LETTER: McConnell now gets it on earmarks

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To the editor:
Too many incumbents were re-elected to the 112th U.S. Congress.
Ordinarily, that would mean America lost the election, but maybe not this time.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) lit a glimmer of hope when he opposed the ban on earmarks and justified his opposition with the following nonsensical statement:  “Banning earmarks doesn’t save money.”
Earmarks cost taxpayers $17.2 billion in 2008, $19.6 billion in 2009, and $16.2 billion in 2010. In the first decade of this century, a grand total of $208 billion were spent on 100,000 earmarks that did not benefit all of America.
Mitch McConnell thinks all that money is not money.  Moreover, the $208 billion do not include the cost of corruption and vote buying that are nurtured by earmarks.
A few days after Mitch McConnell opposed the ban on earmarks, he reversed his position, saying he had heard the voters, but not really. His reversal came right after the newly elected candidates arrived on Capitol Hill for orientation and picture day.
Upon their arrival, it is reasonable to conclude that senator-elect Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and his like-minded counterparts advised Mitch McConnell and the other familiar incumbents that they have no plans to line up with them and march in lock step to the beat of their corporate paymasters.
Thus, the glimmer of hope. Will it become a flame that will ultimately relight our darkened City on the Hill?
Shafter Bailey