Say what you will about earmarks — depending on your political persuasion they’re either the bane of our democracy’s existence, a necessary evil to be carefully reigned in, the difference between between having a job and being unemployed, or simply a political reality — the fact is they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. So instead of crying about it like a bunch of emotionally-sensitive, selective memory-impaired “deficit hawks,” you could use them to do good things.
Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) announced $2.95 million in federal funding he secured in the FY2010 budget for three research initiatives at the University of Louisville. At a press conference at the University’s new downtown Clinical and Translational Research Building, Congressman Yarmuth joined U of L President Dr. James Ramsey and researchers from each of the impacted programs.
“These investments will help researchers right here in Louisville accomplish goals of national significance while solidifying our community’s position as a world-class research center,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “I am very pleased to have secured this funding that will ensure Louisville is a place where innovation thrives and drives economic growth.” [Press Release]
With help from supposedly anti-earmark Sen. Mitch “Beaker-Face” McConnell, who jointly secured two-thirds of these earmarks wth Yarmuth, the University of Louisville is slated to research a whole slew of cool new shit, namely:
- Only a Flesh Wound: In order to help The Troops avoid what is commonly known as “dying,” $1.6 million will be devoted to “evaluating whether special medicines and nutrients taken before an injury occurs can enhance the body’s ability to resist injury, trauma and hemorrhage; testing a unique topical compound to protect against infection; [and] investigating new approaches (both novel techniques and drugs) toward improving tissue health and thus reduce the likelihood of shock.”
- Dude, Where’s My Tank?: “To help the U.S. Department of Defense adopt new, improved techniques and technologies for logistics, UofL engineering experts will focus on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). These technologies, combined with sophisticated modeling and algorithms, will help military decision- makers manage logistics in “real time” enhancing their ability to respond to constantly changing situations.” Price tag: $1 million. (Plus the tacit involvement of Sen. Jim Bunning, whom will use this technology to keep from getting lost at WalMart)
- Being John Belski: Lastly, $350,000 will be employed to “raise all the components of the new atmospheric science program at the University of Louisville to the standards set by the American Meteorological Society. It gives UofL students and faculty an exciting range of new research and training opportunities in weather and climate.”