FROM Vincent Smith
The Farm Bill and America's Food Supply The Farm Bill dates back to the Great Depression, when family farms were in trouble and many Americans could not afford what they needed to eat. It gives taxpayer support to a huge range of Americans, from the poor who survive on food stamps to wealthy farmers insured against losses. New versions have passed roughly every five years on a bipartisan basis, but the latest effort is more evidence that there is no bipartisanship any more. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate have passed different versions, and compromise may fall victim to competing interests and ideologies. A conference committee with 41 members from both sides is meeting behind closed doors to work out a compromise. If there's no agreement, farm policy could revert back to 1938, driving an increase in the price of some foods.
Does the Farm Lobby Really Want to Cut Subsidies? Last Friday was the deadline for suggestions to the bipartisan supercommittee on debt, which received more than 175,000 ideas from other lawmakers, think tanks, lobbyists and the public. Among them was a proposal from farm-state legislators to reduce agricultural subsidies by $5 billion. But that's not all they wanted. Is it pulling a "bait and switch?"
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?