"Money is the mother's milk of politics." Jesse Unruh
Murtha did it. Lott made it a fine art. Congressional pork feeds are nothing new and an entirely non partisan sport. Alaska led the nation last year with $221 million in earmarks, or $322 per capita. Hawaii, at $302 million in earmarks, ranks No. 2.
But there is something truly audacious and vomitous about Senator Richard Shelby's (R. Alabama) plan to stop government in its tracks over the Obama Administration's decision to cancel a few wasteful defense bills that benefited his state.
Shelby, a Democratic turncoat turned Republican, clearly shows his treasonous roots in placing a blanket hold on 70 of the President's nominations, an exercise that aims to grind the government to a halt.
He is mightily steamed over the administration's decision to stop a $35 billion contract to allow Northrop Grumman and EADS North America, not Boeing, build an Air Force refueling tanker, as well as the squelching of an FBI explosives testing center that has not been built despite Shelby earmarking $45 million for it in 2008. Of course, Northrop Grumman is a longtime Shelby campaign contributor and the project would provide about 1000 new jobs in Alabama. EADS is a subsidiary of a large foreign defense company that would assemble the parts in Alabama. They have spread money all around the thicket of late, channeling some contributions through the Federalist Group.
Boeing Co. successfully challenged the Air Force's decision in 2008 to award the $40-billion deal to the Northrop-EADS team partly because of allegations that changes made to the evaluation criteria during the bidding process benefited the winners.
He says that "The Department of Defense must recognize that the draft Request for Proposal (on the tanker proposal) needs to be significantly and substantively changed." He is trying to frame it as a national security issue. So it's just a little hometown, parochial, selfish, old fashioned pork roast. Play it my way or I throw a monkey wrench into the gears and no one can play. The podunk Senator from a lard encrusted southern plantation either gets it his way or he takes his baseball bat and goes home. No matter what the experts in the Pentagon say we really need. No matter what sacrifices we all must make to somehow reclaim fiscal solvency and sanity.