This is the honest-to-god title of the video above as posted to Rep. Ed Markey’s official YouTube account, and also the news release on his website: “Oct. 25, 2011: GOP Farm Dust Bill A Waste of Time Cooked Up in Fantasy-Land.” Guys, he is awesome. Is it weird if he reminds me of Alan Alda? Mainly just the delivery.
Rep. Markey is clearly bowled over by the absurdity of Republican attempts to counter imaginary “farm dust” regulations. But rather than go all spluttery, he goes all Snopes.com, pointing to the parable of the email tax to explain how ridiculously Congressional Republicans are behaving.
For those of you who delete chain forwards from Aunt Mildred — which clearly doesn’t include anyone in the House — the email tax was a made-up, completely untrue, thoroughly confabulatory viral hoax. Also, it was a lie. But this didn’t faze outraged Republicans, says Markey:
The whole thing was an Internet hoax, and everyone should have just moved on. But the Republicans forged ahead. They introduced the Internet Access Charge Prohibition Act of 1999. Apparently because only by passing actual legislation to prohibit the goals of the imaginary legislation authored by a fictitious Congressman could we prevent these horrible surcharges from being imposed in the real world.
That real legislation to address an imaginary problem had real effects, though: It made it harder for poor and rural Americans to get phone service. But there have to be some casualties in the fight to protect against a made-up tax pushed by a nonexistent congressman!
That’s what’s happening with “farm dust,” says Markey. The whole thing is bohonkey (my favorite line: “There is no plan to regulate farm dust, any more than there is to regulate fairy dust”) but fighting this imaginary threat could have real-life negative side effects.