Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Laborious Day

This is a leaf of kale in my parents' garden. FYI, the photo page has been updated a wee bit. I am feeling better, thank you all for asking. That pickle juice really worked. I accidentally drink my own body weight in martinis about once a year, then I learn my lesson until I forget it. My family has seemingly patched up its threadbare spot for the time being and all Slothville trains are running on time. The biggest distraction currently is my new apartment which I liken to a thirteen-year-old girl. You can see its potential, you can tell how amazing and beautiful it's going to be. But right now it's just a fucking mess. To tide you over while I scurry around babysitting 1st-year grad students today, here is a tidbit from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush: DAY 107: On May 19, the White House issued a memo preliminarily outlining widespread domestic-funding cuts to be included in the 2006 budget. The memo, sent out to government agencies, said that spending levels for 2006 must not exceed the levels specified in a database included with the 2005 budget. According to that database, overall domestic spending will drop by $2.3 billion in 2006, not including inflation. The budget for the EPA will be cut by $161 million. The Department of the Interior will lose $200 million. A nutrition program for women, infants, and children will be cut by $122 million; Head Start, the early-childhood-education program, will be cut by $177 million. Other programs due for cuts include the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Administration, the Transportation Department, and the Social Security Administration. The Defense Department, though, will receive a 5.2 percent budget increase, to $422.7 billion, and the Justice Department will receive a 4.3 percent increase, to $19.5 billion. The Bush administration has publicized its plans to increase spending in many areas in 2005, without mentioning that funding would be reversed a year later. The 2005 budget gives the Education Department a $1.7 billion increase; the 2006 budget memo reduces that by $1.5 billion. The Veterans Affairs budget will get a $519 million increase in 2005, and then, according to the memo, a $910 million cut in 2006. A homeownership program will be increased by $78 million in 2005, as President Bush has repeatedly noted; it stands to be cut by $53 million in 2006. The National Institutes of Health would lose $600 million in 2006 after gaining $764 million in 2005. And homeland-security spending, described by the Washington Post as "a centerpiece of the Bush reelection campaign," would be reduced by $1 billion. (Sources "White House Budget Memo Riles Democrats," CNN.com, May 28, 2004. See article at cnn.com. "Bush Plan Eyes Cuts for Schools, Veterans," The Associated Press, May 27, 2004. See article at usatoday.com. Jonathan Weisman, "2006 Cuts in Domestic Spending on Table," Washington Post, May 27, 2004. See article at washingtonpost.com.)

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