About the earmark flap, it seems fair to say that not all of them are pet projects devised by sinister, sleep-deprived politicians. No doubt some are just cheap ploys to attract hometown support, but others are worthy ventures that wouldn’t get much attention as individual bills but, added to larger pieces of legislation, receive funding. Such insertions may bloat the budget, but while legislators swear to uphold the Constitution, they are elected by the people “back home” so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that part of what they do in Congress reflects the needs and wishes of their constituents.

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