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December 10, 2008

Taxpayers Buy Morristown Granite Curbing

Bike Path

Thanks to taxpayer funding, the citizens of Morristown, New Jersey will soon enjoy new granite block curbing along two local roads. This year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) gave the city $200,000 for street improvements which also include bike lanes and revised street signage. This is nothing new for Morristown; over the last few years DOT has given the city more than $1 million for similar street improvement projects of Morristown city streets.


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November 7, 2008

While millions starve, U.N. diverts scarce funds to produce cookbooks

Mr. Potatohead
Refugees that escape North Korea and China’s forced repatriation say that they got so desperate for food, they ate the bark off trees.   While countless millions like these North Koreans are starving around the globe due to government malfeasance, U.N. malfeasance diverts scarce resources that could give starving people a potato in order to mass produce a potato cookbook.

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October 10, 2008

During financial crisis, State Department spending $195,000 for airport expeditor

Performance art classes in El Salvador funded by U.S. taxpayer

Days after the federal government passed a $700 billion bailout bill and despite the government being nearly $10 trillion in debt, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is planning to spend $195,000 for airport expeditors at New York’s JFK Airport and New Jersey’s Newark International Airport. This service will only be offered to international travelers participating in State Department visitor programs, including those operated by Muslim Brotherhood affiliates and will enable these visitors to bypass lines and rush through the normal customs and border protection processes.  

ECA receives over $500 million of U.S. taxpayer funds each year for such things as:


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Oversight Actions:

July 29, 2008

Departments of State and Education fund anti-Semitic apologists of terrorism

Aftermath of Palestinian homicide bomber.

Since 2003, the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) has received almost $890,000  in international education funding (Title VI of the Higher Education Act) from the U.S. Departments of State and Education through a subgrant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).  Some of the PARC-funded work defends Palestinian acts of terror such as an article by a grant recipient that defends homicide bombings as “resistance to occupation and sacrificing for that struggle.” (Click here and here for more info)  

Many of PARC’s members are anti-Semitic and apologists for terrorism:
  • Joel Beinin, a professor of Middle East History at Stanford University, denounced American “imperialism” on al-Jazeera television and refers to jihadist homicide bombers as “martyrs.” (click here for more info)
  • Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, is a former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) spokesman and refers to Israel as an “apartheid system” and “racist state.” (click here for more info) 
  • Zachary Lockman, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University, cosigned a public letter supporting an academic boycott of Israel. (click here for more info) 
  • Ian Lustick, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, blames the U.S. for the war on terror rather than those who carry out violence in the name of Islam. (click here for more info)
  • Augustus Norton, a professor in the Departments of International Relations and Anthropology at Boston University, is an apologist for the Lebanese terrorist organization, Hezbollah. (click here for more info)
From 2004 to 2008, PARC received $340,000 from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  From 2003 to 2007, PARC received a total of $557,494 from the U.S. Department of Education.    

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July 18, 2008

UNDP fails to bring employee to justice for genocide

UN gives him career and back pay instead


During the Tutsi genocide, a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) employee organized the massacre of fellow UNDP employees in Rwanda and logistically supported militiamen’s genocide with UN vehicles and fuel. The employee was once arrested in 2001 while working for the U.N. at its Kosovo mission. Instead of bringing him to justice, the U.N. rewarded him 13 months back pay upon his release.

Each year, the U.S. tax payer contributes over $240 million to the UNDP and $5.3 billion to the entire U.N.

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June 30, 2008

USAID plans to give $4M to UNDP-Somalia despite evidence of cash for Al-Qaeda Programs


USAID plans to give $4M to UNDP to promote "governance and security in Somalia", despite evidence of rampant fraud, corrupt contracting, and financial support for a Somali business tied to Al-Qaeda.    After a UNDP whistleblower alerted UNDP officials of the fraud and mismanagement, the whistleblower was terminated and UNDP went back to business as usual in Somalia.  




June 26, 2008

Congress Walking Away with Your Money, yet again

Medicare pays twice as much for the same walkers that can be bought at Walmart


In yet another example of poor, corrupt government spending, Medicare and its beneficiaries have been paying $110 through no-bid contracts for a $60 walker that can be bought at your local Walmart store. Unfortunately, the House just passed a Medicare bill that kills competitive bidding, which would have saved the government $1 billion a year and patients $200 million in co-payments.

Read the full article entitled: High Medicare Costs, Courtesy of Congress.  

CQ's Article Highlights Examples of Medicare paying 150-500% more for goods.

Coburn and Rockefeller Letter to Senate Leaders calls for competitive bidding.

June 19, 2008

American money supporting German firm, working for Zimbabwe's dictator

U.S. won't punish Giesecke & Devrient over Zimbabwe aid, source says


From 2000-2008, the U.S. government awarded at least $6.7 million in contracts to the German firm, Gieseck & Devrient, which specializes in printing currencies. According to the news report linked below, Gieseck & Devrient have been caught printing the bank notes for Zimbabwe's dictatorial regime. The report says that the overprinting of the money has kept the regime afloat, helped it pay off supporters or suppress opposition, and has resulted in destroying the food markets, making investment impossible, and contributing to hunger and disease in the country.

Despite this evidence, the U.S. administration plans to do nothing about it.

To read the article, click here.

For more information on contracting dollars, see  or click here for a more detailed breakdown.

June 7, 2008

WHO acknowledges that the heterosexual AIDS epidemic is over, they misdirected prevention strategies and funds, and failed with prevention for gay men

AIDS ribbon

The World Health Organization, of which the U.S. is the single largest donor, admitted this past week, that everything the organization has told us about the threat of a heterosexual AIDS epidemic apparently was wrong and that prevention strategies that they have advocated have been misdirected and “astonishingly” bad.  The admission of deceit and failure and accompanying misuse of millions of dollars surely warrants an investigation and should jeopardize automatic U.S. funding for the organization in the future.

To read the article, click here.

June 6, 2008

National Science Foundation Funds Research Addressing Enduring Questions of Life

Tax-payers fund research for one of life's enduring questions: How do toothless whales eat?


...1. How toothless giants feed: A team led by Annalisa Berta of San Diego State University will study the origins and evolution of the unique feeding method that supports some of the world's biggest eaters: baleen whales. Generally larger than toothed whales, toothless baleen whales include the blue whale, which is believed to be the largest animal that ever existed on Earth.

As a filter feeder, each baleen whale strains sea water for plankton and other small creatures through its baleen--a comb-like structure that hangs from its upper jaw. By integrating anatomical studies of fossils and skeletons with genetic studies of baleen whales, the research team will help explain the molecular, structural and genetic changes involved in the evolution of the baleen whale's feeding method. In addition to improving our understanding of baleen whales, this research is expected to yield important insights about how species diverge from one another.
Click here for the full article.

June 5, 2008

USAID funds $3 million T.V. powered Rickshaws and Sesame St. for malnourished children

82% of the under-5 deaths in Bangladesh are a result of preventable diseases, 50% of these children have stunted growth from malnutrition, yet USAID spends $3 million to target this age group with a Sesame Street program that travels on a rickshaw. For the average Bangladeshi who lives on less than $4/day, this program, which costs $20/child, could do wonders in providing additional and much needed medical care.

To learn more about this USAID program and your tax dollars, click here (p. 23).

June 5, 2008

Only 1 Percent of Religious Congregations Close Each Year, Study Finds

Tax-payer funded research shows few churches close each year, but concludes that church sustainability isn't necessarily good news

AScribe Newswire

Religious congregations in the United States have one of the lowest closure rates ever observed for any kind of organization, with only 1 percent on average going out of existence each year, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University and the University of Arizona.

That low mortality rate, however, is not necessarily good news for the nation's churches and synagogues, the study's authors cautioned.

"Normally, one would think such a low mortality rate means that congregations overall are unusually healthy organizations," said Mark Chaves, a sociologist at Duke and co-author of the study. "But we believe that's probably not the case. Instead, we think it means that congregations are a type of organization that has ways to stay alive even when they are very weak."

Mortality rates have been determined for many types of organizations in the past 20 years, including volunteer social service organizations (2.3 percent), California wineries (5 percent) and peace movement groups (9 percent). But this study, published in the June issue of The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, is believed to be the first for religious congregations.

Click here for the full article.

June 4, 2008

FDA Commissioner’s Solution To Low Morale: Laminated Values Card

“Six FDA Values” cards used to boost morale are valued at thousands of dollars to the American tax-payers whose morale is already low from government waste.

By John Wilkerson

FDA News

Laminated Value Cards to raise the low morale of FDA employees

FDA’s commissioner has come up with a partial solution to claims of low morale among agency employees: a laminated card describing six FDA values. FDA has printed 12,000 cards, enough to cover its roughly 10,000 employees plus new hires, at a cost of $3,500, an agency spokesperson said.

Click here for the full story.

June 4, 2008

Men Fighting Over Women? It's Nothing New, Suggests Research

Top researchers and tax-payer money make shocking discovery: men fought over women


Men may usually settle it over a drunken brawl in the pub or perhaps a verbal spat -- but new evidence has shown for the first time that fighting over women in prehistoric times could have been worse than that.
A mass grave of skeletons investigated by Durham University-led researchers suggests that neighbouring tribes from prehistoric times were prepared to brutally kill their male rivals to secure their women.
Click here for the full article.

June 3, 2008

National Science Foundation studies instant messaging in the work place

Tax-payer money funds instant messaging research

Science Daily


Employers seeking to decrease interruptions may want to have their workers use instant messaging software, a new study suggests. A recent study by researchers at Ohio State University and University of California, Irvine found that workers who used instant messaging on the job reported less interruption than colleagues who did not.

The study challenges the widespread belief that instant messaging leads to an increase in disruption. Some researchers have speculated that workers would use instant messaging in addition to the phone and e-mail, leading to increased interruption and reduced productivity.

Instead, research showed that instant messaging was often used as a substitute for other, more disruptive forms of communication such as the telephone, e-mail, and face-to-face conversations. Using instant messaging led to more conversations on the computer, but the conversations were briefer, said R. Kelly Garrett, co-author of the study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State.

Click here for more information ...

June 2, 2008

Female Albatrosses Set Up Same-Sex Partnerships

National Science Foundation study finds that female albatrosses “shack up with each other for years and take turns raising offspring”

By Charles Q. Choi

FOX News

What happens when there is a shortage of males and a female wants to have a family?

In the case of the Laysan albatross, females shack up with each other for years and take turns raising offspring, research now reveals.

Such behavior might prove common not just with albatrosses, but many other seabirds as well, scientists added.

Researchers have long known that same-sex couples are common in the wild kingdom.

At the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve on Oahu, Hawaii, researchers now find that roughly a third of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) nests are pairs of unrelated females.

Click here for the full article.

June 2, 2008

CU study: Birds with red feathers have evolutionary edge

Taxpayers funded, 2-year "bird makeover" helps certain male birds become more sexually attractive and active

By Brittany Anas

Daily Camera

Barn Swallow

Red is the color of passion, even for birds.
A new study led by the University of Colorado shows that testosterone of male North American barn swallows intensely increased when researchers artificially darkened their breast feathers to a deep red that is known to be most attractive to the female birds. The birds likely had more testosterone pumping through their bodies because of amorous interactions with the opposite sex and more run-ins with jealous males, said CU assistant professor Rebecca Safran, lead author of the study.
The jump in testosterone was unexpected because it was observed at the time in the breeding cycle when levels of sex steroids are typically declining, Safran said. "Males that are darker have greater evolutionary fitness," she said.
The experiment has a significant impact on evolutionary studies: It shows that a simple appearance alteration -- a minor bird makeover -- triggered physiological changes.
Kevin McGraw, a co-author of the study from Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences, said the results indicate that a bird's hormonal profile is influenced by its outward appearance.
A paper on the subject will be published in today's issue of "Current Biology." Other co-authors include James Adelman and Michaela Hau, of Princeton University. The two-year study was funded primarily by the National Science Foundation.
Click here for the full article.

May 1, 2008

Government Hiring Binge

Federal, state and local governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the fastest pace in 6 years

By Dennis Cauchon

USA Today

Federal, state and local governments are bringing on new hires at an alarming rate.  The increase is so dramatic that it will only lead to economic hardship for many states, as well as add to the already bloated federal deficit.  To read about our ever expanding government, go to yersterday's USA Today story.   



April 28, 2008

After Years of Failure, DOD Travel System Still Can't Get Off the Ground

Joining the chorus of critics from Capitol Hill, employees at the Department of Defense are not big fans of the Defense Travel System (DTS).  The Financial Times recently reported that DTS is plagued with problems and will not likely be functional until 2011:

 Among the troubles, according to Defense Department officials and congressional auditors:
  • The system often lacks enough commercial data needed by travelers to make hotel and rental car arrangements, which prompts many to use a travel agent.
  • Real-time assistance is not always available or responsive for people using the system or encountering complications during their trips.
  • The system follows strict travel rules that require additional bureaucracy when flexibility is needed.

Related Resources:


April 28, 2008

With prospects of an AIDS vaccine dimming, federal agencies spend research funding on bar nights, fashion show and other social events to promote HIV vaccine awareness

Federal funds promote "awareness" of non-existent HIV vaccine

National Institutes of Health

HIV Vaccine Awareness Button

Most scientists involved in AIDS research believe that an HIV vaccine is further away than ever and some have admitted that effective immunization against the virus may never be possible, according to a survey conducted by The Independent released today. The poll follows a report by the Washington Post that at summit last month, U.S. government AIDS researchers made “an admission that almost no progress has been made in the search for an AIDS vaccine in the past 25 years and that something close to new start is necessary.”  The government scientists announced that “more of their budget needs to be spent on basic lab research and less on testing the current crop of vaccines, none of which has proved useful in human trials.”  In light of these failures and daunting prospects, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pledged to re-evaluate the use of all $1.5 billion his agency spends on AIDS noting that “we are going to have to justify what we are doing.”

So what are these federal agencies doing to advance the prospects of an HIV vaccine that they can justify?

Next month, the National Institutes of Health will put aside basic research and redirect federal funding towards marketing campaigns and social events to recognize “HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.”

You read that correctly.

There is no HIV vaccine.  The experts doubt that there will be a vaccine anytime soon and some scientists do not think that there will ever be possible, yet the federal government is paying to celebrate “HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.”

The federal government, in fact, has spent more than $2 million on annual “HIV Vaccine Awareness Day” events since 2001.  Last year, federally sponsored “HIV Vaccine Awareness Day” activities have included a bar event in Seattle, WA, a picnic and bar night in Nashville, TN, a fashion show and reception in Jamaica Plain, MA, a film screening and dinner reception in Norcross, GA.

I guess we have become so desperate in the search for a vaccine, the search won’t be limited to labs or human subjects.  Who knows what scientific discoveries could be unlocked at a bar or fashion show!  But with your tax dollars, we will find out!

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day – May 18


May 18th is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD). This annual observance is a day to recognize and thank the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine. It is also a day to educate our communities about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research.


In recognition of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, community activities and media events are being held around the country.


March 9, 2008

Voice of America: intimidating whistleblowers

Voice of America (VOA) and Broadcasting Board of Governor (BBG) officials including the Executive Editor, Chief of Staff, Associate Director of Language Programming, and Director of Human Resources, held an all-staff meeting with VOA Persian News Network (PNN) employees on March 3, 2008. The meeting took place after a series of VOA employees and outside observers expressed concern about counterproductive content on VOA. Employees who have spoken out have already been harassed and intimidated by VOA management.

After the meeting, VOA officials emailed PNN staff a summary of what was discussed.  The message reinforced by the email illustrates Soviet-style intimidation used at VOA to silence whistleblowers.  The following excerpts from the email sound more like an internal memo at Pravda than U.S. taxpayer-supported Voice of America:

"If you disagree with any work that is being done at PNN, let’s talk about it. Don’t feed external criticism."

"Freedom of speech is a tricky issue. There are limits to free speech. You have the right to speak with elected officials and outside media but these comments need to be made in the public interest."

"Blogs that discuss our work are a symbol of our success. We enjoy freedom of speech in America. However, I will not stand for people at VOA who undermine our mission."

Click here for the full email.

Key Facts:

    • The VOA Persian News Network is supposed to be the balance to the propaganda from the regime of Iran, but VOA frequently provides another platform for apologists of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    • The law states VOA "will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.”
    • The U.S. taxpayer provides over $675 million annually for international broadcasting such as the Voice of America.

Related Resources:

Further Readings:

March 4, 2008

Voice of America to World: Terrorists are freedom fighters

While the U.S. is engaged in a war of ideas against radical Islam and terrorist entities, Voice of America (VOA) refers to terrorists as "rebels." Don Benson, VOA Central News Division editor, defends this policy decision in the official VOA blog by saying,

We (VOA journalists) try to keep in mind that one person's "terrorist" is another person's "freedom fighter," and that there often are political implications in how governments distinguish one group from another.

The example used in the blog is the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. Even though the PKK engages in acts of terrorism and is recognized by the U.S. government as a terrorist entity, Voice of America refers to the group as "rebels."

Key Facts:
  • The law states VOA "will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.”
  • The U.S. taxpayer provides over $675 million annually for international broadcasting such as the Voice of America.

Major Findings:

March 3, 2008

Bogus Medical Suppliers Still Ripping Off Medicare

$1.2 million Medicare rip-off.

A recent Health and Human Services Inspector General Report found ongoing problems with bogus Medical Suppliers continuing to rip of Medicare and taxpayers.

The report found "suppliers not located at their addresses on file or, in some cases, not open during reasonable business hours. Medicare paid these companies approximately $21 million in the year ending June 30, 2007."

"In Los Angeles County, 13 percent of suppliers (about one in every eight) did not have physical facilities or were not open during repeated unannounced site visits. This included 20 facilities that were entirely vacant and others that housed other businesses. One business was an art gallery, another a tutoring firm, and yet another a trucking company. Two additional locations were private residences with no business signs or posted business hours."

Read the entire March 3, 2007 news release, "OIG Report Finds Continued Lack of Medical Supplier Compliance with Medicare Requirements
Study Reviews Los Angeles
: Recommends Further Strengthening of Supplier Enrollment Process"

To read the full report, go to:

February 21, 2008

Rampant Fraud In D.C. Health Safety-network Leaves Uninsured D.C. Residents Vulnerable;

Local and national taxpayers suffer due to poor oversight over $129 million annual program.

Uninsured D.C. residents, local & national taxpayers are being scammed.

The program: The District of Columbia launched the D.C. Healthcare Alliance in 2001. The program, which faced a $40 million deficit last year, provides free care to D.C. residents who earn too little to afford private insurance but too much to qualify for Medicaid benefits, and has a budget  this year of $129 million. Participation in the Alliance has nearly doubled since June 2006 when the D.C. Income Maintenance Administration, which also enlists people in the food-stamp and Medicaid programs, was tasked with enrollment. IMA’s policies might have opened the door to costly fraud, critics of the program have said.

The problem: A new audit details the complete failure of the D.C. government to prevent outsiders from ripping off a health care program financed by city taxpayers that is designed to provide a safety net for the city’s poorest.

The alliance costs the District $212.21 per member per month, meaning local and federal taxpayers are out $1 million a year for every 400 people who scam it.

In 2008, $5.6 million from the D.C. Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments goes to the Alliance managed care contracts; of the $5.6 million, $3.9 million comes from federal tax dollars.

Specific audit findings (as reported by the Washington Examiner):

• Eleven District addresses, not including homeless shelters, accounted for 271 Alliance members, and another 216 addresses accounted for 1,866 members.
• The investigation also found that 615 residents who should have been moved into Medicaid the moment they turned 65 were left in the alliance unnecessarily long.
• The audit further reported alliance members whose income exceeded the eligibility threshold, who provided expired documents as proof of residency, and who were already receiving benefits in Maryland.
• Auditor was unable to confirm the residency of 309 members out of a 360-member sample, and 47 were deemed “questionable.”
• IMA does not verify driver’s licenses, claims of income, confirming letters, addresses, alien registration numbers or value of assets.
• The auditor also discovered multiple case records established for the same client and payments being made for individuals no longer enrolled in the program.
• A review of 344 case files found the majority of recipients used unsubstantiated letters from relatives or friends as proof of their residency in the District.
• The auditor also found that 16,720 of 63,167 Alliance data records contained no Social Security number, which may be explained by a large number of illegal immigrants in the program.

Read more here:

"Fraud rampant in health network," by Michael Neibauer, The Examiner, Feb. 21, 2008

"City is likely providing free health care to many nonresidents at a hefty cost," by Michael Neibauer, The Examiner, Feb. 7, 2008

February 17, 2008

Lobbyists for America's richest mouse set out to persuade Congress to scare up $200 million to promote U.S. tourist destinations

Mickey Goes to Washington.

The Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts plans "Apollo" project for destination marketing: plans to ask the federal government for an expensive favor to enrich the tourist industry.

Read all about it here: "Mickey Goes to Washington: Lobbyists for America's richest mouse set out to persuade Congress to scare up $200 million to promote U.S. tourist destinations," by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Washington Post, February 17, 2008


Senator Tom Coburn

Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security

340 Dirksen Senate Office Building     Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-2254     Fax: 202-228-3796

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