Friday, May 26, 2006

The House smells like bacon again.

Can someone please explain to me why the federal government has decided that the
Agricultural Dept. has a budget of this size??
What type of crops does the government grow to have this type of budget?

I wonder how much of this budget is required to pay ranchers and farmers not to raise cattle and the like or to grow crops?

The House smells like bacon after having passed the $18.4-billion 2007 Agriculture Department appropriations bill, 378-46. The bill may be $96 million less than its FY 2007 predecessor, but it's still $564 million more than the President requested. Meanwhile, several billion dollars of extra spending was approved for FY2007; again, above President Bush's request. An alternate lower budget was indeed proposed by Reps. Mike Pence and Jeb Hensarling; all too tellingly, though, it garnered only 94 Republican votes.


House Majority Leader John Boehner revealed his legislative agenda for the coming year, but with congressional Republicans focused on November and no record worth speaking of, no one seems to care. If Boehner really wants to capture the attention of those who brought him and the rest of the Republican bench to the dance, he will focus on the legislative agenda as outlined by Mr. Pence and the Republican Study Committee. Here in our humble editorial shop, let's just say we're not holding our breath.

In ethics news, video surveillance of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson shows him accepting $100,000 in cash from an FBI informant. $90,000 of that money was later found in the congressman's freezer during a search of his home (talk about frozen assets!). Jefferson will likely be charged with taking bribes from indicted businessman Vernon Jackson in exchange for helping Jackson to secure deals for his telecommunications holdings in Africa.

A Saturday night raid (with warrant) on Jefferson's congressional offices in Washington has caused a scramble on Capitol Hill to circle the wagons. Citing concerns over "constitutionality," Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a joint statement condemning the search of Jefferson's office and demanding that the papers taken be returned.

Since when, exactly, is Congress concerned about something so arcane as constitutionality? This spectacle of representatives claiming super-constitutional rights won't play well with voters already turned off by this arrogant Congress. It is precisely this imperious attitude that has obstructed Petition to Investigate and Indict John F. Kerry for acts of treason. President Bush has now ordered the seized documents sealed while the House and Justice Department seek a resolution to this so-called infringement upon the Legislative Branch.

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