Sometimes when you've got a liar as big as Sarah Palin on the line only a timeline will really do justice to her fibbing ways.
So a lot of you have written in to ask: Okay, she says she said 'Thanks. But no thanks' to the Bridge to Nowhere. But how exactly did it all come out? What's the order of events? Well, briefly, it went like this.
Actually, Congress put the kibosh
on the Bridge to Nowhere back in November 2005. Since Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was then head of the Senate Appropriations Committee he was able to force a compromise in which the earmark for the bridge was killed but Alaska got to hold on to the money -- some $442 million of federal tax dollars.
Fast forward to November 2006. That's when Sarah Palin was running as a staunch supporter
of the Bridge to Nowhere -- that is, after
the feds had themselves already said 'No Thanks.'
In 2006, the Democrats took over both houses of Congress. So by the time Palin got into office it was clear that not only was the first Bridge earmark killed but that Congress was not going to be ponying up any more money. That meant that Alaska was going to have to pick up the tab all on its own. So since she couldn't pay for it with the federal pork barrel, in September 2007, Palin officially halted the project which was then a state project since Congress had said 'Thanks. But no thanks' two years earlier.
She couldn't say 'No Thanks' because Congress had already said 'Forget It'.
Still with me?
So the money Palin sent back to Washington? Well, she didn't. She kept the money for other bridges and roads in Alaska.
So, to boil it all down, Congress pulled the plug on the Bridge to Nowhere in 2005. Palin was still for it in 2006. And when she finally ended the project because Congress had cut off funding, instead of saying 'No Thanks' she actually said 'Thanks!' because instead of sending the money back to Washington she kept it all in Juneau.
Next question?Late Update
: From TPM Reader JF
Good summary of the Bridge to Nowhere fiasco but it's even worse:
From the Anchorage Daily News:
Alaska "is continuing to build a road on Gravina Island to an empty beach where the bridge would have gone -- because federal money for the access road, unlike the bridge money, would have otherwise been returned to the federal government."
The state is building a road to a bridge that doesn't even exist for $24M. Who's paying for it? You and me.
We are beyond the ridiculous here. It's utterly surreal.