Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vilsack Confirmation Hearing, Part 3

Just one more excerpt (another here) from the Vilsack hearing and I'm done.

Here is Senator Roberts interviewing former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Roberts reveals what I'd say is a bias that exists against those whose mission (some say) clashes with the important work of "production agriculture" farmers - "the folks who produce the food and fiber for America and a troubled and hungry world," says Sen. Roberts.

At about 1:38:00 into the 2.5-hour hearing, Sen. Roberts says:
"Now Governor, we're sitting here in, what is it, Dirksen G-50, and this is the scene of the great Ag Conference Committee that produced the farm bill. It was a little unusual, the chairman and I were a little startled to see that we had 61 members at that Ag conference where we usually have about 20. I made the comment when, the person allegedly in charge of the House, made 4 speeches and said 4 times he didn't know why he was there."

"I also made the comment that it looked like the bar scene from Star Wars but that may be a little ... a little drastic."
Anyone from the small farm contingent would have reveled in Vilsack's look of astonishment at that point.
"But there were a lot of people there that weren't involved in production agriculture. I have no problem with the programs that they want. But they actually acted like Lizzie Borden, after they gave us one whack - why they gave us about 41 others."
Senator Roberts is a respected authority on agriculture in Congress. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture from 1995-1997, and was recently Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics (1999-2001), and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2003-2007).

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