Trump Adviser Is Betting Millions of Dollars That Trump Will Take His Advice

Trump’s deregulatory czar is shorting renewable energy credits on the assumption that Trump will heed his advice about changing the rules for ethanol blending.

CARL ICAHN, THE high-stakes financier who has been using his position as a Trump adviser to push for a major rule-change affecting the ethanol industry, is now literally betting millions of dollars on financial markets that Trump will take his advice.

As previously reported at The Intercept, Icahn has pushed to get the Environmental Protection Agency to shift responsibility for blending the required amount of renewable fuel into gasoline. Right now, that obligation lies with oil refiners; Icahn wants it shifted to wholesalers.

As an unpaid but influential “special advisor to the president on regulatory reform” who vetted EPA chief Scott Pruitt, Icahn has plenty of clout to get this done.

Icahn stands to profit enormously from such a move in the long run; he is majority owner of CVR Energy, a refiner that lacks the infrastructure to blend ethanol. This forces the company to purchase “renewable identification numbers” (RINs), credits that allow it to comply with the obligation. The wholesalers sell the RINs after blending the ethanol themselves.

If Icahn succeeds in his quest, CVR would no longer have to buy RINs, which cost them $205.9 million last year. Icahn already told the Renewable Fuels Association — the leading lobby for the ethanol industry — that the Trump administration would absolutely make the change, leading RFA to agree to a deal reversing their previous position, and supporting the rule.

The change would also collapse the market for RINs, because refiners wouldn’t have any reason to buy them anymore.

And Icahn isn’t waiting to cash in. While pushing to crash the RIN market, Icahn has placed major bets that he will win.

Icahn is effectively short-selling RINs.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Icahn acknowledged that he’s betting on a decline in the RIN market.

“This is what I do in the market. I’m taking a chance,” the billionaire investor said.

First, he’s directed CVR Energy to…

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: Trump Adviser Is Betting Millions of Dollars That Trump Will Take His Advice

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White House Budget Bombs on Front Pages of Red State Newspapers

THE WHITE HOUSE BUDGET proposal released on Thursday produced harsh, highly critical headlines in local newspapers based in states that President Trump carried in his election in November.

Papers highlighted the cuts to spending on infrastructure, the environment, the impoverished, and arts and culture.The Columbus Dispatch — based in Ohio where Trump won 51.3 percent of the vote — ran a front page story on Friday titled “Unkind Cuts to Ohio?”

The story noted that the budget eliminated funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, “a $300 million undertaking to clean up and keep invasive species from the world’s largest single source of fresh surface water,” which “directly benefits the same upper industrial Midwestern states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin — that elevated Trump to the presidency in November.”

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: White House Budget Bombs on Front Pages of Red State Newspapers

The House is on the verge of voting to uninsure 24 million Americans — here’s what you can do about it | Eclectablog

‘The House is on the verge of voting to uninsure
24 million Americans — here’s what you can do about it’, at Eclectablog

You may view the latest post at
http://www.eclectablog.com/2017/03/the-house-is-on-the-verge-of-voting-to-uninsure-24-million-americans-heres-what-you-can-do-about-it.html

Source: The House is on the verge of voting to uninsure 24 million Americans — here’s what you can do about it | Eclectablog

Four Republican governors come out against Obamacare repeal plan

Four GOP governors added their voices to the chorus of opposition to Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, saying it fails to give them the flexibility or resources they need to adequately deal with the insurance needs of lower-income Americans.

Source: Four Republican governors come out against Obamacare repeal plan

WASHINGTON — Four Republican governors added their voices to the chorus of opposition to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, saying it fails to give them the flexibility or resources they need to adequately deal with the insurance needs of lower-income Americans.

Saying they had been “encouraged” by statements made by President Trump that he would work with the governors to help address the “diverse needs” of Medicaid recipients, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said the bill, endorsed by Trump, “does not meet this test.”

“It provides almost no new flexibility to the states, does not ensure the resources necessary to ensure no one is left out, and shifts significant costs to states,” the governors wrote in a letter sent to Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “We stand ready to work with you to develop a proposal that is both fiscally sound and provides affordable coverage for our most vulnerable citizens.”

Read more:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/17/four-republican-governors-come-out-against-obamacare-repeal-plan/99301698/

Republican congressman says Trump owes Obama an apology – CBS News

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says “President Obama is owed an apology” unless Trump can deliver “compelling proof” of wiretapping

Source: Republican congressman says Trump owes Obama an apology – CBS News

A senior Republican congressman says that former President Obama deserves an apology over President Trump’s unproven allegation that Trump Tower was wiretapped during the 2016 campaign.

“Frankly unless you can produce some pretty compelling proof, President Obama is owed an apology,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) told reporters on Friday when asked about the matter.

“If he didn’t do it, we shouldn’t be reckless in accusations that he did,” Cole said adding, “I’ve seen no indication that that’s true, it’s not a charge I would have ever made.”

The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee stated on Wednesday afternoon that they had seen “no indications” that Trump Tower was surveilled by the U.S. government as President Trump alleged. Their counterparts at the House Intelligence Committee came to a similar conclusion the day before. Both panels are investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

READ MORE HERE – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/republican-congressman-says-trump-owes-obama-an-apology/

CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATIONThe slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION

Food Is Overrated

Well, we’ve all seen it by now:

There is no evidence that food helps raise test scores.

One more snowflake wants to eat.

Mind you, this is from the administration that wants us to believe that three million votes were cast illegally, that Obama wiretappppped Trump Towers, that microwaves can be used to spy on us– all this and more, without a shred of evidence. But children doing better in school because they have gotten food to eat– that is some wildass crazypants conspiracy nutbaggery. You think being able to eat food helps children do better in school?? Woah– just let me check you for your tin foil hat.

Reformsters, this is at least partly on you. This is the logical extension of the idea that only hard “evidence” matters, and only if it is evidence that test scores go up. We’ve dumped play, understanding of child development, and a whole bunch of not-reading-and-math classes because nobody can prove they help raise test scores to the satisfaction of various reformsters. It was only a matter of time until some literal-minded shallow-thinking functionary decided that there was no clear linkage between food and test scores.

Or anything else, actually, since another program that Mulvaney singled out for its unproven worth was Meals on Wheels. This is another impressive piece of brain-twistery since there is, in fact, plenty of proof about the effectiveness for Meals on Wheels.

But biggest crowd ever for inauguration. Illegal voters. Wiretappping. Oh yeah– and school vouchers. The need for evidence is, I guess, a selective thing.

Meanwhile, I suppose we could conduct a study that establishes that students who have actually starved to death get lower results on standardized tests. And then we could work out the increments for exactly how much food is useful for getting test results. It may be that just some bread and water are all that’s necessary (crusts only). Maybe just one bowl of gruel a day.

Lord knows we don’t want to waste money feeding hungry children if we’re not going to get decent test scores in return. You are never too young to start understanding that if you choose to be poor, you’ll have to earn whatever scraps your betters decide you deserve.

Self-funded candidates lose big (except when they don’t)

Self-funded candidates clearly face unfavorable odds — but why is that?

Source: Self-funded candidates lose big (except when they don’t)

Let’s say you flip a coin, and it lands heads up. You flip it again, and it’s heads a second time. You toss it once more — you’re feeling exceptionally lucky — and it’s heads for the third time in a row. The chances of that happening are 12.5 percent.

In the 2016 cycle, that was precisely the likelihood of winning a federal race with a self-funded campaign.

read more.

by Niv Sultan

Ninth annual K Street Classic: Wildcats on top — and maybe not the ones you’d expect

According to our tally of lobbying $$ spent in 2016 (our version of March Madness) Northwestern has won OpenSecrets’ K Street Classic with $614,513 total.

Source: Ninth annual K Street Classic: Wildcats on top — and maybe not the ones you’d expect

After being locked out of the NCAA tournament for its entire history, Northwestern University‘s basketball team finally made the cut. And while students at the university are celebrating having reached this landmark, Northwestern has already won another championship:

According to our tally of lobbying dollars spent in 2016, Northwestern has been crowned OpenSecrets’ K Street Classic winner with $614,513 total. … read more.

Russia hired Edelman in 2016 to help deal with Yukos fallout

This story, and others relating to Russia and other countries couldn’t be told without filings required by FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Source: Russia hired Edelman in 2016 to help deal with Yukos fallout

A former national security adviser was paid more than $500,000 by a group linked with the Turkish government. An Egyptian intelligence agency hired public relations firms. Iraq sent letters to top Trump officials.
These stories could not have been told without the help of filings required by FARA, or the Foreign Agents Registration Act

….read more.

Trump to Michigan gov: ‘I never forget’ those who didn’t endorse me | TheHill

President Trump has a message for Republicans who didn’t endorse him during his bid for the White House: “I never forget.”

The president was appearing alongside Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, on Wednesday to tout plans to bolster manufacturing in the state and review Obama-era fuel-standard regulations opposed by automakers.

“Come on governor, even though you didn’t endorse me,” Trump quipped. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who was also in attendance, laughed and remarked that “he’s not forgotten.”

READ MORE HERE: Trump to Michigan gov: ‘I never forget’ those who didn’t endorse me | TheHill