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Minnesota soybean growers concerned over potential Chinese tariffs

REUTERS/Andres Stapff

More than a hill of beans. Jim Spencer at the Star Tribune shares analysis of the potential fallout if the Chinese tack tariffs on U.S. soybeans: "If the Chinese proceed with a threatened 25 percent import tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation for 25 percent protective tariffs Trump placed on a variety of nonagricultural Chinese products, Minnesota soybean growers and others across the country face a loss of 69 percent of Chinese sales, said Purdue University agricultural economist Wallace Tyner, who analyzed data for the U.S. Soybean Export Council."

More like panic stage. Tad Vezner at the Pioneer Press is keeping an eye on the rising waters of the St. Croix: "The Weather Service currently forecasts that the river will reach 85.2 feet on Friday; flood stage at Stillwater is 87 feet. Anything about 80 feet is considered an 'action stage,' when NWS officials begin regularly publishing daily forecasts on river levels. By Monday, the river is expected to dip back to 84 feet — though that level will slightly rise again by the end of the week, according to current forecasts."

Yeah, no one's buying these days. Frank Rajkowski at KSTP reports layoffs at Wells Fargo: "Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has confirmed the company is reducing 130 team members in the Twin Cities. Company spokesperson John Hobot said the decision was made after evaluating market conditions and consumer needs, and to 'better align with current volumes.'"

Surprised he didn't just open a gift registry. Paul Walsh at the Strib reports on the arrest of a man claiming to be an IRS agent seeking payments in Target gift cards: "The woman received an automated 'robo' telephone call purportedly from the IRS and was directed to call a specific number. She spoke with a man who said he worked for the IRS’ tax-collecting arm. He told the woman she owed $4,058 for the 2013 tax year and would be arrested if she didn’t pay up. She followed the man’s orders and went to a Target in Ankeny, bought two $2,000 gift cards with cash and provided him with the card numbers and activation codes. Before the woman left the Target parking lot, the charging document continued, the fake IRS agent told her she needed to buy another $2,000 gift card in order to remove an 'arrest warrant.' She complied."

In other news…

Pitty the fools: “Delta bans pit bulls as service dogs due to safety concerns” [Associated Press]

This bites: “Swatter up! Mosquito season begins after rainy week” [MPR]

They should move this bear crossing to a safer location: “'This thing was just gargantuan': Black bear adds excitement to Minnesotan's commute” [Fargo Forum]

Tip top taps: The 5 Best Craft Breweries in the Twin Cities [Hop Culture]

Joining Fabulous Fern's, Muddy Pig, Wild Onion, and on and on: Grand Shanghai on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue closing this weekend [Pioneer Press]

Kimmel falls for the Minnesotan in the tailpipe: “Jimmy Kimmel hams it up with Minnesotan who got her head stuck in tailpipe” [Star Tribune]

Duluth is Trump Country: “A Night Among the Trump Believers Way Up North” [Rolling Stone]

A rebuttal: “Dear Rolling Stone: Duluth is not 'Trump Country'” [City Pages]

And an Ana Marie Culpa:

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Comments (2)

My sympathy for Trump supporters is getting a little thin

I hate to admit it but I'm having a really hard time drumming up much in the way of sympathy or concern for Trump supporters who are getting screwed by his policies. It wouldn't be so hard were it not for the fact that these people have been explicitly hostile to their fellow citizens and others.

Trumpsters in MN have gone out of their way to create a rural-urban divide. One of the most common refrains has been that they voted for Trump because they just wanted to throw a hand grenade into the system or the government. So that grenade bounced back into their laps and I'm supposed to.... what exactly am I supposed to do now?

I'm a guy that has always sympathized with family farmers, and supported their livelihoods as much as possible. I've always voted for and supported funding for rural schools, and jobs, and infrastructure, etc. But you can't throw a hand grenade into MY living room and expect me to shrug it off or think it's funny. If your more concerned about whether or not someone else is having an abortion, or the two women living next door are getting married, or making sure I don't get my "choo-choo" than you are your own livelihood... You're kinda on your own at this point dude.

I take no pleasure in the hardships these people will have to endure, but I can no longer guarantee that their problems will make it onto my list of priorities, and their problems used to routinely be on my list of priorities.

There is no need to feel sympathy

Most of these yahoos voted for Donald because he promised to inflect pain on people that they don't like. Unfortunately Donald got a little carried away and hit them as well. My favorite part is that its a twofer. Not only are China's tariffs driving down crop prices, but Donald's tariffs on steel are driving up the cost of their equipment. Its not often that the consequences of your presidential vote are felt so directly, I doubt the lesson will be learned.