FACT RECESSION  9:45 am November 17, 2009

The Real Economy Is Booming In Fake Congressional Districts

by Juli Weiner

What is the most wasteful kind of big government stimulus spending of all? It is all the money that Obama allocated for places that don’t actually exist, like Arizona’s 15th district. (Seriously: “Arizona”!!) In fact, Recovery.gov listed a bunch of statistics about jobs that were created and saved in places that aren’t even real. “We report what the recipients submit to us,” said Ed Pound, Communications Director for the [Recovery] Board. Ha… oh, dear! Might be one less “job saved” in this Ed Pound’s congressional district, assuming either of those exist.

See, people just mail in these things, you know! It’s called “human error”—ever heard of it? It means “declining, out of sheer laziness, to Google a single fact before posting them on this government website”:

Pound told ABC News the board receives declarations from the recipients – state governments, federal agencies and universities – of stimulus money about what program is being funded.

“Some recipients clearly don’t know what congressional district they live in, so they appear to be just throwing in any number. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes,” Pound said.

Some of these federal agencies have never even heard of their own congressional districts, that’s how closely they work together.

[ABC News]

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Spike November 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

I’d like to be critical of this, but I actually have no friggin’ clue what the number my congressional district is. So it’s really quite to know that I can just make up a number when filling out important government forms. Maryland 32nd?

Chickensmack November 17, 2009 at 9:54 am

And we have always been at war with Oceania.

I never knew this line could be used for snark.

ez November 17, 2009 at 10:00 am

Spike, be damned glad you aren’t in the 6th District with Roscoe Bartlett as your rep…a dead Vincent Price look alike with zombie like desires.

depraved indifference engine November 17, 2009 at 10:05 am

This would be a great tax return strategy–I don’t know what “income” I earned, and damned if I know how to find out, so I’ll just throw in any number.

qwerty42 November 17, 2009 at 10:07 am

[re=460092]Spike[/re]: I know mine. I don’t like to think about it though: we have a lunatic representing us. Naturally, a Republican.

Mahousu November 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

Every 12-year-old boy has reported being in district 69.

Mr Blifil November 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

Why is it not sufficient to simply be aware that each citizen HAS a congressional district, and leave it at that. WHATS WITH THE LITMUS TEST???

WarAndG November 17, 2009 at 10:11 am

I thought recovery.gov was program for Republicans who spent like drunken gamblers and are still in denial by blaming this economic shit pot on Blarney Fwank.

JMP November 17, 2009 at 10:11 am

[re=460092]Spike[/re]: Hey, I know my congressional district! But then I only learned it when my Congressman was on Colbert, and 2 is an easy number to remember.

Mild Midwesterner November 17, 2009 at 10:13 am

You’re missing the important point. Thanks to the stimulus package, not a single job has been lost in Arizona’s 15th.

PeteJayhawk v2.0 November 17, 2009 at 10:16 am

IL-9 represent, holla. I’m pretty sure I exist, but I’m pissed that my zip code alone has gotten over $7 million in grants from this NOBAMA-porko-communistic-ulus (or whatever the wingnuts are calling it these days) and not a dime has gone to me. That’s some bullshit.

mookworthjwilson November 17, 2009 at 10:22 am

[re=460092]Spike[/re]: Yeah…Maryland doesn’t have more congressional districts than Pennsylvania…Maryland’s fightin 3rd in the house…

WIDTAP November 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

[re=460113]Mr Blifil[/re]: Actually no. Some citizens live in US territories.

JMP November 17, 2009 at 10:33 am

[re=460131]WIDTAP[/re]: And then there’s the people of Washington, who have an actual fake congressional district & fake Congresswoman.

Spike November 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

[re=460099]ez[/re]: Rosco Bartlet is my rep, so I guess it is the 6th. I thought it might be the 8th, but apparently not. Seriously, what percentage of normal people(ie, non-political-blog people) actually know their congressional districts?

Gorillionaire November 17, 2009 at 10:45 am

Maybe the district number would be easier to remember if each district had its own adorable animal mascot. I call dibbs on the Sloth.

lawrenceofthedesert November 17, 2009 at 10:50 am

Wingnut ABC News, aka Sarah’s Pals, doesn’t bother to report that a government agency attempting to track expenditures in a transparent way is totally innovative in Washington DC. Isn’t a major purpose of transparency to allow the public to monitor the program and let the government know if there are discrepancies? Here the system is working exactly as it should, and ABC News treats it like a mining disaster. They are just as conservatively biased as Faux News, just a bit more into covering their tracks. And their local news shows are the home of Happy Talk, which has destroyed what little credibility network-based news had left. “Hey, don’t worry about Afghanistan, we’re going to show you a tape of a dog that can drive!” Mickey Mouse should not be running a news organization.

bitchincamaro November 17, 2009 at 10:52 am


Mad Brahms November 17, 2009 at 11:18 am

[re=460157]lawrenceofthedesert[/re]: This is a shame, because Jennings-era ABC was way above any of the other networks; his coverage of 9/11, and the subsequent “war on terror” was surprisingly nuanced and reserved. But this was when “nightly news” still mattered, of course.

Heh, mining disaster. Little billy stimulus is down the well!

JMP November 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

[re=460204]Mad Brahms[/re]: Fuckin’ cancer. And it turned right almost immediately after he died, as if Disney was just waiting to pounce on the news division.

SayItWithWookies November 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

Gasp — they got some facts wrong — therefore it’s a big conspiracy! The whole thing is broken! The recovery isn’t real! The moon landing was faked! Shaped charges!
And frankly, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. Work in IT and see how many calls you get from managers (and other responsible people who should know better) who, when their email doesn’t work, will report that “The whole system is down” or “The network’s broken,” or insist that you do this or that fix before even telling you what’s wrong. Yeah, these are those people.

sludjbunni November 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

My district? Eric Fucking Cantor. That should suffice.

vladster November 17, 2009 at 11:48 am

Oh, and I thought those numbers stood for civil war regiments. Duh-ah!

Guppy06 November 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

The average American is lucky to know what state they live in. Congressional district? Who gives a fuck about Congress and its douchebaggery?

CaiteeCruelle November 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Hmm. The PA-2 had a congressman “disappear while in office” in 1873.

PA-6 is not so interesting in its history, just in its shape.

Lascauxcaveman November 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm

[re=460142]JMP[/re]: And then there’s the people of Washington, who have an actual fake congressional district & fake Congresswoman.

You must be speaking of some Washington of which I’ve not heard. Out here in WA 6, Congressman Norm Dicks* be representin’ and bringin’ home the pork bellies seems like, I dunno, forever?

(Usually pronounced “Norms Dick,” for enhanced comic effect.)

JMP November 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

[re=460352]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: You’ve never heard of Washington, D.C., the capitol of the US? Which has a delegate to Congress, Elinor Holmes Norton, who can vote on legislation, but her votes don’t count.

TGY November 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

These people are linked by bridges from-and-to nowhere.

Lascauxcaveman November 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm

[re=460524]JMP[/re]: Hahaha! “Norm’s Dick” get it? Oh, yes, the other Washington. I have heard something of that.

Also, boobies.

chascates November 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

I’ve heard of Arizona but what is this ‘Delaware’ of which people speak? One of the islands captured from the Japanese during the last Good War?

lochnessmonster November 17, 2009 at 5:23 pm

We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes,” Pound said.

Or maybe they knew some people would put the wrong numbers on so the money can’t be tracked???

LowerdPeninsula November 17, 2009 at 9:59 pm

This kind of laziness actually does make me laugh. It’s not just laziness, but pure stupidity. Congressional districts are done by population meaning that most states aren’t going to have over 15 or so. So, to have a 99th congressional district in the Virgin Islands should have gotten someones attention. Even if it was a typo for (0)9 congressional district, that’d still be FAR too many districts for a territory like the US Virgin Islands.

God, we’re stupid.

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