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The most egregious examples of government waste, fraud or abuse from TWT staff. (Golden Hammer cropped logo)

Tax dollars wasted on humanities projects, critics charge

- The Washington Times

It takes a lot of taxpayer dollars to subsidize a culture. American taxpayers are spending tens of millions of dollars this year funding National Endowment for the Humanities grants that, among other things, finance research projects that look into the lives of pets during Victorian England, consider the history of black Americans in golf and study the culture of tea consumption in India.

Waste watcher: "The only way to stop wasteful Washington spending is by shining a light on it whenever and wherever it occurs, even if it is in your own state," says Sen. Tom Coburn, who is releasing his last Wastebook before retiring. (Andrew Harik/The Washington Times)

Tom Coburn highlights ridiculous government spending in final Wastebook

- The Washington Times

This year’s Wastebook does not show the $5,210 that the State Department tried to spend on a blowup, human-size foosball field for an embassy in Belize. But the fact that the project isn’t in Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual report on ridiculous spending choices is probably one of the biggest victories of the report, because it means the State Department canceled the project after the senator’s staffers asked about it.

John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa hearing on Examining U.S. Reconstruction Efforts in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Afghanistan anti-corruption task force shuttered amid U.S. troop drawdown

- The Washington Times

The Pentagon this month will terminate a critical task force responsible for combating corruption in Afghanistan as it tries to reach President Obama’s target force of 9,800 U.S. troops in the country — adding to concerns about oversight and accountability in a government rife with waste, fraud and abuse.

U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman emailed an abrupt statement to reporters in June saying he was "angered and saddened" by "baseless allegations" and had never "engaged in any improper activity." (Associated Press)

Prostitution shenanigans rock State Department

- The Washington Times

State Department managers created the appearance of giving “undue influence and favoritism” by quashing or delaying official probes into accusations of prostitution solicitation, sexual assault and document leaking by American diplomats in recent years, a report by the department’s internal watchdog said Thursday.

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Afghanistan National Army soldiers march during their graduation ceremony at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 1, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Afghan military destroys 16 U.S.-supplied planes, sells scrap metal for 6 cents per pound

Sixteen military transport planes bought by the United States government for the Afghan Air Force (AAF) at a cost of nearly $500 million were recently destroyed by the Afghan military and sold for scrap parts at around six cents per pound, prompting a government inquiry to determine why millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on the ill-fated program.

The seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs is seen on the building in Washington, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Under investigation at VA, official sought move to Energy Dept.

- The Washington Times

The central figure in a Department of Veterans Affairs procurement scandal, whom investigators ​accused of ​strong-arm​​ing​ the agency to hire a well-connected firm then lying about it, ​was set to ​begin a new job overseeing contracts for the Department of Energy (DOE) ​starting ​next week​, according to an internal announcement​.