In a stunning effort to demonstrate that indeed, all politicians are alike, the "new" congress (the most honest, ethical, and open congress ins history) has developed a brilliant new strategy for hiding pork from voters.
Democrats are sidestepping rules approved their first day in power in January to clearly identify "earmarks" - lawmakers' requests for specific projects and contracts for their states.Rather than adding their pork in the open, they'll just wait until the bill goes to committee, where things can get added, subtracted, or multiplied safely away from prying eyes. Dafydd at Big Lizards touched on this last week - ahead of the curve as usual.
Rather than including specific pet projects, grants and contracts in legislation as it is being written, Democrats are following an order by the House Appropriations Committee chairman to keep the bills free of such earmarks until it is too late for critics to effectively challenge them.
The House-Senate compromise bills due for final action in September cannot be amended and are subject to only one hour of debate, precluding challenges to individual projects.
Apparently it wasn't the Republican culture of corruption so much as the congressional one.