Stimulate This!

Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn have recently put out a list of 100 “job-creating” items from last year’s “Stimulus Bill.”  There were far more than 100, but I guess it would have been difficult to lift a one-ton tome filled with all the wonderful things the stimulus did for us.

So, I thought I would share some of them with you.  Because of time and space constraints, and also because I’ve wrapped my head much too tightly with duct tape, I’ve only listed a few of the most outstanding.  Your money; hard at work.  Enjoy.


Despite having no plans to
reopen a shuttered visitor center at Mount St. Helens in Washington State, the
U.S. Forest Service is spending more than $554,000 to replace its windows.  A nice view I’m sure.  But who’s paying for the Windex?


The University of North
Carolina at Charlotte received more than $760,000 in stimulus funds to help
develop a computerized choreography program that its creators believe could
lead to a YouTube-like “Dance Tube” online application.  Everybody mambo!


An abandoned
Train Station, in Glassborto, NJ, was awarded $1.2 million to be converted  into a museum.  All aboard!


The California Academy of
Sciences is receiving nearly $2 million to send researchers to the Southwest
Indian Ocean Islands and east Africa, to capture, photograph, and analyze
thousands of exotic ants.  Do you think it might be a good idea to bring some Amdro?


On September 28, 2009,
Hydrogen Energy California, LLC (HECA), owned largely by BP, was awarded $308
million in stimulus funds to “generate more environmentally friendly
electricity by capturing carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.”  I guess BP could use that money now.


People around Boynton,
Oklahoma were left scratching their heads after the town was awarded nearly
$90,000 to replace a quarter-mile stretch of sidewalk that was replaced only
five years ago.  Nothing lasts
forever, especially concrete.


Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut will be getting $54 million in rural
development loans from the United States Department of Agriculture to construct
a new four-story tribal government center, which will include a new community
center.     Unlike
most government buildings, however, this one will also contain a practice
facility for the Connecticut Sun, the WNBA professional basketball team.  Is this payback for the purchase of Manhattan Island
for $24 worth of cheap beads?


A Georgia Tech assistant
professor of music will receive $762,372 to study improvised music.  They could have gotten Chick Corea for a lot less.


Researchers at Georgia
State University are using almost $700,000 in stimulus funds to study why
monkeys respond negatively to inequity and unfairness.  I could have told them, it’s all about
empathy.  But nothing says love like $700,000.


The American Legacy
Foundation is slated to receive almost half a million dollars to provide
quitting smokers with a smartphone so they can contact their quitting support
groups by text message or phone call to prevent relapses.  Let’s see, a cigarette or a phone call?  Hmmm, quite the conundrum. 


Pacific Environment, a San-Francisco
based non-profit organization that “protects the living environment of the
Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities and
reforming international policies,” has received a stimulus grant in the amount
of $199,862 for an experimental applied science project to assist indigenous
Siberian communities in engaging Russian policymakers in local civic and
environmental issues.  My question
is:  Who brings the vodka?


Want to know if it’s going
to rain this week . . . on Venus? According to scientists at the Southwest
Research Institute (SWRI) in Texas, you absolutely do. So the government has
given them nearly $300,000 in stimulus funds to satisfy the American taxpayer’s
profound need for interplanetary weather info.  I wonder if their predictions will be any more accurate than The Weather Channel.


Department of Health and Human Services has sent $144,541 to the Winston-Salem
college to see how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine.  Is that because we have so many chimps who are
strung out?

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  No, actually I don’t, but if you were thinking, would you think that any of this was a good idea?

Because I sure as hell don’t! 

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