Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

““The real damage is done by those millions who want to ’survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.””     Sophie Scholl

March 29, 2007

War Policy And Pork: Perfect Together

by Doug Mataconis

The Senate is debating the Democrats’ Iraq spending plan, which includes a call for the withdrawal of all troops before the 2008 elections and, as Dana Milbank reports, they’re talking about more than the Iraq War:

It’s common for lawmakers to complain that a spending bill is “loaded up like a Christmas tree” with pet projects. But the Iraq Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act going through the Senate this week is unusual in that it is loaded up with Christmas trees.

Specifically, it includes $40 million for a Tree Assistance Program that provides help for Christmas trees and ornamental shrubs. Also in the Senate’s version of the Iraq bill: $24 million for sugar beets, $3 million for Hawaiian sugar cane, $13 million for the Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program, $100 million in compensation for dairy losses, $165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, and money for numerous other “emergencies.”

And what of the Coburn Amendments that Brad wrote about earlier this week ? Well, at least one of them has already gone down to defeat:

[T]he senators could not dwell on matters of war — Vietnam or Iraq — for long. They had to take up an amendment from Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who demanded to know why $100 million in security for the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions was included in the “emergency” Iraq legislation. “This isn’t sudden,” Coburn argued. “It’s not unpredictable, and it wasn’t unanticipated. There have been nominating conventions since 1832 in this country.”

Coburn lost the vote. For the Senate, even an American political convention qualifies as an Iraq emergency.

I’m beginning to think that the legislative process in this country is irretrievably broken. When Congressmen and Senators can add subsidies for strawberry farmers to a bill that is supposed to be about America’s involvement in a war, then the probability of ever getting control of an out-of-control budget seems to me to be pretty low.

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2 Comments

  1. When Congressmen and Senators can add subsidies for strawberry farmers to a bill that is supposed to be about America’s involvement in a war, then the probability of ever getting control of an out-of-control budget seems to me to be pretty low.

    The question is, when is time to start armed resistance?

    Comment by Kevin — March 29, 2007 @ 9:29 am
  2. Kevin…

    Claire Wolfe has a good quote about that:

    America is at that awkward stage; it’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — March 29, 2007 @ 9:35 am

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