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Search results for "pork barrel politics" ...

  • Weapons of Mass Confusion: How pork trumps preparedness in the fight against terrorism

    The 1995 sarin gas attack that killed 12 people and injured 5,000 others on a Tokyo subway alerted U.S. officials to the potential for biological and chemical terrorism on U.S. soil. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, which authorized spending billions to prepare local officials for attacks and to create specialized military response teams. Now, five years after the law was passed, Green writes, pork-barrel politics has prevented the anti-terrorism effort from fulfilling its duties. "The billions of dollars spent to prepare for an attack has only created an expensive and uncoordinated mess...In the end, more than 40 agencies, overseen by a dozen congressional committees, received a role in the nation's terrorism defense plan. The waste was enormous...The (law) spawned 90 different programs for the single purpose of training local officials. Today they compete just to find clients." After 3 years and $137 million, the U.S. Army National Guard team that was designated to respond to terrorist attacks, has not yet been certified by the Defense Department as ready for duty.
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    American Prospect describes how spending to rebuild after disasters has exactly the same economic effect as economic stimulus packages meant to jump-start the economy; shows how politicians who decried the latter as pork barrel politics and unworkable later took credit when the former had exactly the same results that they denied would follow; focuses on the L.A. earthquake in 1994 but mentions other disasters as well.
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    The Washingtonian profiles the practice of pork barrel politics; shows how seniority is the capital that allows certain well-placed members of Congress to dictate projects for their districts or states; emphasizes the careers of Sens. Barbara Mikulski and John Warner; the role of academia as a new and growing area of pork, September 1991.