It’s not everyday that Instapundit quotes the New York Times masthead editorial:
It was only last month that the Senate staged a breast-beating debate about the need to control the rampant pork-spending abuse of earmarks — boondoggle appropriations tucked into vital legislation with little public scrutiny. Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, orated on the side of the angels in calling for reform. Well, the angels have lost another player. As the Senate returns from recess it will confront the year’s prize porker blithely trotted out by Senator Lott — a $700 million earmark to relocate a Gulf Coast rail line, which was just rebuilt, post-Katrina, at a cost of $250 million. . . .
Even worse, Senator Lott and his fellow Mississippi Republican, Thad Cochran, are attaching this frivolous add-on to a bill that is supposed to be used to pay for emergencies — specifically the war in Iraq and hurricane reconstruction.
Senator Lott angrily resents any description of his pet project as a right of way to the slot machines. He insists the rail line needs higher ground and his constituents better protection. But it seems clear the twin traumas of Iraq and Katrina are being used as cover. Economic development is a fine goal for the Gulf Coast, but it deserves careful consideration, not a devious rush to the pork barrel.
Or that I agree with both of them.