Politics

Vanity Pork Butchered

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Deroy Murdock's col in the Wash Times takes aim at vanity pork:

It is tough for politicians to oppose projects named after their colleagues. It's one thing to block questionable funds for the Johnstown Cambria County Airport. It's quite another to turn thumbs-down on the John Murtha Airport when big, bad John himself is standing 10 feet away on the House floor, glowering at you.

This Kim Jong-ilish egomania causes envious politicians to think, "I sure would love my own airport." So, they covet their own taxpayer-funded baubles. And the logrolling continues.    

Vanity pork also is foolish because projects bear the names of politicians who do foolish things.

Embarrassed Georgia legislators are trying to rename the Cynthia McKinney Highway. The erratic Democratic congresswoman lost her House seat last year after smacking a U.S. Capitol police officer who dared ask for her ID card. She also accused Al Gore of having a "low Negro tolerance level."

Ohio University renamed the Robert W. Ney Center for Health and Physical Education when the former Ohio Republican congressman was jailed on federal conspiracy charges….

This obnoxious practice violates House Rule XXI.6: "It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or redesignation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a member, delegate, resident commissioner, or senator." Alas, asking Congress to obey its own rules is like expecting teenagers not to party while the parents are away for the weekend.

If nonpresidents must be dead for five years before appearing on postage stamps, one must be equally dead before having his name on any federally funded public work. Presidential libraries should be exempt since they advance scholarship, usually commencing while former chief executives are still live.

Otherwise, let's honor politicians posthumously, not while they are retired, and certainly not while they are in power. 
    

More here.

Fair reader, what publicly funded Ozymandian monstrosity has yet to be built? The Denny Hastert History of Donuts Museum and Gift Shoppe? Fill in the blank… 

NEXT: What Do I Need To Do To Put You in a Civics Class Today?

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  1. Embarrassed Georgia legislators are trying to rename the Cynthia McKinney Highway. The erratic Democratic congresswoman lost her House seat last year after smacking a U.S. Capitol police officer who dared ask for her ID card. She also accused Al Gore of having a “low Negro tolerance level.”

    That one should be left as a preminant reminder of this stupidity.

    Fair reader, what publicly funded Ozymandian monstrosity has yet to be built? The Denny Hastert History of Donuts Museum and Gift Shoppe? Fill in the blank…

    Robert C. Byrd Center for Civil Rights

  2. John Murtha Airport

    Not only is the airport named after him, but the convention center, any number of office parks that house satellite offices of defense contractors, and a whole bunch of other crap. Take a trip to that awful little town; it’s apparent that its entire economy is based on the welfare that old John sends that way.

  3. I spent two months working in Johnstown residing in a horrible little “suburb” called, of all things, “Tire Hill”. The place deserves no less than John Murtha. (Actually, the place REALLY deserves Jim Trafficant, but he’s not available….)

  4. (Actually, the place REALLY deserves Jim Trafficant, but he’s not available….)

    If he can manage good behavior he might be out on parole in a few years.

  5. The Edward M Kennedy Center for Women’s Studies.

  6. The William Jefferson Center for Ethics and Novel Freezer Use.

  7. Edward M Kennedy Center for Women’s Safety and Safe Driving

  8. The Nancy Pelosi Center for Dermabrasion.

  9. We named an airport after a guy who sold weapons to the Ayatollahs.

  10. Futurama’s “Clinton Monument”, towering over the Washington Monument, would be pretty cool.

  11. Presidential libraries should be exempt since they advance scholarship, usually commencing while former chief executives are still live.

    Huh? Presidential libraries should be exempt because they’re funded privately, and congress doesn’t have jack diddley to say about it. Please tell me they are privately funded.

    oh um, The John McCain media center.

  12. Hey… I grew up in Johnstown. It’s only awful if you wish to be gainfully employed there (although there are a few Murtha-related exceptions), or happen to live somewhere other than Westmont or Richland, or if you expect the downtown to resemble a real city.

    Honestly, it’s probably no better/worse than most typical American cities of its size. You’ll have to decide if that is a positive or negative statement about America in general.

  13. Yeah, I was under the impression that presidential libraries were privately funded also. Is that naive?

  14. Robert C. Byrd Center for Civil Rights

    Hey kids, here’s a fun game you can play when your parents are taking you on a car trip driving through “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia. Choose up sides. One team gets the passenger side and the other gets the driver side, then try to spot public roads, buildings, etc. on your side that aren’t named after Sen. Robert C. Byrd! The first team to find ten wins!

  15. The John McCain media center

    Howard Dean Media Center (yea, he was not a Congresscritter, but there is room for all)

    Hillary Clinton Center for Fashion Studies

  16. The Thurmond-Sharpton Institute for Geneological Research.

  17. The Mark Foley Home for Teenaged Boys.

  18. Rev. Jessee Jackson School for Culinary Arts

  19. When I was a kid one of the local pols hung on a little longer than expected and was present for the opening of the “George Wade Memorial Bridge”.

  20. The Don Young Institute for Nothing.

    The Ted Stevens School for Internet Terminology

  21. The Duke Cunningham Antiquities Museum.

    The James Inhofe Center for Atmospheric Research.

  22. The John Kerry Memorial Bridge.

    No, roadway. No bridge. Highway!

    Highway. I want to be absolutely clear about that.

  23. Honestly, it’s probably no better/worse than most typical American cities of its size.

    Well, it’s no better or worse than any other small mill town that lost its mills. Except for the fact that God hates it and keeps trying to destroy it with floods, that is.

    The George W. Bush Center for Rhetorical Studies.

  24. I think there should be a rule regarding naming things after congressmen similar to what the Post Office does for stamps:

    They have to be dead for 10 years.

  25. Has anybody proposed the Mark Foley Home for Boys?

  26. A JFK Jr. airport would be nice.

    Not to mention a Teddy bridge. Or bar. Or bar next to a bridge.

    Seriously, though, joe @ 10:53 wins the thread.

  27. “one must be equally dead before having his name on any federally funded public work”

    I sense an opportunity here. Not that I would actually wish HARM on any of the ESTEEMED members of Congress, of course.

    Actually, we have a nice counter-example here in Canada. When Pierre Elliot Trudeau died a few years back, then Prime Minister Jean Chretien [aka Oncle Dishonest Jean] [sic] tried to rename Canada’s tallest mountain, Mt. St. Elias, after him. Western Canadians, most of whom detested Trudeau, screamed bloody murder, and Jean went looking for something else to rename.

  28. The Alberto Gonzales Center for Whatever You Want It To Be, Because You Are Absolutely Correct, Sir.

  29. The Zell Miller Annex for the Criminally Insane

  30. The Ashcroft Soaring Eagle Preservation Area.

    Gingrich Healthy Marriages Initiative.

    Cheney Cyborg Center

  31. What about the criminally insane gambler?

    harumph.

  32. joe must have had his meds adjusted, because he’s just rockin’ the threads today.

  33. Alas, asking Congress to obey its own rules is like expecting teenagers not to party while the parents are away for the weekend.

    Teenagers are models of decorum and self-control compared to Congresspersons.

    Honestly first it’s sailors, now it’s teenagers. When will the insults end?

  34. The Howard Dean School for Strategic Studies.

    The Alan Keyes Mental Health Center.

  35. George W. Bush Center for International Diplomacy

  36. The Walter Mondale School for Success.

  37. The Edmund Muskie Institute for Emotional Stability.

  38. The Sonny Bono Ski Resort.

    (oooh…too soon?)

    The James Traficant Hair Club for Men.

    Michael Dukakis’s University for Operating Military Vehicles.

  39. The William Jefferson Clinton School of Dry Cleaning

    The James Earl Carter School of Carpentry

    The George W. Bush School of… of… of… nothing. Please. No school…

    CB

  40. Welcome back, Randian!

  41. Randian,

    Are you home? Safe? Whole?

  42. The John Ashcroft School of Nude Sculpture

  43. The Al Sharpton Coprophilia Research Institute and Rape Awareness / Prevention Endeavor.

    Pronounce the acronym for maximum irony.

  44. The George W. Bush School of Nothing works for me.

  45. The Al Gore Cybernetics Patent Office

  46. if you have to explain it…

    The Souter Shelter for the Homeless

  47. The Souter Center for Compulsive Hoarding.

    And no, I’m not going to explain it. SCOTUS-philiacs will get it.

  48. nevermind.

    great day everyone.

  49. just sayin | March 26, 2007, 10:29am | #

    When I was a kid one of the local pols hung on a little longer than expected and was present for the opening of the “George Wade Memorial Bridge”.

    Ah, another Harrisburger! We are everywhere. Are you a refugee as well?

  50. Is the William J. Clinton Fertility Clinic, Sperm Bank, and Finishing School for Curvy, Vulnerable, Unsophisticated Young Women too obvious?

    The George W. Bush Institute for Primate Research?

  51. Is the William J. Clinton Fertility Clinic, Sperm Bank, and Finishing School for Curvy, Vulnerable, Unsophisticated Young Women too obvious?

    Sorta, but I like your take on it.

    My only contribution would be the John Connally School of Marksmanship.

  52. Ok, one more….

    Gary Condit Forensic Evidence Institute and Excavation Services

  53. “downstater | March 26, 2007, 11:47am | #
    What about the criminally insane gambler?

    harumph.”

    excellent!

    give the governor a harumph!
    (Mel Gibson charm school and diversity training?)

  54. you watch your ass!

  55. The National Archives new Berger Center for Document Preservation.

    Kevin

  56. The Bob Dole Island Museum complete with the Bridge to the Past.

    “R C Dean | March 26, 2007, 11:17am | #
    A JFK Jr. airport would be nice.”

    I live within 20 miles of Will Rogers International Airport and another airport named after Wiley Post. The first also has a road named for Amelia Earhart. Has anyone built an airport named after Buddy Holly?

  57. Should the Buddy Holly Airport be in Lubbock or Clear Lake?

    Kevin

  58. The Dick Cheney Firearms Safety School

    The George W. Bush College of “Nucular” Engineering

    The Rick Perry Center for Cervical Cancer

    The Senator Clinton School for Arkansans that Want to Pretend to be from New York

    Tom DeLay Center for Congressional Ethics

    done for now

  59. The Richard M Nixon College of Constitutional Law.

    The Ronald Reagan Hair Preservation Centre.

    The George Bush Sr. School of Lip Reading

  60. The Bushitlerburton W. McChimplesteinazi Institute for the Study of Agglutinative Languages.

  61. tomtom, make that the The Senator Hilary /Ro/d/h/a/m/ Clinton School for FIBs* who married Arkansans and Want to Pretend to be from New York.

    Go, Fighting Carpetbaggers!

    Kevin

    *She’s from Park Ridge, IL.

  62. John Boehner School of Veracity?

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