Posts tagged ‘pork’

Cutting the tails off of pigs in factory farms

[S]tandard-issue hog farming involves the practice of tail docking—that is, shortly after piglets are born, their tails are cut off short. You might ask: why would we need to cut the tails off of pigs? Good question! Pig tails need to be cut off, in factory farms, because the pigs stand around all day in tiny, crowded spaces. Some of them seek to amuse themselves by biting other pigs on the tail. Often, the pigs being bitten are really just too listless to stop the biting. So their tails bleed. This can lead to infection, of course, but it could also lead to cannibalistic attacks on the bleeding hog—after all, pigs are omnivores! Now, having the tails docked won’t prevent tail biting, because there’s still a stump. But the stump is extremely sensitive, so even an otherwise very listless pig is likely to quickly put a stop to anyone’s gnawing on his stump. Hence, the infections or cannibalistic attacks can be prevented.

Now, tail docking is an extra task, requiring extra labor from pig farmers. So it would be nice if it were unnecessary. Fortunately, science plans to come to the rescue here—we’re working on isolating the stress gene in hogs, so that we can create new hogs that can be crowded into horrific conditions without becoming stressed out. If they’re not stressed into listlessness, they’re more likely to react quickly to anyone’s biting their tail. Problem solved.

Joel Salatin’s “The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs”

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Chris Christie, Demagogue and Statist

Chris Christie wants to be the next Moral Preener in Chief

Matt Welch Discusses Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul on MSNBC

It’s a fundamental error partisans on both sides make to believe that problems with abusive government arise only or primarily when the “bad guys” are in power. It’s not surprising that strong partisans tend to be more forgiving when their own side is in control. But if you are a “libertarian-minded” conservative, that means that you have an underlying ideology beyond mere partisanship, and that ideology, if nothing else, cautions against giving the government too much power, especially when that power is exercised in secret and reviewed only in secret hearings and by secret courts. So, in fact, “it is entirely understandable that libertarian-minded conservative should distrust [ANY] administration” and not only “resist endowing it with unnecessary additional powers,” but try to check the abuse and potential abuse of powers already granted.

The fact that so many Republicans were willing to vote against NSA surveillance despite the argument that they were voting against policies advocated and implemented by the Bush Adminsitration and therefore were undermining the Bush-initiated War on Terror can be seen as a rare (albeit partial) vindication of the GOP’s purported limited government ideology against partisan drivel and the sort of demagoguery recently exhibited by Governor Chris Christie,* who seems to think that saying “9/11 widows” is a persuasive policy argument. That’s not only cheap demagoguery, it makes one wonder about how secure the rights of the accused would be in a “former prosecutor” Christie administration, given that there are a lot more victims of violent crime out there than there are victims of 9/11.

Andrew McCarthy’s Fundamental Error

My second was, haven’t the arguments for unrestrained spying gotten any better over the last 11 years? Talk to the “widows and orphans,” visualize a smoking crater, and write a blank check to the Security-Industrial Complex?

That took some chutzpah: The debate Obama allegedly welcomes is only taking place because a former NSA contractor revealed that the administration had been lying to the public about bulk data collection. During the July 24 debate, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., one of the PATRIOT Act’s principal authors, reaffirmed that it was never intended to make every American’s call records “relevant” to terrorism investigations.That, apparently, is the kind of debate over NSA spying that Christie’s pal, President Obama, “welcomes.” Just before the vote on the Amash amendment, the White House charged that “this blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.”

Contra Christie, the implications of the administration’s sweeping legal theory aren’t particularly “esoteric.” Last Tuesday, Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., explained: “If you know who someone called, when they called, where they called from, and how long they talked, you lay bare the personal lives of law-abiding Americans to the scrutiny of government bureaucrats.”

Chris Christie Bellyflops on NSA Spying and Libertarianism

Continue reading ‘Chris Christie, Demagogue and Statist’ »

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Earmarking / Earmarks / Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Earmarking / Earmarks / Miscellaneous Tariff Bills

Little Piggys
Creative Commons License photo credit: Beau B

Earmarking: Either of the following:
(1) Dedicating collections by law for a specific purpose or program. Earmarked collections include trust fund receipts, special fund receipts, intragovernmental receipts, and offsetting collections credited to appropriation accounts. These collections may be classified as budget receipts, proprietary receipts, or reimbursements to appropriations.

(2) Designating any portion of a lump-sum amount for particular purposes by means of legislative language. Sometimes, “earmarking” is colloquially used to characterize directions included in congressional committee reports but not in the legislation itself, i.e., “directed congressional appropriations.”

Also called “pork” and “bringing home the bacon”.

Miscellaneous Tariff Bills: The Committee on Ways and Means in the House of Representatives has initial jurisdiction over legislation to amend the U.S. tariff schedule and to make corrections to trade legislation. Miscellaneous tariff bills (MTBs) request the temporary reduction or suspension of duties on certain U.S. imports or request other technical corrections to the U.S. Harmonized Tariff System.

The primary purpose of such bills is to help U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on intermediate products or materials that are not made domestically, or where there is no domestic opposition. Such reductions or suspensions reduce costs for U.S. businesses and ultimately increase the competitiveness of their products.

The Committee on Ways and Means issues a public notice inviting Members of Congress to introduce bills by a set deadline. After collecting and reviewing bills introduced by this deadline, the Subcommittee on Trade issues an advisory requesting public comment on the bills. In addition, the Subcommittee requests a review and analysis of each bill from the Department of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the International Trade Commission (ITC). USTR reviews each bill for trade policy considerations.

As a general rule, MTB requests should be “non-controversial,” meaning there should be no domestic production of a competing product (or opposition from domestic U.S. producers) and a bill should not operate retroactively or create excess revenue losses. The Committee can weigh other factors on a case-by-case basis as can the administration during its review.

Once the House passes a final package of MTBs, it enters the Senate and is referred to the Finance Committee. When the package passes the Senate and differences are worked out between the both legislative chambers, a final bill then goes to the President for signature.
Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday published a list of approximately 1,300 proposed limited tariff bills under consideration for inclusion in legislation that Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) is pushing.

But the vast majority of the proposals benefit 10 or fewer companies, making them banned “earmarks” under House rules, according to an analysis by Heritage Action for America.

The conservative group found that only 16 of the 1,300 proposals help more than 10 entities.

Study: Most Tariff Bills Would Count as ‘Earmarks’,” by Jonathan Strong, Roll Call, May 25, 2012

  • Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs) in the 112th Congress House MTB Process – House Ways and Means Committee listing
  • USITC Congressional Bill Reports – “a listing, by each session of Congress, of the miscellaneous tariff bills for which the Commission approved a formal memorandum to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House or the Committee on Finance of the Senate. The reports contain information on the company responsible for the bill’s introduction, projected level of imports, estimates of revenue loss and available information on possible U.S. production.” From the US International Trade Commission
  • limited tariff disclosure form” – Google search

Also see Special Fund Accounts under Federal Fund Accounts; Trust Fund Accounts; Offsetting Collections under Collections; Proprietary Receipts from the Public under Collections; Committee Allocation; § 7.81, Limitations, Earmarks, and General Provisions, in Congressional Deskbook.




Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Congressional Deskbook: The Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Congress

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

The Federal Budget Process: A description of the federal and congressional budget processes, including timelines, from TheCapitol.Net

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