Good news! Pig odor funding remains in spending bill!

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Things just sound different over the passage of time.

It's like the song, "Heartbeat is a Love Beat." Sure, it sounded great when you were on roller skates at Roller City with that cute girl named Bobbi.

But fast forward to now and it triggers the gag reflex. The song, that is. (We hear Bobbi is still cute).

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That's what President Obama must be going through.

Campaign

Promising to clamp down on earmarks sounded good way back when Senator Obama was running for president.

And he's almost doing that. That's if you don't count the 8,570 earmarks in the $410 billion omnibus bill.

McCain remembers

The problem for Senator John McCain is that he is counting those earmarks. And he does remember the 2008 campaign.

“This level of funding defies . . . description—it is beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed and it is extremely alarming,” McCain said on the Senate floor.

It seems that the former presidential candidate has a problem with funding these projects (all of which are in the bill):

  • $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa.
  • $2 million for the promotion of astronomy in Hawaii.
  • $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York.
  • $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach (Connecticut) Water Taxi Service Project.
  • $870,000 for a wolf breeding facilities in North Carolina and Washington state.
  • $1.7 million for a honeybee factory in Weslaco, Texas.

So McCain attempted to remove the earmarks this afternoon, but was voted down by a 63-32 margin.

Obama

How is President Obama dealing with all of this?

It's not that his campaign promises aren't being fulfilled, it's just that this is a continuation of last year's spending, say his aides.

Yes, it's 2009 and he's the president. But it's really like it's 2008 and he's not the president. Except because he's the president he's going to sign the bill.

Make sense? No, it doesn't to us either. Thankfully, Monitor colleague Gail Chaddock understands all of this stuff and she explains it here.

Change

Regardless, if it was really 2009 (which apparently it's not) it would be a different story says White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

“The rules of the road going forward for those many appropriations bills that will go through Congress and come to his desk will be done differently,” he said Monday.

Uh-uh

No it won't. In fact, President Obama can just back off. That's the sentiment of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

"I don't think the White House has the ability to tell us what to do," he told reporters Tuesday.

Pausing a moment for emphasis, he then added, "I hope you all got that down."

It's not all bad

Whether there is a change or not. Whether Hoyer and Obama have a good old fashioned western-like showdown or not. The good news is if you have a problem with pig odor, the $1.7 million investment is sure to take care of the issue and then it'll be money well spent.

Imagine a world without pig odor. That's change we can believe in.

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