Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Send in the Dance Clowns

Vice Clown

This would almost be amusing if we weren't buried in so much debt with another "stimulus" plan likely on the way. Considering who's running the show in Washington, though, this story is just so fitting.
The feds have spent millions in stimulus cash on "silly" projects, including left-leaning puppet shows, a martini bar, and a study of Viking civic life, according to a devastating new report.

One grant, for $25,000, went to The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis.

The group puts on an annual May Day parade, and its current production is titled "The Puggles -- a Platypus Adventure."

Another $50,000 grant, to the Parks Department in Washington state, hosts Asian-style rod-puppet shows.

A $25,000 grant went to Philadelphia's Pig Iron Theatre, which calls itself a "dance-clown-theatre ensemble."
How appropriate: An outfit called the Pig Iron Theatre sucking down the federal pork.
The group is staging a production of "Welcome to Yuba City," billed as a "cowboy/clown odyssey presenting hilarious fragments of a mythic American desertscape."

The University of Massachusetts-Boston got a $95,000 grant to catalog Icelandic pollen to study "the role the arctic environment played in the evolution of civic life during the Viking Age."

The Foster Wine and Martini Bar in St. Joseph, Mo., got a $25,000 stimulus block grant for renovation, and a Brazilian steak house got $75,000.

Even the city's mayor says there are better uses for the money in the struggling downtown.

"Any time you can get some money for an area that needs it, we're glad to receive it, but common sense says there's a lot of needs for stimulus money that go beyond another restaurant," Mayor Ken Shearin told The Post.

"There's a lot of people needs and a lot of humanity needs that could use a shot in the arm that, in my opinion, would be more deserving than a Brazilian steakhouse and a Foster's bar."

And the Army Corps of Engineers spent $21,000 for mascot costumes, including Bobber the Water Safety Dog, which tells kids to be careful when they're swimming.

The dubious projects were unearthed by staff for Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona.

Coburn said: "$217 billion of this money's out the door, and at least 15 percent of it's pure waste."

He said that blame "ultimately rests with Vice President Joe Biden," whom President Obama tasked with oversight.

"In his words, he's the sheriff," said McCain.
So are the clowns in charge accepting the slightest bit of responsibility? Of course not. Biden's spokesthing claimed he was unavailable for comment. Surprise. Meanwhile the Clown-in-Chief whined like a baby yesterday and (surprise!) blamed everything on George W. Bush.

Way to man up, Bammy.
The other day, I wrote that President Obama has "run out of both charm and ideas." I was too kind.

To judge from the string of whoppers in his dreary jobs speech yesterday, he's also run out of facts. And he's still whining about the problems he inherited and blaming Republicans.

He might as well be barking at the moon. That's sort of what he is doing, because the American people are tuning him out at a stunning pace.

The latest Gallup Poll gives him a record low 47 percent approval. Only 26 percent in another poll say he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Naturally, his press secretary attacks the pollsters, likening them to children with crayons.

And Obama plunges on with his blame-game act. It's tired, unpresidential and ineffective, all the more so because he's banking on a bill of goods to prop himself up.

The most egregious example came when Obama said yesterday the $700 billion bank-bailout fund, or TARP, was "launched hastily under the last administration" and was "flawed."

Here are the facts. George Bush was in the White House, but Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Obama himself, as a senator, voted for the bailout in October 2008.

No one claims the bill was perfect, but there is no record --zero -- of Obama trying to fix it. Remember, it was John McCain who rushed back to Washington after the first version failed and tried to get involved to reshape it.

McCain flubbed the effort, but Obama made none. He only reluctantly joined a White House conference with McCain and Bush on the bailout after urging Congress "to step up to the plate and get this done."
The Democrats continue down their reckless path of spending us into oblivion, yet they turn around and whine when their fantasies don't become reality.

Who will they blame when they're crushed at the ballot box next November?

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