# Trade



DeSantis needs to use diplomacy before talking of invasion

Randy Evans is executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and can be reached at DMRevans2810@gmail.com

Campaigning for public office is no picnic. Day after day there are speeches, Q&A’s, interviews and the constant need to think before you speak.

Candidates eat enough chicken to have Colonel Sanders clucking approval. But for those who speak before engaging their brains, there other item on the menu often is crow.

The miscues are not the sole province of one party’s candidates to the exclusion of the other’s. Ask 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about that “basket of deplorables.” Ask 2022 U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer if she now wishes she had chosen a different way to express displeasure with a judge’s ruling on a challenge to her nomination papers.

In recent days, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pledged that if elected president, he will send United States military forces into Mexico to deal with the drug cartels “on day one.” 

Continue Reading...

Iowa grain and the war in Ukraine

Dan Piller: A prolonged war that disrupts Ukraine’s grain production could reverse Iowa’s decline in world export markets.

“Nobody is qualified to become a statesman who is entirely ignorant of the problem of wheat” –Socrates

The longstanding boast of Iowa farmers that they “feed the world” has been made increasingly hollow in recent years as emerging grain export powers Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine have grabbed significant shares of the world’s markets from the long-dominant United States.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attacks on Black Sea ports of Kherson, Mariupol, and eventually, Odessa will likely shut off Ukraine from its sea shipping lifeline. A lengthy war would bring into question the ability of Ukrainian farmers to prepare their fields and plant the spring crop.

The possible elimination of Ukraine as a major corn and wheat producer and exporter, even for a short period, could reverse Iowa farmers’ decline in world export markets.

Continue Reading...

Largest farms received most trade bailout, COVID-19 payments

This article first appeared on the Environmental Working Group’s website. -promoted by Laura Belin

The largest and wealthiest U.S. farm businesses received the biggest share of almost $33 billion in payments from two subsidy programs – one created by the Trump administration to respond to the president’s trade war and the other by Congress in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to updates to EWG’s Farm Subsidy Database.

The Market Facilitation Program, or MFP, was intended to offset the perceived damage done by the administration’s trade war, which reduced many farmers’ access to lucrative Chinese markets. Payments for the 2018 and 2019 crop years were just over $23 billion – more than $8.5 billion for 2018 and $14.5 billion for 2019.

EWG’s analysis of Department of Agriculture records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows:

Continue Reading...

Thoughts on a post-Trump agenda for Democrats

Dan Piller speculates on what the federal government might attempt if the 2020 presidential and Congressional elections swing toward Democrats. -promoted by Laura Belin

Democrats have learned, the hard way, to never count on a landslide before votes are cast. But the combination of a 1930s-style economic collapse, President Donald Trump’s manic blunderings, and his dismal poll numbers no doubt generate dreams in progressive minds of a landslide election in November that sweeps them into unchallengeable control of both the White House and congress in a manner similar to the Democratic sweeps of 1932 or 1964.

So what might happen if Joe Biden and a host of happy progressives settle into power in Washington next January (probably after walking past gun-toting, camouflage-wearing Trumpers making a Last Stand)?

Continue Reading...

Recognizing Bleeding Heartland's talented 2019 guest authors

More than 125 authors contributed to the 290 guest posts Bleeding Heartland published this calendar year–way up from the 202 pieces by about 100 writers in 2018 and the 164 posts by 83 writers the year before that. I’m immensely grateful for all the hard work that went into these articles and commentaries and have linked to them all below.

You will find scoops grounded in original research, such as John Morrissey’s exclusive reporting on Sedgwick landing a lucrative contract to administer Iowa’s worker’s compensation program for state employee, despite not submitting the high bid.

The most-viewed Bleeding Heartland post this year was Gwen Hope’s exclusive about the the Hy-Vee PAC donating $25,000 to the Iowa GOP, shortly before President Donald Trump headlined a Republican fundraiser at Hy-Vee’s event center in West Des Moines.

Several commentaries about major news events or political trends were also among the most widely read Bleeding Heartland posts of 2019. I’ve noted below pieces by Ed Fallon, Tim Nelson, Bruce Lear, Randy Richardson, J.D. Scholten, Dan Guild, State Senator Claire Celsi, and others that were especially popular. (This site has run more than 630 pieces since January 1.)

Continue Reading...
View More...