- Politics and Social Issues
By: Wayne Brown
After you catch the first fox in the henhouse, you generally are not surprised to find a second one there in a matter of time. With some breeds, stealing, especially when it is ever so convenient is just a way of life. So it is it seems in the Washington of today. In fact, theft and deception rule the day to the level that it just pisses me off to think about it. These are people that should not be allowed to hold the cigar box when you are out selling Girl Scout cookies and yet, we, as voters, elect them to high offices to run our country.
The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, when not giving due consideration to whether she should once again go under the knife and attempt to achieve the unique beauty of Michael Jackson is looking for ways to line her own already full pockets. Sources indicate that Speaker Pelosi, at the last minute, tacked on a $33 million dollar economic development grant for American Somoa to the bailout legislation passed through Congress last year. This comes on the heels of Pelosi also including exclusions for American Somoa under the terms of the most recent minimum wage increase. It seems Ms. Pelosi has a special place in her heart for American Somoa.
It seems Ms. Pelosi does have quite a vested interest in American Somoa. It just happens to be a key manufacturing base for Del Monte Foods, the folks who own the StarKist Tuna brands and package it in American Somoa. Del Monte is headquartered in San Francisco which just happens to sit smack-dab in the heart of the Pelosi Congressional District. Hubby, Paul Pelosi, currently owns approximately $17 million dollars worth of StarKist stock. Now, let’s add two and two and see if it comes up four. How do think the profit margins look at StarKist when there are millions of dollars available in taxpayer money and a significantly lower wage scale for the workers packing the tuna. At the very least, one would think that it would make the tuna business quite profitable.
This manipulation of the legislative process for personal gain is nothing new to the system but at least some of the crooks we have sent to Washington in the past had enough smarts to try to hide their tracks. Ms. Pelosi, like many of her colleagues of today in Washington, likes to use a different approach, a more simplistic one that requires very little planning or scheming. You see, she just operates on the assumption that you and I as good citizens of America are still too stupid to figure it all out. That is the way she views America…too stupid to figure it out. Of course, she has plenty of people around her from the President on down to her running buddy, Dingy Harry Reid, who agree with and utilize this methodology on a regular basis.
I am reminded of a story that is told about the former Louisiana politician, Huey Long, who was well-known for twisting the truth to fit the scenario. The story goes that Huey was out campaigning around southern Louisiana. His manager cautioned him to be very careful about religious remarks in his speech as there were a lot of Catholics in the area and he did not need to offend them thus alienating their vote. Well, right in the middle of his speech, Huey starts telling the story about how he used to get up bright and early on Sunday morning, hitch the mule to the buggy, and head off to pick up his grandparents for church. As Huey told it, his grandparents on his mother’s side were Baptist, so he would pick them up early and they would all head to the Baptist church and attend sunrise services. Then he would drop off that set of grandparents and drive five miles east and pickup his father’s parents, who were Catholic. They, in turn, would head over to the Catholic church to attend the mass at high noon. Huey told this story to demonstrate to the voters of the area that he held an appreciation for all religious sects. Shortly after the speech, Huey and the campaign manager were driving to their next stop. The manager looked at Long and said, “Gee, Mr. Long, I had no idea that you were Catholic” to which Huey replied, “Aw hell, we didn’t even have a mule.” So you see, the assumption that the American citizen is one dumb cracker is not new to our society. Politicians have employed it for years and we have allowed it.
Many years ago, back in my home county, a state senator was caught in a pay-off scam. It seems there was a faction that wanted to see legalized horse racing in the state and they were willing to pay to get it approved. The senator was approached and seemed receptive to the idea. It looked like a pretty easy way for the senator to put a few bucks in his pocket. Well, the FBI somehow got into the mix and set up a sting operation. By the time they were finished, they had caught the senator taking delivery of his payoff money in a brown paper bag in some cheap hotel room. In the process, they recorded him as he incriminated himself six ways from Sunday and just cussed a blue streak about everything under the sun. It turned into a nasty little mess. The senator was well-liked in his home district. He was described as a good, God-fearing man who only wanted to aid the sick and help the poor of the modest community that surrounded his ranch estate. When the news broke, folks lined up on both sides of the aisle. Some wanted his head; others felt the senator had been the victim of cruel trickery on the part of the FBI. When the media ask the senator about the colorful language he had employed on the tape, his reply was, “well, if I had known I was being recorded, I wouldn’t have talked that way.” Now, I have to ask you, is this man stupid or does he think the voters, the sick, poor, and down-trodden of the modest community surrounding his ranch estate are? I think it’s obvious, don’t you?
We have come to a sad time in America when we have to sort through politicians like trash thrown out at the dump in order to find one that stills remember why the voters sent him or her to Washington. Could it be that the job just does not attract honest, decent people who want to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights afforded each citizen under the Constitution? Why wouldn’t the job be attractive? It pays six figures, has a rock solid retirement plan after only one term in office and comes with a ton of other benefits up to and including globe-trotting junkets and use of private aircraft operated at taxpayer expense. Maybe that’s the problem…the job has all the elements that attract thieves and snakes. No, it goes beyond that. It comes right back to the American citizen. The reason this stuff goes on is because we allow it. We turn our heads, don’t pay attention, rationalize, and defend to the death the person we voted to the office. We do this while leaving the door to vault unlocked. We are the responsible party. We let the fox into the henhouse and when we catch him with a mouth full of feathers, he simply asks, “Who you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” Well, who can trust their own eyes you begin to ask yourself. After all, things aren’t always as they seem. It is truly a sad time in America, sad because we as voters are too stupid to see that the people we elect think we are stupid. A sad time.
So, next time you time you get that urge for a nice tuna fish salad sandwich and head out to the grocery store to fetch a fresh can of tuna, I want you to think about something. When you reach up on the shelf and see the price of that can of StarKist tuna, I want you to think about the Speaker of The House of Representatives of The United States of America sitting in her leather covered seat on a taxpayer provided Boeing 757 aircraft with more seats than the average airline needs for a profitable trip, sipping her taxpayer provided glass of high-dollar liquor, relaxing in taxpayer provided comfort while she jets toward her taxpayer provided San Francisco office each week looking down her nose at the stupid American voter. I want you to think about it. I certainly will and I can guarantee you this, the can of tuna that I pick up off that shelf won’t have the StarKist name on the label, no way. I am going think about that can of tuna all the way to the voting booth in November when I say, “Sorry, not this time, Charlie.”