[Music clip: Haydn's Derbyshire Marches.]
01 — Intro. Welcome, Radio Derb listeners, on this Memorial Day weekend. This particular holiday is a favorite of mine because it has a certain symmetry that appeals to me. On the one hand we are called on to remember those who suffered and died so that we could enjoy our liberty. And then, we are encouraged to go out and enjoy some of that liberty, on the beach or at the park. In the midst of life, we are in death. The opposite thing is true too, though; With properly solemn thoughts about sacrifice and death on our minds, life is sweeter. So remember what is to be rightly remembered this Memorial Day weekend. Then, go have a good time. That, after all, is what they would have wanted you to do.
02 — Iraq Funding Bill. OK, whadda we got here. The Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill, yes. We need to have Congress approve some more money for Iraq, so we can keep bribing those Sunni sheiks to pretend they like us. So Congress got a funding bill, officially titled the Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill, informally known among us Iraq War skeptics as the Bribe 'Em To Stop Fighting So We Can Leave Bill. Well, this bill as originally sent over by the President requested 108 billion dollars to keep the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan going until the end of September. That's about 500 dollars from each and every one of us — a bargain, really, when you consider how much the average Iraqi sheik needs to keep up a decent lifestyle, what with four wives and all. Anyhow, the way things work in Congress, a spending bill of that size isn't going to reach the Senate floor without some additional items tacked on. Sure enough, the bill ended up with 36 billion dollars worth of additions, 17 billion just in earmarks. There's money for new Medicaid spending, money for NASA, money for foreign aid, money for Planned Parenthood, 3.1 billion dollars for the state of Louisiana so they can … well, nobody knows what they're going to do with it, but I'm sure it will be put to good use, draining swamps perhaps. We can at any rate be sure that not a penny of it will end up in the pockets of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Not in Louisiana! Now, there is a kind of logic to all this, at least for Democrats. A lot of the normal appropriations bills are being sat on, not voted on, because Democrats believe they'll get a better deal next year from a Democratic President. So to get money from the taxpayers, our legislators are just sticking funding requests on every bill that flies by. It could be anything: the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Bill, the Child Safety Notification Bill, the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Bill, anything. This is how Congress works, using the word "works" in the most generous possible sense. However …
03 — Stealth Amnesty. … However, our noble senators went a little too far this time. Under relentless pressure from the agriculture lobbies, whose members swoon with horror at the suggestion that their workers should be U.S. citizens receiving wages set by the free operation of the labor markets, Senator Diane Feinstein, a limousine liberal Democrat from San Francisco, and Larry Craig, Republican [Laughter] from Idaho and well-known frequenter of airport restroom facilities, slipped a provision into the Iraq Funding Bill to give amnesty to 1.35 million illegal aliens. Their families would have got amnesty too, so the total number of scofflaws being given the privilege of U.S. citizenship here would be around three million. Then with chain migration, a few years down the road we'll have twenty or thirty million scofflaw-descended citizens. Don't think it's just Feinstein and Craig who are pushing these stealth amnesty laws either: this obnoxious amendment passed the committee vote 17-12, with seven Republicans voting for it and seven against. Here are the Republican senators who voted for the amnesty: Bennett of Utah, Bond of Missouri, Brownback of Kansas, Craig of the the cubicle, Domenici of New Mexico, Specter of Pennsylvania, and Stevens of Alaska. That's the Hall of Shame: now here's the Hall of Fame: ten senators who co-signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging him to strip out that amnesty amendment from the bill: Grassley of Iowa, Sessions of Alabama, Vitter of Louisiana, Coburn and Inhofe both of Oklahoma, Chambliss and Isakson both of Georgia, Dole of North Carolina, Barrasso of Wyoming and Bunning of Kentucky. Every one of the ten a Republican, of course. Reid is of course a total open borders and amnesty guy, but he got spooked by the protests against last year's amnesty bill, and is gun shy on the whole issue, so he did indeed drop the amendment. A small victory for U.S. sovereignty, and a qualified one, as another immigration boondoggle is still attached to the bill, but it shows that something can be done to preserve our nation's security and integrity, if we make enough noise. Special thanks to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who was instrumental in clubbing Diane Feinstein's little pet to death.
04 — Noose alarm. Have you gone over your living and working areas carefully to make sure there no nooses anywhere? Nothing that anyone's imagination might construe as a noose, incipient noose, or potential noose? No lassoos, lariats, eye splices or thongs? No length of rope, cord, string, twine, cable, hawser, sennit, braid, lace, catgut, or filament carelessly thrown down in such a configuration as to lead an observer to think that you might have intended to use it for noosely purposes? You sure? Good, because the noose panic continues to rage across the land, and trial lawyers are on the prowl. The latest noose news comes from Maryland, from the Beltsville training facility. That's where Secret Service agents get their training — the people who supply protection to federal officials and chase down currency crimes like counterfeiting. It's also where the President goes when he wants to ride his mountain bike — they have twelve miles of roads and trails in the facility. Well, one of the black agents at Beltsville, and I'm going to quote here from the wire service story, quote: "observed a rope tied in a loop, which was interpreted as a noose, in one of the training buildings." Oh my God! A rope tied in a loop! [Screams, Alarm sounds] The Secret Service immediately launched a major investigation. The agent suspected of looping that rope has been put on administrative leave until he can be formally charged with malicious noosing and given the mandatory 25-year jail sentence. Footnote to this story: The Secret Service has for eight years — eight years! — been embroiled in a lawsuit brought by ten current and former black agents alleging racial discrimination, with the able assistance of a battalion of trial lawyers alleging they're not yet rich enough. This noose incident and the stalled lawsuit wouldn't have anything to do with each other, would they? Of course not! What an outrageous suggestion!
05 — Farm Bill. Still more congressional action! No man's life or property is safe when Congress is in session, said Mark Twain, and those folk up on the Hill are determined to prove him right. The topic here is the Food and Energy Security Act 2007, loosely known as the Farm Bill. Official description: "To provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes." This little beauty is a 300 billion dollar hit on us taxpayers, a 20 billion dollar increase on current spending for agricultural supports and subsidies. 300 billion is about 1,500 dollars per taxpayer, which is 300 dollars a year for this five-year bill, so that's what you're handing over to U.S. farmers via the federal government and its subsidies, in addition to what you pay at the supermarket for your food. Hang on there a minute, you may be saying: Haven't prices for farm products been going through the roof just lately? My supermarket food bills sure have. So why do we need to increase farm supports? Well, obviously you don't understand the intricacies of federal agricultural policies. Neither does our president, apparently. When the bill landed on his desk, he vetoed it. The House brushed this aside, re-passing the bill by the necessary majority just hours after the president's veto. Then someone noticed that the bill sent to the president, the one he'd vetoed, had 34 pages missing. That means Bush vetoed a different bill from the one Congress passed, so everybody has to go back to their starting positions and do the whole thing over. As representative Louise Slaughter said: "We will have to repass the whole thing, as will the Senate. We can't let the farm bill just die." Heaven forbid. How could our farmers possibly cope without taxpayer support? They'd have to resort to desperate measures — hiring illegal aliens to cut costs, perhaps. Nobody wants that!
06 — South African attacks on immigrants. Speaking of immigration issues, the recent spate of violent attacks against immigrants seems to be getting worse. Some random quotes from the news stories: "People say that the immigrants have been taking jobs from locals and contributing to crime … Mobs have been roaming the streets looking for foreigners, many of whom have sought refuge in police stations, churches and community halls … At least 23 people have been killed as of this past Tuesday — beaten, shot, stabbed, or burned alive … The President has urged citizens to welcome foreigners, and promised extra police for the affected areas … The use of troops hasn't been ruled out … Meanwhile, many immigrants, in fear for their lives, have fled back over the borders into their home countries …" End of random quotes. Plainly things are pretty bad. You can't help but feel sorry for the immigrants, not all of whom are illegal. Oh, did I mention that those quotes all come from stories about South Africa? It's the most prosperous country in its region, you see, and people flood into it from neighboring countries, especially from Zimbabwe, where pretty much all economic activity has now ceased under the policies of President-for-Life Robert Mugabe. As comparatively prosperous as South Africa is, it has a huge poor underclass who don't take kindly to these immigrants. Everybody involved here is of course a black African, so the immigrants being burned alive in Johannesburg and Durban have at least the consolation of knowing they are not victims of racism.
07 — UN Rapporteur on Racism. Ah, racism, the great scourge of our times! Don't worry, though: the United Nations is on top of things. As of last Monday, we are honored to have among us Mr. Doudou Diene, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Racism. Doudou — I do hope he won't think it disrespectful of me to refer to him by his given name; it's just that it has a mellifluous quality, a certain je ne sais quoi — Doudou is a lawyer from Senegal, which is a country in West Africa with, apparently, no problems of its own for its lawyers to concern themselves with. Doudou will report his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council next year. Wow, we'd better be on our best behavior for the next couple of weeks while Doudou is among us. We wouldn't want to get a bad report, would we? Doudou will be visiting eight cities: Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hm, why not Honolulu, where Senator Akaka's pending legislation is about to confer extraordinary racial privileges on persons of Hawaiian ancestry? And while Doudou is in Chicago, perhaps he'll stop off at Trinity United Church of Christ to sit in on a sermon about how white folks greed runs a world in need. He might then pay a visit to the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park to see that church's retired pastor, Jeremiah Wright, in his two million dollar mansion. There's also a school in Tinley Park, Prairie View Middle School, in the news recently for giving a separate lunch table to accommodate Muslim students during the month of Ramadan, but rejecting a similar request by Catholic students for Lent. Yep, there's plenty of racism around, no doubt about it. I note from the news story, by the way, that our friend Doudou is here at the invitation of the U.S. government. I'd dearly like to know which department of the federal government invited this busybody to come here and snoop into our affairs. Do we have someone in Senegal checking up on their human rights? If not, why not?
08 — Koran shooting. And then there's the Koran shooting incident. Koran shooting — no, that's not a new Olympic sport. Come on, let's show a little respect here. What happened was, a Koran was found on a target-shooting range near Baghdad, shot full of holes. That's not what the word "holy" in "Holy Book" is supposed to mean. Well, everybody went into full apology mode. General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of our troops in Baghdad, did a full grovel in front of an assembly of local sheiks, most of whom were engaged in shooting holes in our soldiers until we figured out how much we had to bribe them to stop. Our President phoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with another apology, and Mr. al-Maliki paused from shoveling U.S. taxpayer dollars into his private Swiss bank account for long enough to offer a grudging acceptance of the apology. Meanwhile a protest against the incident in western Afghanistan resulted in three deaths. Also un-mollified was the Association of Muslim Scholars, which claims to represent more than 3,000 mosques in the region. They issued a statement saying that, quote: "This heinous crime shows the hatred that the US military and American leaders have for the Koran and the Muslim people." End quote. The soldier responsible for perforating the Koran without authorization has been identified, and will be handed over to our Iraqi friends so that they can hack him to death and use his mutilated corpse for a game of buzkashi. Let's do everything we can to keep the Iraqis and their Imams and Mullahs on our side. It's really important. I just wish I could remember why.
09 — Miscellany. A handful of short items to see us out.
Item: The Libertarian Party is holding its national convention this weekend, and it looks as though they're going to nominate former Republican congressman Bob Barr as their presidential candidate. You'll see worried reports that Barr might siphon away some Republican voters from John McCain in the fall. I must say, I don't see it. Barr says he will campaign on a platform of, quote: "Significant tax reduction, shrinking our financial and military footprints in Iraq, smaller government, and stronger border security," end quote. Well, Republicans don't believe in any of that, do they? What's the problem? I don't see it.
Item: Congratulations to Democrat Travis Childers, who won a striking victory in the special election for the House seat from Mississippi 1st District. That's been a Republican seat for the last 14 years. George W. Bush carried it with 62 percent of the vote in 2004, so Democrat Childers did well to win it with 54 percent this week. It's a little consolation, though only a little, to note that Travis Childers, in spite of being a Democrat, campaigned well to the right of your average Republican on several issues: pro-gun and anti-abortion, anyway. Whether those positions will survive his first meeting with Democrat House leaders in Washington DC is another matter. Still, at least for campaigning purposes, conservative Democrats are not a totally endangered species. If the DNC can come up with a few more candidates like Childers, in fact, the real endangered species may be Republican congressmen.
Item: Recall that raid on the polygamy compound in Texas last month, which I called "atrocity of the month" in my NRO diary, and fulminated about here on Radio Derb. The biggest part of the atrocity wasn't the raid itself, though sending an armed force into people's homes on a telephone tip from a woman known to be unstable strikes me as grossly unconstitutional. No, the biggest part of the atrocity was the taking of 463 children away from the only homes, parents, and playmates they had ever known. 130 of these children were under five years old. Well, I am glad to see that the Texas Third Appeal Court agrees with me. They ruled this week that the kidnapping officials had failed to demonstrate that the children were in any immediate danger. If you can't demonstrate that, you may not take children from their homes without court proceedings. Not even if you're the almighty state of Texas. I'm glad to know that, and I congratulate the Third Appeal Court on the first piece of good sense so far seen in this miserable case.
Item: Barack Obama is angry that commentators are saying disrespectful things about his wife. You remember Mrs. Obama — the lady who salary as a diversity compliance coordination liaison consultant for a Chicago hospital magically increased by 195 thousand dollars a few weeks after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate. I'm sure Mrs Obama has taken a salary cut now that she's spending so much time on the campaign trail supporting her husband. She can afford to, after all. Now that they know what a horrid anti-American place Trinity United Church of Christ is, they won't have to tithe to the place any more, as they did for all those twenty years that Jeremiah Wright had them bamboozled into believing he was a kindly old social reformer filled up with Christian humility and forbearance. Anyway, the fact that Mrs Obama is on the campaign trail renders Senator Obama's complaints nugatory. If you're on the field, expect to get tackled. Though I must say I'm a bit worried for the people of Chicago, with no-one to do their hospital's diversity compliance coordination liaison consulting for them. How will they cope?
Item: Feel like some fast food? How about a nice hamburger from the Wall Street Burger Shoppe in downtown Manhattan? Your burger's made with Kobe beef and it's topped with seared fresh foie gras, an assortment of exotic mushrooms, shaved black truffle, and golden truffle mayonnaise. It'll cost you 175 dollars. You want fries with that?
10 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Once again, I wish you a Memorial Day weekend both thoughtful and enjoyable. Enjoy your families and friends; enjoy the weather — it looks as though we're going to get lucky here on Long Island — but pause now and then to reflect that nothing in this world comes free. Certainly not at the Wall Street Burger Shoppe …
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]