From the desk of author Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon was a 15-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and served  in its drug enforcement division, receiving well over a dozen awards for his excellent service
Date: March 25, 2007   Vol. 2 2- Issue 6

The Other White Meat

(Colored highlights are Webmasters)

When President Bush asked for an additional 22,000 troops to compliment the forces in Iraq so we can hopefully end the conflict and put this war to bed, Congress obliged. However, now that the President is asking for $92 billion in emergency spending because the previous funds will run out next month, Congress in its irresponsible wisdom has delivered a car without a gas tank. In real terms, you can't drive a car without gas and you can't fight a war without the tools needed to get the job done, especially if you are pulling a trailer full of pork.

To be perfectly blunt, most of the Democrats are against the war. It does not take a brain surgeon to realize that fact. So why waste the taxpayer’s time and money to push through a useless bill that everyone knows will be vetoed anyway. Okay all of you folks who are sitting on the left side of the aisle we heard you, we got your message.

We are not as stupid as you believe we are. There are people out there that want to cut off our heads. So stop playing games and get the job done right. Get back to work and do the job you were elected to do; that is to uphold the constitution and protect the people of the United States.

Tacking on all sorts of useless amendments is totally counterproductive. You were elected to represent the people not try to bribe your colleagues with all sorts of goodies so they will vote in your favor. Let us examine what bribes they have tried to use.

The President asked for an additional $92 billion in emergency spending. He wanted $72 billion to fund the war and $20 billion in additional Hurricane Katrina relief. Knowing that placing a timetable on the bill by itself wouldn't allow it to fly so they tacked on all kinds of pork. Some of these amendments are so ridiculous that they would insult the intelligence of a two-year-old child.

They added over $24 billion that has me scratching my head. Here are just a few amendments they added on:

$4 billion in additional nationwide agricultural disaster assistance. The USDA did not request the funds. Even though farm income in 2005 was in excess of $72 billion, a record high, they added an additional $4 billion, which would not be used in areas that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Sounds like another rainy day fund, only rain is not in the forecast.

$700 million to reroute a railroad line so it can make room for a private development of additional casinos along the Gulf Coast. That line is now fully functional after it was repaired at a cost of $300 million after being damaged by Hurricane Katrina. CSX is not excited about moving their tracks they rebuilt it as fast as possible to meet their customers needs because it was a critical artery. There is nothing wrong with the existing line. Don't bet on this one.

$594 million in additional highway funding. This is in addition to the $286 billion that was passed last year. Only this money has nothing to do with Katrina or Iraq. It would be used for the emergency relief highway backlog across the country. The only project specifically mentioned in the committee's report is the Kuhio Highway in Hawaii, which is, located over 4,000 miles away from the Gulf Coast. Sounds like another bridge to nowhere.

$21 million is the amount President Bush originally wanted to restore fishery resources in the Gulf region as assistance to the seafood industry that was hard hit by Katrina. The House eliminated this portion of the bill. However, the Senate reinstated it and raised the stakes to over $1.1 billion. This is well beyond the already millions that were spent to repair and replace damaged boats and docks. Smells a little fishy to me.

You are going to love this one! $3.8 billion to prepare for a potential bird flu epidemic like the last one. You know the last one that is the one where we have 500-million vaccines ready to go. The current vaccine is not scheduled to expire for at least two- years. So now, they want us to throw it all away and start over. Sounds like a bird brained idea to me.

$74 million for the peanut farmers to store their crops. There is a peanut quota in the U.S. This holds down the supply and increases the price. So now, they want to hand the peanut farmers our hard- earned tax dollars to buy them storage units. I wonder if they will be located in Plains, Georgia. This sounds like a nutty idea.

$400 million to help the timber industry in Oregon. This industry was originally hurt when Congress shut down harvesting the Northern timberlands to protect the Spotted Owl from being displaced. However, they have no problem displacing you and me through eminent domain if they needed our houses for a municipal parking lot. By the way, the Northern Spotted Owl originated in Mexico, they are probably here illegally.

$400 million for the low-income energy assistance program. The Democrats have been blocking our efforts to drill our own oil resources. They also don't want us to increase nuclear power. So what are they going to do with the $400 million? Send me low energy light bulbs.

Here is the real problem. According to the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates the funding of the war runs out on April 15, 2007. If Congress does not act immediately, on April 15 there will be no funds available to protect our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends who are fighting to keep America safe. Congress will be on Spring Break when that happens. They will be romping on the sands of Palm Beach and Santa Monica while our troops are romping on the sands of Baghdad. They will be sipping champagne and Rum Punch while our troops will be wondering where their next meal is coming from because the funds ran out.

This is not the first time pork was added to an emergency spending bill. During the last go around, they tacked on a $1 million price tag for a telescope to be used to discover intelligent life in outer space. Let's start by looking for intelligent life in Washington, DC.

And, that is my opinion.

Michael Solomon

Author of 'Where Did My America Go?"


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