The Golden Hookah Award: 37 'Arts' Organizations in San Francisco Got $1.4 Million in Federal 'Stimulus' Money

By Craig Bannister | October 22, 2010 | 8:34 AM EDT

Golden Hookah Award presents this week’s “Golden Hookah” to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for distributing $1.4 million in special economic “stimulus” grants to 37 “arts” organizations located in the City of San Francisco.

Money for the grants was slipped into the $787-billion economic "stimulus" law that President Barack Obama signed in February 2009.

While the NEA says the grants were awarded on the basis of artistic merit and excellence--and that political affiliation was in no way a part of the selection process--"arts" groups in San Francisco got more grants than any entire state except New York or California, taken as a whole.

One grant recipient in San Francisco claims credit for fostering the success of a group that puts on a live performance it describes as an experience in which “ethno-cyborgs create slow motion emblematic tableaux variants” and "some performers feel inclined to eroticize political violence.”

The Golden Hookah is the symbolic token that confers on government agencies that win our “What Were They Smoking Award” for outrageous government spending. presents the award weekly to a component of government that has distinguished itself in taking the hard-earned money of taxpayers and sending it up in smoke.

Inspired by stories that exposed federal grants used to subsidize research on hookah smoking in Syria and Jordan, the “Golden Hookah” symbolizes how a prodigal government squanders the taxpayers’ money on outrageous, unconstitutional and unconscionable programs. Each weekly video presentation of the “Golden Hookah” includes a “Taxpayer Tally,” indicating how many average American households need to work hard and pay taxes all year just to fund the winning program