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(Albuquerque Journal)   This year's government wastebook brings us the likes of from fish on a treadmill to your fear of your dentist. A few million here, a million million there, pretty soon, you're talking real money   ( abqjournal.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, I Love Lucy, Flake, Sen. Jeff Flake, United States House Committee on Appropriations, Lucille Ball, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Flake's report, Arizona  
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467 clicks; posted to Politics » on 11 Jan 2017 at 2:21 PM (45 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-01-11 11:44:24 AM  
Flake targets a total of $1.5 million in grants through the National Science Foundation to test what happens when fish use treadmills. In one example, a mudskipper, which is a fish that can live out of water longer than post, is put on a small treadmill. In the other case, bluegill fish were sent through "treadmill-like swim tunnels."


It looks like (doi:10.1093/icb/ict034) was one of the underlying papers. The results look have implications improving our understanding of the evolutionary history of terrestrial biology, and possibly some subtle implications for understanding the effects of climate change.

Flake highlighted a $36,700 venture from the Environmental Protection Agency to create a version of the Berkshire region of Massachusetts in the "Minecraft" video game. "Instead of pouring money down the drain in virtual worlds, EPA should target resources to fixing real problems in the real world," the report said.


Building a virtual model -- even in minecraft -- allows cheap experiments which are easily reverted to initial conditions afterward, facilitating the fixing of problems in the real world more economically by allowing multiple approaches to be tested.

The FBI spent roughly $1.2 million to acquire and then remove an art installation from its Miami field office that made folks ill, according to Flake's report. The $750,000 sculpture of Western Red Cedar was making people at the field office sick because of the presence of Cedar dust.


More details.

So, is the toxicity of cedar that well known yet its use unrestricted, or should the FBI have just ignored the OSHA problem once discovered?

That said, I think this one now might have a better solution; the artwork should now be rehoused in Flake's office.

Flake's report points to $1.7 million from the Commerce Department for the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, N.Y., for holograms of comedians who have died. The first hologram developed is of Jamestown native Lucille Ball of "I Love Lucy" fame, with more to follow, according to the Wastebook.


Funding for a museum -- of the arts -- where government patronage is facilitating the developing of new technology. I can see why all those things push GOP reflex points, but that doesn't make them automatically bad.

West Virginia University drew scrutiny in Flake's report for a $3.5 million study of why people fear dentists. "With the possibilities ranging from having teeth scraped, filled or pulled, it is not surprising patients feel some anxiety about spending time in the dentist's chair. But as scary as those may sounds, a recent survey found Americans have a higher opinion of root canals than Congress," the report said.


Studying why people fear dentists may help alleviation of those fears without compromising quality of dental care. This may help more people get better dental care, which aside from the direct improvements to their quality of life may also have benefits to their cardiac health.
 
2017-01-11 11:56:39 AM  

abb3w: It looks like (doi:10.1093/icb/ict034) was one of the underlying papers. The results look have implications improving our understanding of the evolutionary history of terrestrial biology, and possibly some subtle implications for understanding the effects of climate change.


Not only that but the Bluegill study seems to be fascinating.  I can see direct implications and benefits to fish farming - yes, Bluegill (bream and the like) are considered invasive in some states.  But they are a very robust fish and one of the most tasty freshwater fish you can find.  I think there are plenty of industry benefits that can come out of that study (medical, fish farming, ranchers) as well as PWDs in various states.

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1354213&HistoricalAw​a​rds=false
 
2017-01-11 12:12:38 PM  
West Virginia University drew scrutiny in Flake's report for a $3.5 million study of why people fear dentists. "With the possibilities ranging from having teeth scraped, filled or pulled, it is not surprising patients feel some anxiety about spending time in the dentist's chair. But as scary as those may sounds, a recent survey found Americans have a higher opinion of root canals than Congress," the report said.

Poor dental health is correlated with a raft of health problems and with poor economic outcomes.  The American economy would be greatly served by anything that can improve the dental health of its citizens.
 
2017-01-11 12:30:25 PM  
From another article : Your mileage will vary on whether you find this hilarious or not, but it's worth noting that even a dedicated investigator like Flake found only $5 billion in waste, of which $3 billion was for one project: the California bullet train. Now, I happen to agree with Flake that the train is a bad use of money, but it's certainly not waste. The money is being used to build a train. In any case, take out that one project and you're left with $2 billion, which is something like 0.2 percent of the discretionary federal budget. That's actually...not bad. I wish my own household ran that efficiently. It's worth adding that of that $2 billion, about half seems to be legitimate waste while the other half is just sophomoric jeering at scientific studies that are perfectly reasonable but sound kind of funny. So the actual waste is probably closer to 0.1 percent of the budget.

The definition of government waste is not just "STUFF YOU DON"T LIKE."
 
2017-01-11 12:33:29 PM  
To get to real money levels of waste, you need to go cost-plus.
 
2017-01-11 01:19:10 PM  

abb3w: climate change.


There's your problem: fake, just a theory.

Seriously, this ain't bridge to nowhere stuff. This is actually learning something about the world and how we might live better. But it's Flake.
 
2017-01-11 01:47:43 PM  
5 billion dollars divided by 320 million people is $15.62 per person.

Take out the California bullet train, and it goes down to $6.24 per person.

I can afford it.

Now let's talk about all of those corporate subsidies...
 
2017-01-11 01:56:03 PM  
How many military expenditures go on the list?

That's what I thought.

$5 million in "waste" (read: science and art) versus a $3.1 trillion budget is 0.00016% waste.

How will we ever survive.
 
2017-01-11 01:57:30 PM  

nmrsnr: How many military expenditures go on the list?

That's what I thought.

$5 million in "waste" (read: science and art) versus a $3.1 trillion budget is 0.00016% waste.

How will we ever survive.


Sorry, billion, not million, 0.16%, still less than 1/5 of 1%
 
2017-01-11 02:04:02 PM  
5 billion in "waste"?  How do we fix that?

Better cut spending to entitlement programs and education by twice that and create a tax cut that reduces revenue by 25 billion annually.  Maybe more to be safe.
 
2017-01-11 02:24:59 PM  
I think maybe we should study why subby thought that headline was even remotely coherent.
 
2017-01-11 02:27:16 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

This man has been a Senator since 1994. At an average salary of $190k/annum, this has cost taxpayers $4.18 million.
 
2017-01-11 02:27:40 PM  

Somacandra: From another article : Your mileage will vary on whether you find this hilarious or not, but it's worth noting that even a dedicated investigator like Flake found only $5 billion in waste, of which $3 billion was for one project: the California bullet train. Now, I happen to agree with Flake that the train is a bad use of money, but it's certainly not waste. The money is being used to build a train. In any case, take out that one project and you're left with $2 billion, which is something like 0.2 percent of the discretionary federal budget. That's actually...not bad. I wish my own household ran that efficiently. It's worth adding that of that $2 billion, about half seems to be legitimate waste while the other half is just sophomoric jeering at scientific studies that are perfectly reasonable but sound kind of funny. So the actual waste is probably closer to 0.1 percent of the budget.

The definition of government waste is not just "STUFF YOU DON"T LIKE."


A much bigger waste is the practice of giving government and military departments/units a larger budget than needed, which causes them to spend money at the end of the year only so their budget won't get cut, which causes them to spend more money so their budget won't get cut, and so on...

Seriously, if you have an annual budget of $1 million and you have to spend $100k at the end of every year, YOU DO NOT NEED A $1 MILLION BUDGET.

//round numbers, as always, are easier to use in examples
 
2017-01-11 02:30:27 PM  
Jesus christ I still get angry about that Shrimp on a Treadmill bullshiat lie.

Because first of all, that experiment actually cost MAYBE $400 in parts. Not millions of dollars. And that was after they used a prototype that they cobbled together from scratch.

Second, the entire point of that experiment was this:
We know that shrimp are to a lot of water ecosystems what canaries are to coalmines: They tend to die first when pollution starts reaching dangerous levels.

The problem, mind, is that by the time things are bad enough that all the shrimp have suddenly died, that ecosystem is STILL going to be pretty farked for quite some time. Both due to damage to its food chain (no/WAY less shrimp) and due to the pollution that *killed* the shrimp.

So some researchers went ".. Well, can we tell if the shrimp are starting to get sick/poisoned by pollution BEFORE it gets to the point that they die? .. Is there a way to quantify 'how healthy is this shrimp'?"

And see. This isn't farking star trek. We don't have tricorders or magical health-ometers that we can point at something to see how healthy they are. So they tried a bunch of different methods, and one of them was "What if we can force them to run on a treadmill, and see if shrimp that have been exposed to pollution/poisons perform more poorly/tire more easily?"

Because when you are a research scientist, sometimes that's what you have to work with.
 
2017-01-11 02:33:31 PM  

UberDave: abb3w: It looks like (doi:10.1093/icb/ict034) was one of the underlying papers. The results look have implications improving our understanding of the evolutionary history of terrestrial biology, and possibly some subtle implications for understanding the effects of climate change.

Not only that but the Bluegill study seems to be fascinating.  I can see direct implications and benefits to fish farming - yes, Bluegill (bream and the like) are considered invasive in some states.  But they are a very robust fish and one of the most tasty freshwater fish you can find.  I think there are plenty of industry benefits that can come out of that study (medical, fish farming, ranchers) as well as PWDs in various states.

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1354213&HistoricalAwa​rds=false


bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.comView Full Size
 
2017-01-11 02:34:13 PM  
 
2017-01-11 02:34:26 PM  
Yeah scientists are so lame, amirite? Better let Trump increase the already bloated military budget in the name of fiscal responsibility and freedom. Oh but don't forget to cut social programs when there "just isn't enough money there" after the rich get their giant tax cut and don't put the savings back into the economy.

At least we'll have "shrimp on a treadmill" to laugh at while we head to our third job in an attempt to make ends meet in the next Depression.
 
2017-01-11 02:34:45 PM  
So because you don't understand science, you think that any experimentation that involves silly sounding things (like fruit flies) is a waste of money?

And because you don't appreciate art and culture, you don't want any money given to support artists who create installations in public places?

I get it.

Look, I'm all for finding and eliminating waste, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Senators flying fist class and staying at the Four Seasons when they could do just as well in business class and booking the Hyatt.
 
2017-01-11 02:36:22 PM  

culebra: Yeah scientists are so lame, amirite? Better let Trump increase the already bloated military budget in the name of fiscal responsibility and freedom. Oh but don't forget to cut social programs when there "just isn't enough money there" after the rich get their giant tax cut and don't put the savings back into the economy.

At least we'll have "shrimp on a treadmill" to laugh at while we head to our third job in an attempt to make ends meet in the next Depression.


To the military's credit, they're spending some of that 'bloated budged' *on* basic research that they know is being neglected (the NSF's funding, for instance, got*royally farked* by the sequester because of how they do their grant lending/etc, if I recall correctly), even if it *doesn't* have direct military applications.
 
2017-01-11 02:36:39 PM  

lostcat: So because you don't understand science, you think that any experimentation that involves silly sounding things (like fruit flies) is a waste of money?

And because you don't appreciate art and culture, you don't want any money given to support artists who create installations in public places?

I get it.

Look, I'm all for finding and eliminating waste, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Senators flying fist class and staying at the Four Seasons when they could do just as well in business class and booking the Hyatt.


Nope, they just want the payoff from those research projects and art installations. They want to live in a technologically advanced society with a lot of creative output but don't want to pay for it or put out the effort to make it happen. Entitled whiners.
 
2017-01-11 02:36:53 PM  

Great_Milenko: Somacandra: From another article : Your mileage will vary on whether you find this hilarious or not, but it's worth noting that even a dedicated investigator like Flake found only $5 billion in waste, of which $3 billion was for one project: the California bullet train. Now, I happen to agree with Flake that the train is a bad use of money, but it's certainly not waste. The money is being used to build a train. In any case, take out that one project and you're left with $2 billion, which is something like 0.2 percent of the discretionary federal budget. That's actually...not bad. I wish my own household ran that efficiently. It's worth adding that of that $2 billion, about half seems to be legitimate waste while the other half is just sophomoric jeering at scientific studies that are perfectly reasonable but sound kind of funny. So the actual waste is probably closer to 0.1 percent of the budget.

The definition of government waste is not just "STUFF YOU DON"T LIKE."

A much bigger waste is the practice of giving government and military departments/units a larger budget than needed, which causes them to spend money at the end of the year only so their budget won't get cut, which causes them to spend more money so their budget won't get cut, and so on...

Seriously, if you have an annual budget of $1 million and you have to spend $100k at the end of every year, YOU DO NOT NEED A $1 MILLION BUDGET.

//round numbers, as always, are easier to use in examples


If department A is spending only 90% of their budget by end of Q4 and suddenly goes on a spending spree at the very end to avoid a budget cut, the following year's budget doesn't magically get bumped up as result.  They have to ask for an increase, and someone has to agree to it, so the issue isn't with that spate of frenzied spending at the end of the year, but with the fact that someone looks at that spending and still approves a budget increase for the following year.

Basically: hate the players, not the game.
 
2017-01-11 02:38:13 PM  
I wonder if the F-35 is on that list.

=Smidge=
 
2017-01-11 02:42:56 PM  
Not much to add to the discussion that hasn't already been said -- and stated much more clearly than I typically put it, BTW -- except maybe to mention basic research and the sad fact that most basic research needs won't be provided for by any market that doesn't look past the near-term when placing values to things.

If you somehow perversely wanted to create a future in which the U.S. is a third-rate technological and economic backwater, not funding basic research is one of the things you'll want to do to make that happen.
 
2017-01-11 02:43:52 PM  
How many Benghazi hearings did you assholes hold?  How much did that cost?  These hearings were held, and publicly stated as such, simply to damage the reputation of a political opponent.

How many emails hearings were held? .......
 
2017-01-11 02:45:13 PM  
Oh my GOD, don't these guys ever get tired of being debunked?

All right; let's take a look at this...

For the five in the article: Environment, environment, the arts, the arts, healthcare.

What else has he got in here? Let me check the PDF...

Science, science, healthcare, environment, environment, healthcare, science, science, social science, transportation, transportation, transportation, science, science, the arts, science, science, agriculture, agriculture, public relations...

Gee, wonder what his personal bugaboos are?

Every time a conservative online talks about government waste, I bring up the F-35. I get a lot of ragequits. Well, I used to. Now they just change the subject and start whining about something else.
 
2017-01-11 02:48:01 PM  

Smidge204: I wonder if the F-35 is on that list.

=Smidge=



You mean the "MAGIC FREEDOM PLANE!!!" that is going to save the world from ISIS, zombies, and homasexshul Commies?
 
2017-01-11 02:51:31 PM  

give me doughnuts: Smidge204: I wonder if the F-35 is on that list.

=Smidge=


You mean the "MAGIC FREEDOM PLANE!!!" that is going to save the world from ISIS, zombies, and homasexshul Commies?


More now than ever! Trump promised today to reduce the costs on this and the F-18! Probably by trading the tech for a fleet of used MiGs from the 1960s, but still...
 
2017-01-11 02:52:10 PM  
West Virginia University drew scrutiny in Flake's report for a $3.5 million study of why people fear dentists.

Is that some kind of "West Virginians have no more teeth, so why figure out why they don't like dentists" joke?
 
2017-01-11 02:53:01 PM  

edmo: abb3w: climate change.

There's your problem: fake, just a theory.

Seriously, this ain't bridge to nowhere stuff. This is actually learning something about the world and how we might live better. But it's Flake.


Conservatives: They know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
 
2017-01-11 02:54:37 PM  
Scientific research is an easy target for dipshiats like this to attack, but their benefits are often hugely unexpected and farreaching.
 
2017-01-11 02:54:56 PM  
How come none of these government waste reports ever include the $174,000 or so spent by Congress to hire self-admitted flakes?
 
2017-01-11 02:56:42 PM  
Punch yourself in the junk, subby. Right now.
 
2017-01-11 03:03:13 PM  
Conservatives use these summaries the same way Scientologists use the DSM. They start with the conclusion that the work is useless, then work backward to reverse engineer a justification based on lies of omission.
 
2017-01-11 03:07:53 PM  
West Virginia is the only state where I've seen PSA billboards on the highway reminding people to brush every day. Maybe those WVU people are on to a serious local public health problem.

Or maybe Flake thinks they just sat around a conference table to brainstorm the most ridiculous grant they could propose. I'm sure that's it.
 
2017-01-11 03:12:59 PM  
Oh, and in recognition of the fact that both sides are bad, it would be a very good thing if Zombie Sen. William Proxmire would punch itself in the junk, too.
 
2017-01-11 03:21:10 PM  
A dim lit pot bar at the dentist would bring them in.
 
2017-01-11 03:26:17 PM  

abb3w: Flake targets a total of $1.5 million in grants through the National Science Foundation to test what happens when fish use treadmills. In one example, a mudskipper, which is a fish that can live out of water longer than post, is put on a small treadmill. In the other case, bluegill fish were sent through "treadmill-like swim tunnels."

It looks like (doi:10.1093/icb/ict034) was one of the underlying papers. The results look have implications improving our understanding of the evolutionary history of terrestrial biology, and possibly some subtle implications for understanding the effects of climate change.

Flake highlighted a $36,700 venture from the Environmental Protection Agency to create a version of the Berkshire region of Massachusetts in the "Minecraft" video game. "Instead of pouring money down the drain in virtual worlds, EPA should target resources to fixing real problems in the real world," the report said.

Building a virtual model -- even in minecraft -- allows cheap experiments which are easily reverted to initial conditions afterward, facilitating the fixing of problems in the real world more economically by allowing multiple approaches to be tested.

The FBI spent roughly $1.2 million to acquire and then remove an art installation from its Miami field office that made folks ill, according to Flake's report. The $750,000 sculpture of Western Red Cedar was making people at the field office sick because of the presence of Cedar dust.

More details.

So, is the toxicity of cedar that well known yet its use unrestricted, or should the FBI have just ignored the OSHA problem once discovered?

That said, I think this one now might have a better solution; the artwork should now be rehoused in Flake's office.

Flake's report points to $1.7 million from the Commerce Department for the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, N.Y., for holograms of comedians who have died. The first hologram developed is of Jamestown native Lucille Ball of "I Love Lucy" fame, with more to follow, according to the Wastebook.

Funding for a museum -- of the arts -- where government patronage is facilitating the developing of new technology. I can see why all those things push GOP reflex points, but that doesn't make them automatically bad.

West Virginia University drew scrutiny in Flake's report for a $3.5 million study of why people fear dentists. "With the possibilities ranging from having teeth scraped, filled or pulled, it is not surprising patients feel some anxiety about spending time in the dentist's chair. But as scary as those may sounds, a recent survey found Americans have a higher opinion of root canals than Congress," the report said.

Studying why people fear dentists may help alleviation of those fears without compromising quality of dental care. This may help more people get better dental care, which aside from the direct improvements to their quality of life may also have benefits to their cardiac health.


Early contender for smartest post of the year.
 
2017-01-11 03:37:17 PM  
This year's government wastebook

*orbiatchanging eyeroll*
 
2017-01-11 03:38:50 PM  

Epoch_Zero: This year's government wastebook

*orbiatchanging eyeroll*


Filter-pwned right there in them boobies. Sigh.
 
2017-01-11 03:57:20 PM  

Lando Lincoln: 5 billion dollars divided by 320 million people is $15.62 per person.

Take out the California bullet train, and it goes down to $6.24 per person.

I can afford it.

Now let's talk about all of those corporate subsidies...


THIS!
 
2017-01-11 04:36:40 PM  
How many millions of dollars do we lose each year by having the penny?

But, no, right...the real waste is "scientific research with funny titles that I haven't bothered to find out the importance of".  Got it.
 
Ant
2017-01-11 06:26:22 PM  
Just because you personally don't understand the value of a particular research project doesn't mean it's wasteful. Reminds me of Sarah Palin's criticism of fruit fly research ("what could fruit flies possibly teach us about genetics!?")
 
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