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Disgraced ex-Interior secretary takes $100,000-a-year job with gold mine that has business before the agency

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On Tuesday, CBS reported that Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump’s disgraced former Secretary of the Interior, has taken a $100,000-a-year-job with the U.S. Gold Corp, a Nevada-based mining company that is pursuing federal projects that require approval from the Interior Department.

Zinke denies there is any conflict of interest, telling the Associated Press that his role at U.S. Gold will not involve lobbying. However, this conflicts with the CEO’s hiring announcement, which cited Zinke’s “excellent relationship” with the Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management.

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Shares of U.S. Gold rose 3 percent on the news of the hire.

Zinke, a former congressman from Montana, experienced a turbulent tenure at the Interior Department, leaving office amid 18 federal investigations into his use of taxpayer money, potential abuses of power, financial conflicts, and retaliation against agency whistleblowers.

He has been replaced with former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt, who is now facing investigations himself.


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Mike Pompeo’s behavior is straight out of Nixon VP’s playbook: historians

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expletive-laden dust-up with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly is on message for the Trump-led Republican Party. Complaining that Kelly’s question about Ukraine was “another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration,” Pompeo has rallied the Republican base by slamming a journalist doing her job.

Whether he knows it or not, Pompeo is drawing from a playbook written a half century ago and perfected by a politician once voted the worst vice president in American history. Secretary Mike Pompeo, meet Vice President Spiro Agnew.

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‘Our chances of ever exiting the nightmare are shrinking’: Paul Krugman explains how the GOP is getting worse

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It is a great detriment to civil discourse that the divide between left and right in the United States is often depicted as being purely cultural — as if one’s politics were solely mediated by aesthetics, such as whether one prefers shooting guns or drinking lattes. This fabulist understanding of politics is harmful inasmuch as it masks the real social effects of the policy agendas pushed by left versus right. Seeing politics as aesthetic transforms what should be a quantitative debate — with statistics and numbers about taxation and public policy, questions of who benefits more or less from policy changes — and devolves it into a rhetorical debate over values.

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Legal battles sparked by Trump’s behavior could affect how the US government works for generations — long after his impeachment trial is over

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After the last Senate staffer turns out the lights, major questions remain to be decided outside of the Capitol about the limits of presidential power, the willingness of courts to decide political questions and the ability of Congress to exercise effective oversight and hold a president accountable.

Here are three of those questions.

What are the limits of presidential power?

First, the aggressive exercise of executive power by Trump has put this power under court scrutiny.

Trump’s vow to “fight all the subpoenas” breaks from the traditional process – negotiation and accommodation – that previous presidents have used to resolve disputes between branches of the government.

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