FROM Catharine Richert
Income and Federal Subsidies Up for US Farmers Increased farm subsidies have made strange bedfellows of environmentalists and the Bush Administration. They agree that that the big federal money goes to big agri-business, at the expense of the little guys, not what subsidies were designed to do. Even the Wall Street Journal calls the Farm Bill a "millionaire safety net" which raises taxes to pay off the rich. What does it mean for the environment? What are the prospects of another "bubble" with results like those for dot-coms and housing?
Farm Bill's Distorted Economics and the Quality of Our Food Supply The Farm Bill dates back to the Depression and World War II, and it still reflects the priorities of those bygone days. The result is that $25 billion in subsidies have gone mostly to corporations and wealthy investors, many of whom are paid to grow nothing at all. Small farmers are driven out of business. Today, the House passed a new Farm Bill , worth $286 billion over the next five years, that includes $25 billion in crop subsidies. Yesterday, the House defeated an amendment that would have cut those subsidies and invest the money in conservation, nutrition, rural development and deficit reduction. What happened to promised reforms? To what extent does the Farm Bill determine what food Americans eat?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?