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It’s Farm Bill Time, And All Amendments Are Perfectly Reasonable & Germane

Guy's got it madeIt’s farm bill time in the Senate, with the draft bill out of committee, debate open, and hundreds of amendments pouring in, all lined up just in time beat the June 30 deadline! The way they used to resolve all of these competing amendments and regional interests and endless lobbyist demands in the end was pretty simple — pay everyone off, and then pay them off again. But this time it’s an election year, the Senate is broken beyond repair, Rand Paul exists, and everyone thinks a few perfunctory budget cuts will make the Senate look like a responsible custodian of the nation’s well-being. What we’re getting around to is that there may be some grandstanding — yes, we went there — in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body over the next couple of weeks. Let’s check out but a smattering of the ~200 amendments that are very important to American agriculture and have a reasonable chance of passing instead of just wasting everyone’s time!

On the one hand, you have a bipartisan group of senators from farm states who understand how vital this bill is to them and would prefer to put the usual dumb games aside and cap voting to a reasonable number of amendments, to prevent the whole thing from either failing or taking the “10 years worth of temporary extensions that no one likes” option that our upper chamber has come to master. On the other hand, you have senators who see what we might call “opportunities.”

  • John McCain’s farm bill amendment “would require the administration to report by August on the full effects of the $500 billion in automatic defense cuts slated to take effect starting next year.”
  • Jim DeMint’s farm bill amendment “would repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.”
  • Tom Coburn’s farm bill amendment says that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program, heavily used by the San Francisco-based Wine Institute and other California farm organizations promoting overseas sales, couldn’t pay for ‘wine tastings’ or ‘reality TV shows.'”
  • Rand Paul’s farm bill amendment “would cut off aid to Pakistan.”
  • Rand Paul’s farm bill amendment “keeps the Department of Agriculture from carrying firearms in rural areas.”
  • Rand Paul’s farm bill amendment “repeals the federal food stamp program” and replaces it with small block grants to the states, which the states can then replace with large tax cuts.

There is also the huge question of EPA flyovers that monitor the growth of toxic manure pools that violate environmental regulations and kill everyone death drones taking naughty pix of the hardworkin’ family farmer and his small children while they’re naked. Rand Paul is said to be concerned.

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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    1. scvirginia

      How many farms does Monsanto own?

      Edit: Sorry, that was kinda snarky, but I agree that farm bills only help the corporations…

    2. James Michael Curley

      Somewhere on the Internets, because like everything is on the Internets now, is a 'manual' I read a decade ago which instructed small farmers on how to incorporate their family farm and take the greatest advantage of state, local and federal assistance programs. I threw it away, but I got it from a NJ Congressman's office who is notorious for calls to end welfare for 'people who don't want to work' and is tying up another endorsement from the Tea Party for this year's election.

    1. Serolf_Divad

      Actually, I'm kinda surprised the GOP didn't slip in an amendment making them permanent.

      Also, making African Americans 3/5 of a person for purposes of representation.

  1. Wile E. Quixote

    I'd like to see some Democratic senators play the same game. Barbara Boxer could offer up an amendment to eliminate any farm subsidies that are paid to states that are not net contributors to the federal budget. Patty Murray could offer up an amendment prohibiting the federal government from spending any money on hurricane aid for South Carolina. Dianne Feinstein could offer up an amendment requiring all Kentucky farmers to submit to drug testing since everyone in Kentucky is either on meth or oxycontin, Harry Reid could offer up an amendment prohibiting any federal money from being spent for tornado relief in Oklahoma since tornadoes are God's way of punishing the wicked, etc, etc, etc.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      No federal disaster relief dollars for Louisiana for any damage attributed to volcanic eruptions.

  2. Buckminster

    I like how all Rand Paul's concern about drones revolves around his inability to tell cardboard and plastic from aluminum.

  3. Chichikovovich

    Rand Paul’s farm bill amendment “keeps the Department of Agriculture from carrying firearms in rural areas.”

    What has Rand Paul got against the Second Amendment?

    1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      I do think anyone expects rational and consistent policy positions from the mini-Paul.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Especially since they just relaxed the rules to let every tom dick and randy carry guns in forests and other rural areas that the USDA might also be working around.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Yep. That's the conservative dream – everyone in society armed to the teeth except the legitimate authorities.

    3. imissopus

      Because Obama could reorganize the federal government to put FEMA under the Department of Agriculture, and everyone knows FEMA has several divisions of Army soldiers at the ready to send jackbooted federal thugs into rural areas to seize land and deport hard-working American farmers to death camps. Duh, has someone not been decoding the messages in the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle like the rest of the patriots?

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Sunday NYT crossword? Those idiots? Maybe the Junior Jumble or the Word Search.

    4. Guppy

      My question is why is it still OK for the jack-booted USDA thugs to still brandish weapons in urban areas.

  4. TribecaMike

    Rand Paul's bill doesn't go far enough. It's the Department of Agriculture's Children of the Corn Program that's causing most of the havoc in the fields.

    And don't get me started on the Dept. of the Interior's alien crop circle BS.

    It's Roswell all over again, my friends! Wake up and smell the kernels!

    1. Negropolis

      Ron Paul's bill doesn't go far enough. It's the Department of Agriculture's Children of the Corn Program that's causing most of the havoc in the field


        1. Negropolis

          That miserable little coat-hanger of a congressman in the Texas congressional delegation.

          But, if you're going to ask me how Rand got changed to Ron in my quoting of you, you're guess is as good as mine, because all I remember doing is copying and pasting your words. lol

          1. TribecaMike

            Oh, THAT Ron Paul! (I changed it from Ron to Rand after noticing the typo and right before you replied.)

          2. Negropolis

            I knew I wasn't crazy! Well, any more crazy than I already am, but that's a whole other post.

  5. HempDogbane

    Genuine farmer joke ! "Why do they only bury dead farmers two feet deep?" "So they can still get their hand out."

    1. anniegetyerfun

      My Canadian farming relatives are fond of this joke. It's not quite the same when they pronounce it "hand oat" though.

  6. UW8316154

    Meanwhile (back at the ranch), the Corn Lobby continues to get subsidies that poison America with high-fructose corn syrup.

    1. James Michael Curley

      They also want the OK to plant dioxin resistant corn crops so they can use Agent Orange laced herbicides to do a spray it once, kills it for years, weed eradication program.

      Welcome to the club to all you who did not have to serve in Vietnam? What club? The cloranacne, liver cancer, early onset ischemic heart disease, non-insulin responsive type two diabetes and prostate cancer club.

  7. GuanoFaucet

    Someone should submit an amendment barring Rand Paul from proposing any more fucking amendments.

  8. Jukesgrrl

    OT: In Tucson, tea bag candidate Jesse Kelly currently leads Democrat Ron Barber (endorsed by Gabby Giffords) for Giffords' seat. This isn't a primary. It's to send a rep to Congress to replace Giffords immediately.

    Kelly has run an absurd campaign, claiming to be the candidate who will "save Social Security" when he has said often (and on tape) that he thinks Social Security must be ended. His workers have removed all but two Barber signs from the streets in my suburb. My brother's house and car were egged in the middle of the night the other day. He's the only house in his development egged and the only one with a Barber sign in the yard. Coincidence?

    1. TribecaMike

      From what I can tell from the intertubes, Barber leads Kelly by a comfortable margin. Don't worry my friend, be scrappy!

    2. Blueb4sunrise

      Hey you Asbury Park Hooligan………
      I got.
      11% of Precincts

      Ron Barber81,381 53%
      Jesse Kelly68,093 44%

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Latest results (9:30p PDT)

        Barber: 52.57%94,390
        Kelly: 44.74%80,329

        With a Green taking 2.38%

        43.35% of the vote in.

    3. scvirginia

      You have my deepest sympathies, Jukesgrrl- I feel your pain. Here in SC, we had primaries, but many were uncontested since the candidates didn't read up on the new rules & so were ineligible to appear on the ballot per the SC Supremes. Somehow Strom Thurmond's son Paul was allowed to run despite being just 1 of 3 GOP candidates who didn't file properly?

        1. scvirginia

          No, it's his son. Just looks like he should be his grandson. Actually, his wife almost looked like his granddaughter.

          1. TribecaMike

            Hah! I read a book several years ago, the title of which unfortunately escapes me, about how Strom's pappy shot and killed a man on the street because he'd heard through the grapevine that the guy had been making googly eyes at Mrs. Thurmond, and how at the ensuing trial he was found not guilty. The theme of the book was how such American Scotch-Irish morality in the south fucked up many generations, both black and white.

          2. Estproph

            He was also the lead in "Hawmps". Saw it as a kid. Would not see it again as an adult. Also he was in The Longest Yard alongside Burt Reynolds.

            Weird. I've seen him in so many things, but never knew his name until now.

    4. Negropolis

      Ummm, what numbers have you been looking at? Barber's been running ahead from the very first vote dump, I believe.

      1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

        I'm trying to find the latest and can't find anything.

        This is the best I can find:

        Democrat Ron Barber, who was leading Republican Jesse Kelly 53 to 44% with 11% of precincts reporting at 11:30 p.m. ET

      2. Negropolis

        BTW, NBC called the race quite a while ago.

        This is not to mention the only real poll done of the race a few days ago showing Barber crushing Kelly, so I wasn't really fretting over this race like I had been.

      1. Jukesgrrl

        Gabby looks great.Obviously understands everything, is very animated and emotional.Still not talking though except for repeating phrases spoken by others and VERY scripted, obviously rehearsed snippets.A politician who doesn't speak.That could be a trend I could get behind.

  9. StarsUponThars

    Which senator's farm bill amendment stops the spending of billions of taxpayer dollars for ethanol subsidies to Monsanto? Yeah, that's what I thought.

    1. fartknocker

      The C2H6O subsidy equals about $1.00/gallon. This is why we can't have nice things because we're pissing away a $1.00/gallon tax break for Archer Daniels Midland. And the bigger turd is these folks also want exemptions when it's used as a automotive fuel from the gasoline tax. Goat fuckers.

  10. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

    Rep Pete King wanted an amendment allowing proactive ground-standing against anyone with "an arab-y sounding name" and another commending the IRA for "outstanding services to the semtex industry"

  11. TribecaMike

    Re the photo: Jeez, Dubya, it's just a corn cob. It's not like you're biting into a crowbar, or like those nights when your dad said, "Tell mama about this and I'll take her pearls away."

  12. Jukesgrrl

    OT: Yes, Barber has pulled ahead, but less than a quarter of the votes are in. I have to go out for awhile but I'll report again when I return. Maybe it will be over by then. The Dems here were reasonably confident. Said they even had some volunteers who were Rep-leaning independents.

    1. scvirginia

      When I checked the Tucson newspaper web site, it looked like Barber had it sewn up. Hope that's true!

    2. Blueb4sunrise

      They smaller populated counties [but no less wonderful…… smooooochies we LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU] are in so it's all Pima now.

      (14% of prec.)

      Ron Barber71,781 54%
      Jesse Kelly57,091 43%

      Ron Barber86,095 53%
      Jesse Kelly73,739 45%

      So Jukes is right that it ain't over, don't wanna get cocky.

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Latest results (9:30p PDT)

        Barber: 52.57%94,390
        Kelly: 44.74%80,329

        With a Green taking 2.38%

        43.35% of the vote in.

        1. TribecaMike

          Wonder if that "Green" is one of those phony-baloney GOP shills, like the ones the AZ GOP ran a year ago to siphon off naive lib voters who didn't do any research before voting.

      1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb


        Man, look at that twat. He looks like some small-town thug in court for assault and battery or some alcohol-fuelled bro bullshit.

      1. Jukesgrrl

        I've been thinking about you.I sent $ to Barrett, made my mother do it, too.We feel really bad for WI.I'm still holding out for an indictment.Best, J.

  13. Negropolis

    Debbie, my senator, is doing god's work having to deal with these bastards on this farm bill.

  14. LesBontemps

    I never knew Rand Paul had such deep commitment to agricultural issues. He is truly the farmer's friend.

  15. badgitator

    The important unanswered question here is when will pot be legalized so that the government can start paying me to not grow marijuana?

  16. SayItWithWookies

    Rand Paul’s farm bill amendment “repeals the federal food stamp program” and replaces it with small block grants to the states, which the states can then replace with large tax cuts.

    Now wait a minute — how the hell do you replace block grants with tax cuts? That's like paying for a car by burning money. But then the premise is that Rand Paul understands math, which clearly is a leap.

    1. swordfis

      But aren't food stamp recipients the evil moochers who don't pay taxes? So how can the state cut their taxes?

  17. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Where is the amendment to require women to register their vagina and uterus so that only their lawfully married husband can cultivate his seed?

    1. TribecaMike

      The Jesse Helms Memorial Anti-Twat Bill is presently making it's way through the House, and the National Review says it has teeth.

      Or maybe I'm thinking of a grade Z 1970's horror flick.

    1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      Nah, it's happening to everyone, I think.

      Some I see (e.g. the fine attorney Mr Hutz just above you), but most are blank. It's just intensedebate being a bit shite, I reckon.

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Interestingly enough, I can't see yours or fuflans. No real rhyme or reason, other than it seems that most of the ones I can see (but not all), have been peed on less than 100 times.

        1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

          Yeah, me neither. At least it's consistent across different people, which makes me think intensedebate.

    2. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      Yeah, I'm only getting about 1/2 the avatars. And they have seemed funky for a few days now.

      1. Oblios_Cap

        I think they want us to use Gravatars; it appears that's the default mode in our profiles.

  18. glamourdammerung

    I am fine with the farm bill failing as I am tired of paying for "red state" welfare queens, especially the corporate variety (and particularly the ones in Kentucky). The government has no place picking winners and losers, right?

          1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

            Aha, sneak late reply!!!

            Don't worry about it. We can't all be on top of our game all the time.

  19. iburl

    My bipartisan Zombie Apocalypse amendment would make face eating bath salt abuse punishable by being strapped to a drone and dropped off in Iran.

  20. Callyson

    John McCain’s farm bill amendment “would require the administration to report by August on the full effects of the $500 billion in automatic defense cuts slated to take effect starting next year.”

    Defense contractors have to stop charging $600 for a toilet seat

    Jim DeMint’s farm bill amendment “would repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.”

    Those farms have to get fertilizer from some place, and they've come to like the crap from Wall Street

    Tom Coburn’s farm bill amendment says that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program, heavily used by the San Francisco-based Wine Institute and other California farm organizations promoting overseas sales, couldn’t pay for ‘wine tastings’ or ‘reality TV shows.’”

    If wine in a box is good enough for Oklahoma, it'll do for you hippies and foreigners

    Rand Paul’s farm bill amendment would…

    Promote Rand Paul, of course. Oh. and make his toilet work, also, too

  21. Jukesgrrl

    Thanks for caring about our little Arizona election, folks. The bagger has, indeed, been defeated in this 'burg. Barber was just interviewed on local TV. He was asked if he thought his victory had any national implications. He immediately replied, "No." He said people in Southern Arizona have three very specific issues: improving border security, protecting Social Security, and taking care of the many veterans we have sent to war from this district. He said he didn't think that had all that much to do with the national picture but it's what he feels he was elected to go to Washington and act on.

    One beacon of hope for the future: Jesse Kelly was defeated by a significantly bigger margin than the one Gabby Giffords squeaked by with two years ago.

    1. TribecaMike

      Great comment, Jukesgrrl. I don't know Barber personally, but I know folks who've known him for many years and they've always said he was a smart and decent guy, but the main knock I've heard about him this year was he and his staff need to pay more attention to down-home Pima County issues. But now that the campaign is over, he'll no doubt figure that one out. Plus, in his newly redrawn district, he has a lot less conservatives to pander to than Gabby had to, so he just may be around for a long time. And as a bearded person myself, I hope he keeps the Colonel Sanders look.

      Good news out of AZ is always welcome news.

      1. Negropolis

        I was under the impression that the new district to take shape in November was more conservative, not less. I had heard that the new district is going to be tougher for a Democrat to hold.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          There's confusion about that even in the neighborhood. On the map it seems to me to be problematic — a lot of rural which usually means Bibles. But when the redistricting was completed, the Republicans sued to have it rescinded since they thought they were getting screwed. Judge said it was done fair and square. So who knows.

          I think one thing the Barber election makes clear: we have four parties here: Democrats, old-fashioned Republicans (the stereotypical retiree from Minnesota), the Green Party (which always draws several thousand), and crackpots. There are a lot of crackpots and their numbers seem to wax and wane. The full moon was over shortly before this election, so we came out ahead this time.

  22. bringmeanaxe

    Thanks, Rand Paul. Now, all those Pakistani farmers are going to be pissed at us.

  23. DerrickWildcat

    If you've ever been on a good size feedlot (sigh, I actually lived on one for a year when I was a kid. I was miserable) you'd know why the Man wants to take a look-see at them.

      1. James Michael Curley

        On no avatar Wednesday you can go to the office naked and no one will recognize you.

  24. arihaya

    nothing good ever came from SC's senators, first that maid-raping Storm Thurmond and now .. this Wall St-sucking DeMinted person

  25. Terry

    So, Rand Paul wants to do away with food stamps? Let's take a look at the use of food stamps in Kentucky, the State he represents.

    Number of Kentucky people participating in Feb 2012:840,590
    Total $ distributed to KY residents via food stamps in Feb 2012: $106,657,178
    Average Monthly Food Stamp Benefits per Participant in FY11: $127.60

    So, there are more than 800,000 people in KY the junior senator from that State wants to screw out of $127.60 a month that can only be used for food and food related products.

    I wonder if those people vote and that they realize that Rand Paul thinks they should be a bit hungrier.

    1. Guppy

      Kentucky's food stamp recipients all tend to live in "Real America" and are more than willing to sacrifice their $120 in order to ensure those "urban" (read "blah") welfare queens stop driving Cadillacs.

      1. Terry

        I suspect more than a few of Rand Paul's supporters don't connect his desire to cut Federal assistance with those checks they themselves receive.

  26. anniegetyerfun

    I thought libertarians wanted everyone to be armed, because that way, everyone would be polite?

  27. BaldarTFlagass

    Oh no! I'm a featureless generic round-headed white person with no shoulders living in a gray world!

    Well, that's probably more reflective of reality than I'd care to admit.

  28. randcoolcatdaddy

    I've never really thought about it before, but George W. Bush was very much like corn.

    The way it gets caught in your teeth is very annoying. When processed, it's too sugary and bad for your health. When consumed, it doesn't digest well and pretty much comes out the way it went in. And, when you're finished with it, it leaves a bunch of cobs around and you have to figure out what you're going to do with them.

    Of course, all these problems are solved with corn if you just forget about doing anything serious with it and just make moonshine instead.

  29. Tundra Grifter

    Remember how the right wing nutz wanted to repeal the estate ("death") tax because families were losing their farms when Mom and Pop kicked the bucket and the back and front 40 had to be sold for those terrible Federal taxes and everything?

    The only trouble was nobody – as in no one, not one person, not a soul on the face of God's green earth – could come up with a single – just ONE – fucking case where this actually happened.

  30. ttommyunger

    Wait? What? Ron Paul's slack-jawed mouth breathing spawn is a United States Senator? We are so fucked!

  31. MissNancyPriss

    Finished reading the amendments and am now preparing to hang myself in my office.

Comments are closed.