● Democrats are attempting this week to underscore the lack of movement on immigration reform in the House of Representatives by filing a committee discharge petition. If successful, this would get the measure to the House floor for a vote. This attempt has zero chance of practical success, but does serve to keep the issue in the news.
● This Sunday, I plan to travel to Washington, D.C., for a meeting on Monday of APAC, which is a committee that provides advice on trade policy to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman. As it happens, the executive committee of the National Council of Agricultural Employers is set to meet on Thursday, April 3, so I plan to stay over for NCAE’s meeting and return late Thursday to the Pacific Northwest.
● Two prominent people from the past made ghostly appearances on the obituary page last week: Robert Strauss who died at age 95 and Lawrence E. Walsh, who was 102. In the 1980s they were often times on page one of the national papers. Mr. Strauss was a major figure in the national Democratic party and a former USTR under President Carter, while Mr. Walsh, as special prosecutor, led the probe of the Iran-Contra scandal during President Reagan’s term. My guess is that many of the politically savvy young aides on Capitol Hill did not even recognize these two names as they read page one of the Washington Post (or, more likely, viewed the news on their smart phones), scanning to see who was being mentioned that day as top of the transitory political heap.
● The United Fresh Produce Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has scheduled a “Yakima Produce Industry Town Hall Luncheon” for April 9. United staffers Dan Vaché and John Toner are scheduled to be present on the 9th. The Northwest Horticultural Council, a long-time member of United, will be a co-host of this event.
● Political Fruit: Dried wild cherries helped save an overland party from scurvy, a party sent in 1810 by the New York City capitalist John Jacob Astor to establish a fur trading post at the mouth of the Columba River. Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire (2014) by Peter Stark is a well told tale of the first commercial explorers of what we know now as Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.