Trump has a long history of appointing administrators who undermine the agencies they lead. That strategy of sabotaging our government continues unabated:
As Homer Simpson might say, “It’s Opposite Land!”
You and I know these grand statements from T are just his 2020 campaign talking points. This is not an agreement amongst all the parties…
President Trump’s confident assertion that the Taliban is ready and even eager for a cease-fire demanded by the United States in Afghanistan’s 18-year-old war may be more wishful thinking than reality.
Declaring that the U.S.-Taliban talks he abruptly canceled in September are back in motion, Trump said during a Thanksgiving Day visit to troops in Afghanistan that the Taliban “wants to make a deal. And we’re meeting with them, and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire.”
“They didn’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they do want to do a cease-fire,” Trump said of the militants. “It will probably work out that way. . . . We’ve made tremendous progress,” he added.
‘American Soil’ Is Increasingly Foreign Owned
Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.
When the stock market tanked during the past recession, foreign investors began buying up big swaths of U.S. farmland. And because there are no federal restrictions on the amount of land that can be foreign owned, it’s been left up to individual states to decide on any limitations.
It’s likely that even more American land will end up in foreign hands, especially in states with no restrictions on ownership. With the median age of U.S. farmers at 55, many face retirement with no prospect of family members willing to take over. The National Young Farmers Coalition anticipates that two-thirds of the nation’s farmland will change hands in the next few decades.
“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins. “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”
Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.
There are two counties in this region with the highest concentration of foreign-owned farmland — more than 41,000 acres each. One of those is Paulding County, where three wind farms straddle the Ohio-Indiana line.
Higgins says that this kind of consumption of farmland by foreign entities is starting to cause concern. “One of the main reasons that we’re watching this … is because once a foreign entity buys up however many acres they want, Americans might never be able to secure that land again. So, once we lose it, we may lose it for good.”
His other concern is that every acre of productive farmland that is converted over to something other than agriculture is an acre of land that no longer produces food. That loss is felt from the state level all the way down to rural communities, where one in six Ohioans has ties to agriculture.
Angela Huffman is a sixth-generation farmer in Wyandot County, which, along with Paulding County, has more than 41,000 acres of foreign-owned farmland. Her modest, two-story white farmhouse has been in her family for almost 200 years. Her grandfather was the last person to actively farm the land here. When he got out of farming due to declining markets, none of his five children wanted to take over, and the cropland is now leased.
But Huffman, a young millennial who lives here with her mother, wants to try to keep the farm going and revive her family heritage.
Walking out to the barn, a huge white Great Pyrenees dog watches over a small flock of sheep. Huffman says she’s worried about the effects of foreign land ownership on her rural community — which she describes as similar to Walmart pushing local businesses out of the market.
“Right out my back door here, Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, has recently bought out a couple grain elevators,” Huffman says, pointing across the field behind her house, “basically extracting the wealth out of the community.”
To be fair, U.S. farmers and corporations also invest in overseas agriculture, owning billions of dollars of farmland from Australia to Brazil, but the Smithfield Food buyout has really raised concerns with American farmers. As part of that 2013 sale, a Chinese company now owns 146,000 acres of prime U.S. farmland.
Back in the Huffman farmhouse, Joe Maxwell is typing on a laptop at the kitchen table. Maxwell is a fourth-generation farmer from Missouri. He and Huffman are part of the Organization for Competitive Markets, an advocacy group of farmers and ranchers across the nation.
Maxwell points to the Smithfield Foods elevators across the field: “The money that those elevators used to make stayed within the community. Today the money those elevators make will go into the pocket of someone thousands of thousands of miles away. This is going on across America.”
Maxwell is concerned that, as other states put restrictions on foreign purchases in place, Ohio in particular is being targeted. “So when they’re looking for investments in the U.S. and agriculture,” he says, “Ohio’s a great ag state, and you don’t have any restrictions like other states.”
Nationwide, Canadian investors own the most farmland. In Ohio, it’s Germany, with 71,000 acres.
On the southern central part of the state, John Trimmer manages 30,000 acres of corn and soybeans for German investors. He’s been working with German families that have wanted to get into U.S. agriculture since the 1980s. “They started to buy land in Iowa and Minnesota,” Trimmer explains, “but right when they started, [Iowa and Minnesota] passed state laws which restricted foreign ownership.”
"None of them have an interest in the farm."
Instead, the Germans turned to Ohio.
But, Trimmer says, there is a misconception about foreign owners — that they aren’t good neighbors or good stewards of the land. What he sees is a growing divide between older family members who still live on the farm, and their children who have no interest in the family business and want to cash out the land.
“The last two farms we bought here, through an owner, her and her brothers and sisters inherited it from their mother, and none of them wanted to farm. None of them have an interest in the farm.” Trimmer explains that his German clients have established a reputation in the community for letting the tenants — often aging parents or grown children — continue to live in the houses on the farms they buy.
Sellers work directly with his German clients — instead of putting the property up on the market, the sale ensures that family members can live out their lives in the family homestead, while still getting cash value for the farmland.
Lisa Page finally speaks…and gives her side of the story of how she and Strzok were purposefully laid out for ridicule by T 'n Co. She will be exonerated by the IG report apparently.
The original IG on the FBI’s actions said that her affair with Stzrok was never to have been revealed and she was promised it would not. But she and Strzok begame huge punching bags for T and R’s.
Very interesting read.
She is convinced that she’s followed the rules. She is after all a lawyer and knows that she is a restricted employee under the Hatch Act and can’t engage in partisan political activity. “And I know I’m nowhere close to that,” she says. “I don’t engage in any sort of partisan politicking at all. But having an opinion and sharing that opinion publicly or privately with another person is squarely within the permissible bounds of the Hatch Act. It’s in the regs. Yeah, it says it plainly. I’m thinking, I know I’m a federal employee, but I retain my First Amendment rights. So I’m really not all that worried about it.”
So she hires a lawyer and meets with the IG, who interviews her a number of times. A very small number of people at the FBI know about the investigation, and it stays a secret for six months, and it remains a secret for six months, until the day after Michael Flynn pleads guilty. Then in early December 2017, the day after Michael Flynn pleads guilty, a story comes out about Page being under investigation for political bias—and it includes the affair. The affair was not part of IG’s investigation and not part of their review.
The Inspector General’s office had guaranteed Page and Strzok that the affair would not be made public. But then, The Washington Post included the affair in its story. And in a slip of a second, Page goes from being an anonymous government lawyer to playing an unwilling and recurring role in Trump’s twisted tweetstorms.
“So now I have to deal with the aftermath of having the most wrong thing I’ve ever done in my life become public,” she says. “And that’s when I become the source of the president’s personal mockery and insults. Because before this moment in time, there’s not a person outside of my small legal community who knows who I am or what I do. I’m a normal public servant, just a G-15, standard-level lawyer, like every other lawyer at the Justice Department.”
And despite how awful that felt, Page had no idea it was going to get much, much worse.
Trump’s ‘Truly Reprehensible…Stunt’
“After this comes out, there’s a firestorm, of course, and now the president and the Republicans on the Hill latch on to this, and it becomes about political bias,” she explains. “A week or two later, Rod Rosenstein [then the deputy attorney general] was scheduled to testify on the Hill. And the night before his testimony, the Justice Department spokesperson, Sarah Flores, calls the beat reporters into the Justice Department. This is late at night on a weekday. Calls them in to provide a cherry-picked selection of my text messages to review and report on in advance of Rod Rosenstein going to the Hill the next morning.”
Trump’s Syria retreat is giving ISIS ‘time and space’ to strike the West, blistering Pentagon report says
Multiple Banks Have Given Trump’s Financial Records To The New York Attorney General
Bill Barr Peddled ‘Made Up’ Theories in Front of Congress to Help Trump, Says Ex-Prosecutor
Scientists Warn: Nine Climate Tipping Points Now ‘Active’ – Could Threaten the Existence of Human Civilization
Greta Thunberg inspires hundreds of thousands of climate change protesters across Europe and Asia
NATO meeting comes as cracks in alliance’s armor – beyond Trump’s criticisms – begin to show
Trump Acting Out ‘Orgasm’ To Mock FBI’s Lisa Page, Peter Strzok Was Last Straw, She Says
Flashier headline…same info though…
yes, we get it.
Page (and Strzok) were mercilessly pummeled.