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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Discord among the "Torture Nine"

From last Friday's Washington Post, via Bob Harris:
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a staunch opponent of pork barrel spending, tried to block $453 million for two Alaska bridges that had been tucked into the recent highway bill. Coburn wanted to redirect the money to the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, a major thoroughfare that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the veteran Alaska Republican, was dramatic in his response. "I don't kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body."
Harris calls it a two-fer; I call it win-win. Getting rid of both the "bridge to nowhere" and the senator from nowhere--that would be almost as good as indictments for everybody in the White House.

If Stevens is even less principled than Coburn, he is pioneering new territory. Both of these idiots voted against the McCain amendment prohibiting torture.

Unfortunately for all of us, most of the rest of the Senate sided with Stevens. Coburn's amendment was voted down 82 to 15. According to the Post, the idea of transferring the money from Alaska to Louisiana was even popular in Alaska:
Many residents of Alaska appear to support forfeiting the bridge money for hurricane relief. "This money, a gift from the people of Alaska, will represent more than just material aid; it will be a symbol for our beleaguered democracy," reads a typical letter to the Anchorage Daily News.

[House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska)], who made sure his state was one of the top recipients in the highway bill, was asked by an Alaska reporter what he made of the public support for redirecting the bridge money. "They can kiss my ear! That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard," he replied.
Listen to yourself, moron.

Rather than kissing Young's ear, I think the voters of Alaska should throw him out on it.