Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The United Arab Emirates helped tornado victims put their lives back together.

Updated: Tuesday, October 02, 2012, 12:13 PM
by Chris Pow

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- A group of volunteers (click here) from the United Arab Emirates met with city officials this morning before starting a week of work on a Habitat for Humanity house in Alberta.

A dozen young men and women volunteering with Takatof, a national volunteering program formed by the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy, began work at a house on 7th Street East after discussing the impact of the April 27, 2011, tornado and the city's challenges in recovery with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Incident Command team commander Robin Edgeworth.

Maddox told volunteers the city partnered with Habitat for Humanity to increase home ownership in tornado recovery areas, where it is hoped the city's investments will stimulate the market for new homes.

"I will never be able to thank you enough for helping Tuscaloosa," Maddox told the group, who he said traveled the farthest of any volunteer group so far....

While Reverend Wright and the latest revelations of Paul Ryan distract the nation in hopes of winning elections...

acquired August, 2012

Nearly two thirds (click here) ( Ya, get that part? The two thirds part.) of the contiguous United States was experiencing some level of drought by the end of August 2012, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 39 percent (Ya get that part? The 39% part.) of the nation suffered from severe to extreme drought. Though the numbers changed a bit in mid-September, the drought parched much of the interior United States and left both domestic and wild animals scrounging for food....
...The United States of America has profound problems of sustainability that haven't gone away for years now. Problems of sustainability that are completely neglected by a wayward federal government locked in hideous deadlocks to win elections. I have little patience for nonsensical chatter about a loved and respected African American minister, whom's message to the Chicago community was about life and peace, not violence.

Bill Graham, Jr. should fall under such hideous defamation and we would see what the political Right Wing media would say then.


Thirty-nine (39%) of the nation suffered from severe or extreme drought.

Drought takes $128 million bite out of Arkansas beef cattle

industry (click here)

October 2, 2012

Parsons, Kansas — Drought has cost Arkansas’ beef cattle industry $128 million and the losses may continue to rise, with three percent of ranchers saying they planned to sell all their livestock, according to a study released Thursday by University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The study’s authors cautioned that the $128 million figure “should be deemed a conservative estimate of the direct economic impact of the drought on cow-calf producers’ income.” When induced impacts are calculated, the numbers increase to $133 million in labor income losses and a $136 million loss in value added.

The study, “Estimate of Economic Impact of Drought on Commercial Beef Cow/ Calf Operations in Arkansas,” is the second phase of the university’s analysis of the drought’s impact. A preliminary report, which also included row crops, was released Aug. 24....

Helping farm families cope with crop loss after drought (click here)

Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 1:59 pm

With harvest underway, most likely producers are suffering yield losses in rainfield fields. Many producers will have very high energy bills from the long irrigation season. 

High nitrate issues are of concern for livestock producers. The list goes on for the problems this year’s drought caused. With that can come an emotional stress that directly impact farm families as they cope with those burdens....

Indemnity payments do NOT fill the bellies of the nation.

National Crop Insurance Services  |   October 2, 2012
With the vast majority of the U.S. corn, cotton, soybean and sorghum crops yet to be harvested, crop insurance companies have already paid out nearly $2 billion in indemnities to farmers who have suffered losses this year.

“America’s heartland has taken a beating from Mother Nature and the crop insurance industry is committed to servicing the nation's farmers and getting indemnity payments into the hands of policyholders as quickly as possible,” said Tom Zacharias, president of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). Zacharias noted that the industry’s 5,000 claims adjusters are working day and night to expedite claims for farmers who have suffered from this year's drought.

Farm Bill: Nearly Past the Expiration Date 
(click here)

By Erika Mahoney
September 28, 2012
Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Farmers across the United States are left hanging when it comes to the future of their farm and food policy legislation.
Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner said the House of Representatives will not vote on a new bill before the current one expires this Sunday, Sept. 30.
Judi Whittaker of the Whittaker Dairy Farm in Whitney Point said she is frustrated with the government for not passing the bill because legislators have been talking about this for years.
She said there is no reason why they couldn't pass it on time, other than the discord between the Senate and the House.
The Senate was able to pass its version in June, but it has since been suspended in the House.
Both Whittaker and the Chenango County Farm Bureau say because legislators waited so long, it's making it even tougher for local farmers.
"They don't understand from where they sit how it directly relates and affects us everyday, on a farm," said Whittaker. "Some of the programs involved in the Farm Bill definitely will hurt September 30th when that sunsets. There's going to be some large effects on a lot of farms in Broome County."
"It' very disappointing at this stage of the game that our legislators are more concerned about the November election than America's food supply," said Bradd Vickers, President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau. "And talk about a national security issue... I think that is one of the biggest."
They said once the bill sunsets on Sunday, one of the biggest losses will be a USDA program called The Milk Income Loss Contract.
M.I.L.C. compensates dairy farmers when domestic milk prices fall below a certain level.
Whittaker said now she can only hope lawmakers finish a new bill by the end of the year.

October 2, 2012

Higher milk prices OK, consumers say, but only if farmers benefit (click here)

“If the farmer got the money, I wouldn’t mind,” Joy Brown of Sidney said as she waited for her groceries to be loaded into a car outside the Hannaford supermarket in Oneonta, where milk was selling at $3.19 a gallon for the house brand and $3.59 a gallon for a dairy brand.

“But the farmer doesn’t get the money,” she added. “The middleman does.”...

Rich Pottorff, Doane chief economist & Washington analystUpdated: October 1, 2012It is still unclear if the House will bring up and vote on the farm bill in the lame-duck session after the election. 

But the House vote on the farm bill will have to happen near the beginning of the session or there won’t be time to get the bill completed before this Congress ends. And once the new Congress is sworn in, all the work that was done on the farm bill this year disappears and the new Congress must start the process over!

Most observers believe there will be less money available for farm programs if the farm bill is pushed off into next year. But if we are to get a farm bill yet this year, first the House needs to pass their version. Then it needs to go to a conference committee with the Senate to mesh the two bills together. And then the compromise bill has to be approved by both the full House and Senate. And all this needs to happen in about a four week period....

Farmers Put Aside Differences, Push For Farm Bill (click here)


The farm bill expired Monday and lawmakers didn’t pass a new one, thanks largely to election-year politics.
Despite the partisan bickering in Washington, though, many in farm country are working together to keep their concerns on the front burner.
Take Brad Moeckly, for example. Harvesting corn near Boone, Iowa, he wears looks the typical farmer, wearing a seed-company hat and sunglasses. He’s recently back on the farm after a trip to Washington, D.C. As the Iowa Farm Bureau secretary for Polk County, he works locally with the national advocacy group American Farm Bureau Federation and he cares about the Farm Bill. That’s why he joined many other farmers at a rally on Capitol Hill in September. He says the proposed farm bill isn’t perfect....

I think these two maps are self-explanatory. If not? Then finish High School or your GED.

The interesting race in Massachusetts is the one John Tierney is facing.

His strongest opponent is the Republican, who in a recent poll is leading, actually is a liberal. Richard Tisei is ranked by NARAL (click here for Massachusetts bills) with a 100% rating, too.

Richard Tisei (click here) is a cosponsor of HB 1728, the “transgender rights” or “bathroom bill,” a bill that would open public restrooms, locker rooms and other private areas to anyone of any gender regardless of biological sex. If elected, Tisei will be an advocate for radical social changes opposed by common sense conservatives....

Tisei is a first generation American as his parents immigrated to the USA from Italy. He has been elected repeatedly in state races in Massachusetts for a very long time. He was leader of the state senate before launching this bid for federal office. There is every indication politics is his focus and he is ambitious. Until this year, though, he has primarily remained in Massachusetts for his political aspirations. It has been a very long time since the public has experienced a Republican Liberal, so this should be interesting.

In regard to his financial leanings, that may still be a worry. House Representative Tierney would be doing the electorate of the Sixth District a favor to point out such strong ties to Wall Street with this endorsement.

Senator Scott Brown, congressional hopeful Richard Tisei to be endorsed by US Chamber of Commerce (click here - and indeed they are endorsed by the US Chamber of Commerce)
 Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 8:14 AM
BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is endorsing Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and GOP congressional hopeful Richard Tisei.
The endorsements planned for Wednesday come a day after Brown delivered a fiery address vowing to fight for lower taxes and labeling his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren a "jobs destroyer."
Warren responded by saying Brown is more interested in protecting oil companies and the wealthy than extending tax cuts for middle class families.
Chamber officials are planning to make the Brown endorsement at a custom canvas and fabric manufacturer in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood....

For some reason this flew under the radar to exonerate AG Holder.

There isn't much to say, except the AG was never made aware of the problems experienced with gun walking until he stated in testimony that he knew. The entire allegation was for political purposes. 
President Obama was correct to claim Executive Privilege while the Inspector General of the Justice Department continued the House investigation. President Obama had no intention of covering up anything, but, simply provided his AG with room to work on cases rather than being harassed continually by the Right Wing.
This should end the taunting by the House, but, I am quite confident it won't; at least not until the 2012 elections have passed.
...We determined that Attorney General Holder (click here) did not learn about Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February 2011 and was not aware of allegations of “gun walking” in the investigation until February. We found no evidence that Department or ATF staff informed the Attorney General about Operation Wide Receiver or Operation Fast and Furious prior to 2011. We concluded that the Attorney General’s Deputy Chief of Staff, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, and the leadership of the Criminal Division failed to alert the Attorney General to significant information about or flaws in those investigations.
Although the Office of the Attorney General received various weekly reports from components in the Department that mentioned Operation Fast and Furious, we found that Attorney General Holder did not personally review these reports at the time that his office received them and that his staff did not highlight them for his review. Moreover, we determined that these reports did not refer to agents’ failure to interdict firearms or include information that otherwise provided notice of the improper strategy and tactics that ATF agents were using in the investigation....

Eric Holder has an exemplary career by being honest and tough. He would never betray the Public Trust. His appointment to the Attorney General seat on the Obama Cabinet was the next logical step for Holder. He worked at all levels of the federal Justice Department except AG. He was the best qualified for the job. This is just another example as to why. Holder is steadfast in his abilities and focus.

Elizabeth Warren was absolutely correct in answering the question:

"What Republican in the Senate could you work with?"

David Gregory set her up for political fodder from the Brown campaign. There is no way I would have answered that question any differently. It was a lose-lose question.

If Elizabeth Warren answered with a name, the Brown campaign would have immediately, before the debate was even over, been in that Senator's face to demand he denounce any friendship with Elizabeth. It would have been played all over the state and she would be explaining that answer until election.

Not only that, but, she is absolutely correct in that working in a bipartisan manner is dependent upon the subject. Mitch McConnell isn't interested in any bipartisan effort and that is completely evident in his hostile approach to anything Democratic that comes to floor as he demands a filibuster.

I mean you've got to be joking. Brown is as divisive as McConnell and stands lockstep with their priority to protect the wealthy. I think Gregory asked that question to add to the fodder of the Brown campaign. His answer about Scalia was the first answer and then he continued to name all nine in the order of preference. He was pandering to the audience after the 'boooooo.'

The question regarding bipartisanship of Warren was completely a giveaway to Brown for his leverage latter. It was out of line in a very hostile Republican Senate playing for re-election and more in 2012 while they left the American people abandoned.