Shake it up
February 2, 2017

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, it seems, is back. Time reported Thursday that after weeks of President Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon reigning supreme, the president has instructed Priebus to "enforce more orderly lines of authority and communication from now on":

According to senior administration officials, Trump hauled in some half-dozen of his key advisers for a brisk dressing-down. Everything goes through chief of staff Reince Priebus, he directed. Nothing flows that hasn't been scheduled by his deputy Katie Walsh. "You're going to see probably a slower, more deliberative process," one official told Time. [Time]

Apparently, Time reported, the chaos and confusion that has erupted during Trump's first weeks under Bannon's direction have "rattled the West Wing, and perhaps even dismayed the president." Bannon is rumored to have played a key role in crafting Trump's executive order on immigration, which banned people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and stirred criticism, confusion, and contempt from Democrats and Republicans alike, not to mention from the media, civil liberties lawyers, and the courts.

But, Time noted, Bannon certainly hasn't been "banished." He still has a standing invitation to the National Security Council — and Trump's ear. Learn more about the man masterminding Trump's presidency over at Time. Becca Stanek

April 14, 2016

Taylor Swift wants to turn her attention away from music to focus on the smaller things in life. Namely, she tells Vogue in her new cover story interview, "short-term goals" like making a good cocktail, learning CPR, and figuring out how to change a tire.

"I want to be a well-rounded person who can make a good drink," Swift says. "To be able to save somebody if they're drowning," she continues. "So CPR, all the various kinds of chest compressions. People tell you little tips, but that's different from actually taking a class and getting certified."

Swift assures Vogue that when she gets fixated on learning a new skill, she will do everything to make sure she accomplishes her goals — no matter how small. "I got it in my head that I couldn't do a split, and I was really upset about it. And so I stretched every single day for a year until I could do a split," she says. "Somehow I feel better knowing that I can."

Read the full story on Swift over at Vogue. Becca Stanek

September 2, 2014

For a long time it's been a shibboleth among America's healthy circles: too much salt is bad for you, because it causes high blood pressure and heart problems. This is true! As my colleague Catherine Garcia reported, a study released this month showed that people who consumed 7 grams of sodium or more had an increased risk of death.

However, that is a lot of sodium, more than twice the average American intake of 3.4 grams per day. And what tends to go unmentioned in these reports is that too little sodium can also be bad for you. That same study found that people who consumed less than 3 grams per day had a risk of death and cardiovascular problems greater than the people who consumed 7 grams!

As Aaron Carroll points out, a range of 3-6 grams is way, way above most official recommendations:

The United States Food and Drug Administration thinks that's not low enough. It recommends 2.3 grams per day. The World Health Organization says it should be 2.0 grams. The American Heart Association goes even further and recommends we consume no more than 1.5 grams.

As he says, there is simply no evidence to support these recommendations, and increasing evidence shows they're too low. Sodium serves a critical function in the nervous system — a shortage quickly leads to terrible illness. So unless you're really going heavy on the soy sauce, chances are you probably don't have to worry about your salt intake. Ryan Cooper

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