Politics & Elections

Secretary Vilsack Speaks

February 11 2010

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Last week, I moderated a panel of speakers for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. On that panel was Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, EPA Deputy…

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Earl Butz & Ed Schafer

February 6 2008

In the last week, we lost a great Secretary of Agriculture -- Earl Butz died at age 98.And a new Secretary was sworn in. Ed Schafer, former Governor of North Dakota, became the 29th Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Schafer was confirmed by the Senate with unanimous consent.

Ed Schafer was a popular Republican North Dakota governor. Earl Butz, throughout his time as Secretary, was always somewhat controversial. In serving two Presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Earl Butz was pushed…

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Presidential Primaries

January 9 2008

I've been trying to avoid doing a commentary on the Presidential primary contests. Can't ignore it anymore. It's all the news.

I have no idea who will win the nominations, but here is where I think the candidates stand on issues important to agriculture.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Both of their voting records are very liberal -- about as liberal as you can get. That means no extension of Bush tax cuts,more spending, and regulation. You name it -- anything from animal rights to…


A World of Worries

September 12 2007

Hello everybody out there in farm country.

Here we are on the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack. General Petraeus has reported on the effectiveness of the troop surge in Iraq. Politicians argue and squabble over just about every challenge that our nation faces. If you listen to the national press reporting, you would gather that nothing is going right. We're headed toward certain oblivion. It may be they arc right. We can't seem to stabilize the warring factions in Iraq. We can't win…

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Washington Politics

June 23 2004

I can't remember a time in this town when there was so much political mud wrestling going on. We can't pass any legislation on to the President's desk because inevitably some one in the Senate will object and filibuster. It takes 601 votes to shut down a filibuster and that's almost impossible to get. The rules in the House of Representatives are different. They can limit debate and force a vote. In fact, the House has stacked some 70 bills on the doorstep of the Senate where they just sit…

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Christmas 2000

December 14 2000

Hello everybody out there in farm country. The John Block radio commentary is brought to you by the Council for Bioteclmology Information.

What an interesting experience! Recently I visit the Monsanto experiment laboratories in Chesterfield, MO. I can report to you the world of biotechnology promises to be a world of wonder and unbelievable value to all of mankind -- not just fanners. For more information about biotech, visit the Council's web site at www.whybiotech.com.

And now for…

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Presidential Debates

October 3 2000

I hope you are watching the Presidential debates. George W. Bush versus AI Gore -- head to head. I am surprised that Governor Bush has not spent more time hammering Gore on his cynical acceptance of millions of dollars from the Hollywood elite while they continue to poison the television, movies and music with filthy, trashy programming filled with violence. The intensity of violence makes the old cowboy and Indian shoot outs look like a Sunday picnic.

The Clinton-Gore Administration has…

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Who’s the Messenger?

August 30 2000

It's the messenger that makes the difference. Joe Lieberman, Al Gore's running mate, talks about religion and God all the time. He calls for "a place for faith in America's public life." What does that mean? In city hall? In the schools? I thought the courts put a stop to that. No prayers at football games. No prayers at graduation. In the next breath Senator Lieberman says he supports a separation of church and state.

At this point the press, as perplexed and amazed as they are, haven't…

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Freedom to Farm

April 25 2000

Recently I was asked to testify before the House Ag Committee. The subject: the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act, better known as Freedom to Farm. The hearing was well attended, chaired by House Ag Committee Chair Larry Combest and backed by Congressman Charlie Stenholm and several other farm state congressmen.

My message to them was simple. With the low farm prices that we have experienced, Freedom to Farm has been an easy target for criticism.

Yet, we should not…


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