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Eckhoff: How Many Congressmen?

Posted on December 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

From Vickery Eckhoff, Forbes Contributor: "How Many Congressmen Does It Take To Screw A Horse?"


In her 12/21 blog post for Forbes Online, Eckhoff succinctly outlines recent legislative tactics designed to get horse slaughterhouses up and running in this country again. In answer to the question "How many Congressmen does it take to screw a horse?" she responds:

"Only three. This is the number it took to remove language from an agriculture appropriations spending bill on November 18, reversing a five-year ban on horsemeat inspections. The culprits? Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). Their strategy? The old closed-door-session-on-Capitol-Hill trick.

"This was of course executed at the last moment, allowing Kohl, Blunt and Kingston to hold up the appropriations bill until a government shutdown loomed. The tactic worked as planned, forcing President Obama to sign, despite a 2008 campaign promise to ban horse slaughter and the export of horses for slaughter. And the best part: hardly a word of media coverage was leaked for a good ten days."

The public media is also notable for its slack handling of the horse slaughter issue. Rather than doing any apparent research whatsoever, journalists grab sound bites from agriculture lobby press releases and report them as news. Eckhoff nails it:

"The press had ten days to research (flaws undermining the legitimacy of the GAO report, horse-slaughter industry activists in Congress blocking legislation like the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in one session after another, food safety issues), yet somehow managed to tell only the pro-slaughter story. Why did they marginalize both the issues and concerns of a majority of Americans? Because they—the 70% against horse slaughter—don’t have lobbyists who speak for them through the media."

Follow Eckhoff's series on horse slaughter for real research, real questions, and real information.


 


Categories: Slaughter, Politics