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Maybe it is time to restore earmarks

Robert (Jaz) Jastremski Mystic

Publication: The Day

Published 11/07/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 11/06/2013 04:59 PM

Congress has always been a place for disagreements and arguing. With today's record low approval rating it seems worth investigating why we have this destructive dysfunction preventing the progress of our great nation. Letting the government shut down rather than compromise underscores there is something fundamentally wrong on the Hill. 535 elected individuals can't be uniquely incompetent so it has to be a process or organizational design flaw.

Congress members must have something good to point to in November that gets them re-elected.

Back when members could get local projects funded as a consolation prize for caving on their passionate national policy positions, Congress could function as one organization as intended. Earmarks were gifts that lubricated compromise but are now absent as bargaining chips in the supposedly-purified congressional game.

Today, Senate and House members feel the need to be viewed as unstoppable crusaders for their righteous policy to avoid lost financial backers and votes. By comparison earmark projects, even bad ones, stimulated the economy, appeased constituents, and by far were a much lesser evil than wasting $24 billion and showing the world our childish leadership defect.

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As our children crash from Halloween candy overload, we look ahead to the next big holiday: Thanksgiving. What are you looking forward to seeing on your dining room table on the 4th Thursday of November?
Cranberry sauce: Whether it's the home made stuff containing actual cranberries or the reddish jelly shaped like the can it plopped out of, it reminds me of childhood.
Turkey, of course: Turkey slathered in gravy. Turkey with cranberry sauce (see above). Turkey with mashed potatoes on it. Turkey in sandwiches the next day. All I care about is the golden bird.
Latkes: For the first time in 125 years, Thanksgiving falls during Hanukkah so our table will be filled with the best food both holidays have to offer. Happy Thanksgivikkah!
My Thanksgiving has been completely taken over by the ever-earlier Black Friday sales. My big meal will be looking more like a fast food burger in line outside of Best Buy than the traditional sit-down meals from days of ole.
Number of votes: 736

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