Long Read: “How Republicans Lost the Farm”

A most interesting report on the other side of the horrible botched farm bill, from the always-readable Molly Ball, at the Atlantic:

…. The members of the Farm Bureau—an overwhelmingly conservative, strongly Republican group—have traditionally gotten what they wanted, between all that lobbying and politicians’ never-ending appetite for paeans to the nobility of rural life. But these days, thanks to the Tea Party civil war that has stoppered the House of Representatives, that is not the case.

Vilsack laid out the contemporary American farmer’s lament. For more than a year, the agricultural legislation, known as the farm bill, whose implementation is his agency’s major task—the complicated scheme of price supports, crop subsidies, insurance provisions, and food-stamp assistance that undergirds American farming, from feed corn to dairy cows to sugar, peanuts, fruits, and vegetables—has been stalled, the victim (though Vilsack did not put it in these terms) of Republican infighting in the House of Representatives. As a result, a growing season marked by drought, snowstorms, and record cold temperatures had passed without the disaster relief on which farmers have traditionally relied. The Department of Agriculture was unable to fight a trade dispute with the Brazilian government that could threaten farming patents. And while temporary extensions had kept the farm bill from expiring altogether, those, too, would run out on January 31, potentially sending milk prices skyrocketing to as much as $8 per gallon. House Republicans also have blocked farmers’ other major priority, immigration reform, resulting in labor shortages, unpicked crops, and even farms abandoned when there weren’t enough workers to reap their harvest….

The failure of the farmers’ agenda is a familiar tale of Washington gridlock, with familiar players: the small group of conservative obstructionists who seemingly control the House, and the policy consequences of a Republican Party at war with itself. But in this case, the people Republicans have antagonized are among their most loyal constituents. Rural America is the party’s base. Mitt Romney overwhelmingly won its support in 2012, taking 61 percent of rural voters, according to exit polls. (Romney won 58 percent of small-town voters, 50 percent of suburban voters, and just 36 percent of residents of cities with more than 50,000 occupants.) Now the GOP, hamstrung by its right wing’s anti-government zeal, risks breaking faith with its rural stronghold…

Farm lobbyists, finding Republicans no longer receptive to their pleas, have begun to look elsewhere for support. The Texas Farm Bureau, for example, faces two Republican senators—the archconservative Cruz and the minority whip John Cornyn—who have both voted against the farm bill. Shut out in its own state, the Texas bureau has instead begun spreading its political donations to Democrats in other states who work on agriculture issues, including Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson, and Donnelly, of Indiana. The Texas Farm Bureau has also lent financial support to pro-farm Republicans in other states who could be the Lugars of 2014: Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Senate agriculture committee, and Pat Roberts of Kansas, the committee’s former top Republican, both of whom face Tea Party primary challenges. “In a general sense, yes, less government is better,” the Texas Farm Bureau’s legislative director, Steve Pringle, told me. “But there are certain things that the federal government has to do”—namely immigration policy and the farm bill.

If farm policy was a sleeper issue in some 2012 elections, it stands to be even more influential in 2014. After the farm-bill antics of 2013, farmers are far more frustrated today than they were in 2012. And Democrats in House and Senate contests across the map have picked up the issue, as the prominent agriculture writer Jerry Hagstrom recently noted. Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat seeking to unseat Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, has run a television ad accusing him of “hurting Kentucky farmers” by voting against the farm bill. Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas has attacked his opponent, Republican Representative Tom Cotton, for his farm bill vote. I recently received a fundraising email from John Lewis, a Democratic congressional candidate in Montana, that began, “The U.S. House doesn’t care about renewing the farm bill, and Montana’s farming and ranching communities are hurting as a result.”

Some in the farming community hope the Republicans who have betrayed them will finally pay a political price this year. Representative Tim Huelskamp of Kansas represents more farmers than any other congressman, according to Barry Flinchbaugh, a professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, who lives in Huelskamp’s district. (Flinchbaugh, a longtime adviser to Congress on farm policy, speaks to hundreds of farm groups every year; his speaker biography says he is “to Ag policy what Tiger Woods is to golf.”) “But he votes no [on the farm bill], because Heritage and the Club for Growth tell him to vote no,” Flinchbaugh told me. “Frankly, he pays more attention to them than he does to the Kansas Farm Bureau. That would have been unheard of even as recently as the 2008 farm bill.”

This month, a local lawyer and former member of the Kansas legislature announced he would challenge Huelskamp in the August Republican primary, calling his run “a patriotic duty.” Agribusiness interests are already lining up behind the challenger. Huelskamp, who ran unopposed in 2012, also has a fairly strong Democratic opponent. Kansas’s first congressional district, a seat that once belonged to Bob Dole, has not elected a Democrat since the 1950s, Flinchbaugh pointed out. “But Congressman Huelskamp is very, very controversial, and his farm bill vote has made a lot of headlines. I think maybe we’re starting to wake up.”…

100 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in NC says:

    “But Congressman Huelskamp is very, very controversial, and his farm bill vote has made a lot of headlines. I think maybe we’re starting to wake up.”…

    As those Tea Party types are so fond of screaming, “Wake up, America!”

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Do I need an agricultural subsidy to buy more popcorn?

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
    This land fed a nation This land made me proud

  4. 4
    Ben Franklin says:

    “Every American should be concerned about the fact that we don’t have a farm bill,” Vilsack said. Whether in urban, suburban, or rural areas, he urged, people ought to be calling their congressmen and senators and urging them to get it done.

    The failure of the farmers’ agenda is a familiar tale of Washington gridlock, with familiar players: the small group of conservative obstructionists who seemingly control the House, and the policy consequences of a Republican Party at war with itself. But in this case, the people Republicans have antagonized are among their most loyal constituents. Rural America is the party’s base.”

    The Family farm is the putative base of conservative ideas. Is Monsanto/ADM a small family farm?

  5. 5
    Citizen Alan says:

    In a general sense, yes, less government is better,” the Texas Farm Bureau’s legislative director, Steve Pringle, told me. “But there are certain things that the federal government has to do”—namely immigration policy and the farm bill.

    Fucking selfish hypocritical ingrates. I’m so damned tired of people who want to shrink the government to the point that it can do everything they require of it and no bigger.

  6. 6
    Glocksman says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I thought the TP’ers screamed Amerika Erwache!?

    @Citizen Alan:

    Subsidies for me but not for thee.

  7. 7
    Napoleon says:

    John Cole,

    This is something that its been at least a year since I have posted, but please cut off Anne Lauries right to post here. Not only is she such a dim wit as to be completely incompetent at, you know, paring down an article to the part that tells you why you should read it. In additional, to be blunt, her and you are thiefs for just pretty much in cutting and pasting others copyrighted work here, in other then just a sample of the work.

    Please kick this half ass unoriginal clown off this site.

  8. 8
    dmsilev says:

    Vilsack was followed onstage by Alan Robertson, a member of the cast of the A&E reality show Duck Dynasty. Robertson, a preacher, had previously been distinguished from the rest of the cast by his lack of facial hair, but he had grown a short salt-and-pepper beard for the show’s upcoming fifth season. He wore black pants and an untucked blue shirt with a pen in the chest pocket. “You realize that we have generations now that don’t understand the concept of home, or family, or faith,” he complained. “We got people growing up in huge neighborhoods in metropolitan areas that have no idea what you know, what I know.”

    Fuck you, Mr. Robertson.

    Signed, every resident of every city in the US.

  9. 9
    vhh says:

    So when are the dumb fucks in the farm belt going to vote for ppl who will help them ?

  10. 10
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    That Republican outreach just gets better and better – doesn’t it? Next up: Republicans slam apple pie for being too European.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I read today that Michelle Obama hosted a “training camp” for this year’s Puppy Bowl. I eagerly await the inevitable Republican attack on puppies.

  12. 12
    Origuy says:

    @Napoleon: She reproduced six paragraphs out of 42 in the article. Who made you the copyright cop?

  13. 13
    chopper says:

    @Napoleon:

    i’m sure cole will get right on that.

  14. 14
    Turgidson says:

    Will this farm bill stupidity finally be the tipping point, where rural voters notice that the GOP has been continuously pissing on them and calling it rain for the past 35 years, and they reconsider their party loyalty?

    Nah. Not until that boy is out of the White House, anyway.

  15. 15
    chopper says:

    @dmsilev:

    shorter: “there are black people, in cities, who are not us. what do we do about this?”

  16. 16
    WereBear says:

    @Citizen Alan: They are mentally three years old, I swear.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @chopper: I’m not even sure it’s racial. It’s a long-standing conservative Thing that people in The Heartland ™ are better and more patriotic and so on and so forth than all of us effete city folks.

  18. 18
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Napoleon:

    I eagerly await your incipient newsletter.

  19. 19
    Scott S. says:

    @Napoleon: Seriously? Ever heard of blockquoting? Most blogs use it pretty extensively.

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    @dmsilev: It goes back to the Depression, when effete city folks kept tariffs high and farmers poor.

    Ironically, the program FDR created to give farmers a break has turned into gushers of cash for giant agribusinesses.

    Time to re-evaluate.

  21. 21
    Big R says:

    @Napoleon: Length of original article: 5,397 words. Length of Anne Laurie’s extract: 916 words. Verbiage excised: 83%. Link to original work: Provided.

    What exactly is your problem?

  22. 22
    PsiFighter37 says:

    This is basically pie-in-the-sky thinking. The anecdote at the end of the story reflects that – here are farmers who have gotten handouts totaling 6 figures in the past 15 years, yet they accuse Obama of giving away food stamps to ‘his people’.

    Fuck these people; we can build a base of support without shitheads and morons like that. And farm policy is really SHITTY policy still; just because it might win us some points with rednecks doesn’t mean the Democratic Party should give in to them.

  23. 23
    Mike E says:

    @Napoleon: No no…email him, his addy is on the side of the front page, use ALL CAPS also, he loves getting stuff like that. Too.

  24. 24
    Aji says:

    @Napoleon: Somebody piss in your beer at happy hour?

    Some of us like Anne Laurie. And the topics she covers. And the, you know, links she includes to the vast swaths of text that she has not quoted. I think “us” might even include Cole himself.

  25. 25
    Big R says:

    @Mike E: I am trying to applaud you here, but WordPress keeps ignoring me. FYWP. And applause to Mike E.

  26. 26
    WaterGirl says:

    @Big R: That was very succinct!

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WaterGirl: Brevity is the soul of wit.

  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    @Napoleon: May I suggest that if you don’t want just a big FU from Cole when you bring this up next year, that you maybe skip the name calling and personal attacks?

    That way there might be a chance in hell that Cole would actually consider what you’re suggesting – that it might be more fair to the good folks BJ quotes if there was less text copied so as to encourage people to actually click the link.

  30. 30
    Napoleon says:

    @chopper:

    i’m sure cole will get right on that.

    OK, then give us cat pictures and stories of shaving cat asses.

  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    @Big R: I know, I just couldn’t resist. :-)

    @Gin & Tonic: So true!

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Big R says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Discretion is the better part of valor.

  34. 34
    NonyNony says:

    @Napoleon:

    Cole doesn’t read the comments, so I suggest you e-mail him about this.

    And if he doesn’t immediately respond, you should e-mail him your complaint six more times.

    Also you should totally demand your money back. I’m sure that if you demand a refund, every dollar spent by you to be able to read this post by AL will be refunded, possibly with interest!

  35. 35
    gbear says:

    @Napoleon: Somewhere on your screen, there is a little ‘X’. Click on it and all of the things that are aggavating you will disappear instantly! This amazing internet trick really works!

  36. 36
    Tripod says:

    Do I hear twenty-one, twenty-one, twenty-one…
    I’ll give you twenty-one, twenty-one, twenty-one…
    This night you are mistaken, I’m a farmer in the city
    Dark farm houses against the sky, Every night I must wonder why

  37. 37
    Svensker says:

    @Big R:

    What exactly is your problem?

    Grammar, for one.

  38. 38
    WereBear says:

    @gbear: Good one.

    Ah, the pathetic farmers. Making 84k a year and now the Tea Party doesn’t want to give them their subsidies.

    Tsk. Tsk.

    Mind you, I’m far more in favor of family farms growing our food than Monsanto. But I’m stunned by the people in the article who have their noses pressed up against the window of their grievances, and think nothing of anything else.

    Where shall they go?

  39. 39
    Another Holocene Human says:

    waitwait, so the clown who was trying to gish gallop rachel maddow last night is actually endangered in his own state and hated by his own constituents?!

    so in “real America” both Republicans, Democrats, and ostensibly non-partisan interest pressure groups are gearing up to spend millions to unseat him?!

    wow, break out the klown shoes, American

    at least dipshits like Gohmert!, Southerland (TX) and Yoho have raging red districts that support them… well, not Yoho exactly but he has a nicely gerry mandered districted that will stay R-majority for another cycle or two at least, until then, spite will rule

  40. 40
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Glocksman: Not to put a too fine a point on it, but rather than address themselves to “America,” an apostrophe that might maintain a modicum of dignity for both parties, what they actually screamed was “Wake up, sheeple!”

  41. 41
    kc says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    In a general sense, yes, less government is better,” the Texas Farm Bureau’s legislative director, Steve Pringle, told me. “But there are certain things that the federal government has to do”—namely immigration policy and the farm bill.

    They need the govt to give them money and let them import cheap labor, and then not bother them with pesky regulations.

  42. 42
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @WereBear: TV wouldn’t lie to them about them lyin’ moocher nears in the big bad city, now would it? I saw it on Hard Copy so I know it’s so.

  43. 43
    JustRuss says:

    potentially sending milk prices skyrocketing to as much as $8 per gallon.

    Look, I have friends who are dairy farmers, and they’re very nice, but holy fuk, how much are we subsidizing these people?

  44. 44
    NonyNony says:

    FTA:

    Davis and her husband, Julius, both in their 60s, farm corn, peanuts, cotton, and wheat in Sumter County. She told me she thought putting food stamps into the farm bill had confused the public, making them think farm subsidies were a form of welfare, when nothing could be further from the truth. Obama, she said darkly, wants to give handouts to “his people,” most of whom are not really needy but “have figured out how to beat the system.”

    I mean holy shit people are fucking stupid. This woman is a farmer, and she doesn’t fucking know how much of the demand for her goddamn food comes from the fucking food stamp program?

    No wonder the Republicans are finding it easy to burn the damn country to the ground – people are fucking torching their own businesses because their racist assholes who apparently can’t understand a goddamn spreadsheet enough to be able to run a fucking business.

    I’m going to bed, because this – this is just too goddamn stupid. (And the punchline of course is that Farmer Davis up there is sucking on the government welfare teat to the tune of at least $100K for the last decade and a half, but that’s not “welfare” because they goddamn deserve it because they fucking “work for it”. Stupid goddamn people who don’t understand that food stamps are part of the goddamn price supports that keep them owning their farm instead of having it seized in bankruptcy and then sold off to an agribusiness that isn’t going to whine about “those people” getting money if “those people” are going to fucking spend that money on their fucking products.)

    Read the whole fucking article people – the teaser the AL posted here is just a warm-up. But Jesus – some of these people are just almost too fucking stupid to keep their goddamn farms.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    You dance with the devil, you’re going to get burned.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Southern Goth says:

    Reavers are not known for their agrarian society.

  48. 48
    NonyNony says:

    @JustRuss:

    Look, I have friends who are dairy farmers, and they’re very nice, but holy fuk, how much are we subsidizing these people?

    You may just fucking find out soon enough just how fucking expensive it is to grow and distribute food in this goddamn country, my friend.

    Nobody in this country understands how expensive this shit is because we’ve spent 75+ years with a very strong and expensive regime of subsidies and price supports and food stamps and other things designed to keep the cost of food coming from the field to our plate low. If the Tea Party idiots get their way, we’re going to see what the true cost of food unsubsidized by tax dollars actually is. It will not be pretty. This shit was put together in the first place for a fucking GOOD REASON, and most of the people who rail against it in general don’t know a single thing about what they’re talking about.

    (There are a helluva lot of problems with the whole Farm Bill regime – it’s full of backroom deals, political backscratching, entrenched interests, and kickbacks to loyal rich guys who contribute to campaigns. But the core of the idea – and a LOT of what it has historically done – has kept families on farms, has gotten food into the bellies of needy families, and kept overall prices at the supermarket low for American consumers in general. If you want to argue about particular pieces and points yes the Farm Bill is an atrocious nightmare full of shit that should be ditched. But it’s also full of shit that should be kept and a whole bunch of other shit that Americans are going to be fucking astounded is missing when its gone.)

  49. 49
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @PsiFighter37: Price supports/controls for food is a really GOOD policy.

    What’s shitty? Well, the first two from the Bush era alone:

    Continuing to pay fallow field payments to tracts that had been redeveloped into residential use only.

    Paying big buxxx to grow cotton in the desert, at huge environmental cost besides the drag on the taxpayer

    Subsidizing the fuck out of monoculture practices that facilitate the rise of massive fungal/insect/viral problems and make Monsanto really, really rich (basically the whole history of the program until now b/c old school farmers thought they could just arsenic spray their way out of every problem)

    Get big or get out (Nixon started this)

    Sugar policy–horrid on the environment and bad for the taxpayer, plus tied into a completely failed Cuba policy that seems more rooted in colonialist fuck-them-island-browns-for-governing-themselves-and-not-just-being-kleptocrat-creeps-who-turn-their-own-country-into-a-mafia-playground than anything else.

    A series of legal rulings that basically let Monsanto patent nature AND p0wn everyone else’s seed corn, plus through regulatory arm allowing Monsanto to put a suicide gene in their corn ensuring that any farmer who attempts to retain seed corn instead of selling out to Monsanto is fucked. Sideways.

    Allowing Monsanto to run wild like the hogs of those white fucks Jackson sent to settle the stolen land of the civilized tribes with their GMO roundup ready corn and soy even though it’s clear that large parts of the global market don’t want to buy GMO product even if it’s for the wrong reasons. Grain is one of our biggest exports but for some reason (American exceptionalism) we think we can fuck ourselves and get away with it. fap fap fap

    For that matter, beef policy. Oh, sure, ride easy on the cattle industry so that multiple countries ban our beef. What could possibly go wrong & etc.

    Not mandating much more conservative use of fresh water.

    & I’m sure there’s more.

  50. 50
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @NonyNony:
    Wish I’d said that.

  51. 51
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @NonyNony: It’s worse than you say. In the case of dairy, without the price controls/supports you can end up in a situation of market failure. In other words, no-one producing the fresh product to provide to the market at any (but for the most extreme end) price.

    Massachusetts tried zeroing out subsidies for dairy farms in the 1990s with the result that the only milk in stores was shipped in from New York, at higher cost than before to the consumer and with the side effect of rapidly going bad. You’ve never seen a state government reverse itself so quickly.

    Market failure is exactly what occurred at the end of the 1920s. After a decade of cost increases and price drops had made farming a negative profit enterprise, the market failed, despite the fact that demand for food by hungry stomachs never faltered. After some rather violent clashes the gul-durned gubmint started paying farmers to produce less AND buying food and giving it to hungry people… including hungry farmers! Land sakes!

  52. 52
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @NonyNony:

    No wonder the Republicans are finding it easy to burn the damn country to the ground – people are fucking torching their own businesses because their racist assholes who apparently can’t understand a goddamn spreadsheet enough to be able to run a fucking business.

    Yup, but hey, you can’t say they don’t know where to reap those suckers. Churches … and local Chambers of Commerce. (The only CoC’s without extremely high sucker concentration are the local CoC’s that disaffiliate from their national and state bodies because–duh!–they are fronts for banks that will cheerfully crash main st and destroy the suckers’ businesses while they reap the downside & upside risk.)

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:

    @WereBear:

    It goes back to the Depression, when effete city folks kept tariffs high and farmers poor.

    It goes back a hell of a lot longer than that. Jefferson, for example, was a big believer that the country needed a strong yeoman farmer class and was pretty damn suspicious of city folk. And that’s just in the US. The basic idea that cities are corrupt and farmers are ever so much more noble than city folk is a theme that goes back about as long as there have been city folk for the farmers to consider themselves better than.

  54. 54
    Anoniminous says:

    @NonyNony:

    And the answer is: Farmer-Consumer Co-operatives. Farmer gets the 90% of the retail price which just about doubles their income, farmer gets upfront money for planting, etc., which gets them out from under the banks, the consumer gets a 10% break and food that hasn’t been Borged.

  55. 55
    danielx says:

    “But Congressman Huelskamp is very, very controversial, and his farm bill vote has made a lot of headlines. I think maybe we’re starting to wake up.”…

    Translation: we’ve finally figured out that our congressman is a roaring, screaming, flaming asshole, an asshole of biblical proportions.

  56. 56
    kindness says:

    I would love to have Democrats represent some of the midwest. But please, don’t let ’em be Blue Dogs. They were more trouble than they were worth.

  57. 57
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Roger Moore: I am always the first to say fuck the God damn farmers. I know too many of them, and even the smallest-scale ones are such outrageous tax cheats that you wonder how they feel no shame. But they don’t. They fucking laugh about it.

    “Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow” my ass. They love bootstraps and “scratching a living out of the land” so much, I say good luck to them all. No rain this year? Fuck you. Some bug eat all your shit? Fuck you. Early freeze? Fuck you. That’s the way the ball bounces, baby. If they go broke and need to apply for food stamps to feed their families, go scratch the earth a little harder, motherfucker.

    That’s how they approach everyone else in life. And before you talk about what a loaf of bread or whatever would cost without these handouts, a pre-emptive fuck you to you.

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @Big R: Never sniff a gift fish.

  59. 59
    phein39 says:

    @WereBear:

    This is a well-known phenomenon: Reformers propose programs to help common people, conservatives corrupt the programs to help themselves. It’s partially an attention span thing, but also a product of how elective representative government functions. Morris P. Fiorina wrote the classic text on this in the 1970’s: “Congress: The Keystone of the Washington Establishment.”

  60. 60
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @gbear:

    this amazing internet trick really works!

    I think the current usage is “one weird trick” as in “One Weird Trick that Blog Tyrants Don’t Want You To Know About!”

  61. 61
    LeftCoastTom says:

    @kindness: To be honest, I’d find a blue dog from KS to be much less of a flaming asshole than Lieberman, as long as said blue dog was actually representing his/her constituents. A KS blue dog would have an excuse, a CT blue dog was inexcusable.

  62. 62
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: Of course, in Jefferson’s time, the majority was not in cities.
    Now it is – counting suburbs, etc. But not rural.

    I was going to note that the statement about 61% of rural voters going to Romney was a ‘so what’ when rural voters are only 22% of the total. Plus, 61% does not seem very high when he lost cities by a larger fraction.

  63. 63
    LeftCoastTom says:

    @catclub: Good point regarding the math…aren’t the states with the heaviest rural populations in the south, rather than the midwest or west? Nevada is very highly urban, mostly because very few people live where there’s lots of sagebrush but no water.

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    And farm policy is really SHITTY policy still;

    When you figure out a way to keep SNAP intact without ag subsidies, do let us know.

    Unless, of course, you’re cool with the idea of famine in a country that is a huge net exporter of food.

  65. 65
    Citizen_X says:

    @Dolly Llama: Hungry? Fuck you.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Napoleon:

    John, I suggest you ban Napoleon here, or exile him to St. Helena, or whatever.

  67. 67
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Citizen_X: Not sure if that’s agreement or disagreement with my sentiment. All I’m saying is that Farmer Worship in this country is at least twice as misguided as Soldier Worship, and at least as damaging. We’re a long way away from the FARM AID days.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dolly Llama:

    No rain this year? Fuck you. Some bug eat all your shit? Fuck you. Early freeze? Fuck you. That’s the way the ball bounces, baby. If they go broke and need to apply for food stamps to feed their families, go scratch the earth a little harder, motherfucker.

    I hate to tell you this simple fact, but the farming sector is a national security aspect that’s legit.
    Not the bullshit NSA and AQAP kind. But actually a bedrock interest of real deal national security.

  69. 69
    Citizen_X says:

    Could we please have, I don’t know, rational politics that benefit the greatest number? Or is everyone too attached to “lol, rednex suk! Fuk teh farmers!”

    Farm/food policy is a goddamned corrupt mess, but there are reasons it was put in place. Those reasons involve people going hungry, rural areas abandoned, and environmental devastation. Get over your damn prejudices and need for payback.

    Or hey, don’t. Eat your bitterness, then.

  70. 70
    LeftCoastTom says:

    @Citizen_X: Well…that’s also the reason food stamps was tied to farm policy, wasn’t it? I don’t want to see farm policy nuked, but on a collective basis it wasn’t us urban dwellers who voted for the idjits that are jeopardizing farm policy.

  71. 71
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Just because s/he criticized AL for basically just being an aggregator from links to “Mr. Charles P. Pierce” and other random people who blog other places?

    I don’t think AL should be cast out. Maybe all blogs of a certain size and readership need an AL. But to see the reaction to a legitimate criticism … shit. You go to blogs for original thoughts and slants. All but one FPer regularly brings that, even if it’s about shaving cats’ asses, Dobermans or working random song lyrics into titles.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Aye, this is a complicated issue, and the policies that are in place right now have histories behind them that explain why they are what they are. This does not mean they’re sacrosanct, but it does mean you need to study those histories to get an understanding of why the polices are what they are.

    None of this can be understood without some context. Which means that prejudices must be cast aside.

  73. 73
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Citizen_X: Believing that “A loaf of bread/gallon of milk/head of lettuce would cost X dollars without this policy” and the like is on par with believing those old commercials from the diamond syndicate about “Isn’t your true love worth two months of your salary?” Just because the people who benefit from the policy say it’s so doesn’t make it fucking so.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Farm/food policy is a goddamned corrupt mess, but there are reasons it was put in place.

    This. I don’t want farm policy to be set 100% by the market, because the market will drive farmers out of business in years with big harvests, leaving the whole country starving in years of bad harvests. I want a farm policy that encourages enough production that we’ll still have enough food even in a bad year, and if that means buying up overproduction in years with good harvests and/or propping up farms that are unprofitable at “market” prices, so be it.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dolly Llama:

    Was snark, but I still think Napoleon should be batted around like a short red headed member of the petty Corsican nobility.

  76. 76
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    None of this can be understood without some context. Which means that prejudices must be cast aside.

    You can cast your prejudices aside, but let me assure you the vast majority of the farmers won’t be doing any such thing. They believe that they’re feeding the world and the world owes them a living, and it pisses them off when the world isn’t kissing their asses and thanking them.

  77. 77
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I don’t want farm policy to be set 100% by the market, because the market will drive farmers out of business in years with big harvests, leaving the whole country starving in years of bad harvests.

    Hey, man. Capitalism. The farmers believe in it. Why don’t you?

  78. 78
    kindness says:

    @LeftCoastTom: I was represented by a Blue Dog for a while. He always veered conservative on the most important issues. So really I was getting about the same thing as I am now from my TeaHaddist representative. Life in the valley.

  79. 79
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, Lord, let’s double the damn subsidies for the ones who don’t grow shit, and triple them for ones who actually do, even if it’s tobacco. Can’t have the fucking farmers caught on a losing side. It would endanger our national security.

  80. 80
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Corner Stone: And it is SO reassuring to know that this vital national security sector is getting concentrated into so few hands, and that federal farm policies encourage more of the same. It’s like media consolidation, except instead of getting shitty programming, we all run the risk of starving if it doesn’t work out.

  81. 81
    Roger That says:

    the proper way to word your e-mail to Mr Cole is “shut up fat man I will fuck your fat wife, this is a blog that (apparently) doesn’t like extended quoting”.

  82. 82
    Cervantes says:

    @Big R:

    Length of original article: 5,397 words. Length of Anne Laurie’s extract: 916 words. Verbiage excised: 83%. Link to original work: Provided.

    As you say, the excerpt amounts to about 17% of the original.

    Cf. the US Copyright Office’s “Fair Use” guidelines “for teaching in educational institutions,” which include the following with regard to prose from books or periodicals:

    [One can reproduce] (a) Either a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words, or (b) an excerpt from any prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less, but in any event a minimum of 500 words.

    As I say, that’s a guideline for academia.

    I don’t what know what guidelines exist for blogs, in particular blogs that sell advertising space. I do know that The Nation once published 300 or so words out of Gerald Ford’s 200,000-word memoir (that’s 0.15%) and got taken to the US Supreme court for it — and lost. (The copyright was held by Harper & Row.)

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dolly Llama: I’m not really sure why you’re so angry on this topic.
    But WTS, I really don’t give a fuck. Try ramping up food production after it being shuttered.
    I don’t like GMO’s or Big Ag.
    I’m not about that. But I absolutely do want to have a steady stream of produce, year round, for our country. Even if we’re paying people/biz to *not* do something right now.
    Let’s try bargaining for it when we really need it.

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @Big R: I tried telling Cole that the other day. He did not like it much.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    This is fucking stupid. Who wants to punish stupid fucking redneck igmo farmers just so we can tell a nation of 315M that they were assholes?

  86. 86
    Dolly Llama says:

    @Corner Stone: Well I guess it goes back to the time a farmer killed my dad.

    I’m joking, of course, but seriously. I think too many Democrats/liberals/whatever-you-want-to-call-them have bought into a bunch of bullshit. The way the tax code is set up now, a “farmer” — even if it’s just some fucker who rents his hayfield out to some other fucker with a tractor and a baler under the table — makes out like a bandit at tax time when he claims a “loss” at the end of the year.

    I guess I’m angry because the farmers, as a class, are maybe more hypocritical than any other single class of people in this country. They decry “big government” but would starve without it. They are, as a class, incredibly prejudiced, even as they lobby for relaxed immigration policies that will let them expand dominion over workers that hasn’t been seen since 1864. And they resent those who don’t thank them for “feeding them.” I refuse to buy into it. If you do, God bless you. We just disagree.

  87. 87
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Massachusetts tried zeroing out subsidies for dairy farms in the 1990s with the result that the only milk in stores was shipped in from New York, at higher cost than before to the consumer and with the side effect of rapidly going bad. You’ve never seen a state government reverse itself so quickly.

    Really? Where can I find out more about this?

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @Dolly Llama: We do disagree. And that’s fine.
    I, personally, believe that “farmers” is a nebulous class that encompasses about 2% or less of the population. And I hate tax breaks for Big Ag. But, fuck it all, I’ll subsidize Big Auto in the same way I will support subsidizing Big Ag.
    Those are fundamental industries you can not turn the switch on once they go down.

  89. 89
    LeftCoastTom says:

    @kindness: Did the blue dog vote to put Nancy Pelosi in the speakership, the drunken Orange Oompa Loompa, or was he one of the few idiots who voted against his party on that matter?

  90. 90
    karen says:

    @NonyNony:

    If the Tea Party idiots get their way, we’re going to see what the true cost of food unsubsidized by tax dollars actually is. It will not be pretty.

    That would be the biggest mistake they could make because food insecurity for the masses, not just for “Obama’s people” would be the fastest way to get them to mutiny.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But, fuck it all, I’ll subsidize Big Auto in the same way I will support subsidizing Big Ag.
    Those are fundamental industries you can not turn the switch on once they go down.

    Yep.

  92. 92
    Fort Geek says:

    @Napoleon: “Thiefs”? How very Gollum, Precious.

  93. 93
    mclaren says:

    John Cole:

    By all means continue to promote Anne Laurie as a front-pager. She’s invaluable. The more people who scream for you to ban her, the more space you should give her.

  94. 94
    Sherparick says:

    @Mike in NC: He is also, as noted by Charlie Pierce, a world class “dick.” http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....amp-012914 Something that Charlie, I, John Boehner, and I expect most of you reading this blog would all agree. Thinking about this on the way home from work late last night, I realized about how almost all of the Conservative Movement a/k/a Tea Party types, from Roger Ailes, to Rush Limbaugh, to Jim Demint, to Rick Santorum, to Ted Cruz, to Tucker Carlson, are all world class, egomanical, “Dicks.” As example:

    “And here’s Congressman Tim, proving what a dick he is by using the fact that he’d been 86’d from his state senate committee for being a dick in campaign ads.

    Election of Sen. Sandy Praeger, a Lawrence Republican and vice president of the Senate, to the position of state insurance commissioner in November 2002 required selection of her replacement to the leadership post. Senate Republicans met and agreed to nominate Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, but when the issue came to the full Senate for a vote, Huelskamp went against his Republican brethren to nominate Sen. Stan Clark, R-Oakley. Vratil won the vote 30-9. Morris said the Clark twist was the type of futile, obstructionist maneuver defining Huelskamp’s approach to the legislative process. “He had been doing those kinds of things for a long time,” Morris said…Huelskamp campaign spokesman David Ray said there was no question Huelskamp worked to make the “establishment,” defined by Ray as Morris and then-Senate President Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, as uncomfortable as necessary to score political points.”Tim was marching to his own beat,” Ray said.

    Well, he’s beating something, that’s for certain.”

    Read more: Meet Your Wingnut Congresscritter: Tim Huelskamp – Esquire
    Follow us: @Esquiremag on Twitter | Esquire on Facebook
    Visit us at Esquire.com

  95. 95
    Sherparick says:

    @Napoleon: Gee, AL posted an interesting subject, an example of one particular Tea Partier being his “dickish” self, and linked and quoted an article that you thought contained to much information. I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion. And since the subject of the article is what a ‘dick” Huelskamp is, perhaps it is appropriate that a “dick” like you would comment on it, since it my opinion that you definitely are a “dick” to start an off-topic flame war which all about “you.”

  96. 96
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @mclaren: I’m pretty sure Jennifer Rubin’s fans say the same thing.

    To clarify, I don’t have a problem with Anne’s posts and often find them useful, but that particular argument shouldn’t ever really be used to defend anyone or anything. If someone’s actions are making a lot of people angry, that only ever tells you more about the people who are getting angry and what they care about than it tells you about the person in question.

    ETA: On further reflection that may have been your point, that AL’s posts bring the trolls out and thus she provides the commenters a valuable service by showing us who to ignore.

  97. 97
    xian says:

    @Dolly Llama: blogging has lways included thinkers and linkers. some folks love Atrios, which is all quotes, links, and liberal hehindeeds.

  98. 98
    xian says:

    @Cervantes: i guess i’ll wait for the lawsuit.

  99. 99
    Fred says:

    @Napoleon: You could just ask for a refund. I mean the admission price here is awfully extravagant, no?

  100. 100
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Napoleon: In today’s lesson, you get to learn that you don’t run this site.

Comments are closed.