Rolling Stone, which was slamming the GOP Congress way before it was cool (unusual because they now tend to get into things after they're cool), is going with a cover story on why the 109th was the worst governing body you schmucks ever elected. Author Matt Taibbi is a little more subdued than usual, although he's more on his game than he was that time he tried to prove election fraud in Ohio and then didn't. And interestingly (though maybe not too surprisingly), he hones in on congressional overspending as one of the most important reasons to give Nancy Pelosi the Speaker's gavel.
What do they spend that money on? In the age of Jack Abramoff, that is an ugly question to even contemplate. But let's take just one bill, the so-called energy bill, a big, hairy, favor-laden bitch of a law that started out as the wet dream of Dick Cheney's energy task force and spent four long years leaving grease-tracks on every set of palms in the Capitol before finally becoming law in 2005.
Favors for campaign contributors, exemptions for polluters, shifting the costs of private projects on to the public — these are the specialties of this Congress. They seldom miss an opportunity to impoverish the states we live in and up the bottom line of their campaign contributors. All this time — while Congress did nothing about Iraq, Katrina, wiretapping, Mark Foley's boy-madness or anything else of import — it has been all about pork, all about political favors, all about budget "earmarks" set aside for expensive and often useless projects in their own districts. In 2000, Congress passed 6,073 earmarks; by 2005, that number had risen to 15,877. They got better at it every year. It's the one thing they're good at.
Ned Lamont, whom we're told is the fourth horseman of anti-war nuttery, has actually seized on overspending and earmarks in his race against Joe Lieberman. It's not hyperbole to say that this particular abandonment of libertarian principles might kill the GOP majority.
RS also has a top 10 list of shitty congressfolk. Nick Gillespie stood athwart George Bush's checkbook yelling "Stop!" in 2005.