My syndicated column this week brings newspaper readers up to speed on the anti-military siege in Berkeley.
Move America Forward is moving forward with plans for a protest at the Berkeley City Council meeting on Feb. 12.
Even the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board is castigating the fools in Berkeley:
Berkeley’s leaders have taken the worthy notion of political protest and shoved it over the cliff. While playing up arguments of free speech and organized protest, the council has loaded the deck with insulting language that denigrates the military and embarrasses the anti-war cause.
Sen. Jim DeMint continues the fight with a new piece in Human Events:
Over $2 million was secretly tucked away for Berkeley earmarks in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill, projects that were never voted on or debated.
I do not believe a city that has turned its back on our country’s finest deserves $2 million worth of pork-barrel projects. So, I will introduce legislation to revoke the funding.
Included in the $2 million worth of pork are some particularly wasteful projects.
One earmark provides gourmet organic lunches to schools in the Berkeley School District. While our Marines are making due with MREs of Sloppy Joe and Chili with Beans, the organization Chez Panisse is getting federal tax dollars to design meals that promote “environmental harmony.” Chez Panisse’s menu features “Comté cheese soufflé with mâche salad,” “Meyer lemon éclairs with huckleberry coulis” and “Chicory salad with creamy anchovy vinaigrette and olive toast.”
Are we to understand that the city that has been home to many of the country’s most rich and famous cannot afford to pay for its own designer school lunches?
Another $975,000 earmark is for the Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service at U.C. Berkeley, which may include cataloging the papers of Congressman Robert Matsui. Is it really necessary to tax the paychecks of Marines so we can earmark nearly $1 million for a school that is already sitting on a $3.5 billion endowment?
Let me be clear, my bill does does not cut off all federal funds to the city of Berkeley, though I am sure most Americans would feel that is justified. My bill merely rescinds wasteful earmarks. Berkeley is free to compete with other towns and cities across America for merit-based federal grants.
Actions have consequences. When the Berkeley City Council decided to insult the Marines in a time of war, it was a $2 million decision. Especially in a time of war, we cannot just allow cities to play insulting games at our troops’ expense while continuing to shower them with congressional favors.
These people don’t quit. Neither should you.