Open Thread - Public Works

Avahome resurrects the idea of public works projects for our debate -- cho

I have to admit that John Edwards got my attention Monday night during the debate. His passion for a public works project regarding "Greening" existing government structures. This struck me as an excellent idea. Now how many government owned buildings there are throughout the US..I don't know. But putting our tax dollars back into our country thru work projects appears smart.

Stay with me:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The state of the Union — crumbling
By Eric Kelderman, Stateline.org Staff Writer

excerpt:

The numbers are staggering. More than one in four of America’s nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A third of the country’s major roadways are in substandard condition — a significant factor in a third of the more than 43,000 traffic fatalities each year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Traffic jams waste 4 billion hours of commuters’ time and nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline a year, the Texas Transportation Institute calculates.

Dams, too, are at risk. The number of dams that could fail has grown 134 percent since 1999 to 3,346, and more than 1,300 of those are “high-hazard,” meaning their collapse would threaten lives, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) found. More than a third of dam failures or near failures since 1874 have happened in the last decade.

Underground, aging and inadequate sewer systems spill an estimated 1.26 trillion gallons of untreated sewage every year, resulting in an estimated $50.6 billion in cleanup costs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

So you see when you look at the bridges, roadways, dams and underground sewer, steam, gas systems, etc. there seems to be great justification for Public Works. Following is a quote:

“Much of America is held together by Scotch tape, bailing wire and prayers,” said Donald F. Kettl, director of the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

I used to car pool with a fella who drove an old Chevy. He told me this is how the front end of the car was held together. Oh..he also used the word "paper clips".....this can't be good!

Now with the Dems, Repubs, and our President speaking Stimulus Packages..open to suggestions..just watch and see how for the public works projects will be debated to death or squashed. Surprise me..please somebody...anybody!

Lines drawn on stimulus
excerpt:

Under pressure from unions, Democrats are pushing for more spending on public works projects and Medicaid to be included in an economic stimulus package being negotiated on Capitol Hill.

This has angered and alarmed congressional Republicans, who are worried that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson seems too eager to give in to the majority party’s demands to get something done.

There you go.........."get something done". Well why the hell not? Only let's make sure we put Americans to work...pay them a decent wage and expect a decent product.

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and update your piece with the quotes of Republicans gloating about their successful obstructionism...?

;)

The Congress is there to serve the people, not the Republican aspirations for authoritarian control and dominance over the other parties.

Let's remind people of where their true allegiance lies...and the lies they tell to further their ambitions.

Stimulus bargaining chip

Top Dems stall Miers, Bolten contempt vote
excerpt:

House Democrats will postpone votes on criminal contempt citations against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers, while congressional leaders work with President Bush on a bipartisan stimulus package to fend off an economic downturn, according to party leaders and leadership aides.

Senior Democrats have decided that holding a controversial vote on the contempt citations, which have already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, would “step on their message” of bipartisan unity in the midst of the stimulus package talks.

Gee thanks guys....what a bunch of schmucks!

many of the attorneys were "fired" over their refusal to do the faux criminal investigation into Dem candidates right before elections -- had those attorneys given in and allowed the Republicans their PR campaign to smear the Dem candidates on election eve -- we'd be looking a very different makeup in elected bodies.

By giving the republicans a pass on this tactic, watch for it to play out over and over again in 2008.

I hope Dr. Shields is sharpening his pencils and warming up his hands -- there's going to be more data to add to his research into the politicization of investigations into candidates for elected positions.

Plain and simple.

...tho I s'pose you could throw in "criminally negligent" and keep the same overall piquant flavor...

No matter how you slice it, it stinks.

do not have enough votes. I don't get it..

The Repubs ought to take a clue from the Gambler.... You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run.........

They -- or their most majorly dirty dogs -- have, did and are folding up their cards and running away.

Cutting and running, in true Republican form.

...Hastert, Lott...how many others have announced retirement?

It's not just for the cushy jobs -- it's to avoid further limelight and to escape the incoming Administration, and any fallout from the public about their complicity in Dubya's dealings.

What a huge surprise.... Blunt says he won’t seek re-election as governor

One lawmaker who won’t be running anything for next year said the political scene has fundamentally changed with Blunt’s departure.

“The governor’s resigning is the tip of the iceberg,” said Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit. “It’s all of the corresponding impact that this is going to have below the water line.”

around (or over?) $100K in legal fees this past December?

Speculation has included that as possibly contributing to his resignation, which was apparently a surprise.

Ah -- here's the link to the piece -- I saw it on the DailyKos front page today:

One has to wonder if it has anything to do with this recent Blunt item:

Most recently, Blunt was embroiled in a scandal over allegations that his office routinely destroyed e-mail public records that the law requires officeholders to retain. His former deputy legal counsel has sued him and four state officials, alleging that they engaged in a conspiracy to destroy public records in an effort to hide political maneuvering by his staff.

And then there's the matter of him spending $100,000 to a high powered law firm in December for unknown legal services.

Looks like the GOP corruption is beginning to stink and yield to more and more discovery.

Curious about the similar email issue -- apparently, someone has a tactical playbook, and it includes a section on electronic correspondence.

Blunt won't back GOP candidate yet

He said he won't convert his campaign funds to personal use....... So maybe he's waiting to turn them over to a buddy!!

Addressing these issues should of course be the priority in addressing the present economic meltdown instead of meaningless chicken-in-the-pot gestures of across the board tax rebates or similar so-called stimulative measures to temporarily give consumers another go at spending.

Sounds like a good site to keep on top of.

carol

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/26/us/26govs.html?th&emc=th

There is no quick and dirty fix...

WASHINGTON — President Bush rebuffed appeals from the nation’s governors on Monday to increase spending on roads, bridges and other public works as a way to revive the economy.

Governors said Mr. Bush had told them at a White House meeting that he wanted to see the effects of his economic stimulus package before supporting new measures.

A bipartisan group of governors is pushing for major road and bridge projects as a way to create jobs and foster economic development. But the White House says the money could not be spent fast enough to be of much immediate help.