Hit & Run

Congress' Vanity Lair Springs a Leak

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In our March print issue, I wrote:

In the early 1990s, Congress got the idea that America needed an underground facility where tourists could escape D.C.'s sticky Augusts and biting Februaries while lining up to tour the Capitol. Estimated cost: $70 million.

In the 15 years since, the project has morphed into a sprawling, $621 million, three-story, ostentatious shrine to "the legislative process." In other words, Congress built a tribute to itself. The new building, which opened in December (three years late and $300 million over the revised budget), includes a TV studio (with make-up room) for members to record messages to their constituents, a 450-seat dining area, two orientation theaters, an auditorium, and an exhibition hall.

Part of the delay and added cost came after September 11, where a plan to vamp up the facility's security turned into a second round of add-on bells and whistles.

But there is one thing Congress apparently forgot to factor into its massive monument to itself: The possibility of rain.

NEXT: Next Time, Check the Number on the House

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  1. LOL, is anyone really surprised by this?

    RT
    http://www.online-privacy.vze.com

  2. This reminds me of Deal of the Century:

    "Haven't you idiots ever heard of rain?"

  3. How foolish of them. They had plenty of time to outlaw such rainstorms, but they couldn't get such a bill through the legislative process.

    Kevin

  4. This was not a mistake. In the wake of Katrina the government felt a need to be empathetic to all the people that built their homes and business below sea level. So they built their next major building so that it will flood every time it rains to show solidarity with those in LA. This also serves as a practice event for FEMA.

  5. a plan to vamp up the facility's security

    Sounds sexy.

  6. The only thing more powerful than the combined foolishness of politicians and money is the destructive force of water and gravity.

  7. "a failed joint in the drainage system caused the flood"

    It's not a flood, silly slaves--er, citizens, it's a "reflecting pool."

  8. A busted pipe joint leak in a new building shouldn't outrage or surprise anyone. The fact that the fucking useless as tits on a boar Capitol Visitor Center was even seriously proposed, much less mismanagedly built (no surprise there either) should outrage everybody.

  9. To be fair, a busted storm drain will release far more water than can be expected from a simple rainshower. This is a problem with DC's public works people, not the Crypt of Liberty.

  10. the Crypt of Liberty.

    Hilarious.

  11. Pretty soon the place will be full of mirelurks.

  12. The fact that the fucking useless as tits on a boar Capitol Visitor Center was even seriously proposed, much less mismanagedly built (no surprise there either) should outrage everybody.

    Exactly. That's the only story here.

    Pretty soon the place will be full of mirelurks.

    So that's where they got the idea for the Anchorage Memorial.

  13. Maybe they can hire some of those umbrella wielding Chinese cops in Tienanmen Sq to divert the water?

  14. The only thing more powerful than the combined foolishness of politicians and money is the destructive force of water and gravity.

    True, except that water and gravity are also both useful and beneficial.

  15. Thank you, Yahweh, for punishing their vanity

  16. "In other words, Congress built a tribute to itself. The new building, which opened in December (three years late and $300 million over the revised budget)"

    I think someone said this the first time around, but there couldn't be a more appropriate tribute to Congress.

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