23 April 2009

Pork Stampede

As a griller and a smoker, I love and can work with nearly any part of the pig. Except when it's Government Pig:
Located outside a small Pennsylvania city, John Murtha airport may not see many passengers. But it's seen plenty of arrivals of tax dollars from Washington, most recently economic stimulus funds. Democratic Rep. John Murtha says it's his job to direct federal funds to his district in Pennsylvania.
This guy has an airport named after him? For what reason? What the hell is that all about?

Considered one of "the kings of pork" on Capitol Hill by taxpayer watchdog groups, the 19th-term Pennsylvania Democrat has piloted almost $200 million from Washington to Murtha airport. Much of the funding has come in the form of legislative earmarks that are attached to bills before Congress. "[Murtha's] dumped in nearly $200 million into this project that has virtually no passengers. It's practically a museum piece," said Steve Ellis with the Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Murtha declined CNN's request for an interview.
No shocker there; this clown won't even defend the place that's got his name over the door.

In December, Murtha made a direct appeal to the Federal Aviation Administration to fund the runway project. The request was rejected. At the time, the airport did not meet FAA criteria for funding because the facility had fewer than 10,000 passengers. But earlier this year, the FAA notified Murtha airport officials the facility had been approved for stimulus funding. The FAA said Murtha did not request the stimulus money.
I'm sure nothing under the table was going on to make that happen.

Steve Ellis with the Taxpayers for Common Sense added, "when you see deadbeat airports getting cash so they can do their second runway, it really feeds cynicism around the country about the stimulus and about the projects."

Murtha airport's manager said taxpayer money is going to waste at his facility, but not on the runway project. He points to an unstaffed $8 million air traffic radar system installed in 2004. "It's been sitting over there, and that radar has been spinning for all those years with no purpose. Just
sitting there," Voelker said.
Wonder where that money for that came from.

But wait; there's sadly so much more:

House Homeland Security chairman seeks millions of dollars of earmarks for small Mississippi college that he attended, although the school can not explain what the earmarks are for and does not have the capacity to provide the services for which it would receive the funding.

House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chairman directing $31 million in earmarks to 10 companies that recently donated thousands of dollars to his re-election campaign.

Northern Mariana Islands seeks to spend stimulus funds on food stamps for non-U.S. citizens.

Professor who heads Stanford History Education Group stuns by admitting there is little evidence that the history program funded with $838,172,000 in federal funds that supports his program is effective.

Federal education grant paid to send 30 teachers on a junket to New York City; The group toured Yankee Stadium, went to a Mets baseball game, attended a taping of the David Letterman Show and a Broadway Musical, went shopping of Fifth Avenue, and took a dinner cruise which provided a view of the Statue of Liberty at night.
Don't worry, America; just stay in your coma and it'll all go on like this for the foreseeable future.

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