Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Washington, D.C.—Iowa Congressman Tom Latham met with the National Pork Producers Council recently. In the meeting, Iowa representatives from the council stressed the importance of international trade to the domestic pork industry, and specifically the pork producers of Iowa. Curtis Hollis from Waterloo, Scott Tapper from Webster City, Bill Tentinger from Le Mars, John Weber from Dysart, Mark Meirick from Protivin and Jeff Schness from Clive were on hand for the meeting.
"Amazingly, the Speaker of the House is blocking a vote in Congress that would open vast new markets for Iowa products," said Congressman Latham. "The Speaker should immediately move Congress on the Columbia Free Trade Agreement, the Korean Free Trade Agreement and the Panama Trade Agreement. There is no reason American products, like Iowa's pork and so many other products produced throughout our state, should be penalized by our own government when working with these nations. We need the Speaker to deal with theses issues, and we need her to do it now."
Iowa's pork industry, as well as many other Iowa industries, stands to gain economically with these treaties. "In a time of economic uncertainty, with recent bailouts amidst thousands of layoffs, it is imperative that the Speaker allow for these trade agreements to be addressed by the House of Representatives. The Speaker can no longer block American progress. Her reluctance to acknowledge these agreements and the prosperity they would create in Iowa and the rest of the country has caused the 110th Congress to be one of the least active and most obstructive Congresses in American history. Iowans need this. Americans needs this. The Speaker needs to call action on these agreements, and she needs to call for it now.”
Fifth Congressional District Democrat Rob Hubler met with the Des Moines Register's editorial board and has some interesting takes on the race with U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Much of the time dedicated to this site has been used for a venture launched in June when I wrote a column predicting Sarah Palin would be selected as McCain's running mate. Since that time I have been running a Web site devoted to news and commentary on Palin so please visit if you are interested.
September 19, 2008
Washington, D.C.--The Washington state Supreme Court ruled recently that the state’s smoking ban applies not only to businesses open to the general public, but to private clubs as well.
“It is bizarre that in a free country public officials are deciding the smoking policies of private businesses,” said Don Watkins, a writer for the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “Those decisions rightfully belong to business owners. Smoking bans, whether in private clubs or privately owned businesses open to the public, are a violation of property rights.
“Supporters of smoking bans claim that the government must protect consumers and employees from the alleged dangers of secondhand smoke. But they are already protected: no one can force them to patronize or work in an establishment that allows smoking. Smoking bans don’t protect the unwilling from smoke--they merely abrogate the rights of business owners.
“These bans should be disturbing to anyone who values freedom. If the government can trample on private property rights in the name of dictating people’s health choices, then smoking bans are only the beginning. Indeed, we are already seeing bans on trans fats, and even proposals to revoke the business licenses of fast food restaurants that serve overweight people.
“It’s time to end this trend and recognize the right of businesses to use their property as they see fit.”