My congressional staffer friend Kerri's facebook status wonders why the hell the highest legislature in the land is considering a bill to honor Toby Keith.

HRES 1255 IH


2d Session

H. RES. 1255

Honoring Toby Keith’s commitment to members of the Armed Forces.


June 10, 2008

Mr. COLE of Oklahoma submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


Honoring Toby Keith’s commitment to members of the Armed Forces.

Whereas thousands of celebrities have donated their time to entertain members of the Armed Forces both in the United States and abroad through the United Service Organizations (hereafter known as the ‘USO’);

Whereas since the USO’s founding in 1941, country music personalities have been an essential element of the USO’s entertainment;

Whereas Oklahoma native Toby Keith made six USO tours around the world, performing in such locations as Cuba, Germany, Belgium, Kosovo, Italy, and Africa; and entertaining more than 135,000 members of the Armed Forces in Middle East Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom;

Whereas Toby Keith has volunteered to perform at some of the most dangerous and remote locations in the Persian Gulf, which require Apache escorts and include Forward Operating Bases with total populations of not more than 50 members of the Armed Forces;

Whereas, on April 24, 2008, while performing in Kandahar, Afghanistan mortar fire disrupted his concert;

Whereas few, if any, performers have traveled to such remote and dangerous military bases with Toby Keith’s frequency;

Whereas Toby Keith has acted as a valuable liaison between forward deployed troops, the USO, and the American public;

Whereas Toby Keith makes it a priority to give tickets to members of the Armed Forces here in the United States;

Whereas Toby Keith allows members of the Armed Forces to eat and drink for free in his restaurants; and

Whereas Toby Keith co-wrote and performed the hit song ‘American Solider’ honoring the sacrifices that America’s soldiers make on a daily basis: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) honors Toby Keith’s commitment to our country’s Armed Forces overseas;

(2) encourages other entertainers to take into consideration Toby Keith’s deep commitment to boosting the morale of our Nation’s Armed Forces when supporting USO operations; and

(3) a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Toby Keith.

As laughable as all this is, it is definitely par for the course. Congress routinely passes all sorts of silly resolutions. "Congress has saluted such milestones as the Idaho Potato Commission's 70th anniversary and recognized soil as an 'essential natural resource.' ... Congress has designated May 5-9 as National Substitute Teacher Recognition Week, and set July 28 as the Day of the American Cowboy."

Notwithstanding my friend's consternation, and the fact that nowhere in the the Constitution does it explicitly authorize the federal government to bestow honors upon, or for that matter, "engross" government documents for, jingoistic country music stars, I agree with other libertarian commentators that this phenomenon is by and large a good thing. The Wall Street Journal article where the previous quote comes from laments that such bills consume congress' time "as legislation on gasoline prices, tax fixes and predatory lending languish." Honoring the role puppets have played in our nation's history or recognizing Grapefruit Awareness Month seems like a small price to pay to keep that other sort of legislation languishing as long as possible.

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Amen. And man I hate modern

Amen. And man I hate modern country. If your pop career stalls out, just head for the easier money to be made in Nashville (Jessica Simpson, Jewel).