Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 1, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN IDIOCY WATCH....It's hard to keep up. Two examples so far this morning. First, we get a lesson in civil engineering:

Republican John McCain said Wednesday that the bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people last year would not have happened if Congress had not wasted so much money on pork-barrel spending...."The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money," McCain told reporters while campaigning in Pennsylvania. "The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

Actually, the bridge collapsed because it was badly built. Pork barrel spending quite plainly had nothing to do with it. Then there's this:

At least 20 disabled activists, most of them in wheelchairs, were arrested outside Sen. John McCain's offices Tuesday after being refused a meeting with the GOP presidential nominee-to-be over a bill to expand Medicaid coverage to more people who want in-home care.

....McCain's Senate chief of staff said the protesters turned down an offer to meet immediately with McCain's aides. Mark Busey said he didn't know McCain's position on the legislation but would ask.

He doesn't know McCain's position on this? Really? Does anyone really believe that? Or is the Straight Talk staff just a wee bit nervous about fessing up to McCain's position on this?

Kevin Drum 1:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (56)

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Comments

"Straight Talk Express" has become the "Strange Talk Express".

Can he really be this befuddled and bewildered? It's not like he's not been involved with the process for the last - what - 100 years.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on May 1, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bullshit - earmarks amount to less than 1% of spending. Earmarks could be doubled and paid for ten years on what a month of the war in Iraq costs.

But the media has a mancrush on the old goat and won't call him on anything. That is because they are wimps with wussy coatings and mendacity filling, dipped in feckless sauce.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on May 1, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I am NOT a McCain supporter (I'll vote for Hillary or Barry, whoever gets the nod) but this is a pretty cheap shot. These nuts show up en masse at a Senator's office, without even the common courtesy of calling ahead for an appointment, few if any of them are the Senator's constituents, and haughtily demand to meet with him immediately. His staff say they will meet with the protestors despite the fact that they have just showed up in unnanounced in the middle of a work day, and somehow that's still not enough. Here's a mental exercise. Try showing up unannounced at amost any office or place of business -- a dentist, a doctor, accountant, realtor --- and demand an immediate appointment with the head person, despite the fact that they don't know you or have any idea what you want. See how that works out for you. Somehow because it's John McCain, though, all of the common rules of societal behavior and courtesy go out the window and he's some bad guy.

The fact is that these protesters were going around Capitol Hill all this week purposely trying to provoke confrontations in the mistaken belief that it somehow furthers their cause. It doesn't.

There are plenty of good reasons to criticize McCain and vote against him. This is not one of them.

Posted by: Pat on May 1, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R), a McCain supporter and potential VP candidate, vetoed at least 2 bills raising the gas tax in the years prior to the collapse. Under the Minnesota State Constitution, gas tax revenues are 100% dedicated to transport. A gas tax increase was finally passed in 2008 over his veto.

My understanding was that states were primarily responsible for upkeep of bridges and highways on the Interstate system, not the Federal government. Wikipedia (always dangerous to cite) says "While Interstate highways usually receive substantial federal funding and comply with federal standards, they are owned, built, and operated by the states or toll authorities."

Posted by: VOR on May 1, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

The McCain policy is to give everyone $25 tax credit to build wheelchair ramps in their homes, which will cause private wheelchair-ramp builders to flood the market with inexpensive wheelchair ramps.

Posted by: AJ on May 1, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

The earmark thing, however, is a legitimate and well-deserved hit. McCain is the poster boy for those legislators who get upset if someone dedicates a small amount of taxpayer funds to building a school or community center in the U.S., but is more than happy to poor billions down the corrupt Iraqi rathold until the crack of doom building things there.

Posted by: Pat on May 1, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed earlier in the week that NBC news cited the Minneapolis bridge collapse as an example of our aging highway infrastructure. Their other example was a tunnel fire in California (caused by a traffic accident). Obviously neither had anything to do with our crumbling road system. No doubt the folks at NBC are drinking the same Kool-Aid as McCain.

Posted by: Dave Brown on May 1, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The federal gas tax goes to supporting infrastructure, too, does it not?

So suspending it during the summer would forestall repair of substandard bridges, no?

I'm not sure you can call McCain bizarre contradictions "flip-flops" but we do need to come up with a similarly easy, button-ready term to use on him throughout the campaign (AND at our convention.)

Twist-turns?

Hokey-pokeys? (First he puts his left foot in, and then his right foot in ...)

Come on, people, we have some time to get this right!

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 1, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the funniest thing about the piece was the offer to let them meet with staffers who "didn't know McCain's position on the legislation," undoubtedly with unironic straight faces.

Posted by: MattSandwich on May 1, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just to put a finer point on what VOR posted upthread - inspections of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis in past years revealed bending and deformation in the gusset plates, which is where the the girders forming the bridge undercarriage are bolted together. However, due to Governor Tim Pawlenty's (R-Asshole) "no new taxes" pledge, no money was available to repair or replace the bridge. After the tragedy, Pawlenty successfully deflected blame from himself and on to Transportation Secretary Carol Molnau, who knew about as much about transportation as John McCain knows about economics. Molnau resigned this spring under heavy pressure from Minnesota Democrats.

In short, the I-35W bridge collapsed, and 13 innocent people are dead, due to the Republican's idiotic obsession with the moronic slogan, "No new taxes".

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, the bridge didn't collapse because it was poorly built, otherwise it wouldn't have been standing there since 1967. The problem ultimately is that the state of Minnesota for years has been deferring more and more maintenance and replacement of its aging infrastructure, and the I-35W bridge was the unlucky number that finally came up. Sure, there's a proximate cause for the bridge collapse that isn't directly linked to funding, but the fact is that the State of Minnesota has increasingly relied on either borrowing or deferring projects as the revenue hasn't been there, thanks in no small part to the fact that the state hadn't raised fuel taxes since 1988, while inflation has of course gone on since then.

Earmarks aren't the problem, and McCain is merely using them as his all-purpose excuse. Pretty soon, those earmarks will be responsible for the entire federal deficit to hear the GOP tell it. The truth is that earmarks are a small percentage of federal spending, even throwing in projects like that "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. Which makes a gas tax holiday an even dimmer idea.

Posted by: David W. on May 1, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

If 18 billion dollars of pork barrel spending are the cause of America's woes, then maybe the 2-3 trillion we're wasting in Iraq account for far more of our economic woes.

But we'd never hold those numbers over John's head, would we?

The gusset plates were 50% undersized. So's John's brain. They cracked under stress, and so does he (touchy temper and all!).

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on May 1, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Beleive it or not, Members of Congress do not study and formulte positions on all 10,000 bills and joint resolutions that are introduced in a Congress. If they did that, they would do nothing else. They study legislation and develop positions on most measures when they are called upon to vote on them or if they are asked to do so by some group of constitutents or advocacy group. Which, of course, the McCain people probably would have done if these people had taken the normal step of calling ahead and asking for a meeting with the staff to discuss the bill. That's what people do on legislation all day long on Capitol Hill. These people? They wanted a fight and this type of story. Again, people should focus on real reasons to oppose McCain. This one is total B.S.

Posted by: Pat on May 1, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, the Iraq war is costing us a lot of money, but more, much much more money is spent on the illegal aliens in this country. Why isn't there an outcry about that?

Our whole country is going to hell, and not one of our elected employees give a damn, they are just filling their own rice bowls.

Posted by: Allen on May 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

The MSM will not start in on John until Hillary has safely secured the nomination. Then and only then will they deflate McCain's campaign with a mere pin prick. Hillary, Jeb, Neil, Chelsea..........

Posted by: Cornbread the Ghetto Legend on May 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

We've made a terrible mistake. Can't we nullify the primaries?

Posted by: Luther on May 1, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

You know, if someone had added an earmark for maintenance on that bridge (and of such projects are many earmarks made) it never would have fallen.

Posted by: idlemind on May 1, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with Pat on the 2nd item. also from the article:

"McCain was not in his office during the protest. He was campaigning Tuesday in Florida on his health care plan.

The bill, stuck in committee since last year, would amend the Social Security Act to allow people who are eligible for Medicaid coverage of nursing home costs to spend it instead on home-based, or community care."


OTOH if a republican says anything about the bridge collapse (that was a direct consequence of the underfunded and mismanaged government they so yearn for), that is NOT an acknowledgement and an apology, they can go shove it.

Posted by: So on May 1, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Uh oh, Kevin.

American Conservative agrees with you.

http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2008/05/01/fighting-mad/

I'm pretty sure this one of the signs of the Apocalypse.


Posted by: Joshua Norton on May 1, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: It looks like the fighting words campaigns of both parties are taking shape: McCain is an idiot and Obama/Clinton are traitors.

Y'know, mhr is half right?

Posted by: thersites on May 1, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, the Iraq war is costing us a lot of money, but more, much much more money is spent on the illegal aliens in this country. Why isn't there an outcry about that?

That's not even close to being true.

Posted by: dob on May 1, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why isn't there an outcry about that?

Because no one else is dumb enough to believe it.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 1, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

the Iraq war is costing us a lot of money, but more, much much more money is spent on the illegal aliens in this country. Why isn't there an outcry about that?

Good question. I tried to get the Iraq war to paint my house and mow my lawn. It just shrugged and said "no comprende."

Posted by: the ugly duckling on May 1, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Pawlenty, the guy that twice vetoed the tax increases that would have repaired the bridge, is on McCain's short list for VP. Go figure. And said, repair is not a federal responsibility and earmarks had zero to do with it.

Republicans aren't even ideologues any more, they're zombie slaves on automatic pilot.

And in many cases (Abramoff and many, many more) petty criminals.

Posted by: John Emerson on May 1, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

badly built or badly designed?

Posted by: robodruid on May 1, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

"The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

Christ on a crutch, what a retard.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on May 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

We need to be really careful about citing the I35 bridge collapse.

As far as I know there has only been a preliminary report from the NTSB to date. No final reports are available.

The preliminary report found that the gusset plates in two locations (nodes) were too thin. This was either a design problem or a construction problem. The bridge design called for a variety of thicknesses for the gusset and I have not seen any reference to the original design. Varying gusset plate thicknesses were specified depending on the load the node was expected to support.

AFAIK there was no corrosion of the plates, and I have also seen no reports of any earlier inspections reporting any bending or deformation of these plates. I would love to see a cite for maintenance records on the bridge showing any problems. I think they have not yet determined why the gusset plates failed at the time they did. The traffic was normal, although it may have been stopped for maintenance. Maintenance was happening on other sections of the bridge and there may have been vibration from that. The weather was also especially hot and this might have been a factor as well.

From what I have heard everyone seems to be trying to use this for their agendas. As an Engineer (computer, not civil, but even so) I have reviewed all the technical information I can get on this topic.

I call "foul" on both sides using this tragedy for political means. To be honest I am not convinced that the bridge collapse was a maintenance or upkeep failure. I support the MN Gas tax increase but I don't use the bridge collapse to make my case.

Posted by: Tripp on May 1, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Transportation Secretary Carol Molnau was an incompetent transportation appointee who was supposedly doing double duty as Lieutenant Governor and Transportation Secretary.

Whether the bridge collapse was her fault or not she was a hack and had no business being Transportation Secretary.

Posted by: Tripp on May 1, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Can we PLEASE get back to discussing the Most Important Topic Ever, the Rev. Wright?

Posted by: Doofus on May 1, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if McCain knows McCain's position on the legislation.

Posted by: kc on May 1, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to complain that my McCain Idiocy Watch loses half an hour every day. My Mickey Mouse Watch does much better.

Posted by: thersites on May 1, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the bridge collapsed because it was badly built. Pork barrel spending quite plainly had nothing to do with it.

It's worse than that -- transportation projects like bridges are often designated as earmarks.

Galloping idiocy!

Posted by: Gregory on May 1, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see why anyone is surprised that McCain doesn't know anything. He was a fighter pilot because he had good reflexes. He survived Vietnam because he had great strength of character. He's a Senator because he married a rich woman. But there is nothing in any of that that would suggest education, wisdom, or political judgment.

Posted by: anandine on May 1, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Please note that it is perfectly possible that the bridge failure was both the result of poor design, construction or both and deferred maintenance--the problem ought not to have occurrred, and should have been noticed and fixed before it killed people.

Posted by: rea on May 1, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

He was a fighter pilot because he had good reflexes. He wasn't a fighter pilot--he flew ground attack planes. His record of crashing them suggests that his reflexes weren't quite as good as sometimes advertized

He survived Vietnam because he had great strength of character. And got favorable treatment due to being CINCPac's son. And at least had the good sense to sing like a canary under torture, so I'll give him credit for some character . . .

Posted by: rea on May 1, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, why is "I was out campaigning" a valid excuse for not meeting with concerned citizens?
Seriously, people think about this. If the guy who hired you and pays your salary stops by your office, you can't be absent, with a sign on the door saying, "Out interviewing for my next job, back sometime later (maybe)."
This is a mess. We pay these people's salaries and give them health coverage for life, and they spend most of their time lining up their next job, so they can stay firmly planted on the teat. It makes me sick.
Time to start the revolution.

Posted by: Govt Skeptic on May 1, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

About a month after President George W. Bush stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln before a banner proclaiming, "Mission Accomplished," Fox News' Neil Cavuto asserted to Senator John McCain that, "many argue the conflict isn't over" in Iraq. McCain responded, "Well, then why was there a banner that said mission accomplished on the aircraft carrier?"

For a detailed history of John McCain's predictions of a short war and claims U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators to his casual attitude towards casualties and his ongoing confusion over friend and foe in Iraq, see:
"John McCain on the Mission Accomplished in Iraq."

Posted by: Raging on May 1, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to complain that my McCain Idiocy Watch loses half an hour every day.

Look at the bright side, in 24 days, it will be right again!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on May 1, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

"And in many cases (Abramoff and many, many more) petty criminals."
Posted by: John Emerson on May 1, 2008 at 3:28 PM

I humbly and respectfully disagree. Mass murder, treason, and grand theft are not petty crimes, and "every last one of them and the horses they buried to get there" would be more accurate than "in many cases."

Posted by: smartalek on May 1, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think it was badly maintained and inspected.

[I read where bird excrement may have been a factor as it corroded the metal]

Posted by: Jet on May 1, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think idiocy quite describes McCain's latest tirade. This is really sounding like someone who is rapidly becoming certifiably insane and is not afraid to show it. ECT anyone?

Posted by: Randy G on May 1, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Rea is a stupid fucker and his comments ought to be loudly rejected by everyone here, including by those (like me) who would never ever vote for McCain. Like John McCain or not, he DID NOT receive special treatment as a POW, although (as is well known) he could have. As for your hilarious flip comments about a U.S. soldier being brutally tortured, fuck you, asshole.

As for "Govt Skeptic" if you actually think you can just show up at a U.S. Senator's office, regardless of whether that person is YOUR Senator or not, unannounced, with no advance appointment, and expect to be whisked right into their office right then,to prattle on about whatever's on your mind, you are nuts. I mean seriously, are you retarded or something? You "pay" the President's salary too. Do you think you can just pop over the White House and sit down for a chat with Bush?

Posted by: Pat on May 1, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

it's absurd to show up and expect to meet with a senator, especially if you are not a constituent. Seriously.

What this does point out is that our silly season is too long, it does take our reps away from their jobs (that we are still paying them for) for too long. Think about it. In November, two of the three senators will be back on the Hill, having not worked there for 18 months at least. Three states have only one senator right now. You cannot hold down a job and be a serious candidate for the presidency. Maybe public servants should resign their position as they run. Maybe this is an idea: you have a week following the first primary to resign your job. Your state then has a special election that fall ( and fills the incumbancy in whatever way it will until then) there is nothing stopping someone, should they wish, from running for their own seat back in the fall, most years the losers are out in late February, that is plenty of time for the de facto incumbent to run against the appointed seat filler for their job back. And meanwhile, the people of that state have a senator. Thoughts?

Posted by: northzax on May 1, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Pat @ 5:25...gotta agree. There are plenty of reasons to hate McCain. Shoot, we have a regular running feature highlighting the ongoing saga of McCain and the media mancrush. But he did behave honorably when he was a POW, and the names he named? That was the Green Bay Packers starting lineup.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on May 1, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Time to start the revolution.

Hey, I'm game. Know where we can get our hands on an Air Force? Cause if you don't, those revolting will be dead and smoldering and the pilots will be home for dinner.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on May 1, 2008 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Today on tv, McCain was pushing medical information systems (MIS). Since I'm skeptical of his "expertise" but would love to see a well-implemented nationwide MIS. He completely missed the point of them, as I feared. Instead of saying how much better it'd be if your MD could instantly access the X-ray you had in Denver from that skiing accident, he said how nurses would never have to try to read another illegible MD script. Sorry, if the MD can't write, I'm going to call his office to get a clarification -- no big deal.

Another instance of McCain talking out his ass.

Posted by: absent observer on May 1, 2008 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, for all his faults Tom Friedman hit against McCain's (and now Hillary's me-too) pandering to shave off the federal gas tax for summer. It's a good one of his, and more important than the tax pandering is the sorry way Congress and Bush are treating renewables:
Link

Posted by: Neil B. on May 1, 2008 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Pawlenty administration put off bridge repair in Minneapolis for years. There was no money, they said. Actually, they gutted the budget with tax cuts, and directed the highway money they had to new projects such as interchanges to reward campaign donors. Let's see him pick that governor as his running mate and watch this issue resurface.

Posted by: Eric on May 1, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Pat,

"The fact is that these protesters were going around Capitol Hill all this week purposely trying to provoke confrontations in the mistaken belief that it somehow furthers their cause. It doesn't."

Actually, it does further their cause. You know why? Because they are RIGHT, and if they don't provoke confrontations they are INVISIBLE.

These are people with disabilities advocating for the right to use medicare money to live with dignity at home, rather than having to use the money to keep them in a nursing home or institution. I'm not sure whether you've noticed, but there's nothing cool about spending your entire life in a nursing home at the mercy of whomever. There's a lot cool about living in your own place.

ADAPT has gotten loads of traction because, by kicking up a fuss, they let people see how horrible the nursing home option is, and how simple (and morally responsible) it is to correct it.

And lest you think it's about some weirdo disabled people and not about you, recall that you are one bad driver away from seeing things from their point of view.

Posted by: lupe on May 1, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not criticizing them because they are disabled, luupe. I'm criticizing them because they so clearly are acting in a way that is opposed to their own stated goals. Legislators do not cosponsor or invest themselves in measures because people show up and threaten them and create negative stories about them. Would you? Members and staff go out of their way NOT to help people who behave in the way these people did. From all of the stories about this McCain did not have a public position on this legislation. What do you think his position is now? Do you think he's more or less likely to support this effort now that a bunch of people showed up in his office without an appointment, and when his staff went out of their way to agree to meet with them, they created a scene and spun the story in the media about what a bad guy he is.

I personally witnessed these groups shut down several Capitol Hill offices. All they accomplished was to make a bunch of Capitol Hill police work harder. And if you think that just BEING RIGHT is enough to get you a law, you are even more out of touch with how government works then these ill informed people who are setting back the very cause they claim to care about.

Posted by: Pat on May 1, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Washington, DC - Instead of meeting with disability rights activists to explain why he refuses to co-sponsor the Community Choice Act of 2007, Senator McCain's staff allowed more than 20 activists to be arrested in front of his Senate office. [Associated Press, 4/29/08]

Both Democratic presidential candidates are co-sponsors of the bill, which would allow countless Americans with disabilities the choice to live and work in their own homes and communities. In addition, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has met with community activists and repeatedly expressed his support for the bill."

Why is this bill moving? Because people with disabilities kicked up a fuss and made the police work harder. GO, PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY!!

http://www.adapt.org/

Posted by: on May 1, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Money should not be an issue for maintaining major highway arteries in Minnesota. The Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is from Minnesota for crying out loud.

Posted by: Tommer on May 1, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

When is John McCain going to apologize for his deeply racist campaign adviser, Richard Quinn? People for the American way urged McCain to dump Quinn in 2000 because of his racist views and McCain refused. He still works for McCain. This is a guy who hawks T-shirts saying the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a good thing and promotes David Duke’s politics. When will McCain renounce this asshole? Let’s make an issue of it, folks!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 1, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

The ironic thing is that most "pork barrel" spending goes to projects like.....building bridges. Remember the bridge to nowhere? So its more likely that the truth is the exact opposite of McCain's statement--its the LACK of pork-barrel spending that caused the Minnesota disaster.

Posted by: nathan on May 1, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Last time I checked Howard Dean wasn't able to cosponsor or vote on legislation. Sen. McCain certainly can. He can also go a long way toward blocking its floor consideration (as could any single Senator) should he choose to do so. But, O.k. there, lupe. You seem convinced your "threaten the legislator" approach is best. How's this? You come back here this Fall looking for me and we'll talk again then about how far these tactics have moved your bill. Enjoy your Summer.

Posted by: Pat on May 2, 2008 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Jet,

I think it was badly maintained and inspected.

[I read where bird excrement may have been a factor as it corroded the metal]

Please read my earlier comment. What you read was an early rumor which had no basis in fact. It does our cause no good to use easily dis-proven statements.

There is absolutely no evidence to date to show that corrosion occurred on the gusset plates. If anyone can cite a reference showing me wrong I will be happy to accept any new facts.

In the meantime, as I said, we need to be careful to stick to the facts or our whole argument is discredited.

Posted by: Tripp on May 2, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK
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