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Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
SAN DIEGO — At the San Diego Petting Zoo, a North County brothel wherein both the rooms and the girls are decorated in wild animal themes, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stroked a "cheetah," patted a "snake", and shared a platform with a "peacock."
After that, he met with local sex tourism and adult business leaders to get some feedback on the Obama Administration's push to create jobs by growing American sex tourism.
Salazar wants more foreign visitors to come to the Petting Zoo, as well as the rest of America's sexual playgrounds. He was in San Diego yesterday to gather facts about promoting sex tourism (and maybe have a little naughty fun while he was at it).
Salazar said his goal was simple: To make the U.S. the top travel destination in the world for well-heeled sexual adventurers.
"For too long," he said, "cities like Thailand's Pattaya; Bahrain's Manama, and Brazil's Rio De Janeiro have been the go-to locations for the world's rapacious rich. America, once the acknowledged world leader in gorgeous, talented escorts, has seen its international standing slip."
"In some cases," he continued, "we have even seen our abundant natural resources leaving the country through outsourcing, or 'sex trafficking.' The sad fact is that today, if you want to experience a really good Venus Flytrap, you're probably better off slipping over the border into TJ."
Salazar says $150 million has been set aside to promote what he called "American Sexcellence.""So from the San Diego Petting Zoo, to New York's notorious Manhattan Club to New Orleans' Bourbon Street Beauties to Hollywood's Struggling Actress Depot," he said, "we are a place people want to come to satisfy their unholy fleshy desires."
Salazar is part of a task force that will soon report to the president. Preliminary goals include finding ways to loosen age requirements and attract tourists from developing countries like China and Brazil.
"We have to accept that we are part of a global economy," he said. "We can no longer afford to just go it alone, setting the age of consent at 18 and ignoring the demographic and economic realities of the developing world. I'm not saying we need to be putting 12-year-old boys to work, but I am saying that there is room for innovation and the free exchange of ideas - the kind of innovation that made America great."
Barack Obama's sex tourism initiative was first announced in January at Walt Diznee Fantasy World in Orlando, Florida.