WaPo pimps for Pat

WaPo today printed Novak's inaccurate account of earmark history, promoting North Carolina's 10th District Representative Patrick McHenry as a martyred hero of a so-called fight for transparency.

The formerly respected media outlet then posted an astonishingly vapid interview. Who's paying them to print such crap? Or is their reputation so shot, they don't need a high price to make up for the nonexistent loss of integrity.

The Center for American Progress' Scott Lilly sums up the earmark story this way:

The great conservative spin machine that stretches from the White House Press Room across the various right-wing think tanks to Fox News and dozens of conservative columnists and talk show hosts has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments over the years. But none of the efforts by this vast echo chamber is more impressive than the recent attempt to reshape the Bush White House and their allies in Congress as opponents of the practice of placing earmarks in federal spending legislation.

Please go a read the entire piece. This story hasn't gotten a lot of play and Mr. Lilly seems to be the only one who has looked at the big picture. If you don't have time for the whole things, here's a bit more:

Republicans in Congress, of course, did not invent the practice of earmarking. It is an innate power granted to the Congress by the Constitution; these little fiscal set asides can be found in spending bills going back to the beginning of the republic. But no one with any recollection of the performance of Congress over the past decade can have any doubt that earmarking exploded during the period that Republicans dominated Congress and that the practice became most egregious after George W. Bush moved into the Oval office.

. . . Bills that had historically contained some number of earmarks saw that number mushroom and the money allocated to earmarking double or even triple.

In 2005, President Bush traveled to the Illinois district of the House Speaker Dennis Hastert to sign a highway bill containing not only the infamous “bridge to nowhere” but more earmarks than the combined total of earmarks in all of the highway bills since the Highway Trust Fund was created in 1956. Not only did the president sign the bill—he used the occasion to praise one of the most outrageous earmarks in American history, a four lane stretch of highway running past along land recently purchased by the author of the earmark, Speaker Hastert.

Even this year, the President and many of his allies in Congress are trying to have it both ways on the issue of “merit-based” spending. The president’s budget request contains hundreds of proposed set asides for particular projects or activities selected by the executive branch. Even more troubling is that “merit-based” decision making on how money is spent seems to be the last thing this administration is interested in once funds have been appropriated. Recent analysis of contracting practices during this administration indicates that the amount of money spent on non-competitive contracting has more than tripled over the past six years. In 2006, the federal government spent more than $200 billion on non-competitive contracts or more than ten times the amount that was spent on Congressional earmarks during the same year.

Congressional Republicans have spent hours and hours on the House floor this year decrying earmarks, but they have spent far more time back in their offices crafting letters to ask for them. Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina led an effort that held up appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for nearly a week to protest earmarking. “I'm very proud of the actions that my conservative friends are taking on this House floor to hold the Democrats accountable for their slush fund, their secret earmarks and their pork-barrel projects,” he boasted. “And I urge the body to move in the conservative direction.”

So, when McHenry got outed on his own earmark, (which he had refused to reveal, well, according to Human Events.com:

The message was clear: Any member who opposes our corrupt system of favors and earmarks becomes persona non grata with the appropriations committee and his pork-barreling colleagues. It is, naturally, out of the question for such an uncooperative member to get his own earmarks. McHenry was humiliated but given a lesson on congressional power.

So, here's Bob Novak's insipid unanswered lies the Washington Post printed today:

McHenry's $129,000 earmark would have promoted tourism in economically distressed Mitchell County. The new Democratic majority's leadership, which routinely supports earmarks, cracked the whip against this one, apparently in the spirit of political revenge. A conservative firebrand, McHenry had immobilized the House and humiliated the Democrats by leading GOP parliamentary maneuvers to force transparency regarding earmarks, previously hidden by both parties.

That earmark lost 249 - 174 from an amendment proposed by the man who is truly admired for his fight against earmarks, Arizona's Jeff Flake.

And the insipid interview. Well, you'll just have to go see for yourself. But it was nice of the Washington Post's Sleuth to mention us in the second paragraph. Too bad she didn't ask about his stand on credit unions, or the voter fraud indictment of his former staff member/housemate. If they wanted to be so gossipy, why didn't they ask about his preference for young men or allegations of providing alcohol to minors at a political event in Catawba. Here's a sample:

As feisty as he is small (he's 5 feet 3 inches or something; he doesn't measure), McHenry is one of his party's chief attack dogs on the House floor, generally raising hell and employing whatever parliamentary tactic he can to obstruct the Democratic majority's legislation.

The baby of five children and the youngest member of Congress, McHenry was born to be precocious. His high visibility and tenacious scrappiness have earned him plenty of liberal detractors (hence a Web site called Pat Go Bye-Bye Web site and a Washington Monthly cover story comparing him to Tom DeLay and Karl Rove.) But he has also gotten buckets of praise and support from his elder fellow conservatives.

The best moments come with the questions about his love life:

Sleuth: Do you have time for dating? What's it like being a 31-year-old single guy in the House?

McHenry: [Laughter] I try to make time for that. It's just difficult with the schedule and everything else. I'm, uh, just trying to, I'm still trying to find the right girl. And I think in all due time it'll work out.

Sleuth: And is there a certain set of criteria you're looking for?

McHenry: Sure.

Sleuth: What is it?

McHenry: A number of things. [Laughter]

Sleuth: Just give me a little example. Does she have to like NASCAR? I hear you're a big NASCAR fan.

McHenry: Well, look, half the NASCAR teams are in my district. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a constituent. Dale Jarrett. So I don't know, you don't really have a litmus test on that. I think when you meet the right girl, you know. At least that's what all my friends tell me.

I'd like to know where we're supposed to be finding the liberal media bias I keep hearing so much about.

Comments

Dale lives in NC-5

At least that's where he's registered to vote.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

the shop

Is Jr's shop in the 10th? I dont think it is.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

DEI and JR Motorsports both are

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

yeah

I knew JR was, and I think a few of the Wallaces live in the 10th. But I didnt know DEI was there also.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Well, if you go 7-15 miles from DEI

You can be in NC-05, NC-09, NC-12, NC-06 or NC-08.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Do you really think Pat is concerned

with accuracy. . . And of all the things in this article to discuss!

Actually, think about it. Who in NASCAR would want him as their representative. I can't see it.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Driving MR Patty?

Do you really think Patty is concerned* Drama Queen

Sleuth: And is there a certain set of criteria you're looking for?

McHenry: Sure. Tight racing suit where the botty sticks out!

Sleuth: Uh! What is it?

McHenry: A number of things. [Laughter] You know! A walk or a firt dance to the Race Car.

Sleuth: Just give me a little example. Does she, uh or he have to like NASCAR? I hear you're a big NASCAR fan.

McHenry: Well, look, half the NASCAR teams are in my district. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a constituent. Good looking Dude. Dale Jarrett. Great pecs! So I don't know, you don't really have a litmus test on that. I think when you meet the right boy, uh...oops....girl...you know. At least that's what all my Queen friends tell me. Dang! Did it again...

bringing out the Daily Show fan in me

meet me at camera 3

....or NAMBLA....


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Nothing like a link in WaPo

Not all that much extra traffic but, gosh, look where it's from:

 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

@

eta:

ETA: To Get it Out of DQs graphic

beats those weird ones I was getting from Taiwan ...

But what's up with this?:

McHenry's $129,000 earmark would have promoted tourism in economically distressed Mitchell County.

Are they trying to say people travel to Mitchell County to look at Christmas trees growing in the fields?

I don't think so.

I wondered about that myself.

Maybe people from all over the country would have gone over the river and through the woods to Mitchell County to buy their very own NC grown Christmas Tree.

Or maybe it was a lame-ass talking point put out by McHenry's office.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

or maybe they wanted to buy X-mas ornaments

sold in the Beautifull Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina*

*made in China

What's missing was the opportunity

for Avery County to get in on some of those bucks. Or any other NC county with Christmas Trees and economic woes. Here's a list of NC counties where Christmas trees are grown and sold.

But, of course, McHenry believes in transparency. Except for when the press asked about his earmarks or when other counties in his district would have liked one.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

The Only Thing Transparent

about dear Patty McHenry is his eyeglasses.

And even those ... may have gradient lenses. In fact, I'm sure they must ....

AAhahahaha

good one, U!

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

That's not even all of the counties that grow and sell trees...

we buy ours every year from a farm just up the road in Cameron, right here in Moore County. And that was when we found out that this particular farm sells their sweet potatoes, onions and pumpkins right out of the field, too. So we try to make it up there at least once every couple of weeks in the fall. Wish they grew corn and other summer crops...


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Yeah, there are five pages of

Christmas Tree farms all over NC at the NC Ag website.

Here's some more general info from NC ag:

Christmas tree production in western North Carolina has progressed from a few individuals harvesting Fraser fir in natural stands to the plantation production of Fraser fir and other species generating $100 million yearly wholesale income.

There are an estimated 2,000 Christmas tree growers in western North Carolina, growing over 30,000 acres of Christmas trees. Most plantations in western North Carolina are family owned and operated. Growers sell mostly wholesale cut Christmas trees. Several growers also produce wreaths and roping and other value-added products. Some growers also have nurseries and harvest "ball and burlap" trees. Trees are shipped throughout the nation as well as into Mexico and Europe.

The number one species grown in western North Carolina is Fraser fir. Other species include white fir, Canaan fir, Colorado blue spruce, white spruce, Norway spruce, Leyland cypress and white pine. Most Christmas tree plantations in western North Carolina are above 3,000 foot elevation.

At lower elevations in North Carolina, other Christmas tree species are grown including Virginia Pine and redcedar. Christmas tree production in eastern North Carolina is all on choose-and-cut farms.

Don't you think this process of deciding who gets money and who doesn't should have been "transparent?" Good idea you had, Patty. Except that you didn't do it. It was just a grandstanding ploy in your usual completely hypocritical made-for-sound-bite glory.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,