I haven’t used Trump’s wise guy nickname for quite some time: Don Donaldo, Il Insulto Comico. It’s not because he’s stopped grifting but because there’s so much shit going on, which is why I also call him the Kaiser of Chaos. It’s time for Don Donaldo to play a return engagement at First Draft.
Remember the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”? The Montana Sheep Institute or the now-shuttered North Carolina teapot hall of fame?
Congress years ago eliminated funding for these types of pet projects, known as earmarks, after they became derided as government boondoggles, largess and a pathway to corruption.
President Trump now wants to bring them back.
In a freewheeling meeting about immigration with congressional Republicans and Democrats this week, Mr. Trump lamented the gridlock that has gripped the capital in recent years and suggested that earmarks, the practice of stealthily stuffing funding for pet projects into legislation, be exhumed from the legislative graveyard.
“Our system lends itself to not getting things done, and I hear so much about earmarks — the old earmark system — how there was a great friendliness when you had earmarks,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday. “Maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks.”
So much for draining the swamp. Of course, he might have already changed his position by now. He’s an ignorant and erratic swamp critter, after all.
I have mixed feelings about earmarks. One person’s pork is another’s important project but the system *was* repeatedly abused. Pork barrel spending was a frequent target of the late Senator William Proxmire (D-Wisconsin) who was a liberal but a cheapskate and proud of it. Proxmire had his Golden Fleece Award, which he bestowed upon shady pork barrel spending projects from 1975 to 1988.
In contemplating earmarks and pork, one should consider the source. In 2018, the source is the most personally corrupt president* in American history. Don Donaldo has ties to both the Italian-American and Russian Mafia. In short, he’s in it for himself.
That brings me back to this episode of Life Imitates The Godfather Theatre. In Godfather Part II, young Vito Corleone made his mark on the New York crime scene by whacking the greedy, cruel, and ugly Don Fanucci. Here’s Don Fannucci’s best known line:
Like the avaricious fictional mob boss, Don Donaldo wants to wet his beak. That’s why earmarks should not be revived as long as he’s the Current Occupant. Let’s keep his beak dry.