Sometimes when I'm lying in bed almost asleep I have these panic attacks that they Navy is scheming some underhanded deal to screw over farmers in some other part of the state . . . and that our elected officials are quietly aiding their efforts. It scares the pee out of me . . . and I'm just enough of a conspiracy theorist to assume the worst.
It isn't the Navy's scheming that keeps the OLF hooked to life support, it's George Bush's refusal to pay our troops a decent wage.
From the Charlotte Observer:
North Carolina hasn't yet won the battle over the Navy's proposed outlying landing field in Washington County near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. President Bush has withheld approval of a defense spending bill that, among other things, prohibited the Navy from spending money to build a field there.
But it's not clear whether the bill, which also gives U.S. armed forces a pay raise, is dead. The president wanted to veto it because he objected to a provision that allows victims of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to sue in U.S. courts for access to Iraqi assets held in this country. The president issued a "memorandum of disapproval" the other day outlining his objections.
Normally this would serve as a pocket veto, but the Senate has been maintaining a "skeleton crew" to gavel in and gavel out as a means to prevent recess appointments. It may also serve as a means to keep this bill alive long enough for it to be taken back up.
I'm sure it will be argued by someone that Congress isn't really in session. If that's the case, the bill we celebrated as a victory for North Carolina and our Washington County farmers - the bill that prevents the Navy from spending any money to build an OLF in Washington County - will die.
Obviously, the bigger tragedy is that George Bush would refuse a pay raise for the men and women serving this country in his war over what is probably a few billion dollars that doesn't even belong to this country. That's tragic.
We'll need to stay tuned to see what happens with this bill, but if it dies, I expect we'll be making some noise.