WSJ pays loving tribute to most ethical Congress ever's most ethical member

So long and detailed you’re guaranteed to end up exasperated, wondering by the time you’re two-thirds or so down the page, “How much more of this can there be?”

Exactly the point.

Take the time to read it all, not just because it’s difficult for me to pull any one passage as emblematic but because, in point of fact, you built Murtha’s home district. You should see for yourself how your “investment” turned out. In fact, the next time you hear him talking about reducing the funds spent on the war, don’t think of it as a victory lost; think of it as a whole bunch of new Johnstown shell companies for his military-contractor campaign contributors gained.

I’ll give you one quote that I can’t resist. This gives me the same feeling as being accused of conspiracy-mongering by Prison Planet. How sick with pork do you have to be to have the Pentagon telling you to cut back?

One beneficiary is New Jersey-based DRS Technologies Inc., a multibillion-dollar maker of military electronics. The company entered Mr. Murtha’s district a decade ago when it bought a small cable assembler. Since then, the congressman has helped fund nearly $400 million in contracts for the local DRS unit, building data-display terminals installed in Navy destroyers and submarines.

The Pentagon didn’t ask for many of these contracts in its annual budget requests. Mr. Murtha assured the work would be done in his district by earmarking part of the program to DRS…

Military officers and agency officials sometimes gripe about congressional orders to spend money on projects they didn’t ask for. But the Pentagon tends to go along with Congress to facilitate earmarks, keeping lawmakers happy and ensuring political support for other military programs. T. Michael Mosely, the Air Force chief of staff and a featured guest at this summer’s Murtha breakfast, shrugs off the issue. Congressional earmarks for local projects have been in the military budget “for at least 200 years,” he says.

Remember, this was Pelosi’s hand-picked choice for House majority leader, which stands to reason: she’s number two in earmarks on the Democratic side, right behind Happy Jack, in the pending budget bill.

Exit question: How come the section on Concurrent Technologies didn’t mention the lost earmark? Bummer.

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