Tam at View From The Porch laments the damage this lame duck Congress - those folk with all the authority of their elected office, but with replacements with different agendas already selected - can do in their misdirected energy and bitter sense of loss. Tam lists some of the projected topics - and hopes they spend all the dwindling days of this Congress on DADT - the Clinton-era invention of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that stopped the military from assuring it's members were heterosexual, but clobbered anyone that was revealed to be . . different.
S.510 - So-called Food Safety Enhancement, and the FSA
We will have to watch this Congress. With Malice Aforethought - the Senate scheduled for this month - immediately after the election - S.510, the Food Safety Administration (Food Safety Enhancement Act or some such). The bill wants every farmer, trucker, farmers market, and truck farm listed and inspected by the feds - including mandated testing of foods and stuff that *could* be used in food for people *or animals*. S.510 includes the Fed capacity to shut down or outright confiscate anyone that botches the paperwork, fails an inspection, or fails to stick to Federally mandated practices to produce, transport, or store food or anything that could be a food component for people or for animals.
This will tap and hinder everyone that consumes food (like you and I) and everyone with contact with food - perhaps anyone selling at any Farmers market or roadside stand.
For those that think this sounds like increased food safety - recall that the existing laws prohibited that peanut butter incident from happening, and the Iowa egg thing, and didn't. Additional laws hamper the law abiding, without affecting the unscrupulous or ignorant. This also has the potential to put a lot of people right out of business that aren't using Monsanto based concepts - and expenses - of raising crops and livestock.
There are a ton of regulations required - but not written yet - in the bill, massive penalties, and it all rolls up into another brand-new bureaucracy, the Food Safety Administration.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Oh, please, please let them dither over DADT until the new batch get there. I served in the Navy some 30-35 years ago when women started serving in wider capacities. I heard most of the same arguments then about women as the military raises about gays. For the most part, most of us had little sexual contact with the others in our unit, and I doubt that will change. 'Way back then, when it was all guys (and the only dates discussed were female), there were some that preferred blondes, others with provocative clothes, or a habit of regular alcohol and frolicking about. Other than the hangovers, it didn't much affect the work. Sheesh. The military fears the gays mostly because they were taught to fear the gays. If they can learn to march in step, because they are told to, I expect most all can handle respecting the person next to them.
Even if the Army has to re-evaluate making skirts optional for both genders. Kilts didn't seem to hamper the Scots much.