Friday, February 13, 2009
Aid to People Affected by Economic Downturn is $36 billion... Aid to State and Local Governments, most of which is targeted at people affected by the economic downturn, gets $58 billion.
Transportation and Infrastructure, one of the areas I think can do the most good in the long-term, gets $98 billion. Health Care comes in at $18 billion, Education is allotted $48 billion and Energy $41 billion.
Science & Technology receives $13 billion (nice, would've liked to see more here, but some of the Energy apportionment could rightly be lumped here, too).
And Business gets $870 million (a very small portion of the stimulus... about 1% actually).
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The U.S. Senate voted on February 6 to limit the number of high-skilled foreign workers to be hired by recipients of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Many TARP recipients had hoped to use bailout money to hire cheap foreign labor and bring them to the United States via H-1B visas. Seeing this potential problem, the Senate has put restrictions on the amount of overseas labor which can be employed.
Well over 600,000 employees were laid off in January 2009 and 2.6 million people lost their jobs in 2008 nationwide. To stem the tide of rising job losses, the Senate chose a course of action which it hopes will encourage the hiring of American workers. This provision is in essence a “buy American” clause for corporate America. Congress holds the purse-strings for the remaining bailout funding, and is likely to put more restrictions on it in the future.
Even if you're not a fan of TARP ya gotta like this, right?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Marijuana Policy Project, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Drug Policy Alliance are all urging a Kellogg boycott.
"Kellogg's had no problem signing up Phelps when he had a conviction for drunk driving, an illegal act that could actually have killed someone," said Rob Kampia, the Marijuana Policy Project's executive director.
I don't really give a damn about Michael Phelps, but Kellogg's is being kinda hypocritical here, aren't they?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Freedom From Religion Foundation placed "Praise Darwin" billboards in Grand Junction, Colorado; Dayton, Tennessee; Dover, Pennsylvania; and Whitehall, Ohio.
Now, I'm normally an ardent supporter of FFRF, but I don't like this. Darwin was a scientist; yes, a scientist with revolutionary theory that changed the way we look at the world, but a scientist none-the-less. So I don't think the word "praise" in this context is useful, or helpful.
Conflating science and religion, no matter how useful and wonderful the message, harms more than helps. I like the sub-message of evolving beyond belief, but I think the whole "Praise Darwin" business doesn't help their agenda any. I could get 100% behind the same exact, billboard without the word praise (or perhaps substituting Happy Birthday instead of Praise, given that Charles Darwin was born on February 12, the same exact day and year as Abraham Lincoln, by the way).