- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2003

Force-fed
Americans certainly have been fed sufficient pork with the congressionally passed $78.5 billion War Supplemental Appropriations bill.
"Although President Bush had requested the legislation to finance the war in Iraq and other anti-terrorism provisions, lawmakers shamefully seized the opportunity to tack on funds for 29 unrelated projects, which cost more than $348 million," Citizens Against Government Waste reports.
Samples of pork: $110 million for the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa; $5.5 million for a Library of Congress public address system; $5 million for state and tribal wildlife grants; $3.3 million for something called "the European Communities music listening dispute"; $513,000 for wastewater improvements in Princeton, W.Va.; $500,000 for the St. Louis Children's Museum; $437,000 for the sanitary board of Huntington, W.Va.; $231,000 for Lutheran church abstinence education in Allentown, Pa.; $225,000 for the mental health association of Tarrant County, Texas; and $200,000 for infrastructure improvements of a homeless service center on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh.
Streetwalkers
The way Neil Alpert sees it, Young Republicans for 72 years "have been the farm team of Republican politics."
And given the YR's new team of coaches, the finance director says the future is bright.
The YR coaching staff er, advisory board is now led by former President Gerald Ford, along with former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, former Republican National Committee Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., former Ambassador Margaret M. Heckler, former Louisiana Rep. Robert Livingston, Montana Gov. Judy Martz, former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, and former New York Rep. Susan Molinari and her husband, former New York Rep. Bill Paxon, among others.
Mr. Alpert says the YR prides itself on being an "organization of walkers," helping to elect officeholders from town council to the U.S. Senate. In the previous midterm elections, they deployed 156,000 YR members on the streets in the 72 hours before the election.
Remember the Thresher
In the fall of 1961, the Navy's newest nuclear fast-attack submarine, the USS Thresher, performed beautifully in sea trials off the northeast coast of the United States. But barely a few months later, while moored in Florida, she was struck by a tugboat and had to limp to Connecticut for repairs.
One year later, on April 10, 1963, the sub was put to sea again. With her crew of 16 officers, 96 enlisted men and 17 civilian technicians, the Thresher was conducting deep-diving exercises more than 200 miles off the coast of Boston.
Those on board would never see the surface again.
Fifteen minutes after the sub reached a target depth of 8,500 feet, something went terribly wrong. For a few moments the crew was able to communicate by underwater telephone with a rescue ship above, until the eerie sound of water was heard, drowning the stricken boat.
Only a small amount of debris would escape the current and float to the surface, but underwater photographs of the ocean floor would later show that the sub had broken into six sections.
Now, 40 years later, freshman Rep. Jeb Bradley, New Hampshire Republican (the Thresher was commissioned in New Hampshire), is calling on the Pentagon to erect a memorial to the Thresher crew at Arlington National Cemetery.
In doing so, he has introduced a concurrent resolution honoring the 129 sailors and civilians lost aboard the submarine.
Leave it to Abe
Rep. Trent Franks, a freshman Republican representing the southwestern corner of Arizona, says he tried to express his regret and abiding gratitude to three families in his rural 2nd District who lost their sons and daughters in the Iraq war.
"I have spoken to each and have been inspired by their unwavering faith and their enduring strength," he says, although "words fail me to truly express the unspeakable debt of gratitude that we all owe to these families of America who have sacrificed their own loved ones to the cause of freedom."
So he turned to Abraham Lincoln, "who found himself in a similar dilemma as he sought to offer comfort in a letter to a precious mother who had lost five of her sons on the battlefield."
Mr. Lincoln wrote: "I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming, but I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic that they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and a solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid such a costly sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."


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