Two bits of political "Huh?" today...
First, Michele Bachman, everybody's favorite anti-government spending, tea-party friendly, down-with-earmarks Congresswoman has introduced a bill to build a bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin.
This is what Bachman had to say in her Tea Party response to the State of the Union Address: "After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks that the president signed, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don't have."
Today, she proposed building a bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The proposed bridge actually violates federal environmental law. So what did Bachman do? She proposed creating an exemption for this one bridge. And, as the Star Trib reports, "Her bill isn't an earmark because it doesn't call for spending, she said. Money to pay for the bridge would be determined later by Minnesota and Wisconsin state governments and the federal government, she said."
Basically, she wants to give them the go ahead to build a bridge the violates federal law and figure out how to pay for it later. Now, to be fair to the Congresswoman, she's long been in favor of this bridge. Of course, it would be a boon for her hometown. There are other, similar bridges currently in operation and others being built (bridges that don't violate federal law). But none of those are good for her personally, so this is the one she's been pushing for.
Still, seems a little crazy, right? Anti-earmark Representative wants a bridge built in her hometown so badly that she's willing to give it an exemption to federal law?
The other "Huh?" story today is that Republicans have passed a bill to make themselves less environmentally friendly. They've actually brought styrofoam cups and plastic silverware back into the Congressional lunch room. It's largely symbolic, since Congress' garbage is just a small part of our nation's total refuse output, but still, I expect our leaders to lead.
It isn't like we're talking about controversial environmentalism here; this isn't wind energy vs. oil, or global warming, or even endangered species vs. loggers. This is basic "let's create less garbage" environmentalism. But no, Republicans hate Democrats so much that they're willing to actually pollute more to prove it. As John Boehner tweeted, "The new majority – plasticware is back". Because that's what this is about: sticking it to those rotten green Democrats.
My goodness. They might as well have passed a bill requiring Congress to run the water while they brush their teeth, or that all the lights in the Capitol be left on at all times. This is the kind of stupid stuff that happens when our representatives care more about politics than they do about people. And it's clear from this that the Republican majority obviously cares more about politics, and less about listening to people or leading them to a better world.
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in