Under Trump, farm subsidies soared and the rich got richer

Anne Schechinger: President Joe Biden and Congress must reform a wasteful and unfair farm subsidy system. This report first appeared on the Environmental Working Group’s website. -promoted by Laura Belin

Taxpayer-funded farm subsidies have long been skewed in favor of the richest farmers and landowners. But under the Trump administration, even more money went to the largest and wealthiest farms, further shortchanging smaller, struggling family farms.

The Environmental Working Group’s analysis of records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that subsidy payments to farmers ballooned from just over $4 billion in 2017 to more than $20 billion in 2020 – driven largely by ad hoc programs meant to offset the effects of President Trump’s failed trade war.

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The politics of Ashley Hinson's balancing act in IA-01

Eighth in a series interpreting the results of Iowa’s 2020 state and federal elections.

During her first six weeks serving in the U.S. House, Representative Ashley Hinson has been speaking in two distinct voices.

In many public statements, she has positioned herself as a unifier within the House Republican caucus and Congress at large, willing to work with anyone for the benefit of her constituents. Meanwhile, she has regularly demonized Democrats as threats to America, especially when speaking to perceived supporters or on conservative platforms.

The dual messaging reflects Hinson’s dependence on Donald Trump’s base in a swing district where future Republican victories are not assured.

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Seven Republicans showed the courage Iowa's senators lacked

Seven U.S. Senate Republicans joined all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in voting on February 13 to convict former President Trump on the sole count of incitement of insurrection. Although the number who voted guilty fell ten short of the 67 needed to disqualify Trump from holding any future office, it was the most bipartisan Senate vote on impeachment in U.S. history.

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What Ernst and Grassley are telling Iowans about impeachment

UPDATE: As expected, Iowa’s senators voted to acquit Trump. Their statements explaining that decision are posted here. Original post follows.

Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial began on February 9, with House Democrats arguing it is constitutional and necessary to convict the former president, and lawyers for Trump making a less coherent case that the trial is unconstitutional.

Even if you are not inclined to watch the full four hours of the proceedings, every American should watch the 13-minute, graphic video montage of the January 6 coup attempt, as well as Representative Jamie Raskin’s heartbreaking account of that day at the Capitol. These words from Raskin offered the most concise case for conviction: “This cannot be the future of America. We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people.”

All 50 Democratic senators and six Republicans voted late in the day that Trump is “subject to a court of impeachment for acts committed while president.” The other 44 Republicans, including Iowa’s Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, voted against the premise of this trial.

Neither Ernst nor Grassley released any statement explaining their vote, and they didn’t mention the impeachment proceedings on their social media feeds. However, form letters sent directly to Iowans in recent weeks shed light on how the senators will likely justify their votes to acquit, which are a foregone conclusion.

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The deadly Trump sting

Bruce Lear: Donald Trump has already stung the GOP. But unlike the animals in a well-known fable, Republicans haven’t learned, “It’s just his nature.” -promoted by Laura Belin

As the Republican Party struggles with how to handle Donald Trump in his post-presidency, it may do well to remember the fable of the scorpion and the frog.

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