Saturday, December 21, 2002

Kingfishery & Kingcakery - Well, well, well ... and Lordy, Lordy ... seems like Mary Landrieu was right after all when she claimed that Bush had a "secret" trade deal with Mexico on sugar. Bruce Alpert, of The Times Picayune's Washington bureau, reports:

The Bush administration hopes in the next two weeks to complete a deal to increase Mexican sugar imports into the United States, according to a Louisiana congressman.

Rep. David Vitter, R-Metairie, said the administration has begun to show to sugar producers and other interested parties some of the proposed draft language for a new sugar agreement, which the Mexican government has sought since it signed the North America Free Trade Agreement with the Clinton administration in 1994.

The pending agreement became an issue in the recent U.S. Senate election, when incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said the deal was being held up until after the Dec. 7 election to aid her Republican challenger, Suzanne Haik Terrell, a charge the Bush administration denied.
It gets worse. Apparently the only affected constituency that hasn't been made privy to the details of the deal, or included in the discussions, are the sugar farmers of Louisiana. This seems a bit secretive to me. And Joan McKinney, of Baton Rouge's The Advocate Online, writes:

The Bush administration will give the U.S. sugar industry its first look today at draft agreements on sugar trade between the United States and Mexico, but the key and most controversial issues will not be included in the review, according to a Louisiana congressman.
Why won't these "controversial issues" be included in the review? If keeping information hidden in this way doesn't constitute a "secret" deal, I don't know what does. A few paragraphs later, McKinney writes:

In addition to protesting the rumored level of the sugar import quota, U.S. cane growers also have charged U.S. trade negotiators have disclosed only the administration's general trade goals and have denied access to the actual texts of U.S. and Mexican proposals and counter-proposals.
Denied access to the affected US industry?!?! How much more "secretive" can you get?

I don't care how Bush spins this, he lied! I wish we had him saying so under oath, then we could impeach him for perjury. But, heck, if it ain't under oath, I guess it's o.k. to lie through your teeth and still feel like an honest, decent human being all full of integrity.

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