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Jared Kushner Is the Power Behind the Throne

Mother Jones

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The New York Times tells us about Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner:

Whatever role Mr. Kushner may play in the administration, he has already had a hand in helping assemble it. Both of Mr. Trump’s most senior advisers, Mr. Priebus, his new chief of staff, and Stephen K. Bannon, his chief strategist, seek Mr. Kushner’s advice routinely, considering his buy-in almost a prerequisite for their proposals to Mr. Trump….“Jared has the trust, confidence and ear of the entire inner circle of the Trump administration, including the most important member of that group, the president-elect,” said Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

….Though he is not particularly bookish, Mr. Kushner is an admirer of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the story of an innocent man seeking vengeance against people who have wronged him. It is a story that feels particularly resonant now: In recent weeks, Mr. Kushner has been able to exact a measure of revenge against his own family’s nemesis, Governor Christie.

The Count of Monte Cristo! Could there be a more perfect book for Trump’s extended family? But Kushner better watch out:

Trump gets angry when members of his inner circle get too much of the spotlight, as Rudolph W. Giuliani did when headlines about his millions of dollars in speaking fees appeared as the former New York mayor was publicly promoting himself to be Mr. Trump’s secretary of state.

Apparently Giuliani is now on the outs. Kushner might be too if more profiles like this start appearing.

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Jared Kushner Is the Power Behind the Throne

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A Big Oil foe runs for Congress — as a Republican

A Big Oil foe runs for Congress — as a Republican


At first blush, Monte Shaw, a newly announced GOP candidate for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, sounds like any other conservative. He denounces talk of new taxes, pledges to defend the Constitution, and speaks reverently of his “hero” Ronald Reagan. “Conservatives must hold this seat if we’re to have any hope at all of stopping the leftward plunge of our federal government,” Shaw said this week in announcing that he would run to replace Rep. Tom Latham (R), who is not seeking reelection.

Yeah, yeah, yada yada. But get this: “Big Oil,” as Shaw calls the industry that controls so many House Republicans (and some Democrats), is his professional enemy. Supporting renewables is currently his full-time job. He’s the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

A Big Oil opponent running on a Republican ticket? Whaaa?

The catch is that Shaw’s association doesn’t champion solar panels or wind turbines. It promotes biofuels derived from the region’s cornfields.

The biofuel and oil industries are locking horns over how much ethanol the federal government should require to be blended into gasoline under its Renewable Fuel Standard program. Here’s what Shaw had to say about the issue in an op-ed published in The Hill last year:

Big Oil is back to its old tricks, this time trying to convince Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency that the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) cannot work and should be eliminated.

To combat Big Oil’s monopoly on transportation fuels, the RFS requires refiners to gradually increase the amount of renewable fuels available to consumers over time. However, refiners now say it cannot be done. Once again, they are wrong.

We call this the Big Oil Bluff.

While it’s refreshing to hear a GOP candidate calling out “Big Oil” on its bullshit, it’s not so refreshing that he’s pimping for the ethanol industry — which has been wrecking havoc on the environment and the climate as corn fields expand into natural areas to help satisfy our thirst for gasoline.

But it could still be fun to watch a Republican run against the oil industry.

Monte Shaw kicks off bid for Congress, says conservatives must hold seat, The Des Moines Register

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants: johnupton@gmail.com.

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A Big Oil foe runs for Congress — as a Republican

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