White House to dumb to realize budget included ‘egregious’ accounting error until after they had released the final draft. Doh!

A former US treasury secretary says it is the “most egregious” mistake he has seen in four decades.

…Mr Summers, also formerly chief economist of the World Bank, was one of the first to spot the apparent mistake.

“It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them,” he wrote on his blog.

He said the spending plan was “simply ludicrous”.

The budget forecasts about $2tr in extra federal revenue growth over the next 10 years, which it uses to pay for Mr Trump’s “biggest tax cut in history”.

But that very same $2tr is then used to reduce the budget deficit.

“My observation is that there appears to be a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course,” Mr Summers wrote.

White House denies ‘egregious’ budget accounting error – BBC News

This White House is staffed by incompetent morons.

Chinese firm promises Trump approved green cards on behalf of Kushner company: report | TheHill

A Chinese immigration firm is reportedly touting its work with the real estate company owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to reassure clients that their U.S. visas will be approved.

…In Qiaowai’s case, it has boasted about its political connections and promised clients that Trump would make sure their visas get approved, according to the Times, which viewed text messages and emails the firm sent to clients.

…Kushner Companies’ representatives in China have touted the firm’s ties to Trump, and Jared Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer came under fire earlier this month for allegedly using her brother’s role in the Trump administration to attract investors.

Chinese firm promises Trump approved green cards on behalf of Kushner company: report | TheHill


Dem unveils bill to make Trump refund travel costs 

Rep Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) is introducing the Stop Waste and Misuse by the President Act.

…The Stop Waste and Misuse by the President (SWAMP) Act states that Trump’s visits to his own properties “results in the American taxpayer effectively subsidizing the president’s businesses.”

The bill would mandate that Trump and other high-ranking officials receiving Secret Service protection pay back costs stemming from visits to properties they own.

Dem unveils bill to make Trump refund travel costs | TheHill

Heh, SWAMP act.

Fresh Food By Prescription: This Health Care Firm Is Trimming Costs — And Waistlines 

The rising prevalence and cost of Type 2 diabetes has doctors at Geisinger Health System turning to food as a form of medicine. They’re prescribing free, fresh food to low-income patients.

…Over the past year, he and about 180 patients with Type 2 diabetes have been participating in a pilot program aimed at getting them to change their diets and lose weight. They receive free groceries of healthy foods every week.

Shicowich has lost about 45 pounds, and he is now much more active.

The Geisinger Fresh Food Pharmacy is stocked with healthy pantry staples, like oatmeal and peanut butter, as well as fresh produce.

Each week, Shicowich and the other participants come to the food pharmacy. In its new incarnation, it looks more like a grocery, with neatly stocked shelves filled with healthy staples such as whole grain pasta and beans. The refrigerators are full of fresh produce, greens, low-fat dairy, lean meats and fish.

The participants meet one-on-one with a registered dietitian. They’re given recipes and hands-on instruction on how to prepare healthy meals. Then, they go home with a very different kind of prescription: five days’ worth of free, fresh food.

…Shicowich’s health has improved. His blood sugar and blood pressure have dropped so much that if he keeps on track, his doctors say they will reduce his medications.

…the costs associated with diabetes in the U.S. now exceed $240 billion a year.

Once you consider that price tag, Geisinger’s program can look like a bargain. Over the course of a year, the company will spend about $1,000 on each Fresh Food Pharmacy patient. All of the participants in the program are low-income, so the gift of the food eliminated a key obstacle to eating well.

…It’s still early days, and the team plans to fully analyze its first year of data. But here’s what it estimates so far: “A decrease in hemoglobin A1C of 1 point saves us [about] $8,000,” Feinberg says.

And many of the participants have seen a decline in hemoglobin A1C of about 3 points. “So that’s [about] $24,000 we’re saving in health care costs,” Feinberg says. “It’s a really good value.” Geisinger is now in the process of expanding the program to new locations within Pennsylvania.

Fresh Food By Prescription: This Health Care Firm Is Trimming Costs — And Waistlines : The Salt : NPR


Michelle Obama criticizes Trump school lunch decision – CBS News

Former first lady says people should question motives behind Trump administration delaying federal rules aimed at healthier school lunches.

The school meal changes reflect suggestions from the School Nutrition Association, which represents school nutrition directors and companies that sell food to schools. The group often battled with the Obama administration, which phased in the healthier school meal rules starting in 2012.

Michelle Obama criticizes Trump school lunch decision – CBS News


Trump administration wants evidence of Haitian immigrants’ crimes so it can avoid providing humanitarian aid 

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is taking the unusual step of hunting for evidence of crimes committed by Haitian immigrants as it decides whether to allow them to continue participating in a humanitarian program that has shielded tens of thousands from deportation since an earthquake destroyed much of their country.

...The request for criminal data for an entire community is unorthodox. The law doesn’t specify it should be a consideration for Temporary Protected Status and the government has never said it would use criminal rates in deciding if a country’s citizens should be allowed to stay under this program. Introducing new criteria is likely to cause consternation among law-abiding Haitians who may feel they are being penalized for the wrongdoing of their compatriots.

Trump administration wants evidence of Haitian immigrants’ crimes – NY Daily News