Congress Just Keeps Going

Time to present another Gooberhead Award [Beaniecap Breakdown] -- handed out periodically to people in the news who've got their tongues going 100 miles per hour ... but forgot to put their brains in gear.

I've got a Double Goober for you today. First up is Sen. Thad Cochran! This Mississippi Republican rose to his full height recently and boldly declared: "We weren't going to let terrorists shut down our government." Was Thad referring to some proud determination by our congress critters to say on the job in Washington? Not quite. In fact he was simply using terrorism in an attempt to explain why he and his colleagues continue to take congressional junkets, even though there's a war going on and our nation is in a recession.

Undeed, only 10 days after Sept. 11's terrorists attacks, Sen. Cochran was out there junketing with the best of them, enjoying an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, courtesy of lobbyists and executives in the poultry industry. Yes, even as some of our soldiers were going cave to cave in Tora Bora, some of our lawmakers have been going to exotic locales like Hawaii, to the posh Greenbrier resort, and other luxury destinations, paid for and accompanied by lobbyists for the airlines, the chemical giants, and other interests wanting special legislative favors from their junketing "guests."

Which brings up Goober Number Two: Rep. Charles Stenholm. Last October, while the hunt for Osama bin Laden was getting fierce in Afghanistan, this Texas Democrat accepted it as his patriotic duty to attend the toney Breeder's Cup horse races in Belmont, New York, as a guest of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. "We do quite a few of these events," explained Stenholm after a tough day of being wined and dined by the horsey set. He added: "I never apologize. I had never been to the Breeder's Cup."

This is Jim Hightower saying ... That's the spirit Charlie. When the going gets tough ... our congressional tough guys get going on junkets.


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