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The Male Brain – Louann Brizendine, M.D.

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The Male Brain

A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think

Louann Brizendine, M.D.

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: March 23, 2010

Publisher: Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


From the author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller The Female Brain, here is the eagerly awaited follow-up book that demystifies the puzzling male brain. Dr. Louann Brizendine, the founder of the first clinic in the country to study gender differences in brain, behavior, and hormones, turns her attention to the male brain, showing how, through every phase of life, the "male reality" is fundamentally different from the female one. Exploring the latest breakthroughs in male psychology and neurology with her trademark accessibility and candor, she reveals that the male brain: -is a lean, mean, problem-solving machine. Faced with a personal problem, a man will use his analytical brain structures, not his emotional ones, to find a solution.  -thrives under competition, instinctively plays rough and is obsessed with rank and hierarchy. -has an area for sexual pursuit that is 2.5 times larger than the female brain, consuming him with sexual fantasies about female body parts. -experiences such a massive increase in testosterone at puberty that he perceive others' faces to be more aggressive. The Male Brain finally overturns the stereotypes. Impeccably researched and at the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, this is a book that every man, and especially every woman bedeviled by a man, will need to own.

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The Male Brain – Louann Brizendine, M.D.

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The Journey of Man – Spencer Wells

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The Journey of Man
A Genetic Odyssey
Spencer Wells

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: October 31, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


Around 60,000 years ago, a man—genetically identical to us—lived in Africa. Every person alive today is descended from him. How did this real-life Adam wind up as the father of us all? What happened to the descendants of other men who lived at the same time? And why, if modern humans share a single prehistoric ancestor, do we come in so many sizes, shapes, and races? Examining the hidden secrets of human evolution in our genetic code, Spencer Wells reveals how developments in the revolutionary science of population genetics have made it possible to create a family tree for the whole of humanity. Replete with marvelous anecdotes and remarkable information, from the truth about the real Adam and Eve to the way differing racial types emerged, The Journey of Man is an enthralling, epic tour through the history and development of early humankind.

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The Journey of Man – Spencer Wells

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The Grand Design – Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow

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The Grand Design

Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow

Genre: Science & Nature

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: September 7, 2010

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

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The Grand Design – Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow

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The Stranger in the Woods – Michael Finkel

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The Stranger in the Woods

The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

Michael Finkel

Genre: Nature

Price: $12.99

Publish Date: March 7, 2017

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.   A  New York Times  bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

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The Stranger in the Woods – Michael Finkel

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Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home – Rupert Sheldrake

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Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home

Fully Updated and Revised

Rupert Sheldrake

Genre: Life Sciences

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: September 21, 1999

Publisher: Crown/Archetype

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


With a scientist's mind and an animal lover's compassion, world-renowned biologist Rupert Sheldrake presents a groundbreaking exploration of animal behavior that will profoundly change the way we think about animals–and ourselves. How do cats know when it's time to go to the vet, even before the cat carrier comes out? How do dogs know when their owners are returning home at unexpected times? How can horses find their way back to the stable over completely unfamiliar terrain? After five years of extensive research involving thousands of people who have pets and work with animals, Dr. Sheldrake proves conclusively what many pet owners already know: there is a strong connection between humans and animals that defies present-day scientific understanding. Sheldrake compellingly demonstrates that we and our pets are social animals linked together by invisible bonds connecting animals to each other, to their owners, and to their homes in powerful ways. His provocative ideas about these social, or morphic, fields explain the uncanny behavior often observed in pets and help provide an explanation for amazing animal behavior in the wild, such as migration and homing. Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home not only provides fascinating insight into animal, and human, behavior, but also teaches us to question the boundaries of conventional scientific thought, and shows that the very animals who are closest to us have much to teach us about biology, nature, and consciousness.

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Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home – Rupert Sheldrake

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The Eighty-Dollar Champion – Elizabeth Letts

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The Eighty-Dollar Champion

Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation

Elizabeth Letts

Genre: Nature

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: August 23, 2011

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.

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The Eighty-Dollar Champion – Elizabeth Letts

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Democrats Are Setting Their Sights on "Putin’s Favorite Congressman"

Mother Jones

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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) won his first election to the House of Representatives in 1988 with 64 percent of the vote. He’s been reelected 13 times since then. And even though he walloped his most recent challenger by nearly 17 percentage points, some Democrats now think that this could be the final term for the Southern California conservative Politico has dubbed “Putin’s favorite congressman.

Protesters, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, assemble outside Rohrabacher’s office every Tuesday at 1 p.m. “He has been our congressman for a long time,” laments Diana Carey, vice chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County. “But because the district was predominantly Republican, my view is he’s been on cruise control.” Thanks to changing demographics in Orange County and newly fired-up liberal voters, Carey doesn’t think Rohrabacher’s seat is safe anymore.

Recently, Rohrabacher has been swept up in the scandal over the possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Like Trump, Rohrabacher, who claims to once have lost a drunken arm-wrestling match with Vladimir Putin in the 1990s, believes the Russian government is being unfairly demonized. (During the 1980s, Rohrabacher was a staunch anti-communist who hung out with the anti-Soviet mujahedeen in Afghanistan.) He has shrugged off allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election by pointing out that the United States is guilty of similar actions. In May, the New York Times reported that in 2012 the FBI warned Rohrabacher that Russian spies were trying to recruit him. Two days earlier, the Washington Post reported on a recording from June 2016 in which House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” (McCarthy assured Rohrabacher the remarks were meant as a joke.)

In a 2016 conversation with Republican House members, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Washington Post

But of all the issues where Rohrabacher and Trump align, Russia may be the least pressing concern for the constituents who are rallying against him. So far, Rohrabacher has voted in line with Trump’s positions more than 93 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight, including voting in favor of the GOP health care bill that would effectively end Obamacare. Rohrabacher pushed hard for the bill, warning his GOP colleagues that letting Trump’s first major legislative effort die would stunt the president’s momentum. “If this goes down,” he said in March, “we’re going to be neutering our President Trump. You don’t cut the balls off your bull and expect that’s he’s going to go out and get the job done.” Health care is a hot-button issue in the 48th District, Carey says. “I’ve had conversations with people who are absolutely beside themselves, scared that they’re going to lose coverage.”

While Rohrabacher won his last race in a near-landslide, his district went for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. She won by a slim margin, but it was enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to flag the district as a top target to flip in 2018. If the Democrats hope to best Rohrabacher in the midterms, they have a lot of work to do, says Justin Wallin, an Orange County-based pollster who runs an opinion research firm. “I don’t think Dana has carved out a position as a fire-breathing supporter for any political personality except for Ronald Reagan,” says Wallin, referring to Rohrabacher’s early days working in the Reagan White House. “He tends to align quite naturally with that district in his perspectives, his persona, and his political views. His district views him as being independent, and when Dana takes a position on something that seems to be outside the mainstream, that can actually buttress his favorable regard.”

Two Democrats have announced bids to run against Rohrabacher. One is first-time candidate Harley Rouda, a businessman and attorney who gave $9,200 to Republican congressional candidates and nothing to Democrats between 1993 and 2007. The other is Boyd Roberts, a Laguna Beach real estate broker who has vowed to work to impeach Trump and who finished last among five candidates running for a school board seat in Hemet, California, in 2012. Both are attacking Rohrabacher over his sympathetic stance toward Russia. “The district will vote Rohrabacher out because i think there is something with the Russia thing. I think I can raise money off it,” Roberts told the Los Angeles Times. In an online ad, Rouda calls Rohrabacher “one of the most entrenched members of Washington’s establishment” and vows to get “tough on Russia” if he is elected.

“They’re both kind of waving the flag of the Russia thing, and I just don’t think that’s gonna get them over the line,” says Wallin. Carey declined to comment on either candidate, though she says a third challenger will be announcing a bid this summer. Meanwhile, the DCCC hasn’t thrown its backing behind anyone yet. “Barring something dramatic happening, I’d say he is far more safe than a number of other districts in the area,” says Wallin.

Yet Carey thinks that so long as the Democrats continue organizing with the same intensity they’ve shown so far, they can turn the district blue. “We have a lot of folks who said they never paid attention before, a lot of no-party-preference people who are really concerned about democracy,” she says. When asked whether people in the district continue to be engaged, she responds, “So far I think the energy is staying. I tell people, ‘This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.’ But I think as long as Trump keeps tweeting, we’ll keep having interest!”

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Democrats Are Setting Their Sights on "Putin’s Favorite Congressman"

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Trump Isn’t Enforcing His Plan to Avoid Violating the Emoluments Clause

Mother Jones

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In January, Donald Trump’s lawyer said that the Trump Organization would donate any profits earned at Trump hotels from a foreign government to the US Treasury. The move was supposedly an attempt to stay on the right side of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits US government officials from taking gifts or benefiting from foreign governments. Ethics experts noted that the pledge, issued by attorney Sheri Dillon, did not truly address this violation of the Constitution. Trump needed to divest his ownership of the hotels, they contended. And now new documents released by congressional Democrats show that Trump is not taking even his insufficient effort seriously.

Because Trump still owns his hotel properties and companies that operate hotels, anyone—a person or business here or overseas, or a foreign government—can directly line the pockets of the US president simply by reserving rooms or renting out conference or banquet facilities at a Trump hotel. Since the inauguration, several foreign governments have rented space at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, and foreign diplomats have reported being approached by Trump hotel staff soliciting business.

To address the emoluments issue, profits from these sort of transactions involving foreign governments are supposed to go to the US Treasury. But it’s hard to determine what counts as profit. And under the plan developed by Dillon, the calculation of profit would be made by the Trump Organization itself, without independent oversight. And there would be no auditing to ensure that all money from foreign governments was covered.

How does the Trump Organization determine which foreign funds ought to be donated? Not too assiduously, it appears. The House Oversight Committee several weeks ago asked the Trump Organization for information on this process. In response, the company sent the committee a nine-page pamphlet that instructs staff at its properties on how to handle this matter. The pamphlet indicates that the Trump Organization is not enthusiastic about gathering this information and doesn’t want its guests bothered by any efforts to comply with the Emoluments Clause.

The pamphlet notes that the hotels should not calculate the profit from foreign patronage but rather estimate it. After all, it says, calculating the actual profit would take a lot of effort: “To attempt to individually track and distinctly attribute certain business-related costs as specifically identifiable to a particular customer group is not practical, nor would it even be possible without an inordinate amount of time, resources and specialists.”

The pamphlet presents a formula by which managers can estimate how much money should head to the US Treasury. In one example, a hotel that earned $10 million in revenue but had $8.5 million in expenses would be considered to have a profit of 15 percent. If it took in $500,000 from foreign governments, it should donate 15 percent of that revenue—that is, $75,000—to the US Treasury. (This basic formula does not take into account the complexities of actual transactions. For instance, what if a foreign government bought $1 million in services from a Trump hotel that was only breaking even? This would certainly benefit Trump, but none of these funds would end up being donated.)

When it comes to identifying foreign revenues, the pamphlet tells Trump hotel staff not to try too hard, for that could annoy the customers: “To fully and completely identify all patronage at our Properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand.” So, the pamphlet points out, the Trump Organization will not try to identify customers who do not inform the hotel that they are representing a foreign government.

The pamphlet, which you can read in full below, was released by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee along with a letter sent to the Trump Organization on Wednesday morning. The letter, signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the committee, complained that the company had failed to fully explain how it would avoid violating the Emoluments Clause.

In the letter, Cummings scolded the Trump Organization for its seemingly lackadaisical approach. “This pamphlet raises grave concerns about the President’s refusal to comply with the Constitution merely because he believes it is ‘impractical’ and could ‘diminish the guest experience of our brand,'” he wrote. “Complying with the United States Constitution is not an option exercise but a requirement for serving as our nation’s President.”

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

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Trump Org Pamphlet on Foreign Profits (PDF)

Trump Org Pamphlet on Foreign Profits (Text)

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Trump Isn’t Enforcing His Plan to Avoid Violating the Emoluments Clause

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House Dems Investigating Trump Loans for Russian Connections

Mother Jones

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Since Donald Trump became a presidential candidate, journalists and investigators looking at his business holdings have wondered if there are any Russian connections to the complicated and opaque finances of his real estate empire. So far, no solid evidence of a Moscow link has emerged. But on Wednesday a group of House Democrats took a significant step on this front. They sent a letter to German banking giant Deutsche Bank asking for information regarding the four large loans Trump has received from the bank. In particular, the lawmakers are looking for information indicating whether the Russian government guaranteed any of the Trump loans or if these transactions “were in any way connected to Russia.”

According to financial disclosures made by Trump during the campaign, he owes more than $714 million to several banks. But his biggest lender—by far—is Deutsche Bank, which has provided Trump at least $364 million in financing. Deutsche Bank has regularly clashed with US regulators in recent years, and it is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for its role in a 2011 scheme to allegedly launder money out of Russia using a complex system of what are known as “mirror trades.” Given that Trump now oversees the Department of Justice, his loans with the German bank are one of his most glaring conflicts of interest.

In February, the Guardian reported that sometime after Trump launched his bid for the presidency, Deutsche Bank undertook a review of Trump’s business with the bank. The review, which has not been made public, reportedly did not find a link to Russia. But the Democrats want to see that review to make sure. Their letter, which was sent to Deutsche Bank’s American CEO, asks for a copy of the review and related documents.

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In the 1990s, as Trump struggled with assorted bankruptcies, his relationship with many Wall Street banks deteriorated. Deutsche Bank remained one of the few major banks willing to lend him money. In 2005, he borrowed $640 million from Deutsche Bank to fund the construction of his Chicago tower, but when the 2008 financial crisis hit, this partnership turned rocky. In November 2008, just as he was about to miss a payment on the loan, Trump sued Deutsche Bank for more than $3 billion, arguing that the bank’s actions on the world market had led to the financial collapse that had hurt Trump’s real estate business. The bank, in turn, counter-sued, demanding that Trump pay back the $40 million he had personally guaranteed on the loan. The dispute lingered in court for several years before finally being settled. Oddly, Trump subsequently worked out four new hefty loans with Deutsche Bank: one for that Chicago tower; two loans totaling $125 million to finance his purchase of the Doral National golf course in Miami; and a $170 million loan for renovating Trump’s new hotel in Washington, DC. The loan for the Washington hotel was issued in August 2015, a couple months after Trump entered the presidential race.

“At a time when nearly all other financial institutions refused to lend to Trump after his businesses repeatedly declared bankruptcy, Deutsche Bank continued to do so—even after the President sued the Bank and defaulted on a prior loan from the Bank—to the point where his companies now owe your institution an estimated $340 million,” the Democratic lawmakers stated in their letter to Deutsche Bank. “Only with full disclosure can the American public determine the extent of the President’s financial ties to Russia and any impact such ties may have on his policy decisions.”

Last fall, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman confirmed to Mother Jones that all of Trump’s loans from Deutsche Bank came from its “private bank,” a division that caters to high net-worth individuals who typically maintain large personal or brokerage accounts with the bank. According to Trump’s personal financial disclosure, he had at least two brokerage accounts with Deutsche Bank. Additionally, a failed concrete manufacturing business started by Donald Trump Jr. received a loan from Deutsche Bank, and Jared Kushner and his mother jointly have a loan from Deutsche Bank. (Trump eventually purchased from Deutsche Bank the loan it had made to his son’s failed business.)

In the letter, the House Democrats also asked for the bank’s records regarding a 2011 internal investigation of its “mirror trading” operation in Moscow. According to a New Yorker report last summer, between 2011 and 2015, Deutsche Bank employees in Moscow used a complicated trading procedure to help move as much as $10 billion out of Russia, possibly to help wealthy Russians evade sanctions imposed on the Putin regime.

The five Democrats who signed the letter are Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services committee, Daniel Kildee (Mich.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Al Green (Texas), and Ed Perlmutter (Colo.). A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank did not respond to a request for comment regarding the Democrats’ inquiry.

A full copy of the letter is below.

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Ltr Fsc to John Cryan Deutsche Bank Mirror Trade and Trump Accounts 5 23 17 (PDF)

Ltr Fsc to John Cryan Deutsche Bank Mirror Trade and Trump Accounts 5 23 17 (Text)

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House Dems Investigating Trump Loans for Russian Connections

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Team Pope to Team Trump: Please Just Stay in the Paris Climate Deal

Mother Jones

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Pope Francis used the opportunity of President Donald Trump’s Vatican visit on Wednesday to urge the United States to stay in the landmark Paris climate accord. It’s a decision the new president has been kicking down the road ever since assuming office, despite a campaign pledge to withdraw from, or “cancel,” US involvement in the deal.

According to CNN:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, briefing reporters on Air Force One after the meeting, said terrorism and climate change came up. He said the Vatican’s secretary of state raised climate change and encouraged Trump to remain in the Paris agreement.

Tillerson said the President “hasn’t made a final decision,” and likely will not until “after we get home.”

My colleague Rebecca Leber has been tracking the White House’s public hemming and hawing over the deal—and the administration factions competing to influence the president’s thinking.

From earlier this month:

We’ve heard for months that Trump’s Cabinet is split on what to do about both climate change policy and the Paris agreement. Ivanka Trump, now in her official role at the White House, represents those who want to stay. We’re told that she’s “passionate about climate change,” and she is joined by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and economic adviser Gary Cohn, who are also in favor of staying in the Paris agreement. Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to “renegotiate.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis sees climate change as a national security threat and likely favors staying involved, as does Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

On the other side of the debate, Scott Pruitt is leading the “leave” team, echoing the president in calling the accord a “bad deal.” Team Pruitt also includes senior adviser Steve Bannon and White House Counsel Don McGahn. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not publicly weighed in, but he opposed the deal as a senator.

During the Vatican meeting on Wednesday, the Pope gave Trump a copy of his influential 2015 “encyclical” on climate change, in which Francis warned that “the Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

According to pool reports, Trump promised the leader of the world’s Catholics, “Well, I’ll be reading them.” But the official White House readout of the president’s meeting sent to reporters made no mention of climate change.

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Team Pope to Team Trump: Please Just Stay in the Paris Climate Deal

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