Saturday, July 30, 2005

yeah, gop

So the Republicans managed to get a bunch of legislation passed before their nice five-week summer break. What do we get out of this?

The opportunity to give big energy companies $15 billion in subsidies, thereby making alternatives to foreign oil relatively more expensive and less attractive, thus keeping us firmly addicted to energy from stable places like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russian, and Nigeria. And for good measure, it releases oil and coal companies from various environmental regulations so while pumping more carbon dioxide in the air to reinforce climate change, these companies can also pump carcinogens into the ground water. Meanwhile, it will do nothing significant to increase energy efficiency. At least the provision to open the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve was stripped out of the law before it passed.

A pork-laden transportation bill that gives more money to Alaska than big states like Florida, Ohio, or Texas. That's not in per capita terms, either -- Alaska's 629,000 people get more transportation funding than 16,000,000 in Florida or 21,000,000 in Texas!

An increase of $1.5 billion in medical funding for veterans. This one passed the Senate 99-1. The main reason we needed this is to deal with the tens of thousands of badly injured veterans of the Bush-Cheney-Chalabi faith-based fiasco currently underway in Iraq.

And finally, a bill that immunizes gun manufacturers from lawsuits by shooting victims.

I like it better when Congress does nothing than when it bestows favors like these on us.

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