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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Capital Hill Trying Hard To Do The "Right" Thing


Hurricane funding is buried, again, inside a another grossly stuffed spending bill, to be voted on next week. It may be called 'pork,' but it is really a case of calling in favors by the Senator who's turn it is.

Since there is a long line of politicians waiting to get that 15 minutes of congressional spotlight fame, when that moment arrives no matter how ridiculous, out dated or impractical, they will prop it up on a pedestal like it was the best thing since the invention of the telephone.

One thing was not ridiculous, the "Gulf Coast Seafood Promotion Program." The 15m was gutted from the spending bill, but is not being shifted towards any other Gulf Coast needs.

The seafood promotion program wasn't portrayed in a positive light at all. But it would've in fact assisted many small and mid-size fisheries along the Gulf Coast. Remember the devastated Gulf Coast? There is no doubt that the program would have put more attention on the people and would have created more activity in the region.

A little better tweaking, polishing and marketing (educating) by an eloquent orator could have helped the bill make a much grander appearance and maybe again emphasize how much more help is needed in the Gulf Coast.

Instead the bill got hooked with images of Charlie Tuna, not the catastrophic plight of the fishing families struggling to survive under the apathetic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Remember long ago, the very prosperous generational Portuguese fishing families around San Diego, who were slowly forced out of the business because kelp farming was instituted?

So as it goes, Congress and the House can keep trying to convince the nation that they are about the people, for the people and of the people. It was the funny offer of a hundred dollar bribe (taxpayer money) that completely sunk that illusion the other day. The hill really does believe we are stupid!

Link to read about the spending bill...

Hattiesburg American

The Washington Post

Denver Post

New York Times

Miami Herald
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