine official best known for undermining the public health infrastructure in her state to put low-income families at risk. Mary Mayhew, Maine’s former health commissioner, was tapped on Monday to run the national Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs. Mayhew will now control the $350 billion budget of the two health insurance programs serving low-income families and kids, according to the Portland Press Herald. If Mayhew takes the same approach to Medicaid as she did during her time leading Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), she will likely fulfill the Trump administration’s plans of running the health insurance program into the ground and attacking the program she is now responsible for overseeing. Mayhew, a former hospital lobbyist, ran the state’s DHHS for seven years under Maine governor and self-described ‘Donald Trump before Donald Trump,’ Paul LePage (R), before resigning in May 2017.”

Judge Orders Protections For Defrauded Students

Judge orders protections for defrauded students to go into effect. CNBC: “A judge ruled on Tuesday that an Obama-era set of consumer protections for defrauded students will go into effect immediately, after repeated attempts by the Trump administration and the for-profit college sector to delay the regulation. ‘Today’s decision is a huge win for defrauded borrowers around the country,’ said Julie Murray, an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group. ‘The rule is finally in effect. No more excuses. No more delays.’ Judge Randolph D. Moss, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., denied on Tuesday an industry group’s request to postpone the rule. That comes after Moss ruled last month that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s delays of the regulation were unlawful.”

WH Names Trumpworld Insider To Zinke Probe

WH moves to replace Interior Department IG amid probe of Secretary Ryan Zinke. NBC: “The White House appears to be replacing the agency watchdog at the Interior Department who is in the midst of two investigations into Secretary Ryan Zinke, drawing criticism from government oversight groups. In an internal email sent last Friday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced to his staff that after just seven months at the agency, the assistant secretary for administration, Suzanne Israel Tufts, was moving over to the Interior Department to be the acting inspector general. Acting inspectors general do not need Senate confirmation. Tufts, a long-time Republican attorney who has worked for multiple New York law firms, would be replacing Deputy Interior Inspector General Mary Kendall. Tufts’ previous experience includes working for the Trump campaign recruiting and training lawyers deployed by the Republican National Lawyers Association to watch the polls on Election Day 2016, according to her resume obtained through a freedom of information request by the American Oversight watchdog group and shared with NBC News. Tufts also noted on her resume that she had experience ‘staffing events hosted by President Donald J. Trump for Victory.'”

Paint Makers Must Pay For Poisonous Lead

Lead-Paint Makers Rejected by Top Court in $400M Case in California. Bloomberg: “The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Sherwin-Williams Co. and Conagra Brands Inc., leaving intact a ruling that requires them to pay more than $400 million for lead-paint remediation in California. The rebuff, issued without comment Monday, is a blow to business groups, which had called for high court review in the hope of derailing other suits over climate change, opioid addiction and gun violence. n separate appeals, Sherwin-Williams and units of Conagra said the state court ruling violated their constitutional rights, penalizing them for things they said in the first half of the 20th century without proof that those statements contributed to current lead-paint problems. Ten California cities and counties sued the companies for creating a ‘public nuisance’ by promoting lead paint.”

Trump’s Foreign Policy: Murder Is OK

Saudi affair exposes Trumpism’s moral apathy. CNN: “Donald Trump has dug a moral hole through the middle of America’s foreign policy — and he’s not sorry at all. The President’s reaction to the apparent murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul offers the clearest evidence yet of his turn away from a foreign policy rooted in universal human values. The crisis is instead showcasing Trump’s radical form of “America First” realpolitik, his promise not to infringe other nations’ sovereignty with lectures on human rights and his trust in the word of autocrats. In his unrepentant conduct of American foreign policy, Trump is lurching from a path taken by every president since World War II, who all believed to various degrees that American leadership was needed to create a world safe for democracy, open commerce and freedom. And it will be seen around the world as an unmistakable sign that there is no cost for heinous behavior — after all, it happened days after a US-based journalist for a top American newspaper was apparently killed before his body was reportedly chopped up in an official Saudi government building.”

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