Monday, July 18, 2011

Pork in the USA Government what a shame.

13) $1,000,000 for the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C.

This historical venue is currently used for social events and is the headquarters of the National Women's Party. It was proposed by Senator Mary Landrieu.

12) $250,000 for a wireless network for the city of Hartselle, Alabama.

This city with a population of 13,888 benefited from the proposal by Alabama Representative Robert Aderholt and Senator Richard Shelby.

11) $225,000 for the St. Louis Art Museum Foundation.

Proposed by Missouri Senator Kit Bond and Representative William Lacy Clay. The museum's admission is free and has a "...per-capita attendance that is consistently among the highest of our nation's art museums," according to the museum website. It also had a fund balance of $148,434,857 as of December 31, 2007.

10) $2.5 million for potato research.

Split between Idaho, Maryland, Maine and Wisconsin, $1.5 million of the cash will go to the competitive potato breeding research program, $700,000 to potato pest management, and $350,000 to the potato cyst nematode special research grant.

9) $500,000 for brown tree snake control and interdiction in Guam.

Proposed by Guam delegate Madeleine Bordallo. Since 1996, $15.1 million have been allotted to this slithery cause.

8) $4.8 million for wood utilization research.

The Wood Utilization Research Centers (WUR) is a special grant program meant to increase competitiveness, utilize wood to advance energy independence, and "enable sustainability," according to the WUR website. Proposed by representatives from 11 states.

7) $693,000 for beef improvement research in Missouri and Texas.

Proposed by Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Texas Representative Ciro Rodriguez. A little digging reveals much of the money went to the Beef Improvement Federation, whose efforts have helped cattle reproduce more frequently and grow faster and more efficiently than their ancestors. 

6) $7.2 million to the Harkin Grant Program

Proposed by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. Harkin originally asked for $10 million for his self-titled program benefiting Iowa's public schools 

5) $7 million to the Robert C. Byrd Institute

The funds for the Institute of Flexible Manufacturing Systems were proposed by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd. Apparently heading the Appropriations Committee allows for carte blanche power to, well, yourself. (CAGW gave both Harkin and late West Virginia Senator Byrd the "Narcissist Award" in their "Most Wasteful" race).

4) $17 million for the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

According to information on IFI's website, the program was established in 1986 to promote economic and social advance between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland. Interestingly enough, in 2009 former Irish Ambassador to the United States Sean Donlon called the current political and security situation in Northern Ireland "stable."

3) $26,360,000 for Memberships to a Fitness Facility at Mayport Naval Station

Proposed by House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee member Ander Crenshaw. Membership at the Jacksonville Snap Fitness Center (located 10.5 miles away from the naval station) runs about $44.95 a month. That adds up to more than 48,800 year-long memberships to Snap Fitness -- almost enough to cover each of the 60,400 active-duty personnel, family members, retirees and civilian employees that reside on base.

2) $44,400,000 for 27 Projects in Mississippi

Some of the projects this money is funding are the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology at the University of Mississippi ($5,000,000), remote infrastructure monitoring of natural hazards at the University of Mississippi and the University of Hawaii ($2,000,000), and cannabis eradication at the University of Southern Mississippi ($500,000).

1) $2,500,000,000 for 10 additional C-17 Aircraft

This earmark is one of the most perplexing of all. Not only were the additional planes not requested by the Department of Defense, but a DoD analysis shows that the 205 C-17s currently in its possession are "sufficient to meet the Department’s future airlift needs -- even under the most stressing situations." No wonder this pork was anonymous.

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