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30 March, 2008 - Some Unfinished Business

It’s checkup time this week...time to check some unfinished business items on my agenda.

Let’s start with the 2007 farm bill, or should I call it the 2008 or even the 2009 farm bill? We are three months into the new year and by the end of March, still no farm bill, which means a lot of uncertainty for farmers and ranchers as we move into the planting season.

I still don’t understand why, after the House finished its version of the bill in July of last year, we are still waiting for a final bill to go to the President’s desk. At this point all my Washington sources say the Administration is dead serious about a veto if some of its reform demands are not in the final version of the bill. So, could we see an extension of the 2002 bill until a new administration takes over next January? I hope not.

Then, there is the issue of horse slaughter in the United States. Any comment on this issue will bring the nastiest of e-mails from horse lovers, but to those who worked to close the horse slaughter plants in the United States, I offer this advice I received from my Father when I was much younger...”Don’t tear down the barn until you have a better one to put in its place.”

I am now hearing the horror stories, even from serious horse people, about what is happening to horses who have outlived their useful lives. Thousands of aging horses turned loose to die of disease or starvation because their owners can’t afford to dispose of them in a humane way. Or, even worse, horses shipped into Mexico for slaughter under far less humane rules than we had here in the U.S. I suggest that those of you who successfully lobbied to close the plants should now provide the plans and funding to handle this growing problem and it shouldn’t be at taxpayer’s expense. You should have had the “better barn” ready!

Finally, when are we going to end the ridiculous waste of time of changing our time twice a year? I have lobbied for years to either go to daylight saving time or standard time the year round; after all, Arizona and Hawaii never change their clocks and they seem to do just fine. And to those of you who think we add an hour of daylight, remember my definition of daylight saving time...it’s like cutting a foot off the bottom of the blanket and sewing it on the top to make the blanket longer; it doesn’t work!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.


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