OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Thursday, June 22, 2006 :::

Standing Tall for Pork, Again

A series of amendments aimed at stripping pork from the Defense Appropriations bill were brought to the House floor on Tuesday, where they were all soundly defeated.

How did Virginia's phalanx of fiscal conservatives vote on these critical, defense related items.Andrew provides five roll call votes. The results are not pretty.

On the amendment to remove $1,000,000 for the Institute for Exploration at Mystic Aquarium in New London, Connecticut, Virginia's delegation voted no. Obviously, sea cucumbers must be the key to our nation's missile defense system.

On an amendment to strike $1,000,000 for the JASON Foundation in Ashburn, Virginia, Virginia's delegation voted no. Interesting that JASON's mission is to: "inspire in students a life-long passion for learning in science, math, and technology through hands-on, real-world scientific discovery." A worthy goal. But is it worth $1 million of federal defense funds? I'm not so sure. Then again, it already gets a degree of support from NASA, NOAA, the Parks Service. Hey, it beats having to raise the money from private sources.

On an amendment to remove $2,500,000 for the Northwest Manufacturing Initiative, the Virginia delegation again voted no. According to this document, the Initiative is supposed to fund: "...research and development, workforce development training; and capacity-building for small and medium size companies, and support for Oregon and Southwest Washington's infrastructure engineering economic clusters." All worthy goals, I suppose. Worthy enough to earn a place in the defense bill, as opposed to, say, the Small Business Administration, or even local economic development offices.

On an amendment to take out $4,000,000 for the Lewis Center for Education Research in Apple Valley, California, the Virgina delegation goes to the mat once more and votes no. Fun fact about the Lewis Center:

The Lewis Center for Educational Research, formerly the Apple Valley Science and Techology Center, was conceptualized by Rick Piercy, a former kindergarten teacher. Since opening in 1990, the center has hosted more than 100,000 students, teachers and parents participating in outreach programs, clubs and other educational activities. The Lewis Center continues to provide hands-on instructional programs to students and the community.

Creating the defense industry workers of tomorrow, today! Or something like that.

And on an amendment to strip $20,000,000 for the Leonard Wood Research Institute in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Virginia's delegation again mustered the courage to vote no.

The Institute's mission is to "...develop[], promote[] and manage[] world-class government, academic and private business collaborations that have an inherent synergy with Department of Defense (DoD) missions at Fort Leonard Wood."

Of course it is. Among those synergies is promoting "...economic and business development in the region and state." They also seem to do, or hope to do, a number of projects with the military and homeland security. So long as they have something to do with local economic development, that is.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 6/22/2006 0 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

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