Sunday, February 11, 2007

REACT: Yep! The liberals are at it again

The success of the Democrats to take control of the Congress was due to the election of a lot of moderate candidates. How-some-ever, this empowered a left-of-center leadership. Consequently, we are seeing the passage of a bunch of liberal lunacy.

Sometimes the eloquence of a point is made by modest observations. In this case, the point is on the end of a toothpick.

In order to save themselves from their own propensity to be corrupt, the new Democrat majority has passed a reform measure that would prevent those god-awful lobbyists from buying a meal for a member of the Congress.

This significantly lowers the bar on the amount of anything a lobbyist can give to or spend on a legislator – not even two eggs over-easy for breakfast. Having been a Washington lobbyist way back when, I never saw a situation where a meal would “buy” a vote. In fact, I spent a LOT of money on meals for legislators who I was trying to educate, and very often, I failed to get their vote.

I can only assume that the Democrats must go cheap. They apparently have determined that their members will crumble for a few crumbs. I can assure them that buying a GOP vote is going to cost a lot more than a sirloin steak. For some reason the punch line of an old joke just popped into my mind. It goes something like this: “We already have determined what you are, we are no only haggling over the price.” I guess Dems get corrupted for a pittance. I mean, a lunch? To corrupt a Republican you need at least a ten-day “fact finding mission” on the Aegean Sea.

To get to the point – the point of the toothpick that is. What, you may wonder, does a toothpick have to do with lavishing bĂ©arnaise sauce on legislators? Let me explain.

According to the proposed reforms, a nasty lobbyist may not invite a sleazy member of Congress out for lunch, BUT it is okay to invite him or her to an exorbitantly expensive reception where food and “beverage” is served in old Roman proportions. You see the problem?

When does a morsel of food constitute a meal? Well, in classic liberal fashion, they came up with the “toothpick rule.” If you can pick it up with a toothpick, it is an hor’devour ___ -- and exempt from federal regulation. (I hate to tell them that I have a bruiser of a brother who, in pursuit of food, could pick up a side of beef with a toothpick – but that is another matter).

Let us consider one of my favorite foods, the lowly hotdog. I have been to many receptions where there is a bin full of cute little miniature wieners immersed in a sea of barbeque sauce. Along side is a shot glass full of toothpicks.

I have seen guests, including myself, skewer a regiment of those little devils. Throw in a few dozen Swedish meatballs and chicken livers wrapped in bacon and you can consume several dinners worth of food in no time.

This also raises the question of “pieces” of dinner foods. Let’s say that going out for a couple of hotdogs is verboten under the new regs. What if you cut up some full-size Vienna franks and serve them in little pieces – with toothpicks of course. Oh … what about chicken? No clucking over fried chicken dinner, sayeth the Dems, but what if it is chicken parts, like Buffalo wings? In that case, you can eat a barnyard full of our feather friends – on toothpicks, to be sure.

According to the proposed legislation, it would be a no-no to dine at a fine restaurant over a fruit salad, which you properly eat with a fork since eating with toothpicks at an upscale eatery would be a bit uncouth. Of course, you can gorge yourself on the very same diced up melons and berries at a reception, IF you convey them to your mouth by toothpick. You cannot provide whole fruit to a lawmaker since picking a cantaloupe with a toothpick is not easy. (Hmmm. I think determining how to pick up fruits at a congressional reception is begging for a joke, but I will constrain myself).

Okay, what about those reception foods you cannot eat with a toothpick. Little Jell-O squares. If you attempt to get them to your mouth on the tip of a toothpick, you tend to look like a gyrating contestant in some silly game show -- and regardless of your skill level, the damn things will more likely land on tongue of your shoe than the one in your mouth. And what about cookies. They shatter to crumbs when pierced by a toothpick.

Hey! What about liquids? At a reception, how many free drinks can a legislator have? Leave out Ted Kennedy since he skews the numbers.

I was going to suggest that foods eaten by hand should be exempt from the culinary gift provision. This would leave an egregious loophole that would allow those lobbyists to undermine the integrity of Congress by taking members to Burger King for lunch. Maybe only food eaten while standing? (They actually debated that provision. Honest, this is not from the Colbert Report. This is your new Congress in action).

Why don’t they just make it all simple? Limit the number of CALORIES that you can feed a legislator without creating a national ethical crisis. Like … you may not give a lawmaker more than 200 calories in free food a day. (We have to stay well under any “meal level” number of calories).

This is a perfect liberal solution. We would have to hire an army of overpaid civil servants to attend receptions to monitor the caloric intake of individual legislators. Of course, each lobbyist and legislator would have to file separate federal reports to the Department of Agriculture to report the number of calories given/received, and the Ag Dept would be responsible for setting the standard of calories in each tidbit of food. Violation of the Federal Legislator Caloric Intake Act would result in a fine and 10 to 30 days on a 1000-a-day diet. Hmmmm. For speaker Hastert that could be considered “cruel and unusual punishment.” And in the case of Ted Kennedy, it could trigger withdrawal symptoms.

Well, you can see why we need to send the best and the brightest to Washington. While we spend our days thinking about such piddlely stuff as job layoffs, lack of health insurance, terrorist attacks, and crappy education for our kids, our men and women in Washington have to contend with the pressing concerns of our times.

To them I say, “Bon Appetite”

P.S. I wonder if Pelosi & Co. is running the risk of a tree hugger backlash? I am thinking of all those billions of newly needed toothpicks. There goes another forest.

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