New Mexico ranks first in greenlighting stimulus projects

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That’s according to the ProPublica Reporting Network, which crowdsourced a spot-check of 520 projects across the country. There’s a great article up (compiled by my buddy Amanda Michel) showing the state of stimulus funding in the 50 states. New Mexico appears to be doing well:

The federal Transportation Department data, listing the status through Aug. 7 of approved road and bridge projects in all 50 states, show a huge disparity in progress nationwide.

New Mexico is the furthest ahead when it comes to green-lighting projects, having issued a notice to proceed for all its approved projects.

According to Michel, the coming wave of construction is the big take away:

But in most cases, approved projects were still in the pre-construction phase, the Spot Check reporters found. “Construction is supposed to begin the first week of August, but I have yet to see any progress beginning,’’ wrote Coulter Jones, who looked into a $3 million paving project in Luzerne County, Pa.

Reports from the field came in over a two-week period in late July, so it’s possible some have advanced in the meantime. Coulter checked back last week, for instance, and found that work had begun on the Pennsylvania project.

In some cases, construction delays appeared to be the result of contractors’ schedules rather than red tape.

Looks like there’s some construction coming your way (no matter where you live).

Grant County Stimulus Funding

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The good people at ProPublica broke down the Recovery Act funding on a county-by-county level. Here’s the money going to Grant County. For example, you’ll see that Western New Mexico University received $1,423,579 for Pell Grants this year. If this page over at College Data is correct, that’s enough to cover full tuition for 415 in-state students. With all the layoffs in Grant County recently, hopefully it’s being put to good use.

Making laws with the Congress you’ve got…

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That famous Donald Rumsfeld quote comes to mind as I watch this Huffington Post video of Congressmen using every move in the book to avoid answering questions about Barack Obama’s citizenship:

The video is via David Waldman over at Congress Matters (which you should be reading if you’re not already), who aptly describes why this shouldn’t be as funny as it is:

Look how uncomfortable they are even addressing the “question” of whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States, lest their wack-a-doodle “base” become insulted and threaten to teabag them, or whatever the hell it is they’re so afraid of.

You think they’re gonna grow a spine on an actual issue of substance? What are you, a damn idiot?

When the Senate gives away the farm on health care reform, remember it’s because we’re trying to appease these Representatives so they’ll sign onto a “bipartisan” bill.

Kicking the dead horse: an online transcript

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My sister is really good about letting me know when I’ve been talking too much on IM:

me: Man
Back in like 1998
I picked up this version of Carmina Burana on CD for $1.99
and I listened the hell out of that CD
And now when I hear a version, it never sounds right to me
Aislinn: what a bargain
me: I’ve bought 4 different versions since then
And still can’t find one that’s “right.”
Aislinn: weird
me: I know
Either the tempo is off
Or the tenor can’t sing right
Or, even worse, the soprano sucks
Aislinn: i’m sorry
me: LOL
It’s OK
I still enjoy it
It’s just a little nag, you know?
Like watching your favorite movie, but one of the actors was different
Aislinn: yeah, i get it

All the above said, the version I just picked up on iTunes by the London Symphony Orchestra is pretty damn amazing.

Post meme from Dan Carlson.

Avelino FAIL

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I was working on a little Sunlight project regarding Read the Bill, and it required me to give the FAIL treatment to a photo I took this afternoon (more on that later). I sent the image to our creative director, Kerry. Or so I thought:


Yes, I’m an e-mail attachment idiot. The embarrassment doesn’t stop there, however. Kerry sent the above around to my coworkers, and in an attempt to explain myself I replied to everybody saying I was using Gmail’s “Forgotten Attachment Detector,” (yes, I forget attachments often).

Except I didn’t hit “Reply All,” I just hit “Reply.” So, Kerry made a wisecrack, and I had to admit to him that I was trying to send the message to everybody:

Sunlight Foundation Mail - very meta FAIL

I’m going to step away from the computer now, before I hurt myself.