The Other McCain

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The 10′ Fairy Sculpture At The Mark Center: A Jim Moran Symbol?

Posted on | April 1, 2011 | 9 Comments

by Smitty (via Memorandum)

Rep. Jim Moran symbolically atop the taxpayer.

It all began as a sadly typical Military-Industrial Complex boondoggle back in the salad days of September ’08 (emphasis mine).

As a result of this decision, 6,400 jobs will relocate from Arlington County to Alexandria as part of the federally mandated Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Originally slated for relocation to Fort Belvoir, transportation concerns led local, state and federal officials to seek an alternative site. The addition of these 6,400 jobs will nearly offset the 7,200 jobs that will be transferred from Alexandria, also as a result of BRAC decisions, to other military bases across the country.

“DoD’s decision to purchase this site and construct a major office building, within close proximity to Washington D.C. and the Pentagon, affirms Alexandria as one of the top locations in the region,” said Mayor William D. Euille. “Our quality of life is unmatched in the region, and the quality of our neighborhoods, vibrancy of our commercial areas, and low crime rate make the City a great place to live and work. We look forward to welcoming WHS’s employees in 2011, when the new facility is completed.”

“It is satisfying to know that when DoD considered many sites in Northern Virginia to locate the WHS, Alexandria had both of the top two private sector sites as finalists,” said Mayor Euille. “This demonstrates our work in expanding Alexandria’s economic development opportunities and creating a government responsive to those wishing to relocate their offices. While the Victory Center ranked second in this regional competitive process, we remain committed to assisting its owners in finding a major tenant to lease this space and develop the remainder of this site.”

So, Moran’s district lost 7,200 jobs, and gained 6,400. Net loss of 1,200. OK. And the motive for the Mark Center location? Transportation. Right. Fast forward a couple years to November 2010 (emphasis original):

In July 2008, an Environmental Assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers’ concluded that relocating the 6,400 employees to the Mark Center would have no significant impact from a transportation perspective. Multiple studies have since called that assessment into question, including ones prepared by the Virginia Department of Transportation and even the Army’s own report.

“I welcome the Inspector General’s decision to look into the validity of the study on which the Mark Center move is premised,” said Moran. “The conclusion that relocating thousands of Defense Department employees to the Mark Center would have no repercussions for area commuters or for the employees themselves is flat wrong. The decision was based on flawed analysis and it’s my hope the IG will get to the bottom of this mess.”

Now ‘Gentleman’ Jim Moran was the Mayor of Alexandria for 5 years prior to becoming a piece of [furniture] in Congress for VA-8 in 1990. So for him to find himself welcoming an IG probe into a ‘flat wrong’ study is as comprehensible as, say, current US Middle Eastern policy. Really. We’re talking about PMA Jimmy here, John Murtha’s understudy (PBUH). I mean, it’s possible that the study was made in an ethically clean environment, and that ‘mistakes were made’. Possible in the quantum mechanical sense of ‘anything could happen’.

But what’s a wound without a little salt?

A $600,000 frog sculpture that lights up, gurgles “sounds of nature” and carries a 10-foot fairy girl on its back could soon be greeting Defense Department employees who plan to start working at the $700 million Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. this fall. That is unless a new controversy over the price tag of the public art doesn’t torpedo the idea.

Decried as wasteful spending that will be seen by just a couple thousand of daily workers who arrive on bus shuttles, foes have tried to delay the decision, expected tomorrow, April 1. But in an E-mail, an Army Corps of Engineers official said that the decision can’t be held up because it would impact completion of the huge project.

I for one, consider this a capital idea. As in, capital is being transferred to the capitol region at a stunning rate. This is not an anti-war protest post, per se: it’s anti-Progressive States of America, and the ‘Gentleman’ Jim Moran characters overseeing the pillaging.

This administration, and these ancient incumbents, are our come-to-Beavis call. You will never know what titles go with those 6,400 jobs, but you can be assured that this particular legion of contractors and civil servants will:

  • Swill coffee
  • Shuffle among meetings
  • Prepare and view twice the PowerPoint slides you’d estimate, even if you consider this bullet
  • Bemoan how behind on their email they are
  • Complain about how understaffed they are
  • Embody the notion that ‘Bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
  • Vote Democrat reflexiely, unthinkingly, early and often

All I can do, as a die-hard lover of the pre-Progressive States of America is offer my promise to oppose this nonsense with everything I’ve got. Col. Patrick Murray, your country needs you again, sir.
Aside: as far as I can tell, the sculpture story was posted on 31Mar, and thus isn’t some April Fool’s jape.


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