Two, the bridge to nowhere: It was symptomatic of a government not serious about transportation or the environment; it was a government run by lobbyists and a bunch of career politicians who weren’t speaking out. And the five or six thousand earmarks [in the budget] were symptomatic of a government process gone awry.
Y'know, Swanee [Tom Swan, Lamont's political advisor] says 'Why are you so hung up on this "Bridge to Nowhere?" But to me it's so symbolic of the sort of lazy corruption that's going on in Washington, DC, right now.As you probably know, the "Bridge to Nowhere," the bridge to this empty island in Alaska, was part of the Omnibus Transportation Bill. Hundreds of billions of dollars, it included 6,371 "earmarks" -- those are special favors to favored Congressmen. Congressmen who have been in office most of their professional lives. There's a lot of back scratching going on. And it's symptomatic of , like I said, a lazy corruption in Washington, DC, right now.As Mike Kinsley said, "It's not the illegal stuff that's so bad in Congress, it's the legal stuff." And it's one of the things we have to address. To me... Okay, the "Bridge to Nowhere," it's 238 million dollars or something and it's about twelve hours of the war in Iraq.But, if we can't get a bridge right, it sort of discredits government a little bit. It discredits it in the eyes of people for whom government can be such a force for good. And they say, "If you can't get a bridge right, I'm not sure I want you dealing with my health care. I'm not sure I want you dealing with my education reform."And that's why to me it's so important to stand up against the abuses in Washington.
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