Secretary of Agriculture Nominee Perdue Hearing- DIY Journalism

This seemed like a good summary from Faith Campbell at The Center for Invasive Species Prevention.

Here’s one of my favorites quotes:

The hearing was friendly – except to the President’s proposed budget, which calls for a 21 percent cut in USDA’s discretionary spending. Ranking Minority Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said the budget makes it clear that “rural America is an afterthought.” But Chair Pat Roberts (R-KS) and others noted that “the President proposes and Congress disposes,” with a nod down the table to Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee’s agriculture subcommittee. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) — each with considerable seniority — serve on the same subcommittee.

I’m around many younger people nowadays who are really worried about the President’s budget. After spending a number of years watching this “President proposing and Congress disposing,” I am not as worried. Of course, I’m worried about their being worried…

And as for the Forest Service:

Only the U.S. Forest Service received more than passing attention. Its management of national forests was criticized. Several senators noted the crisis in funding fire-fighting. Forests, Gov. Perdue said, provide “opportunities clothed in challenges,” e.g., to implement best management practices and be better neighbors. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) urged him to restore active management of forests, as well as to limit litigation by “extremist groups.” Perdue sympathized.

Here’s the link to this article.

Any other interesting quotes or summaries from other sources?

30 Comments

  1. It might be helpful to provide some context. Senator Daines has been trying to get Congress to weaken the ESA in response to a lawsuit that my organization won in the Ninth Circuit for Canada lynx. Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Forest Service’s petition to rehear the case in October 2016.

    In response to the denial, Senator Daines said:

    “Allowing the Ninth Circuit’s disastrous ruling to stand will greatly increase needless paperwork on [USFS] and further delay much-needed restorative management work.”

    Source: https://www.daines.senate.gov/news/press-releases/daines-comments-on-us-supreme-court-decision-to-deny-appeal-of-cottonwood-case

    First, I do not believe that the U.S. Supreme Court would agree with the Senator’s characterization of the case as “disastrous.”

    Second, the entire case arose from political interference by a high-ranking political appointee within the U.S. Department of Interior. Julie MacDonald interfered with the designation of critical habitat for Canada lynx. Does anyone else find it ironic that a politician is calling a case disastrous after a political appointee gets nailed by the court system for political interference?

    Third, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that new management plans are appropriate after new critical habitat is designated. Does anyone else disagree with the Senator that the paperwork would be unnecessary?

    Fourth, the Senator’s use of rhetoric diverts attention away from a much larger issue that he needs to address: climate change. Daines cries about the “extremists,” but denies climate change while saying our forests are unhealthy. Please connect the dots Senator Daines.

    At bottom, Daines is trying to use fear to try to get his way.

    In the book the Big Burn, the author states that Gifford Pinchot made a decision to sell the public on the fear of fire so that he could establish the Forest Service. Politicians (and people on this blog) are still doing that today.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe in some active forest management. I have previously said that I would be the first to fire up my Stihl if the Forest Service and MT FWP agreed to reintroduce bighorn sheep onto Bighorn Mountain in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. Does anyone else want to hunt bighorn sheep on Bighorn Mountain?

    • John. I’m curious I’ve seen political appointees pretty much involved in every important decision to be made. What was McDonald’s decision and what makes it different (I guess what about ESA makes it different?) from the myriad of other decisions that appointees make? Isn’t that the point of the Executive Branch is that it is led by elected officials?

    • John

      Re your statement “Don’t get me wrong, I believe in some active forest management. I have previously said that I would be the first to fire up my Stihl if the Forest Service and MT FWP agreed to reintroduce bighorn sheep onto Bighorn Mountain in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. Does anyone else want to hunt bighorn sheep on Bighorn Mountain?”

      Forgive me 🙂
      1) And how many laws would you be violating if you were “the first to fire up my Stihl” 🙂
      2) What if they were to reintroduce but not allow hunting? What if it was going to be 10+ years before the herd needed thinning for sustainability? Would you still be so quick to grab your Stihl? 🙂
      3) What’s the difference between thinning animals to control habitat damage and protect the health of the herd versus thinning a forest to maintain it’s health and minimize habitat damage?
      4) Other than “active forest management” to provide your personal pleasure, what “active forest management” do you condone and under what conditions?
      5) What “active forest management” do you deem to never be appropriate?
      6) Should my tax dollars pay for the expensive harvest if you didn’t want the USFS to allow some of the costs to be recouped by selling the harvested timber? Why shouldn’t you and your hunting buddies have to raise all of the costs necessary (including any necessary timber harvests) to reintroduce the bighorn to your favorite mountain?
      7) And, no, I don’t want to hunt bighorn sheep anywhere unless it is with a camera or it was necessary to preserve the health/sustainability of the herd and then only if no one else was willing to do it. I’ve done some hunting when I didn’t need the meat and came to find that the destroyed beauty and freedom of those lifeless animals to be a very unpleasant experience as opposed to seeing them or their progeny some time later in the same forest.

        • John

          I didn’t ask for a broad brush. You gave a specific in regards to bighorn sheep. I’m asking for more specifics to see if you can convey any sense of understanding forest management and the scientific principles that it is based on and why you can’t save endangered species if you don’t understand the forests that provide the habitats for those species nor if you don’t understand the consequences for competing species.

          Don’t duck me on this – you post enough that you owe us an understanding of your degree of knowledge on the forest environment and its interactions that provides the habitat for the dependent species. We know that you are a lawyer and probably a pretty good one but that tells us nothing about your understanding of forest ecosystems and the physical and biological science that drives them. Your priorities in legal actions will be all wrong without a proper understanding of the necessary science. But if you are just a gun for hire, it really doesn’t matter does it?

          • Hi Gil. John can participate as he wants here. And if that includes ‘ducking’ you on this, that’s his right.

            You, Gil, can also spend a few minutes on Google and seek out information yourself, such as this interesting and diverse background information about John Meyer that I found here.

            I come from a blue collar family in northwest Indiana. I am the first person in my family to graduate from a four year college. My Mother cut slabs of steel and my Dad started out pumping gas at a full-service gas station. I spent as much time as I could building three story tree houses and catching crayfish and snapping turtles in the local stream.

            I moved to Missoula in 1999 and received a B.A. in Biology and Spanish from the University of Montana in 2003. I helped start Students for Economic and Social Justice while in Missoula, which has been credited for getting UM to break its contract with a clothing manufacturer because of workplace conditions.

            After graduation, I worked seasonally for the Flathead and Tongass National Forests in Montana and Alaska as a biological and timber technician. Surveying for rare and threatened plants alone in grizzly bear country in northwest Montana is the best job I have ever had. As a timber technician, I watched as the Forest Service failed to protect streams and wildlife from timber sales. My work for the Forest Service made me decide to go to law school.

            I graduated with honors from Vermont Law School in 2009 and immediately moved back to Montana where I started Cottonwood Environmental Law Center. Cottonwood is a group of free-thinking rabble rousers dedicated to protecting the people, forests, water and wildlife of the West. Cottonwood has stopped the construction of a $550 million coal railroad in southeast Montana, settled a major Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and used the Endangered Species Act to protect critical habitat for Canada lynx and elk.

            When I am not working to protect our public lands and water I like to use it to hunt, climb, back country ski and mountain bike.

          • Gil,

            Matthew noted that I have a degree in ecology from UM and worked for the Flathead National Forest in Montana.

            I think the Forest Service does a good job most of the time, which is why I am hard-pressed to give you my philosophy on forest management.

            I do file lawsuits when I find that the agency is contradicting itself or when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service–the expert agency in charge of protecting endangered species, tells the Forest Service it needs to do something and it won’t.

            Do you think it is acceptable to bring legal actions that challenge the government when it does not use its own science or listen to its own experts? That is the basis for nearly all of my public lands lawsuits.

  2. Limit litigation by “extremists,” eh? In my long experience extreme is in eye of beholder. I would say that those who want to go back to lots of clearcutting (“regen harvest” is nice euphemism) are extreme. The USFS foresters I know say that plantations of DFir monoculture are a big problem now; must log to fix the “problem” that our silviculture profs taught us to create in their classes in late ’60’s. We ran a landscape scale experiment, logging OG forests in Region 6, and the problems have come home to roost!
    A recent article here mentioned a lawsuit that blocked a USFS fuel break in California habitat for ESA listed species that FS tried to do without NEPA.
    That suit certainly was NOT extreme; the FS is not above the law and if citizens have to go to court to hold them accountable I say “Well done and thank you!”
    Under our current nincompoop president I’m afraid we the people will have to go to court more often to keep the goons in check!

    • Be careful what you wish for…. ya might just get it! Of course, the Congress could just change a bunch of rules and repeal a bunch of policies, to get more “boots on the ground”. Imagine if Congress turned all thinning projects into Categorical Exclusions, eliminating the chance for the public to litigate. Do you REALLY want to test the Congress’ resolve on this? Or, do you want the nuclear option of giving tons of lands back to the States? Maybe the Dems should have compromised but, that is one of those ‘C-words’ that the preservationists despise so much. The “Whatever Happens” mindset is quite extreme, IMHO.

      • FWIW:

        RE: “Imagine if Congress turned all thinning projects into Categorical Exclusions, eliminating the chance for the public to litigate.”

        CE projects can be litigated, but CE project have no appeal or objection process.

        P.S. Also, Larry’s repeated posting of “Whatever Happens” is another example of a strawman argument.

        • Many people CONTINUE to insist on doing nothing to or for our public forests, saying that ‘nature’ will heal “Whatever Happens”. All you have to do is read the comments sections of liberal-slanted article publications about forests. Especially here in California. Additionally, some ‘sciencey’ folks insist that all our forests are “just fine” and “not unhealthy”. Talk about unscientific thinking!

          And, no John, my reply was to old woodsman. However, the remarks should apply to all those multitudes who resist all active forest management, outside of protected areas.

  3. Change is coming – probably pretty soon – I believe that some enviro’s high profile unwillingness to compromise and their efforts to make mountains out of every mole hill will soon cost them dearly. John Meyer’s cottonwood court win could be an early victim.

    Enviro’s have focused on past forest practices (especially poorly executed clearcuts) and they have panned forest management and its scientific basis in general. They have generally ruled forest management as being a failure rather than accepting that any failures were of policy, regulations and oversight rather than of the science behind forest management. They have been unreasonable in expecting perfection out of forest management while not acknowledging that their predominantly hands off approach to national forests has failed and allowed unchecked forest densities to create unhealthy federal forests with excessive catastrophic results. Some quoted on this site have glorified catastrophic fires and touted them as ok while enviro’s in general ignore the knowledge that said fires create more erosion than properly executed small irregular clearcuts where the site and desired species and landscape plan deem them to be appropriate to the public’s desire that our national forests and streams be protected rather than ravaged. Fear of the clearcuts of the past and their impact on viewsheds has caused an organization like the Sierra Club to oppose all clearcuts. Guess where that policy came from? It seems that a future Sierra Club president at the age of 6 or 8 while on a flight deemed them ugly from up in the air. That’s enviro science. Many have tossed out science and focused on appearances &/ viewshed impacts.

    True Forest Management is a prescription based on well validated science and specific: site, species and goals tied to a landscape level plan rather than the one size fits all approach that it is often painted as.

    True Prescription Forest Management is more sustainable in consistently providing more desired habitat than that provided by letting nature rule by catastrophe. Consider the logical consistency of protecting our federal forests using sound forest management as opposed to the inconsistency of many enviros who don’t see any contradiction between filing lawsuits against possible damages to endangered or threatened species resulting from a couple hundred acre thinning job to maintain forest health/sustainability but don’t want to do anything to minimize the risk of potential loss of those same species from a catastrophe.

    Such a contradiction of repeated note and other inconsistencies leads many of us to deduce that the motto of many enviros is ‘If man does it, it’s not good. If nature does it, it’s just great’. Hence the validity of Larry’s oft stated “Whatever Happens” comment. Larry’s repeated comment is just as appropriate as the repeated postings of all of us as we go around in circles never getting anywhere. Larry just says it with a whole lot fewer words than the rest of us.

      • John

        If the “major political interference” was illegal, then it certainly was not a case of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

        This is your baby so I don’t have the time to get up to the same speed as you on this. But to help me understand your point, please explain by answering these questions?

        1) Why couldn’t the illegal “major political interference” be dealt with as a crime? By dealing with the crime. Existing environmental law would seem to have come out with the same result otherwise the “major political interference” wouldn’t have been illegal?????

        2) The Cottonwood decision would seem to make forest planning worthless and a total waste of taxpayer dollars. The decision appears to allow any little thing that anyone finds before a project is completed to flush the plan down the toilet. Integrated sustainable forest management planning at the landscape level is necessary to insure a balance of age classes within each variation of forest ecosystem to insure continuity of habitat for the most species. Single species overrides are a shortsighted attempt to force a dynamic forest into a static state in an attempt to preserve a living entity (a specific forest habitat within the forest ecosystem) at a specific point in time (age group / habitat niche) without recognizing that without a reasonably uniform acreage in each stage of succession the preservation will fail when a gap in succession occurs. Erratic swings in desirable habitat don’t provide as much continuity/sustainability of habitat as can be provided by landscape level integrated forest management over the long term for the endangered species. As I have mentioned here many times, the NSO is an example of the failure of single species preservation dominated forest policy – The only place that the NSO is holding its own is in and around intensively managed industrial forests where it has continuity of significant foraging and nesting habitat. Something that the zoologist wildlife scientists said couldn’t work even though foresters told them that it was working.

        3) What good does it do to try to preserve the endangered species by keeping management out when the management is what is going to provide succession and healthy habitat instead of un-healthy habitat at higher risk of being destroyed by drought, insects, disease or fire?

        Environmentalism and associated legal actions must be holistic (i.e. they must consider the whole system and the interplay between all of its components)

        • Hi Gil,

          Regarding your statements and questions here:

          John

          If the “major political interference” was illegal, then it certainly was not a case of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

          This is your baby so I don’t have the time to get up to the same speed as you on this. But to help me understand your point, please explain by answering these questions?

          1) Why couldn’t the illegal “major political interference” be dealt with as a crime? By dealing with the crime. Existing environmental law would seem to have come out with the same result otherwise the “major political interference” wouldn’t have been illegal?????

          You may wish to look at the links I provided above, or do a little Google research about the situation involving former deputy assistant secretary Julie MacDonald. Seems like a resignation followed by the words and actions from the director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, H. Dan Hall, does meet the level of “major political interference,” even if such actions are not prosecuted as a crime, which I sort of thought they couldn’t be.

          Anyway, here’s the opening of the Denver Post article provided earlier.

          WASHINGTON— Decisions to reduce federal protection for a Rocky Mountain jumping mouse, a Western bird known as the “mosquito king” and other threatened creatures will be reconsidered after alleged improper meddling by a senior Interior Department official.

          H. Dale Hall, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on Friday ordered the review of eight endangered species decisions in which former deputy assistant secretary Julie MacDonald was involved.

          MacDonald’s resignation from the post overseeing Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service was announced in May after the department’s inspector general rebuked her for pressuring scientists to alter their findings about endangered species and leaking information about them to industry officials.

          Among the eight decisions, two involve the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. One was a 2005 proposal to remove the 9-inch mouse, named for its ability to leap twice its length and pivot in air, from the government’s endangered species list. The second was a 2003 decision about the amount of acreage that should be protected to help the mouse recover.

          Other species covered by Hall’s order are the Southwestern willow flycatcher, white-tailed prairie dog, arroyo toad, California red-legged frog, Canada lynx and 12 species of Hawaiian picture-wing flies.

          “We want to make sure that the science is true,” Hall told reporters in a teleconference Friday.

          He said he ordered the reviews based on the recommendations of his regional directors, whom he had asked to study MacDonald’s decisions.

          “It’s a blemish, I believe, on the scientific integrity of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior, so we’re going to place a pretty high priority on trying to get those done,” he said. “We wouldn’t be doing them if we didn’t at least suspect that the decision will be different. But I don’t want to predetermine outcome.”

          The agency will also review designation critical habitat for lynx. Last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service designated 1,841 square miles of habitat in three states, significantly less than originally proposed.

          No land was included in Colorado, where more than 200 lynx roam since a restoration program started in 1999.

          • Matthew

            I read your and John’s links previously. That is where my questions come from. Now, I would like John, the legal eagle, to answer my questions since you didn’t. I think that I made it pretty clear that I don’t approve of anyone breaking the law especially politicians.

            • Thanks Gil. For the record, you never addressed your question to me. So claiming that I didn’t answer your question is just a little weird. But, a little weird is par for the course around here lots of times.

              • Matthew:

                Chill

                Re: “For the record, you never addressed your question to me.”
                –> Yes, my question was to John, but you apparently thought that you needed to speak for him and then went on for two screens about what we all already knew. So, what were you doing except misreading my question and assuming that I hadn’t bothered to read the above links? Seems that you ignored or didn’t bother to read my opening statement and the last sentence in the 1st question both of which acknowledged the “major political interference”. I then went on and simply stated the fact that your discourse didn’t answer my questions so I still needed John’s input. What, pray tell, is wrong with that?

                John:

                I’m still waiting for your response to my last three questions above which were directed to get you to shed some light on your legal reasoning. Please, don’t duck me if you want any chance at all of changing my current opinion that the Cottonwood suit was about legislating additional law when existing law already provided the desired remedy for the situation and thereby made Ms. McDonald’s actions illegal. I run a still growing Linked-in group (Forest Management and Wood Sourcing) with well over 18,000 members so if you can convince me, you might be able to gain more support in any efforts to stop congress from overriding the Cottonwood Decision.

                In my ignorance, it seems that you let the criminal go in order to take a shot at increasing the burden and to add additional and unnecessary cost and delay to future projects. So please explain yourself so that this dumb forester can understand. I mean isn’t that what this blog is supposed to be all about – educating each other so that we can draw closer to agreement on what is best for our federal forests? That’s what it is for me. I sure hope you aren’t like some others who who seem to use this blog as a propaganda site for closed minded enviro’s to preach from and who duck answering when they don’t have an answer. I really want to understand but as an extremely analytical individual, I ask tough questions to work my way through what, at the time, seems illogical. That is how I grow. That is how I get from point A to point B instead of being content to stay at point A.

                Thanks, in advance, for understanding and answering my three questions in my last reply to you above.

                • I’ll take a stab at your question #2 (and I guess #3), since I was heavily involved in the Cottonwood case (but on the Forest Service side).

                  “The decision appears to allow any little thing that anyone finds before a project is completed to flush the plan down the toilet.” ESA regulations list five kinds of new information that can require reinitiation of consultation. Four are big and obvious: a change in the decision that changes its effects, more incidental take than allowed, a new species being listed or new critical habitat being designated. The Cottonwood case was about the latter. The final category is new information about effects of the action. I don’t know of this ever coming up in relation to a forest plan, and I’m assuming it would have to be more than a “little thing.”

                  “Single species overrides are a shortsighted attempt to force a dynamic forest into a static state …” This may be true in some cases for species that require something in short supply (to the extent that losing it creates a big risk to the species), but only until that supply is increased (snowshoe hare habitat in the case of lynx). All of the arguments on this blog to “let it burn” contradict a “static state” goal, as does the Forest Service Planning Rule requirement to manage for a natural range of variation.

                  “Erratic swings in desirable habitat don’t provide as much continuity/sustainability of habitat as can be provided by landscape level integrated forest management over the long term for the endangered species.” “Erratic swings” are a perception that results from looking at a landscape at the wrong scale (and not looking a the “whole system”). Such changes at a fine scale may be exactly what some species need (e.g. black-backed woodpeckers), and may be what “integrated forest management over the long term” should look like in some ecosystems.

                  • Jon

                    Thanks for trying to help me understand all of this but I am still hopelessly lost in what I see as double standards and inconsistent logic. Let me respond to your response one more time to try and help you understand why I am confused.

                    1) Re your comment: “ESA regulations list five kinds of new information that can require reinitiation of consultation. Four are big and obvious: a change in the decision that changes its effects, more incidental take than allowed, a new species being listed or new critical habitat being designated. The Cottonwood case was about the latter.”
                    –> Sounds harmless to me if all it was about was enforcing existing ESA law. So where do all of these statements about this being a landmark case that will add significant additional delay to implement restoration projects? What’s new about the Cottonwood case?

                    2) Re your comment: “All of the arguments on this blog to “let it burn” contradict a “static state” goal, as does the Forest Service Planning Rule requirement to manage for a natural range of variation.”
                    –> a) That would be true if those same people didn’t contradict that statement with all of their comments about wanting to “preserve” (i.e. “static state”) our federal forests and bemoaning any straightforward effort to protect watersheds, restore certain forests to a more open state closer to their pre fire control state by using thinning and controlled burns and to protect endangered species from catastrophic fire.
                    –> b) If the USFS planning rule requires management for a natural range of variation, I need to understand why we need any forest management personnel at all. Sounds like the multiple use goal has been heaved or we have a contradiction between requirements and the enviros have everyone so scared that contradictions in rules/laws are ignored in favor of the enviros. Taking the “natural range of variation” approach would seem to eliminate the need for all USFS personnel except for a police force to control people and crews to stop fires, insects and disease at the border of all federal forests. Too bad that can’t be done without managing fuels and stand densities by creating significant buffers of heavily managed forests for at least a mile inside the external boundaries.

                    3) Re your comment: ““Erratic swings” are a perception that results from looking at a landscape at the wrong scale (and not looking a the “whole system”). Such changes at a fine scale may be exactly what some species need (e.g. black-backed woodpeckers), and may be what “integrated forest management over the long term” should look like in some ecosystems.”
                    –> I disagree, “Erratic swings” are at the landscape level. What I have always argued for on this site is integrated, landscape level planning. Black-backed woodpeckers and all other species endangered or not would be a whole lot better off with well distributed small scale annual burns with their hot spots resulting in a continuum of sustainable BBW habitat rather than a Rim fire that destroys other endangered species and leaves extensive BBW habitat for the BBW woodpecker population to explode for six years and then crater as Larry has pointed out on this site many times. Anyone want to bet on how many lawsuits claiming world shaking loss of endangered species would have resulted if a 100 acre thinning operation had been proposed on any of the 257 thousand acres burned by the Rim fire?

                    Isn’t the double standard and inconsistent logic obvious?

                    • Gil and Jon, I would also add that if you believe that climate change is a powerful force (and that it’s “unnatural” as it’s caused by humans (say, any percent, since almost everyone would agree with that) then no one can manage for a “natural range of variation,” which makes it kind of odd to me that it was put into a recent Planning Rule.

  4. Sharon – I agree with your point, but I think it’s mostly semantic. RNV is defined to include climate change, in part to distinguish it from HRV (historic, which is what the FS had been starting to use in its analyses for awhile). So to the extent that climate change isn’t natural, “natural” range of variation isn’t either. I would have liked ERV (expected), or maybe URV (unmanaged). (That would also avoid arguing about whether pre-European human effects are “natural.”) The term “reference conditions” also makes sense.

    Gil – Integrated landscape level planning is what NFMA and the planning rule require. Applying NRV to different kinds of ecosystems will produce different outcomes, but they will be appropriate for the species that evolved with those ecosystems. Black-backed woodpeckers are adapted to their burned habitat not lasting very long and they have to move a lot. Spotted owls are used to something quite the opposite.

    Your point about the future role of timber management with a goal of NRV is an interesting one. Logging will continue to be available as a tool to achieve multiple-use objectives other than timber production (where those objectives don’t specifically prohibit timber harvest). To use national forest land for timber production (“the purposeful growing, tending, harvesting, and regeneration of regulated crops of trees”) the Forest Service must demonstrate during the forest planning process that crops of trees are compatible with the multiple-use objectives for an area, which include NRV. I think that means there are places that were suitable for timber production under current plans that won’t be under future plans.

    In a sense, there is nothing new about Cottonwood. 20 years earlier the 9th Circuit had delayed hundreds of projects in the northwest when salmon were listed under ESA and consultation occurred on forest plans (Pacific Rivers Council cases). What is new is that Cottonwood is a case where plan consultation had occurred already when lynx were listed. Critical habitat consultation is different from listing consultation, so it provides different information about effects, but maybe not much different depending on the species. So maybe sometimes the cost/benefit of a second plan consultation is lower to the point of not being worth it. Of course politicians like to use blunt instruments and treat molehills like mountains for political reasons (so if one immigrant is a rapist, we must build a wall).

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