Your Congress at work

In order to eke out a bare majority to vote for surrender in Iraq, the Congressional Democrats had to throw into the kitty:

$24 million for funding for sugar beets.[*1]

$3 million for funding for sugar cane (goes to one Hawaiian co-op).[*2]

$20 million for insect infestation damage reimbursements in Nevada, Idaho, and Utah.[*3]

$2.1 billion for crop production losses.[*4]

$1.5 billion for livestock production losses.

$100 million for Dairy Production Losses.

$13 million for Ewe Lamb Replacement and Retention Program.[*6]

$32 million for Livestock Indemnity Program.[*7]

$40 million for the Tree Assistance Program.[*8]

$100 million for Small Agricultural Dependent Businesses.[*9]

$6 million for North Dakota flooded crop land.[*10]

$35 million for emergency conservation program.[*11]

$50 million for the emergency watershed program.

$115 million for the conservation security program.[*12]

$18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West.[*13]

Provision that extends the availability by a year $3.5 million in funding for guided tours of the Capitol. Also a provision allows transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.[*14]

$165.9 million for fisheries disaster relief, funded through NOAA (including $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region).

$12 million for forest service money (requested by the president in the non-emergency FY2008 budget).[*16]

$425 million for education grants for rural areas – (Secure Rural Schools program).[*17]

$640 million for LIHEAP.

$25 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant.[*18]

$388.9 million for funding for backlog of old Department of Transportation projects.[*19]

$22.8 million for geothermal research and development.[*20]

$500 million for wildland fire management.[*21]

$13 million for mine safety technology research.[*22]

$31 million for one month extension of Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC)[*5]

$50 million for fisheries disaster mitigation fund.[*23]

$100 million for security at the Presidential Candidate Nominating Conventions[*15]

$2 million for the University of Vermont[*24]

So much for “principled opposition to” blah blah blah blather blather blather.

Sooeeee!  Pig!!!!  Let the pork roll, boys, the Dems are back in power!  Too bad the damn thing will get vetoed.

Misreported News Of The Day

Iran blatantly violates Geneva Convention with British Sailors

I don’t know why this isn’t the headline in every newspaper in the civilized world.

All credible evidence indicates that the British sailors were conducting themselves within international law, according to a U.N. Mandate, and were inside Iraqi territorial waters.  By seizing the sailors, Iran violated the territorial integrity of Iraq, violated the U.N. mandate.  The recent “confessions” by the British sailors are even more damning.  By coercing and recording confessions from the British sailors, the Iranians are consistently and blatantly violating the Geneva Conventions regarding treatment of uniformed military. These could be considered, separately or together as a pattern of behavior, as acts of war.

The good news for Iran is that what they have done is not, technically, piracy.  Piracy is by definition action by private (i.e. non-military) forces.  If it had been piracy, Iran would have been open to reprisals from ANY law-abiding, sea-faring country.  The United States happens to have two carrier battle groups in the area.

Iran is on very, very, very thin ice right now.

Things to do with beer

On my morning walk through the Internet, I stumbled across this[*1] .

Here’s my favorite (although it’s hard to pick just one):

According to Andrew Lopez, a professional gardener, the fermented sugars in beer stimulate plant growth and kill fungi. He recommends spraying either home brew or Rolling Rock (both are chemical-free) on those annoying brown spots in your lawn. (Either that, or just stop peeing there.) “The grass will absorb the sugar in the beer and draw energy from it,” Lopez explains.

Via John Scalzi’s By The Way[*2] blog.

Man, woman fall overboard, rescued

A man and a woman fell overboard[*1] from a Princess Cruise lines ship . . . after about 4 hours in the water, they were rescued:

The captain turned the ship around after friends of the man and woman notified the crew at about 1:30 a.m. CDT that they had gone overboard, Benson said. The ship’s crew used high-powered spotlights and rescue boats in the search. One passenger was rescued by the ship’s boats at 5:30 a.m. and the other at 6 a.m., according to a statement by the cruise line.

Lucky for them they were in relatively warm Gulf of Mexico waters . . .

Berroa Sent Down

The Kansas City Royals finally lost patience with shortstop Angel Berroa.  After a 2004 season where Berroa won the AL Rookie of the Year award, he struggled through two dreadful seasons where he couldn’t hit or field at the major league level.  So, yesterday, the Royals sent him to AAA Omaha after acquiring Tony Pena Jr. from the Atlanta Braves organization.

Pena looks to be the starting shortstop for the Royals on opening day,

Got Lab?

No, not a dog, a research lab for testing large structures.  South Dakota State University opened the Jerome Lohr Structures Laboratory on March 15th.  From the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader:

The lab is the only one in the state and unique to the upper Midwest for testing large structural pieces of material for strength and endurance. A 24,000-square-foot addition was built onto Crothers’ southeast corner for the lab.

Like Jerry Lohr, I’m a proud graduate in civil engineering from SDSU.  Unlike him, I don’t own an award-winning winery[*1] .

SDSU enters the Gateway Football Conference

Effective with the 2008 season, the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits football team will leave the Great West Football Conference and join the Gateway Football Conference.  Apart from dropping a W from the conference initials, the Jacks look to improve thir schedule significantly.  The GWFC had five strong members, the GWC will have nine strong members.  The big thing is that the Gateway has an automatic bid into the D-I Football Playoffs.  The Great West doesn’t.

Playing Catchup, again!

Much work has been happening over at  There’s a new forum for South Dakota State University athletics.  The new forum is here[*1] .  The old forum, here[*2] , will be around for a little while (until May, probably).

I’ve got a stack of papers from the last couple of weeks that I plan to crunch through this afternoon, while watching the Tennessee Lady Vols and then listening to the SDSU Jackrabbit women take on the Wyoming Cowgirls in the WNIT.  So there will be a bunch of posts, I imagine . . .