The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rolling Stone on the "Worst Congress Ever."

Wow. Rolling Stone fires both barrels with the above article and their own 10 Worst Congressmen list (complete with clever animations). It's a lot of reading, and depressing in more ways than one. Even if there's a great result on election day and the incredibly corrupt Republican party is swept from power, there's so much wrong with the country and the institution of Congress as a whole that it seems like it would only be a shaky first step toward recovery. But I don't mean to be such a downer. Like I said, the animations are funny. Some of the less familiar names:

Hal "Bin Laden's Best Friend" Rogers: Since the 9/11 attacks, Rogers has abused his position to steer production of a system designed to enhance airport security to a factory in Corbin, Kentucky. The trouble is, the factory wasn't equipped to produce the tamperproof biometric ID cards favored by security experts. So Rogers forced the government to spend $4 million to test the factory's technology -- steering some of the work to a tiny company that hired his son. When the factory flunked the test, Rogers delayed the process again, demanding that prototypes for new cards be built in Kentucky.

Rogers also steered a no-bid contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to a trade group with no relevant experience in airport security -- after the group paid for Rogers to take six trips to Hawaii and one to Ireland.

On Dick "Enemy of the Earth" Pombo: As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Pombo has waged a career-long campaign to abolish the Endangered Species Act, which he accuses of putting "rats and shellfish" before people. Last year he almost succeeded: His comically titled "Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act" would have phased out all protection for threatened wildlife by 2015. Pombo has also won passage of bills to eliminate habitat protections on 150 million acres of wilderness and to lift a quarter-century moratorium on offshore oil drilling.