Wednesday Roundup: Winning Dog and More Swift


[imgcontainer left] [img:163832_187357907948601_163663473651378_573997_447777_n.jpg] The 2012 Best in Show at Westminster is a Yonderite. Meet Malachy, a Pekingese from East Berlin, Pennsylvania, with his owner, David Fitzpatrick. This is the second year in a row that the winning dog came from rural America.

The Senate Ag committee is holding a hearing right now (9:30 Central) on rural development. You can see it here

Already, Sen. Tom Harkin has spoken out against moving a biolab from Plum Island to the middle of Kansas. Later in the day, there will be testimony from a wide variety of people from rural communities and businesses.

We’ll be posting some very powerful testimony from Chuck Fluharty, president of the Rural Policy Research Institute. Be sure to tune back in.

• A rural dog won the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last night. 

The 2012 Best In Show trophy went to Malachy, a Pekingese from East Berlin, Pennsylvania. 

•The great Taylor Swift controversy goes on.

Recall that Taylor Swift sang “Mean” at the Grammy’s. “Mean” is a song about a man who dissed Taylor, said she had no talent. Swift said she would wind up “living in a big ole city” while the “mean” guy languished in Yonder.

People around Branson, Missouri, feel doubly dissed, however. The lyrics in the song say the “mean” guy is “washed up and ranting,” but people distinctly heard a new set of lyrics — that meanie was “washed up in Branson.”

Branson is a place where vintage country acts do shows. It’s not New York or even Las Vegas. It is, however, a very popular place to go, and residents there have taken offense.

“If she did say Branson, she needs to apologize,” says Cindy France, owner of EZ Center. “I felt it was a put-down. I was shocked. It hurt my feelings.”

Besides, however, France didn’t much like Swift’s Depression-era fashion statement. “She was acting like a hillbilly,” France said.

And so it goes.

• A doctor running a “pill mill” in southern Ohio has been sentenced to four life terms in federal prison. 

Dr. Paul Volkman wrote prescriptions for at least 3.3 million pain pills and an untold number of other types of medications, according to court records. These pills led to overdose deaths in Kentucky and elsewhere. 

“He was as bad as any doctor in the country,” said James Geldhof, DEA diversion program manager for the region that includes Kentucky. 

• A French court found Monsanto guilty in the chemical poisoning of a French farmer.

The farmer claimed he had suffered neurological problems after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller in 2004, according to Reuters. The farmer is a member of an association of farmers set up last year to argue that their health problems were caused by ag chemicals. 

• Fascinating NPR story here about the decline of suitable habitat for bees.

As we know, bees are necessary for agriculture. Bee keepers make more money moving their bees to areas that need good pollinators — such as California during the almond bloom — than they do from honey. 

reported that its profits are at a record and that it expects a 15 percent sales growth this year.