Immigrants Bring Success…

Waves of Asian, African and Latino newcomers have filled jobs at pork, egg
and turkey plants where wages have fallen and work has grown more grueling.

The link above is a story about how immigrants from Asia, Mexico, and Africa have kept a small town in northwestern Iowa thriving while other rural towns in America have struggled. Immigration and the hard-working people it brings is a big reason why.

STORM LAKE, Iowa — When Dan Smith first went to work at the pork processing plant in Storm Lake in 1980, pretty much the only way to nab that kind of union job was to have a father, an uncle or a brother already there. The pay, he recalled, was $16 an hour, with benefits — enough to own a home, a couple of cars, a camper and a boat, while your wife stayed home with the children.

“It was the best-paying job you could get, 100 percent, if you were unskilled,” said Mr. Smith, now 66, who followed his father through the plant gates.

After nearly four decades at the plant, most of them as a forklift driver, Mr. Smith is retiring this month.

The union is long gone, and so are most of the white faces of men who once labored in the broiling heat of the killing floor and the icy chill of the production lines. What hasn’t changed much is Mr. Smith’s hourly wage, which is still about $16 an hour, the same as when he started 37 years ago…

The forces that have helped transform this snug lakeside town in northwestern Iowa and others like it during Mr. Smith’s working life have created a complex swirl of economic successes and hardships, optimism and unease.

Fierce global competition, agricultural automation and plant closures have left many rural towns struggling for survival. In areas stripped of the farm and union jobs that paid middle-class wages and tempted the next generation to stay put and raise a family, young people are more likely to move on to college or urban centers like Des Moines. Left behind are an aging population, abandoned storefronts and shrinking economic prospects.

Yet Storm Lake, hustled along by the relentless drive of manufacturers to cut labor costs and by the town’s grit to survive, is still growing. However clumsily at times, this four-square-mile patch has absorbed successive waves of immigrants and refugees — from Asia, from Mexico and Central America, and from Africa.

Please continue reading BELOW THE FOLD.

Its Fake News, Unless It Fits The Trump Line…

Again we see the glaring Trump hypocrisy. After months of calling credible news sources fake news and criticising the media use of anonymous sources Trump tweets a Fox “News” story that, well, uses an anonymous source. It just so happens the Fox “News”  report was a pushback against report Jared Kushner attempted to establish backdoor communication links with the Russians.

THE HILL – President Trump on Tuesday retweeted a Fox News report citing an anonymous source that pushes back on another report that White House aide Jared Kushner tried to establish back channel communications with Moscow.

Trump’s retweet comes just days after the president blasted the use of anonymous sources in news reports.

The Fox News report Trump shared is titled “Jared Kushner didn’t suggest Russian communications channel in meeting, source says.” It pushes back on a Washington Post story last week that said Kushner in December sought to establish a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and Moscow during a meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The Fox News item says Kushner spoke with Kislyak about Syria during the December meeting. It added that during that meeting, the Russians “broached the idea of using a secure line between the Trump administration and Russia, not Kushner.”

It cites a source familiar with the matter and says the idea of a permanent back channel was not talked about.

Trump on Sunday, though, went after leaking of information and warned people not to trust stories that include the words “sources say.”

“Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names…it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. is the enemy!” Trump tweeted.

Trump and his aides often rail on the media and the use of anonymous sources, calling news outlets and negative stories “fake news.”

Just another example of the Trump hypocrisy. Apparently only news outlets that fail to kiss up to the BLOTUS are fake and only anonymous sources that support the BLOTUS are credible.

We are in for a very long slog I’m afraid.