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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
Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day:
Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.
A pair of Russian film directors asked President Vladimir Putin to invest $18 million in a new restaurant chain intended to drive McDonald’s out of the Russian market. “Every project these days,” a Russian television personality said of the proposal, “must be smothered in patriotic sauce.”
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”