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-- C.A. Beard
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On last month's Fix;
the answer to last month's Fix,
""Post war Iraqi govt? US puppet, United Nations or something else?" "
Well, it appears the Bushites are going for a modern day Marshall plan. While they have not mentioned as much, it is common scuttlebut that the US Army presence will be in Iraq for at least 3 years. And the UN has gotten short shrift in the deal, certainly Bush is not going to include them in setting up the governments, and even the humanitarian role may be edged out. For those of you who don't know, the UN Humantarian Food for Oil Program was being diverted by Sadaam. The UN managers knew it (France, Germany, Russia, and Kofi Annan) and did nothing, but why would they? The managers were getting kickbacks from UN coffers via the Iraq oil payments. Which now explains why the UN won't drop the Iraq embargos. They stand to lose big money.
The USA is walking a fine line here. It would behoove it to try to establish an independant election in Iraq with UN oversight and draw down the forces there. Else, the Arab perception that the USA foreign policy is mono-dimensional (ie force) will be reinforced.
Our story begins in March. The Iraq war had started and Bush asked Congress for $75 Billion to pay for it. The HOuse basically showed no imagination and just agreed. But the Senate got more creative.
The Senate noticed the bill had a shocking omission. There was nothing in the funding for sea lampreys. In case you are unfamiliar with the national security aspects of sea lampreys, Sen Pat Leahy (D Vermont) decided the the fish sucking lampreys needed $500K allocated to their control in Lake Champlain - which is in Vermont and of course very strategic.
The sundry list grew to include another $600 Million: $1.2 million for the catfish industry, $50 Million for ship-building, $3.3 Million to repair a Vermont dam, $10 Million for an Anarctic research station, $98 Million for ag research in Iowa, several million for direct mailings to Senate constitutents, etc. Many of the additions were added by the Appropriations Comm Chair Ted Stevens (R Alaska).
Sen Alan Specter (R, Penn) said the direct mailing rider was directly related to the war effort becuase "informing the people of Penn. on this issue is an important part of our job ...". Oh, and Specter is running for reelection - not that that matters.
House leaders were so incensed over the pork additions that Chairmen Stevens piped, "I'm sorry we repealed the law on dueling. "
We're sorry too Senator, but if you want to bring dueling back, the pistols are on us.
Eventually the Senate caved, and most of the pork has been stripped
from the bill. Vermont's fish are tragically vulnerabe to terrorist lampreys.
2. 29 May, Rochester: The Mayo clinic opened business today with signs on all entrances. "The Mayo Clinic bans Guns on its property."
3. 30 May, St. Paul: The Govnr wishes to revisit the law, and ammend the requirement for private businesses to have to post every door, since he now thinks the requirement is too onverous.
2. April 30: At the annual White House press roast this year well known
comedian and author Al Franken heckeld several Bush cabinet members. The
WHite House had just described how proud they were of the military. Fanken
piped up and said, "Well, given your short time in power, would it not
be fair to say you are proud of the Clinton Military that was inherited
by your time." President Spokesperson Ari Fleisher responded, "Al, we will
be proud of the Clinton military if you'll be proud of the Clinton economy
1. 30 April, Belgium: The EU capitol is in Belguim. They set the EU standards for everything: required oven temperatures for pizza baking, the proper hole size in Swiss cheese, and water quality for exported bottled water. Good thing regs don't cover internal water standards, becuase the EU has the 122'nd dirtiest water on the planet. Below India, Jordan and 12 African nations. Germany is #57. USA is 12 and Finland has the best water quality.