I met Dartmouth senior Scott Glabe at the American Political Science Association convention earlier this month. Scott has apparently completed an internship at the Weekly Standard and headed back to school. Scott’s roommate is student body president Noah Riner. Yesterday Scott called to commend Riner’s convocation speech earlier that day and noted that Dartmouth President James Wright’s convocation speech was also available online. Both speeches address issues related to the fallout from Hurricane Katrina, though in contrasting styles.
Scott did not mention that the Daily Standard would be posting a column he had written. His column was posted this morning. Among other things, the column identifies a few items that could make up Alaska’s contribution to foregone pork for the benefit of hurricane victims: “Old Don Young had a farm.” The column opens:
“DON YOUNG’S WAY” is a $231 million bridge to be built in Anchorage. Don Young’s “way” is to use his position as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to bring home as many federal dollars as possible for his home state. For instance, the highway bill passed at the end of July netted over $1 billion in special projects for Alaska. That’s $1,448 in pork for every man, woman, and child in Alaska.
Young’s eponymous bridge isn’t even the most egregious bit of largesse. That honor goes to another bridge, which, for $223 million will connect Ketchikan, population 8,000, with Gravina Island, population 50. The Gravina Island Bridge, which is slated to be taller than the Brooklyn Bridge, will be a towering monument to unnecessity; the small island is already served by ferries, one of which departs every half hour.
It’s hard to be shocked by federal pork, but Scott may have done the trick with this enraging column.