Tag Archives: USDA

Oink, Oink

From Sam Stein at THE HUFFINGTON POST:

WASHINGTON — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has built a large part of her conservative appeal on strict opposition to federal intervention in the free market. Her real-time criticism of the Troubled Asset Relief Program earned her plaudits among the base voters who will soon decide Republican primary elections. Her pledge to repeal President Obama’s health care law, on grounds that it imposes an across-the-board government solution, has become a focal point of her presidential campaign.

When it comes to the agriculture industry, however, Bachmann’s record doesn’t match the fiscal conservative hype. A Freedom of Information Act request for communications the Minnesota Republican has had with the Department of Agriculture shows that she leaned heavily on federal officials for help — never more so than when it came to aiding the pork and dairy producers in her state.


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Food For Thought

From THINK PROGRESS:

Last year, a bi-partisan majority in Congress approved a new food safety law, the first significant upgrade of the nation’s food safety system since 1938. The bill was so non-controversial that it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate. But House Republicans have been threatening to defund the new law through the appropriations process.

Following through on that threat, House Republicans approved a bill yesterday that would cut $87 million from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as $35 million from the USDA’s food safety and inspection service. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) explained that the House GOP is okay cutting food safety funding because the food industry “self-polices”[…]

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Cash Crops

From GROUNDSWELL educational films:

Four of the 19 Wisconsin Republican State Senators annually applied for and received direct farm subsidies from the federal government.  These are the same people who want government spending limited, apparently except when it comes to their own welfare checks.

  • Michael Ellis of the 19th District received payments totaling $226,155 from 1995 through 2009 for a farm in Bloomington, WI
  • Sheila Harsdorf of the 10th District, is 50% owner in Trim-bel Valley Farms in River Falls WI, received payments totaling $194,763 from 1995 through 2009.
  • Luther Olsen of the 14th District, 20% owner in Riverview Farm, received payments totaling $84,232 from 1999 through 2009
  • Dale Schultz of the 17th District received payments totaling $61,171 from 2000 through 2009 for a farm in Richland Center, WI

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The Vast Rightwing Idiocy

From MEDIA MATTERS:

Right-wing media continue to attack Sherrod, defend Breitbart even after full video is released

Huddy: Sherrod’s “incriminating” “present tense” statements still “raise questions” about whether Sherrod should be federally employed. On the July 22 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, guest co-host Juliet Huddy called the Sherrod incident a “very strange story” and claimed:

    HUDDY: If you go on to listen to the tape, there are things that I think are incriminating for her that I do think raise a lot of questions about whether or not she should be in the position that she held in the first place. She refers to, you know, his people, I think, that was [inaudible] — his own kind. If a white public service — as Bill O’Reilly said yesterday — servant said, you know, we sent him to his kind, meaning we sent — we sent a white farmer to a white lawyer — that’s what she said she did, his kind. If it was flipped around — would be raising hell, trust me.

…snip…

[In a July 22 tweet, RedState editor-in-chief and CNN contributor Erick] Erickson: “No, I do not think Andrew Breitbart needs to apologize.”

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The Amazing Race-Baiter

From JOE CONASON at Salon:

Former USDA official Shirley Sherrod, a dedicated public servant innocent of the prejudice and misconduct falsely imputed to her, deserves justice. As soon as the White House and Tom Vilsack restore her job, with an appropriate apology, they will begin to remove a stain of cowardice from their administration. But while that may be all the government can do, it isn’t sufficient to close this case.

Real justice, as I suspect Sherrod would agree, also requires due process for Andrew Breitbart, the Internet impresario who framed her on his Big Government website. In these circumstances, that means a fair, thorough and tough examination of the media fraud that launched his operation last year: the ACORN tapes, whose misuse by Breitbart closely parallels his behavior in the Sherrod affair.


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