DURST: Conclusion of the 105th Congress, Part I

Where the imminent war with iraq seems to have escaped public notice. But if it threatens to affect the supply of cab drivers in town, expect all hell to break loose.Congress has gone underground for the winter like 535 individual bears in search of extremely safe caves lain with piles of soft money. But don't get too elated, they'll be back. There is much to do. Plenty of stuff still works. Here are the high points, if you have the nerve to call them that, of the first half of the 105th Congress' mucking up.*The Balanced Budget: Got it! Finally! Maybe! Mainly because theeconomy is kicking serious butt, so watch both parties climb over each other with turf cleats to take credit.*"Taxpayer Relief Act": Lowering capital gains taxes in order to stimulate the rich. Thought to be less effective than a remote controlled cattle prod suppository, but not as messy.*Defense: $268.2 billion. $2.6 billion more than requested. Nice.Kinda like getting too much change back at the 7-11. Way too much change. Guess that big Peace Dividend ... expired.*Immigration: Relaxed portions of 1996 immigration law which allowed immigrants to be corralled onto meat farms, ground up and served as lumpia filling.*Congressional Pay: Received a $3,072 raise by not voting on it. Things aren't bad enough, now we have to worry about these cheese weenies when they're not doing anything.*Foreign Aid: Floated some spare change, $12.8 billion, to countries smart enough to vote our way in the UN.Will Durst would vote pro US if he were a UN member.


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