McCain disses Nevada pork

John McCain has mostly been the graceful loser since the November election, but in a Senate floor speech last week he blasted the lack of recognition in both political parties of the need for change. His focus was the stimulus package with its 9,000 pork barrel earmarks, many of which he cited individually, from $200,000 for a tattoo removal violence outreach program in the Los Angeles area to $819,000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama—and, in Nevada, $143,000 for the Nevada Humanities Commission to expand its online encyclopedia and $951,500 for sustainable Las Vegas.

“What does that mean?” an angry McCain asked. “What does ‘sustainable Las Vegas’ mean?”

Though some media outlets portrayed McCain’s remarks as an attack on President Obama, McCain made it clear that he was aiming his criticism across the board.

“I want to freely acknowledge that Republicans were guilty of this, as well. …

Again, I ask, what are the justifications for making these funding priorities for our nation? I asked that same question yesterday, and I am not aware of any response to my question from either of the bill managers or the majority leader [Harry Reid], or anyone at all. … When do we turn off the spigot? Have we learned nothing from all of the calls and letters and meetings we have with our constituents who pour their hearts and souls out when they share their fears about keeping their jobs and their homes as they struggle to put food on their families’ tables? … The goal should be to curtail the practice, not merely to help advertise who is bringing home the bacon.”