Pork!

Remember the weeks-long Republican campaign to derail the economic stimulus package? Remember all the ranting about “pork” and complaining about “wasteful spending dressed in ‘stimulus’ clothes“? Remember the Republicans complaining that it was”generational theft”  “larded up with wasteful spending“?

Well, turns out the Republicans have no problem with wasteful spending when it benefits them:

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

[…]

Reid, asked about the increase at a press conference, initially dodged the question, speaking instead about spending in general.

The unsatisfied reporter repeated the question about a ten percent raise for the congressional budget. “How is that going to help get out of the depression?” she pressed.

Don’t blame us, said Reid.

“We had a situation — you should direct that question to Senator McConnell,” he said, referring to the Senate Minority Leader, “because we had trouble organizing this year. He wanted to maintain a lot of their staffing even though they had lost huge numbers. And the only way we could get it done is to do what we did. So you should direct that question to Senator McConnell.”

A McConnell spokesman didn’t immediately return a phone call.

Oh, the hypocrisy.

So, according to Republican logic, spending money to help the American people through an economic crisis is wasteful pork that should be opposed at all costs, yet spending a couple billion dollars to give Congressional Republicans bigger staffs is a completely worthwhile and necessary expense.

When it comes to helping you, the GOP is the Party of No.  But when it comes to helping themselves, the GOP is the Party of Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie. ‘Let them eat cake’ indeed.

Advertisements

McCain’s Folly (UPDATED)

[Image from Daily Kos]

It looks like Sarah Palin isn’t the reformer she pretends to be:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog. […]

In fiscal year 2002, Wasilla took in $6.1 million in earmarks — about $1,000 in federal funds for every resident. By contrast, Boise, Idaho — which has more than 190,000 residents — received $6.9 million in earmarks in fiscal year 2008.

“She certainly wasn’t shy about putting the old-boy network to use to bring home millions of dollars,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “She’s a little more savvy to the ways of Washington than she’s let on.”

Oh, she’s savvy in Washington ways alright. In fact, as the article notes, earlier this year, “Palin’s office sent [indicted] Sen. [Ted] Stevens a 70-page memo outlining almost $200 million worth of new funding requests for the state of Alaska.”

Looks like Sarah Palin loves Washington pork, helping funnel your tax dollars to her hometown.

Not only that, but she was more than willing to use indicted Senator Ted Stevens (R) to secure pork for her state–nearly $200 million of your dollars for the third-least populous state in the union.

Sarah Palin and John McCain represent the same old pork-grabbing that’s been plaguing Washington for years. And if we put them in the White House, they’re guaranteeing us four more years of the same.

UPDATE: Oh no:

The Washington Post reports today that, while Mayor of Wasilla, Palin oversaw the hiring of a lobbyist, Steven Silver — a former chief of staff to now-indicted GOP senator Ted Stevens — to help win federal earmarks for the city.

[…]

According to Senate lobbying disclosure reports examined by TPMmuckraker, from 2002 to 2004 Silver listed as a client Jack Abramoff’s lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig. On Greenberg’s behalf, Silver lobbied the federal government on “issues relating to Indian/Native American policy,” “exploration for oil and gas” and “legislation relating to gaming issues” — the very issues that Abramoff headed up for Greenberg at the time. In other words, Silver appears to have been a part of “Team Abramoff.”

[…]

Silver did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

Sarah Palin hired a federal lobbyist to win millions of dollars in pork for her hometown.  Sarah Palin relied on indicted Senator Ted Stevens to win more pork for the state of Alaska.  And now it turns out that the lobbyist Palin relied on was a protege of corrupt Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Do we really want another four years of the same kind of corrupt, incompetent governance? Can we even afford McCain-Palin in light of these revelations? Considering the toll the past eight years have taken, I would have to say no.