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kcfanintitanhell
07-11-2007, 09:51 PM
You can take what you will from this, but to me this crap is starting to make me slightly ill. If some reforms don't come (and soon) the disgusting creature that we, the voters, created on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue will become too bloated to kick out the door.
And it isn't because this is a Republican, because we know they all are doing it.

Earmark request hits close to home
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-California, wouldn't answer questions about one of his earmark requests.
We're back on our treasure hunt tonight, chasing earmark requests from senators and representatives in Congress. Usually, the requests are in some far-off land. Alaska, for example, has been an extremely good spot for hunting congressional pet projects.

But on this hunt, we didn't even need to take a cab. You can walk to the location from the U.S. Capitol, and that's why it caught our attention.

A $500,000 earmark was approved for Barracks Row in Washington, D.C., to beautify a little triangle-shaped park that houses a D.C. Metro station. The park is about eight blocks from the Capitol building in a revived neighborhood where real estate prices have been soaring.

Why federal taxpayers are spending half a million dollars to plant flowers in this city park could be the subject of a great debate. But what I wanted to know is why a congressman from California had his name attached to the earmark.

Representative Jerry Lewis, a Republican from the California desert, is the source of the Barracks Row earmark. In a House floor debate, he talked about the great history of the neighborhood, its attachment to Marine barracks not far away, a diverse community, and how his love of the city of Washington spurred him to support the revitalization of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Left out of his speech was one tiny fact I thought might interest you. Jerry Lewis and his wife own a $943,000 town home just three blocks away from the soon-to-be upgraded park.

Congressman Lewis wouldn't talk to me about all this. In fact, tonight you can see him yelling at me when I rang the doorbell of his expensive D.C. abode.

But Lewis supporter and Barracks Row lobbyist Tip Tipton did tell me that I'm being way too cynical if I believe Jerry Lewis inserted an earmark into the Financial Services Appropriations bill because the congressman owns a house here.

"Home values have grown enormously up here," Tipton told me as we walked through the park that is going to be spruced up. "But it's not because of the $500,000 -- I guarantee you that."

As for Lewis, he scolded me, saying it was "stupid" for me even to consider the earmark request was connected to the location of his house.

It may be stupid, but that was actually the first thought I had when I saw his earmark request some 2,600 miles from his home district.

-- By Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 4:03 PM ET

noa
07-11-2007, 10:29 PM
Yeah, this is a great example of the greed that earmarks enable. This is hardly the first time a member of Congress has used pork to increase the value of real estate investments. It sucks, and I really wish there was something we could do about it, but the reform has to come from Congress itself, so we can expect that to happen, um, never.

Simplex3
07-12-2007, 02:05 PM
Yeah, this is a great example of the greed that earmarks enable. This is hardly the first time a member of Congress has used pork to increase the value of real estate investments. It sucks, and I really wish there was something we could do about it, but the reform has to come from Congress itself, so we can expect that to happen, um, never.
We could make govt. less powerful. Too bad that ship sailed 70 years ago.

BucEyedPea
07-12-2007, 02:19 PM
We could make govt. less powerful. Too bad that ship sailed 70 years ago.
How do we get around those in power who love power to do that?
Besides, most Americans have run away from their own Revolution. .

Simplex3
07-12-2007, 02:30 PM
How do we get around those in power who love power to do that?
Besides, most Americans have run away from their own Revolution. .
My whole point is that Americans are too stupid to govern themselves and entirely to lazy to take the power back from those who crave it.

noa
07-12-2007, 02:35 PM
My whole point is that Americans are too stupid to govern themselves and entirely to lazy to take the power back from those who crave it.

To be fair, the deck is definitely stacked against us. How can you expect us to be serious about government reform and accountability when there is so much great Paris Hilton news all the time?

BucEyedPea
07-12-2007, 03:17 PM
My whole point is that Americans are too stupid to govern themselves and entirely to lazy to take the power back from those who crave it.
I agree with the lazy part...but not wholly with the stupid part.
I think if they had to govern themselves they'd have to rise to the occasion out of necessity. Not a bad thing imo.

Simplex3
07-12-2007, 04:23 PM
I agree with the lazy part...but not wholly with the stupid part.
I think if they had to govern themselves they'd have to rise to the occasion out of necessity. Not a bad thing imo.
I don't think they would. They've grown so fat, lazy, and stupid off the government tit for so long that it would take several generations of hard, concerted effort by at least 80% of the population to get back off of it. We would have to be willing to watch stupid and lazy people starve and die. We haven't had that kind of spine since the 1800s.

America is in the natural decline. We went from bondage to spiritual faith, to great courage, to liberty, to abundance, to selfishness. Now we're entering into complacency, then on to apathy, which will (or maybe has) lead to dependency, which is a step from bondage. We're over the hill, freedom-wise.

Specifically toward the stupidity point. We allow ourselves to be educated by the very people we're supposedly controlling. We allow ourselves to be entertained by the very people we're supposed to be dictating to through market forces. Trust me, we're dumb as s**t.

kcfanintitanhell
07-12-2007, 06:14 PM
My whole point is that Americans are too stupid to govern themselves and entirely to lazy to take the power back from those who crave it.

I agree with your take. I would add "apathetic" also, because the people that have benefited from tax breaks would be outraged if their taxes were more in line with their income, and found out where their tax dollars were going.