Friday, March 23, 2007

The Ass of Velocity (more commonly referred to as The Seat of Power)

QUESTION: How do you get billions of dollars in Pork?

ANSWER: $50,000,000 at a time.

A few years ago, $50,000,000 might have turned a few heads, but with today's lottery prize amounts, it might not even pay the taxes on them. Kinda like war statistics, there was a time when the words "four dead" could inspire pop stars of the time to write songs, but now those words simply reveal a bored newscasters revelation of a two day body count of US forces. But I digress.

So, as I was perusing through H.R. 1591 on "Thomas", I know, I am really suffering from a social life, right?! No, actually it is my social life that drives to inquire beyond that which is readily given. In 1591's text are a description of all the proposed subjects and amounts of spending. Understand please, at the top of each page of 1591 read the following words "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (Reported in House)", that is as of today, March 22, 2007.

What is not written at the top of 1591, or anywhere else in its volumes, are the justifications and/or reasonings to include non-U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability items in an emergency bill titled such. There have been eloquent appraisals of this discrepancy from both sides of the aisle. John Carter (R), Texas, spoke of salmon, trees, shrimp, and housing subsidies in his rant as being important, yet irrelevant to the subject.

On Wednesday the 21st, Patrick J. Murphy (D), Pa., put it best when he stood in support, yet with reservations

While I applaud the bill for providing for our troops serving bravely in the field, the bill contains $20 billion for programs and projects not related to funding and equipping our troops. Making sure that our men and women in uniform are well equipped is too important for playing politics, and I am extremely disappointed that these extraneous provisions are included in the bill.

So there it was, a three line quip about the Capitol Power Plant and $50,000,000. Now as I see it, this is the worst type of pig in the pen, the unhealthiest and fattest cut of pork, the 'salt-pork', if you will. Right there in black and white behind the one-liner that gives $165,000 to the widow of the late Rep. Charles Norwwod, (R) Ga., a part-time government employee since '95 gets an entitlement for his wife in an "emergency war bill"?!?!? But again, I digress, back to power plants. The Capitol Power Plant was built and bought for some 30 odd million early in the last century and has grown as a coal and steam power plant to provide services to the following facilities;


An impressive clientel to be sure, and oh, did I mention the bill passed in 2004 that authorized the foriegn privatisation of this Power Plant? Hmmm, slipped my mind I guess.

Anyway, the website of the Capitol Architect boasts

Fiscal year 2003 marks the first time we are publicly reporting on our financial
position. An independent outside auditor has examined our balance sheet
and notes and has rendered an unqualified, or “clean,” opinion.
Our balance sheet reflects total assets of $1,825.5 million as of September
30, 2003. Of these assets, almost 52% are property and equipment. The bulk
of our remaining assets is our fund balance with the U.S. Treasury, which
represents unexpended appropriation balances.

And their emergency is what? Related to war how? Possibly just a good juicing up for yet another government sale to Dubai, or whomever the unmentioned foriegn interests are? And we trust who in Congress to keep the vigil? Many questions about more than three little piggies.

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