Kathleen Parker's column in today's Spokesman Review talked about how Bobby Jindal's Republican staff nearly did in his political ambitions by the way they framed him in his response to Obama's speech to Congress. As an aside, I agree that he is one of the bright spots in the Republican gloom and left to his own instincts he'll do just fine.
The point of this post, however, is something that was mentioned almost in passing in the column. She pointed out an instance where he was emphasizing excess pork in the stimulus bill. She also mentioned one attributed to Sarah Palin as a gaffe along the same lines. Jindal's was the mention of "volcano monitoring" as wasteful spending. I think not. Just think about it.
Palin's was a reference to fruit fly research as silly spending. Then Parker points out that fruit fly research is crucial to medical research. Did you know that? I did not.
Now I'm going to jump on the media and watchdog groups. True, there are a lot of projects that raise many an eyebrow with good reason, but now I'm wondering how many, even though they may sound silly, are not.
We know the media has become personality driven, too many reporters are lazy and substance is often lacking not to mention objectivity. I would like to see an explanation of pork projects paired with a justification before I'm so quick to condemn them.
Congress embeds pork in bills. They all have computers, cell phones, land lines, Blackberries and web sites. More and more are utilizing Twitter. Spare me. It's not like they don't have better things to do. Point being, they are not difficult to access. So ladies and gentlemen of the media, those of you who still have jobs, how about doing a little probing about these projects and inform those of us who still listen to you or read your papers. Just in case you wonder why there are so few of us and your papers are folding around you, it may be because you're not doing your jobs. I'd not expect to get this information from a columnist. I would expect it from a reporter.
Mass condemnation because we don't like pork no longer makes sense. If you guys want to continue to take home the bacon, talk to us about pork!