Dec 13, 2010
03:11 PMThe Wind Machine
The Lame Duck IV
● The 111th Congress continues its slow, staggering limp toward final adjournment, perhaps ending its active life by mid-next week. A quick state-of-play for issues of special interest to the tree fruit industry: FDA food safety reform is now highly likely, given S. 510’s embedment in a must-pass spending measure; immigration reform (the DREAM Act) is dead; the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act,” a major nutrition bill beneficial to fruit and vegetable growers was signed today by President Obama; and, a $5 million exemption is now almost certain for new federal estate taxes.
● “Sustainable”—when this nebulous word is used, be on your guard, especially when used by an agency that regulates, among other things, agricultural chemicals. For example, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a speech given on November 30: "EPA and the National Academies are convening the best minds in the field to explore the topic of sustainability and determine how it can be systematically incorporated into every aspect of EPA’s work. Sustainability is about understanding that environmental challenges do not obey bright lines or numeric limits. […] We’re ready to build upon the reactive responses—banning, reducing, lessening and minimizing risk—while we work toward the proactive efforts: creation, innovation, synergy and sustainability.”
● Tossing out the ancient wisdom of not comparing apples with other spheres, such as oranges or baseballs, it is striking to me that the New York Yankees have offered pitcher Cliff Lee a six-year, $140-million-dollar contract to come to the “Big Apple” next year. The annual budget of the Northwest Horticultural Council is $1.06 million.
POLITICAL FRUIT: “If anybody’s been paying attention, they would understand that our friends across the aisle have been blocking everything, including motherhood and apple pie for the last year.” Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri as quoted in The New York Times of 12/2/2010.