Archive for February 9, 2009

Stimulus Bill Spending Details

Posted in Politics on February 9, 2009 by gyma

I’ve grown weary of listening to the talking heads repeat, ad nauseam, the few talking points being distributed on the stimulus bill.  Via the Pro Publica website, I finally found a link to a press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations that contains a bit of information on what spending is included in this bill.  Here’s a summary:

NTIA for Broadband – $7 billion
Public parks – $3.4 billion
Military Base Construction:
     Child development centers – $353.8 million
     Health/dental clinics – $314.5 million
     Warrior transition complexes (!) – $505 million
     Military family housing – $135 million
     Barracks – $831.5 million
     Army National Guard – $150 million
     Air National Guard – $110 million
Department of Defense Modernization – $3.2 billion
VA Hospitals – $3.7 billion
Department of Homeland Security – $4.7 billion
GSA – $1.4 billion for construction/repairs to federal building
Border Stations – $1.2 billion
Corps of Engineers – $4.6 billion
Bureau of Reclamation – $1.4 billion
DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration Weapons – $1 billion
Affordable Housing Block Grants – $2.25 billion
Highway investments – $27 billion
Mass transit – $8.4 billion
Competitive grants to state/local governments for transportation – $5.5 billion
Aviation – $1.3 billion
Railroads – $3.1 billion
Maritime transportation – $160 million
Roads on public lands – $830 million
Public housing capital fund – $5 billion
Payment guarantees to owners receiving Section 8 project-based rental assistance – $2.1 billion
Homeless prevention – $1.5 billion
Environmental cleanup of former weapon production sites – $6.4 billion
Local clean and drinking water infrastructure – $6 billion
EPA environmental cleanup, including Superfund – $1.2 billion
Water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas – $1.4 billion
National Science Foundation – $1.2 billion
NASA – $1.3 billion
NOAA – $1 billion
NIST – $475 million
State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for local school districts and public colleges – $39 billion
Title I – $12.4 billion
Special Education – $13 billion
Pell Grants – $13.9 billion
Job training – $3.4 billion
Vocational rehab – $500 million
Employment services – $400 million
DOE for development of clean, efficient energy – $39 billion
Replace federal fleet vehicles with alternative energy vehicles – $300 million
Upgrade federal buildings to increase energy efficiency – $2.5 billion
Upgrade DOD facilities with green technology – $613 million
Rural business initiatives – $400 million
SNAP (food stamps) – $16.5 billion
WIC – $500 million
Senior meal programs – $100 million
Early childhood programs – $4.6 billion
Health information technology – $3 billion
Biomedical research – $10 billion
Evaluation of different health care services/treatment options – $11 billion
GAO for overseeing spending in the bill – $110 million
Small business loans – $730 million
State and local law enforcement – $3.5 billion

And a few more programs I didn’t bother to copy.  The press release is only 14 pages long, so go ahead and click through to see for yourself and to get more information.  According to the top of the press release, the above accounts for $289 billion and apparently isn’t all the spending.  So what got left out of the PR, and are the tax cuts really the majority of this bill?

I’m also wondering how much of the above will be sucked up by Halliburton.


The ‘Beautiful’ Martha Washington

Posted in History on February 9, 2009 by gyma

marthaIf given our druthers, who amongst us would prefer to have our “picture” taken when we were in our 40s or 50s?  Not too many.  I don’t know why there are no surviving portraits of Martha Custis Washington as a young woman, but it’s a shame to think we’ve been introduced to her only as an old, crabby-looking woman.

I am an amateur genealogist who has often come across a document that describes someone as comely or handsome, but the surviving photographic evidence belies such adjectives.  It’s not that I don’t believe that such beauty existed as much as I understand how life changes our appearance, often not for the better.

I love that forensic anthropologists took it upon themselves to disabuse us of our incorrect impressions of Martha Washington.  We should all be so fortunate.

I think Martha would approve.