Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Black Side of McCain

Senator John McCain is a fair shooter and a straight talker. McCain is in favor of campaign finance reform. McCain wants senators to behave ethically. Maybe he was all these things - some time ago. But no longer.

I used to like McCain. I used to consider McCain one of the few Republicans that were honest and eager to introduce harmony and fairness into the senate. I cheered his introducing the McCain-Feingold bill that attempted to control the buying of senators by corporations and lobbying groups. I thought he would make the best Republican candidate for president when he was running in 2000 against George W. Bush. Then, in South Carolina, George W. Bush smeared and told lies about McCain. And McCain lost to Bush.

Ever since then, McCain has been a different man. He is so eager to become president that he has given up on his principles. Though he rants against corruption, he has many lobbyists working in his campaign. OK, OK, not all lobbyists are alike. But his chief advisor is Charlie Black, a guy that had some brutal dictators as his clients. According to MoveOn.org:

The firm run by Charlie Black made millions helping burnish the image of people like:
  • Ferdinand Marcos, who executed thousands of his own citizens in the Philippines,
  • Zaire's Mobutu, who publicly hanged his opponents and looted his country's vast mineral wealth, and
  • Rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, a mass murderer, who covered Angola with landmines.

Check out MoveOn.org for more details.

This is the black side of Senator John McCain.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 21, 2008 5:19 PM
Comments
Comment #253337

Paul, your comment, “control the buying of senators by corporations and lobbying groups.” certainly does not apply to Senator McCain on the recently passed farm bill. While Obama, Clinton, Reid, Pelosi and a host of others from both sides supported this outrageous “Pork” laden bill, McCain had the guts and political honesty to vote against it as did President Bush with his veto.

Please explain to my why Obama should be admired for his support of this bill. He lacks the political guts, wisdom and honesty to do what is right and is seen by many republicans and democrats as just another pandering politician with a big “for sale” sign on his back.

Posted by: Jim M at May 21, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #253340

Paul
I think you opened up a can of worms on this one. If we dig deep enough we could find dirt on 100 Senators and 435 Reps. 9 Supreme court Justices and 1 President amd 1 vice pres.(which has already been done}. 50 govenors and so on and so forth.

Posted by: KAP at May 21, 2008 7:00 PM
Comment #253342

I would say, rather, that McCain has always been this way, that he’s just done a good job of cultivating good press and plaudits from the pundits. He never was as much the Maverick, as much the centrist, as much the political purist, or as much the straight shooter as he advertised himself as.

He’s a straight shooter the same way Bush is: he takes a position and bluntly states it today, and when he changes to something else without rhyme or reason beside political gain, he’s equally blunt about it. It’s a confusion of unequivocal speaking with a consistent political philosophy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 21, 2008 7:07 PM
Comment #253344

John McCain might have been brave for opposing the Farm Bill if he actually voted against it. He did no better, and no worse when it comes to the politics of the Farm Bill than Obama did: neither voted on the matter.

Here are some of the things the Farm Bill had in it:

1) Tax credits for renewable fuel programs and wind generated power.

2) Ending assistance for those with gross income of more than 750,000 dollars who don’t earn more than two thirds of their income from farming, ranching or foresting.

3) Establishes a disaster relief fund for crop losses.

Let me add something else: McCain has in fact voted for farm bills before. His opposition is to a bill of a kind he has voted for before, did not manifest in a vote against it, and it was to a bill that Bush promised to and did in fact veto.

Brave, Brave Sir John. That’s your maverick: all talk about reform, occasionally throwing the right wing a bone.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 21, 2008 7:29 PM
Comment #253347

Stephen Daugherty:

Thank you very much for the link. It is very nice to compare and contrast voting records versus words. Thank you very much!!!

Posted by: submariner at May 21, 2008 7:49 PM
Comment #253354

Paul

All Democrats liked McCain when he was criticizing Bush and other Republicans. You don’t like him now because he is the oppostion candidate. If he had lost the nomination, you would all be saying that a brave, independent guy like that could never get the nomination and that you “woulda” supported him.

It might be at least a show of consistency to hold some of the attacks until farther along in the election cycle.

Posted by: Jack at May 21, 2008 10:54 PM
Comment #253357

McCain always was the institution candidate. He still is the institution candidate of the GOP. Personally, I think he cut a deal with Bush during the last election: McCain would support Bush in 2004, in exchange for the support of Bush and the institutional GOP in 2008. Again, just opinion, but I don’t think McCain likes Bush, or vice versa. Each needed the other, so they held their respective noses and did what politicians do.

As a result, McCain found himself backing a GOP which became more and more disgusting. He found himself being rewarded with the backing by the most unpopular president in modern history. At one point, McCain joined a handful of ‘moderate’ Republicans and prevented his party from enacting the nuclear option.

Now, his position is extremely difficult. The current president is radioactive. The GOP platform is toxic. Somehow, the institutional candidate has to pretend not to belong to the institution. The Republican candidate has to pretend not to be a Republican.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: phx8 at May 22, 2008 12:41 AM
Comment #253365

Clinton has taken Kentucky and Obama is right there in Oregon.
The Democratic race for nomination is still very much alive – and most likely to be decided by superdelegates – as CNN points out clearly

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/20/primary.wrap/index.html

If you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to LobbyDelegates.com and push them to support Clinton or Obama

If you haven’t done so yet, please write a message to each of your state’s superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.com

Obama Supporters:

Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It’s that easy…

Clinton Supporters too …. !

It takes a moment, but what’s a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?! Those are really worth !

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It’s that easy…

Posted by: Kathy at May 22, 2008 7:52 AM
Comment #253368

phx8

Now, his position is extremely difficult. The current president is radioactive. The GOP platform is toxic. Somehow, the institutional candidate has to pretend not to belong to the institution. The Republican candidate has to pretend not to be a Republican.

Well written phx8. Imo it could not have been said any better. Of course his tactics are all too obvious and in the long run will do him more harm than good. He is in a no win situation. I think as politicians go he has perhaps been a bit more credible than others. However that view is steadily dampening as new revelations come forth. Unfortunately for him he has to somehow make the GOP appear as a credible entity with good intentions. As you say “Good luck with that”.

Posted by: RickIL at May 22, 2008 8:16 AM
Comment #253378

I’m inclined to agree with you, Paul. I really liked McCain2000, but the 2008 model has some serious glitches. After reading Faith of My Fathers (ebooks and audiobooks version), I was really impressed - I thought this was a candidate I could get behind. But McCain has spent the last 8 years pandering to the far right, and pandering does not suit him. I’ll be voting for a Democrat in November.

Posted by: Saira B at May 22, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #253383
Jim M wrote: McCain had the guts and political honesty to vote against it as did President Bush with his veto.
Really?

As Stephen Daugherty pointed out, McCain did not vote on it.

However, lets look at who (and which party voted for this pork-laden BILL) …

Bill Number: HR 2419
Issues: Agriculture Issues, Budget, Spending and Taxes, Business and Consumers, Environmental Issues, Health Issues
Date: 05/15/2008
Sponsor: Rep. Peterson, Collin (D) Minnesota
Conference Report Adopted (Senate)
How SENATE members voted: (81=YES , 15=NO)

State _ Name _ (Party) _ Vote
AZ Sen. John McCain III (R) Did NOT Vote
IL Sen. Barack Obama Jr. (D) Did NOT Vote
NY Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) Did NOT Vote
MA Sen. Edward Kennedy Sr. (D) Did NOT Vote (due to illness; brain tumor)

State _ Name _ (Party) _ Vote (13 Republicans voted No, 2 Democrats voted No)
AK Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) No
AZ Sen. Jon Kyl (R) No
IN Sen. Richard Lugar (R) No
ME Sen. Susan Collins (R) No
NE Sen. Charles Hagel (R) No
NH Sen. John Sununu (R) No
NH Sen. Judd Gregg (R) No
NM Sen. Pete Domenici (R) No
NV Sen. John Eric Ensign (R) No
OH Sen. George Voinovich (R) No
OK Sen. Thomas Allen Coburn (R) No
RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) No
RI Sen. John Reed (D) No
SC Sen. Jim DeMint (R) No
UT Sen. Robert Bennett (R) No

State _ Name _ (Party) _ Vote (35 Republicans voted Yes, 45 Democrats voted Yes)
AK Sen. Ted Stevens (R) Yes
AL Sen. Jefferson Sessions III (R) Yes
AL Sen. Richard Shelby (R) Yes
AR Sen. Mark Pryor (D) Yes
AR Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) Yes
CA Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) Yes
CA Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) Yes
CO Sen. Ken Salazar (D) Yes
CO Sen. Wayne Allard (R) Yes
CT Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Democrat/Independent) Yes
CT Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) Yes
DE Sen. Thomas Carper (D) Yes
DE Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. (D) Yes
FL Sen. Melquiades Martinez (R) Yes
FL Sen. Bill Nelson Sr. (D) Yes
GA Sen. John Isakson (R) Yes
GA Sen. C. Saxby Chambliss (R) Yes
HI Sen. Daniel Akaka Sr. (D) Yes
HI Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) Yes
IA Sen. Thomas Harkin (D) Yes
IA Sen. Charles Grassley (R) Yes
ID Sen. Michael Crapo (R) Yes
ID Sen. Larry Craig (R) Yes
IL Sen. Richard Durbin (D) Yes
IN Sen. Evan Bayh (D) Yes
KS Sen. Pat Roberts (R) Yes
KS Sen. Samuel Brownback (R) Yes
KY Sen. Jim Bunning (R) Yes
KY Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Yes
LA Sen. David Vitter (R) Yes
LA Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) Yes
MA Sen. John Kerry (D) Yes
MD Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D) Yes
MD Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) Yes
ME Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) Yes
MI Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) Yes
MI Sen. Carl Levin (D) Yes
MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat/Farmer/Labor) Yes
MN Sen. Norm Coleman (R) Yes
MO Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) Yes
MO Sen. Christopher Bond (R) Yes
MS Sen. Roger Wicker (R) Yes
MS Sen. Thad Cochran (R) Yes
MT Sen. Jon Tester (D) Yes
MT Sen. Max Baucus (D) Yes
NC Sen. Richard Burr (R) Yes
NC Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) Yes
ND Sen. Byron Dorgan (Democratic-NPL) Yes
ND Sen. Kent Conrad (Democratic-NPL) Yes
NE Sen. E. Benjamin Nelson (D) Yes
NJ Sen. Robert Menendez (D) Yes
NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) Yes
NM Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) Yes
NV Sen. Harry Reid (D) Yes
NY Sen. Charles Schumer (D) Yes
OH Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) Yes
OK Sen. James Inhofe (R) Yes
OR Sen. Gordon Harold Smith (R) Yes
OR Sen. Ron Wyden (D) Yes
PA Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D) Yes
PA Sen. Arlen Specter (R) Yes
SC Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) Yes
SD Sen. John Thune (R) Yes
SD Sen. Tim Johnson (D) Yes
TN Sen. Bob Corker (R) Yes
TN Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) Yes
TX Sen. John Cornyn (R) Yes
TX Sen. Kay Hutchison (R) Yes
UT Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) Yes
VA Sen. James Webb Jr. (D) Yes
VA Sen. John Warner (R) Yes
VT Sen. Bernard Sanders (Independent) Yes
VT Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) Yes
WA Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) Yes
WA Sen. Patty Murray (D) Yes
WI Sen. Russell Feingold (D) Yes
WI Sen. Herbert Kohl (D) Yes
WV Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D) Yes
WV Sen. Robert Byrd (D) Yes
WY Sen. John Barrasso (R) Yes
WY Sen. Michael Enzi (R) Yes

Also, H.R.2419 “Farm BILL” passed (over Bush’s VETO on 21-MAY-2008) in the House with 316 -to- 108 votes, with more than the two-thirds required to over-ride Bush’s veto.

So, Congress as a whole, seems to be FOR-SALE !
There was wide-spread support from BOTH parties and houses for this pork-BILL.

It doesn’t matter what most voters think; especially when most voters repeatedly reward pork-happy Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 12:45 PM
Comment #253384

Here’s the break-down for the HOUSE’s over-ride of Bush’s veto:

H R 2419
2/3 YEA-AND-NAY (21-May-2008 6:09 PM)
QUESTION: Passage, Objections of the President Not Withstanding
BILL TITLE: Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act

_____________ Yeas _ Nays _ PRES _ NV
Democratic __ 216 ___ 14 __ 6
Republican __ 100 ___ 94 __ 5
Independent _ 0

TOTALS: 316 Yeas, 108 Nays, 11 Present

Hhmmmmm … mostly Democrats (in the HOUSE) also voted for this pork-laden BILL. But so MANY in BOTH parties voted for this pork-laden BILL. Congress is addicted to pork-barrel for the wealthy, among these other abuses that do-nothing Congress refuses to stop (abuses that did not all come about by mere coincidence), which after 30+ years, the consequences are now starting to become apparent.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #253385

d.a.n.,
What some consider “pork” others may consider a good idea. Specifically which provision(s) of H.R. 2419 do you consider “pork”?

RickinIL,
Thanks! McCain has redeeming characteristics. He has a record of military service which commands respect, experience on the Armed Services Committee, a record of attempting to reform campaign financing, and a record of reaching across the aisle to mold compromises.

But he is trapped by his party, isn’t he? Like most Senators, he has a long track record of backing BushCo & conservative Republican issues, and it is a record which has become highly unpopular with Americans.

Bush and Cheney and Rice and Petraeus are dusting off the old “we’re winning in Iraq” lines again, as well as the “anyone opposed betrays the country, and that might be treasonous”- and while technically proficient, it lacks passion. No one believes Republicans anymore. No one even bothers to agree or disagree. Bush and Cheney and Rice and Petraeus are widely ignored, and that means nothing will take the noose of Iraq away from McCain’s neck; worse, he insists on holding onto the noose as tight as possible, as if being wrong and having bad judgment are the hallmarks of steadfast patriotism.

Posted by: phx8 at May 22, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #253388
Jack wrote: Senator John McCain is a fair shooter and a straight talker. McCain is in favor of campaign finance reform. McCain wants senators to behave ethically. Maybe he was all these things - some time ago. But no longer. I used to like McCain. I used to consider McCain one of the few Republicans that were honest and eager to introduce harmony and fairness into the senate.
Jack wrote: It might be at least a show of consistency to hold some of the attacks until farther along in the election cycle.

Why wait? The election is only about 5 months away.

Perhaps the long campaign season has allowed voters to see more of McCain, and they don’t like what they see.

McCain says he’s a straight talker, yet:

  • McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but has since decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks. (Indeed, McCain has now hired Falwell’s debate coach.)

  • McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February 2006.

  • In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.

  • McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure that bore his name. In June, he abandoned his own legislation.

  • McCain used to think that Grover Norquist was a crook and a corrupt shill for dictators. Then McCain got serious about running for president and began to reconcile with Norquist.

  • McCain took a firm line in opposition to torture, and then caved to White House demands.

  • McCain gave up on his signature policy issue, campaign-finance reform, and won’t back the same provision he sponsored just a couple of years ago.

  • McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.

  • McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.

  • McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.

  • McCain voted against the MLK holiday, but now he’s for it.

  • McCain was for the regressive and un FairTax.org’s 30% National Sales Tax (23% inclusive), but now he isn’t.

  • McCain voted for the first illegal alien amnesty of 1986 and the failed amnesty of 2007, but McCain now (after 26 years in office) says he “gets it”. Yeah right. That’s real believable, eh?
  • And he’s both for and against overturning Roe v. Wade.

  • McCain said economic wasn’t his string suit. Then he said he knows more about economics than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Voting Records…

More…

HHHhmmmmmm … is that what John McCain means by straight talk ?

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock,
I’m a little McCain FlipFlop,
First I’m here, and next I’m there,
Don’t be confused by my vote getting cares.

On lobby money I have taken my share,
Keating 5 was my first foray there,
Then when outted I changed my stance,
Now I stand firmly against campaign finance.

Next on votes I may stand here or there,
I have a record of voting with Democrats cares,
In fact you find that I’m quite a rouge,
You never know where I’ll be when the wind blows.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock,
I’m a little McCain FlipFlop,
First I’m here, and next I’m there,
Don’t be confused by my smoke screen smears.

And should we disagree, I’ll dig my feet in and put up a fuss,
I am an angry man with Machiavellian gloves,
I hit my opponents from the front, then slice them from the rear,
All the time saying, My Friend, its just politics, not to fear.

On the Bush Tax Cuts I was against them for years,
Only 2 republicans voted against them to be clear,
But now I need votes and I see the error of my ways,
I am for the Tax Cuts as long as it pays.

On immigration I stood firmly with the left,
Free pass to immigration for tax paying illegals seemed to me best,
But now that Republican votes are my aim,
I can see more clearly the politics of border control game.
It may not appear that I have changed my position to support the wall,
As long as a vote never occurs for my senate immigration proposal.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock,
I’m a little McCain FlipFlop,
First I’m here, and next I’m there,
So don’t be disappointed when you find me courting Democrat cares.

from post by: GreaterClarity, January 31 2008

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #253389

CORRECTION:

Jack wrote: Paul Siegle wrote: Senator John McCain is a fair shooter and a straight talker. McCain is in favor of campaign finance reform. McCain wants senators to behave ethically. Maybe he was all these things - some time ago. But no longer. I used to like McCain. I used to consider McCain one of the few Republicans that were honest and eager to introduce harmony and fairness into the senate.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #253396
phx8 wrote: d.a.n., What some consider “pork” others may consider a good idea. Specifically which provision(s) of H.R. 2419 do you consider “pork”?
Fair question.

I sure some other people will most certainly consider it a “good idea”.
But do you know who those “other” people are?
There’s a L_O_T of things that are pork (tens - to - hundreds of billions per year).

But, specifically with regard to H.R. 2419, here are my complaints:

  • (01) H.R. 2419, the “Farm Bill”, is little more than a continuation of the existing unfair and counter-productive crop subsidy system. It is full of policies that help the wealthiest farmers (many are corporations) get richer (look here for thousands of examples), doesn’t help small farmers stay on their land, undermines the economy of rural America, interferes with international commerce, and hurts poor farmers in developing countries. H.R. 2419 farm subsidies benefit primarily the largest, wealthiest agriculture producers, not the “small family farmer.” 60% of farmers do not even produce crops eligible for these subsidies and 90% of farmers either receive no subsidies or receive less than $2,000 annually. In year 2003, the top 10% of farm subsidy recipients collected 72% of all subsidies, and the top 5% collected 55% of payments. H.R. 2419 will exacerbate the present situation, with an even higher proportion of subsidies going to the wealthiest farmers.

  • (02) H.R. 2419 is also costly to U.S taxpayers and raises prices to consumers, and drives up the massive $9.4 Trillion National Debt ever larger.

  • (03) H.R. 2419 would spend $286 billion over 5 years. From 1995 to 2004, farm subsidies averaged $14.3 billion annually. Between 1990 and 1994, the average was $9.6 billion, a figure that rose to $20 billion for 2002 through 2006. In 2004, farm subsidy programs raised the cost of food by $16.2 billion, which is nothing more than a consumer food tax.

  • (04) H.R. 2419 causes food price inflation. For example, for wheat, the target price and loan rate would rise 23 cents and 19 cents per bushel (respectively). There would also be barley and soybean increases too.

  • (05) H.R. 2419 would not only fail to eliminate the myriad of multi-layered dairy subsidy programs, it would establish artificial product-specific support prices, which effectively puts price controls on milk, which further increase taxpayer and consumer costs and increases the incentive for dairy processors to make products for the government, rather than the marketplace. It does against all of the principals of a market driven system.

  • (06) H.R. 2419 also did not reform the sugar subsidy program, and mandated a higher guaranteed price for sugar (yet another form of price control). It also added new restrictions on sugar imports that violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and diverts any additional sugar into ethanol. This vast taxpayer-funded subsidy is estimated to cost over $1 Billion over 5 years. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the sugar program is already costing consumers $1.9 billion annually !

  • (07) H.R. 2419 does not provide a real safety net to farmers that truly need such assistance. The system could be improved (instead of out-right hand-outs to the wealthy) by creating a system that provides funds for individual risk management accounts to be used to purchase crop insurance, cover income losses, or invest in other on-farm improvements.

  • (08) H.R. 2419 provides little (if any) means testing.

  • (09) H.R. 2419 would extend the trade-distorting tariff on imported ethanol for two years.

  • (10) H.R. 2419 is making a bad situation worse. It moves the United States even closer to a rural countryside that is owned and controlled by a few very large wealthy conglomerate farmers and corporations. It is not progress if rural America becomes filled with rich landowning barons surrounded by serfs.

H.R. 2419 is little more than a Reverse-Robinhood system to help the wealthy, and perpetuate wasteful crop subsidies.

Congress could replace these pork-barrel/corporate-welfare programs with private or semi-private risk management tools, and add some means testing to limit the massive pork-barrel to already-wealthy farmers and corporations.

Lastly, with $9.4 Trillion of National Debt, and $53.2 Trillion of Nation-wide debt, is this responsible spending?

This pork-laden BILL H.R. 2419 is just another example of the many ways Congress abuses the voters (tax payers).

However, if the majority of voters tolerate it, then those voters only have themselves to thank for it.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 2:02 PM
Comment #253404

d.a.n.,
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my comment. I’m not very well informed about agriculture subsidies. I am aware a lot of what happens is ‘corporate’ farming. But whether it is corporate or small landowner, I’m totally willing to subsidize agriculture, and I’m willing to substantially err on the side of excessive subsidies. That is because I’m totally unwilling to allow free market experiments result in people starving.

Of course, that doesn’t mean money should be squandered on “pork” such as a teapot museum, or whatever. But when it comes to agriculture, d.a.n., I’m very willing to see money thrown at it, because agricultural failures are completely unacceptable.

Posted by: phx8 at May 22, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #253409
But when it comes to agriculture, d.a.n., I’m very willing to see money thrown at it, because agricultural failures are completely unacceptable.
“thrown at it” ?

HHHHMMMmmmmmmmmmm m m m … not when it only helps the rich, actually drives up costs, undermines competition, and destabilizes the agricultural system.

That is what is happening.

And we are no where close to an agricultural failure.

And there are MUCH better ways to increase agricultural system stability that which don’t require giving a LOT of money to the already-wealthy.

Protections should be the focus. NOT give-aways.

What we have now is massive pork-barrel and corporate welfare.
Not just a few Billion here or there, but Tens and Hundreds of Billions per year.

If the real goal is a stable and strong agricultural system, then the waste and graft in these huge pork-laden farm BILLs for the wealthy should be opposed.
If agricultural supports are truly needed, then the sort of waste and corporate welfare in H.R. 2419 should be prevented.
BTW, I know some people that receive these sorts of subsidies; huge sums of money for people that are already very wealthy beyond most peoples’ wildest dreams.
Again, if you look at the statistics (above and below), you’ll see that H.R. 2419 farm subsidies benefit primarily the largest, wealthiest agriculture producers, not the “small family farmer.”
For example:

  • 60% of farmers do not even produce crops eligible for these subsidies and 90% of farmers either receive no subsidies or receive less than $2,000 annually.

  • The top 10% of farm subsidy recipients collected 72% of all subsidies (in year 2003).

  • The top 5% of farm subsidy recipients collected 55% of payments.

  • More obscene examples …
There’s definitely, beyond a shadow of doubt something wrong there.

Here’s just one example from one farm in Texas (The H Bar H Farms Group / Farwell, TX 79325):

    Year / Conservation Subsidies / Disaster Subsidies / Commodity Subsidies / Total USDA Subsidies 1995-2005:
  • 1995 _ $0 ___$0 ______ $40,614 ___$40,614

  • 1996 _ $0 ___$0 ______ $52,806 ___$52,806

  • 1997 _ $0 ___$0 ______ $42,550 ___$42,550

  • 1998 _ $0 ___$0 ______ $76,898 ___$76,898

  • 1999 $5,040 _$0 ______ $80,000 ___$85,040

  • 2000 $1,050 _$0 ______ $147,208 _ $148,258

  • 2001 $1,050 _$4,992 __ $229,849 _ $235,891

  • 2002 $1,711 _$0 ______ $131,314 _ $133,025

  • 2003 $1,050 _$0 ______ $128,299 _ $129,349

  • 2004 _ $0 __ $0 ______ $-8,199 __ $-8,199

  • 2005 _ $0 __ $76,348 __ $0 ______ $76,348

  • Total $9,901 $81,340_ $921,339 __ $1,012,580

If we want to make our agricultural better and stronger, H.R. 2419 is not the way, since it only helps the wealthy mostly, actually undermines competition, and drives out the smaller farms.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #253436

Paul,

Thanks for reminding me that Moveon.org is a credible resource…


yeah right…

Posted by: cliff at May 22, 2008 6:15 PM
Comment #253440

d.a.n.,
The Farm Bill includes $400 million for Switchgrass to be developed as an alternate fuel. Although it’s only a small part of the bill, relatively thinking, I think that’s well the investment.

Cliff,
I can’t tell from your comment- do you approve of McCain’s campaign team, which consists of lobbyists for some very unwholesome causes?

McCain just delivered a rambling statement on why he won’t vote for veterans benefits. lol. At some point he’s going to make a mistake so out-there, so undeniably awful that it will be impossible to hide or ignore. He’d do better to just stay at home- any one of his eight houses would do, cause he’s a regular guy, not an elitist, you know- anyway, he should sit on the porch, lean back in an old-timey chair, knock down a bourbon or two with any media in attendance, and entertain.

Posted by: phx8 at May 22, 2008 6:49 PM
Comment #253445
phx8 wrote:d.a.n., The Farm Bill includes $400 million for Switchgrass to be developed as an alternate fuel.
phx8, I think switch grass (which produces much more ethanol than corn) is a good idea.

However, I still don’t think subsidizing wealthy farmers is the solution.

phx8 wrote: Although it’s only a small part of the bill, relatively thinking, I think that’s well [worth] the investment.
Respectfully, I disagree. Rich farmers and corporations don’t need these subsidies. In fact, these subsidies are undermining competition. These measures go against all free-market principals.

Again, we should be looking at protections; not hand-outs to the wealthy, and that is (for the most part) what H.R. 2419 is. It doesn’t enhance competition. It squelches competition.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 7:27 PM
Comment #253466

The interesting part is that Obama is not speaking out against this bill when just the week before it was vetoed, he got up in Idaho / South Dakota and gave a speech about how he would cut farm subsidies …

*shrug*

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 22, 2008 11:31 PM
Comment #253542

d.a.n said switchgrass produces more ethanol than corn, your right as usual!. Switchgrass yields more than 540 percent more energy than the energy needed to produce and convert it to ethanol, making the grassy weed a far superior source for biofuels than corn ethanol, reports a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). you’d think our new “D” Congress with there higher IQS and Ms boxer would have thought that out.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 24, 2008 12:35 AM
Comment #253607

Rodney,
Yes … you’d think that the viability of Corn ethanol would have been more thoroughly researched. There’s certainly something fissy about this entire Corn ethanol hoax. This hoax appears to be another clever way to funnel billions of tax dollars to wealthy farmers and corporations. Cha ching!

Problems…

Root Causes …

Common-sense solutions …

Posted by: d.a.n at May 25, 2008 2:06 AM
Comment #253608

CORRECTION: something fissy fishy

Posted by: d.a.n at May 25, 2008 2:07 AM
Comment #253819

a vote for McCain is a vote for a continuation of Bush’s failed policies
McCain and Bush 2008

Posted by: McCain and Bush 2008 at May 28, 2008 4:01 PM
Comment #253882

And a vote for Obama is a vote for an increase in, and a continuation of, failed socialist policies.

So who do we vote for?

Posted by: kctim at May 29, 2008 10:23 AM
Comment #253904

Who to vote for (for president)?

Hard to say with such bad choices: One-Simple-Idea.com/VotingRecords1.htm

That’s why it’s more important than ever that enough voters vote to not saddle the next president with the same irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, do-nothing Congress (with some of the lowest approval ratings in history).

Otherwise, these deteriorating economic conditions are likely to get much worse.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 29, 2008 4:07 PM
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