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Shiai

Saying he's going to try and put an end to earmarks is like saying, "I don't like rain, so I'm going to make sure it never rains again." First of all, it's irresponsible...we need rain, after all...and secondly, it's flat-out impossible to do, and he knows it.

After all, it's only an earmark (or pork, if you will) when it happens in the next Congressional district over. When it happens in yours, it's your representative 'providing basic services to their constituents'. Let's face it, that's a prime reason why we send them to DC to begin with, and if they fail to deliver, we tend to boot them out of office

Sure, there's a lot of waste in earmarks that we could do without, particularly when we're facing massive federal deficits. But there are also earmarks that bring additional grants to your local schools, and extra funding for hospitals and roads and food banks. Earmarks are helping the Gulf Coast region rebuild, albeit all-too-slowly, and are providing California with vital equipment to battle forest fires. They're putting community centers in urban neighborhoods where kids desperately need a positive alternative to gangs and drugs, and providing job training services for older workers who have lost their blue collar jobs and who need to know how to work computers to find employment that pays more than the minimum wage.

Not all earmarks are like the Gravina, Alaska 'bridge to nowhere', after all. But I somehow get the feeling that if the President could cherry pick which ones he's terminate, he'd take out the community centers and the roads and the job training, while the Gravina bridge would escape unscathed....

Jeff Mariotte

I think it depends on who's getting kickbacks from the Gravina bridge budget.

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