Unspent Stimulus Money?

Audit reveals unused energy program funds


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Not So Stimulating

A new government audit shows more than one-third of the stimulus money authorized for energy efficiency programs and creating jobs two years ago has not been spent.

The Energy Department's inspector general says state and local governments have yet to use as much as $879 million -- 33 percent of the total $2.7 billion for those projects.

The department was supposed to distribute the grant money within the first 18 months of the program.

The report also notes apparent inaccuracies in some tracking data for the money already paid out.

Quote -- "These issues undermine one of the basic premises of the Recovery Act, that is, to promptly stimulate the economy and create jobs."

The Energy Department says it is executing plans to remedy the situation.

Political Football

The White House has assured football fans that President Obama's joint address to Congress Thursday night, will be finished before the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers season opener kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET.

But the NBC affiliates in Green Bay and Milwaukee are not taking any chances. They will not carry the president's speech in favor of the pre-game show.

However, the NBC station in New Orleans is showing the president's speech. No official word on other network affiliates' decisions yet.

Drinking Problem

And finally, a minor league baseball team has decided to scrap plans to donate $2,000 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) because the timing of the announcement was supposed to fall on the same day as a team-sponsored beer pong tournament.

The Newark Bears say they canceled the donation after MADD said it would not accept the money.

However, a statement from the Bears owner, says MADD has partnered with the Bears in the past and plans to do so in the future.