Matt Drudge Is Mad at the Stimulus Bill for Not Keeping KosherS

Matt Drudge is pointing out that the stimulus package actually went to purchase pork and other crazy things like food by linking to some contracts on the Recovery.gov web site. We spent $5.7 million on "process cheese"? Crazy! Why?

Because people can't afford to eat, and cheese has nutritional value that can help sustain life. One of the stimulus contracts Drudge links to—the implication being that the expenditure is somehow inappropriate or wasteful or contrary to the stated purpose of the stimulus package—paid Bongard's Creameries, a Minnesota farmer's cooperative, $5.7 million for processed American cheese.

We called Bongard's to ask what the contract was for. Vikki Anderson, the company's sales director, said she wasn't 100% sure, but she assumed that it was for the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—food stamps. "I think it was for SNAP," she told Gawker, "because most of our delivery locations are food banks."

Losers! What a waste. We assume that the various swine products that Drudge has searched for on Recovery.org—"$2,531,600 FOR 'HAM, WATER ADDED, COOKED, FROZEN, SLICED, 2-LB'"—are similarly intended to feed people who can't afford to buy food because they don't have jobs. Still—the porkulus is being used to buy pork! We thought it was supposed to stimulate the economy. How does using pork to buy pork stimulate the economy? Sean Hannity will ask this question in roughly 11 hours.

Well, one way would be by preventing people from starving, so that they might survive the recession and get jobs. Another way would be to employ people who slaughter and package pork for a living. Because when people can't afford to buy food, they don't buy food. So the people who make food don't have anyone to sell the food to, and so they lay people off, and then the people they laid off can't afford to buy food, etc.

Also: The stimulus package was intended to help people buy food. It says so right here on the same web site that Matt Drudge linked to in order to ridicule the notion of spending stimulus dollars to help people by food:

Matt Drudge Is Mad at the Stimulus Bill for Not Keeping KosherS

UPDATE: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has responded directly to Drudge. Which was a very bad idea, since a) all Drudge did was put up links, so there is no specific claim that needs a response, and b) now Drudge can put up a big headline bragging about how he dragged the secretary of agriculture into a fight about ham. Which of course he has. Also, Vilsack inexplicably zeroed in on the idea that Drudge is accusing the USDA of spending millions on one two-pound ham: "The references to '2 pound frozen ham sliced' are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy '2 pounds of ham' are wrong." It's crazy to think charges like that merit a response, and in doing so, Vilsack is just lending credibility to Drudge.

[Photo by Duncan Cumming via Flickr.]