When Chairman Frank Lucas gaveled the full House Ag Committee to order Oct. 12, aggies who depend on commodity futures markets to price their crops, livestock and dreams might have thought the hearing would center on what its title suggested: “To Review Legislative Proposals Amending Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” The hearing would do no such thing.
Today’s politics are dominated by the inside-out logic that doing nothing is better than doing anything. We even pay dozens in Congress at least $174,000 per year to ensure it
The usual six-mile drive home from Sunday church took a pleasant turn some weeks ago. As I headed back to the farmette for more coffee and more newspapers, my mind went a different way and, without one turn of any wheel, I was on my way to the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth. […]
Already deeply engaged in a bloody war, a young, untested president– whose thin resume noted but a handful of undistinguished terms in the Illinois General Assembly and a brief stint in Congress — did not hesitate when Congress delivered legislation that might spark a new beginning for a tiring nation. When Abraham Lincoln signed the […]
So corn is rockin’ north of $7, beans are toyin’ with $14, cattle look to be headed to who-knows-where and hogs, well, bacon is sellin’ for what steak used to.
A day does not pass without some Big Ag chieftain or Capitol Hill yakker parting their perpetually pursed lips to unleash total nonsense on you, me and the body politic. To wit the following quote, an answer given by a member of the U.S. Senate to an Aug. 25 question on who will be dominate […]
The official name for the group of 12 U.S. House and Senate members charged with finding “at least” $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit by Thanksgiving is the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. Super Unofficially, the group usually is called the Super Committee. Not Super Group, Super Committee. A Super Group would be, […]
Bloggers might do coincidence; journalists don’t. We do irony, maybe even allegory. Sometimes we stray into ennui and pathos. Coincidence, however, features facts that aren’t tied as tightly together as we like. My Oxford Desk Dictionary agrees.
The undercooked thought and overbaked talk that endlessly paralyzes Washington would not have gone far on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth before someone, boss or hired hand alike, would have condemned the yak and urged all to “get to work.”
It’s simply isn’t true that only nine people in America understand the nation’s arcane federal milk price formula. Only four people understand it.
Rupert Murdoch came before a House of Commons committee investigating the misdeeds of his company’s British newspapers with his heart on his sleeve. He called the day of his testimony, July 19, “the most humble day of my life.” Humbling or not, he left the hearing unbowed. Explanation Murdoch’s explanation of what his firm’s reporters […]
Hedge ’em, hide ’em or howl at ’em, facts are facts. Trim ’em, trash ’em or trip over ’em, they still are facts. What they aren’t is opinion, a difference often overlooked by radio foamers and politicians, especially if honest facts clash with honest opinion. Debt ceiling For example, on July 12, Speaker of the […]
Six months have passed since readers have had their say about me, my work and its effect on their digestive system. Turns out the first two often riles the third as in a mid-April emailer, who signed his missive “All Small Farmers,” noted.
The mid-June Congressional action on ag programs seems to confirm why Washington D.C.’s streets feature roundabout upon roundabout: moving left or right — a big deal on Capitol Hill now — usually lands you back where you started.
You and I know that if we put the horse before the cart the chances of going anywhere are a million times better than if we put the cart first.
With an E. coli outbreak in Germany having sickened over 2,500, afflicted 650 or so with acute kidney failure and, as of June 8, killed 25, now might be a good time for the blinkered show horses on the House Appropriation Committee to reconsider their deep cuts to the nation’s food safety budget. Sure, budget-busting […]
In the decade-long, tens-of-billions-of-dollars effort to sell the world on a global free trade deal, several things did not happen. Didn’t come close. First, a global trade deal didn’t happen; in fact, it never came close to happening. Second, contrary to predictions, world trade did not end even though multilateral talks did. Indeed, worldwide merchandise […]
On this Memorial Day, remember Abraham Lincoln’s challenge: “It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus so nobly advanced.”
Squeeze almost any official of almost any agbiz or farm group and the words “Feed the world” will cross their lips. The phrase is this century’s “Manifest Destiny,” a near-imperative, a cornerstone of our export-directed ag policy. But this ambition, according to the number-crunching crew in Daryll Ray’s ag shop at the University of Tennessee, […]
Politicians are so good at the muddled math of their budget game that they can turn the equation upside down and make it work in reverse: $1 of budget savings today can be legislated into $2 of tax cuts tomorrow.