Chris Christie's Pig Problem

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

Chris Christie's Pig Problem

As the weather turns colder in this month of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, and the Winter Solstice, our hearts grow warmer and our thoughts turn to kindness and good will toward all. Unless, of course, you're Chris Christie.

The governor of New Jersey is a mighty big man, both politically and physically. But the portly 250-pounder who hopes to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, recently used his gubernatorial power in a way that shows just how small of a man he really is.

Just before Thanksgiving, Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned the use of "gestation crates" by industrial pork producers in New Jersey. These things are metal cages used to imprison pregnant pigs, and they're so small that the mothers can't even turn around. Amounting to animal torture, the cages are among the cruelest devices of the generally cruel factory farm system – so cruel that McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Costco, Kroger, Sysco, Hormel and scores of other food giants have pledged to stop buying from pork producers that use them.

The Jersey senate voted 32-1 to ban the cages, and its assembly voted 53-13 for the ban – plus, an astonishing 93 percent of Jerseyans want them banned. Christie, however, contemptuously rejected the people's will with a dash of his infamous snarkiness, calling the ban "a solution in search of a problem."

Actually, he's the one on a search. Only a year from now, voting for the GOP presidential nomination begins in Iowa – a state with more pigs than people, and a state where the corporatized hog industry commonly uses gestation crates. So, momma pigs must be sacrificed in order for Christie to win the Iowa pork vote.

Maybe if we loaded this cynical "Big Man" into one of those pig cages, for say, five minutes, he'd begin to understand the "problem."


This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.


Photo from Eugene Smith on Flickr.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.


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