Whenever I wish to teach my young daughter a thing or two about human integrity, my eyes, my thoughts and my heart turn to Washington, D.C., for there--where Madisonian wisdom melds with a Can-Do spirit and tea party thrift--virtue reigns.
And drips. Into pans. Black Hawk helicopter drip pans, to be precise. And at $17,000 a pop (there have been 374 pops so far), they're an absolute steal, since the non-Blue Tag price is a ghastly $19,000. ("[An Army spokesman says] the Army might get more pans if financing is approved." And I kid you not.)
But mostly I point my innocent daughter to Washington in her search for human integrity because there, there on Capitol Hill, our conservative congressfolk generally wish to keep their virtuous deeds quiet, unless asked about them, at which point of course they simply cannot tell a lie. "It’s important that Congress do what it can to provide our military with the best resources to ensure their safety and advance our missions abroad, while also saving taxpayer dollars wherever possible. These dripping pans help accomplish both of these goals," says Ky. Republican Congressman Harold Rogers, who to date has siphoned from taxpayers "more than $17 million in work orders for Phoenix Products," which makes the pans, and which happens to be in Rogers' district, and which happens to contribute to Rogers' campaigns.
[Phoenix Products' owner] said he did not think that his company’s relationship with Mr. Rogers or its Washington connections were a major factor in the Army’s decision to buy his pan. His company got the work, he said, because its drip pan was "just simply a better product."
Now it's true that another company in, ahem, another district, manufactures a similar pan for about $2,500. "It’s not a supercomplex part," said that company's engineer. Yet any company so unimaginative that it fails to connect its Can-Do spirit to the very special kind of tea party thrift which now prevails in Jimmy Madison-hip Washington, well, that's just not the kind of Romneyesque entrepreneurialism mixed with Rogers' kind of public-private virtue that I can hold up for my daughter's proper instruction.
Yesterday I caught a couple of hideous minutes on MSNBC of one Heidi Harris, a raving right-wing talk-radio shrew, excoriating all those "lazy" folks on food stamps, who, I gathered, are exclusively draining America's fiscal resources into the drip pans of national bankruptcy ...
... oh hell, wait, strike that. That sounds a trifle critical of Heidi. And I sure don't mean for it to. Because Heidi is just the type of Madisonian, thrifty Can-Doer whom I trust my daughter will emulate if she hopes to succeed in this virtuous tea-party nation of real human integrity.