December 23, 2006


Democrats’ Pledge to End Individual Financing of Pet Projects May Change Little (DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, 12/23/06, NY Times)

[T]he scope of the declared moratorium may be far more limited than it sounds. For one thing, the Democrats have not said they will delete financing for earmarks that lawmakers included in spending bills for the 2006 fiscal year and hoped to renew for 2007, a category that may include the majority of earmarks.

Instead, what the Democrats will omit is the long explanations usually appended to each spending bill to instruct federal agencies how to spend the money. Their resolution will include only total numbers for each agency, without the instructions.

The result will make it hard for members of Congress to ensure passage of a first-time earmark like the $500,000 to help expand the Peoria zoo that was inserted into a spending bill by Representative Ray LaHood, Republican of Illinois. Mr. LaHood and other Republicans have complained most loudly about the plan, accusing Democrats of ignoring local needs.

But many if not most earmarks are recurring items, like money for a university research program or a public works project that Congressional sponsors insert each year. No Democrats have suggested any plan to cut or redirect that money.

As long as it fooled the porkbusters.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2006 10:48 AM

Too many of the self-proclaimed "porkbusters" would have been fooled by promises to make summer go away. (The again, isnt' that what Algore is doing?) Too many of them were desperately looking for ways to disassociate themselves from the GOP so their social lives would improve, and this easiest excuse they could find.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 23, 2006 11:08 AM

Raoul, Yep.

Posted by: erp at December 23, 2006 1:40 PM


Nonsense. Though "pork" is, at some level, a drop in the bucket compared to Soc. Sec. or Medicare, the vast number of projects make these earmarks an indicator as to whether a Congressman can be taken seriously.

LaHood is a nothing. He'd be happy with another 40 years in the minority if he could grease the skids for his cronies.

I don't disassociate myself from apparatchiks like LaHood for a social life, but to get the party to disassociate itself from the pigs who just cost us the majority.

Though we all know that the war and failure to run on the economy were the major reasons for the loss of the house and senate, the number of close races would indicate that adhering to some principle may have helped.

The idea that indicators like earmark corruption (that's what it is) don't matter makes about as much saying "Foley" didn't matter.

When Dems act like pigs everyone expects it. When Reps act like pigs, their voters will desert them.

Posted by: Bruno at December 23, 2006 6:49 PM

Pork can't be taken seriously except by the unserious. The entire military is GOP pork and their voters love it.

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2006 7:42 PM

Pork is an unnecessary addition to the budget designed to enhance some congress critter's constituency. An important, nay vital, budget appropriation is designed to enhance our congress critter's constituency aka us.

Voting for each other's budget items is how we do business. Things get balanced out and it works, if the critters don't get super greedy -- like, name any Dem critter-for-life like Byrd, Kennedy ...

Porkbuster bloggers are embarrassed to be called Republicans or Conservatives, so they opt for Libertarian and took on what they have to know is a bogus issue to show, while they don't buy the whole liberal line, they are second to none when guarding our purse strings. It worked and the Porkbuster motif worked relentlessly into their daily blogs greatly aided the left's recent electoral victory.

In addition, I think the Dems realized that "right" leaning bloggers helped elect Republicans in 2004 and made sure to co-opt many of the leading ones by inviting them into their club house. I firmly believe a certain new blog whose membership now includes almost every political blog of any note or readership was invented and financed for this purpose.

Posted by: erp at December 24, 2006 8:33 AM

Porkbusters just want to squander money on their own pet projects, like the war.

Posted by: oj at December 24, 2006 8:35 AM

Squandery is in the eye of the spender.

Posted by: erp at December 24, 2006 9:03 AM


Posted by: oj at December 24, 2006 11:34 AM