Horse on the Hill: August 19, 2008 (US)


Capitol Hill Dome Obstruction AheadLast Congress, the first two years of Bush’s second term and lead by Republicans, was called a “Do Nothing Congress.” The current Congress, and the last two years of Bush’s presidency, but now lead by Democrats after mid-term elections, is called the “Do Less Than Nothing Congress.”

Horse advocates have worked hard — damn hard — through our organization and many others in support of any measure that will ban horse slaughter and export for slaughter at the federal level. Citizen activists and professional lobbyists have been involved. Even dedicated celebrities have made regular visits to the Hill to help. We have all taken our pleas to the most powerful leaders in the land, and have been spurned, time and time again.

We are not alone. None of the pressing issues that affect the health, safety and welfare of the human beings of this nation have been dealt with.

The upcoming election is not only about selecting our next President. It is also about appointing many of our U.S. Representatives and Senators. If you feel that you are not been properly represented in Washington, then it is up to you to vote your current members of Congress OUT.

Elizabeth Williams penned an article for the Wall Street Journal entitled, “As U.S. Economic Problems Loom, House, Senate Sweat the Small Stuff,” subtitled “Members of Congress Love a Good Resolution; Watermelons and Undertakers Fit the Bill”

Williams, writing from Washington, starts with:

The 110th Congress, whose term officially ends in January, hasn’t passed any spending bills or attacked high gasoline prices. But it has used its powers to celebrate watermelons and to decree the origins of the word “baseball.”

Barring a burst of legislative activity after Labor Day, this group of 535 men and women will have accomplished a rare feat. In two decades of record keeping, no sitting Congress has passed fewer public laws at this point in the session — 294 so far — than this one. That’s not to say they’ve been idle. On the flip side, no Congress in the same 20 years has been so prolific when it comes to proposing resolutions — more than 1,900, according to a tally by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

This stonewalling has been bipartisan. The article continues:

Democratic Rep. Charlie Wilson of Ohio, a fourth-generation undertaker, sponsored a National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day. Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, whose home state of Georgia has 24,000 acres planted in watermelon, pushed a resolution establishing July as National Watermelon Month.

“As Mark Twain once said, ‘When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.’ I encourage my colleagues to join me in acknowledging the wisdom of Mark Twain by supporting this resolution,” Sen. Chambliss said on the Senate floor. The only problem: July is about 14 days late for a Watermelon Month. The crops come in in mid June.

While anti horse slaughter legislation stalls in yet another attempt to ban it, our horses have been dying brutal, terrifying deaths at an accelerated rate across our borders in Mexico and Canada.

Williams informs us what else the 110th Congress has NOT done:

Congress, which won’t return to session until September, has yet to pass any 2009 appropriations bills, even though funding the federal budget is its official function. Before leaving town for summer break in August, lawmakers failed to establish August as Heat Stroke Awareness Month, blowing the deadline to make it official.

Williams adds:

Rep. Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina whose resolution recognizing America’s Christmas-tree industry remains mired in committee, said that “the origins of baseball [have] been the subject of debate and controversy.” Yet she agreed that the “Broken Window Bylaw” gave Pittsfield the honor.

Congress it appears, has time for a national pasttime, but not a national treasure.

Sources: Read Elizabeth William’s entire Wall Street Journal article at this link; Photograph: Unknown


Democrats possess a field advantage in 2008, needing to defend only 12 seats, while Republicans must defend 23. In addition, five Republicans, but no Democrats, have announced that they are retiring:

Wayne Allard (CO), John Warner (VA), Chuck Hagel (NE), Larry Craig (ID), and Pete Domenici (NM).

If you live in any of these states, start doing your homework.

We will publish an election preview, complete with caustic comments, in September.

In the meantime, you can learn more at the Vote Smart website for starters.

You can also obtain voter registration information and forms here.

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