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Morning Reads: Lobbyists Line Up for Trump; Congress Gets Ready to Roll Back Banking Regs

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Lobbyists Line Up for Trump

President-elect Donald Trump meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the US Capitol. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

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Time to pick a Cabinet –> JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon reportedly was being considered as a possible Trump treasury secretary but Politico reports he does not want the job.

For chief of staff, rumors are that Trump is considering RNC head Reince Preibus or Breitbart news head Steve Bannon, who served as Trump’s campaign CEO. Bannon has never held a job in government before, and his first work on a political campaign was Trump’s — but that seems to have worked out well.

As head of the EPA, it’s believed Trump has selected Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank funded by the Kochs and Exxon Mobil. “[Trump] has made several promises, several times over, about energy and climate, and I think they’re pretty clear,” Ebell told National Geographic. “It’s pretty black and white.” Geographic’s Michael Greshko writes: “In [Ebell’s] telling, climate change does not stand to be a problem until 100 to 200 years from now — and that in the meantime, the goal should be to expand global access to energy of all types. He also says that the Competitive Enterprise Institute opposes federal subsidies for all types of energy, fossil fuels and renewables alike.”

Politico has compiled an enormous list of the lobbyists hoping to join the administration of the man who promised to #DrainTheSwamp. With classic inside-the-Beltway spin, former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, now one of the most prominent lobbyists in Washington, told The New York Times, “[Trump] is going to need some people to help guide him through the swamp — how do you get in and how you get out? We are prepared to help do that.”

Trump’s 75 lawsuits –> Brandy Zadrozny for The Daily Beast: “President-elect Donald Trump will be spending the days running up to his inauguration in an unprecedented fashion. Along with choosing his Cabinet and scheduling the busiest first day in office ever, the reality television star will also be defending himself in several courts of law… As reported by USA Today in June, Trump has been a party to some 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years — a uniquely large number of actions framed by detractors as a telling indicator of a life of crooked dealing, and by supporters as simply the cost of running an enormously successful business in America.

“Whatever one’s position on the election, it’s clear that Trump’s ongoing court battles — somewhere around 75, according to the USA Today analysis — are the first of their kind for any president, and because even the highest office in the land is not above the law, will accompany Trump as he moves into the White House.”

Goodbye to Dodd-Frank? –> The law, enacted after the 2008 financial crisis, has been targeted by Trump and the next Congress. Marilyn Geewax reports for NPR, “Repealing the entire law probably would take more time and attention than Congress could muster in a 100-day rush. In fact, Dodd-Frank is such sprawling legislation that it has taken years to write and implement all of the detailed rules.” But once it’s gone, former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson writes for our site, another devastating financial crisis will be far more likely.

Advice –> At The New York Review of Books, Masha Gessen, who has spent years reporting on Vladimir Putin, offers some advice on dealing with an autocrat. First and foremost: “Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable.”

We did not need it darker –> But that’s the kind of week it’s been. Songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen’s death was announced by his family and record label yesterday evening. “My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records,” Cohen’s son Adam wrote in a statement to Rolling Stone. Even as Cohen’s health was failing, Adam helped him record his final album, released earlier this year, by placing a microphone hooked up to a laptop on the dining room table. “He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor,” Adam said. You can hear a single from that album here. Also, take a look at last month’s excellent profile of Cohen by New Yorker editor David Remnick.

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.