Buried Lead

Seen the TV ad of Larry Householder in camo with locked and loaded 12 gauge shooting a television set out in a corn field, ending with “we stick to our guns”? Of course you have. And along with Analysis, you haven’t a clue what all that is about. Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias headlines Ohio State Rep. Larry Householder sues political groups over attack ads (4-18-18). “Householder alleges the TV, radio and printed ads — which make reference to an FBI investigation, which closed without charges in 2006, into Householder’s activities as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives in the 2000s — are false and defamatory, and asks a judge to pull them off the air. The ads were produced by the Honor and Principles PAC and the Conservative Alliance PAC, two Virginia-based groups that are named as defendants in the lawsuit, filed in Householder’s home Perry County on Wednesday.” “The lawsuit is the latest turn in the heated, months-long, behind-the-scenes political battle among Republicans to be the next leader of the Ohio House of Representatives for the session beginning next year. Householder is among the candidates vying for the position, which is chosen by Ohio House members. The position’s future is more uncertain than ever after former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s sudden resignation last week. Rosenberger stepped down eight months before his term was to have expired, appointing a temporary successor, amid an FBI probe into a trip he took to London last summer with lobbyists for the auto title-loan industry.” Same day, same news source, Laura Hancock headlined Payday lending bill advances out of Ohio legislative committee. Analysis found the opening line significant. “A House committee advanced a bill Wednesday morning that would cap fees and interest rates on payday loan businesses – after more than a year of the bill stalling and less than a week after the chamber’s speaker, Cliff Rosenberger, resigned amid a reported FBI inquiry into his ties with the industry. The House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee cleared House Bill 123 with a vote of 9 to 1.” Of equal importance “But Rep. Ryan Smith, who is running for House speaker, said it was time to move the bill. “Quite frankly the idea that we’re making progress in (negotiation) meetings when everything is stalled, stalled, stalled,” he said. “it’s pretty obvious what’s happening.” Later, Smith said his comment wasn’t a critique on Rosenberger but on the payday lenders, who he doesn’t believe want any changes in the law.” What could be more rural than shotguns, camo fatigues, cornfields and TV sets? Still the same day, Columbus Business First’s Robin Smith headlined: Central Ohio’s fastest-growing school districts are largely rural. “Delaware County leads off with the top two districts, with the top five rounded out by districts in Licking, Fairfield and Union counties. Another Delaware County district and four Franklin County districts fill out the top 10.” The rural burbs, not just corn sprouting and growing there! Analysis referenced all that to reference the AP’s Andrew Taylor’s headline House panel moves to curb food stamps, renew farm subsidies (4-18-18). “The hard-fought food stamp provisions would tighten existing work requirements and expand funding for state training programs, though not by enough to cover everybody subject to the new work and training requirements. Agriculture panel chair Michael Conaway said the provisions would offer food stamp beneficiaries “the hope of a job and a skill and a better future for themselves and their families.”” The bulk of the article is about the nuances. Toward the end: “The measure mostly tinkers with those programs, adding provisions aimed at helping rural America obtain high-speed internet access, assist beginning farmers, and ease regulations on producers. “When you step away from the social nutrition policy much of this is a refinement of the 2014 farm bill. So we’re not reinventing the wheel. That makes it dramatically simpler,” said Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., a former chairman of the committee. “Most folks are generally satisfied with the fundamentals of the farm safety net.”” The final lines of the article are “The House measure also would cut funding for land conservation programs long championed by Democrats, prompting criticism from environmental groups. At the same time, it contains a proposal backed by pesticide manufacturers such as the Dow Chemical Company that would streamline the process for approving pesticides by allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to skip reviews required under the Endangered Species Act.” Analysis finds various continuous coverage of the impact of pesticide use, in conjunction with rural gentrification (the 21stcentury’s version of the burbs) on insect population as well as those dependent on insects (like birds, aquatic life, amphibians, etc. and humans!). Just a few (from many available): from The Guardian (Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say, 2-14-18) “Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.” Burb bug zappers and Raid aside, have you seen a lot of bugs around outdoor lights at night? Or on your windshield? And from Wired (Not Just Bees: Controversial Pesticides Linked to Bird Declines, 7-9-14) “As neonicotinoid levels rose in streams, lakes and wetlands, populations of insect-eating birds declined. The pesticides appear to have eliminated the insects on which they rely. … There they can poison aquatic invertebrates or be absorbed by plants, eventually harming plant-eating insects.”  Along with Rachel Carson, the lead of the farm bill story has also been buried.

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