Government Spending

Prince of Pork Named Chair of Appropriations Committee


Given what they did the last time they ran the joint, Republicans have zero credibility with the American people, especially those folks who pay taxes (hint: all of us, one way or another).

So it's not a good sign that GOP leaders passed over someone with great anti-pork bona fides such as Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and instead named Rep. Hal "Prince of Pork" Rogers (R-Ky.) to head up the House Appropriations Committee come the power switch in 2011.

In two years, Rogers pushed through 135 earmarks worth $246 million. He's brought tens of millions of dollars into his hometown of Somerset, Ky., so much so that the town has been dubbed "Mr. Rogers' neighborhood."

There's the $52 million National Center for Hometown Security and the tiny airport that received $17 million in federal dollars but has so little traffic that the last commercial airline pulled out in February.

There's also the Hal Rogers Parkway, which was formerly known as the Daniel Boone Parkway before being renamed for the 16-term congressman.

More recently, Rogers was able to secure $5 million dollars for conservation groups that work with wild cats.

Rogers is talking a good game, for sure:

"No more earmarks…I'll be the enforcer of the moratorium. The electorate told us, I think, the number one thing they want is to cut spending…And that's what we'll do."

More here. Jeebus H. Christ! How much hedging can be tucked into that "…I think"? You better cut spending GOP. And in case you're wondering how to balance the budget without raising taxes, here's an easy year-by-year, step-by-step explanation that even a congressman could understand.

Believe it when you see it.

Rogers, a 15-term congressman and unabashed cheetah-lover, was Citzens Against Government Waste Porker of the Month. Watch him talk about cutting spending (!) and doling out millions of dollars to a big-cat charity run by his daughter.

NEXT: Reasoners on The Tube: Welch, Gillespie, & Mangu-Ward

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  1. “Term Limits don’t go far enough; I prefer jail time”
    — PJ O’Rourke

    1. Can we skip the term all together. Just have elections, and the winnners can go straight to jail. Permanently.

      Rinse and repeat until there’s noone left who wants to run for office. Problem solved.

  2. I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    Don’t get fooled again

  3. Back in the 90s, the GOP put “Queen of Pork” Anne Northup on Appropriations. What is it with the bad KY reps getting the primo spots?

    1. Hey, cheer up: Ron Paul just got chairmanship of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee. We’ve just matched him to the position that suits him best.

    2. Gee, what could KY and “Pork” have in common?

  4. Somerset has an airport?

    1. Glasgow has one, so I assume Somerset does too.

      Heck, Burkesville has one (grass).

      1. I mean, sure, Henderson has an airport… let me rephrase:

        Somerset has an airport that a commercial jet can take off from?

        1. Yes, commuter jets. But with it being only a little more than an hour to Lexington or Knoxville, TN there’s not much need for it. My office overlooks the landing strip so I can tell you that jets big enough to shake my office still land there regularly.

          The only small regional airport that I know has regular commercial traffic in KY is Owensboro.

          1. I was once in love with a girl from Science Hill. I am afraid to find out what happened to her after she moved back home.

            1. She had guys like CS overlooking her landing strip.

              1. That’s what I was afraid of.

    2. just looked on google maps – Lake Cumberland Regional Airport.

  5. I dream of a nation in which the phrase “sixteen-term Congressman” is unknown.

    I also think Ed McMahon will personally deliver a check for fifty million dollars to my door.

  6. We’re not cynics. We’re realists! Optimism is for chumps?!


    1. Speak for yourself.

  7. There’s also the Hal Rogers Parkway, which was formerly known as the Daniel Boone Parkway before being renamed for the 16-term congressman.

    In the name of all the is righteous, can we please stop naming anything other than toxic waste sites after living politicians?

    After a politician has been dead for a decade, we can consider it.

    1. I think every Parkway in KY is named after a living politician.

      1. 8 of the 9 renamed after politicians. I think 4 of the 8 are alive.

    2. I think it would be appropriate to name accident sites and hurricanes after congressvermin.

  8. He renamed a highway – named for daniel Boone – after himself. All of the voters should have thrown him out right there.

    Godda$@. I hate the monument culture that has become the US. Everyone must be remembered and we need a road, monument, etc. to do it.

    1. Rogers might have had a hand in it, but the renaming was the work of the state government.

      1. Oh well I guess it is ok then

  9. If there’s one thing the two parties agree on it’s pork projects. I’m not sure if we’re going to see that much gridlock over the next 2 years.

  10. I’d say 100 years. Then we will consider the real impact and significance.

  11. The state government went through a stage several years ago where they renamed all of the state’s parkways. They changed from historical or geographic names to be named after still living politicians. Roger’s parkway was a part of this change, and I think the only Republican of the group. Of course most people still use the old names.

    1. This is the most ridiculous, egotistical, narcissistic thing I’ve ever heard of. Why would they do this?

      1. Because they are a bunch of fucking douchebag politicians. But I repeat myself.

        The only good thing about the parkways is the politicians kept their promise and removed the toll booths as the bonds were paid off.

        Of course, as tolls are a much more reasonable way to pay for the parkways upkeep than general taxation….

    2. “” They changed from historical or geographic names to be named after still living politicians. “”

      Why not take money from corporations for naming rights. It could be the American Express turnpike. If you’re going to name it after a living politician, morality isn’t an issue.

  12. Why not just reanme the state? “Kentucky” is kinda non-inspiring after all.

    1. “Wilkinsonland” it is!

      1. WallyWorld would be better, I think.

    2. I vote for Feltchtucky.

  13. Optimism is for chumps?!

    If you expect the worst, once in a great while you may be pleasantly surprised.

  14. If you need any more proof that a Congress that just added a trillion dollars to the deficit isn’t the least bit serious about fiscal policy, this should help.

  15. How could they turn down Rep Flake’s chest muscles?

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