Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Getting it right....er, correct?

I have more than once urged readers to contact their congress critters and request some action regarding a piece of legislation, normally one that was inspired by 19th Century Republicans or Dubya himself. This time, however, I want to turn that around. It is time to contact our President and ask him to veto a bill that passed Congress, one which is making true conservatives and true progressives nauseous just to think about it. I am talking of the current Farm Bill, a pork laden attack on our pocket books and common sense.

Before you do, you should read Carolyn Lockhead's story in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle.
It is the rarest of moments: President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are on a collision course over a giant farm bill, but it is Bush who is broadly aligned with liberal Bay Area activists pushing for reform, while the San Francisco Democrat is protecting billions of dollars in subsidies to the richest farmers.
The rest of Lockhead's story is a text book example of how nothing gets done in Washington for the needs of the people and everything happens in the way that it happens purely for the political advantage of one party or the other. Things are packaged together is such a way as to obscure what is really happening.
Pelosi touted a ban on payments to farm couples earning more than $2 million, 10 times higher than Bush's $200,000 income limit.

At the same time, she backed a 50 percent increase in the actual amount of money each farmer could get. The Senate added a new $3.8 billion "permanent disaster" program to bail out farmers of drought-prone land, intensifying the push to plow fragile prairie.
Probably nothing is as sneaky as putting an increase in food stamp programs in this package of pork and then threatening to blast the President over his treatment of the poor if he dared to veto it. Pure Pelosi playbook.
Pelosi threatened to blast Bush for killing the food-stamp increase if he vetoes the bill, issuing a statement urging Bush to sign the legislation to "ensure that 38 million Americans - especially children - have improved access to basic nutrition."
I have never seen a better reason to vote for Cindy Sheehan, since she is running.

If you want to make your voices heard, there is some possibility through the Conference Committee that is resolving difference between House and Senate Versions. There is a full list here. California members are Dennis Cardoza, Joe Baca and George Miller. All Democrats and all from areas with a vested interest in getting their own pork. It may help to comment on Lockhead's story at the Chronicle.

If you want to send a message to Bush, then I would ask you to call and leave comments. Here are the numbers:
  • Comments: 202-456-1111
  • Switchboard: 202-456-1414
  • FAX: 202-456-2461

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