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Friday Fun: Budget cuts ‘kill’ Senate, and Parliament’s mouse troubles

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From the Life, Craftiness and Everything Else blog

From the "Life, Craftiness and Everything Else" blog

Happy Friday! Here’s a few amusing links to take you into the weekend.

The Onion breaks the “news” here that the federal government plans to save $300 billion a year by eliminating the wasteful and “100 percent redundant” Senate:

Established in 1789 as a means of overseeing the passage of bills into law, the once-promising senator program has reportedly failed to contribute to the governing of the nation in any significant way since 1964. … In fact, the program has gone unchecked for so long that many in Washington are now unable to recall what purpose U.S. senators were originally meant to serve.

And while we’re on the subject of outdated legislative bodies, follow this link for a good laugh. Apparently Britain’s House of Lords has a mouse infestation, and the Lords and Baronesses last month engaged in a dry-witted debate on the costs and benefits of hypoallergenic cats and Parliament’s mouse helpline. FedLine usually doesn’t cover legislative bodies other than the American Congress, but this exchange was too droll — and hilariously formal — to not pass on:

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: I thank the noble Lord for his reply. How many calls have there been to the mouse helpline? Has the accuracy of that information been checked, given that the staff report seeing mice on a daily basis at the moment in the eating areas? Has consideration been given to having hypoallergenic cats on the estate, given the history? Miss Wilson, when she was a resident superintendent in this Palace, had a cat that apparently caught up to 60 mice a night. The corpses were then swept up in the morning. Finally, does the noble Lord recognise the fire hazard that mice pose, because they eat through insulating cables? It would be a tragedy for this beautiful Palace to burn down for lack of a cat.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): My Lords, there are a number of questions there. I cannot give an answer to the number of calls made to the mouse helpline — if that is its title. I suspect that it would not be a good use of resources to count them up. But I am well aware of the problem of mice, as I said in my Answer. It is something that we take seriously. As for getting a cat, I answered a Question from the noble Lord, Lord Elton, last week on this matter. I was not aware that such a thing as a hypoallergenic cat existed — I do not know whether our cat at home is one of those. There are a number of reasons why it is not a good idea to have cats. First, they would ingest mouse poison when eating poisoned mice, which would not be very nice for them, and there would be nothing to keep them where they are needed or stop them walking around the House on desks in offices or on tables in restaurants and bars — and maybe even in the Chamber itself. Therefore, we have ruled out at this stage the possibility of acquiring a cat, or cats.

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