Nothing to see here.Problem: Your congressional district needs federal funds to keep from disintegrating into an anarchic wasteland of broken infrastructure and roads made out of abandoned plastic Wal-Mart junk, but you hate federal spending and want to ban earmarks. Solution: Just ask/coerce federal agencies very nicely, and they will give you money for your district. And, surprise, earmark-haters like Mark Kirk like to do this. This is apparently called “lettermarking” when it is requested in a letter and “phonemarking” when done over the phone. So, are earmarks made by a member of Congress literally dipping an ear in ink and using it to write the appropriation into the legislation? Perhaps they should get more credit than we thought for that.

But a New York Times review of letters and e-mail to government agencies from members of Congress shows that the practice is widespread despite the fact that both President George W. Bush and President Obama have issued executive orders instructing agencies not to finance projects based on communications from Congress.

Who are you going to listen to: The boss of the boss of your boss, or the people who pay to keep your bureaucratic department running? Actually it doesn’t matter, because unless your part of the bureaucracy is a hot-button issue, it will perpetuate itself forever, whether it needs to exist or not.

But you may as well give Mark Kirk what he wants. Look at that face!

Cakemarks are probably a good option. You spell out your request in icing, and then suddenly your pet project gets millions of dollars. At least then the bureaucrats get something out of it, right? Everyone loves cake.

Or skywritingmarks? Pretty romantic. [NYT]

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  • lochnessmonster

    What do they call it if the request is face to face? Eyemarking?

    • Mahousu

      Porking. Missionary porking, to be precise.

    • gvvt

      very uncomfortable

  • nounverb911

    I guess you CAN have your pork and eat it too.

    • Beowoof

      Oh I am sure that guy in the photo eats pork.

      • horsedreamer_1

        Kirk is all about the HBI.*

        *Hot Beef Injection.

  • Not_So_Much


    Kirk seems to be on a mission to prove what a giant bag of dicks he is. I assume he bought the 'Mission Accomplished' banner on eBay for a certain occasion.

    • The swallows have returned to Capistrano DeeCee on January 3rd of each year since 1934.

  • SayItWithWookies

    To Republicans, earmarks are like sex with underage boys — it's something they're against on bedrock principle, so they only do it when they think nobody's watching.

    • Negropolis

      I think you won the thread, man. Stop winning them all. Give us little guys a chance.

  • it's only an earmark when it involves someone else's district/state.

    you're really gonna question the guy in the $3,600 suit? C'mon!

    • It's only an earmark when a Democrat does it.

  • hagajim

    Hypocrisy by any other name…I assume if Mark Kirk or Lindsay Graham are doing it, it should be called mushroom stamping!

    • Beowoof

      And I would have thought with those two it was the tube steak boogie.

  • HeraSentMe

    Series-of-Tubes marks went out when Ted Stevens lost reelection.

  • hagajim

    Is it just me – or does there appear to be a sort of theme/meme on Wonkette today where the Repugs seem to have faces full of sticky white stuff?

    • Camaro Nova

      Yeah. It really is not funny, unless you think South Park, Dane Cook or Zach Galifinukis (or whatever the fuck his name is) is funny.

      Why doesn't Wonkette put jizz smears on the faces of straight women?

  • metamarcisf

    Call it what you will. I call it dickmarking.

  • x111e7thst

    What's it called if you write the request in piss, in the snow?

    • Beowoof

      Lemon ice cream for Mr. Kirk.

    • Rotundo_

      Husky marking

  • SecretMuslin

    And he'd have gotten away with it too if it hadn't been for you pesky Wonketteers!

  • chickensmack

    So here I was thinking that Jack was just having some fun with his English, when I read the article to discover that these words actually exist!! Phonemarking, lettermarking, territorymarking… Jesus, it's like a whole new world for Oxford English to review!

    I think it's time to start hot-branding these hypocrites. We'll call it "hypomarking."

  • Oblios_Cap

    I imagine that most of the GOP is favor of Santorum-marking, or Dirty Sanchez marking as they say in AZ.

  • An_Outhouse

    If your representative is not SodomyMarking then its likely you live on an Indian reservation – or your neighborhood wil be resembling one soon.

  • mavenmaven

    Its not an earmark when its accompanied by prayer.

  • Progressiveinga

    And what do you call a certain Earmark Hater who claims he received an award he did not receive and that he was shot at when it was not clear his plane was fired upon and he had to clarify that he served stateside, not in the combat zone, during Operation Desert Storm?

    Senator Mark Kirk. That's what you call him.

  • JoeMamased

    Earmarks, lettermarks, phonemarks … Can we now accuse these guys of being Marksists?

  • V572625694

    It worked for Mitchell Wade, thanks to CA-R Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who presented that worthy government contractor with "bribe menu" a on congressional letterhead, stipulating certain antiques Duke's wife wanted, and what size contracts Wade would be given.

    Funny: Duke's in prison because he picked up the wrong piece of paper. It's all the more poignant because you can see from has handwriting that he's all but illiterate.

  • slappypaddy

    a huge pile of earmarks will make such a pretty fire.

  • metamarcisf

    The phrase "parallel porking", created by another Wonkette, should be the new standard by which a Bachmann presidential bid should be measured. Doesn't make any sense what I just wrote, but I wanna mainstream "parallel porking"

    • HempDogbane

      Unchaperoned Christian side hugs can lead to parallel porking.

      • Beowoof

        or even horizontal porking.

  • Limeylizzie

    I think , in his case, it's Jismarking or Markmarking even.

    • BeWoot

      Marky Mark Ing

    • Negropolis

      An alternate spelling is Jizzmarking, and it's a popular one because you get to use the seldom used zee, or zed for you limeys.

  • V572625694

    Pity the poor bureaucrat who's been structuring a program for years and years, trying to satisfy those below him by building a multi-year edifice on the shifting sands of annual funding. All of a sudden Congressman X's chief of staff calls and says, "I'd very much like to know where this project stands on your list of priorities. And what I'd like to know most is that it stands at the top of your list of priorities. And I would like to know that by close of business tomorrow, if it isn't any trouble "

    The really interesting part is to see the way this naked exercise of power is masked in nods and winks among the bureaucrats. They know it's wrong just like everyone does. But blowing the whistle won't change it.

  • WarAndGee


    • I don't want to know how you ask for them.

    • Tommmcatt

      You beat me! Dammit!

  • HempDogbane

    On Tuesday Night Football there was an ad for a pill you can take now for soft earmarks. Ask your doctor if Firma is right for you.

  • Progressiveinga

    And schmearmarking is when your congressperson secures funding for a local delicatessen.

  • revmatty

    I've worked on federal systems. A common design pattern in any piece of custom software is the "Agency got a call from Senator/Congressperson and must now make the following random exception to the law in this one special case" that supercedes the official (documented) business rules.

  • arihaya

    so ,,, "Soft Sex" is apparently also don't count as Sex for GOP

    especially if it was done in an airport toilet or in Argentina

    • court5346

      or with a little boy

    • OneDollarJuana

      "Soft sex" should only apply to about 51% of the population.

  • Wilcoxyz

    Here in David Vitter's Louisiana we call it skidmarking.

    • Beowoof

      Wouldn't that be diapermarking?

    • Tommmcatt

      You beat me too ! AAAUGH!!!!

  • PhilippePetain

    Dude, Mark Kirk's picture reminds me of when I was a kid and I went to Baptist church camp and some pastor dude would talk to me and I, not yet knowing what a chi-mo was, felt creeped the fuck out.

  • Boredw/Gravity

    Puppymarks. Requests accompanied by fuzzy warm puppies.

  • CapeClod

    Why doesn't Kirk just go to the appropriate government agency and moan to them about how a certain district in Illinios really, really needs a new bridge soooo badly and he doesn't know where the money is going to come from, puctuated with heavy sighs and sad head shakes. Eventually the bureaucrats will just give him the money if he will just fucking go away. Call it passive/aggressive marking.

  • Buzz Feedback

    If I knew it was gonna be this kinda party, I'da put my dick in the mashed potatoes.

    • Sparky_McGruff

      Note to self: stay home next time Buzz throws a party.

  • wegot2dobetter

    This entire blog can be shipped to Afghanistan, no one has lost any

  • ttommyunger

    That fucker looks gay enough without the added jism. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except when you pretend to be a straight, Christian war hero Crimestopper.

    • Beowoof

      Creepy looking shit , tell you all about Jeebus at Xtian boys camp then try to blow you in the woods at the camp fire.

      • ttommyunger

        Nailed it! That's our boy.

    • PublicLuxury

      Hope the Holiday was a good one for you Tommy.

      I made sure all the 'man stains' were not photographed. Unlike the 'Cumstopper' in the picture.

      • ttommyunger

        You are too kind. Your sentiment is returned, with interest.

  • horsedreamer_1

    Never mind that earmark freezes are cosmetic.

  • mereoblivion

    Kirk's theme song–or it would be if only it weren't by a group called Foreigner:

    In my life there's been heartache and pain
    I don't know if I can face it again
    Can't stop now, I've traveled so far
    To change this lonely life

    I wanna know what love is
    I want you to blow me
    I wanna feel what love is
    I know you can blow me
    Aaah woah-oh-ooh

    (Spelling of last line approximate)

    • Camaro Nova

      Oh we made up words to that one in high school (also approximate):

      I wanna find an open wound
      One that's dirty and infected
      I wanna lick it 'till I swoon
      And I want pus injected …
      In my eyes
      So I can feel the pain
      Destroy what's left …
      of my tiny brain
      My tiny, worthless, brain

  • MadBrahms

    I prefer singing-telegram-marks, myself. If you really want to double-dip, you can pay for your messages with NEA funds!

  • How do people not know that Mark Kirk is gay? I mean, when drawing Perez Hilton-style cum on your portrait actually makes you look marginally less gay, that's pretty damn gay gayface.

    • Tommmcatt

      Is that a drawing? It looks so natural.

  • Rotundo_

    Hating government while playing it like Hells' very own original Wurlitzer Theatre Grand Organ, it's The New GOP with Tea Party Goodness!

  • comrad_darkness

    Infrastructure costs money?? No way. These are Republicans. God just waves his magic wand and makes it so.

  • Tommmcatt

    My term for this kind of insincere, hypocritical, douchey posturing while bilking the public trust?


  • gvvt

    Well, here's what the Senator posted on his website a couple of weeks ago – in a fit of either remarkably revealing self-awareness or faulty grammar:
    FACT CHECK: Earmark Moratorium
    December 14th, 2009
    Myth: Misleading reports claim Congressman Kirk rejected Washington’s system of wasteful, pork-barrel earmarking earlier this year.

  • transfatz

    Why do they always look so creepy, like their mummified mother has been drying out on the easy chair antimacassars for a decade or so?

  • Negropolis

    Dude looks like a gay Howdy Doody. That is all.

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