Wednesday, April 13

Emergency Message from Randi

Good morning, campers.

Do you know what an “emergency” is? It’s pretty self-evident, right? Something that has to be taken care of. Something everyone can agree on. Like finding Osama bin Laden is an “emergency.”

OK, so the Senate is debating President Bush's request for emergency supplemental spending, most of it military. But now they’re putting stuff into the bill like spending tax dollars for a new baseball stadium in D.C.

I kid you not. Our troops don’t have enough equipment. But there it is, a provision to let the District of Columbia spend $42 million on sports.

And then Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi sticks in a provision to open up oil drilling at a seashore. How is that an emergency? Is the oil going to grow legs and walk away? If it’s such a great idea, why doesn’t he just introduce a bill for it in the light of day? Probably because it’s not such a great idea at all. So he puts it into a bill that has to pass.

And by the way, in the Washington Post story about this, just to make it look like both sides are doing it, they mention an amendment from a Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein – $34.3 million to repair forest roads and facilities in her state damaged by floods.

But here’s the thing: That IS an emergency. As in “flood emergency.” California catches fire in a big way every couple of years. Fire crews need those roads.

That’s the kind of thing an emergency spending bill SHOULD cover. If you don’t have fire roads or extra money for soldiers, people die. I don’t think that’ll happen if Washington, D.C., has to wait an extra couple of months for a ballpark.

I’m Randi Rhodes and I approve this message.

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