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Trump Campaign Is Selling Plastic Straws to ‘Make Straws Great Again’

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Trump Campaign Is Selling Plastic Straws to ‘Make Straws Great Again’
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.


The campaign website is selling packs of 10 plastic straws for $15, Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted on Thursday, as USA Today reported.

"Liberal paper straws don't work. STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today," the straws' description reads.

Parscale further promoted the straws in an email Friday titled "Make Straws Great Again," NPR reported.

"I'm so over paper straws, and I'm sure you are too. Much like most liberal ideas, paper straws don't work and they fall apart instantly. That's why we just launched our latest product—Official Trump Straws," Parscale wrote. "Now you can finally be free from liberal paper straws that fall apart within minutes and ruin your drink."

Calls to ban plastic straws increased after a video of a turtle with a straw stuck up its nose went viral. Cities like Seattle have passed restrictions, and companies including Starbucks have vowed to phase them out. California became the first state to ban them in sit-down restaurants last September.

But conservatives aren't the only ones who have expressed frustration with the paper alternatives, which tend to become unusable as the liquid permeates them, NPR pointed out. Journalists across the political spectrum have complained about them on social media. For some people with disabilities, the flexibility and heat resistance of plastic straws are more than just a convenience: They enable people with mobility issues to hydrate on their own and drink independently when dining out.

When asked about straw bans on Friday, Trump gave an answer that was "oddly reasonable," according to The Guardian.

"I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws," Trump answered. "You know, it's interesting about plastic straws: so, you have a little straw, but what about the plates, the wrappers, and everything else that are much bigger and they're made of the same material? So, the straws are interesting. Everybody focuses on the straws. There's a lot of other things to focus on. But it's an–it's an interesting question."

Plastic straws only account for about one percent of the plastic in the oceans, according to Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions co-director Jim Leape. The oft-cited statistic that Americans use 500 million straws a day was downgraded to between 170 - 390 million straws a day, according to market research firms cited in a New York Times article fact-checking the higher claim.

But Trump's uncharacteristically nuanced response seems to run against the tone his campaign manager was trying to set, The Guardian wrote, noting that Parscale was exploiting the straws' emerging position as a cultural-war battleground. Last summer, conservatives began taking defiant selfies of themselves drinking from plastic straws.

Some have joked that the Trump campaign's latest attempt to "own the libs" has become something of a self-own. That's because the straws sold by the Trump campaign, which are recyclable, BPA-free, U.S. made and laser engraved, also cost $1.50 per straw. The Washington Post noted that they are much more expensive than other plastic straw options on the market. Even extra-thick, reusable straws sell on Amazon for around $8 per pack of 12 to 30.

"Paying $1.50 a straw to own the libs," ProPublica journalist Jessica Huseman tweeted, as USA Today reported.

Despite the cost, the straws proved popular with Trump supporters. Republican National Committee spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington tweeted Friday that they had sold out.

A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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