Three Years Later, Some of the Stimulus’ Odder Projects: Basket Weaving, Polka Training, Rats on Meth

By Matt Cover | February 17, 2012 | 5:13pm EST

President Barack Obama signs the $787-billion economic stimulus bill into law on Feb. 17, 2009, joined by Vice President Joe Biden. (AP Photo)

( – Three years after the enactment of the $787-billion economic stimulus spending program, critics are still pointing out some of the stranger and apparently most wasteful programs funded by the program, which was intended to create millions of jobs and keep unemployment below 8 percent.

Some of those programs include $210,000 to study the learning patterns of honeybees; $898,138 to study clouds over Greenland; and $50,000 for a Chicago, Illinois theater that put on a play showcasing former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

That theater, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, put on a play in 2009 called Rod Blagojevich Superstar at which the impeached former governor – now serving a 14-year prison sentence – made an appearance to introduce the show that mocked his political and legal troubles.

The hit parade of stimulus projects are the focus of a report from the Republican National Committee called ‘Where did all the Money Go?’ which gives a state-by state breakdown of questionable stimulus projects and failed government investments.

Among the projects highlighted in the report are:

-- $950,000 for a University of Arizona study on the genetics of ants

-- $54 million to help construct the Napa Valley Wine Train tourist attraction in California

-- $500,000 for cell phones as part of a smoking cessation program in Washington, D.C.

Methamphetamine. (AP Photo)

-- $934,498 for a University of Florida study on the DNA of lice

-- $221,355 for a Indiana University study on why young men dislike using condoms

-- $35,000 to teach basket weaving in Maine

-- $30,000 for a University of Maryland study on the effects of methamphetamine on the sex drives of female rats

-- $141,000 to pay for a group from the University of Montana to study dinosaur eggs in China

-- $15,000 to teach Dutch-Hop polka in Nebraska

-- $231,750 for a Rutgers study on why female rats prefer cocaine to their own pups

-- $390,000 for a State University of New York study on malt liquor and marijuana consumption

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