Archive for the ‘Stimulus Act’ Category

By CFS

Two days ago I posted something that people found offensive, vulgar, and homophobic. To anyone I may have inadvertently offended with my words i am truly sorry. I honestly didn’t realize it would be taken in that manner.

I didn’t stop to think, and filter out what might be offensive. I shot from the hip while my temper was up. Thank to those that informed me of my errors, I have learned a valuable lesson that I could only learn through making such a mistake.

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by Lesley Lotto

Oh damn Tim Pawlenty, a devout Christian, is waiting until Monday to announce he’s running for President in 2012.  Joy and #Rapture.  I mean, couldn’t he have announced tonight?  Then I could have watched him on Fox and had his voice lull me to sleep.  I would like to go with everyone else in a peaceful manner and I cannot think of a more boring person to listen to as a take my last wink. snore… If the world really is ending tomorrow, as Harold Camping tells us, why would Pawlenty wait until Monday for his big announcement?

Yes, the former two-term Governor of Minnesota has announced he’s going up against Obama.  You know the President who recently pissed off the right by declaring there should be borders up in Israel like before the “Six Day war”.  (For you non-Jews, that’s one important war.)  As a Jewish person, I find it way offensive when Christians, I’m talking to you Glenn Beck, get all hoity toity about what should be done in Israel and how the US has it all wrong.  George W. knew what to do, but Obama, the Muslim, he knows not.  But I digress…

Pawlenty is believed to be the only serious candidate for the Republican party.  Hell Newt Gingrich’s “campaign” has already taken a death spiral.  (Have you seen that Gay Confetti video?)  Pawlenty could have run for a third term as Governor with his tidy record of conservatism, the not raising taxes and the being against abortion, except for those pesky core issues he mulled for a minute like raising taxes on cigarettes to balance his state budget and that nasty moment he considered Cap and Trade legislation. Then there’s the 5 Billion Dollar Budget hole he left for the new Governor and his taking of Stimulus Dollars from the Fed, what a thing!

Now Sarah Palin has reared her gorgeous mug and mane again, not wanting to stay out of the limelight for even a second, to say, “I’ve got the fire in my belly”.  Oh holy hell, she’s pregnant again?  No, and damn, she’s just toying with a run in 2012.  She wants to stay in the conversation, dontcha know.  After all why would she let Pawlenty  (a really tangible VP candidate pairing for McCain back in 2008) get all of the attention from the “Elite Media”?

Palin and her co-hort, Rep. Michelle Bachman also of Minnesota, oh please let the two of them run on the same ticket, are both considering a run in 2012.  But who could be the running mate when they both have the fire in the belly and all?  Bachman is loved by the “Tea Party” and Palin is loved by angry, old white men.  You know the type that will fondle themselves tonight to the likes of a threesome with Bachman and Palin before the world ends.

Meanwhile, Obama is getting down with the serious issues of our time and has no time for the nonsense of this all.  But then again if the world DOES end tomorrow, why would he care?

By @CarFreeStpdty

Hell, we haven’t even found the path yet!

Nor have we seemed to figure out that we should  put the shovel down and stop digging ourselves a bigger whole with the policies our exalted officials seem to enjoy passing.  It’s about time we woke up to the need of reforms that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are willing to deliver, (probably preaching to the Choir on that one).

Attempts in the past 2 years to stem financial catastrophe have only led to further enriching the global elite, exporting our wealth, continuing the trend of  impoverishing this country’s middle class, and holding off true reform measures for some later day of reckoning.  Four recent articles do a good job of  highlighing this problem:

  1. Are the American people obsolete?
  2. Do the Rich Need the Rest of America?
  3. U.S. employers push increase in cost of healthcare onto workers
  4. How to End the Great Recession

Continue Reading »

by @CarFreeStpdty

As construction on the three block stretch of North Higgins grinds towards completion the final character the street will assume is slowly coming into view.  The question is… “will this ultimately create a safer environment for everyone and help to promote business downtown?”  I sure hope so…  I personally think this is a great project, one that is much needed along this stretch of Higgins with the ever increasing popularity of the Farmer’s Markets.  Saturday mornings in downtown are becoming almost unbearable with the number of people frequenting the Saturday Markets… maybe City Council should outlaw those ridiculously huge baby strollers to help alleviate foot traffic… I would hate to see the carnage caused by a three stroller pile-up.

Anyway, foot traffic downtown has certainly increased to the point where giving over more space along this stretch of road makes sense.  A decade ago the Farmer’s Market was respectable, but I would venture to guess that visitors have increased by a factor of three or four over the last decade… especially with the success of the Clark Fork Market.

The North Higgins Streetscape is well ahead of schedule thanks to economic stimulus money.  Originally the idea of downtown business owners and the BID, and first proposed in Greater Downtown Master Plan, the project is meant to create a more inviting, calm, and safe urban environment for pedestrians and cyclists along this often congested downtown corridor… encouraging people to spend more time – and thus money – downtown.

Pedestrians have already had ample opportunity to test out and benefit from the extra real-estate given over to them as the series of bulb-outs have been finished for some time.

While the curb-extensions work well at creating a safe pedestrian environment, at this moment I’m skeptical of the other half of the project… the new, integrated cycle-tracks seen below (in their unfinished state).

Continue Reading »

 

by JC

ProPublica has a chart of all the stimulating transportation projects listed by state. You can see Montana’s projects here.

Road and bridge projects are expected to make up one of the biggest chunks of the jobs created by the stimulus package. We’ve put together a chart of more than 5,800 projects that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Once given the green light, states can put the projects out to bid, contract them and begin construction work. So far, about 2,300 projects are under way. See the chart.

You might say that Missoula County is unique in the proportion of projects devoted to alternative transportation projects like bike/ped paths/lanes. Great falls get a bunch of sidewalks. Billings gets big roads.

On the bottom of my list of fun projects is the Scott Street bridge resurfacing. Something about the sound of 2 million dollars worth of concrete grinding and dust and jackhammers running all day and evening that just… grates on my nerves. Not to mention all the dust that is settling on everything outside my house, and creeping in during these hot summer days when it is mandatory to keep the house wide open whenever the inside is hotter than the outside.

In related news, the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program will let you trade in your old gas guzzler for a $4500 credit towards a new ride. That’d buy a lot of nice non polluting bikes, but alas, you have to go petro (or hybrid).

It’s all starting to make sense now. Spend money on new roads, give people money to buy new cars. Encourage people to get back to that good ole ‘Merican dream to see the USA in your new Chevrolet! The uniquely American way to avoid depression (personal or economic–take your pick). I guess if you can afford a loan for the price of a new car (minus $4500), or if you can qualify for said loan (not too many Montanans I know) then it might be a pretty good deal.

Let me know when there’s a program that’ll allow me to trade the junker sitting in my alley for a nice shiny new mountain bike, to ride on those new bike lanes, and I’ll know that trickle down really works!

By JC

“…We’re going to see  continuing  job loss, even as the economy is beginning to stabilize.” –President Obama speaking at Macomb Community College in Warren Michigan this afternoon.

I see this as the ultimate oxymoronic statement. I daresay that for those hundreds of thousands of people who are losing their jobs this month, and the millions more unemployed by year’s end, that the economy is doing anything but “stabilizing.” Of course, maybe if you are a stockholder or employee of Goldman Sachs, and reporting record profits since 2007, things are looking pretty rosy right about now.

Maybe the stimulus is working as planned…

And nice news blurb during a break during the Sotomayor hearings. Only one person arrested so far today, as best as I can tell.




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