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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

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Obama Targets Farm Subsidies As 'Wasteful'

POSTED: 05:43 PM ET, 02/25/2009 by Derek Kravitz

President Obama zeroed in on about $5 billion in farm subsidies as an example of the fedral government's "wasteful spending" during his first national address to a joint session of Congress last night.

Obama's attack on direct payments, a largely restriction-free subsidy system that pays out to farmers regardless of what crop is grown, is not altogether surprising. In November, the incoming president cited a Government Accountability Office report that said from 2003 to 2006, "millionaire farmers" got $49 million in farm subsidies despite earning more than the $2.5 million cutoff in annual income.

In last night's address, the first national speech for Obama a little more than a month after taking office, he told lawmakers yesterday that the country should end "direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them."

In 2006, a team of Post reporters -- Dan Morgan, Gilbert M. Gaul and Sarah Cohen -- published a nine-part series, "Harvesting Cash," investigating farm subsidies, including one article that focused on direct and countercyclical payments, the largest type of annual payments.

Between 2001 and 2006, at least $1.3 billion was paid to landowners who had planted nothing since 2000, The Post found. Among the beneficiaries were homeowners in new developments whose backyards used to be rice fields.

Direct payments, which date back to 1996 and now make up nearly half of the country's agricultural subsidy system, were meant to act as a trial run toward eventually getting rid of costly farm subsidies altogether. But the payments have grown into an even larger subsidy on its own, The Post found.

As Morgan, a longtime Post reporter who now serves as a fellow at The German Marshall Fund for the United States, describes it: direct payments are based on the farmer's record of planting specific
crops land prior to 1996. "That established his 'base acres,' which qualify him for direct payments that are, in effect, like a second social security check," Morgan wrote. (The Environmental Working Group's list of biggest recipients of direct payments along with a full analysis posted today.)

Farm groups immediately began weighing in today on the pros and cons of Obama's plan. Jim Lyons of Oxfam America told Reuters that ending direct payments would "level the playing field for small farmers everywhere."

But Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Association, released a statement saying "even deeper cuts in agricultural supports would have drastic impacts at the farm level and would certainly curtail much-needed economic activity without yielding deficit reduction of any significant degree."

The Post's Steven Pearlstein noted that the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.), was one of the only Democrats to vote against the stimulus package. "Guess he thought there weren't enough goodies in there for farmers, since when it comes to farm subsidies, his concern about the national debt seems to fade into the sunset," Pearlstein wrote in an online chat.

By Derek Kravitz |  February 25, 2009; 5:43 PM ET Harvesting Cash
Previous: CIA Officer Was A 'Con Man,' Prosecutors Say | Next: FEMA Grilled Over Unspent Aid, Unpacking the Pork in Omnibus Bill, More Mini-Madoffs


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Feb. 25, 2009
Alleges that Lt. Scott Easterling doesn't seem to believe that President Obama is qualified to hold Office; but wait, there's more,
they also allege that these allegations may be hearsay since no one heard it directly from the mouth of
Lt. Scott Easterling.

It might even be a made up story by an alleged attorney who wants to become world famous, a woman who allegedly used to be a dentist.

What makes the whole thing more strange, is last I read about her, she claimed to do an interview on BBC Russia, but I could not find any evidence of that on BBC.

Would it be possible for Washington Post to find out:
(1) is there such a person as Lt. Scott Easterling?
(2) is it true that he does not believe that President Obama is qualified to be Commander in Chief?
(3) is it true that he is an active duty Army Lt. and that he will refuse to follow any Presidential orders?
(4) is it true that Dr. Orly Taitz has a license to practice law? Is she from Russia? She is not a natural born citizen herself, right?

I am concerned about attorneys luring active duty soldiers into becoming co-plaintiffs in civil actions, and so I have written an Open Letter to Lt. Scott Easterling, assuming he exists:

Cris Ericson, Vermont

Posted by: crisericson | February 26, 2009 2:35 AM

Lt. Scott Easterling

I went to the Department of Defense, online, logged in and asked the U.S. Army a question, and they sent three computer generated links to pre-prepared responses that did NOT answer my question!

IS Lt. Scott Easterling a "real" person or a figment of the imagination of an attorney who was allegedly born in Russia, educated in Israel, and allegedly has a license to practice law in California, and is allegedly representing Lt. Scott Easterling as a co-plaintiff in a civil law suit seeking President Obama's original long form birth certificate?

IS Lt. Scott Easterling REALLY an ACTIVE DUTY member of the U.S. Army?

So, the government sent useless computer generated links which did NOT answer my question.

Is THIS an indication of what we can expect from President Obama's administration?

Will his administration NEVER answer questions?

So, in my frustration, I wrote a blog OPEN LETTER to Lt. Scott Easterling.

Then, I went back and took digital photos of applicable laws with my cheap little digital camera. Hopefully some people will have good enough eye sight to make us of them.

PLEASE feel free to download, copy, copy & paste, save to floppy disc, save to cd
all of my blog information.

My general complaint,
as a NON attorney,
is that all of the Court filings
I have read by attorneys
filing various actions
challenging if
President Barack Hussein Obama is QUALIFIED
to be President of the United States of America,

SO, this is my attempt to SHOW the public the laws and the Court jurisdiction that have not been used.

Attorneys who say the Certification of Live Birth of Barack Hussein Obama is forged or fake,
are like magicians
turning your attention away
from the material facts.

They all seem to me
like they might be working FOR
President Obama,
performing deeds of

So, here's my blog,
and in it are photos
of laws
that I would personally like to
see some attorney use.

Cris Ericson, Vermont

Posted by: crisericson | February 28, 2009 3:35 PM

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