As with much else in the current administration the Department of Agriculture seems to be spending more time on window dressing and presentation than on actually doing work that would help their constituents. Considering that Iowa’s main industry is agriculture and that industry is suffering greatly specifically due to decisions of the administration we should pay attention when the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, does something.
So I ran across a story on yet another case of putting more dressing on the window while ignoring the real problems of real farmers.
Remember that Sonny and his cohorts have brought Iowa the tariff wars with China that tanked soybean prices, the move of the department’s scientists to Kansas City causing the loss of some great talent, telling family farmers that small farms will fail and causing a huge drop in the use of ethanol by allowing oil companies to make gas without ethanol and basically creating farmer welfare that has already cost taxpayers more that twice what the automobile companies bailout cost.
With this string of hits it is certainly not too surprising that their latest venture is a podcast starring the very incompetent Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Sonny Perdue himself called “The Sonnyside Of The Farm.” As Mother Jones reports on this venture:
What do you call a white guy babbling platitudes? If you thought “a podcast,” have I got a new audio product for you. Sonny Perdue, former bumbling governor of Georgia and current bumbling secretary of the US Department of Agriculture under President Donald Trump, has launched The Sonnyside of the Farm. The podcast’s literally corny USDA landing page promises that Perdue will hold forth with guests on “issues facing America’s farmers, ranchers, producers and foresters today.”
From that description, you might expect to hear about Trump’s trade war with China, which has tanked soybean prices and inspired the administration to deliver $28 billion (and counting) in cash handouts to farmers, more than double the total price tag for the previous administration’s auto industry bailout. Or about the fury of corn growers at the administration’s recent ethanol policies. Or maybe even the climate chaos that has roiled farmers from the Midwest to the Southeast this year.
But in Sonnyside‘s maiden voyage, dropped a week after the House of Representatives announced an impeachment inquiry against Trump, the secretary mostly dispenses with the ag talk. His first guest is neither farmer, nor rancher, nor producer, nor forester. Rather, she is Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a career political operative now openly contemplating a run for Arkansas governor, best known for her stint as Trump’s extremely loyal press secretary. Perdue and Sanders chatted in Little Rock, and it’s worth a listen:
<<snip>> (podcast is in the article at the Mother Jones link above)
Then the two get down to business: lavishing praise on Trump, who they paint as a gruff but big-hearted leader who “loves this country” (Sanders) and “has an amazing instinctive ability to make decisions” (Perdue). Sanders makes the case that the self-evident virtues of Trump’s adult children demonstrate his greatness. They have all enjoyed “tremendous individual success” apart from their father’s business and political exploits, she insists, and yet they have “sacrificed” their personal interests to serve his administration, because they “believe in their dad, believe in their country, and want to see great things continue to happen through his leadership.” That sentiment inspires Perdue to marvel about just how much Trump “loves America.” He continues: “He doesn’t apologize for America, and that inspires me as a citizen, as a United States citizen of the United States of America—you can question the way he does things from time to time, but you cannot question his love for this country.”
About what you would expect from an incompetent bureaucrat inside an incompetent and bumbling administration whose only direction is to show unfailing loyalty to the narcissistic leader that gives little thought or care to the consumer of this tripe – America’s and Iowa’s farmers.
We need a new administration to reverse the policies that are killing our famers and we need to send Sonny back to where he can do little harm.