Well, now that we are deep into Q2 of FY2003, it's a good thing Congress has finally authorized spending for the current FY. The upshot is that the 3,000-odd page omnibus spending package is so dense and complext that no member knows exactly what's in it. This represents a pretty critical failure of the political process in Congress. What actually suprised me was the number of congresspeople who actually stood on principle and voted against the monster. It passed 338-83 in the House and 76-20 in the Senate. Naturally, like all dead-of-night legislation written by the staff of the leadership and by special interests with access it is just chock full of pork. It includes $90,000 for the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, (NPR, Mornging Edition 2/14), and $5M for our Old Pal McGruff the Crime Dog, (NYT article cited above). Then there are the odd US Code riders here and there. NPR mentioned by way of example a lot of EPA rule changes including changes in the way logging rights are managed in National Forests. Guess in who's favor? And of course a lovely day for it too, what with the one-eyed media's attention firmly fixed on UN Plaza. I doubt this will merit much more than a twenty second mention on most of the network 'casts.