Earmarks

Hero Guy Federal Employee Tries to Get Himself and All of His Colleagues Fired

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denali
Denali Commission

Federal employee Mike Marsh is pretty sure his job shouldn't exist. So he wrote to Congress (and The Washington Post):

"I have concluded that [my agency] is a congressional experiment that hasn't worked out in practice," wrote Marsh, who is the inspector general for the Denali Commission, an economic-development agency based in Alaska. "I recommend that Congress put its money elsewhere."…

Marsh believes there is a strong and convincing case for his own unemployment. He laid it out in seven pages, complete with graphics and a bibliography, and sent it to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and to the Office of Management and Budget.

You can read the whole letter here, but The Washington Post sums up Marsh's attitude about his own IG gig and the office he oversees with the useful phrase "human boondoggle."

So how much money are we talking about?:

The Denali Commission began in 1998, as a pet project of then-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)…. The commission's purpose was to help people in rural Alaska, by building power plants, offering job training and improving health care.

It became the channel for a great river of pork. In 2006, in the heyday of both Stevens and congressional earmark spending, he sent $150 million flowing through the agency.

That flow has slowed considerably since Stevens died. This year's appropriation was "just" $10.6 million. 

For more on our federal budget, from which there is "nothing left to cut," go here

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58 responses to “Hero Guy Federal Employee Tries to Get Himself and All of His Colleagues Fired

  1. I’m sure that Congress, who knows way more about what’s good for this department and the state of Alaska than this guy obviously does, will duly ignore this crazy dude’s unmutal rantings.

  2. Never hire Ron Swanson as your agency’s inspector general.

      1. We’re going to have the hap-hap-happiest inspection since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

  3. So we have a real world Ron Swanson?

    1. Way to go with an obvious comment.

      1. I hang my head in shame at your seconds faster posting ability…

        1. Really, there is no shame in being out posted by FoE. There are many theories about him, but I say that he is actually some sort of pure energy being that inhabits the internet and is able to intercept transmissions and insert his own comments even before the page has a chance to go live. This is why he always comments first.

          (I may or may not be high right now)

          1. but I say that he is actually some sort of pure energy being

            Pure energy?

          2. I just fly around the Earth real fast and reverse its rotation.

  4. All government spending is useful and stimulative! //Krugnuts

    1. Not a dime to spare //Pelosinuts

  5. It became the channel for a great river of pork.

    Wait, whut?

    1. You know, like that Chinese company that dumped several thousnad tons of unsellable hog into the Yangtze river.

      1. I never laugh so hard as when I come to Reason’s comment section.
        Liquid Pork, and then it hits topical news. :’)

  6. Give me the budget, a lot of X-ACTO blades and black markers, and an incinerator, and I’ll solve a great deal of our spending problem right now.

    1. I do wish the line-item budget veto would be added to the Constitution. It is always appropriate to spend less.

      1. Wouldn’t help much with this president. Unless we could also add federal term limits and recall. And tarring and feathering.

        1. I’m sure he has arranged more than a few line item budget increases if you catch my meaning.

        2. True. Although if they can just find $320M in Executive agency grants to bail out Detroit a week before the end of the fiscal year, I say there’s too much money floating around.

    2. Just do what a lot of companies do: slash budgets 10% across the board. Let the individual deparments figure out how to cope. Fire any director/manager that can’t come up with a way to do this.

      Then do it again next year @7.5% reduction below. Then the following @5%. And so on until things actually start breaking.

      1. Across the board cuts are the cowards way out. They presume that all functions are equally important, which is never the case. However, they are a way out.

        1. They are never optimal but on e shit starts breaking in important areas, senior managers who have any intelligence whatsoever will begin funneling money out of low priority activities and into the critical ones. when everything has enough money to be comfortable, nothing gets cut.

          Alternatively, say “we are cutting 10%” and require every department head to write a report on how, specifically, they woupd accomplish it. If some can.make a case.that absolute disaster.would occur, allow them to horse trade with other departments to allow them to.cut less than.10%.

          1. Exactly. We are cutting 7.5% of the bottom line. Everyone come up with a plan for 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10% cuts to your department, and each agency head can present two proposed budgets to Congress.

        2. and that’s why individual dept heads choose what gets cut. Perfect? No, but it at least recognizes the problem.

          This article is hardly an outlier. It and the Detroit bailout..um, handout..wait, loan..tell you all you need to know.

    3. I’d think you’d only need the incinerator and 10 minutes.

      Rip out the section on defense and throw the rest in the incinerator.

      Rip out half the remaining section on defense and throw *that* in the incinerator.

      Repeat for the next 2-3 years.

      Then, *maybe* start using the black marker.

      1. I just want to be prepared. The incinerator will be doing the heavy work, which is why I requested one of those rather than a blowtorch.

  7. OT: Martha! Circle the wagons! Someone said something critical of Obama! Who cares if he’s one of us and has a long record of exposing government lies!

    I’ve never seen a president worshiped like this one. The Reagan nonsense was mostly after his presidency and Bush supporters we’re either just sticking a thumb in the eye of Clintonistas or just stroking warboners. These idiots think he’s some sort of perfect being.

    And they seem to be fitting Cory Booker for his shining robes.

    1. It’s telling, isn’t it? First they attack Woodward, now Hersh. This may really be the most corrupt and dishonest administration in our history, yet people are just la-la-la-can’t-hear-you.

    2. Maybe I’ve got my facts wrong, but hasn’t Sy Hersh been in a constant state of reporting anonymously sourced information that waffles between absolutely true and wingnut crazy since the mid-90s?

      1. Hersh’s predictive powers are week, but his investigative journalism is fairly strong. There’s no way to spin him as a GOP shill, so they just have to burn him out in public.

        1. Yeah. I just went through his Wikipedia article. Its hard to believe that someone who broke My Lai and Abu Graib is in anyone’s pocket politically.

          1. Interesting for those who have read the Laundry series:

            Project Jennifer
            In early 1974, Hersh had planned to publish a story on “Project Jennifer” (later revealed to be named Project Azorian and Operation Matador), a covert CIA project to recover a sunken Soviet navy submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean. CIA director William Colby discussed the operation with Hersch in 1974, but obtained his promise not to publish while the operation was active. Bill Kovach, The New York Times Washington, DC bureau chief at the time, said in 2005 that the government offered a convincing argument to delay publication in early 1974?exposure at that time, while the project was ongoing, “would have caused an international incident.” The NYT eventually published Hersh’s account on March 19, 1975, after a story appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and included a five-paragraph explanation of the many twists and turns in the path to publication. It is unclear what, if any, action was taken by the Soviet Union after learning of the story. It was later revealed that the leaks prevented a second recovery attempt of the submarine after a small portion of it was raised in the summer of 1974.

            1. It was later revealed that the leaks prevented a second recovery attempt of the submarine after a small portion of it was raised in the summer of 1974.

              Sure.

              1. Is this a different sub? Because I’m pretty sure I saw a NOVA (or other science show) about us actually recovering a Soviet sub.

                1. Yeah, different sub. That one was called the Kursk.

                  1. Oh, right. Thanks. Probably the Soviets should’ve just sold us examples of their advanced technology.

            2. I have a close relative who was involved in the initial work that located the sub prior to.the project.to recover it. Never told me anything specific about it but digging into various books and sources on the.project and looking at his service record, the involvement is clear.

            3. Just don’t piss off Deep 7.

      2. I don’t really know, but I doubt seriously the Gawker Obamaniacs are basing their attacks on any questions about his credibility. He could be Jesus, come down to Earth to speak only the truth, and they’d crucify him again.

        1. *Especially* if he were Jesus – these *are* leftists after all.

      3. Wingnut crazy, like the government sucks up all internet and phone traffic so they can listen in on whoever they want. Just ridiculous. Do you realize how many people that would involve?

        1. However much they suck up, I assume that the process is heavily automated and only gets listened to by a human if it raises red flags either by content or parties involved.

    3. Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would”

      Um…really?

      Also, the comments do not disappoint.

      Anti-Star Super-ChristUHamilton Nolan1L
      Fox News. Largest and most watched news media in the United States. Nope. They’ve NEVER challenged Obama on ANYTHING.

      This guy is just another GOP sock puppet who keeps claiming the media always favors Obama and no one is brave enough to call him out, when the exact opposite is true. Today 11:07am

      1. I like the constant demands that he produce evidence for them to ignore.

        1. Do you think they get some sort of endorphin charge from arguing against more, rather than fewer, facts that undermine their argument?

          1. Fakedebunkingboner

            1. If you are on the wrong side, add passion and derision. If that doesn’t work, add more passion and derision. Continue until you win the argument or your opponent is in a labor camp.

    4. This response was awesome to someone assuming Hersh has monetary motivations.

      JudenChinoSuffersfoolsgladly
      77

      he sounds like he is sending up flares for a book in the works.

      Are you a child? “he sounds like”? He’s Seymour Hersh. He’s one of the last great investigative journalists we have. He’s the real deal. Unlike the Brian Williams of the world. And you’re like: This grifter’s trying to start shit for his book. What a stupid little shit you are. Today 10:23am

      1. Eh. I do actually suspect that Hersh has a personal axe to grind. That doesn’t make his statements untrue.

        1. Sure, and I could list a few faults of his as well, but her response was perfect in relation to the vapid little fool she was addressing. I should have included both in my quotes above.

    5. Detective Rex HardbodyUHamilton Nolan11L
      At least he’s not pathetic like Bob Woodward. Today 11:45am

      1. Detective Rex HardbodyUHamilton Nolan11L

        So that’s Dunphy’s real name!

        1. Dunphy is not a real cop, he just plays one on the internets.

  8. I’m pretty sure no one in Congress reads anything that doesn’t have a check attached to it. Isn’t it the job of congressional staffers to sort the mail, categorizing anything without cash as junk and throwing it away?

  9. “I have concluded that [my agency] is a congressional experiment that hasn’t worked out in practice,” wrote Marsh, who is the inspector general for the Denali Commission, an economic-development agency based in Alaska. “I recommend that Congress put its money elsewhere.”…

    …so Congress has decided to double his department’s budget. Because FYTW.

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