Rats and Slop
At the climax of the story, Charlotte and Wilbur are at the State Fair, where Wilbur wins a blue ribbon. Charlotte is dying from old age and needs to give Wilbur her sack full of babies for him to carry and hatch as she is too weak to move. An opportunist rat, Templeton, is the only animal around who can reach Charlotte's web in the crate. Wilbur makes a deal with Templeton to give him first dibbs at the trough where Wilbur receives nice scraps, milk, etc. Templeton agrees, and rescues the sac. Charlotte passes away, but leaves her legacy with Wilbur.
There is a priceless picture of Templeton, who has gotten so fat from Wilbur's trough. And so what is called pork that was doled out on the $388 seems to be like slops that the rats in Congress got for themselves (info below found by Rox63):
A longer list of the pork in this bill, from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20041122/a_porkbox22.art.htm
Special projects The $388 billion spending bill that cleared
Congress on Saturday and will head to President Bush for his signature has
11,772 earmarked special projects totaling $15.8 billion, according to the
watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Among them: •$25,000 for the study of mariachi music in
Nevada's Clark County School District.
•$225,000 for the National Wild Turkey Federation in South
Carolina. •$1 million for the Missouri Pork Producers Federation to convert
animal waste into energy.
•$75,000 for renovating the Merry Go Round Playhouse in
Auburn, N.Y. •$100,000 for a weather museum in Punxsutawney, Pa.
•$800,000 for “soybean rust research” in Ames, Iowa.
•$75,000 for “hides and leather research” in Wyndmoor, Pa.
• $1,593 for potato storage in Madison, Wis. •$1 million for a
world birding center in Texas.
•$150,000 to pay for beaver management and damage in
•$200,000 for the American Cotton Museum in Greenville, Texas.
•$100,000 for a swimming pool in Ottawa, Kansas.
•$70,000 for a “Paper Industry International Hall of Fame” in
•$1.5 million for the Rep. Richard Gephardt Archive at the
Missouri Historical Society.
•$2 million for the government to buy back the presidential
yacht USS Sequoia, sold in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter to demonstrate
The only morsel I endorse is the 1.5 million for the Gephardt Archive, but that could have come out of the IMLS funds instead of trading women's right to abortion as now doctors can refuse to perform the service for any reason or HMOs can say no.
I would say I smell Templetons in the barnyard instead of Wilburs. The Wilburs voted no, as they didn't support getting us further into debt and giving away our precious rights. So yes, PJ O'Roarke said it well by giving one of his books the title, Hill Rats.
And here's a picture of the king who allows the slop to happen on the animal farm.