2. Trump came into office with promises to bring back coal jobs in economically downtrodden parts of the country. Coal, though, has continued to decline as a share of energy production. Even so, that trend hasn’t meant a corresponding upswing for renewables.
3. Trump formally began the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement last month. Does this pattern of actions suggest he’s a climate denier? Our climate-change reporter Robinson Meyer argues that the president adheres to this other ideology entirely.
4. Twenty-four states and Puerto Rico pledged to pick up the emissions-reduction torch and uphold the goals of the treaty. How successful have they been? These states are making significant cuts to their emissions—but they won’t be able to do enough to make up for the big carbon-emitting states not participating in the alliance.
« SNAPSHOT »
(Loren Elliott / Reuters)
Republican staff counsel Stephen Castor faces news cameras as he pulls his notes out of a reusable plastic grocery bag at the start of the House Judiciary Committee’s second impeachment hearing today.
It was supposed to be procedural. But the hearing went off the rails almost immediately, Russell Berman writes.
« IDEAS AND ARGUMENTS »
(Maya Alleruzzo / AP)
1. “We let our ambitions outstrip the practical possibilities of a region where perfect is rarely on the menu.”
A former Deputy Secretary of State has this diagnosis for the impossible American strategy in the Middle East over the last few decades and under multiple presidents.
The current administration’s recent moves—sending 3,000 new troops to Saudi Arabia, hastily retreating from northern Syria—only adds to the string of missteps, William Burns argues. There’s a way out of the foreign-policy hole the U.S. has dug itself: It just requires big trade-offs and a heavy dose of realism.
More: A Democratic president in 2020 could upend U.S.-Saudi alliance, even beyond what President Obama started.
2. “Donald Trump’s lawyer is Benjamin Franklin’s night sweats.”
The butt-dials to reporters, the foot-in-mouth television ubiquity—Rudy Giuliani’s antics belie his success as “one of the most outrageously effective influence peddlers of all time,” Franklin Foer argues.
More: By most accounts, Giuliani will stick around Trump’s orbit, Elaina Plott reports. Maybe he knows too much for Trump to drop him now.
3. “The vast majority of people are not even aware the problem exists.”
Our San Francisco-based staff writer Annie Lowrey visited a national forest in Northern California with federal agents from the U.S. Forest Service to find illegal marijuana farms.
These “trespass grows” are the latest overlooked environmental catastrophe fueled by, lopsided federal laws and the black market, she writes:
In subtle ways, the trespass grows pervert natural ecosystems: They are greener, wetter, and emptier than the surrounding forest, attracting animals to them.