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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
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”