Omnibus is All of Us

|

The Heritage Foundation has launched a great blog about the mammoth (a grand and a half pages, folks) omnibus spending bill, optimistically named Omnibusting. From the front page, right now:

—Included in the 696 pages of earmarks is a $113,000 earmark for rodent control in Alaska by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)

– Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) earmarked $65,000 for Potato Diseases in Beltsville, MD

– Included in the omnibus is $1.95 Million for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York (Joint Explanatory Statement, Labor-H, p. 234).

That last one doesn't sound so bad: If you want to make a career in public service, you'd probably have more fun copying Charles Rangel than Tom Coburn. Make more friends, too!

Headline explained here.

NEXT: Establishment vs. the Drug War

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ” Included in the 696 pages of earmarks is a $113,000 earmark for rodent control in Alaska by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)”

    I don’t want to sound like I am defending this bill but this earmark may have something to do with Rat Island.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Island_%28Alaska%29

  2. “- Included in the 696 pages of earmarks is a $113,000 earmark for rodent control in Alaska by Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)”

    Wouldn’t rodent control in Alaska necessarily have something to do with eliminating Ted Stevens?

  3. You know how many people would love to go up there and shoot those suckers? They’re like tomatoes with legs. Pow! Splat!

  4. It seems that rodents keep clogging up the tubes.

  5. I don’t want to sound like I am defending this bill but this earmark may have something to do with Rat Island.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Island_%28Alaska%29

    The link to Norway rat from the Rat Island link to Wikipedia was more entertaining than it had any right to be.

    e.g.

    “…the most-liked foods of brown rats were (in order) scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, and cooked corn kernels. Their least-liked foods were raw beets, peaches, and raw celery.”

  6. “You know how many people would love to go up there and shoot those suckers? They’re like tomatoes with legs. Pow! Splat!”

    You are not kidding man. You know what a .306 round will do to a rat? There are few things more fun than a good rat shoot.

  7. Who can we get to earmark for “The Guy Fawkes Center for the elimination of Blood Sucking Leeches?”

  8. Zevatron, thinks for pointing that out. What I like is that the article has two subheadings. One is “Rats as Pets” and underneath “Rats as Pet Food.” Shows just how versitile rats can be.

  9. You are not kidding man. You know what a .306 round will do to a rat? There are few things more fun than a good rat shoot.

    I fondly remember rat shoots. A .22, a 10-12 year old boy, and the good old fashioned dump, is a beautiful thing. Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus likely have some value in the planet’s ecosystem, but I have a hatred of them that borders on the pathological. That said, let Alaskans solve their own pest problems.

  10. Dave –

    thanks for posting.

    do you (or does anybody) remember the “final walk prayer” given to Johnny Dangerously?

    that one and the one in Top Secret were classics!

  11. And how much in earmarks for Doctor No’s district, I wonder?

  12. The Nanny State hates fun.

  13. Zevatron – Almost as good as this.

  14. SIV – rat bating??????

    DAMN YOU PENGUIN!!!! 🙂

  15. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) earmarked $65,000 for Potato Diseases in Beltsville, MD

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but if you’re going to throw government money at science, doing so for food diseases is a no-brainer.

    We do eat — or feed to things we eat — an awful lot of potatoes.

  16. Morat20,

    Perhaps, but that is a BIG IF. If I had to choose between greater funding for NASA or giving money to corrupt dictators then, yea, I would throw it at an organization that at least gave us Velcro, freeze-dried ice cream and tang. In my humble opinion the two most benevolent uses of my stolen money are NASA and public libraries. But, yea, my preference would be to let the free market take care of all of these problems.

  17. Ha, PIRS is objectively pro-fungus!

  18. Kolohe,

    You found me out. I support rights for both plants and fungi. But those damned mosquitoes have got to go!

  19. – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) earmarked $65,000 for Potato Diseases in Beltsville, MD

    You won’t be laughing when the next potato famine is averted…

  20. The Heritage Foundation has launched a great blog about the mammoth

    As a lay student of paleontology, I initially got all excited about this, until I read further. Although I also did wonder why the Heritage Foundation was devoting a blog to extinct proboscideans.

  21. “I also did wonder why the Heritage Foundation was devoting a blog to extinct proboscideans.”

    I can see a logical reason for this. You see, we need to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors. Our ancestors did not do enough to prevent the extinction of this noble species. The global warming of that time period was largely responsible for its extinction. We need to prevent global warming in our time to prevent the extinction of the polar bear. We must learn from the mistakes of our ancestors and what they could have done to prevent the extinction of the mammoth.

  22. NASA didn’t invent velcro. A Swiss engineer invented it.

  23. AC, are you sure it wasn’t a Vulcan engineer.
    (I must admit I am too much a Star Trek geek for my own good.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_Creek_%28Enterprise_episode%29

  24. The Confederate Constitution specified that all bills were to relate to one subject. That would be a nice amendment to push for, I think.

    (20) Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

    This one, too:

    (10) All bills appropriating money shall specify in Federal currency the exact amount of each appropriation and the purposes for which it is made; and Congress shall grant no extra compensation to any public contractor, officer, agent, or servant, after such contract shall have been made or such service rendered.

  25. See, all the Paulista’s aren’t Nazis.
    Warty is a Neo-Confederate.

  26. Underscore, Ron Paul seems to atract a very diverse crowd – ideologically diverse that is. I will not vote for Ron Paul for my own reasons but I would not judge all Ron Paul supporters as racists – even if some are.

  27. Paulista’s
    When I’m president of the second CSA, misuse of the apostrophe will be punished by crushing.

  28. If you google search their database on Ron Paul…

    Coast Guard Alteration of Bridges Galveston Causeway Bridge, Galveston, lJ( 3,750,000 Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Culberson, Ron Paul, Ted Poe

    University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TJ( for nursing programs 146,000 Paul, Ron
    University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TJ( for the Centralized Clinical 97,000 Paul, Ron

    DIVISION C – ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 (JES)…
    PASS TO GALVESTON BAY, lX 100,000 Paul; Poe Cornyn

    …and more.

  29. Just wait till Ron Paul is President.
    Texas will so full of Fed-funded infrastructure the cows will have to learn to graze on it.

  30. He voted against a medal for Rosa Parks because it would cost the taxpayers $30,000.

    But if a nursing program in his district needs scratch, he’s happy to hook them up with almost five times that much taxpayer money.

    I see how it is. Sit your ass in the back of the bus, ho’, we need more nurses.

  31. Morat20 wrote: “Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but if you’re going to throw government money at science, doing so for food diseases is a no-brainer.”

    And given the amount, $65k, it looks like funding for a single modestly-paid researcher.

    Notice, however, that Heritage waited until a Democratic Congress to set this up.

    Did they give the Republican pork as much loving attention?

  32. Did they give the Republican pork as much loving attention?

    Well, I don’t think they could have. One of the changes the Democrats pushed through upon taking office was greater earmark transparency — they’re not changing earmarks (although I understand the amount is down considerably from the last Congress), but they can’t be hidden. Every one has a requesting Congressman’s name attached.

    Frankly, I think screaming about earmark is pretty stupid — they’re not only small potatoes in general, but they’re not even “extra spending”. They’re specific directions for already allocated funds. Eliminate all the earmarks for specific road and bridge repairs and such, and that state’s transportation grant for road repair and construction gets slightly bigger.

    Frankly, earmarks are how Congressman handle constituent complaints (and yes, pay back donors).

    For instance, that bridge leading into Galveston that Ron Paul earmarked really does need a looking at. Actually, it needs to be seriously widened (the traffic is horrible on weekends, and it’s the only route into Galveston besides the ferry — hurricane evaucations are a nightmare up that road) and it’s undoubtably due for maintaince. I wouldn’t be surprised if that earmark didn’t come from locals bitching about the bridge.

  33. He voted against a medal for Rosa Parks because it would cost the taxpayers $30,000.

    Yes, and he offered to pay 1/535th of that sum out of his own pocket to buy her a gold medal.

    While all those progressive congressmen and senators where quite happy to spend other people’s money to buy her the medal, not one was willing to put up his or her own money.

    So, the proper way to look at it is:

    Ron Paul, the only congressman willing to buy a gold medal for Rosa Parks with his own money.

  34. ________________________________________________ | December 17, 2007, 11:17pm | #

    Just wait till Ron Paul is President.
    Texas will so full of Fed-funded infrastructure the cows will have to learn to graze on it.

    So many avenues for response…

    1. The same would go for a candidate from Alabama through Wyoming. Clearly the solution is to elect a president from somewhere other than a state. Suggestions?
    2. Are you saying that Ron Paul is more into pork than Dubya and LBJ?
    3. You’re right, I’m beginning to suspect that Dr. Paul’s antipathy towards the North American Superhighway is all about squelching the competition for the coming Ron Paul Memorial Pan-Texas Superhighway.
    4. Actually, in Texas, you get state property tax breaks for land being used in agriculture. So people graze cows on vacant lots to get the tax breaks. So really, it’s not so much of a stretch….

  35. (I must admit I am too much a Star Trek geek for my own good.)

    If you were a true geek, you wouldn’t have linked to the tragic abberation that is Enterprise.

    Now you’re just objectively pro-terrible telelvision 😀

  36. tarran:

    Did he refuse to fund Nursing Programs at Texas Medical Center unless members of Congress paid out of their own pockets? No, because if he did, he knew his district wouldn’t get much-needed pork.

    So, the proper way to look at it is: Ron Paul cares more about getting pork than about civil rights for African-Americans.

  37. Are you seriously claiming that if Rosa Park didn’t get a gold medal from congress that civil rights for blacks would suffer? What is she, soem vengeful god that must be propitiated?

    Incidentally, he did the same thing for Ronald Reagan’s gold medal.

    It’s not even his own idea: he’s following the lead of Davey Crockett.

  38. 4. Actually, in Texas, you get state property tax breaks for land being used in agriculture. So people graze cows on vacant lots to get the tax breaks. So really, it’s not so much of a stretch….

    Fun fact: Johnson Space Center in Texas is home to a rather thriving population of deer, as well as a small herd of cattle. The deer are an occasional nuisance.

    And if the center ever closes, the land and property gets donated to Rice University, which would undoubtably panic at the thought of suddenly having more land and classroom space than the University of Texas. Interestingly enough, the design of the buildings (at least the older ones) and layout of JSC were done with an eye towards that very eventuality — it would be easier to convert to a school than you’d think, although where Rice would get the money is beyond me. 🙂

  39. Incidentally, he did the same thing for Ronald Reagan’s gold medal.

    Well, that settles it. He hates black people and Ronald Reagan.

    Just following wet blanky’s impeccable logic there.

    Morat20, looks like Rice University has an interesting real estate (potentially) portfolio. IIRC, at one time they owned Yankee Stadium due to a bequest. They sold it to NYC in the 80s.

    Just as the Rice baseball team didn’t play home games in the house that Ruth built I suspect they’d end up selling off JSC if the ever got ownership.

  40. “If you were a true geek, you wouldn’t have linked to the tragic abberation that is Enterprise.

    Now you’re just objectively pro-terrible telelvision :-D”

    I liked Enterprise. IMHO it was better much better than Voyager (and far less PC than Voyager). There were a few not-so-good episodes in the last season but most of them were quite good. Have you seen the new Dr. Who series? Now THAT is a damn good show. Far better than the original Dr. Who and I almost never say that about a remake of any sort.

  41. He voted against a medal for Rosa Parks because it would cost the taxpayers $30,000.

    But if a nursing program in his district needs scratch, he’s happy to hook them up with almost five times that much taxpayer money.

    Because meaningless gestures intended to appease pressure groups are really no different than training nurses to take care of sick people.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.