Congress is back! Topics that will not be addressed this week by everyone's favorite deliberative body include immigration reform, lobbying reform, and cracks in the Medicare drug benefit. The Washington Post reports that after a five-week break, "the centerpiece of the House's schedule for the coming week is a bill to toughen rules against horse slaughtering."
Over at The Heritage Foundation's blog, Ed Morrissey complains about the call for $5 million in anti-slaughter funds, but a $5 million distraction seems like a bargain to me. (Bonus: time wasted arguing over whether the bill is worth wasting time on.) Plus, check out what that $5 mil buys: star appearances by Willie Nelson, Bo Derek, and Texas oil magnate T. Boone Pickens.
Americans, you'll have noted, enjoy fictional depictions of live talking horses more than they enjoy eating actual dead ones. There are a grand total of three U.S.-based horse slaughterhouses, all of which export meat to countries with less developed My Little Pony markets. Thus, the bill to ban horse slaughter for human consumption has 200 cosponsors. Abattoir fans might ask whether a random cultural affection for a particular four-legged animal is enough reason to shut down legitimate enterprises. Talking to The Hill, a Republican lobbyist asks why pro-horse meat types hate our troops:
But Chris Heyde, a Republican lobbyist for the Society for Animal Protection Legislation, noted that PETA has taken no position on the bill and scoffed at [Rep. Charlie] Stenholm's argument that Congress should not legislate the morals of foreign horse-eating nations.
"That's a hoot … to say, 'Who are we to tell other cultures what they can and can't do?'" Heyde said. "We've got a lot of hardworking Americans sitting in Iraq right now. Drugs and prostitution are legal in other parts of the world."
The idea that Americans shouldn't worry about dietary habits in Slovenia: hilarious!