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Yeah, no s**t

From Reuters:

U.S. voters may face outbreak of "campaign fatigue"

I've got it already, with a year and a half left til election time.


I read somewhere this morning that the thought behind this whole thing is W fatigue. I don't know. I still know people who think the sun and the moon were hung by him (I'm exaggerating, but not by much - only the recent immigration bill has tarnished him in those eyes). I think it's mostly because there's no obvious "successor" in the side lines. When's the last time that happened?

1952, right? Truman didn't run and his VP didn't either.

In all honesty, I am kinda torn on this.

There is a part of me that recalls the excitement of the old NH primaries.

Then Iowa snuck in with it caucuses and changed a lot of things. First off, I just heard that we can all be expecting to pay significantly more in groceries coming very soon to our doorsteps.


Ethanol development is creating a higher cost for corn products. Less corn for consumption, ergo higher cost to us.


Because the pols LOVE Iowa and its corn crop and demands for ethanol fealty.

Forget that it will cost more to produce and distribute.

Forget that its less environmentally friendly than we have been led to believe.

No, the pols want it.


I can only hope that the tightening of the primary schedule will allow America to take a closer look at this scam and act accordingly, i.e., give the virtually all-white Hawkeye State with its sole agenda of enhancing its farmers a wide birth.

Look on the bright side, mal. The increasing price of corn may mean and end to the relentless infiltration of high fructose corn syrup into just about everything.

Wow, that *could* be cool! Coke could go back to being Coke again, instead of that syrupy mess they market nowadays.

Heh, the idea that the "pols" wanting of anything makes even the slightest difference in what this administration does is laughable.

Archer Daniels Midland, the agribusiness giant that has gobbled up most of the privately owned farms in this country with the help of the government, now wants top dollar for their big crop -- corn.

Nobody cares what the little people think or want. They are told what to think and want, and most of them follow.

Kinda off topic, but you know how popcorn corn is different from corn on the cob? Is the corn used in ethanol popcorn corn or corn on the cob corn and what about corn syrup corn? What's that?

"Archer Daniels Midland, the agribusiness giant that has gobbled up most of the privately owned farms in this country with the help of the government, now wants top dollar for their big crop -- corn." (BH)

Well, BH, in the U.S. corn-based ethanol has been the standard only because it’s one of the country’s largest crops, BUT ethanol can be made from any crop or plant that contains a large amount of sugar or components that can be converted into sugar, such as starch or cellulose.

As their names imply, sugar beets and sugar cane contain natural sugar. Crops such as corn, wheat and barley contain starch that can be easily converted to sugar. Most trees and grasses are made of cellulose, which can also be converted into sugar, although not as easily as starch, with the exception of saw grass.

In fact, cellulosic ethanol, the biofuel that differs from corn-based ethanol in that it can be made from virtually any organic matter, has made a very positive impression among many of the people who matter.

“Alan Greenspan, the revered former chairman of the Federal Reserve with a big distaste for irrational exuberance, recently sang its praises before a Congressional hearing on energy security. Greenspan said cellulosic ethanol is the only alternative energy source that could be produced in enough volume to make a dent in gas usage.

"You'll get an awful lot of investments [into this technology] coming in, especially if the numbers make sense, which I think they do," he said.

And last month Goldman-Sachs, the world's largest investment bank, poured $27 million into Iogen, a Canadian-based biotech specializing in ethanol made from cellulose.


And HELP may be on the way...from India!...one of your favorite places.

“India produces as much Barley, Maize, Oats, Rice, Soy Beans and Sugar Cane as the USA, even though, Indian farmers, use primitive farming methods.

The high starch, low sugar containing, sugar cane & sorghum of India, are ideally, suited to bio-mass conversion into ethanol.

India now has a surplus of Sorghum, that can be brought to new regional sorghum processing bio-conversion facilities, and economically processed into ethanol.

Ethanol International Ltd. is planning to build, 20 ethanol production centers in India's corn, sugar, and sorghum growing states, to help India, create fuels that will have at least 3% of ethanol by the year 2010.


And in actuality, ADM (a/k/a “The Supermarket to the World”) is a great company. When demand for any given product increases, it is incumbent upon those who produce that product to increase the price, as a brake against over-consumption, just as it’s incumbent upon the consumer to find cheaper alternatives.

If ADM can’t produce enough corn to make corn-based ethanol viable, without drastically raising feed and sweetener costs, etc. (which it probably can’t), then places like India &/or Brazil will wind up reaping much of the economic benefit from the ethanol boom...along with U.S. producers of saw grass-based and other forms of cellulosic ethanol.

When I hear names like Goldman-Sachs and ADM being involved in the development of cellulosic ethanol, I am relieved, because I'm pro-American and Goldman-Sachs and ADM are quintessentially American enterprises.

The great Archer-Daniels-Midland!

Price fixing investigation:

In 1996, ADM was the subject of a lysine price fixing investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Senior ADM executives were indicted on criminal charges for engaging in price-fixing within the international lysine market. [b]Three of ADM's top officials, including vice chairman Michael Andreas, were eventually sentenced to federal prison in 1999. Moreover, the company was fined $100 million, the largest antitrust fine in U.S. history at the time[/b](1997).[2] In addition, according to ADM's 2005 annual report a settlement was reached under which ADM paid $400 million in 2005 to settle a class action antitrust suit.[3]

Using the investigation as an example, Ronald W. Cotterill of the Food Marketing Policy Center at the University of Connecticut shows that 100 percent or more of overcharges resulting from price fixing are passed through to consumers.[4]

Howard Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett, served at one time as an ADM vice president and as a member of the Board of Directors. However, Buffett resigned as VP in the wake of the FBI price fixing investigation. In addition, he has since resigned his seat on the board.

Environmental record
Archer Daniels Midland has a been the subject of several major federal lawsuits related to air pollution. In 2001 the company agreed to pay a $1.46 million fine for violating federal and Illinois clean-air regulations at its Decatur feed plant and to spend $1.6 million to reduce air pollution there. [5] In 2003, ADM settled federal air pollution complaints related to the companies efforts to avoid New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act that require pollution control upgrades when a plant is modernized. The company paid $4.5 million in penalties and more than $6 million to support environmental projects. In addition, ADM agreed to eliminate more than 60,000 tons of emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, organic volatile chemicals and other pollutants from 42 plants in 17 states at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.[6]

Criticism of ADM

ADM's receipt of federal agribusiness subsidies have come under criticism. According to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, "ADM has cost the American economy billions of dollars since 1980 and has indirectly cost Americans tens of billions of dollars in higher prices and higher taxes over that same period. At least 43 percent of ADM's annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM's corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30."[7]

ADM's lobbying and campaign contributions have encouraged the continuation of the United States federal sugar program (of trade barriers and price supports) by Congress, costing US consumers roughly $3 billion a year.[citation needed] ADM also lobbied to create and perpetuate federal ethanol subsidies. Some commentators have concluded that the ADM experience demonstrates the need for campaign finance reform.

ADM advertises on national television, although it does not sell directly to consumers. According to the company, its "Resourceful by Nature" 2006 television advertising campaign is intended to demonstrate "...[the] relationship between ADM and the farmer — and its importance to the [US] economy and [US] way of life."

In July 2005, the International Labor Rights Fund filed suit against the Nestle, Archer Daniels Midland, and Cargill companies in Federal District Court in Los Angeles on on behalf of a class of Malian children who were trafficked from Mali into the Ivory Coast and forced to work twelve to fourteen hours a day with no pay, little food and sleep, and frequent beatings. The three children acting as class representative plaintiffs are proceeding anonymously, as John Does, because of feared retaliation by the farm owners where they worked. The complaint alleges their involvement in the trafficking, torture, and forced labor of children who cultivate and harvest cocoa beans which the companies import from Africa.

Wow, what a great American enterprise!

So you don't like Agricultural subsidies?

Who does?

OK, except farmers and agri-businesses, but ADM didn't create those subsidies, did they?

No, they merely took advantage of a government handout. Lots of people and institutions do that.

But once again, celluslosic ethanol Barely....cellulosic ethanol is the going to be the answer down the road.

They didn't "take advantage" of them, JMK. They lobbied for them and created them, to the enrichment of ADM.

No, they didn't merely take advantage of a government handout -- they wrote the laws they wanted and paid for their passage, transferring my tax money into their corporate coffers. Lots of "people" don't do that, only big corporations do.

Ethanol, much like Global Warming, is junk science. Taking into full account the energy it takes to produce the fuel source, there is a net energy LOSS in this scheme.

But go ahead, invest all of your money in it. ADM is far more powerful than science, and tax dollars will subsidize a failure into looking like a success while America is destroyed by greed and stupidity.

As a matter of fact, those subsidies were there LONG before ADM even existed, BH.

We've had agri-subsidies for eons.

And by gthe way, the original Model T ran on ethanol.

And cellulosic ethanol can be made from saw grass, among other things, so it's far more cost-effective than corn-based ethanol.

I think we agree that America's ONLY salvation is her global corporate network. It's the foundation of our economy (the world's largest and most prosperous), it produces all the goods and services we take for grantes and all those wonderful jobs that keep tens of millions of happy American workers (who live to work) employed...and able to more fully enjoy life through that work experience.

We humans are now creatures of technology and for that reason, we can't look at technology in a negative light.

What's the answer to the problems of today's technologies?

A simpler life, that's LESS technology driven?

Hell no! The answer is MORE technology - tomorrow's technologies.

What's the answer to global corporate entities holding sway over an increasing share of all commerce?

Going back to the family farm and the Mom & Pop store?

Again, we CAN'T! That's not an available choice. We've got to hope that corporations come to be better global citizens, and that's probably going to take some new laws and some basic regulation....but alas, the days of the Mom & Pop store have been replaced by that of the superstore that offers customers better prices on a wide variety of goods, previously unavailable.

In short, technology isn't "the PROBLEM," technology is "the SOLUTION."

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