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Trump’s farmer bailout is now twice as big as the auto bailout as Trump begs rural America not to leave him: report

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When the president’s trade war began to hurt rural America, he used a huge chunk of his budget to issue a $28 billion bailout, which is twice of what the government loaned to the big three automakers. In the case of the automakers, the funds were paid back with interest and they did it earlier than expected. Farmers are not expected to pay back the government.

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Bloomberg reported Monday that farmers caught up in Trump’s trade war have come to rely on the government’s bailouts to keep their farms alive when China isn’t purchasing their crop.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has been the face of the Trump administration traveling from state to state and apologizing to farmers for the trade war.

“I sometimes see where these horrible dishonest reporters will say that ‘oh jeez, the farmers are upset.’ Well, they can’t be too upset, because I gave them $12 billion and I gave them $16 billion this year,” said Trump, who then added, “I hope you like me even better than you did in ’16,” Trump told a room of farmers over Perdue’s cell phone pressed to a microphone.

In August, Perdue was in Minnesota where he met Brian Thalmann, who serves as the president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. He lamented that Trump’s claim that farmers are doing “great,” was a lie.

“We are not starting to do great again,” he said. “We are starting to go down very quickly.”

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Rural communities would typically welcome Trump with cheers and applause, but after dealing with the trade war, support is quieter.

“The aid package that has come in is a relief, and it softens the landing, but it’s not a solution, it’s a Band-Aid,” Bloomberg quoted farmer Stan Born, who attended a Perdue event in Decatur, IL in late August.

When asked if the payments helped him break even, he said, “Of course not.” He’d prefer free trade.

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The agriculture industry has been the collateral damage in a war between Trump and China on manufacturing, technology and intellectual property.

“Efforts to cultivate China’s appetite for American soybeans stretch back almost four decades,” Bloomberg reported. “China’s purchases exceeded $12 billion in 2017, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. But they’ve pretty much dried up since the end of 2018, when China made goodwill buys as the two countries appeared to be close to a détente.”

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Sept. 1, Trump added additional tariffs on China to the tune of about $110 billion. China clapped back with its own tariffs on American-raised pork, beef, chicken and other goods. While the problems are isolated to mostly soybean farmers, it is spreading to ranchers and livestock farms.

“On Sept. 13, China’s state media reported that the country would exempt some American soybeans, pork, and other agricultural products from more tariffs,” Bloomberg explained.

“Net farm income is projected to be down 29 percent this year from 2013 levels, and debt to total $416 billion,” they calculated.

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Read the full report at Bloomberg.


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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