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Arizona Universities Given Nearly $1 Million in Federal Stimulus Money to Study "Division of Labor in Ant Colonies," and John McCain Ain't Happy

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Republican senators submitted a report to Congress yesterday outlining billions of dollars of useless or stupid spending in the Obama stimulus plan.

What do we mean by useless or stupid? How about $100,000 for a puppet show in Minnesota or a $2 million replica railroad in Nevada.

The report, spearheaded by Arizona Senator John McCain, claims that nearly $7 billion was spent on such projects, which provide little or no "stimulus."

"Two hundred and seventeen billion dollars of this money is out the door, and at least 15 percent of it is pure waste," Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn tells The Hill

The wasteful spending isn't isolated to Minnesota and Nevada, some of it is right here in Arizona.

According to the report, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona were given nearly a million dollars to study the work habits of ants.

"I had no idea that so much expertise concerning ants resided in the major universities of my state," McCain says. "I say that with an element of pride, but I'm not sure its deserving of these taxpayers' dollars."

U of A received $450,000 to examine the division of labor within ant colonies, and taxpayers paid the $500,000 tab on an ASU study of the genetic makeup of ants to determine distinctive roles in the ant colonies.

At this point, with Arizona's unemployment rate close to 10 percent, McCain should just be happy the ants have jobs.

Some of the other gems outlined in McCain's catalog of stupid spending are a $400,000 grant awarded to the University of Buffalo for a study on kids who smoke weed and drink malt liquor, a dinner cruise boat in Chicago that got $1 million to fight terrorism, and a $219,000 grant to the National Institute of Health to determine whether college chicks are more likely to "hook up" after drinking.

In other words, the federal government spent $219,000 to study beer goggles.

Take a look at the full report here.  

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