From VANITY FAIR:
On Monday, Trump convened his first full Cabinet meeting since taking office, gathering the heads of every major government agency for a press gaggle around the elliptical mahogany table that occupies a prominent place in the West Wing. Traditionally, the media is present only at the beginning of such meetings, during which the president makes a brief statement and a few photos are snapped before a review of the administration’s progress continues behind closed doors. Trump tried something a little different.
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As they fleshed out the budget blueprint released Thursday morning by the White House, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney said officials from the administration of President Donald Trump asked themselves: Can we ask the taxpayer to pay for this?
For a dramatic uptick in military funding, Mulvaney said, the answer was yes. For a wide array of domestic programs, it turns out, the answer was no.
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Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday.
The documents, released under court order to the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, follow a pitched battle over whether Pruitt should lead the Environmental Protection Agency, culminating in a narrow 52-46 vote Friday to confirm him.
From THINK PROGRESS GREEN:
The Koch brothers and the foundation they fund, Americans for Prosperity, are among the biggest backers of the right’s anti-environment movement, pushing for the repeal of environmental laws and regulations on both the state and federal level. Those efforts continued at AFP’s annual Defending the American Dream Summit this weekend, as attacks on the EPA came from seemingly every prominent speaker and in multiple panels.
Former pizza magnate Herman Cain (R) drew some of his largest cheers when he declared that the EPA “needs an attitude adjustment,” while former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) decried the burden of federal regulations on job creation. But while Romney has insisted in the past that Republicans aren’t “anti-regulation” and other conservatives have insisted that the party doesn’t want to defund the EPA, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) — the Congressman from Koch — made it clear during an environmental panel that that was exactly his goal […]:
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From Mother Jones:
The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, spread their money far and wide. They fund free-market think tanks, right-leaning academic organizations, and conservative political advocacy groups, such as the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which helped cultivate the tea party. The political action committee for the Kochs’ massive conglomerate, Koch Industries, has also given generously to big-name conservative politicians throughout the country at both the federal and state level. But when it comes to the 2012 presidential race, the Kochs have been more selective with their giving, with only one presidential candidate so far benefiting from their largesse: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
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From The Wonk Room at THINK PROGRESS:
Newt Gingrich really doesn’t like it when Barack Obama takes his advice. It’s not just true of intervention with Libya — it’s also the case with fighting global warming pollution. In short, Newt was for carbon cap and trade, until Obama became president:
February 15, 2007: “I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.” [Frontline, 2/15/07]
April 4, 2009: “And now, in 2009, instead of making energy cheaper—which would help create jobs and save Americans money—President Obama wants to impose a cap-and-trade regime. Such a plan would have the effect of an across-the-board energy tax on every American. That will make our artificial energy crisis even worse—and raising taxes during a deep economic recession will only accelerate American job losses.” [Newsweek, 4/4/09]
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