ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Saturday, March 31, 2007

STL Post-Dispatch: Shocked that the Dems are Piggish

Or, Military Spending - Now with 17% more pork!

I saw this editorial yesterday and actually laughed out loud. The St Louis Post-Dispatch Editors surely can't expect us to believe that they're surprised that the Dems have larded up an emergency military spending bill with pork:

War and hyporkrisy
Friday, Mar. 30 2007

You would think that if there's one issue that would be free from the stench of
pork-barrel politics, it would be U.S. policy in Iraq.

Wrong.

Congressional Democrats, having parlayed opposition to the war into control of
the Senate and House last November, have larded up President George W. Bush's
request for funding to continue the war with all manner of special interest
legislation, from handouts for spinach producers ($25 million) and lamb growers
($13 million) to $100 million for the next year's Democratic and Republican
conventions.

The result? The president's $103 billion emergency spending request has become
a $121.7 billion bill in the Senate and a $124 billion bill in the House.

"Funding for the war is not the only critical need worthy of the supplemental
spending," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, Congress'
longtime Prince of Pork. The war, said Sen. Byrd, "must not obliterate every
other concern."

Oh yes it should, at least as far as this emergency spending request is
concerned. If spinach growers and lamb farmers, sugar beet producers and
convention planners need money, let those requests go through the normal
appropriations process. Let their sponsors stand up and account for them. To
piggyback them (so to speak) on a bill to continue paying for the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq is an insult to the troops fighting the wars and to the
American people who are paying for it.

Like earlier supplemental requests for the wars, the new one would be "off
budget," that is, merely tacked onto the federal deficit for our children and
grandchildren to worry about. It will be funded by borrowing, and the largest
holders of the debt will be foreign banks who buy U.S. Treasury bills.

The key issue about the House and Senate bills, of course, is the restrictions
they place on spending the money in Iraq. The House bill sets a September 2008
deadline for bringing U.S. troops home. The Senate bill sets a one-year "goal"
for ending the U.S. presence. The language — as well as the dueling pork
projects in both bills — must be reconciled before the final bill is passed.
But Mr. Bush has threatened to veto any legislation that restricts U.S.
manpower decisions.

Thus a constitutional showdown is in the wind. House and Senate conferees will
decide on language — deadline, goals or unrestricted — and then both Houses
will decide whether to pass it. If they do and the president vetoes it, then
what? Will the president try to fund the war effort without congressional
authorization? Will the Supreme Court step in?

These are critical questions for the nation. Whatever the language of the
final bill, Democrats should strip the pork out of it and have the guts to
fight the battle on its merits.
Brings back memories of Casablanca and Captain Renault being shocked that there was gambling in Rick's club.

I mean, the Post-Dispatch rarely endorses a Republican, so you would think that they would be familiar with what "their side" is planning on doing once they get power.

I mean, surely the P-D knew from the campaign that the Dems were going to tie the hands of our military in completing their mission while at the same time attempt to spread some of the cash to their most important constituencies back home.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler