Jan 20, 2011
04:30 PMThe Wind Machine
Who's on First?
● This week, the president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, is in Washington, D.C. Last night’s state dinner at the White House started with a “D ‘Anjou Pear Salad with Goat Cheese, Fennel, Back Walnuts, and White Balsamic” and ended with “Old Fashioned Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream.” Among the invited guests were the governor of Washington state, Christine Gregoire, the past governor of Washington state and current U.S. secretary of commerce, Gary Locke, and Oregon congressman, David Wu.
● The New York Times reports today that Walmart is working with First Lady Michelle Obama to promote healthy foods. There will be a five-year plan “to make thousands of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats, and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.” As for the lower prices for produce, the company says: “This is not about asking farmers to accept less for their crops….” Anyone care to wager?
● Jim Miller, once a wheat grower in Washington state, announced this week that he is leaving his post as USDA’s Under Secretary for Farms and Foreign Agricultural Services. He has taken a job with Senator Kent Conrad (D/North Dakota) to work on the drafting of the next Farm Bill. This is a somewhat puzzling move to me: normally a top appointive position at USDA is preferred to a Hill staff position; especially, as is the case here, when the member’s office being joined will be vacant after the next election. Senator Conrad announced on Tuesday he will not run for reelection.