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.
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.
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 Reason.tv's Porker of the Month series, done with Citizens Against Government Waste: