A Political Tall Tale

What if we took the American media and applied their methods to other ventures?

Good morning America, this is Bob Goodhair. We have breaking news from Podunk, Iowa where farmer John Smith, a Republican, has just returned after seeding 40 acres of his farmland. Reporters are on the scene. We go now to Tyrone Remote, on the road just outside Smith’s farm.

“Good morning, Bob. I have it from reliable sources at the feed and grain store that Farmer Smith has planted all forty acres with soybeans. This is somewhat of a surprise because last year in the same field he planted corn. Now, people want to know how this change from corn to soybeans will affect America’s energy independence without corn from these fields to convert to ethanol. Equally concerning is the fact that with less corn to export, will this have an impact on our relations with Canada and Mexico? Canadian cattle farmers depend on corn to feed their herds and the need for corn in the diets of everyday Mexican citizens is well known. Is he trying to cripple the Canadian cattle industry, or starve Mexican children? I’m not sure what has driven Farmer Smith to take such cavalier measures. This is Tyrone Remote at the site of this rapidly evolving international incident.”

Thank you, Tyrone.

With me in the studio is Ralph Cademia, Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. Professor, what is your reaction to this incident?

“Thank you, Bob, it’s good to be here.

“First, let me point out that the shift from corn to soybeans is especially troubling at this particular time. The United States has shifted its focus in a ‘pivot to the Pacific’ and this plays right into that scenario. The Pacific Rim countries such as China, Japan and South Korea are notable for their preference of soy products in everything from soy sauce to tofu. This latest incident shows a strategic shift away from North America economic needs and a catering to Asia where we already have a huge trade disadvantage.”

Now, professor, won’t soybeans be helpful since exporting them to China would actually help narrow the trade gap?

“On the surface, one might think so, but this is a much larger problem than that. Soybeans sent to China must be shipped both by land and by sea. With most freight hauling ships registered in other countries, we’re abdicating this process the minute the crop reaches the seaport. The international implications are staggering.”

Thank you, professor. We now take you to Washington, DC and political correspondent Jan Janus. Jan?

“Thank you, Bob. I must say that this is a typical Republican move, placing profits above people. It is important that people realize that soybeans need somewhat less water than corn and mature faster, thereby making the time from planting to harvesting and the cost of growing soybeans more advantageous to the farmer. Once again the middle class and the economically challenged are cast aside in the name of profit.”

I’m sorry, Jan, but need to go to an update from Tyrone Remote, just outside Farmer Smith’s field.

“Thank you, Bob. I’ve been speaking with everyone here in Podunk, and have come across some interesting information. It seems that Farmer Smith engages in a practice called ‘rotating his crops.’ He plants soybeans one year, sorghum the next, corn in the third year and allows the field to lie ‘fallow’ the fourth year. This ‘fallow’ year is when no crop is planted in this field, obviously a tactic to cash in on corporate welfare and be paid for not growing a crop. If you look at this pattern, you’ll notice that every election year, and by that I mean every presidential election year, Farmer Smith grows soybeans – and always after the year in which this ‘fallow’ dodge takes place.”

Tyrone, we’ll be back with you in just a moment, but first some further insight here in the studio as we go to political correspondent James Truckville.

“That’s right, and this whole situation is just outrageous. It’s outrageous, I tell you. Fortunately, a poll just released by Pee-Yew Research indicates that most Americans are highly suspicious of Farmer Smith’s intentions. This poll interviewed 350 people by telephone and is considered accurate plus or minus 50%.”

Thank you, James – a pleasure as always. In our effort to be fairly balanced, I am pleased to welcome Russ Limbo with his view on this important story. Russ?

“Thanks, Bob. As you know, I’m always right, and I’m here to straighten everyone out. It’s the liberal lamestream media that is responsible for this travesty. There’s no question about Farmer Smith’s birth certificate – as a natural born American he’s just trying to make a living so he can pass this farm down to his family without it being destroyed by the capital gains tax. If you look hard enough, you’ll find that this whole situation is covered with the fingerprints of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Al Franken. I have not seen things get so bad since Bill Clinton tried to sell his saxophone to Monica Lewinsky. Where’s Ronald Reagan when we need him?”

Thanks, Russ. Now, let’s return one last time to Tyrone Remote in Podunk. Tyrone, what’s next in this breaking news story?

“Well, Bob, in a few days – a week at most – these soybeans will begin to sprout and the seeds will turn into little plants, just like in this graphic you can see on your television screen. Then it will take around three months before the crop is ready for harvest.”

A sticky situation to be sure. Let’s hope the President can work out a solution with Congress in that time. With Breaking News, this is, once again, Bob Goodhair.


 

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