Hey, Everybody! We're All Gonna Get Federal Grants!

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I've been meaning to post this for a few days: Murray Waas, Brian Ross and Anna Schechter have a eye-boggling story of Justice Department corruption that's getting lost in the political news maelstrom.

A senior Justice Department official says a $500,000 federal grant to the World Golf Foundation is an appropriate use of money designed to deal with juvenile crime in America.

"We need something really attractive to engage the gangs and the street kids, golf is the hook," said J. Robert Flores, the administrator of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

But the program was ranked 47th out of 104 applicants. What pushed it over the top? Of course:

The honorary chairman of the First Tee program is former President George Bush. On a videotape presentation, the former President Bush praised the program for "serving others and building character and building values."

And what got the shaft?

A program to help troubled teens in San Diego, Vista, was ranked number two by the staff out of 202 applicants in its category of prevention and intervention but was turned down for a grant to help deal with inner city teen violence in San Diego. Another program, designed to train adult guards to deal with teens in custody, also was denied federal money even though it was ranked by the staff number 2 out of 104 in its category.

Another program that got money: Best Friends, an abstinence program run by Bill Bennett's wife and ranked 53rd on the merit list.

NEXT: First, They Came for Michael Medved. And I Didn't Speak Up, Because Michael Medved Is an Enormous Douche

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  1. I, for one, am glad that the Justice Department is finally taking a proactive approach to the gang menace terrorizing Scottsdale, Arizona.

  2. I can’t believe they chose golf over polo.

  3. I love it. I love waste so much. It gets me off.

  4. On the other hand, I guess it’s a lot easier to beat the shit out of someone with a polo mallet than with a putter.

  5. The extended ABC headline…

    Former Staffer Tells ABC News Anti-Crime Funds Given to Programs With The “Right” Connections

    sigh…you know, if the MSM was really trying to avoid the bias label, they’d stop labeling crap like this as “Right”. This is political cronyism, pure and simple. It’s only being done by the “Right”, since the “Right” controls the executive office at present.

  6. MP, I think you’re reading too much into that. I’m pretty sure it’s in quotes because it’s saying that they’re “highbrow”, not that they’re right-wing.

  7. I didn’t read it that way either. Maybe I’ve become so overwhelmed by the liberal media conspiracy that I’m no longer be able to identify it.

  8. Golf is a great way to stay away from gang influences. I should know – me, D’Annunzio, and the rest of the caddies would have been gang banging all summer if it wasn’t for the good people at Bushwood C.C., like Judge Smails. Organized activities like the caddy pool party helped to keep all of us on the straight and narrow.

    Back off golf people!

  9. I can’t believe they chose golf over polo.

    Why didn’t my fencing and steeplechase suggestions win?!?

  10. I can’t get the Lee Iacocca/Snoop Dogg Chrysler commercial out of my head now. Thanks for conjuring visuals of the pimped-out golf cart, and reverberations of the quote, “Fo’ shizzle, Icazizzle.”

  11. No, I think MP got the implication correctly…I just don’t have the problem with it that he/she has.

  12. Why didn’t my fencing and steeplechase suggestions win?!?

    You joke, but I can see how kids of any stripe can get behind learning how to stab people with swords.

  13. Here’s the damn thing…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=jSrGx2I2K18

  14. Corruption? So, your theory is W is secretly enriching his dad with crime-fighting golf grants?

    As stupid as this program surely is, I’m sure the 53 ahead of it on the “merit list” (which sounds pretty subjective and political) were just as big a waste of taxpayer money. It sounds like a political appointee made a political decision about where grant money should go, and other people disagreed for equally political reasons. Just filling out a “merit list” doesn’t create an infallible priority level.

    This isn’t a tenth as corrupt as what Congress is doing with earmarks.

  15. You joke, but I can see how kids of any stripe can get behind learning how to stab people with swords.

    You don’t stab, you extend, potentially after lunging. You must be poor.

  16. Caddy Shack, Animal House, Blazing Saddles, Porkys, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Taboo 2.

    Ahhh, the golden age of American Cinema

  17. This isn’t a tenth as corrupt as what Congress is doing with earmarks.

    Agreed. This is run-of-the-mill cronyism. It deserves to be highlighted, but it’s pretty low on my (incredibly long) list of things that piss me off about the Federal government.

  18. I’d be outraged, but after the torture, the pictures of the torture, the justifications for the torture, the banning of cameras so there are no more pictures of the torture, the gutting of Habeas Corpus, the justifications of the gutting of Habeas Corpus, the money blown on stuff for Katrina victims spent on warehousing and then giving away the stuff, the firing of attorneys for non-political actions when they could have kept their jobs if they had been more political, the document hiding, the document destroying, the obfuscation, the pardon, the idea that there’s no reason to make a serious effort to keep records, the war that’s justified as keeping them fighting us over there with no clue how hard that is to sell that idea over there when we’re supposedly caring about what they think, the bankrupting of the country, and the idea that everything will be great if we all get a $600 payoff to be paid off over the next six decades… I’m just too damn tired to be outraged.

  19. Is today “Awesome Headlines” day at REASON H&R?

  20. From what I can tell from their grants, this whole department is a giant boondoggle that should be extirpated root and branch.

    The sensible way to keep kids off the streets and out of situations where they get beaten by prison guards is to reform our drug laws so they aren’t sucked into a black market business with 10,000% profit margins created and maintained by our laws.

  21. so they aren’t sucked into a black market business with 10,000% profit margins created and maintained by our laws.

    So keep them out of corn farming, too?

  22. You don’t stab, you extend, potentially after lunging. You must be poor.

    Lunge! Parry, Riposte! Parry, Riposte! Disengage…Lunge! Touche!!!

    But I won’t discount the fact that I’m poor. 🙂

  23. This AND the “stimulus” checks drawn on our national credit card? “What a country!”
    JMR

  24. If only we had sent golf coaches to the Kingdom of Saud in time…

  25. Lacy Underall…yummmmmm…

  26. I’m going to go ahead and agree with TallDave on his 10:16 comment.

    I’d be outraged, except the alternative is that the money go to some other retarded program instead of not being spent.

  27. I’ve participated in Frist Tee events. It is a nice little program. But it doesn’t need taxpayer funds to keep doing its job. TallDave offers a much better solution to gang problems, coupled perhaps with eliminating minimum wage laws for people under 20.

  28. At least earmarks go to fluff like museums and nature trails. This shit is supposed to address a real problem but is instead laughably way off the mark.

  29. I don’t know. The problem as I see it, is that they’re taking my money. Naked corruption at least has the advantage of being seen as wasteful. If the money was used for it’s intended purpose, or worse, if it was used effectively for its intended purpose, it would only encourage them to take more from me.

  30. How the hell is golf, an expensive hobby, going to help a poor, innercity kid?

    Golf requires expensive equipment, transportation as most courses are not accessable by public transport and greens fees.

    What a joke.

  31. A golf program and an abstinence program? That’s like double billing.

  32. Fuck golfers.
    You read that correctly, fuck the golfers.
    Like all good libertarians I rail against wefare payments to women who get themselves knocked up while already sucking at the public tit. I seethe, fume, boil over with rage, etc. when the subject of fucking golf comes up.

    Long before billionaire professional sports team owners started getting welfare payments for their toys (stadia), golfers have been plundering the treasuries of every level of government in order to subsidize what is essentially a rich mans game. Golf courses, those environmental blights on the landscape of municipalities across the nation should be put up for auction immediately. Every last one of them.

    You want to chase a little ball around a manicured, water wasting, over fertilized, pesticide laden, economically inviable, lawn go right ahead. Just don’t expect taxpayers, the vast majority whose golf experience is limited to courses with green carpet, windmills and connecting tubes, to pay for your stupid fucking game.

    I’m a big supporter of the military, and can even be persuaded (with difficulty) that certain recreation facilities for serviceman can be justified. The library, pool, EM club, auto hobby shop, I’ll give a pass to. A damned golf course? Not only no, but FUCK NO!

    Here’s a list of Navy golf courses.

    NB/NS/NAS San Diego, California
    WPNSTA Seal Beach, Cypress, California
    NAWS China Lake, Ridgecrest, California
    CBC Port Hueneme, California
    NPGS Monterey, California
    SUBASE New London, Groton, Connecticut
    NAS Pensacola, Florida
    NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Florida
    NAS Jacksonville, Florida
    NS Mayport, Florida
    SUBASE Kings Bay, Georgia
    NS Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
    NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii
    NS Great Lakes, Illinois
    NSWC Crane, Indiana
    NSA Naples, Italy
    NAF Atsugi, Japan
    NAS Brunswick, Maine
    USNA Annapolis, Maryland
    NAS Patuxent River, Maryland
    NSF Indian Head, Maryland
    CBC Gulfport, Mississippi
    NAS Meridian, Mississippi
    NAEC Lakehurst, New Jersey
    NSA Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (717) 605-2297
    WPNSTA Charleston, Goose Creek, South Carolina
    Rota, Spain
    NSA Midsouth, Millington, Tennessee
    NAS Corpus Christi, Texas
    NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia
    NAVPHIBASE Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia
    NS Norfolk, Virginia
    NWS Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Virginia
    NAS Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, Washington

    After some extensive in depth calculations, I have determined the land that thes courses sit on is worth 2.4 gazillion dollars. The other services golf courses can be found here.

    Detroit is goddamed insolvent. We closed the Aquarium (it was the first in North Amarica), stopped funding the zoo, historical museum and art institute due to budget constraints. Go here for a list of Detroit public golf courses.

    Golfers aren’t a bit ashamed about their blatant siphoning of money from the the public till. Just Google Public Golf Courses and take a look around.

    I am beyond fed up with subsidizing entertainment for businessmen and retirees with no fashion sense. Anytime you hear a fat ass golfer complaining about government waste ask about your local taxpayer subsidized course.

    Fuck golf, fuck golf courses, fuck golfers, and fuck Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

    Did I mention the subject gets me a bit animated? I apologize for the length of this post. It was cathartic for me.

  33. J sub D:

    “Public golf course” doesn’t mean “taxpayer funded” golf course. It simply means, “open to the public” for daily-fee play. The lion’s share of “public golf courses” are privately-owned. This contrasts with “private golf course” which means “open only to dues-paying members of our club.”

    I suspect you’re confusing “public golf course” with “municipal golf course”, which are owned by cities, counties, parks commissions, etc. There are lots of munis in the country, enough to piss off every libertarian and then some and, in fact, the US Open is being played on a particularly spectacular specimen of muni as I type.

  34. I stand corrected. I’ll still wager that the majority of public golf courses are taxpayer subsidized. They’d be sold to developers otherwise.

  35. I demand municipal bowling alleys!

  36. You might want to rethink that wager.

    I think the biggest “subsidy” that golf courses get comes via zoning and land-use policies. In many instances town zoning policies will favor the building of golf courses over the building of residential developments. Golf courses will often conform to regulations in certain zones that housing wouldn’t. Citizens of many towns welcome using land for golf courses because it means the land isn’t available for homes that will be filled with children — children that will be educated at taxpayer expense. Golf courses also create a lot less traffic than residential developments do.

  37. I’m a big supporter of the military, and can even be persuaded (with difficulty) that certain recreation facilities for serviceman can be justified [but not golf].

    As far as I know, the mwr budget is self sustaining for operating costs (paid for by profits from the exchanges and minimarts)

    I’ll grant you there is a subsidy in capital costs (specifically land) and the salaries for oversight personal (uniformed) are paid out the general military budget.

    And it’s not my thing either, but plenty of E4-E6’s’s play golf; the tee times in HI generally fill up every weekend.

  38. You might want to rethink that wager.

    You might want to provide evidence I’m wrong. The list of Detroit public golf course I linked to are 100% government owned. The mayor tried to sell one of them and it set off a feeding frenzy. No private golf course operator wanted to buy it. Some other governmental entities were interested in taking it iff Detroit’s hands, residential developers were interested in putting housing there, but nobody wanted to OWN A GOLF COURSE FOR PROFIT.

  39. Kolohe,
    Of course they fill up. Junior enlisted can’t afford to golf if isn’t subsidized. They can close down the bowling alley on base and people will go out on the economy to bowl. Ditto the clubs.* In a mtropolitan area golf courses are private clubs for the wealthy or subsidized by the taxpayer. I will patiently await evidence for privately owned and operated public golf courses in major metropolitan areas.

    * Isolated military bases are a different story, of course. Golf courses in Hawaii, San Diego, DC, Norfolk etc. are unconscionable.

  40. I’m in the “fuck golf” camp. Played it once, bored to tears. It’s unconscionable to me that so much green space is given over to what is essentially a hobby for the privileged. If the land is privately-owned, fine. But look at any map of a large city. Most of the green space (which is usually passed off as “parks”) is golf courses.

  41. Right now, nobody wants to invest in a golf course in America because there’s an oversupply of courses due to an overestimation of demand that would be generated by the “Tiger boom”.
    I’m quite familiar with the golf building boom of the late 90s and early 00s in my area and I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how these private dailies are subsidized.

    I’m not sure how I could go about marshalling the evidence that most private daily-fee courses aren’t subsidized. I only know about how the munis and privately-owned dailies around me operate and I’d be shocked if it were any different elsewhere. When governments subsidize golf courses, they do so through their own munis because the pols can turn them into patronage mills where they can play free golf and their ne’er-do-well cousins and brothers-in-law can get jobs sitting on their ass all day. As such, the vast majority of munis are poorly maintained goat-tracks that most serious golfers avoid like the plague. There are notable exceptions (Torrey Pines in San Diego, Bethpage on Long Island, and the odd course here and there) and those certainly bother my libertarian sympathies. But the $100+ dollar greens fees I pay at the newer private dailies in Massachusetts tells me that you’re all wet regarding non-muni courses.

    Since you’re so exorcised over the matter, I would have figured you’d have some data at hand. Take a look at the greens fees of the non-muni, privately-owned dailies around Detroit.

  42. The price is wrong, bitch!

  43. Shedding a little light on the subject at hand.

    From a free enterprise think tank, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, is this article Government Golf: Unfair Competition Hurts Business, Taxpayers.

    According to the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association and Mackinac Center research, about 91 Michigan golf courses are owned by various units of government, including seven owned by state universities.

    I’m too lazy to collate the data on Michigan’s 823 privately owned golf courses. their prices, whether they are open to the public etc. A quick google didn’t reveal a summary of that sort of information.

    I know you golfers are a passionate bunch and to each their own is my philosophy. But I’m sure most reasonoids would agree with

    Government golf is unfair to taxpayers and golf course owners and may actually lower the amount of greens and golfers in the state. Municipal courses should be sold to the highest bidder.

  44. BTW, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy folks are big time free enterprise supporters. They are probably on Cato’s speed dial.

  45. I will patiently await evidence for privately owned and operated public golf courses in major metropolitan areas.

    How do I go about supplying evidence of a lack of a subsidy? If private daily-fee golf is subsidized to the degree you imagine, I’d think it would be quite easy to pull up coverage of acrimonious political debates surrounding new golf course construction, line items in municipal budgets, and other sorts of data. The fact of the matter is that private daily-fee golf isn’t subsidized to any significant degree and that fact is completely unremarkable and known by people familiar with golf. I’d be shocked if there were coverage of this fact for me to link to simply because it’s not what normal people would consider “news”.
    Generalissimo Franco is STILL dead and privately owned golf courses are STILL private!

    You want to rail against the concept of muni golf, I’m there with ya, buddy. But it’s obvious that whatever problem you have with golf and/or people who play golf has led you to assume things about private daily-fee golf that you can’t back up with facts.

  46. Government golf is unfair to taxpayers and golf course owners and may actually lower the amount of greens and golfers in the state. Municipal courses should be sold to the highest bidder.

    I completely agree with this. But let’s please distinguish between government-owned, private daily-fee, and private member clubs. According to
    this story
    , the breakdown among the three types is muni:15%, private-daily: 58%, and private-member: 27%. I am not opposed to making that 17% go down to 0. If you want to hate on golfers, be my guest, but do so based on facts.

  47. I saw a TV ad for this program on CNN yesterday. I couldn’t believe how stupid it sounded. Basically, it was “Get gang members off the street by funding golf tournaments for them!” I now wonder who paid for the TV ad (IE, was it the taxpayers?).

  48. According to this story, the breakdown among the three types is muni:15%, private-daily: 58%, and private-member: 27%. I am not opposed to making that 17% go down to 0. If you want to hate on golfers, be my guest, but do so based on facts.

    First, let me thank you for doing the grunt work obtaining them. Basically 20% of courses open to the public are munincipally owned/operated.

    My comments were referring to metropolitan courses where I suspect munincipally owned/operated course percentages are somewhat higherm but that’s a facesaving quibble. 😉

    We likely agree on policy and chagrin in your case, or disgust in mine, over the golfing community’s success at picking the taxpayers pocket.

    Yeah, I hate golf but my disgust at major league sports team owners is equally intense.
    Of the four big league facilities in metro Detroit, two (Tigers and Pistons) are privately owned, one is a city owned with a sweet deal for the tenants (Red Wings) and one ~50% taxpayer money (Lions).

    Nice talking with you, Doctor. The lack of insults and profanity moves a discussion right along.

  49. Municipal courses should be sold to the highest bidder.

    Since these courses are typically passed off as “parks” (e.g. they look like parks on a map and cities typically include them in their park acreage), I’d rather see them used *as parks*. I’m not libertarian enough to start auctioning off city parks.

  50. Did someone actually believe there was a merit system in doling out the goodies?

  51. Best Friends, an abstinence program run by Bill Bennett’s wife and ranked 53rd on the merit list.

    If I was married to bennett, I wouldn’t want to fuck, either…

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