Stimulus

Joe Biden Says You Can't Spend Stimulus Money on Frisbee Golf

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In an apparent effort to answer that enduring question, What does the Vice President actually do?, Time's Michael Scherer checked in on America's favorite Amtrak-loving jabber-jaw and found him doing the important and Vice Presidential job of heading up our national effort to keep taxpayer money from being spent on putt-putt:

Biden's team informed states and localities months ago to scrub their wish lists of anything that might be seen as unnecessary or wasteful. White House officials were happy to sign off on bridge repairs and roadwork on busy intersections and new runway signals for strapped airports. But they have spent a lot of time trying to kill projects that sound like red alerts on Fox News: a plan for military-cemetery headstone-straightening was scrapped, as was a request for a $10,000 refrigerator to house fish sperm in South Dakota. Gone too was $7 million for Interior Department aircraft to study bird migration. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood persuaded the governor of Ohio to redirect $57 million for future road-project planning to immediate construction. Cities and states were told to stay away from swimming-pool construction and anything with the word golf in it—Frisbee golf, clock golf, minigolf.

And all the world's makers of miniature windmills mourned in unison. 

Sounds like an easy gig, though, right? Not so! Apparently local and state officials in Long Beach, California threw caution to the wind and decided to okay construction work on a bitchin' skate park:

In Long Beach, Calif., local and state officials bucked the orders from Washington. The city council unanimously approved a $620,000 skateboard-park renovation in a rough neighborhood, half-pipe and all. "It's an incredible opportunity," says local councilman Robert Garcia. "This is near and dear to my heart," noted California Senator Barbara Boxer on the Senate floor. Biden's staff has battled to kill the project behind the scenes, and the outcome is still unclear.

If we can't trust Joe Biden to weed out awesome-but-wasteful half-pipe construction from the federal tab, then what can we trust him to do? Still, I'm not worried: The Time article opens with Biden saying that if the stimulus doesn't work, he'll take the blame. Truly, friends, we have entered a new age of accountability.

Prior coverage of waste in the stimulus package by Veronique de Rugy, Nick Gillespie, and Matt Welch can be found here, here, and here.

NEXT: No Wonder Obama's in Russia

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  1. How is it wasteful?

    Does it not produce jobs and income?

  2. : The Time article opens with Biden saying that if the stimulus doesn’t work, he’ll take the blame. Truly, friends, we have entered a new age of accountability.

    If the business cycle doesn’t cycle I will take the blame.

    I think someone else said it best when they said Biden is a fucking retard.

  3. Oatwhore, the administration considers it wasteful because it makes the stimulus (and by extension the administration itself) look frivolous, pointless, and silly (which it is).

  4. It would be perfectly cromulent to spend the dough fixing all the fixtures that the sk8 doods wreck doing tricks on government-owned property, right?

    Kevin

  5. This bears repeating…

    “Joe Biden is a Goddamn retard.” – Xeones | July 6, 2009, 8:49am |

  6. I thought the stimulus was supposed to create jobs and facilities for the citizens. Well, much like roads and bridges, put-put construction creates jobs via the construction and staffing of said put-put facility. It also provides entertainment to the taxpayers paying for it. Can a road be entertaining (legally)?

    No skateparks for poor, disadvantaged youths? Joe Biden must hate the poor, children and minorities!

  7. “cromulent”

    That made me giggle

  8. “Joe Biden Says You Can’t Spend Stimulus Money on Frisbee Golf “

    Fucking bastard.

    And the preferred term is “Disc Golf.” Especially since the Frisbee brand doesn’t even make a disc that any body with half a brain would play disc golf with.

    The city council unanimously approved a $620,000 skateboard-park renovation in a rough neighborhood, half-pipe and all.

    Sweet fuck, the average disc golf course costs about $10,000 to put in a public park. Sure, that’s with a lot of volunteer work for brush clearing and the like, but still a bargain compared to a skate park that comes with millions of dollar of liability insurance.

    SLD: Of course federal money shouldn’t be spent on disc golf courses.

  9. Especially since the Frisbee brand doesn’t even make a disc that any body with half a brain would play disc golf with.

    Damn kids with your 200 gram Frisbees and your goofy pole holes. (mutter mutter)

  10. I think skaters shouldn’t be tearing up public or private property in the first place, without having to be bribed into not doing it with a $620,000 skate park. A bribe that probably wouldn’t work in the first place. If you want to grind public rails, the existence of a park doesn’t solve that. Just like throwing up a wall for graffiti wouldn’t reduce illegal graffiti one bit.

  11. Discs range from 148 to about 180 grams.

    I don’t know why you have such haterection for human-powered flying discs. It hurts me to hear you talk like this.

  12. Biden’s team informed states and localities months ago to scrub their wish lists of anything that might be seen as unnecessary or wasteful.

    Well, that explains why none of it has been spent.

  13. There is the eternal battle between Disc Golf and Ultimate. You have chosen your side, NutraSweet–and I have chosen mine.

  14. Yes. And I choose the one where the discs are actually dangerous. I don’t know if that’s a feature or a bug.

  15. Correction.

    Biden’s team informed states and localities months ago to scrub their wish lists of anything that might be seen as unnecessary or wasteful be used as ammunition by their political oppenents in the next election.

  16. It’s not the discs that are dangerous, NutraSweet–it’s the people (at least in Ultimate). Have you learned nothing from Dawn of the Dead?

  17. Epi, Sweet’n’Low, you guys are into disc-based “sports?” I never pegged either of you as the neo-hippie pothead fratboy type.* Tell me, what’s the word on the latest Dave Matthews bootleg? Is Guster’s new album any good? Can i get some weed from one of y’all?

    *Well, maybe Epi.

  18. If people knew where that skatepark is being built their opinions on the matter may change. This park is in a not very nice part of Long Beach and is pretty much the only recreational facility in the area. Plus jobs are created and all that.

  19. I thought the stimulus was supposed to create jobs and facilities for the citizens.

    That’s what they wanted us all to believe, but I’m afraid that the real purpose of the stimulus was primarily to buy votes for the midterm election next year.

    I’m starting to hear increased noises from the usual suspects for a SECOND stimulus package. Maybe the next one will be the real stimulus!

  20. Xeones, you knucklehead, disc-based sports are a mere extension of racket-based sports such as tennis. Control through the arm and wrist of the implements of play. You should know all about that, no?

    Besides, NutraSweet plays disc golf because he finds it easier to get his disc in the hole than a ball in the hole.

  21. Yes. And I choose the one where the discs are actually dangerous.

    How long have you been throwing glaves?

  22. Xeones,

    Disc golf and Ultimate don’t have too much of an overlapping player base.

    Disc golf is the perfect sport for the libertarian demographic. Most of them are slightly overweight former D&D players / science fiction fans and there are almost never any women playing (thin ones anyway.) When women do play, people gawk and point.

    Any of this sound familiar?

  23. Maybe the next one will be the real stimulus!

    :::Shoots milk out of my nose:::

  24. Xeones-

    You heartless bastard. Have you seen the damage a disc can do? It’s like a paper cut, except it’s made by plasic. It could get infected and they could die!

    Wait- would that be a feature or a bug?

  25. How long have you been throwing glaves?

    Not much lately, but I’d be pretty good at it.

    Seriously, though… don’t throw a golf disc at someone. They have a fairly sharp edge, are dense, and you have to throw them pretty hard to actually get it to fly. Even a ricochet off a tree can break the skin and leave deep bruises. Even a falling disc would hurt to get hit with. They can dent the shit out of a car even after flying 200 feet.

  26. You all are missing the most important point of this entire post. Where on earth will South Dakotans going to store their fish sperm without that $10000 refrigerator? Just imagine what future generations will miss without South Dakota’s ability to artificially inseminate its native fish populations. The horror!

  27. And before you ask, no, I don’t proofread.

  28. Disc golf and Ultimate don’t have too much of an overlapping player base.

    Way to go and ruin my joke, jerk.

    Xeones, Ultimate is like soccer with a frisbee. There is a ton of running. It is not for the out of shape, and there can be collisions (I cracked a rib once) and people diving for the catch, etc. Disc golf is like, well, golf. However, the disc in Ultimate is harmless, unlike disc golf.

  29. “Milt, it does a body good” just ain’t gonna fly with room temperature sperm.

  30. SugarFree | July 6, 2009, 4:33pm | #

    I was as surprised as everyone else to see an impromptu PSA from Sugarfree.

  31. Disc golf and Ultimate don’t have too much of an overlapping player base.

    They did at the college i went to. I crushed many an errant disc beneath the tires of my mountain bike — then continued on my way, pursued faintly by wails of “Dude, that’s not cool, brah!” and the patchouli-scent of whiteboy dreads.

    Most of them are slightly overweight former D&D players / science fiction fans and there are almost never any women playing (thin ones anyway.)

    Actually, that sounds more like some dudes i knew in high school. The progression to disc golf did seem to come pretty naturally.

  32. The Superdome, 1979, fist day of rock n roll. My first concert. A radio station had given away hundreds of flying discs. Some braniac tossed one from the highest level. It was going nearly straight down when it hit some unfortunate bastard right ‘tween the eyes. Dropped him like a sack a spuds. paramedics hauled him off. It was brutal.

    I prefer lawn darts.

  33. Art,

    Sorry to break from the usual callous disregard for human suffering I normally have. 😉

    No, I’m just a big player and fan of the sport. I really enjoy it and think most people would if they tried. I really wish I had started playing earlier in life. I didn’t start until I was 30 and I’ll never be very good. Especially now with my stupid arm.

  34. I mean, the message was good, but I couldn’t help but imagine, “Hi, I’m Hit and Run’s Sugarfree…” cheesy production values, grainy video…

  35. I’ve actually played Frisbee Golf (and ultimate Frisbee, too) before. Hella fun.

  36. “She was hit in the head with a lawn dart
    Her Dad didn’t see her, that’s the worst part”

  37. “Hi, I’m Hit and Run’s Sugarfree…”

    …he walks casually toward the camera, then half sits/half leans against some sort of pillar or low wall…

  38. I’d totally be leaning against a disc golf basket.

    And Epi would run behind me and scream “PORKCHOP SANDWICHES!”

  39. No, I’d be wearing a green suit and would whip a frisbee (regular, not disc golf, I’m not a monster) into your head and yell “GREENMAN”.

  40. I’d totally be leaning against a disc golf basket.

    Perfect! Why are we not employed by reasontv again?

  41. Why are we not employed by reasontv again?

    Because we are funny.

  42. Fox News: a plan for military-cemetery headstone-straightening was scrapped,…

    I dunno, I would have thought that military-cemetery headstone-straightening would be a big hit with the Fox News crowd.

    I’m not sure I understand why it isn’t already being done as routine upkeep of the cemetery.

  43. I’m not sure I understand why it isn’t already being done as routine upkeep of the cemetery.

    Not just a cemetery a military cemetery. Pretty shameful regardless of your view on wars or where they died. Service is service and the respect has been earned.

    “Joe Biden is a Goddamn retard.” – Xeones | July 6, 2009, 8:49am |

    That’s what I was lookin fer.

  44. Yeah, that’s kinda what I was thinking, hmm.

  45. The Skylar brothers tell you all you need to know about Ultimate Frisbee:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3956224549923155019

  46. That should be Sklar above. Sorry.

  47. I think skaters shouldn’t be tearing up public or private property in the first place, without having to be bribed into not doing it with a $620,000 skate park. A bribe that probably wouldn’t work in the first place. If you want to grind public rails, the existence of a park doesn’t solve that. Just like throwing up a wall for graffiti wouldn’t reduce illegal graffiti one bit.

    Skateboarding has been the most difficult thing to reconcile with my libertarian tendencies over the years, but I’ve ultimately decided to say, “fuck it” and remain loyal to fun and staying young and hot. If I am to maintain but one vice in life, it may as well be that. And I beg to differ with your assessment that skate parks (at least the ones that are built competently) don’t herd kids off the streets like a concrete Pied Piper.

    Also, this…
    $7 million for Interior Department aircraft to study bird migration.
    …might actually be somewhat useful in preventing commercial aircraft from doing the occasional belly flop into a river, though I am by no means advocating that the government be tasked with such an endeavor.

  48. How long before Team Obama decides Biden’s ceaselessly running mouth is more trouble than it’s worth?

    Biden isn’t as dumb as Quayle, but his brain and his tongue have a cold relationship.

    What does the Vice President actually do?

    Make the Secret Service try extra hard to protect the actual President.

  49. “The Time article opens with Biden saying that if the stimulus doesn’t work, he’ll take the blame.”

    Doesn’t work? Christ that fucking boat sailed a while back. The “stimulus” has been a total fucking failure even by the criteria set by this failure of an administration.

  50. What does the Vice President actually do?

    Make the Secret Service try extra hard to protect the actual President.

    My boss and i were talking about this earlier — we’re both about as far as you can get from Obama fandom, but we agreed we’d take a bullet for him if only to keep Joe the Retard or (God forbid) Nancy Pelosi out of the White House.

  51. “Biden’s team informed states and localities months ago to scrub their wish lists of anything that might be seen as unnecessary or wasteful.”

    Mind you: “might be seen as”; *not* “is” or “could be”. Too nitpicky?

  52. “If people knew where that skatepark is being built their opinions on the matter may change. This park is in a not very nice part of Long Beach and is pretty much the only recreational facility in the area. Plus jobs are created and all that.”

    No….it wouldn’t change my mind…. When I was skating back in the day, there were no such thing as “skate parks”, it was called your ‘hood. Any you didn’t grind rails cuz that was stoopid as it would damage the one thing you loved. Want recreation?? Go to the library and start learning bout how yer so called “local leaders” keep you in poverty.

  53. There should be plenty of abandon pools to skate in cali at the moment.

  54. My boss and i were talking about this earlier — we’re both about as far as you can get from Obama fandom, but we agreed we’d take a bullet for him if only to keep Joe the Retard or (God forbid) Nancy Pelosi out of the White House.

    This sounds like the joke about what you would do if you found yourself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Osama bin Laden and Kim Il Jung and you had a gun but only two bullets.

    Answer: Shoot Nancy Pelosi twice and strangle the other two.

    (disclaimer: Under no circumstances is this comment meant as an incentive to kill Nancy Pelosi) Just in case.

  55. “This is near and dear to my heart,” noted California Senator Barbara Boxer on the Senate floor.

    She then kicked off of the side of the Congressional Half Pipe, executed an ollie with some sweet air before pulling a double 180 heelflip.

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