Sen. Inouye’s ‘bacon’ isn’t just fat
A private taxpayer "watchdog" group has once again branded Hawaii Sen. Dan Inouye as the biggest porker in Congress because he continues to "bring home the bacon" to our little island state.
To accuse Inouye of simply bringing home the bacon is an unfair characterization of his amazing ability to wrestle money out of the national treasury for Hawaii. He not only brings home the bacon, he brings home the rice, eggs, Portuguese sausage, hash browns, toast, pancakes, Spam and papaya. He brings home the entire Zippy's breakfast menu, and Hawaii (and, as we'll see, the world) is better for it.
But first let's look at Citizens Against Government Waste, this self-appointed "watchdog" group that chastises congressional reps for "pork-barrel" spending. Shouldn't a group worried about "pork" be called a "watchpig" group instead of "watchdog" group? Inouye has never been accused of "bringing home the Alpo."
And while a lot of taxpayers' money is wasted, not all of the projects identified as "pork" by CAGW are unnecessary or lavish. The CAGW, for instance, gets a kick out of making fun of Hawaii for getting federal bucks to stop the brown tree snake from getting into Hawaii. "Brown tree snake once again slithers into defense appropriations," the CAGW giggled a few years ago.
The watchpigs found it incredibly funny that Hawaii would need specially trained dogs to sniff out brown tree snakes at the airport here. And on the surface it does sound kind of funny. Who ever heard of a creature called a "brown tree snake"? Is that like a purple shrub snake? And why do taxpayers have to foot the bill for Snoopy-type dogs to lope around the airport looking for funny-sounding reptiles? Hahahaha!
The watchpigs don't bother to look a bit deeper, where they would learn that if brown tree snakes got a slither-hold in Hawaii, they could wipe out almost all the birds and flowers, as they have done in Guam. You wipe out the birds and flowers in Hawaii, and pretty soon other species of plants and animals die off and then you don't have Hawaii anymore, you've got New Jersey in the Pacific.
Inouye, who was first elected to Congress, I believe, during the Lincoln administration, should be proud that he is able to bring so much money to the fourth-smallest state in the Union. I think it's cool that Texas ranch hands and 7-Eleven clerks in California paid for our H-3 freeway.
Another project the watchpig group really made fun of was $11.5 million to build a telescope in Hawaii to spot objects in space that might crash into Earth. Hey, where do you think a killer meteorite is going to land? Hilo? No, it's going to land somewhere on the mainland or even in another country. So Hawaii is doing America and the world in general a great service tracking dangerous space debris. Despite what the worry weenies at Citizens Against Government Waste say, that's not pork, it's prime rib, baby.
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