Jul 302011

It's been kind of like old-home week watching the Interior appropriations debate -- a tonic, really, compared to the tired rhetoric surrounding the debt ceiling discussion. As a Martian, popping in here, I wouldn't have a clue about who's right on the question of our fiscal crisis. I would, however, want to consider what eight years of war and a skewed income tax system had done to overall revenues. But that's just me.

On to the Interior spending bill, where a good portion of the floor discussion was dominated by war horses Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) and James Moran (D-Va.) and, for a lively debate on the rights of the National Park Service versus the water rights of Alaskans, Don Young, 78, still in fine form after 38-plus years in the House representing Alaska.

Say what you will about Young, but the man can talk. Dicks, Moran and Young exchanged bons mot as the poor congressman holding the gavel -- who looked three decades younger than any of the trio on the floor -- stood mostly helpless, eventually admonishing the elderly gentlemen on the floor to yield properly to one another.

If longevity can be said to mean anything, Young, Dicks and Moran have served a combined 95 years (nearly) in the House of Representatives.

July 28:  a bunch of roll call votes

The Appropriations page from THOMAS: Really, the only link you need to start your appropriations searches.