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President-elect Obama has pledged to cut farm subsidies and embrace renewable fuels – two initiatives that hit close to the wallet of his newly unveiled pick for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack.
From 2000 to 2006, Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, and his wife collected $42,782 in subsidies from the department he was tapped Wednesday to oversee. Also, Vilsack is a partner at a lobbying law firm that trumpeted his advice to clients on agribusiness development and renewable energy – a job that appears to bump up against Obama’s promise to bar appointees from working on issues related to their employment for two years.
David Broder has always had a huge crush on Vilsack, which tells you everything you need to know about the new Agriculture Secretary. Indeed, Obama’s whole cabinet is made up of the type of people that Broder loves.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida:
Florida’s wildlife officials decided to remove the manatee, which has a mild taste that readily adapts to recipes for beef, from the state’s endangered-species list.
A 64-year-old mother and her 44-year-old son were arrested for running a gang that stole more than $100,000 worth of toothbrushes from Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS stores in Florida.
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”