Murtha mostly serves Cambria County, western Pennsylvania, and the city of Johnstown, known for a murderous 1889 flood and as the setting for “Slap Shot,” the classic 1977 movie about a team of ice hockey brawlers starring Paul Newman. It’s a proud, gritty place. But does its population of 20,000 — just 80 miles from Pittsburgh International — need a state-of-the-art airport?
They may soon be due for a comeback. Without backhanders, party leaders struggled to get members to cast tough votes, further cementing an era of gridlock. Now House and Senate Democrats are considering a return of earmarks so members get some credit for sending money home.
Conservative budget hawks will kick up a fuss. But even in the Republican Party, what anonymous member doesn’t nurture fantasies of their name up in lights on a bridge, highway or even an airport.
‘We want democracy’
‘It’s not fair’
‘The world cannot afford to turn the other way’
It never rains but it pours.
The White House warned Tuesday that “the world cannot afford to turn the other way” and vowed to do everything it could to respond to the Ebola spikes, before they become epidemics. President Joe Biden has been briefed and national security adviser Jake Sullivan has spoken to ambassadors from the two countries and surrounding states.
The White House’s urgency marks a positive change from then-President Donald Trump’s denial when Covid-19 threatened the US a year ago. And this White House knows what it is doing: Chief of staff Ron Klain served as then-President Barack Obama’s Ebola czar during an outbreak in West Africa that infected 28,000 people and killed 11,000 between 2014 and 2016.
Then, the US dispatched thousands of troops to Africa in a massive, coordinated government response at home and abroad, and was widely praised. It also forged lessons that the subsequent administration ignored when it came to a much broader public health threat.