I know this issue isn't as sexy as Blackwater, but this does just as fine a job in exposing the yawning abyss that is the Republican soul.
Yesterday, Mike Leavitt, secretary of health and human services and chairman of a panel established by President Bush to study the safety of imported food, reflected that point of view when he said: "We simply cannot inspect our way to safety."I'd prefer sorcery myself, with all the pyrotechnics and luminous clouds of exploding stars and whatnot. Very cool, but not very practical, being an imaginary thing like a compassionate conservative. So, what to do?
Government and industry officials note that the sheer volume of imports - $2.2 trillion this year, twice the level in 2000 - makes increasing inspections impractical. It would require hundreds, if not thousands, of new inspectors, and would slow business at the borders, they say."Oh, boy! The deep fryer's here. Heh, heh, I got it used from the navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in forty seconds."
"Forty seconds? But I want it now!"
Again, I say, what to do?
"That's called technology."
So we can expect the same high-level of service and concern that our sea and airports are receiving. Better stock up on Pepto Bismol and antibiotics. But you guys are right about an increase in inspections costing more. Golly gee, if only we had some extra money lying around, but we wasted it on lollipops, Zagnut bars and weed.