So why are we here? We recognize that hard news — vetted and tested, and also well-respected opinion leaders, often aren’t covered in your local newspapers, and the lack of Broadband services, i.e., high-speed Internet, makes it even harder to get the “cliff notes” on what the big national stories are each day, as they affect our rural economy, health care, security and more.

That’s why our NEWS AND BLOG page changes its stories regularly…all come from time-tested sources, including national newspapers, Congressional reporting services, and think tanks.

We also understand that sometimes our readers need to test the news…the gossip…that is going around. When you check into our RESOURCES page, you’ll find five ways to test whether what your friend says, or what pops up on Facebook or Twitter is true. As the election moves closer, we’ll also be sharing more political perspectives. To begin, since VP Joe Biden is soon to announce his VP choice, you will find recent stories about the top VP candidates under RESOURCES‘ “Election” section.

Why Accountability in Government is Gone, and How to Restore It

Stars and Stripes, Sarah Marshall, U.S. Marines, 08/12/2020

“…’Today we have 30,000 members of the military in a quarantine environment, because they’re getting ready to deploy, they’re getting ready to go on a ship, they’re getting ready to go into basic training,’ said Air Force General John Hylen, the Vice-Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff. ‘They’re getting ready to go into an environment where, in order to stay safe and make sure we don’t infect large numbers, we put them in quarantine….'”

Read more: https://www.stripes.com/more-than-30-000-troops-are-in-quarantine-ahead-of-training-deployment-1.641086

If Republicans succeed in their long-sought goal to privatize the post office, they will suck what life remains from the communities they theoretically represent. PHOTO by Peter Marlow/Magnum

The New Yorker, Bill McKibbon, 8/11/2020

“I’ve lived most of my life in small towns in pretty remote areas. Some were in red regions, some were in purpleish-blue — but every last one of them centered on the local post office….

“All of which is to say that I really hate what the Republicans are trying to do to the post office. It’s by now pretty obvious that the Trump Administration is attempting to sabotage mail delivery in order to cast some kind of shadow over the November election….

Read more: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/trumps-attack-on-the-postal-service-is-a-threat-to-democracy-and-to-rural-america

Stars and Stripes Coronavirus Update, Nikki Wentling, 8/11/2020

“… When Linda Schwartz [the longtime commissioner of Connecticut’s Veterans’ Affairs] first heard about coronavirus outbreaks, she wanted to dig more deeply….’
“…’For many Viet Nam veterans, it was like the same thing is happening — We’re being left behind,’ Schwartz said.

“Under the direction of Viet Nam Veterans of America, she assembled a committee to investigate what had gone wrong. What they found was startling: a lack of transparency about the number of coronavirus deaths at veterans’ homes, and a VA leadership team that shirked responsibility for the facilities….”

Read more: https://www.stripes.com/ex-va-official-residents-of-veterans-homes-left-behind-during-pandemic-1.640921

Des Moines Register, Brianne Pfannenstiel, 8/11/2020

“Former Vice President Joe Biden named U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate Tuesday — exactly one year after she sat for an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board in the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses….

“‘In America we believe in, our babies, elementary, middle and high school students will not have to go to school and endure a drill, during which they are taught about how they need to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner, in the event there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their schools,’ she said….”

Read more — watch the full interview: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/11/watch-kamala-harris-bidens-new-vp-pick-hour-long-des-moines-register-interview/3349143001/

Des Moines Register, Justin Jordan – Iowa View Contributor, 8/11/2020

“I descend from a long line of Iowa farmers. Following in their footsteps, I started my own farm right out of high school. Like many Midwestern commodity farmers, I also have an off-farm job and have been slowly building my farm since I purchased a piece of land in 2000.

“Initially, I farmed the way the previous generations had taught me. Then I realized a need to improve on these farming practices. Year after year, devastating rain events were washing away soil and vital nutrients off my farm….”

Read more: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2020/08/11/kamala-harris-joining-biden-ticket-win-rural-iowa-and-farmers/3335570001/

The New Yorker, Dan Kaufman, 8/10/2020

“Last October, Jerry Volenec, a dairy farmer from southwestern Wisconsin, took the morning off to go to Madison for the World Dairy Expo…. Volenec wanted to hear a town-hall discussion led by Sonny Perdue, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, to learn how the Administration planned to address the economic crisis gripping Wisconsin’s family dairy farmers….

“…In the nineteen-fifties and sixties, Volenec’s grandfather milked a herd of sixteen cows; he could make a living because New Deal policies used price supports and other measures to boost farmers’ earnings and limit overproduction…. In 2000, Volenec installed a milking parlor, and since then he has increased the herd to three hundred and thirty cows….

“After the town hall, Perdue took questions from reporters, one of whom asked if the state’s loss of small farms was inevitable. ‘In America, the big get bigger, and the small will go out,’ Perdue said. ‘I don’t think in America for any small business we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability….'”

Read more: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/17/how-suffering-farmers-may-determine-trumps-fate

Washington Post, Catherine Rampell, 8/10/2020

“President Trump’s payroll tax deferral is supposed to reduce taxes and make employees cheaper to hire. It may do precisely the opposite….

“…A payroll tax cut offers cold comfort to the millions of Americans who are unemployed and therefore, do not have a payroll….

“Astoundingly, even the White House advisors whose lifelong raison d’etre has been cutting taxes (cough, cough, Larry Kudlow) somehow failed to realize they may have created a tax hike next year….”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-inadvertent-tax-hike/2020/08/10/12457502-db00-11ea-809e-b8be57ba616e_story.html

Washington Post, Emily Tamkin, 8/9/2020

“George Soros, who turns 90 on Wednesday, may be the world’s most famous boogeyman. He’s one of the great hedge fund managers…; he is a major political donor; and he has given billions to his charity, the Open Society, dedicated to ensuring that all people are empowered and able to participate in their communities and countries. But much of that real influence is buried beneath persistent conspiracy theories….”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-george-soros/2020/08/06/ad195582-d1e9-11ea-8d32-1ebf4e9d8e0d_story.html

Washington Post, Wendell Potter, 8/9/2020

“Wendell Potter sold Americans a lie about Canadian medicine. Now we’re paying the price.

“…In 2007, I was working as vice president of corporate communications for Cigna. That summer, Michael Moore was preparing to release his latest documentary, “Sicko,” contrasting American health care with that in other rick countries…. I spent months meeting secretly with my counterparts at other insurers to plot our assault on the film which contained many anecdotes about patients who had been denied coverage…. One example was 3-year-old Annette Noe. When her parents asked Cigna to two for two cochlear implants that would allow her to hear, we agreed to cover only one…”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/08/06/health-insurance-canada-lie/