Grand Forks Herald Applies Double Standard To Republicans, Democrats

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According to the Grand Forks Herald’s editorial today, recently-elected Representative Kevin Cramer needs to prove himself on the farm bill.

“If a new Farm Bill passes out of the House Agriculture Committee in the next few months, Cramer should make it his mission to ensure that the bill reaches the House floor for a vote,” writes opinion editor Tom Dennis on behalf of the Herald. “One of Congress’ most epic failures in the past 12 months was its refusal to pass a new five-year Farm Bill.”

I’m not sure that passing an agri-pork bill at a time when the nation is flat-broke, and running a deficit of over $1 trillion annually, counts as an “epic failure.” And I’m especially not sure it’s a failure in the context of Congress refusing to budget.

It says something pretty awful about the priorities of some people that they want farm subsidies prioritized over a budget.

After all, the farm bill just expired. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget since 2009. Given that budgeting is kind of, you know, central to Congress’ constitutional mandate which is the bigger sin?

Which brings us to the Herald’s glaring double standard. They’re clearly going to be riding Cramer’s back about passing a farm bill. But where was the Herald when Conrad was refusing to pass out of committee for three consecutive years? They were busy adoring his “deficit hawkishness.”

Where is the Herald demanding that Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Conrad’s replacement, ensure that her party pass a budget in the coming congress, especially in light of comments from Conrad’s replacement on the Budget Committee indicating that there probably won’t be any budgeting done this year either?

All we’ll hear are crickets on those fronts, I’m afraid. Because I’m not sure the liberals at the Herald are all that interested in applying an even standard.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Jack Spendryple

    Well said. Spot on. Even when writing that Cramer was being sworn in they had to mention he lost to Pomeroy twice. I didn’t read them writing about Joel’s sister losing to fellow Democrat John Hoeven. This is the kind of crap they do year after year. It’s time for people who actually payfor this rag to cancel asap. Bigtime double standards.

  • splined

    It is a real pleasure not buying the GF Herald!

    • camsaure

      I dropped them several years ago. All they had to offer was 3 or 4 day old news, often incorrect and very left leaning partisanship. I have not missed them one bit as they have become so irrealavant. I wouldn’t even post a want ad in their rag as no one would see it.

    • two_amber_lamps

      I’ve lived here 5 years… I’ve not bought one copy…. nor shall I. Ever.

  • RCND

    Well maybe if it was truly a Farm Bill and not a Farm and Pork Bill we would not be having the discussion. Even then our country is at a point where it can’t afford to keep subsidizing everything, to include the sacred ag industry.

  • splined

    Congress needs to be prohibited from engaging in the selective agricultural investment and profit guaranteeing business. Their sorry record of targeting select farmers with highly discriminatory multimillion dollar investment/profit guaranteeing policies has destroyed countless rural communities by neutering the ability of smaller farmers to compete. To guarantee that the largest and obviously potentially most profitable business always will have a vastly superior incomes renders the smaller farmers incapable of competing in this highly competitive business. If congress is going to be involved in the safety net business all farmers are equally deserving of comparably valued safety nets.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      There’s that, but let’s also remember that farmers serve a very inelastic demand. Nobody is going to stop eating, and the population is growing all the time.

      If you can’t make money in that business, something is wrong.

      Instead of safety nets, we should be asking why it is some farmers can’t make a profit, and focus on making them self-sufficient so that farming doesn’t depend on a farm bill.

      • splined

        A major reason that margins in ag are tight is because of government not only assuming nearly all the production and marketing risks for many of the major ag crops, but also government guaranteeing a profit to many farmers with current prices and current government insurance schemes. Current farm bill proposals double down on these government risk assumption schemes with new and crazier shallow loss income guaranteeing schemes. When farmers have to budget for more of the production and marketing risks they are not as crazy about driving profitability margins below zero. Interesting how farmers small and large are more than willing to spend government guarantees available to them by capitalizing these guarantees into land values.

      • noblindersonme

        port ! WE Farmers don’t need your pompous opinions and you telling us what’s best for us!!! How stupid are you to question WHY we can’t make money sometimes in the business ! Ever hear of weather disasters!!!!! After a longer than a decade of flooding in our area I’d liked to see how YOU woulda made money!!!! You havn’t a clue do you? What would you have done after year after year of excesive rains that destroyed so much? Let the farmers fail here ? Then WHO woulda been left to volunteer at the fire departments that still would be needed out here. Who would be left to keep an eye on meth labs that woulda had free reign?Who woulda been left to keep all the infrastructure , roads up for all you hunters to come here on weekends! etc etc etc. Frankly without the ‘safety net ‘ you obviously have distain for , even the smartest , most energetic, most talented farmers (AGRI BUSINESSMAN to you) could not of survived in these adverse conditions. I oughta know , many of those wonderful farmers are my neighbors and even they are not magicians! How would you have grown a profitable crop during these floods ! I survived, asshat, and so did my neighbors, by hard work , guile , imaginative adapting , conservative money planning and working hand in hand with the local GOVERNMENT FSA and Federal Crop Insurance Agency that enabled us to survive ! Every farmer here did that! And that seems to disgust you! Well tough ! Someone so comfortably fed in your cozy armchair should not preach about how WE should do our sometimes impossible job!
        Be thankful asshat that I am out here working this land . if a whiner like you had tried to survive out here ,AMERICA WOULD STARVE!

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I think it’s perfectly valid to question why you can’t make money. You sell a product everyone needs to a customer base that gets bigger every day.

        • Bat One

          Your “hard work , guile , imaginative adapting , conservative money planning and working hand in hand with the local GOVERNMENT FSA and Federal Crop Insurance Agency” is all well and good, but if you can’t survive in business – any business – without sticking your hand in someone else’s pocket, and if you think that your business is more important than the financial righteousness of the country as a whole, then you are in need of some serious re-educating and another line of work.

  • Guest

    LOL @ ROB! So upset that the Herald is applying a double standard about the Farm Bill in the House but not the budget in the Senate, while one of his favorite attacks against Conrad has been the budget in the Senate but finds absolutely no fault in the Berg’s inaction over the Farm Bill. Only Rob’s demented mind would apply double standards over double standards. What a hack!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I guess I’m confused.

      I’ve been pretty clear that I consider the farm bill far less a priority than a budget. Also, Berg wasn’t and Cramer isn’t in the same position Conrad was. Conrad was the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and could have produced a budget for the rest of the Senate any time he wanted. He didn’t.

      But thanks for admitting that the Herald is applying a double standard.

    • noblindersonme

      be prepared for thin skinned port to get defensive. He is truly one to complain when he has been king of the double standard himself. Oh also be prepared to hear him nitpick that he is justified for his double talk because we don’t understand the nuances of his baloney , Remember when Berg ran against Earl and the BS set forth by port and the republicans was that BERG as a republican would be so much more able to get ‘things done’ beause he would have access the the GOP leadership etc , what baloney. Berg had NO influence when the farm bill was a necessity to get done , and since port did not consider the passage of the farm bill very important at all, ANYTHING he says on the matter is worthless , a fart in the wind has more weight that he on this matter and I say this as a Farmer of 40+ years. Let the pompous port come to the Farmer’s Union meeting and tell us that!!! hell, let him go the Farm Bureau ( more conservative and republican) and bitch how unnecessary the farm bill is. Frankly nobody in farm country gives a cow dump what port thinks!

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        I’d be happy to speak to either the Farmers Union or the Farm Bureau about the decrepitude of farm policy.

        Shouldn’t farmers strive for something more than dependence on the government? Why should the well being of farmers and ranchers hinge on the machinations of politicians?

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    Current farm policy actually benefits the big agribusinesses a lot more than it benefits the small farmer it is purported to benefit. It distorts markets and may have even had a hand in the “obesity epidemic.” Small farmers cling to it because it appears better than nothing.

    In a free market, some farms would close. If I start a business, I have to guarantee, so I don’t see why farming is different. In an ideal world, the sugar beet industry would shrink a great deal. Why? Because it’s cheaper to make sugar out of other sources. (I guess I’ve just guaranteed I won’t get a teaching job in the eastern part of the state!)

    On the other hand, we can’t market beef as grown in North Dakota. Why not? Again, it goes back to agriculture policy. I’m fairly frugal, but I would pay more for North Dakota beef, especially if it could be advertised as free of added hormones.

  • Stuart

    A e- mail addy should be placed on tis site so we could click on it and tell the Hearld that we see they are left wing and will not buy their paper until they change their bias and become more fair and balanced. Same goes for the Forum. State we will not advertise in their paper either.

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