Tuesday, November 03, 2009

No Chickens Left Behind

From The Hill, a report on the latest pronouncement from Rep. Jim Oberstar:
... slipping into Creole, Oberstar said, "A white guy gave us these chickens
but we don't have food for them. If we had the feed, we'd eat it ourselves."

Not something you hear every day from the distinguished Chairman of the Transportation Committee. What could have caused this dramatic outburst?

Quiz time, which of the following were the preceding sentences to that statement, in the article in The Hill?

A) Today Rep. Jim Oberstar announced his new $12.5 billion spending program called the Emergency Chicken Feed Act of 2009, aka Cash for Cluckers. Oberstar emphasized the chicken community had been woefully underserved by the draconian budgets during the Bush administration. Particularly hard hit were chickens from other countries. Rep. Oberstar tearfully cited the testimony of a witness from rural Haiti as inspiring his fight for this bill, then ...

B) Rep. Jim Oberstar debuted what he called his "new ventriloquist act" in front of a shocked Transportation Committee hearing on increased funding for rural bike paths. Billing themselves as Jim and Lil' Pierre, Oberstar started by asking his diminutive wooden sidekick, "Why did the chicken cross the road? Then ...

C) Asked what could be done to help Haiti, Oberstar said, "My solution is to distribute U.S.-produced charcoal" that would come from sustainable forests in the U.S. and elsewhere and sold at low prices. He noted that the U.S. once distributed 130 million trees to Haiti, "which grew and flourished, but in the chaos, people went back to cutting them down." He said there were similar problems with an aid program for raising chickens. "Haitians love poultry," he said. Then ...

D) For the first time in the history of the US House of Representatives, a voodoo priest was given the honor of the opening prayer. After slaying a goat in the well of the House chamber, he chanted an incantation, and blindly threw a whammy over his shoulder, toward the entrance door. At that moment Rep. Jim Oberstar happened to be arriving in the chamber and seemed struck by something, staggering as he passed through the door. He remained silent, almost trancelike for a few moments, then ...

The correct answer is of course, all of the above.

However, that's only speculation based on my personal Jim Oberstar observations. I figure each of those must have happened at some time in his 34 years in Congress.

Officially, we only have confirmation that he said C. He broke into a Creole impersonation in order to convince us to designate untold millions of US tax dollars for feeding for Haitian chickens. Sorry for all that wild, irresponsible hyperbole with the other suggestions.

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