You gotta love Iowa…

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National pollsters hate trying to handicap the Iowa caucuses – they almost always get the end result wrong – but you have to hand it to the folks in Iowa because their caucuses never fail to surprise.  The first-in-the-nation February 1 candidate confabs were no exception, boasting record turnout – an estimated 350,000 participated –… Read more »

The art of compromise, a productive 2016

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The beginning of 2016 begs the question: What does a lame duck president try to achieve in the last year of the chief executive’s second term?  Some say not a lot; I’d argue, it’s more like anything he wants to do.  Congress faces a similar challenge.  I’d factor in presidential politics at this point, but… Read more »

Omnibus and taxes — an embarrassment of riches

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It never ceases to amaze how quickly Congress can move when it wants to.  The House and the Senate this week successfully spent about $2 trillion of your tax dollars in less than 72 hours, approving a $680-billion tax bill, following that act of fiscal largesse with approval of the $1.19-trillion FY2016 omnibus spending package… Read more »

Everyone wants a ticket to ride the omnibus

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When the end of session looms and lobbyists are desperate to get a piece of legislation over the finish line, we look for “any train leaving the station,” meaning what must-pass legislation is going to get floor action and can I get my language in that bill?  The ultimate “last train” this session is the… Read more »

“Truth” in labeling

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Food labeling is a disproportionately emotional issue, particularly among politicians, activists and food makers.  While most labeling research reports consumers say they read labels, most do not, and among those who read a food label – mostly younger, health-aware women – the go-to information is calories, fat, sugar, etc.  Where consensus exists, it’s that current… Read more »

Noise about a fish and GM labeling

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The ongoing and very noisy debate over whether or not foods should be labeled because they’re the product of or contain genetically modified ingredients got a whole lot noisier this week as FDA dropped three policy bombs in rapid succession November 19. The dust has yet to settle. First, the agency made history by approving… Read more »

Pay attention to the White House, biotech

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There’s a quiet albeit high-level “review” of how the federal government regulates biotechnology going forward, an effort not getting a lot of media attention, but an effort that will dictate the future of this home-grown technology, particularly as it’s used in agriculture both in the U.S. and overseas. President Obama recently ordered the White House… Read more »

America’s Pig Farmers Get Fed up, Call Out Subway

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Let’s hear it for “America’s Pig Farmers,” the collective signature on a full-page ad (page A5) of the October 29 Wall Street Journal, calling out loudly the “Subway Management Team and Franchisee Owners” for that company’s irresponsible announcement it will source all animal protein for its 27,000-plus U.S. restaurants from animals never given any antibiotics… Read more »

Candidate X is scary; Candidate Y is scarier still

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Now that we’ve got the first Republican candidates’ debate and that of their Democrat rivals behind us, the panic has begun to set in among those who curry favor within the Washington, DC Beltway. The polling numbers on both sides of a prospective presidential election ticket indicate at this point in time, the more “outrageous”… Read more »