Priority: Pork! The $388 billion spending bill passed by the Republican-dominated Congress last week includes some 12,000 earmarked projects--that is, blatant, old-fashioned political pork. Decisions to fund legislators' pet projects leaving vital projects underfunded offers a crystal-clear view of the so-called "moral values" of the GOP. Consider their priorities: provisions in the bill mean Pell grants (which help low-income students attend college) will become unavailable for 85 million students, but $1 million has been set aside for a "Wild American Shrimp Initiative." While funding for the National Science Foundation was cut by $105 million (despite Bush's promise to raise it by $272 million), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still gets $350,000 and the Yazoo Backwater Pumping Plant in Trent Lott's home state of Mississippi gets $12 million. And, as Howard Dean pointed out recently, the bill cuts out $400 million to help farmers' soil conservation efforts, but--fret not--Congress has scrounged up $2 million to buy back a presidential yacht.

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