by Paul Greenberg
Does the American taxpayer have a right to know just who's feeding at the public trough?
Not according to the
That would be on top of the hundreds of thousands they're already collecting every year courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Even if they never signed up for crop insurance. And even if the value of their crops has dropped only 5 percent this year. (Lots of businesses have seen their revenues drop even more, but they're not eligible for handouts on this scale.)
Ordinarily, these corporate farming operations would have to suffer a 30 percent loss to qualify for such aid. But this is an election year, and the senior senator from Arkansas wants to return to Washington -- even if the polls indicate the voters have finally caught on to her (not so) little tricks.
Once again Miss Blanche will doubtless campaign as the champion of the family farm when it might be more accurate to say she's the champion of corporate farming. Corporate welfare in this country is scarcely limited to city slickers; country slickers can be just as rapacious.
Oh, the pity of it. These poor "family farmers" don't know where their next
So just who are these simple rustic types on the receiving end of the taxpayers' largesse? The USDA doesn't want to tell us. Get this: It says it costs too much to produce such records, although once upon a time they were available routinely. But in the past few years they've been harder and harder to obtain, and this administration seems bent on walling them off entirely. So much for the "transparency" this president promised the country before he was president. Once again the gap between promise and performance widens.
Shirley Sherrod -- the lady who was forced to resign her job in the
It's no secret that U.S. senators, however noble their rhetoric, have a way of furthering the biggest, richest and most powerful interests in their state -- whatever the senator's party. That's how politics works, at least for the bigs.
What's remarkable about Blanche Lincoln is not only her insatiable appetite for ever more perks for agribusiness -- any senator from a rural state like Arkansas might share it. What's remarkable is her pose as a defender of the little guy as she prepares to turn her senatorial campaign into another exercise in class warfare against those evil grabby Republicans. It's the hypocrisy of it that rankles most, not just the wretched excess.
It was another Lincoln (Abe) who was supposed to have said you can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. We'll see. Blanche Lincoln has been able to get away with her political games for some time now. And she shows no signs of abandoning them. Note how she was for, against, and undecided on Obamacare before casting the decisive vote for it in the
But this may be the year Arkansas voters finally see through the senator and her not so little games. Or maybe not. We won't know till November 2nd. As for the state's junior senator, Mark Pryor's year of reckoning isn't till 2014. He must be relieved he's not on the ballot this year of discontent. For the people may be catching on at last. And they don't have to come wielding pitchforks. In a free country, the ballot will do just fine.
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