Joni Ernst Family Farm Took $460,000 In Subsidies

Secular Talk

Joni Ernst’s family farm benefited from substantial farm subsidies. Ernst’s family farm in Red Oak, Iowa received over $460,000 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2006. Family members received conservation payments, commodity subsidies, and agricultural aid. (The District Sentinel)

More on the Joni Ernst family farm here.

State Of The Union: Spanish Translation Of Response Different Than English

Last night, Freshman right-wing Senator Joni Ernst gave the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. Republican Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was supposed to deliver the speech in Spanish.

In theory, this was supposed to be simple. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) would give her GOP response to President Obama’s speech, while Rep Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) would deliver an identical speech in Spanish.

However, according to MSNBC, the two speeches were reportedly not exactly the same.  The difference centered around immigration reform.

Joni Ernst is a fierce opponent of immigration reform, while the Florida Republican has actually criticized his party for blocking bipartisan immigration solutions.

Politico was one of many outlets to notice what happened:

“Republicans sent mixed signals on immigration in their two official rebuttals to President Obama Tuesday night: Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s rebuttal made no mention of the topic, but the Spanish-language version of the rebuttal, delivered by Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, said Republicans wanted to work with Obama to fix the immigration system.

“‘We should also work through the appropriate channels to create permanent solutions for our immigration system, to secure our borders, modernize legal immigration, and strengthen our economy,’ said Curbelo in Spanish. ‘In the past, the president has expressed support for ideas like these. Now we ask him to cooperate with us to get it done.’”

So Curbelo, while speaking Spanish, said they should work to create solutions for immigration reform, but Joni Ernst – in the English speech – didn’t mention it.

According to MSNBC, if Republican officials had said the two lawmakers intended to give different speeches, this might not be an issue, but they actually said the opposite.

House Republicans specifically told several news outlets that Curbelo would deliver “the Spanish-Language translated address of Sen. Joni Ernst response.”

He’d have to change personal details such as his own name, but otherwise, it was supposed to be the same speech.

Did Taxpayers Pay For Pig Castration Device?

Senator Joni Ernst rose to prominence with her infamous hog castration ad. When she was sworn in today, Senator Lindsey Graham presented her with a very special gift: a pig castration device on a plaque.

But did taxpayers foot the bill? How much time and effort went into acquiring and mounting the device and planning the ceremony?

Secular Talk discusses it.

Secular Talk

New Senator Joni Ernst Of Iowa

Joni Ernst, the new Republican senator in Iowa, said during an NRA event in 2012 that she would use a gun to defend herself from the government.

“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere,” Ernst said at the NRA and Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa. “But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.