Barry came out and sternly and announced his New Era of Responsibility and Accountability for Congress, particularly the leadership. He had to hold his nose so much when he signed the much-maligned Omnibus Overspending bill, that he did it behind closed doors. So why didn’t he veto it, send it back to Congress and tell them to take the earmarks out? It’s not like they couldn’t pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running. No, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are engaged in a growing power struggle, and it looks like San Fran won this one.

Because he’s catching heat for signing this mess, he asserted that earmarks in the FUTURE must be vetted. He will break his campaign promises of “no earmarks” and “going through the budget line-by-line” (with no line-item veto, that’s all he can do). So Barry’s decided to rename earmarks instead of eliminating them. “No earmarks” is now going to be “worthy earmarks.”

The president did not make any pledge to eliminate earmarks or even to reduce them. Rather, he and House Democrats announced new reforms to subject them to greater scrutiny and transparency.

“Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their district, and that’s why I have opposed their outright elimination,” Obama said. “But the fact is that on occasion, earmarks have been used as a vehicle for waste, and fraud and abuse. Projects have been inserted at the 11th hour, without review, and sometimes without merit, in order to satisfy the political or personal agendas of a given legislator, rather than the public interest.”

Obama said the reforms would require lawmakers seeking earmarks to post them on their Web sites in advance, so the public and press can review them. He said each earmark should be “open to scrutiny” at public hearings.

“If my administration evaluates an earmark and determines that it has no legitimate public purpose, we will seek to eliminate it,” Obama said. He also said all earmarks for for-profit companies should be subject to competitive bidding requirements. “The awarding of earmarks to private companies is the single most corrupting element of this practice.”

He doesn’t want anymore earmark-filled omnibus budgets like this one, because they are giving him bad press. They should have taken care of this crap last year. He’s testy and spanked Congress letting such a monstrosity through.

John McCain sassed back that earmarks need to be appropriated like all spending, and that Obama doesn’t get how the game is played in Congress. Obama says he was a Senator and he does too know how to go for the pork.

A pox on both their houses.

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