A ground-breaking story occurred in America last March. Literally.
With rake in hand, First Lady Michelle Obama was praised for scratching a bit of sod and overturning a spade of soil to create a White House vegetable garden. She even got her knees dirty. The news was so huge Mrs. Obama now says the first thing foreign leaders ask her is how the garden is doing.
In the month prior to digging earth on the White House lawn, the First Lady praised Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s People’s Garden Project. She also spoke to employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the importance of supporting farmers and protecting the nation’s food supply.
A week ago today (9-17-09), Mrs. Obama stood on D.C. terra firma and spoke at the grand opening of a new farmers’ market near the White House. “I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables,” exulted the First Lady as she filled her basket with fingerling potatoes and black kale. “I’m a big believer in community gardens, both because of their beauty and for their access to providing fresh fruits and vegetables to so many communities across this nation and the world.”
So, where’s the dirt?
On the very day Michelle Obama was sniffing produce and being feted at the new D.C. farmers’ market, thousands of out-of-work farm workers and destitute farmers, brandishing protest signs, were assembling in dusty, withering San Joaquin Valley, CA – the turning-to-dust bread basket of America – all brought about by a liberal-legislated drought.
The area that once produced a $20 billion crop industry, and more in farm sales than any other individual state in the country – is now a dust bowl. The cause? Government-made drought. In 1993, the tiny, two-inch Delta Smelt fish was declared an endangered species. Smelt fish pass through irrigation waters pumped through the San Joaquin Valley. Claiming that pumps harm the Smelt, radical environmental groups and liberals have battled for years to turn the San Joaquin valley into a desert. Well, they’ve won. Water now bypasses one of the most important agricultural areas on earth and flows directly into the Pacific Ocean.
Several hundred thousand acres of farmland now lie fallow and crops that were planted now rot in the fields. Thousands have lost their jobs; unemployment in the area is at 40%. Food prices will rise with estimates of up to 38 million people being affected. Farmers who once fed the world now stand in food lines. This is what happens when extreme environmentalists prevail over reason.
An appalling history of political negligence shrouds this dilemma. Even though members of the California Latino Water Coalition (a group formed by residents in the San Joaquin Valley) and others met with CA officials to resolve the water problem, seven attempts to get the pumps turned back on have been killed seven times by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Letters, petitions, and pleas to Washington continue to be ignored. Aware of the situation, President Obama remains unmoved. Just yesterday, Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) voted no on an amendment introduced by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) designed to help the San Joaquin Valley. Compromise and common sense are nowhere to be found.
This isn’t a local problem; it’s a federal government imposed drought and is rapidly becoming a national problem. Here are just a few of the crops California’s central valley supplies to our nation: 94% of America’s tomatoes, 93% broccoli, 89% carrots, 86% garlic, 78% lettuce, 90% strawberries, 88% grapes, 99% almonds.
Given the enthusiasm with which Michelle Obama loves to have our White House chefs feed fresh produce to her family, perhaps, if the San Joaquin Valley were called the San Joaquin Community Garden, the President would turn the water back on.
And that’s the real dirt.
Here is The Valley Hope Forgot – Part 1: Comedian, activist Paul Rodriguez, Radio Talk Show Host Inga Barks, and Sean Hannity decry Obama’s refusal to help California’s central valley:
The Valley Hope Forgot – Part 2: Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA) “This can happen to you. They’re on their way… to the rest of America.”
The Valley Hope Forgot - Part 3: FOX News reporter Ainsely Earhardt explains how loss of crop production in CA’s central valley will affect you. Former mayor Fresno, CA Alan Autry: “Turning this water off is not just bad politics, it’s an act of domestic terror.”
Michelle Malkin: Cali’s man-caused drought (scroll down to see video of Feinstein’s excuses)
January 14, 2010 - Michelle Obama’s garden food was fake.
February 29, 2012, Washington, D.C: House Approves Bipartisan Plan to Protect Jobs, Restore Water Deliveries, Prevent Man-Made Droughts in California – Bill H.R. 1837
March 3, 2012 – Obama will veto H.R. 1837 if it passes Senate
H.R. 1837 DEAD in Harry Reid’s Senate
March 20, 2012, Washington, D.C. – Subcommittee Questions Obama Administration’s BOR and PMA Budgets that Could Increase Electricity Rates and Decrease Water Deliveries:
Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held an oversight hearing to examine the negative impacts to water supplies and hydropower rates that will result from the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget and priorities for the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Four Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) and the U.S. Geologic Survey’s Water Resources program.
“The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration are two of the agencies before us today. Along with the Army Corps of Engineers, these agencies have played a vital role in providing reliable and affordable water and power supplies to the Pacific Northwest. It is our duty to ensure that these traditional missions continue for future generations. This duty is becoming increasingly challenging. The historical roles of these agencies are being undermined,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “Ongoing endangered species litigation and a sue-and-settle approach embraced by this Administration have transformed these agencies into something that was never envisioned. The result: less water storage, continued man-made droughts and policies that are driving up electricity rates. At a time when Americans are paying record prices at the gas pumps, higher water and electricity rates will only make matters worse for the economy.”
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