December 17, 2013 8:34 pm -

The year in spending included items that some might call frivolous, from a $384,989 grant for Yale University to study the duck penis to $1.9 million for “lifestyle” lessons for Senate staffers.  Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn yearly compiles the most ridiculous expenditures, this year including:

  • $10 million for National Guard advertising tie-ins with the “Soldier of Steel” movie, despite budget cuts reducing the Guard’s strength by 8,000 soldiers.
  • $7 billion for the Pentagon to destroy vehicles and other military equipment used in wars in the Middle East rather than sell or ship the items home.
  • $17.5 million for special tax exemptions for Nevada brothels, including tax deductions for groceries, wages for prostitutes, rent and utilities.
  • Nearly $1 million since 2010 for the National Endowment of Humanities “Popular Romance Project,” which studies romance novels, films, comics and Internet fan fiction.
  • $630,000 spent by the State Department to buy followers on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • $325,525 for a National Institutes of Health study that found wives would be happier if they could calm down faster during arguments with their husbands.
  • $150,000 to support the Puppets Take Long Island festival in Sag Harbor.