Government Spending

Rep. John Murtha Might Be Dead, But His Repulsive Earmark Legacy Lives On (So Does Ted Kennedy's)


The late Rep. John (Jack) Murtha (D-Penn.) was the earmark king, a politician who didn't stint on dragging federally funded pork to his district in the Keystone State under any and all pretenses. Channeling O.J. Simpson, who once said that if he had killed his ex-wife, it was only because he loved her too much, Murtha actually uttered, "If I'm a little corrupt, it's because I take care of my district." Boy, that's public spiritedness, ain't it?

Murtha's legacy of shameless spending on crap nobody needed and we all paid for via taxes lives on even though the unindicted co-conspirator in ABSCAM lies full-fathom five. His successor, Rep. Mark Critz, is seeing to that by earmarking $10 million in a defense-funding bill for the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Given that this piece of junk is in a defense bill, it's supposed to have something to do with, well, defense. But that's baloney, too.

Wired's Noah Shachtman explains:

The 30,000 square-foot Center will primarily serve as a scholarly debating forum for policy issues and a repository for Murtha's papers. But wait, you ask. How does the Murtha Center relate to the Department of Defense? Oh, it'll inspire "students and the general public to become active in our communities, the military, and in public service." See? Military applicability.

Schactman continues,

Murtha is hardly the only deceased legislator to be posthumously honored with your money. Last year, Congress also added $10 million to the defense bill to build an Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate at the University of Massachusetts. The Kennedy Institute didn't even pretend to have a military application, but that did absolutely nothing to derail the earmark.

More here.

And people wonder why the Tea Party is doing swell and milquetoast establishment centrist candidates such as Mike Castle of Delaware are getting their asses kicked finally? The earmarks above are more than annoying. Given the military trappings of the funding sources, they're obscene. We've got an army that was in recent memory sent to actual wars without proper equipment (can anyone forget Donald Rumsfeld's grotesque hand-washing of responsibility for properly outfitting the military in Afghanistan and Iraq?). And yet we're capable of building million-dollar sarcophaguses to fat dead old men?

Screw you, buddy, I sez! Suddenly, Christine O'Donnell's anti-masturbation views are making more and more sense, especially if she keeps her pledge not to jerk off taxpayers like the bums currently pounding the pork in D.C.

Check out's Porker of the Month series, done with Citizens Against Government Waste:

NEXT: The Pat Tillman Story

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  1. Gawd, that picture of Murtha looks like he’s pinching off a loaf.

    1. That’s Murtha? I thought it was a giant albino raisin. With hair.

      1. I’m thinking Shar Pei.

  2. Don’t forget $10 million for Darlin Arlen’s library. His son is rated one of the top 100 lawyers in Penna. so he makes big bucks and his pals in the legal community can certainly find $10 million in change floating about in their personal injury award fees pockets. Not to be outdone, “America’s Governor” Ed Rendell awarded $20 million “stimulus grant” to a multi-millionaire Democrat contributor to help build a luxury spa/resort/country club for high rollers in the tranquil Penna. horse country.

  3. August 25, 2009 and February 8, 2010

    Two of the happiest days of my life.

  4. Every remotely new building in Johnstown has Murtha’s name on it. Going there is enough to make you pray for nuclear war.

    1. Do they call it the John Murtha Johnstown Flood now too?

    2. Ohio really needs to annex Johnstown, because it’s really screwing up my Pennsylvania Supremacy arguments.

      1. I ain’t losing the fucking Hanson Brothers to Ohio. Why are you so afraid of pork, Tulpa? Is you a moozlum?

  5. The Kennedy Institute didn’t even pretend to have a military application, but that did absolutely nothing to derail the earmark.

    Well, Kennedy did once take out a girlfriend Special Forces style*.

    *I apologize to the Special Forces for the above comment.

    1. That was tasteless, you bastard.

      1. I agree. Leaving a young girl to drown in a submerged car while you wait for your drunk to wear of is definitely tasteless in my book too.

        1. He got to wear that awesomely funny neck brace, though. For pure comic impact, it’s almost as funny as those satellite dish things they put around dogs’ necks so they won’t lick themselves.

  6. Murtha’s legacy of shameless spending on crap nobody needed and we all paid for via taxes…

    Crap nobody needed?!? How dare you, sir. Why, the lard-marbled wiseguy bosses of all the construction unions needed that crap!

  7. Sad that the mainstream media just gloss over these type of projects.

    Oh look! There’s a Tea Partier with what may be a racist sign! We’ll be back after these messages.

    1. Dude, you should have seen the news in Pittsburgh after Jack The Great died, I puked in my pants.

      About half of the coverage was warm and fuzzy remembrances… fucking kill me now.

      The other half was newscasters, Murtha’s staff and successor assuring the public that the government titty would not be yanked from the mouths of poor Johnstownians. Of course, blood boiling man on the street interviews were present and accounted for.

      Fuck, now I want to hit something.

  8. It’s kind of shameful that taxpayer’s couldn’t even picked up the tab for Chelsea’s wedding. All Congressmen should be required to complete their Master’s at The Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.

  9. On a happier note, is showing that Murtha’s pork-loving successor in PA-12 has a 60% chance of getting booted out in November

    Wow, is PA-12 a gerrymandered district or what?

    1. From Da Wiki:

      After the 2000 census, the Republican-controlled state legislature radically altered the 12th in an effort to get more Republicans elected from traditionally heavily Democratic southwestern Pennsylvania. A large chunk of the old 20th District was incorporated into the 12th. In some parts of the western portion of the district, one side of the street is in the 12th while the other side of the street is in the 18th District (the reconfigured 20th). This led to criticism that the 12th was a gerrymander intended to pack as many of southwestern Pennsylvania’s heavily Democratic areas as possible into just two districts–the 12th and the Pittsburgh-based 14th.

    2. Check out North Carolina 3rd. To me it doesn’t even look contiguous.

  10. I would think the kind hearted people here at Reason would at least congratulate Kennedy on being sober for over a year.

    1. Only because there’s no booze in hell.

  11. Term Fucking Limits!!!!!!!!!

  12. “You ain’t lion, cheetah.”


  13. Looks like Nick is finally seeing the light…

  14. Give that surgeon a medal for protecting our country from another corrupt treasonous congressman!

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