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Sugar Sugar

If you consume sugar today, in almost any form, you will likely be patronizing the Fanjul family of Florida.  They control 32% of the sugar market in the US, and large swaths of land in Florida, including 40,000 acres between Lake Okeechobee (say it 5 times fast) and the Everglades. The Fanjuls are also big political donors, to both parties, and enjoy access and influence that is, well, special.

About 10 years back, when the Clinton impeachment was on the table, Monica testified about a time she was in the Oval Office and under the desk pleasuring the President.  The “prosecutor” asked Monica to back up her oral assertion with proof of the date and time, she said that Mr. Fanjul had called to protest a plan Al Gore had just announced that would affect sugar cane areas in or near the Everglades.  The prosecutor guy (was it Ken Starr or Bob Barr? my memory is fuzzy) confirmed that the call was on the log for that date and time, so Monica’s account was deemed credible.  But he didn’t note that Clinton did intervene at his donor’s behest, and gore’s plan was re-tooled to please the sugar kings.

For more, there is a remarkably honest and detailed story in the Business Section of the Sunday NYT (link)


There’s a barrage of coverage of the very thin story of Gov. Palin, but I’ve managed to absorb quite a bit.  CNN featured back-to-back hour specials on Sunday, lady first, and called hers “Sarah Palin Revealed”; Biden’s hour was slugged “Who Is He?” .   The Sarah hour of power started off gauzy and cheezy but I learned this nugget: it took Sarah 5 years and 5 different schools (two in Hawaii, that exotic place that Obama was criticized for his vacation destination) to get her journalism degree.
CNN serves up Sarah’s big sister to tell us about the quickie wedding to Todd at the court house, complete with elderly strangers from a rest home nearby who were wheeled in to serve as witnesses. And, they discreetly add, 8 months later their son Track is born.  The hour has other critical reporting about her stints on the Council and as Mayor of Wasila and more recently as Gov. has fired incumbent pros and replaced them with loyalists, including about half of her high school classmates.  And the Trooper of Troopergate was on screen, Mike Wooten, and he calmly refuted Sarah and Todd’s allegations that he had threatened his ex-father-in-law, and explained that his son wanted to know what a taser felt like before he agreed to zap the boy, at low power.  The troopergate investigation is Palin’s biggest liability right now, although her inexperience may produce more boo boos when she gets off the script “I told Congress, thanks but no thanks for the bridge”
is demonstrably false, but they kept a  lot of that money!