Are these the 12 most outrageous economic stimulus grants? 

When Sen, Evan Bayh, D-IN, announced last week that he will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate, most of the mainstream media reporting focused on his statement that Congress has become too partisan.

But Bayh said something else that may hint at another reason the respected Indiana Democrat is calling it quits: "If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months."

Maybe Bayh just got tired of all the lies pouring out of Washington from politicians in both parties, but especially of late from President Obama and many of Bayh’s fellow Democrats in Congress, concerning the 2 million jobs allegedly “saved or created” by the economic stimulus package.

To understand just how ridiculous such a claim is, one need look no further than this dozen candidates for the most outrageous economic stimulus grants:

1.  $100,000 IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR A MARTINI BAR & BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE: “You probably wouldn't guess that a martini bar and a Brazilian steakhouse would be on tap for stimulus funds, but in St. Joseph, Missouri, two privately owned facilities are getting 100,000 of your tax dollars.” (CBS's “CBS Evening News,” 12/9/09) 

2.  $390,000 TO STUDY MALT LIQUOR AND MARIJUANA CONSUMPTION: “The State University Of New York At Buffalo Won $390,000 To Study Young Adults Who Drink Malt Liquor And Smoke Marijuana.” (“Senate GOP Point Out 'Pure Waste' Found In Stimulus Package,” The Hill, 12/8/09) 

3.  $210,000 TO STUDY LEARNING PATTERNS OF HONEYBEES: “The University Of Hawaii Collected $210,000 To Study The Learning Patterns Of Honeybees, And $700,000 Went To Help Crab Fishermen In Oregon Recover Lost Crab Pots.” (“Senate GOP Point Out 'Pure Waste' Found In Stimulus Package,” The Hill, 12/8/09) 

4.  $1 MILLION TO STUDY ANTS: “Half A Million Dollars Went To Arizona State University To Study The Genetic Makeup Of Ants To Determine Distinctive Roles In Ant Colonies; $450,000 Went To The University Of Arizona To Study The Division Of Labor In Ant Colonies.” (“Senate GOP Point Out 'Pure Waste' Found In Stimulus Package,” The Hill, 12/8/09) 

5.  $15,551 TO STUDY DRUNK MICE:  “The Rodent Study At Florida Atlantic University In Boca Raton Used $15,551 In Stimulus Funds To Pay For Two Summer Researchers To Help Gauge How Alcohol Affects A Mouse's Motor Functions.” (“Stimulus Money And Weird Science: Benefit Or Boondoggle?” The Orlando Sentinel, 2/16/10) 

6.   $4,200-$5,500 TAX CREDIT FOR PURCHASING GOLF CARTS:  “President Obama’s Stimulus Plan… Is Now Paying Americans To Buy That Great Necessity Of Modern Life, The Golf Cart.” “Thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama's stimulus plan, Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy that great necessity of modern life, the golf cart.” (“Cash For Clubbers,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/09) 

7.   $219,000 TO STUDY THE SEX LIVES OF FEMALE COLLEGE FRESHMEN: “Five Hundred Syracuse University Freshmen Will Divulge The Details Of Their Sex Lives … $219,000 In Stimulus Funds For The Study.” (“SU Sex Study Raises Concern,”  The [Syracuse] Daily Orange, 9/8/09) 

8.   $1 MILLION TO RENOVATE “THE SUNSET STRIP”: “Sunset Boulevard, Also Known As ‘The Sunset Strip’ And One Of The Most Famous Streets In The World, Will Be Getting A $7 Million Facelift After More Than 75 Years Of Use, With A Free Million Dollar Nose Job Coming From Uncle Sam.” (“Feds Stimulus Sunset Strip Beautification Project,” WeHoNews, 9/28/09) 

9.    $325,394 TO STUDY “MATING DECISIONS” OF CACTUS BUGS: The Cactus Bug Project At The University Of Florida Is More Ambitious, Spending $325,394 In Stimulus Money To Determine How Environment Affects The Mating Decisions Of Females. According to the project proposal, it should also answer the question, ‘Whether males with large weapons are more or less attractive to females.’” (“Stimulus Money And Weird Science: Benefit Or Boondoggle?” The Orlando Sentinel, 2/16/10) 

10.   $500,000 TO STUDY “SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE FACEBOOK”: “A $498,000, Three-Year Grant” To Study “Social Networks Like Facebook.” “Millions of Internet users have been enjoying the fun -- and free -- services provided by advertiser-supported online social networks like Facebook. But Landon Cox, a Duke University assistant professor of computer science, worries about the possible down side -- privacy problems.” (“Seeking Privacy In The Clouds: Research Aims At Isolating Social Network Information From ‘Control Of A Central Entity,’” Science Daily, 10/15/09) 

11.   $3.4 MILLION FOR A TURTLE TUNNEL IN FLORIDA: “The Other Third Of The Stimulus, Government Infrastructure Spending, Has Been The Most Controversial From The Start. Some Proposals Have Been Criticized As Wasteful, Such As … A $3.4 Million ‘Ecopassage’ To Help Turtles Cross A Highway In Tallahassee, Fla.” (“The Challenge In Counting Stimulus Returns,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/27/09)

12.   $250 STIMULUS CHECKS WENT TO PRISONERS:  MEGYN KELLY, Fox News: “Thousands To A Million Of Your Stimulus Dollars Have Gone Straight To Convicts. That's Right, The Feds Sending $250 Stimulus Checks To Thousands Upon Thousands Of Prisoners... We're Talking First Degree Murders Who Are Getting Your Money.” (Fox News’ “America's Newsroom,” 8/26/09)

 These are just 12 of 15 recently compiled by analysts at the Senate Republican Communications Center. Believe me, there are many, many, many more economic stimulus grants that are equally deserving of “recognition.”

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Mark Tapscott

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