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Politiicians, Lies, Meat Packer Threats and Reform

Tex

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GIPSA Dominates Senate Committee Hearing

The topic of the hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday was “The State of Livestock in America” but much of the testimony centered around USDA’s controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard’s Administration (GIPSA) proposal.

In a strong statement at the start of the hearing, ranking member Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said that GIPSA proposal is in direct opposition to the intent of Congress under the 2008 Farm Bill.

“As a result, we are looking at a proposed rule that is undoubtedly significant in its economic impact and which threatens to undo years of livestock marketing arrangements that have benefited both livestock producers and consumers,” said Roberts. “At a time when many talk about how agriculture is going to help lead the rebound for our economic recovery, it makes no sense to me why we would try to hamstring this industry, and take away marketing tools that will have far reaching implications in both the domestic and international marketplace.”

Watch Roberts get fired up about GIPSA here:
Print this post e-mail this post 48
Posted by Cindy • June 29, 2011 • 10:50 am
Categories: GIPSA,Government,Video

48 Comments »
June 29, 2011 — 3:10 pm
Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA

Senator Pat Roberts made the most dishonorable and repulsive opening statement that anyone could possibly make at a congressional hearing. Whether you support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule or not, every American should be appalled at Senator Robert’s theatrics. He lied. He outright lied. Senator Roberts knows, and all his staff knows, that GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler NEVER said that the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. The speech of Administrator Butler that Senator Roberts purposely prostituted was widely circulated in the media as were transcripts of that speech. Senator Roberts chose to lie for no other reason than to impugn the character of Administrator Butler. Below is the transcript of Administrator Butler’s speech. No one but a disreputable pawn would use this speech in the distorted manner used by Senator Roberts. Administrator Butler said exactly the opposite of what Senator Roberts claimed he said. Administrator Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules. America has been disgraced by Senator Roberts.

2009 Speech of GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler

“I truly believe that if you are going to regulate, authority has to be tempered with common sense.

You cannot try to over-regulate – you cannot try to under-regulate.

I am a big believer in balance and consistency.

If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.

We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.

It’s just like a piece of legislation, you can’t write a perfect piece of legislation.

We need your comments so we can put out the best finished product possible.

Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.

But the real thing now in trying to solve the problem quickly is not only to address the market issues, but to define some of these terms, to put parameters around them. What you can do, what the company can’t do, what has got to happen in the marketplace.”

June 29, 2011 — 4:11 pm
Mike Weaver

It appears that Senator Roberts comments about the proposed GIPSA rules were written by one of the large meatpackers or poultry integrators. The lie they propagated for several months about comments by J.Dudley Butler and the trial lawyer misquote, which has been proven by video of the comments, is a shameful way for the giant corporations to get their way in this situation. The lies are not working so they get an amendment in the House appropriations bill to defund the GIPSA rules. Now this! Would someone look into contributions from big agriculture to Senator Roberts please? The farmers and ranchers need to know and so do the voting public in Kansas.
Mike Weaver, President, Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias

June 29, 2011 — 4:22 pm
Mike Callicrate

A video of GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler’s actual statement is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFTiY-7iqyA

Senator Roberts is a shinning example of this lackey Congress that continues to place big corporate interests over the interests of the people.

Senator Roberts should be held accountable for spreading these lies.

The GIPSA rules are the only thing standing between independent cattlemen and chicken-farmer serdom.

June 29, 2011 — 5:23 pm
DC Hartman

Dudley Butler’s 2009 speech refers to the Stockyards and Packers act currently in effect, not the GIPSA ruling…Mr. Roberts needs to get his facts straight before he opens his mouth. Mr. Butler NEVER said the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. Mr. Roberts has no true basis for being against the GIPSA ruling.

“Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.” Mr. Butlers 2009 speech

Section 202. Unlawful practices enumerated.3
It shall be unlawful for any packer or swine contractor with respect to livestock, meats,
meat food products, or livestock products in unmanufactured form, or for any live poultry
dealer with respect to live poultry, to:
(a) Engage in or use any unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or
device; or
(b) Make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any
particular person or locality in any respect, or subject any particular person or
locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect; or

June 29, 2011 — 5:34 pm
Dippold Ranch

Sen. Roberts’ statement was misleading. He quoted out of context, thus changing the meaning of the speaker he was quoting.
I realize the money behind the fight against GIPSA. However, as a cattle producer, we find more and more demands from the buyers of our cattle; they are assuming less costs for these cattle, and we are assuming more costs, for very little, if any, gain. There needs to be more accountability from the meatpackers. It is hard to conduct fair business when they have a monopoly.
The proposed rules in the GIPSA will put growers on a more even playing field by protecting against unfair treatment or possible retaliation. Senator Roberts does not speak for many ranchers in our area, and certainly not for us.

June 29, 2011 — 5:50 pm
New Mexico Cowboy

I’m a cow-calf producer, have periodically retained ownership of my calves, My calves have top genetics based on their performance in the yard coupled with carcass data and there is a real need for the GIPSA Rule.

Senator Roberts’ misrepresentation of Administrator Butler’s comments–which were directed to the terms of PSA as presently undefined and the need to define them by rule so that PSA is NOT a plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream–was a real ethical and moral low. The Senator owes Mr. Butler an apology.

But then, Senator Roberts received some $39,000 during the 2008 election cycle from those opposed to the GIPSA Rule. From his comments and feigned indignation, I’d say they got their money’s worth.

The GIPSA Rule has been totally misrepresented by its opponents and judging from the Senator’s comments suggesting the Rule would “hamstring this industry, and take away marketing tools…” he has never read the rule, does not understand how formula cattle work, and is most misinformed about how livestock markets function.

June 29, 2011 — 5:54 pm
Bob

This is the way a Senator behaves because US cattlemen seek justice? He attacks a man who has worked honestly to formulate a fair rule that would protect our livestock industry from monopoly? Senator Dole prefers corporate monopoly? How much does Senator Dole receive from the big packers and the groups that do their bidding, such as NCBA? Mr. Dole does not have clean hands nor a just heart. Is it too much to ask for fairness, Mr. Dole? Has that become un-American? Shall we all throw stones as you have, at an honest man doing something to restore competition in American. Shall we all just say “Give the corporations whatever they want because if you don’t, men like you, Senator Dole, will tear apart those holding steady for what is right”? If you take how much you have received from these special interests, and divide it by the number of words you have used to try to stop the GIPSA rule by going after Mr. Dudley, how much did you make per ugly word? Mr. Dole, shame on you. Our country needs our Congressmen to stop being water carriers for the rich and powerful, and you have hauled one large bucket for them. You are their paid servant, a humiliating job. You were supposed to serve to the American people, a job with great dignity. Instead you attack Mr. Dudley who is honorably serving this country and with courage considering the vicious attacks on him. You serve your masters by attacking Mr. Dudley who is doing right by the American people.

June 29, 2011 — 5:56 pm
J. E. Martens

I am a life long rancher from Wyoming, If I am to stay in the cattle busness, the Meat Packers must NOT continue to have a stone cold monopoly on my beef ! These arangements that Senator Roberts speak of is just that. Monopolys, and nothing more, open and above board, transparent sales (Like the NYSE) are the law, make them enforce them !! Fellow the money, it is NOT on the plains of the cattle country, it is in the land of the PACKERS . Level playing field is all we ask ! James Martens, Black Hills of Wyoming

June 29, 2011 — 6:01 pm
Dan De Wees

I think Senator Roberts is not looking out for the Cattle producers. He is for the Beef Packers who control over 85% of the market. Where will they get there cattle when we are OUT of business.

June 29, 2011 — 6:05 pm
larry

senator Roberts is most definately bought and paid for by the American meat institute. It is time to get rid of these life time politicians: senator Roberts(ks), senator Hatch(ut), senator Crapo (id), senator Reed(nev), rep. Simpson(Id) . Just alot of republicans and democrats that have been there too long !

June 29, 2011 — 6:10 pm
Carlon Stapper

Senator Roberts comments completely misrepresent what Administrator Butler said. Putting these proposed GIPSA rules into place will help restore competition to the market place, something the Packers and Stockyards Act is supposed to do.

June 29, 2011 — 6:41 pm
Conrad Zutavern

Senator Roberts made an untruthful and and unnecessary attack against GIPSA administrator Butler. Twisting the truth in order to make a political point goes noticed out here in Nebraska and Kansas and it doesn’t fly anymore. Remember how Breitbart and Fox News fabricated USDA’s undersecretary Shirley Sherrod last year? Well, in the end, when the truth eventually came out, the accusers had egg all over their face. Now Senator Roberts is going to get egg all over his face.

June 29, 2011 — 6:42 pm
Denise Langley

Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself and his constituents should vote him out of office. He lied about the Gipsa ruling. This bill-Gipsa is to clear up the vague and non specific language that was in the Packers and Stockyards Act. The GIPSa will clearify and remove generalizations so the rule cannot be misconstrued. Senator Roberst attack on Dudley Butler was based on totally incorrect, facts. I hope the people representing us in Washington are much more intelligent and honest than Senator Roberts!

June 29, 2011 — 7:05 pm
K. Schroer

Sen. Roberts, you are an abomination to the American rancher/cattleman!
How embarrassing for Kansas to have you representing their state. Maybe you should get your facts straight about GIPSA before spewing your rhetoric.
satan and the meatpackers certainly have you in their back pockets!! And to think we taxpayers have to foot the bill for your overly bloated retirement pension and all the while you are stabbing us in the back! Be careful not to choke on the next bite of American raised and produced beefsteak you stick in your mouth.

June 29, 2011 — 7:06 pm
red cow

WHOA! I went back and read Butler’s comments and he stated the opposite of what Senator Roberts said that he said. Butler stated that the existing law was a lawyer’s dream.

Clearly, Senator Roberts does not support producers! If you cannot support an open free market than you are supporting corrupt manipulated market for the meatpackers.

Senator Roberts and Ag-wired needs to print a retraction and get their facts straight. Burning the American flag is free speech but that does not make it right!

June 29, 2011 — 7:08 pm
Karen Bowlin

Roberts is clearly out of touch with ag marketing. Too many generations away from the farm I expect. If you don’t know anything about the topic, it is usually wise to keep your mouth shut so you don’t reveal your ignorance to everyone. This objective of this rule is to give farmers and ranchers a fair marketing opportunity. Sen. Roberts mouth is a timely illustration of what we’ve been trying to protect ourselves against: allied meatpackers using legislators as spokesmen and tools for their industry advantage.

June 29, 2011 — 7:24 pm
Mark Wilson

Senator Roberts,
Whether it is out of ignorance or malice you attributed Mr. Dudley’s “lawyers dream” comment incorrectly to comments about about the current GIPSA Rule proposal. That comment was made about the definition of words in the original Packers and Stockyards act. You owe an appology to Mr. Dudley. You apparently hold many in the cattle industry who support the proposed GIPSA Rule in contempt as well.

June 29, 2011 — 7:26 pm
Teresa Wiemerslage

I am extremely disappointed in Senator Robert’s comments. The Senate and Obama Administration needs to act now to implement and enforce the GIPSA rule. Farmers and ranchers need a fair marketplace now more than ever. We have waited long enough.

I am disappointed in Senator Roberts deceitful attack on Administrator Butler and the GIPSA rule. His comments are not true. As a fourth generation farmer, I expect that our Senators and Representatives speak the truth, even when they don’t agree with us.

It has been one year since the GIPSA rule was proposed. It is long past time to implement these reforms to protect family farmers and ranchers. The GIPSA rule will prevent packers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices to harm livestock producers. We have been at their mercy long enough. The GIPSA rule is a positive step forward toward fairer markets.

June 29, 2011 — 7:31 pm
Donald Martin

I am a Cattleman. I am not surprised by Mr. Roberts statements, he is a typical politician. The only way to tell if he is lying is to see if his mouth is moving. He knows, as does almost everyone in the cattle business that the packers are killing the small producers with collusion, avarice and the help of Mr Roberts and his kind. I am proud of President Obama and Sec. Vilsac’s efforts. I would like my children to be able to keep our ranch but if Mr Roberts wins this fight the packers will eventually own it and many many others. I would like to see what Teddy Roosevelt would have to say about Mr Roberts and the packers.

June 29, 2011 — 8:24 pm
Nathan Pike

I just heard your speech to the Senate regarding GIPSA Rules. I find it to be the most dishonest speech I have ever heard. NCBA and KLA & Texas Cattle Feeders must have written it for you, as it is well known they are Packer Lackeys and they use the Producer Beef Check-off money to fight the real producer, as this has been proven.
Senator, why don’t you come clean and post to the public, how much money the Packers have contributed to you over the last few years. The GIPSA Rule does nothing close to what you stated, but it will level the playing field for the main stream producer. It does not take away anyone’s rights to contract their livestock to any packer or International Packer, as you suggest. I find this to be the most dishonable speech I have heard from a Kansas Senator. I have been in the livestock business for 61 years, and do not like what is happening to our industry.

June 29, 2011 — 8:31 pm
Pam Potthoff

Senator Pat Robert’s attack on the proposed GIPSA rule changes are a direct attack on small and medium feeders who are too small to warrant “sweetheart deals” with the big packers.

The base price paid through formula contracts (43.1 percent of the market in 2010) is determined by the cash market (37.4 percent of th market). This cash market shrunk from over 52 percent five years. When packers bid low or refuse to bid at all in the cash market, everyone in the beef prodution line gets hurt except the pakers. The new GIPSA rules would help prevent packer manipulation of the cash market.

Senator Roberts: That would only be fair to all in prouction agriculture. People don’t file lawsuit when they are being treated fairly.

June 29, 2011 — 8:33 pm
D.T.Cappucci, Jr., DVM, PhD, MPH, LTC, AUS, ret.

The comments of United Senator Pat Roberts about proposed GIPSA rule making and Administrator Dudley Butler of the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyard’s Administration are a dastardly, unprofessional verbal attack against another honorable American citizen in federal governmental service! It is disappointing that Senator Roberts sarcastically suggests for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to consider putting Administrator Butler under the Witness Protection Program due to the circumstances of the ongoing controversy! Shame on Senator Roberts for making his opposition to the proposed GIPSA rule making on livestock marketing into a caustic, direct personal assault on USDA Administrator Butler.

June 29, 2011 — 8:33 pm
JOEL

I am a repubulican and a cattle rancher and I believe that the video by Senator Roberts seems to be titled incorrectly. The title should be Roberts works to defend the large meat packers. He certainly is not defending the small producers of the United States when he villifies J. Dudley Butler and takes his comments on the proposed rule totally out of context. Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself, but I am sure the large meat packers lobby gave him a good slap on the back and perhaps a little extra money for his next campaign.

As I see it, the new rule is simply trying make clear some of the very vague terms in the 90 year old Packers and Stockyards Act. Why are the packers and their allies like the NCBA fighting so hard to kill this proposed rule? I really don’t believe it is to protect small farmers and ranchers.

The articles surrounding this video were from the NCBA, Meat Packer’s Associations and the like saying what a good idea it was to kill the funding for the proposed rule. I didn’t see the comments from the National Farm Bureau Federation, R-Calf and the 150+ other agricultural organizations who have gone on record supporting the new GIPSA rule.

June 29, 2011 — 8:37 pm
william turner

I am a poultry grower & livestock .
He has no idea whats going on.

June 29, 2011 — 8:43 pm
Reid Phifer

Senator Roberts, you would think coming from Kansas there should be at some point in your life at least a small amount of intelligence acquired concerning agriculture. I personally, and feel assured anyone else that really listened to your speech regarding the new GIPSA regulations, had no problem understanding you sounded more like a standup comic, than a Senator someone actually voted into office. Your tone of an authoritarian ruler with the comments of a court jester was very amusing. I would be very interested in knowing where you collect your under the table money that buys your ability to stand in front of your political buddies and spew such utterly ridiculous rhetoric. Senator Roberts, it’s really very simple, if you’ve had no experience with a subject, it is ludicrous to believe yourself an authority. Experience perpetuates knowledge, speaking without knowledge from experience propels ignorance.

June 29, 2011 — 9:45 pm
Jim Fisher

As current cattle producer, I cannot believe how far from the facts Senator Roberts is in his opening statement. “Marketing arrangements that have benefited both livestock producers and consumers” America loses an average of 12,000 cattle ranchers every year, the amount of American cattle on feed is the smallest number it has been in 20 years. Where has it befitted the consumer not in the pocket books? Yes today there are 27 different labels of beef to choose but most consumers are confused by organic, grassfed, gluten-free, and so on. An open, balanced, competitive market will not hamstring packing companies. The GISPA rule will only support the rural communities of America.

June 29, 2011 — 9:49 pm
James Stotts

Senator Pat Roberts took a Packer pill right before his pack of packer lies. We know part of his rant was a outright lie, can only suppose all of it was a lie.

June 29, 2011 — 9:55 pm
Mike Heaton

Senator Pat Roberts remarks were diplorable. Senator Roberts purposely took J. Dudley Butler’s remarks out of context. We the true independent cattlemen have waited nine decades for this rule. Our desire is to have the GIPSA rule enacted and the law enforced. As for all of the negative retoric from the NCBA, remember this is the same NCBA who has been found to be misusing hundreds of thousands of beef checkoff dollars. The NCBA lacks credibility and integrity and represent a mere 3% of the real cattle producers.

June 29, 2011 — 10:05 pm
Pamela Wunderlich

For a start, the video headline is an out and out lie. Roberts is not working to protect livestock producers, but is obviously working for big agribusiness in the form of the meatpackers. He has twisted GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler’s words. Mr. Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act(not the proposed Gipsa Rule) – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules. Administrator Butler also said “If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.
We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.”
I am an independent cattle producer and know there is nothing fair or balanced about allowing the big 4 meatpackers to manipulate the cattle market by breaking the 1921 Packer and Stockyards Act and any Antitrust provisions, as they have done and want to continue to do. It is very important that our livestock industry not be verticalized or “chickenized” by the large meatpackers and their dirty tactics. Family farmers and ranchers need GIPSA to hold Packers accountable by providing transparency and a level playing field for all real cattle producers in America. Don’t become fooled by all the brainwashing going on out there and know there are some palms being greased. Let us have the proposed GIPSA rule- it has already been commented on by the public with mostly favorable remarks.

June 29, 2011 — 10:14 pm
Rick Fox

Pat Roberts is a liar and full of himself( and BS). With the money that has flowed his way by the meat corporations, He delivers for them in this speech. he reads the entire speech, he didn’t write it, his cronies that give him money did. He has always voted for the corporations and never once voted for the actual ‘on the ground’ cattle producer. He never read the entire comment that Mr Butler delivered. Mr Butler’s comment had the exact opposite meaning of what this dimwit Roberts delivered.

Cattle producer numbers keep dwindling with the same policies and same career politicians in place. Roberts is fully bought and paid for and I would encourage all other Senators that read or listen to his ‘corporate’ speech to approach him and ask for the entire speech that J. Dudley Butler gave.

The GIPSA rule needs to be implemented for the safety of the American food supply. Corporations only goal is to make money. It does not matter to them what country they buy their raw supply (livestock) from or who they sell it to.

Keep America strong and keep the cattle producers of this great country supplying beef to the American consumers. Once the cattle industry is gone because of the market abuse of the giant meat packers, it will be gone for good.

Thank you, and to hell with this Pat Roberts idiot!
Rick Fox
Hermosa, SD

June 29, 2011 — 10:32 pm
Lance Ekberg

Senator Roberts should be ashamed of himself for twisting the facts about GIPSA and Administrator Butler. Sen. Roberts accuses Mr. Butler for coming with an agenda, but Sen. Roberts should take his own advice regarding his own agenda. Sen. Roberts favors policy that is in the best interests of the corporate meatpackers and other corporate agribusiness. GIPSA was hard fought for grassroots ranchers and other individual animal producers. At last we have a chance to level the playing field with fair and open markets, but politicians like Senator Roberts stand in the way of reform. Shame on you Senator Roberts!

June 29, 2011 — 10:52 pm
Allen Lund

One thing is obvious. Senator Roberts is not working to defend livestock producers. He is working to defend the interests of the corporate packing and retail industries. The poultry industry is a prime example of why we need the proposed rules to GIPSA to be implemented. The independent poultry producers have been turned into virtual peasants to the packer and retail sectors. Either conform to thier rules or you will be thrown out on your ear, and we will be protected against any legal recourse because it would be almost impossible for you to show damage to the entire industry. The hog industry is not very far behind and chickenizing the beef industry will be the final objective.
Get real Senator Roberts. The GIPSA rule was enacted 90 years ago, and to say the least needs a little tweeking.

June 29, 2011 — 11:07 pm
Carol L Hendrickson

I am writing to comment on the testimony of Senator Pat Roberts before the Senate Ag Committee. He obviously is coming at this from the side of the meat packing industry and not the independent producers. If there is not some protection in the market place, as the GIPSA rule is intended to put in place, you are going to see more and more producers go out of business and soon it will not matter if we have Country of Origin Labeling for our beef, because there won’t be any domestically produced beef. More and more of our other ag products are being imported, and we have no control over how the products are produced or what chemicals are used on them or anything. The same will be true of the beef. We have the BEST and CLEANEST beef in the world, and you are doing your best to kill the industry. Nobody is trying to take away the marketing contracts that are working for some producers. They are just being asked to make them public just as sales in the local auction yards are, so there can be price discovery and fairness in the market place. We don’t want subsidies or such, just a fair shake in the market place. Don’t buy the BULL that is being thrown around, and follow the money! The packers have a lot of it and they are wielding a lot of pressure on Congress to do their bidding.

June 30, 2011 — 12:50 am
Gayland Regier

After listening to Sen. Robert’s comments before the Ag. committee and personally rereading Mr. Dudley’s earlier remarks, I find Sen.Robert’s talk shockingly deceitful and contemptuous. And to have done such so knowingly and willfully must clearly illustrates how deeply indebted he is to Big Agbiz who through courtship and years of generous political contributions now totally own his political life and soul [--of course all at the expense of lost market opportunities for independent farmers such as myself]. Can anything he said then be worthy of belief? Will the Ag committee let him and Big Agbiz get away with such blatant lying and misrepresentation of facts? Time will certainly tell. Sincerely, A farmer and Republican, Gayland Regier

June 30, 2011 — 1:04 am
Byron Barkhurst

Senator Roberts, if i may, where exactly are you getting your information about the producers and the consumers? I am frankly sick and tired of hearing about how GIPSA is going to hurt the producers and consumers. Anyone in my mind, with any desire to be honest with themselves can see right through the personal attacks, excuses you are making in your statement. I ask anyone, why there is no talk of GIPSA hurting the packers? I submit to you, that the exact reason is because they are who is feeding you this incorrect information about the industry, and that it is they who clearly have the most to lose from fair market practices in the beef industry. It is they Senator Roberts who spend millions of dollars secretly and shamelessly lobbying to convince those in authority such as your self, that rules like GIPSA will hurt the AmericanFarmer

June 30, 2011 — 1:17 am
Byron Barkhurst

or Rancher? It is they Senator Roberts, who wish to continue with the way things are, not caring what they are doing to the American Ranching and Farming family. Who, Senator Roberts, has the back bone and integrity, in the House or the Senate, to stand for what is honest, for what is right? We need someone, anyone, that has the strength and character, to stand for the producers, to be a voice, to be a leader. I ask you Senator Roberts, who will see this as a defining moment in their political career, and Choose to listen to the producers and not the packers?

June 30, 2011 — 2:50 am
John O'Donnell

I am a livestock producer. What Senator Pat Roberts has said in this testimony is simply not true. Livestock producers are under stress and are going out of business at an accelerating rate because the US government refuses to enforce the GIPSA rule. America’s livestock producers are being destroyed because of unlawful manipulation of the markets by the large meatpackers, causing depressed prices for the livestock these producers raise.
GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler is doing the right thing for livestock producers by seeking to clarify and enforce the GIPSA rule.
I believe that Senator Pat Roberts is testifying directly for the meatpackers, who would like nothing more than to increase their purchase of foreign livestock, while US producers go out of business.

June 30, 2011 — 3:36 am
William Partridge

I am a beef producer in Kansas. I support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule. Senator Pat Roberts represents many large beef packers in Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal Kansas, and it shows. I think he has forgot about the beef producers. I didn’t agree with the 2008 farm bill on this matter and I don’t agree with his reasoning. Just because what his intent was 3 years ago doesn’t mean that it is right then or right now.

Senator Pat Roberts made the most dishonorable and repulsive opening statement that anyone could possibly make at a congressional hearing. Whether you support USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule or not, every American should be appalled at Senator Robert’s theatrics. He lied. He outright lied. Senator Roberts knows, and all his staff knows, that GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler NEVER said that the proposed GIPSA rule is a lawyer’s dream. The speech of Administrator Butler that Senator Roberts purposely prostituted was widely circulated in the media as were transcripts of that speech. Senator Roberts chose to lie for no other reason than to impugn the character of Administrator Butler. Below is the transcript of Administrator Butler’s speech. No one but a disreputable pawn would use this speech in the distorted manner used by Senator Roberts. Administrator Butler said exactly the opposite of what Senator Roberts claimed he said. Administrator Butler said that existing law – the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act – contained vague terms that were, therefore, “a lawyer’s dream.” And, Administrator Butler clearly stated that his goal for the proposed GIPSA rule was to define and set perimeters for those vague terms so everyone in the marketplace knows the rules. America has been disgraced by Senator Roberts.

2009 Speech of GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler:

“I truly believe that if you are going to regulate, authority has to be tempered with common sense.
You cannot try to over-regulate – you cannot try to under-regulate.
I am a big believer in balance and consistency.
If we want the industry to survive over the long haul, it has to be balanced.
We are developing rules that deal with problems in the marketplace across the board.
It’s just like a piece of legislation, you can’t write a perfect piece of legislation.
We need your comments so we can put out the best finished product possible.
Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that’s a lawyer’s dream, a plaintiff lawyer’s dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that’s a jury question.
But the real thing now in trying to solve the problem quickly is not only to address the market issues, but to define some of these terms, to put parameters around them. What you can do, what the company can’t do, what has got to happen in the marketplace.”

June 30, 2011 — 6:18 am
Valley View Farms

Senator Roberts comments about the new GIPSA rules are way off base. Poultry growers need these rules to stay in business as we are making less money each year. Growers invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade their poultry operations because the integrators require it to have a contract with them. Our contracts are not giving us a return on this investment. We are struggling to make mortage payments, pay LP gas & electric bills. Add to that insurance & taxes. Growers must take off farm jobs just to keep from losing the family farm. Until agriculture starts to become more profitable for the farmer to stay in business, the economy is not going to grow.

June 30, 2011 — 7:14 am
RIchard Carlson

Sen. Roberts’ comments about the administrator (and the proposed GIPSA rules) were out of line. The good Senator’s motives deserve questioning rather than the administrator’s. How much does Roberts charge the meatpackers to put on the type of show he did?

June 30, 2011 — 7:35 am
Cindy Goeller

I appreciate Sen. Roberts right to oppose the GIPSA rule, but I am apalled at his lying about what Administrator Butler said about the “lawyers dream”. If you read his transcript, Butler was obviously referring to the vague terms in the 90 yr old Packers and Stockyards Act. Let’s keep this discussion truthful!

June 30, 2011 — 8:20 am
Harlan Hentges

Senator Roberts has turned on his constitutents — ranchers and consumers. He is protecting illegal business practices that crippled the economy of rural Kansas. The things he says are incorrect — obviously contrary to the facts. More than 85% of US beef is controlled by three multinationals, the largest of which is Brazilian. Neither the rancher nor the consumer benefits from a foreign corporate monopoly on beef. His position is not conservative or Republican… it is unAmercian. Roberts is selling out his people in exhange for money and power.

June 30, 2011 — 8:29 am
Dale Taggart

It is AMAZING what big money can do to people, and even more to WEAK U.S. Senators. Mr. Roberts is from one of the largest fed cattle states in the union, and will NOT support the cattle producers, but sure will support the meat packers! Guess that money talks and WEAK people bend! We need the GIPSA law finalized. We need to have someone STRONG like Administrator J. Dudley Butler. Stand tall Mr. Butler, you must be really on the RIGHT path with the flak being hurled at you by the BENT Mr. Roberts. We producers need a FAIR chance in marketing our beef. We can grow the best and safest beef on the planet, and we work hard for a little. A bunch of us have quit, because we could not survive with the UNFAIR trade allowed in the past years. IF YOU PUT THE PRODUCERS OUT OF BUSINESS, WHAT WILL YOU EAT?

June 30, 2011 — 8:42 am
Tom

Roberts isn’t defending livestock producers, he is defending meat packers and their subjugation of producers. If only he had done his research into the complaints that were the origins of the GIPSA regulations instead of meat packer talking points, he would know this. We have an incompetent or corrupt government that is sold to the highest bidder and it is ruining the livelihoods of the middle class. Roberts is part of that process. He is either too old to know what is going on or he is corrupted by those in the meat packing industry who disregard the laws already on the books that are supposed to protect the producers from market abuse. It is time to go home, Senator Roberts, and possibly to jail for selling out our legal system to the highest bidder and concentrating the wealth of the nation in the hands of your buddies.

Tom

June 30, 2011 — 9:37 am
Support Independent Livestock Production!

The GIPSA rule is a step in the right direction but needs to be even stronger. For years, farmers, their communities and rural economies have been severely depressed by multi-national, corporate control of livestock markets. As an example, here in Missouri, there were 23,000 hog farmers in 1985 and now we have 3,000 hog farmers (a 90% decline). This is not only 20,000 less hog farmers, but thousands of small businesses in rural towns that use to support independent hog (livestock) production.

This has not happened by accident. And it is NOT because farmers do not want to raise hogs, and it is NOT because independent hog production is less efficient, it IS because corporate agri-business has taken control of the marketplace, AND they have done it with the help of our taxpayer and USDA conservation dollars (i.e. EQIP) at the expense of farm families, the rural economy and the US economy in general.

For the sake of our great country and the US economy, we need open, transparent and competitive markets, and the GIPSA rule is the first step.

Tim Gibbons
Missouri Rural Crisis Center

June 30, 2011 — 9:39 am
Georgia Cowhand

I’m against the GIPSA rule! I’m just a small player in Georgia but one of the guys I sell calves to at a premium tells me he will pay a flat, commodity price if this GIPSA proposal passes. If you watched the hearing the USDA Economist Dr. Joe Glauber (sp?) didn’t sound like he was too thrilled with the proposal. This rule sounds like it’s trying to turn us into a Socialist group all being treated “fair” instead of competing to grow the finest beef for the best price. Why won’t USDA publish the Economic Study of the rule and then let us all see it and comment BEFORE they publish the rule? That sounds unAmerican to me.

June 30, 2011 — 9:47 am
Henry Bowmn

Mr. Roberts is the epitome of what is wrong with America today, especially in Washington DC and most other venues of politics. It is time for he and his ilk to go. They are a major part of the problem, not the solution. Molon labe.

June 30, 2011 — 10:16 am
Bob Davis

I am a conservative Republican cattle producer in Washington State, generally opposed to government regulations that threaten our freedoms.
In this case however, it is legislation like GIPSA that is needed to protect a free cash market that is the basis for all cattle sales, from the manipulation of monopolistic large packers and Ag Corporations.
Apparently Senator Roberts and many other politicians have succumbed to their lobbies and financial support over the will of the people and the good of the industry.
Perhaps it is time for 2-term limits — one in office and one in jail!
 

nenmrancher

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Gotta give Rcalf credit they sure know how to use canned comments pretty much all of those postings say the exact same thing and use the pretty much the same structure. Talk about manipulation Rcalf is becoming or has surpased NCBA in use of canned comments and getting the faithful to cut and paste and not think for themselves. I dont have much use for Rcalf personally because I think Bullard is nothing but a snake oil salesman looking to get rich of the association. I was at a meeting of my state organization and watched him stir up trouble at that meeting with the intention of either splitting our assoc apart or bringing our assoc in as an Rcalf Associate.
 

Tex

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nenmrancher said:
Gotta give Rcalf credit they sure know how to use canned comments pretty much all of those postings say the exact same thing and use the pretty much the same structure. Talk about manipulation Rcalf is becoming or has surpased NCBA in use of canned comments and getting the faithful to cut and paste and not think for themselves. I dont have much use for Rcalf personally because I think Bullard is nothing but a snake oil salesman looking to get rich of the association. I was at a meeting of my state organization and watched him stir up trouble at that meeting with the intention of either splitting our assoc apart or bringing our assoc in as an Rcalf Associate.


So you think this is all a conspiracy by rcalf? Rcalf wouldn't have an organization if there wasn't a problem and a real big one at that.

Tex
 

nenmrancher

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Nope I am saying that Rcalf has figured out how to get its folks to cut and paste prepared comments, its another sign that folks are getting lazier when they use generiic comments for things like this rather than thinking for themselves and putting their own ideas into words. Just keep watching for them black copters one of these days they might actually be there.
 

Tex

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nenmrancher said:
Nope I am saying that Rcalf has figured out how to get its folks to cut and paste prepared comments, its another sign that folks are getting lazier when they use generiic comments for things like this rather than thinking for themselves and putting their own ideas into words. Just keep watching for them black copters one of these days they might actually be there.

Interesting theory, nemrancher. Do you have anything more than a theory on this? Is this just your way to quantify and delegitimize a different point of view than your own? Have you done the homework and know the cases that are mentioned in the GIPSA rules and can you tell me which administrations supported the GIPSA rule that refutes these cases where the courts have said that "harm to competition" must be shown to have a case?

You may actually think you know these cases but do you? Do you even know what they are about or the particulars of the cases?

If this is the case, what about the written testimony to Congress of NCBA members, some of whom admitted to me they didn't know the implications of their written testimony.

We haven't had any black helicopters here that I have seen in a long time and they don't really circle, they fly from one military base to another often carrying a piece of military equipment---which is a real sight to see.



Tex
 

JFisher

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I’m new to the Bull Session but I was going through the net and happen to notice that my comments on the GISPA rule was placed on this message board. You can find me near the top June 29, 2011 – 9:45 pm Jim Fisher.

First I would like to make clear that I am not a member of Rcalf nor have attended any of their meetings or have any contact. My comments were not cut and copy nor did they personal attack Senator Roberts. I simply showed my support for the GISPA rule a ruling that I have been keeping a close eye on.

I did mention that I was currently producing cattle but wanting to keep my comments short so I did not mention that I currently own and operate my own cattle ranch that has been in my family since 1893. Commercial cow/calf ranch that has maintained to be profitable., it has seen bad years and rough patches but my family always made a living from the beef we raised. Still to this day I earn a nice living ranching.

I support GISPA rule because I am a cattle rancher. I am passionate about the beef industry and want to see every cattle ranch be profitable for those with 5 cows to 5000. There is not a calf or cow out there that does not have a market value and the opportunity from demand for all beef. The current premiums grids are formulated to feed at best to pay 30% premiums for grade and label with 10% - 20% deduct below for average. Producers that believe in the premium system are just gambling that they will hit a lucky roll. There is no luck in this industry it formulated to produce the same outcome. This is not a conspiracy it is just a sound feed system to limit risk and sell a chance for little bit extra for producers. I don’t dislike this system but I understand the five-year average will hold the same. Weather, demand, feed rations all will effect production and the average will be the same with one or two good years and few bad. This is ranching with or without the GISPA rule.

Packers will keep banded products for beef it is the only way they can market their commodity for added value. That is just a fact of business in every industry. The GISPA rule only helps producer to make the right decisions for their operation by adding transparency to the selling market. None of us ranching will be the next Bill Gates were in the food business but every producer can see constancy in profitability.

Just to add something I do like about Rcalf their members that commented have paid into the Beef Checkoff for years. While I know many of the comments that opposed GISPA came from NCBA members that have never pay $1 to the Checkoff.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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JFisher said:
I’m new to the Bull Session but I was going through the net and happen to notice that my comments on the GISPA rule was placed on this message board. You can find me near the top June 29, 2011 – 9:45 pm Jim Fisher.

First I would like to make clear that I am not a member of Rcalf nor have attended any of their meetings or have any contact. My comments were not cut and copy nor did they personal attack Senator Roberts. I simply showed my support for the GISPA rule a ruling that I have been keeping a close eye on.

I did mention that I was currently producing cattle but wanting to keep my comments short so I did not mention that I currently own and operate my own cattle ranch that has been in my family since 1893. Commercial cow/calf ranch that has maintained to be profitable., it has seen bad years and rough patches but my family always made a living from the beef we raised. Still to this day I earn a nice living ranching.

I support GISPA rule because I am a cattle rancher. I am passionate about the beef industry and want to see every cattle ranch be profitable for those with 5 cows to 5000. There is not a calf or cow out there that does not have a market value and the opportunity from demand for all beef. The current premiums grids are formulated to feed at best to pay 30% premiums for grade and label with 10% - 20% deduct below for average. Producers that believe in the premium system are just gambling that they will hit a lucky roll. There is no luck in this industry it formulated to produce the same outcome. This is not a conspiracy it is just a sound feed system to limit risk and sell a chance for little bit extra for producers. I don’t dislike this system but I understand the five-year average will hold the same. Weather, demand, feed rations all will effect production and the average will be the same with one or two good years and few bad. This is ranching with or without the GISPA rule.

Packers will keep banded products for beef it is the only way they can market their commodity for added value. That is just a fact of business in every industry. The GISPA rule only helps producer to make the right decisions for their operation by adding transparency to the selling market. None of us ranching will be the next Bill Gates were in the food business but every producer can see constancy in profitability.

Just to add something I do like about Rcalf their members that commented have paid into the Beef Checkoff for years. While I know many of the comments that opposed GISPA came from NCBA members that have never pay $1 to the Checkoff.

How do you figure that NO NCBA members have paid check off?
 
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J. Fisher: "Just to add something I do like about Rcalf their members that commented have paid into the Beef Checkoff for years. While I know many of the comments that opposed GISPA came from NCBA members that have never pay $1 to the Checkoff."

J. Fisher,

Don't know why you would believe that but anyone that sells cattle pays into the beef checkoff. The beef checkoff is not specific to any organization.

As far as GIPSA, do you honestly believe that we are better off with the government dictating how fat cattle will be priced or the free enterprise system?

As far as I am concerned, I will choose the free market system every time. If a feeder believes they are not receiving a fair price from Packer A in the cash market, they can sell to another packer under a different marketing arangement. If they are convinced that the packers are colluding on prices, then they can invest in a packing company and capitalize on their suspicions.

If you believe the fat cattle markets are being controlled, you'll have to explain how a controlled market can reach current cattle prices?

The fat cattle markets are driven by the supply of cattle relative to the demand for beef just as it has always been. The packers are the middlemen and they operate on a margin. If beef prices rise between the time the cattle are purchased and the beef is sold, they are profitable. If beef prices fall between the time the cattle are purchased and the beef is sold they will lose money all other factors being equal.

R-CALF is driven by consiracy theories that believe the large packers are manipulating our markets, imports are killing our markets, and captive supply arrangements are negatively impacting our markets yet we are facing the highest cattle prices in history with the same level of packer concentration, the same level of imports, and the same level of captive supply. How do they explain that? Bottom line, they can't. R-CALF is 0 & 9 in court. That pretty much says all that needs to be said about what R-CALF believes in contrast to the facts.

The GIPSA rules will only serve to make common fat cattle procurement methods subject to interpretation from lawyers who don't understand fat cattle supply and demand factors.

Stop and think about it. Feeder A sells his cattle for X dollars while Feeder B sells his cattle the same day for less money. Feeder B then thinks his cattle were discriminated against so he files a suit. Now the packer has to defend himself in court.

What constituted the difference in price? First, the packer may have had his procurement needs filled so he backed off on their price just as a feeder backs off on their price as their needs are filled. Second, the market may have signaled a decrease in consumer demand for beef and beef by products which would have affected the price of fat cattle. Third, the cattle on feed report may have came out signaling a bearish supply of fat cattle which justified the drop in price. Fourth, Feeder A might have been a long time supplier that would sell fat cattle to help fill a void in slaughtering schedule which justified a premium.

With so many factors playing on the market constantly, look how difficult it would be to sort those factors out. This is exactly what happens when the government gets involved in business.

Now just the opposite could be true too. Feeder A sells for a particular price then Feeder B sells on the same day for a higher price. Feeder A thinks his cattle have been discriminated against. The difference in price may very well have been market signals that showed a reduction in fat cattle supplies or an increase in consumer demand for beef and beef byproducts.

The GIPSA rules are so vague they will only serve to tie up time in courts trying to prove price discrimination against all the variables that affect fat cattle prices. It's a joke!

Lastly, why do cow/calf producers think they need to save the feeding industry from their price mechanisms? If the GIPSA rules were justified, wouldn't the feeding industry be pushing them? Know why they're not? Because they understand fat cattle market factors. Every week there is a tug-of-war between asking prices and packer bids.

Any added costs to the industry such as packer costs tied to frivilous court cases will result in less money being paid for fat cattle.

I believe the GIPSA rules, like "M"COOL, will result in unintended consequences. More government intervention always does.


~SH~
 

JFisher

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Packers have law suites filed against them all the time. I’m not going to look up the amount JBS paid in fines for the destruction of rain forest. Yes you point is well made SH that at first the GISPA rule would create a few more suites but in the long run the rule would in fact lessen the amount. It is adding transparency in the contracts.

I don’t know of any cattle producer that is so delusional that they think every calf produced is top grade prime. It’s a goal they strive to reach but they know there will be shortcomings.

Maybe the live cattle market is failed to keep up with the times. When it was started we sold beef only by grade no other labels where marketed. Today there are 27 different banded labels form gluten free to select Angus. Maybe its time for the pricing market to catch up, based on the price of boxed beef and increase the contracts to 12. We can get a better indication of pricing demand.

All in all I feel we have more issues than at any point of time and they are mounting daily. I liked the comment by NCBA that we are all in this together and I believe this to be true. The problem is that many cow/calvers feel like reality of today’s ranching is loss pass the independent feeders. Beef is one industry of many factions as it should be but how we turn this around and come together is belong me.
 

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nenmrancher said:
...SNIP...Just keep watching for them black copters one of these days they might actually be there.




Film exposes government raids on family farms

Saturday, June 18, 2011


http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/reading-ingredients-tales-health-conscious-mom/2011/jun/18/film-exposes-government-raids-family-farms/



Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:16 PM

Subject: MAD SHEEP MAD RIVER VALLEY FINAL REPORT

Saturday, February 27, 2010

FINAL REPORT OF THE TESTING OF THE BELGIAN (VERMONT) SHEEP February 27, 2010


(10 YEARS LATER, FOIA, none of the sheep had any TSE at all...tss)


http://foiamadsheepmadrivervalley.blogspot.com/2010/02/final-report-of-testing-of-belgian.html



Monday, June 27, 2011

Comparison of Sheep Nor98 with Human Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker Disease

http://prionopathy.blogspot.com/2011/06/comparison-of-sheep-nor98-with-human.html


TSS
 

Big Muddy rancher

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JFisher said:
Packers have law suites filed against them all the time. I’m not going to look up the amount JBS paid in fines for the destruction of rain forest. Yes you point is well made SH that at first the GISPA rule would create a few more suites but in the long run the rule would in fact lessen the amount. It is adding transparency in the contracts.

I don’t know of any cattle producer that is so delusional that they think every calf produced is top grade prime. It’s a goal they strive to reach but they know there will be shortcomings.

Maybe the live cattle market is failed to keep up with the times. When it was started we sold beef only by grade no other labels where marketed. Today there are 27 different banded labels form gluten free to select Angus. Maybe its time for the pricing market to catch up, based on the price of boxed beef and increase the contracts to 12. We can get a better indication of pricing demand.

All in all I feel we have more issues than at any point of time and they are mounting daily. I liked the comment by NCBA that we are all in this together and I believe this to be true. The problem is that many cow/calvers feel like reality of today’s ranching is loss pass the independent feeders. Beef is one industry of many factions as it should be but how we turn this around and come together is belong me.


You should run an auction barn and you will find producers that are delusional enough to think every calf is a sale topper. :D
 

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You should run an auction barn and you will find producers that are delusional enough to think every calf is a sale topper. :D[/quote said:
I laughed some when I wrote that myself. But I do find that most producers have realistic expectations only wanting a fair price. As complex has this industry is it is hard express comments simply without explaining every aspect..
 

JFisher

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I laughed some when I wrote that myself. But I do find that most producers have realistic expectations only wanting a fair price. As complex has this industry is it is hard express comments simply without explaining every aspect..
 

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It is irrefutable that discriminating against the cash market for the same quality of animal does bring the price of cattle in the market down and that is because so much cattle is bought on contracts based on the cash price.

It is called leverage.

The Packers and Stockyards Act has economic rules to disallow practices like this so that cattle ranchers or pig producers or poultry producers can indeed get the market price for their animals, not some manipulated price that is based on leveraged financial market games.

We forgot about the economic laws that would have saved us from the raping we just got from Wall Street. It was the Glass Steagal Act. The Senate voted to repeal it 90 to 8 and it lead to the taxpayer bailing out Wall Streeters who used banking money to leverage their accounts for higher profits. It wrecked the economy.

Senator Roberts or the meat packer's mouth pieces like editorial writer Troy Marshall are trying to do the same with the economic laws of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Senator Roberts also voted for the repeal of the Glass Steagal Act.

What crooks we have selling power to the highest bidder in Washington D.C., and the idiots who follow them!!!!

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
3rd-term Republican from Kansas.
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All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Financial Services:
Subject:
Did Sen. McCain's TRUSTED ECONOMIC ADVISOR Sen. Gramm, CAUSE THE CURRENT BANKING CRISIS while chairman of the powerful senate finance committee?

To:
Sen. Pat Roberts

July 19, 2008

Senator McCain's top economic advisor ex-Senator Phil Grahmm was one of the chief architects which led to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Repeal of this Act was most likely instrumental in creating the bank failures and money crises that we are experiencing today. Sen. Gramm, was Senator's McCain's top economic advisor until recently expelled by McCain for referring to Americans as a "bunch of whiners".

In 1933, in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash and during a nationwide commercial bank failure and the Great Depression, two members of Congress put their names on what is known today as the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA). This act separated investment and commercial banking activities. At the time, "improper banking activity", or what was considered overzealous commercial bank involvement in stock market investment, was deemed the main culprit of the financial crash. According to that reasoning, commercial banks took on too much risk with depositors' money.

The Glass-Steagall ACT had served the country well since the great depression by maintaining a stable banking system. However, after 25 years and $300 million of lobbying efforts, and help from ex-Senator Phil Gramm, and President Bill Clinton, the GSA was filially repealed in November of 1999.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, eliminated the GSA restrictions against affiliations between commercial and investment banks. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act also allows banking institutions to provide a broader range of services, including underwriting and other dealing activities.

Sen. McCain has stated that Sen. Gramm does not speak for him and Sen. Gramm has apparently removed himself as McCain's trusted advisor on economics. However, since McCain did select Sen. Gramm as his top economic advisor one can not keep from wondering if McCain actually shares the thinking of Sen. Gramm. Would McCain also seek to loosen our regulatory restrictions to accommodate big investment institutions by enabling them to speculate recklessly with the retirement money of ordinary citizens?

Hixson , TN
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Murdoch tactics are also used here


A column by Alan Guebert
Sat. Jul. 23, 2011

Rupert Murdoch came before a House of Commons committee investigating the misdeeds of his company's British newspapers with his heart on his sleeve; he called the day of his testimony, Tuesday, “the most humble day of my life.”

Humbling or not, he left the hearing unbowed.

Murdoch's explanation of what his firm's reporters and editors did in pursuit of flashy, trashy stories was disjointed and disingenuous. Moreover, he was defiant.

“No” was his one-word answer to the question of whether he, the boss, was responsible for any of the disreputable actions of News Corp.

That he reached the ripe age of 80 before experiencing his most humiliating day is both lucky and pathetic. Lucky in that he reached 80 before having it; pathetic in that he reached 80 before having to finally answer for the smut, smears and slop he's profitably peddled on three continents for more than five decades.

No one in American journalism should get too smug over Murdoch's mess. While our brand of reporting may not be as cheeky or cheesy as the British tabloids, we've published our share of inky and electronic stink bombs, too.

The fast, awful smear of U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod comes to mind as one of journalism's many print-first, report-later moments.

Another is the ongoing, orchestrated smear of J. Dudley Butler, administrator of USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

From the Colorado offices of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to Senate and House hearing rooms on Capitol Hill, nearly every reference to Butler and his agency's proposals to update GIPSA's rules contains a flat lie: that on Aug. 7, 2009, Butler publicly proclaimed a rule that would not be published in the Federal Register until June 22, 2010, “a trial lawyer's dream.”

How did Butler pull off that incredible feat of clairvoyance – offer commentary on a rule that was more than 10 months from birth?

NCBA has never said. The giant meatpackers, who are spending millions to defeat the rule, have never said. The U.S. senators and House Ag Committee members who repeat the lie have never said.

But that hasn't stopped the lie from being embellished and repeated in public and in print. On July 15, Beef magazine again breathed life into the lie by posting a column by a contributing editor that contained a fancy version of it.

The contributor, Troy Marshall, whose bio says he was a market analyst and now is a rancher, wrote, “For instance, GIPSA head J. Dudley Butler's comments about the new rule being a trial lawyer's dream were deemed to be so damaging to the rule's prospects that proponents tried to claim the meaning was taken out of context.”

Which proponents? When and where were the claims made?

Marshall doesn't say because he cannot: Butler never – couldn't – comment on a rule that didn't exist, and video, audio and transcripts of the August 2009 remarks prove it.

But proof won't slay the lie and its peddlers. Like baloney, they add just enough real meat to make it appealing. Anyway you slice it, though, it's still pure baloney.
 

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Guebert is a fruitcake and he is dead wrong about Shirley Sherrod. She should be in prison for shaking down the gov't in the Pigford case.
 

Tex

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Mike said:
Guebert is a fruitcake and he is dead wrong about Shirley Sherrod. She should be in prison for shaking down the gov't in the Pigford case.

Mike what do you mean about Shirley Sherrod? It was clear to me that the Shirley Sherrod incident that Guebert was talking about was the tabloid type hit by surrogates of Fox News who posted only a part of the video of Shirley Sherrod which was later proven to be taken out of context.

I have another incident that just happened, not with Fox News but with talk radio. One of the talk radio stars was talking about how the Danish and Norwegians allowed Muslims in their country and their tolerance was to blame for their recent terror incident. Of course now we find out that the terrorist was not a Muslim but an ultra right wing homegrown man(I don't know what right wing means in that country) and not foreign terrorists.

It just proved that talk radio has a bunch of blabbermouths on it running the talk show. It wasn't Fox News and Sherrod, but talk radio and the recent terrorist bombing and shootings in Northern Europe.

I can see what Guebert was saying about the Sherrod incident. It is pretty sad that we have such tabloid journalism being consumed as "news" and substituted for real journalism.

I would like to know what you meant though, about Guebert's comment.

Tex
 

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Minority Farm Settlement

Justice Achieved - Congratulations to Shirley and Charles Sherrod!

We have wonderful news regarding the case of New Communities, Inc., the land trust that Shirley and Charles Sherrod established, with other black farm families in the 1960's. At the time, with holdings of almost 6,000 acres, this was the largest tract of black-owned land in the country.

... Over the years, USDA refused to provide loans for farming or irrigation and would not allow New Communities to restructure its loans. Gradually, the group had to fight just to hold on to the land and finally had to wind down operations.

... The cash (settlement) award acknowledges racial discrimination on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the years 1981-85. ... New Communities is due to receive approximately $13 million ($8,247,560 for loss of land and $4,241,602 for loss of income; plus $150,000 each to Shirley and Charles for pain and suffering). There may also be an unspecified amount in forgiveness of debt. This is the largest award so far in the minority farmers law suit (Pigford vs Vilsack).

The Pigford matter goes back a long way, and to say the least has a checkered history, as this May 27, 2010 item at Agri-Pulse demonstrates (bolds are mine):

As part of a April 14, 1999 class action case settlement, commonly known as the Pigford case, U.S. taxpayers have already provided over $1 billion in cash, non-credit awards and debt relief to almost 16,000 black farmers who claimed that they were discriminated against by USDA officials as they “farmed or attempted to farm.” In addition, USDA’s Farm Service Agency spent over $166 million on salaries and expenses on this case from 1999-2009, according to agency records.

Members of Congress may approve another $1.15 billion this week to settle cases from what some estimate may be an additional 80,000 African-Americans who have also claimed to have been discriminated against by USDA staff.

... Settling this case is clearly a priority for the White House and USDA. Secretary Vilsack described the funding agreement reached between the Administration and advocates for black farmers early this year as “an important milestone in putting these discriminatory claims behind us for good and in achieving finality for this group of farmers with longstanding grievances."

However, confronted with the skyrocketing federal deficit, more officials are taking a critical look at the billion dollars spent thus far and wondering when these discrimination cases will ever end. Already, the number of people who have been paid and are still seeking payment will likely exceed the 26,785 black farmers who were considered to even be operating back in 1997, according to USDA. That’s the year the case initially began as Pigford v. (then Agriculture Secretary) Glickman and sources predicted that, at most, 3,000 might qualify.

At least one source who is extremely familiar with the issue and who asked to remain anonymous because of potential retribution, says there are a number of legitimate cases who have long been denied their payments and will benefit from the additional funding. But many more appear to have been solicited in an attempt to “game” the Pigford system.

Here are just a few questions about Ms. Sherrod that deserve answers:
•Was Ms. Sherrod's USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization's settlement?
•How much "debt forgiveness" is involved in USDA's settlement with New Communities?
•Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in "pain and suffering" payments -- amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
•Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?



Here are a few bigger-picture questions:
•Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
•Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
•Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?



The media and the blogosphere shouldn't be so quick to forget about Shirley Sherrod.


Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/examiner-opinion-zone/shirley-sherrod039s-disappearing-act-not-so-fast#ixzz1T5D6xJvD
 

Tex

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Mike said:
Minority Farm Settlement

Justice Achieved - Congratulations to Shirley and Charles Sherrod!

We have wonderful news regarding the case of New Communities, Inc., the land trust that Shirley and Charles Sherrod established, with other black farm families in the 1960's. At the time, with holdings of almost 6,000 acres, this was the largest tract of black-owned land in the country.

... Over the years, USDA refused to provide loans for farming or irrigation and would not allow New Communities to restructure its loans. Gradually, the group had to fight just to hold on to the land and finally had to wind down operations.

... The cash (settlement) award acknowledges racial discrimination on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the years 1981-85. ... New Communities is due to receive approximately $13 million ($8,247,560 for loss of land and $4,241,602 for loss of income; plus $150,000 each to Shirley and Charles for pain and suffering). There may also be an unspecified amount in forgiveness of debt. This is the largest award so far in the minority farmers law suit (Pigford vs Vilsack).

The Pigford matter goes back a long way, and to say the least has a checkered history, as this May 27, 2010 item at Agri-Pulse demonstrates (bolds are mine):

As part of a April 14, 1999 class action case settlement, commonly known as the Pigford case, U.S. taxpayers have already provided over $1 billion in cash, non-credit awards and debt relief to almost 16,000 black farmers who claimed that they were discriminated against by USDA officials as they “farmed or attempted to farm.” In addition, USDA’s Farm Service Agency spent over $166 million on salaries and expenses on this case from 1999-2009, according to agency records.

Members of Congress may approve another $1.15 billion this week to settle cases from what some estimate may be an additional 80,000 African-Americans who have also claimed to have been discriminated against by USDA staff.

... Settling this case is clearly a priority for the White House and USDA. Secretary Vilsack described the funding agreement reached between the Administration and advocates for black farmers early this year as “an important milestone in putting these discriminatory claims behind us for good and in achieving finality for this group of farmers with longstanding grievances."

However, confronted with the skyrocketing federal deficit, more officials are taking a critical look at the billion dollars spent thus far and wondering when these discrimination cases will ever end. Already, the number of people who have been paid and are still seeking payment will likely exceed the 26,785 black farmers who were considered to even be operating back in 1997, according to USDA. That’s the year the case initially began as Pigford v. (then Agriculture Secretary) Glickman and sources predicted that, at most, 3,000 might qualify.

At least one source who is extremely familiar with the issue and who asked to remain anonymous because of potential retribution, says there are a number of legitimate cases who have long been denied their payments and will benefit from the additional funding. But many more appear to have been solicited in an attempt to “game” the Pigford system.

Here are just a few questions about Ms. Sherrod that deserve answers:
•Was Ms. Sherrod's USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization's settlement?
•How much "debt forgiveness" is involved in USDA's settlement with New Communities?
•Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in "pain and suffering" payments -- amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
•Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?



Here are a few bigger-picture questions:
•Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
•Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
•Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?



The media and the blogosphere shouldn't be so quick to forget about Shirley Sherrod.


Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/examiner-opinion-zone/shirley-sherrod039s-disappearing-act-not-so-fast#ixzz1T5D6xJvD

I don't know much about the Pigford case and I see you are concerned about it.

Guebert's comment on Sherrod was not about the Pigford case but about the tabloid type journalism that allowed one of Sherrod's taped segments to be played incompletely which lead to a total misrepresentation of them. Guebert was commenting on Sec. Vilsack's too quick reaction to the tabloid journalism that put a lot of egg on his face.

Tex
 

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