May 25, 2007

Rogers threat stunt garners the attention he craves

With his party in the minority and Mike Rogers shuttled to the sidelines with the Democratic majority, he has found a new way to both continue his role as Bush’s biggest cheerleader and lackey by going after the biggest Republican target and getting the most recognition and attention he has ever had in his entire political life.

As you are aware, Rogers tried last week unsuccessfully to strike from an intelligence spending bill an item that would restore $23 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center, a facility in Rep. Jack Murtha's Pennsylvania district.
According to Rogers' account, the Pennsylvania Democrat – the chair of House Defense Appropriations Chairman - angrily told Rogers he should never seek earmarks of his own because "you're not going to get any, now or forever." Rogers took the unusual step and called on the full House to reprimand Murtha. Rogers introduced what is called a "privileged" resolution charging Murtha violated House ethics rules when he allegedly threatened to cut off "now and forever" any earmarks for Rogers' district. Luckily, the measure was killed.

For that ridiculous threat, Rogers made just about every newspaper in the country, he was allowed to make the weekly GOP radio address where he attacked Murtha and he was also talked about on my favorite radio show, “The Stephanie Miller Show.” The point they made is this is the way politics have been conducted for years, and he should stop being a whiny baby. I agree. One lawmaker had this to say about Rogers, “put on your long pants and grow up.” How is this an ethics violation? If you need an ethics violation you just need to hear the names Bob Nye, Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff.

I challenged people earlier in the week to show what “earmark” – his job – Rogers has brought back to the 8th Congressional District. I’m still waiting. People here in Livingston County complain that we are a donor county because we send more money to Washington, D.C. than we get back, but somehow Rogers has painted properly representing your district as an ethics violation. Isn’t bringing some of that money back to the district what we sent him there for? I guess that’s why he never does, but I thought that was his job?

Murtha did take the high road and apologized to Rogers, but, according to Rogers' spokesperson, he also took the low road and declined not to accept it, “Congressman Rogers does accept the apology, but he is truly hopeful that this whole episode will change the way Congress spends the American taxpayers' money." Please. If Rogers does not accept an apology and his “privileged" resolution is going nowhere, what does Rogers want? He wants to smear Murtha and score political points.

This is from Rogers radio address, “Last Friday, House Republicans discovered that a Member of Congress had hidden a wasteful earmark -- or pet pork project -- worth tens of millions of dollars into a bill designed to fund America's Intelligence operations. It comes down to a choice between spies catching terrorists or pork barrel spending in a Congressional District. We are a nation at war, and when we find wasteful spending, we must stop it. “


The “pet project" in question is the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown. The center “continues to play an important role in assessing the drug threat, identifying the patterns of distribution and gathering information from documents to help arrest drug traffickers,” Murtha said.

So let’s see if I got this right. Rogers is criticizing Murtha for trying to keep a facility open in his district that provides jobs and helps fight terror, and Rogers has done nothing for our biggest employer and simply watches as plat after plant closes and moves jobs overseas? Great job Mike.

Is it just me or does anyone else remember being bombarded a few years ago with public service commercials saying that by buying illegal drugs you were funding terrorists and terrorism?

Apparently Bush does. President Bush said that drug users aid terrorists who get their money from global trafficking in narcotics. "If you quit drugs, you join the fight against terrorism," he said. Mr. Bush offered a new argument in the fight against drugs while signing a bill to expand a federal anti-drug program over the next five years. The administration has linked the al-Qaida network in Afghanistan to heroin trafficking. The terrorist group, led by Osama bin Laden, is suspected in the Sept. 11 attacks on America.

Has that changed?

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