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Cost of air conditioning for U.S. troops in MidEast more than NASA budget

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The United States spends $20.2 billion annually on air conditioning for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan — more than NASA’s entire budget, NPR reported.

In fact, the same amount of money that keeps soldiers cool is the amount the G-8 has committed to helping the fledgling democracies in Tunisia and Egypt.

The necessary cooling costs so much because of the remote locations and danger involved in delivery equipment and fuel, Steven Anderson, a retired logistician who served under Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq.

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“When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we’re talking over $20 billion,” Anderson told NPR. “You’ve got risks that are associated with moving the fuel almost every mile of the way.”

And it’s a long way to move the fuel: 800 miles of “improved goat trails” separate Karachi, where the fuel is shipped in, to Afghanistan. The transport takes 18 days.

By embracing green practices, Anderson said, money and soldiers’ lives could be saved: more than 1,000 troops have died while transporting fuel. Their trucks are a popular target, and commanders have to stop their operations to leave and go on fuel runs. When they’re gone, he said, the insurgents know they’re gone, and the U.S. troops lose ground in their missions.

Experiments have been conducted using polyurethane foam insulation in the tents to shield soldiers from the 125-degree heat of the Middle East, cutting energy use by 92 percent. However, nobody is enthusiastic about taking initiative to green the military.

“A simple policy signed by the secretary of defense — a one- or two-page memo, saying we will no longer build anything other than energy-efficient structures in Iraq and Afghanistan — would have a profound impact,” Anderson said.

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CNN host goes off on Trump as COVID-19 surges: ‘The president is peddling debunked illogical crap’

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During a segment on CNN this Monday, anchor Brianna Keilar had some harsh words for President Trump and his response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, starting out by saying that the U.S. is "losing its battle" against the virus.

"...the people who are supposed to be in charge of the national response to the pandemic instead are escalating their attacks on doctors," she said, pointing out that up to 60,000 Americans are testing positive for the virus, each day.

"They're doing this even though they won't mandate the use of masks which are proven to save lives," she said. "They're doing this because the President is continuing to make claims that the only reason the U.S. has a surge in cases is because of an increase in testing."

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WATCH: White House uses Fauci’s words to praise Trump – hours after trashing him

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Literally hours after providing reporters with a list of what an anonymous White House official called mistakes Dr. Anthony Fauci has made over the year on coronavirus, the White House turned the tables to use the veteran immunologist's words to praise President Donald Trump.

On Sunday in a statement to CNN the White House outlined "the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."

Calling it a "new campaign of deception," CNN reported Monday morning that "the White House is trying to destroy the reputation of one of America's most respected public servants, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for telling the truth about how bad things are getting."

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FAILURE: Here are 470 ways Trump failed to protect America from COVID-19

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Crises have a way of sorting the good presidents from the bad.

Historians consistently rank Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt among the top three presidents for their handling of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II.

By contrast, the string of catastrophes that trailed George W. Bush, from Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to his obliviousness to warning signs in the housing market before the 2008 crash guarantee that he will have a permanent place in the bottom tier of presidents.

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