Boucher maps plan for prosperous yearNow I've been known to suggest on occasion that Boucher has been sitting on the sidelines, getting nothing done all these many years. But this article is intended to provide him with a sloppy kiss on the lips. If this is a compliment ...
By Bill Archer, Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Bluefield — After a dozen years of sitting on the sidelines, U.S. Rep. Frederick C. “Rick” Boucher, D-Va., said he is ready to get back in the game in a major way. (link)
Recognizing, apparently, how that appears, the reporter then tries to recover with what is clearly an attempt at painting Boucher's inconsequential years in some favorable light:
Boucher, 60, of Abingdon, Va., is entering his 12th term in the House of Representatives — 12 with the majority party and the last 12 in the minority. Although he effectively developed legislation to serve his district, he appears to be anxious to get back into a leadership role.What that second sentence is supposed to mean is anybody's guess. Although he was effective ...?
Then there's this valiant effort at making a sow's ear look a whole lot like a silk purse:
Although he is not ready to shout it from the rooftops yet, Boucher noted that since he is the ranking member on the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee it is “very probable” that he will be called on to chair that vital subcommittee.Woo hoo. Next step the White House.
1) The Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee is about as vital to our way of life as is that Bland County sticker I am required by law to purchase for my car that serves absolutely no purpose.
2) There are 24 committees (including joint committees) in the House of Representatives (not counting the "Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina"). If memory serves, Rick Boucher is 12th in seniority in the House Democratic ranks. As Michael Barone reminds us, "House Democrats' choices for committee chairmen in the 110th Congress are in almost every case the most senior Democrats on the committee ..." Yet none of those 24 committees will be chaired by Rick Boucher.
He gets a subcommittee. And a pat on the head.
Making matters worse, he isn't even going to chair a truly vital subcommittee. No defense subcommittee. No budget or appropriations subcommittee. No homeland security. No Ways and Means.
Rick Boucher is going to head up the subcommittee monitoring ... air quality.
Do the words potted plant come to mind? Could he be any less vital?
The Telegraph piece goes on to show just how it is that our congressman has been shunted to the side in Washington. His grandiose plans for the coming term include such nearly "vital" irrelevancies as "the creation of ethanol from biomass" and the development of "more diesel engines in the United States," and to "make interest on student loans tax deductible" and a real biggie - "legislation ...that will protect reporters from being forced to disclose their confidential sources in federal courts."
The New York Times, I'm sure, is holding its presses for the outcome of these initiatives.
Terrorists? What terrorists? Jobs? What Volvo layoffs? What furniture plant closings? What devastation in the textile industry?
No. Our guy is going to be focused like a laser beam on ... the particulates floating in our air.
Someone help me. I need some oxygen.