Rich Galen

The American Samoan government is protesting that the lower minimum wage has to be preserved otherwise the jobs will move somewhere else.

Oh, really? And this is different from what employers in Mississippi, or southern Ohio, or West Virginia are facing  how?

Exempting Del Monte from the minimum wage is just as much an earmark as anything pushed through by Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Cellblock E).

Pelosi's office immediately claimed she had not known about the American Samoan exemption and was opposed to it.

That leads us to two points:

1. This is what happens when you shove major legislation through the House without proper committee hearings and minority party participation. How do we know this? Because the DEMOCRATS COMPLAINED ABOUT IT FOR 12 YEARS!

2. Unless Nancy Pelosi has hired the Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka's chocolate factory to write legislation, it strains credulity that the bill drafters were unaware of the effect this was going to have on a major corporation headquartered in the Speakers' district.

Tuna packers on American Samoa are, on their own, not crucial to the health of the US economy. However, this episode shows that the Democrats are a long way from cleaning up abuses of privilege in the House.

The very issue on which they ran and won.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at