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Melancon's hot air worse than emissions from his junket

As if he’s not gotten a number of his constituents riled over his tacit, if not actual, support for the liberal Democrat agenda, now Rep. Charlie Melancon has found he had to explain why he participated in a Congressional junket – records of which were buried by his majority party – that cost the taxpayers in the neighborhood of $500,000. And in doing so he managed to sound silly and hypocritical simultaneously.

Because of the designed obscurity of the information, the Wall Street Journal got the story out about the semi-working vacation around the beginning of 2008 only in early August of this year. Melancon and several other Members made a grand tour of the South Pacific and Antarctica, which included opportunities to surf, snorkel, scuba, and frolic with penguins, among other things. The ostensible purpose of the trip, which included spouses (Melancon’s being one of them) and staffers, was to gain a better understanding of global warming and to review use of federal dollars, such as by peering through a $271 million telescope at the South Pole.

Melancon apparently hoped the story would blow over but found last week that he had to make some sort of defense of this profligacy on other people’s money. On the incident he spoke, “Louisiana is losing a football field of land every half-hour due to coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Our very survival depends on reversing this trend.”

Given that Melancon made a Louisiana reference in his excuse, one must wonder just how thick is his skull. After all, it would have been a whole lot cheaper to him to drive, maybe even take a helicopter, to any of innumerable places where he could have sat for a half hour to watch a 100x40 yard patch of his district disappear due to global warming. He didn’t have to stick working people with tens of thousands of dollars in costs to travel halfway around the world just to get that point through his head.

And if he truly was concerned about global warming, then with this trip why did he allegedly stimulate more of it? After all, the greenhouse gas emissions spewed as a result of this jaunt that he believes cause the very global warming he claimed he was worried about and wanted to study about would have been far fewer if he had just confined himself to a drive to the coast.

The information revolution is a wonderful thing and perhaps Melancon should take advantage of it to reduce his production of those gases. Instead of having to see the telescope at the bottom of the Earth, for example, he might have chosen to read a report about it or, if he wanted to get really fancy, maybe some video conferencing with the scientists there. And if he had such a hankering to get postmarks from the station, he could have asked the scientists to mail him the information from there.

Still, the greenhouse gases Melancon’s trip emitted pale in comparison to the hot air coming out of his mouth about it. In reality, Melancon took it because he could, his constituents would pay for it, and thought it wouldn’t cost him politically. (It should be noted many in Congress from both parties exhibit Melancon’s arrogance on this matter.) This sojourn was not cost effective for taxpayers in any imaginable sense, and his opposing claim of that further demonstrates just how out of touch Melancon is with the citizenry of his district.


R G Sanders said...

Someone needs to return this clown to the backwoods bayou from which he as sprung....

Between him and Bloody Mary, it's enough to make the rest of the state look like buffoons...and we're not, really, anymore...

Anonymous said...

Looks like Jeff hit the needle again.

And no I did not mean nail.