Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Corruption everywhere!

Did Obama buy John Boehner's and Mike Pence's "no" votes on health care reform?

The right-wing blogosphere has seized on Stupak’s Friday announcement that three airports in his district received a total of $726,409 grants as the possible reason behind his last-minute "yes" vote.

“Did Stupak compromise his supposed principled stand against taxpayer funding of abortion in exchange for taxpayer dollars for pet projects?” asks one posting on Deal Watch, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee’s latest blog.


The Airport Improvement Program, which has existed since the early 1980s, awarded grants in 47 states this year. At least six of the districts receiving the funds are represented by Republicans, including Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Conference Chairman Mike Pence, whose districts received $108,738 and $75,000 respectively.

So if I understand this correctly, Bart Stupak was bought off with a grant program that's existed since the early 80's, the same grant program that this year awarded tens of thousands of dollars to airports in at least six Republican districts. I guess those GOPers are made of sterner stuff than Mr. Stupak!

Elsewhere... Dear Tea People: This video may be in need of a re-shoot.

LATER: How did we miss this??? Apparently, Bush was trying to buy Stupak's health care vote back in 2007 in an elaborate scheme whereby the Michigan Congressman would receive over $1.4 million for airport improvements in exchange for the promise to make wingnuts look like idiots. Oh, and it gets worse! He received nearly $3 million in 2006.

Grants awarded, 2007:

Alpena -- $707,750
Acquire Snow Removal Equipment, Improve Airport Drainage, Security Enhancements

Delta -- $304,000

Construct Snow Removal Equipment Building, Install Taxiway Lighting

Chippewa International -- $316,350

Acquire Snow Removal Equipment, Rehabilitate Runway Lighting, Rehabilitate Taxiway

Grants awarded, 2006

Alpena $162,000

Improve Airport Miscellaneous Improvements, Install Airfield Guidance Signs

Delta -- 1,666,361

Conduct Environmental Study, Environmental Mitigation, Rehabilitate Runway, Update Airport Master Plan Study

Chippewa International -- 749,420

Install Miscellaneous NAVAIDS, Install Taxiway Lighting, RehaBuilding

Chippewa International -- 305,900

Acquire Snow Removal Equipment

Psst- wingnuts...I know this story is one of those "too good to check" things, but try looking up "grant histories" -- it's almost like real reporting!

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:30 AM

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Alex Chilton

My friend Louise did a fantastic interview with the notoriously media-shy artist in 2000. He talks about his drug use, his songwriting (which he thought sucked), the media. Read it here [and, yeah, the website for the Hudson Current is horrendous, and the intro to the interview is duplicated for some reason, but try to ignore that]. Here's an excerpt:

LT: So you must get a lot of people that request Big Star and Box Tops songs at your shows. Does that bother you?

AC: I don't care. If people pay their money to come in, they could pretty much do whatever they'd like. There are [a few] Big Star songs that I play, but that's about all. I mean, a lot of times if people are really hollering out for Big Star tunes, then I'll tell them that they hired the wrong band, and what they wanted to see was Big Star and not me.

LT: Is it weird to have all these die-hard Big Star fans after the fact?

AC: I don't know. It all makes perfect sense to me. We never really managed to grab the public's attention and our record company couldn't quite do the right thing with us to make us a success. So it's all sort of practical. The fact that the records are good and have some good stuff on it, it sort of stands to reason that, after a while, we would have some fans. But I'm not sure I understand the cult of Big Star.

LT:I read that you said that your Big Star songs were mediocre and that Box Tops was a farce.

AC: Well, I mean, there were good things about both groups. I listen to a Big Star record and I think it's pretty good, but I listen to, you know, 150 other bands and think that they're just as good or better. And I just don't see it as something super, super special, at least not especially good in my view.

LT: Do you think that's normal? Because most people in bands are pretty proud of their old work.

AC: Well, I'm pretty proud of it, but it seems to me that what's good about a Big Star record, is that it was kind of meticulously done, very well recorded and well produced. I really think that in a way, the guy who engineered and mixed our records is what's really great about it. I mean, some of the music is good, but we were also kind of lucky that we had a really good engineer. If we'd been recorded in another way, people wouldn't hear us the same at all.

So long, Alex.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:44 PM

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