Saturday, July 09, 2005

100:1 Ego to Common Sense Ratio

Democratic Veteran has a great post up on Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's various legal and ethical troubles. Apparently, this particular veteran has at least a passing profession acquaintance with Cunningham from their days as airplane drivers for the U.S. Navy.

Duke Cunningham, a passing acquaintance from the Ready Room Bar at the Cubi 'O' Club when he was flying F-4s off the Coral Sea, has gotten himself into a weeeee bit o'trouble. Cunningham, a man with an ego to common sense ratio of about 100:1 is being 'questioned' about some interesting dealings between himself and a defense contractor who got contracts worth $163 million dollars, in return seemingly for a little help with some real estate dealings.

Democratic Veteran points out the process that members of Congress use to make sure your tax dollars get where they want them to go, without oversight or competitive bidding. The process, known as "earmarking" is described in this article.
"Earmarks are added anonymously, frequently during last-minute, closed-door sessions of the appropriations committees. An especially attractive feature for those private interests seeking earmarks is that they are awarded on a noncompetitive basis and recipients need not meet any performance standards."

"Earmarking" is what allows people like Cunningham to make sure the money goes to people like MZM's Mitchell Wade and yet leave no fingerprints.