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Thursday, October 20, 2005

a test of whether Congress has any, even a little, integrity - plus update

Many bloggers (including Instapundit, Red State and Powerline) have been discussing the Coburn Amendment, offered by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn. This amendment to a budget bill would undo the much-criticized allocation of $220 million dollars to collect a town with 8,000 inhabitants to an island with fewer than 50 inhabitants. (There is already a ferry with frequent trips between the two.) It would re-allocate that money to reconstructing the Twin Spans Bridge between New Orleans and Slidell, LA. This amendment is meeting fierce resistance. As my husband, Hoosier Gadfly, would say: un-f__king-believable.)

Power Line is urging people to write their Congressfolk. I obliged with this message:

"Dear Representative Sodrel:

I write hoping and urging that you will support the Coburn Amendment shifting money for the notorious Alaskan "bridge to nowhere" over to desperately needed bridge construction in Louisiana. There is no conceivable reason to oppose this amendment except to protect the budget-busting pork-swapping culture that has plagued Congress for too long. I look forward to hearing that you have been our stand-up guy in Congress on this issue."

I thought of saying that no Republican with any lingering notion of Republican Party principles who nonetheless opposed the Coburn Amendment should be able to sleep at night -- but I thought it might antagonize him.... Also, it didn't seem fair, since I'm not a Republican. (Or any other name brand, at the moment.)

So I hope some of y'all will go forth and do likewise....

UPDATE: The Coburn Amendment failed in the Senate, mustering something like 15 votes in support. However, my husband, Hoosier Gadfly, just came back from Alaska and informs me that there may be another side to this question. According to what he was told up there, there are two different bridges, both of whose funding would have been cut by the Coburn Amendment. One of the bridges would enable the Anchorage region to expand outward; the other, the one with an island on one or both ends, would connect an airport (on the small island) to somewhere or other. I remain dubious that these bridges are worth this large a national investment, but it just goes to show that being REALLY sure you're right is asking for karmic difficulties....

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