The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

January 12, 2013

Now that is a letter

ENID, Okla. — There are ways to write a letter, and there are ways to write a letter.

One way includes pleasantries, ideas, even artful persuasion. Another features anger, bile and bricks. These differences were on display recently when two members of Congress wrote and sent letters of withering dissent.

One, from Collin Petersen, the ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee, to House Speaker John Boehner, was a two-page kettle of steaming contempt. The other, from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to the editors of the Wall Street Journal, was a tablespoon of honey-coated sarcasm.

Peterson, the 12-term Blue Dog Democrat from western Minnesota, sent his Jan. 3 letter to Boehner while still smarting from two weeks of shady, “fiscal cliff” maneuvering that left the nation without a 2012 farm bill.

Three years before, Peterson noted, Boehner had offered “noble words” on how he would operate the House of Representatives.

Those words “turned into empty promises,” because “the Republican Leadership was nothing but a stumbling block” for Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., to get the bipartisan farm bill to the House floor.

Worse, Peterson wrote, when the “fiscal cliff” bill was being negotiated, the same leaders “drafted alternatives in the Speaker’s and Majority Leader’s offices, bypassing both the Chairman (Lucas) and members of the Agriculture Committee and making a mockery of regular order,” the usual method to move legislation through the House.

And, warned Peterson, don’t dare explain that move by saying “the votes were not there to pass the bill” because “(t)hat is patently false.” He finished with a three-point flourish. First, he asked House Bosses for “a written commitment” to bring any new farm bill to the floor if the Ag Committee delivers one.

Second, House leaders need not worry about “finding the votes” to pass a farm bill; that “would fall” to Lucas, Boehner’s GOP colleague, him and committee members.

But, and third, Peterson concluded, “I see no reason why the House Agriculture Committee should undertake the fool’s errand to craft another long-term bill if the Republican Leadership refuses to give any assurances that our bipartisan work will be considered.”

Most House Ag Committee members, Repubs and Dems, agree with Peterson’s assessment of Boehner’s role in the 2012 farm bill belly flop. None of his ag colleagues, however, chose to join him in his pasting of the speaker.

Sanders’ note to the Journal — that objected to the paper’s endless opposition to wind subsidies — was a masterpiece of complaint: clever, direct, deadly.

The just re-elected independent from Vermont opened by admitting he had “been trying to figure out what principle underlies (the paper’s) opposition to encouraging the development of clean, renewable energy…

“Are you really worried about budget deficits?” he asked, quoting the editorial’s words to the editorialists.

Gee, why then “While railing again modest incentives for wind energy, you say nothing of the more than $113 billion in federal subsidies that will go to fossil-fuel industries over the next 10 years”?

It’s not like Big Oil needs the help, he needles. After all, oil’s five biggest firms “made a combined profit of $1 trillion over the last decade.”

Which letter will have greater impact? Neither — if you don’t follow-up with one or two of your own.

 

© 2013 ag com

1
Text Only
Ag
  • Danna Zook cutout web.jpg Producers need to consider cow supplements

    Springtime for many Oklahoma producers often means calving time.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg It’s time to dirty hands

    Bees are venturing out to visit the new flowers. Keep a close watch on your garden. Often, helpful pest-destroying insects are out, getting ready to work for you, also. These, and the bees helpfully pollinating flowers, shouldn’t be discouraged by the undiscriminating spraying of insecticides.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - 4H web.jpg 4-H’ers meet with state lawmakers

    Sen. Eddie Fields spoke to the group upon their arrival at the Capitol.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canola tour to have stops in area

    The tour will be held at the canola field of Flying G Farms located 91⁄2 miles west of Orienta on U.S. 412 and then north into the field.

    April 12, 2014

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Money up front can mean bigger returns later

    Implants are a safe, effective technology that typically offer a 10-to-1 return on investment.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg 9 area students to receive WLC program scholarships

    FFA members will tour our nation’s capital, visit with members of Congress and perform a service learning project within the Washington area, while building friendships with fellow FFA members from across the nation.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg NW Oklahoma FFA members named proficiency finalists

    Three finalists are selected in each of 49 agricultural proficiency award categories. The state winner in each area will be announced April 30 during the 88th State FFA Convention held at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWDJLS_Swine_8_BV.jpg Today’s 4-H creating blue ribbon kids

    The constant that 4-H has is that we give kids an opportunity to excel in a niche that they can kind of create for themselves.” — Jim Rhodes, 4-H youth development program specialist for Northwest District

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Managing cowherd fertility is important

    Yet, recent survey data suggest only 18 percent of beef-cow operations in the United States evaluate the cowherd for pregnancy. This is unfortunate, since a large portion of the financial losses attributed to infertility in beef cows is attributed to maintaining open cows.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg Gardening workshop is April 12

    Dee Nash, a native of Oklahoma, will be the key note speaker. She will speak on “Lemonade Gardening: Making the Best of Extreme Conditions or Lemonade out of Lemons.”

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Facebook