Students who stay up all night to study have lower GPAs than those who don't.
Is it because the student isn't getting sleep, or is it because the student who may not be as bright feels the need to study more?(2 Comments)
Posted at 12:30 PM on December 14, 2007
by Bob Collins
The Senate has turned aside an attempt by Sen. Amy Klobuchar to throttle back farm subsidies.
The farm bill is big -- real big; so big that some people believe it's time to scrap an outmoded system. Others wonder why some elements of agriculture need to be subsidized to the present extent. Does one farm in Minnesota really need the $9 subsidy for safflowers?
How closely followed is the issue of farm subsidies? Here's a Google map on the Environmental Working Group's Web site that shows farm-related businesses. Each blue dot represents an actual agricultural business.Each red dot represents anyone who benefitted from the subsidies. (Go to the Web site and zoom in on the map.)
Lots of people get money from the farm bill, but not a lot of people get a lot of money from the bill. According to the USDA, 66 percent of the $2.13 billion sent to Minnesota, went to 10 percent of the beneficiaries.
For the first time, according to Web site owner Ken Cook, who, certainly, has a point of view, the USDA is making it easier to find out who gets the money.
For instance, we continue to find that farm program benefits are highly concentrated in the hands of a small minority of subsidized individuals and operations, even after multi-million-dollar payments to large cooperatives have been disaggregated and attributed to individuals.
He's also got the numbers. Here are the top farm businesses in Minnesota -- out of the 4,690 who benefitted -- between 2003 and 2005.:
|Farm Business||Location||Crop Subsidy '03-'05|
|Hader Farms Partnership||Zumbrota||$2,583,872|
|Molitor Brothers Farm||Cannon Falls||$2,103,641|
|Hector Farms II Partnership||Hector||$1,401,931|
|Sunset Farms Freeborn County||Albert Lea||$1,310,970|
|Two Dogs Farm||Benson||$1,016,833|
|Far Gaze Farms||Northfield||$975,111|
The relationship between farmers and politicians is pretty hard to miss.
Members of the Stamer family -- Hector Farms -- donated $30,516, mostly to a political action fund for sugar
beat beet farmers that was a heavy contributor to the 2002 campaign of Sen. Norm Coleman, former congressmen Gil Gutknecht, and Mark Kennedy, current Reps. John Kline, Betty McCollum, Jim Oberstar, Collin Peterson and -- wait for it -- current Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Michael Stamer, of Willmar, is the third-largest beneficiary of farm programs in the state, garnering over $561,000 over the period, behind only the University of Minnesota and the Big Stone Farmer Coop.
Gary Pestorius (Sunset Farms) is a contributor to Sen. Norm Coleman's re-election effort, as well as a PAC that contributes to Peterson's and Oberstar's campaign. He's chairman of a company that runs an ethanol plant. Dawn Pestorius is also a Coleman contributor.
Principals in Vipond Farms contributed to a PAC that has handed out money to Coleman, Klobuchar and many of the others previously mentioned.
Robert Lange of Two Dogs farm is a contributor to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Wanda Lange was a Bush-Cheney contributor.
Much was made of Massachusetts' statewide health care plan when it was voted in under the direction of then-Gov. Mitt Romney. There was talk that it would be a model for other states.
How has it worked out?
Judging by an article in the Boston Globe today, it's worked out so well it's not working out so well.
In the first year, the program for low-income people has enrolled nearly 160,000, far more than anticipated, and state officials have estimated that the cost could run as high as $619 million for the current fiscal year, $147 million over budget.
The agency that administers the program is on the verge of cutting payments to doctors and hospitals, reducing choices for patients, and perhaps increasing the cost to state residents.
Under the law, residents are required to have some kind of health insurance.
No such law exists in Minnesota, of course. MinnesotaCare was a popular program for the uninsured in the state, but the budget crunch several years ago, led to a raid on the health care access fund by no-new-taxes lawmakers to help balance the state budget. Though the Legislature has regularly debated health care in the state, early signs for the '08 legislative session do not suggest much agreement is coming anytime soon.
And the problems in Massachusetts make it unlikely it will be used as a model plan.(6 Comments)