April 29, 2005--

Trappings of Travel-- Joe Biden outranks Tom Delay in travel funded by interest groups; Holy Casa Blanca, is there "gambling" going on here?


            Democratic Senator Joe Biden outranks Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay on the list ranking federal lawmakers from top to bottom with respect to traveling at the expense of "non-profit" interest groups.  This is according to an April 29, 2005, CBS News report based on studies by PoliticalMoneyLine.Com.  One can rightly be a critic of such expense-paid travel by Tom Delay, but one cannot rightly limit one's sense of outrage to the activities of Delay. 

             Furthermore, to focus on such activities by federal lawmakers is akin to the famous "Gambling?  Here?" scene in Casa Blanca.  There may be rare exceptions in which compelling reasons exist to make it in the public interest for a lawmaker to travel somewhere at the expense of private interests (including those "non-profit" interests much beloved by the Left as well as the Right), but absent clear, detailed, and public disclosures of such compelling reasons, lawmakers ought to decline to accept such benefits.  

            In the meantime, spare me the sanctimonious condemnation of such overindulgence by the most overindulged group of humans ever to walk the planet-- i.e., federal lawmakers.   If the purpose of a trip isn't important enough to warrant expenditure of taxpayer funds, why should a lawmaker accept expense-paid travel to exotic places funded by interest groups motivated at least in part by desires to ingratiate themselves to such lawmaker with respect to legislation such groups may favor (or oppose)?  Being a critic of aspects of Delay's political behavior (in the case of Terry Schiavo, for example) does not make me blind to the patently hypocritical nature of his opponents' condemnation of his travel-expense practices (which I likewise oppose), which are morally indistinguishable from those of many other federal lawmakers in both parties.


--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.

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April 29, 2005 #01 Daily Update at PoliSat.Com, where satire is always commentary, but commentary isn't always satire

Title:  Trappings of Travel

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