What Passes for Congressional Courage

Great guest editorial by Bud Hendershot in my local paper.

Recently the U.S. Senate voted on a bill that would ban the EPA from accepting data from companies who use intentional pesticide dosing of human beings as part of their studies…

It seems that chemical companies have been paying people to ingest pesticides. The subjects include pregnant females, and the fetuses they carry. According to the Wall Street Journal, these tests are designed by pesticide manufacturers to “prove” the safety of their products, in hopes of weakening EPA regulations regarding pesticide use on U.S. crops.

…By a vote of 60-37, senators voted to prohibit the EPA from accepting, considering, or relying on chemical industry studies involving intentional dosing of human subjects. Who voted against this bill? Thirty-seven senators, all Republicans, including Mel Martinez. So did the very sanctimonious Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; a man who never met a fetus he didn’t like.

Apparently, poisoning fetuses is a-ok with these senators. Just don’t abort them.

Interestingly, a subset of the 37 senators who voted against the protection of fetuses (and the already born) also voted against a recently passed anti-lynching bill [Editor’s note: actually, they just didn’t vote in favor of it] You’d think being against lynching would be a no-brainer for any senator, “pro-life” or not, right?

…[Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN)] is the perfect representative of this crew…He is vehemently anti-abortion. He spent weeks grandstanding to keep a brain-dead, blind woman alive, so full of life’s “sanctity” is he. Yet he loves the death penalty and supports the war (as long as it is fought by other people’s sons and daughters).

Lynching and pesticides? Fine by Frist! The contradictions are dizzying.

Thankfully, the Congress is busy with other important business, namely a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit Flag Burning. Yes, that is a critical problem these days. You can barely cross the street without tripping over burning flags, right?

With 1,700 soldiers dead in Iraq and a host of other tiny little problems, it’s good to see our government focusing on legislation that truly impacts our daily lives. Flag burning. It makes you angry enough to want to dose somebody with pesticides and lynch ’em, doesn’t it?


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