Posted BY: Noel S. Williams

Many of the egregious earmarks embedded in recent federal spending bills may aptly be described as vanity projects.  Indeed, some of the infrastructure and educational facilities will be defiled with the names of narcissistic senators who squealed, squeaked, and squished their pork projects into the budgeting pigsty.

Appropriating legislators inappropriately ensured that their names are emblazoned all over their profligate projects.  The University of Alabama is practically named after Senator Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee.  As for Senator Leahy, the appropriations chairman, $2.35 million of the $211 million he earmarked for Vermont is for a science and nature museum named for him.

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They stand out as lacking character, if that is defined as the deeds one does when no one is looking, but the political pigsty is crowded.  Since porky politicians love seeing their names everywhere, perhaps we’ll get fiscal responsibility when pigs fly.  Following are a few suggestions for renaming airport facilities that are so integral to our transportation infrastructure. 

A whopping Federal Aviation Administration grant includes $60 million to improve the terminal and replace the bag-handling system at Denver International Airport.  Maybe it can be called the Hickenlooper conveyor, after the Colorado senator.  After all, John Hickenlooper is on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the luggage in Denver Airport has such a problem looping around properly that they had to revert to a manual tug and trolley system.

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