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
  • Trent Milacek web.jpg Despite poor harvest, wheat price falls

    I grew up and currently reside on our family farm southwest of Waukomis.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg Gardeners share their favorites

    Annuals only last one season, but they are important because of the great variety of flowers that keep the garden colorful throughout the summer.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conservation workshop set

    The workshop will be 6 p.m. at the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Center, 316 E. Oxford.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jeff Bedwell Consider safety of forage beforehand

    Drought conditions of the past three to four years and in particular the past eight months had hay/forage inventories at critically low levels. The most recent period ranked as the third-driest period in recorded history. Not unlike the farmers and ranchers of other times of drought, ag producers now have been very resourceful to not only replace hay supplies that have dwindled but also add much-needed revenue to farm income.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Right to Farm web 1.jpg Ag industry seeks right to farm

    The emerging battle could have lasting repercussions for the nation’s food supply and for the millions of people worldwide who depend on U.S. agricultural exports. It’s also possible the right-to-farm idea could sputter as a merely symbolic gesture that carries little practical effect beyond driving up voter turnout in local elections.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • farm - Burlington FFA web.jpg Burlington students attend camp

    More than 1,600 FFA members from 289 Oklahoma FFA chapters attended one of four three and one-half day sessions from June 29-July 12.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Oklahoma's Dirty Dozen poster 150dpi_W.jpg Poster targets invasive plants

    They all have more than four letters, but they are certainly bad words in the state of Oklahoma.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Simple steps can prevent fungus infection

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Help plants survive the summer heat

    The July hot weather has arrived, and Oklahoma State University has some suggestions for helping with our gardening needs this month.

    July 12, 2014

  • farm - 4-H_W_W.jpg State 4-H honors volunteers

    A group of dedicated parents and volunteers with Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development Program gathered recently in Stillwater for learning, sharing of ideas and recognition of dedication to Oklahoma’s youth.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Facebook