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Government Researches Side Effects of Combining Malt Liquor, Marijuana on Your Dime

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Stimulating Conversation

Remember the president's $787 billion stimulus package that was going to turn around the economy? Well, we're finding out where some of the money went. Bozeman, Montana is spending almost $50,000 on new tennis courts.

More than $389,000 is being sent to a New York college to study the combined use of malt liquor and marijuana in young adults. That grant was awarded almost eight months ago. And according to recovery.gov — the government Web site that tracks stimulus spending — it has created or saved a total of two jobs.

And Northwestern University received $712,000 to build a machine-generated humor model. The study hopes to "create intelligent comedic performance agents ... for the enjoyment and illumination of everyday citizens." The project is less than half done and reported 3.6 jobs.

New Assignment

The Justice Department's voting rights chief who recommended going forward on a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party has been removed from his post and transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina.

The Washington Times reports Christopher Coates signed off on the original complaint that accused several Black Panthers of intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station last November. The complaint was later dismissed by Obama political appointees at the Justice Department.

A spokeswoman says the decision to move Coates to a new position has nothing to do with the case.

Thirst Quencher

Faculty members at the University of California, San Diego are using federal dollars to develop a GPS-enabled cell phone that would direct illegal border crossers to drinking water. The "Trans-border Immigrant Tool" would allow users to follow arrows on the screen to nearby water stations.

With $15,000 from a federal grant, the designers hope to hand out the phones for free in Mexico.

University of California, San Diego faculty member Brett Stalbaum dismisses critics who say this will encourage illegal immigration, arguing: "There are many areas in which every American would say— I don't like the way my tax dollars are being spent. Our answer to that is an in-your-face, so what?"

— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.

Chris Wallace is the anchor of FOX News Sunday (FNS), Fox Broadcasting Company's Sunday morning public affairs program. He joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2003 and is based in Washington, D.C. Click here for more information on Chris Wallace