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Wasteful Government Project or Indie Rock Band?

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Earlier this week, Sen. Jeff Flake released a study called Wastebook: The Farce Awakens, a painfully Star Wars-themed report detailing what his office characterized as “egregious, outrageous and unnecessary government spending.”

The report continues a tradition established by former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., of issuing annual, barbed reports on questionable federally funded projects. (And Flake’s not the only one to pick up Coburn’s mantle. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., released his own waste report, called Federal Fumbles -- a painfully football-themed study -- in late November.)

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel took notice of Flake’s report and developed a quiz for his studio audience to test whether they could tell the difference between the senator’s description of allegedly wasteful federal projects and the names of independent rock bands. The examples he provided:

  • Sheep in Microgravity
  • Jets to Brazil
  • Super Furry Animals
  • Life-Sized Pac-Man
  • Car Seat Headrest
  • Suspicious Bar Coasters

Can you tell which is which? Watch the clip below for the answers.

By the way, lest the waste-watching senators get too self-congratulatory about their efforts, Kimmel said that “most projects on the list are science experiments that sound dumb if you don’t bother to learn why they’re being conducted.” And he also noted, “of course, for I think like the ninth year running, the most wasteful program to come out of Congress is Congress itself.”

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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