Wednesday, February 4, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: YES WE CAN!

Disclaimer: I swear like a sailor in this and use A LOT of capital letters.

***Also, someone in the US Department of Justice has bookmarked my little blog. So if I suddenly disappear, you know why :)*** (That's a JOKE DOJ person, a JOKE; I'm glad you're here. And please, comment on anything you like.)

This post is a general overview of the bill. A primer, if you will.

I will post more detailed information on each section as I can, since I know a lot of people have VERY busy lives. So I will do my best to provide as much information as time allows as I work on my own thing (it's just my dissertation, that's all).

(Update 2/5/09: I have lists of funding for Titles I and II; and posted one today [Feb 5] for III and IV. Here's line by line for Titles V and VI added today, February 6)

However, as an American, it is your civic duty TO READ IT, TOO (when time permits; read it to the kids at bedtime :).

When we voted for Obama in November, only THREE months ago (TODAY!!!!), we made him a silent promise, too.

We promised to do our part.

If he fails, we fail.


I have read so many people who claim NEVER again. Well, the time has come to walk your talk America.

We stood by for too long and let the politicians tell US how things were going to be.

And where oh where has that gotten us?


Screw the newspeople and the politicians.

The GOP has been trying to pull the same Rovian psycho-crap on us, keeping us scared and stupid, just as they like us.

What they have been telling us is shyte. Complete and utter shyte.

And frankly, I think these ass holes have NO idea who they are fucking with.

We progressives have a lot of pent up anger (at least this progressive writing this post) at being told we're stupid, wrong, satanists, who want our women to have non-stop abortions, while LGBT folks turn people into LGBT people by getting married, and that WE want our country to fail.


Two corrections to WRONG "information" being propagated about this legislation; I know there's more but I must limit this post to a readable length (and get to the point, sha!):

This bill will be effective NOW: not a year from now (yes, appropriations will take longer than direct spending, but it will be better in the long run).

There's no money going to A.C.O.R.N. Look at page 250. "Neighborhood stabilization program:" emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes; construction of early childhood and development centers in these areas to promote regrowth and redevelopment.

Here's the truth:

America with everything we take for granted everyday being taken care of: clean water, safe food, safe, reliable public transportation, reliable, clean energy. The knowledge that we can keep our homes and feed our families and keep the doors to our small businesses open, KEEP OUR JOBS or change to a new job that is or will be created as a result of this bill.

The bill being contested by the GOP is one that will plant the seeds to start renewing our country.

Jobs, jobs, jobs
in construction.
in manufacturing.
in research and development.
in science advancement and development of emerging technologies.
in education and training.
in outreach to low-income communities.

Creating a greener America with cleaner power.
Helping farmers reprocess biowaste into energy.
Money for companies to develop advanced battery systems and advanced lithium ion sources for energy.

A safer America with:
Investment in port safety.
Restructuring our rail and water systems (in eco-friendly manners) to help us transport our goods and services.
Engineering projects to prevent flooding and minimize damage from natural disasters (Um, Katrina).

But it's even BIGGER than THAT: We are going to be in hurricane season soon. And if you recall, those seasons are getting longer and producing more fierce storms due to the little thing known as global warming.

A FEMA with the resources to relocate and retrain displaced workers.
Lodging for displaced people.
Loans for local businesses to rebuild.

School lunches for kids with safe food.
Programs for ending violence against women (legal, medical and social programs).
Major funding for WIC programs that need it so desperately.

Creating broadband access for ALL Americans despite class, location, or age.

Provisions for the use of manufactured products (like steel, and technology, and cranes, and bulldozers) MADE IN AMERICA. They don't get funds otherwise (there is a small exception, but it is unlikely).

The creation of an Electronic Health Records system that will streamline medical records and put in place a universal format for patient records and histories available anywhere. And the security to protect our right to privacy with those records. (HUGE penalties for f*ck ups.)

Money to protect small businesses.

IT'S all there, and MORE!

Oversight; quarterly reports to congress, rules and regulations about how funds are to be used and prohibitions on their use.

Transparency to the American public.

Yes, you read that right.

WE get to READ what they're up to and HELP KEEP THEM HONEST!

We dropped the ball with the frickin' banks. It was the whole "only-one-president-at-a-time" BS. Another failure by our former president that we will pay for for generations.

Yes, there are some fuzzy things about big corporations and some whacky thing about film rights as property deductions (strange). I will post on them as soon as I can.

I've been reading this document (all 736 pages of it) since about five PM yesterday. I've been taking notes and deciding how best to present it for you here.

What it boils down to is this:
This package isn't throwing money at problems, it's investing money in problems WE ALREADY KNOW HOW TO FIX, with workers and smart people and funding and stuff.

People get jobs-------->They get paid-----> We get new and better, enduring stuff-----> They spend their money on goods and services---------> American manufacturing is revitalized by all the projects---------> The government gets some money back in the form of taxes on income, goods and services------->More jobs get made--------> More people get paid---------> and so on.

Really, this is what I decided.

This package covers everyone, from small town and rural areas who need food and power and internet access, to cities who need better teachers and renovated schools, their canals and bridges inspected and repaired. And more firemen, policemen, support for our veterans, programs for better schools, better nurses, better everyone!

Programs to keep families of deployed armed service-people IN THEIR HOMES, and not thrown out on the street.



Do yourself and everyone you know and love a favor:


Talk to people about it.

Provide them with information.

Encourage them to write or call their representatives and senators. I'll bet well over HALF of those BOZOS in Congress haven't read the WHOLE thing. Cherry picking. That's all that's been done and probably by staffers and NOT the legislator her/himself.

We can make this happen by having the TRUTH on our side.



And it's about effing time.

PS: I am offering my services for questions. I have read the bill and should be able to field queries about specific details (amount of money, etc.) But really, I mean it. YOU MUST READ IT YOURSELF.

Remember how it felt when we worked so hard to get Obama elected? Remember that feeling of pride you felt when he stood up in front of our great nation and took the oath of office?

Here's that feeling. It will ALL come flooding back. He needs us. And we cannot abandon him at his first first trial. If we do, EVERYTHING the GOP and the RWFN says about us is true.

And I for one, KNOW they are WRONG!


skyewriter February 4, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

I had to republish the post.

Here's two comments left today:

Aliceson, February 4, 2009 11:52 AM

Do you have the link for the bill? just kidding, you crack me up with your enthusiasm over a piece of legislation. And from your description it doesn't sound half as bad as the repubs are making out. Thank you for taking the time to investigate for all of us!, February 4, 2009 12:19 PM

Amen! It does disturb me how many Americans depend on others to find out about things like this through the media instead of looking into it themselves to see what it's really about. Great post!

poietes February 4, 2009 at 2:37 PM  


I feel much better after reading your cogent summary/analysis of the bill. Thanks. I mean it.

willpen February 4, 2009 at 3:09 PM  


Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I will DEFINITELY read it and then pass it on.

It is dispicable to think that our elected officials are not reading the whole thing, but I totally agree that they are not.

I remember that when Patriot Act first came out, there were so many in our government who voted for this floored Act that did not take the time to read it. Now look at what we are left with.

I will be linking back to this from my blog as a "Must Read"

skyewriter February 4, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

Thanks, all for your support.

Willpen, a special thanks for the link to your blog. has a great tool for writing letters to your paper's editor.

SO much misinformation is being pushed by the conservative media.

We MUST push back!

TheBoBo February 4, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

Howdy Skyewriter - actually, I too have read the bill - both house and senate now - and I just can't get behind it at all. This is supposed to be a stimulus bill. There is barely anything in this bill that will stimulate the economy. The majority of it is pork. This is not about party - this is about America. Don't support this bill just because the Dems wrote it and Obama wants it. You should support it if it actually leads to an economic recovery. Even the democratic led CBO says it does very little to stimulate the economy.

You might be interested in this link - this is a non-partisan website put together to track this stimulus bill. Check out the link there for the google spreadsheet. It lays it all out - spending versus tax cut/stimulus and how much is in each project.

As Americans, we should be appalled at what they are trying to do here. They must think we're that stupid if we're going to let them get away with it. Obama campaigned on change...this is not change - this is the same old tax and spend policies of the old democrats.

skyewriter February 4, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

Thanks for the link, BoBo.

The website you provide is funded by the conservative Heritage Foundation; Kithbridge: a supporter of conservative talk radio; NetRightNation, and Red State?

I'll take my own reading of the bill instead of reading someone else's take on it--especially a very biased one at that.

Putting construction workers and suppliers back to work is pork?

Investing in our infrastructure, creating green jobs is pork?

Greening our buildings is pork?

I don't see it that way.

I don't agree with you that improving our energy production methods, increasing broadband (again infrastructure) access to everyone by 2011, improving security at power plants, our ports, our railways is pork.

Improving our schools, medical facilities or upgrading our grid and wireless networks to 21st century standards is not pork.

There's a lot of things in this country that have been neglected since the bulk of our dollars are going to fund two wars and pay for our greed for oil.

This bill keeps the money in this country and fixes things that need to be fixed.

Call it pork if you like.

I call it investing in our country and our future.

cmacivor February 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

Bobo, That site is from a conservative think tank and hardly what i would call "non-partisan." At site like that would only favor tax cuts.

Great post Skye. This will work. Congress is taking too long. We need to act quickly. I will put a link on my blog to you as well.

cmacivor February 4, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

LOL that we posted simultaneously Skye!

skyewriter February 4, 2009 at 4:34 PM  

Thanks, Catherine.

I have a feeling I'm going to get a lot of negative traffic by doing this, so the more all of you are informed the better.

Man, I wish I could devote all of my time to this while the last two chapters of my dissertation wrote themselves :).

Seeing Eye Chick February 4, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

Republicons are going to go nuts, because there is no money for their Churches that double as a white supremacist recruitment stations. I mean anyone else ever find it interesting that the acronym for Faith Based Initiatives was FBI? Shades of Handmaids Tale?

There's no tax breaks for the super-fucking-rich who would be just as happy if we could all survive eating their shit and drinking their piss {hows that for foul language LOL. They don't care about America or the people--Why else would they buy jets and throw superbowl parties and have junkets to Vegas on our Tax Dollars--We worked hard to give that money. I would rather give it to a single mother with 6 kids than to any of those banks. In fact I say, lets boycott those banks and companies who squander our money and demand they pay it back and exit the program!

There's no funding to outsource our jobs to India or Mexico where you can hire people for pennies on the dollar.

And I know a lot of shit was made about the STD provision. If you dont get AIDs and DIE, then how you will know that God Hates you?--OR that you should offer up your Fear-love-self loathing and self abnegation to him, or to the GOP as a proxy for God?

The Heritage Foundation is the left freaken hand of YHWH and they should just tattoo themselves with inverted pentacles and start wearing Red and Black satin robes--it would be more honest.

If it helps people, then Republicons think its pork. Republicons are so afraid they might give something away for free--even if its a charitable act of neighborliness to fellow citizens on hard times at their doing--well you can't just give it away. Hmmm where have I heard that before. You can't just give it away.

If we want America to be a nice place, shouldn't we start by being nice to each other, rather than ripping each other off and then holding tail gate parties while we watch our neighbors fail at our own hands--All that's missing are betting pools.

Thanks Skyewriter. Even if you do get a lot of negativity over this, remember these are the death throws of the bitter and the greedy--writhing in fear and self loathing.

Sidhe February 4, 2009 at 5:05 PM  


I've not yet gotten to it but I do plan to read it tonight.

I seem to have so little time for blogging these days however did take a few minutes to link over to you.

Right on!

skyewriter February 4, 2009 at 5:18 PM  

seeing eye:
No one can put it quite the way you do.

I love it!

cmacivor February 4, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

The Republicans are proposing what BUSH would propose. It's nothing new.

Watch this you Tube Video:

It's McCain saying that the "Fundamentals of the economy are strong" right before the stock market crash and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, AIG and so many more.

They are intellectually bankrupt and they have driven us to economic ruin.

They don't GET IT.

itsallgrey February 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM  

Wow..thanks for taking the time to read it. I'm a little saddened by "politics as usual" in the House and Senate after it seemed maybe some things would change.

I'm crossing my fingers, though!

Shady Lady February 4, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

Hi Skyewriter! I'm going to keep this simple. Thanks for posting this. I like what you had to say.

I don't like getting into political discussions because of my remembering problem (the one I posted about a while back.) I remember what I decided but the reasons why, well, they always seem to leave my brain.

All that said, I'm with you all the way and I appreciate your post.

P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate your comments, too!

Julieann February 8, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

I agree with most of what I've read on your blog. However, I haven't seen any comment about illegal aliens. I have spent many months living in Mexico over the past few years, and I know of where I speak. Here in California we have many illegals, they illiterate in Spanish, unskilled laborers, criminals, and babies, for the most part. The come here for employment and to take advantage of our social welfare programs and they send millions of dollars "home." (The three largest components of the Mexican GNP are oil, tourism, and money sent from the US.) They are not interested in becoming Americans, in fact, they don't like us at all, although they like American products because they are of better quality than those generally procured in Mexico. They want our "stuff." They don't want to learn English, understand our credo or values, participate in our democracy, or PAY TAXES. Maybe it was true thirty years ago, but Mexicans do not contribute millions of dollars to the social security system than they take out. In fact, considering housing, health care, and food programs; each Mexican illegal costs tens of thousands of dollars. I am not a racist, but a nativist. I do not want Mexicans participating in any jobs programs paid for by American taxpayers.

skyewriter February 8, 2009 at 7:46 PM  

Hi, Julieann:
I have only posted on the first eight of the total sixteen titles in the bill (which is 736 pages long); after the sixteen Titles comes over 200 pages of tax provisions.

I've linked the entire bill for visitors to read for themselves several times in this post. I am a graduate student and am working on my dissertation-- so have time only to post in chunks, not on the whole, except for this very quick overview.

I can tell you from my memory of reading the entire bill between Monday and Tuesday (all 736 pages), I don't recall anything specifically about immigration--other than as I posted on Friday (Feb 6, in Title VI).

Most of the funds I've posted on thus far in my close reading/writing relate to upgrades, construction, and payroll monies for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

You might scroll through it yourself to see if your concerns are addressed.

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