The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, December 18, 2005

GOP links Arctic drilling to anti-torture, Katrina aid, and defense bill

If you're wondering what to get that congressional Republican on your Christmas list, why not consider a sense of shame? Outcry from Democrats (all the way from Pelosi to Lieberman) and even Senator McCain may not be enough to prevent the passage of a defense bill that includes another (the fourth? Fifth?) attempt by the GOP to open the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to big oil. Oh, boy!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it's an insult for Republican leaders to exploit the Pentagon bill that way.

"Just when you think you have seen it all, they've taken drilling in the ANWR off the budget bill and now they want to put it on the Department of Defense bill," she said. "Nothing is sacred to them."

Her Senate counterpart, Harry Reid, called it "outrageous" that Republican leaders "would abuse their power by holding our troops hostage at a time of war."

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., called it a "desperate scheme" and said it is "not right by our fighting men and women." (. . .)

The bill funds the military, which is hard for any lawmaker to oppose, especially with troops fighting overseas. The legislation will be extra appealing this year because it will contain money for the states damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and for fighting avian flu. It will also have a rider Sen. John McCain has demanded that aims to ban U.S. troops from torturing foreign detainees.

Alaskan Representative Ted Stevens has already scored hundreds of millions in pork-barrel projects this year for his home state, but demonstrates that the GOP isn't in the game for the betternment of the country-- they're just in it to win at an cost.