We all know Wayne Rooney's contributions to club and country but how do we place a value on his usefulness? Manchester United, for instance, paid Everton £25.6 million in transfer rights before the 2004-05 season to secure his position. Rooney himself earns £90,000 per week excluding bonuses for goals, appearances and &c. He makes more from advertisers who value him in the millions. All in, he could easily rake over $20 million. Eitan, for his part, values Rooney at £4.15 which is what he bids this morning on eBay for the Wayne Rooney Match Attack trading card. Plus 75p postage. A pack of six Match Attack cards BTW goes for 35p on the high street but sadly, no pink bubble gum stick like in my old days. Eitan's pricing £3 over the going bid and represents the entirety of his savings depleted already from the neighborhood toy-store Pandemonium. When I ask him to confirm his order before I click, he replies: "what do I care about money? I'm just a kid." (we are going to have a little talk later about this one). I like the idea of Eitan experimenting, under my watch, with eBay to understand the idea of a market with multiple players each with a unique value interpretation. eBay makes it exciting - we now around awaiting the outcome - Eitan in nervous expectation but he is plump out of money should Rooney go higher. I cannot imagine.
Madeleine earns Star-Player status for today's morning effort.
Photo from AbC News.
Saturday, February 28
Friday, February 27
And I am happy - Friday! I receive a complementary issue of "Compliance Monthly" whose tag line is "Practical, plain English guidance to the world of compliance." God, I would jump from a bridge before reading this. Here are some of the stories: "Document management a priority for 2009" and "Where next for the Regulator?" ZZZZzzzzzz. Trailhead Capital, based on fund sizes closed in 2008, ranks 17th in the world following groups like Lazards, CSFB and Monument. Not bad for a one-man-band. I'll celebrate by going to bed early. Yesterday, when I ask Eitan how his day has been and he's replied with the usual "everything same, dad" he recalls his lunch where he and a small group of his miniature colleagues show the Mayor Of Richmond around the school. This honor bestowed upon him as a class-room rep - a position selected by his fellow-students in a vote of hands. He's fairly matter-of-fact about such blessings and explains how he took Her Royalness to see the new school kitchen and the Tim Bernard Lee auditorium. The Mayor asks all sorts of questions like "what's your favorite lunch meal?" I understand from Eitan that the kids handled themselves maturely, no farting or speaking out of line though a boy from another class was loudly concerned about missing afternoon class. Just another day, ho-hum. Madeleine, meanwhile, always makes it interesting: she lies to our nanny about school treats to get more at home and caught out by her best friend Jackson, who later on tells the truth unaware of Madeleine's earlier, ahem, position. Madeleine of course angry at Jackson, there's a row, and I come home to no-desert for her. Again. I love Madeleine for it.
Sonnet and I visit Hats at the V&A, which opened to the public Monday to great fanfare and a party with Kanye West and others. Sonnet hangs. The display is really about Stephen Jones, who is Britain's, and indeed the world's top milliner. Born in Chishire and schooled in Liverpool, Jones hit the London fashion scene during its explosion of street style in the late seventies - Ozzie and Vivian were coming up then. He opened his first shop, in Covent Garden, in 1980 and while he hatted many musicians and celebrities, Boy George was his Big Break. Who of my era can forget that look? Jones made millinery seem modern and compelling using materials that were often radical, and in designs that ranged from refined to whimsical, his exquisitely crafted, quixotic hats encapsulated the fashion mood of the moment. My favorites include ostriche and peacock feathers; improbable cubes and circles, braids and wraps and colours. Colour! From BG, Jones went on to Diana's petites and Kylie Minogue's showgirl headdresses - while, for Dita Von Teese, the burlesque super-star, he fashioned the tiniest of tricornes. He designed hats for the Rolling Stones and Marilyn Manson and his roster today includes Pink, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce Knowles and Alison Goldfrapp. Sonnet's colleague Oriele curated the display and bravo to her!
"Stephen Jones is the maker of the most beautiful hats in the world."
Anna Piaggi, Italian Vogue
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
The Beatles, Abbey Road
Photo of Stephen Jones from www.catwalk.com
Thursday, February 26
The Cantebury Cathedral, pictured, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England; not surprisingly, it is also a World Heritage Site. I have lunch Tuesday with Batstone - and indeed, he calls me "Orenstein" when we greet. Batstone is very English and very traditional media - he spent eight years at Carlton Television and seven at The Economist where he was a Director of Business Strategy. He is changing with the times, however, having become a principal and operator in iAnnounce.co.uk, which takes newspaper obituaries and weddings and hosts them via their network. Batstone and I met during the go-go years also known as Web 1.0 and remained friendly during the fall-out afterwards. I think we appreciate our peculiarities or at least differences (at least this what I appreciate about him). He once informed me, matter of factly as I awaited my British passport, that being English meant three things: A) how to carve a roast; B) mix a proper spirit; and C) to tie a bow-tie. Whilst drunk. Every February since 2003 we reunion over lunch, paid for by the loser of a bet. The wager is set one-year in advance and usually media related - past positions have been: Amazon still be around (2003); Google valued at 50% (2004); David Montgomery discredited or in jail (2005); Alistair Darling to back-down on the £25,000 non-dom tax (2008). Usually we go to spiffy media celeb spots like Christopher's or J Sheekey; this year St John's which unfortunate as I suffer food poisoning the night-before. But this for another time. Batstone and I consider the demise of newspapers and surprisingly the Economist flourishes - its circulation is flat or even up in these down-times and they retain their advertising rate. He notes that in today's global aggressive political environment "The Economist is really what people after" and I have to agree. Sadly, looking for a photo of Batstone, I find the 1996 obituary of his wife Susan Gautier Smith who died during their first year of marriage. She was a television producer who worked with many of Britain's best comedians. She was 33. How could I not know this?
The 2009 Bet: If Britain in the bottom three of the G7 I win; if top-three, Batsone wins. If Britain in the middle - a draw
Gentleman's bet #1: Batstone predicts Sky subscribers increase 5%
Gentleman's bet #2: I predict rioting in Britain due to recession and everything else
Leon Saperstein took this photo sometime in 2003 and to my great pleasure I spent the day with him scouting "iconic locations". We begin at The Lanesborough Hotel, one of London's best, where Leon and I greet the agency-model, whose name unfortunately do not recall, and her clothing and make-up crew. There is maybe five hours of prep before we head out. Model is Norwegian-Mexican, tall and stunning; at 19 just like any kid uncertain about her career and though enjoying the attention of magazines like Marie Claire, Cosmo and others she is not clear if this for her. She seems pretty unaffected by it all, and smart enough to beware the rogues - I recall her story of visiting an island resort for a shoot which turns out to be her and ten Russian prostitutes on a private estate in the Caribbean. She recognised several of the, ahem, gentlemen and locked herself in a bedroom to her sponsor's anger; she was offered £10,000 to join the party. So from The Lanesborough to Big Ben, Parliament then Bankside and the London Eye we stroll while Leon sets up equipment and snaps shots in midst of tourists who, seeing the adulatory, think they are in presence of celebrity. This makes it difficult to work, let alone move, but I enjoy the scrum. Interesting to note BTW how anybody with a mobile or pocket camera takes own shots... which is mostly a reaction to everybody else or group-think. My favorite instance occurs at a pub where our gal changes into the outfit pictured - all eyes on her, then us - two skinny Jewish kids from the East Bay.
Wednesday, February 25
I try to make sure she knows she is loved. Sonnet enjoys a busy time thanks to London Fashion Week and the opening of Hats, which will be reviewed shortly by Suzy Menkes (hail hail hail). Last night she dines at Clark's Restaurant with the former Fashion Editor of the Daily Mail from the 70's - she was the only female editor of a national paper at the time, reaching an audience of six-million. Today, in her 70s, she retains her influence and eccentricity (this is Britain and fashion, afterall). For instance, she wears black-rimmed sunglasses 24-7. Also joining is the Head of V&A publications. Me, I get to stay home with the kids and on balance, I do believe that I have the better evening. Sally Clark BTW apprenticed with Alice Waters at Chez Penise before opening her restaurant in '83 in Notting Hill. It is one of our favorites and takes me straight to Shattuck Avenue though of course not quite the same - the Chez transplendent while Clark's simply excellent though both adhere to strict local sourcing and simple and imaginative menu. Sonnet rolls in around 11PM and I'm already sound asleep - in fact, and I'm not embarrassed to note this, I'm asleep by 8PM reading only to wake up an hour later to find Eitan listening to Manchester United vs. Inter Milan on the wireless (Eitan, excitedly: "It is the best of England versus the best of Italy!"). I order him to bed and get the usual grumble, you always tell me what to do, I can stay up as late as I want, blah blah.
I have purposely avoided Jade Goody who you may know is dying of cancer. Goody made her fame on the original season of Big Brother and then again revisiting the program in 2007 with Indian celebutard Shilpa Shetty who she offended in a British sort of way - Goody's ethnic suggestions unintentional nor meaning harm yet what the country thinks en privé. The show caused rioting in Mumbai. I have always found Goody uninteresting despite her 15-minutes of fame and public fascination. So today she is dying and was to be separated from her fiancé who otherwise jailed for 18 months. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw intervenes so the pair may spend their wedding night together - and the entire country transfixed. It is like Big Brother on steroids. On cocaine. Today Radio 4's Women's Hour does a lengthy segment on when it is OK to re-marry following the death of a partner. Jade announces she wants her husband to find love "when the time is right" whenever that may be. This on the cover of many of the dailies. It is pornography or worse - drawing from some low-brow's misery. Warhol would be entranced. Still, I admire Goody's courage - her efforts may help destigmatise cancer which is otherwise often suffered by families in silence or shame. This may be her important contribution to our society generally and she deserves credit for this, rather than her tabloid.
Tuesday, February 24
Here we are, back to normal. Granted these numbers could be dubious but Wikipedia provides data on US military spending: for the 2009 fiscal year, the base budget rose to $515 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651 billion. This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production (about $9.3 billion, which is in the DoE budget), Veterans Affairs (about $33.2 billion), interest on debt incurred in past wars, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (which are largely funded through extra-budgetary supplements, about $170 billion in 2007). As of 2009, the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes. This amounts to more than the entire world combined and 8X China. And the scary thing is this: to 2008, with one exception, every department rising faster than inflation (the Virginia Class Submarine see its year-on-year nipped -1.2% which must have been on heck 'uv a battle) while base spending, ie, ongoing, up 5.7%. There are several obvious conclusions: A) what nation-state do we fear and why do we have nuclear missle attack submarines?; B) we are the most hawkish nation in the world; C) this investment does not fight terrorism; and D) no wonder our roads crumble, education declines, streets less safe and national debt ballooning. There are others, too, of course but I hope all those fuckers in the Midwest living on corn fields appreciate their machismo. We are all paying for it.
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sunday, February 22
Does it always end up at McDonald's? Otherwise, Madeleine on the look out for "buddies" or stuffed animals on the Canterbury high street and she eventually buys #110, #111, #112 - some even have names.
I am pleased to find a comics book store with rows of boxes containing sealed originals from the older stuff like "Fantastic Four," "Captain America" and the "X-Men" as well as newer "Dark Knight" and others. I strike up a discussion with the owner who looks about what one would imagine: short on height, bald, thick glasses and wearing an "ACME Comics" T-shirt. He is totally engaging and notes his mission: "just trying to keep the tradition alive" when I say there are a rare-few comics stores left.
In my yuf Telegraph Avenue owned Comics World and Comics And Comics within two blocks of each other. I learn that before 1969 new-guys Marvel Comics found themselves at the back of the dominant rival D.C. Comics (Superman, Bat Man, etc) - literally, as D.C. owned the distribution and refused Marvel and others their shelf-space; instead D.C. offered the second half, or least desirable part of the book while retaining editorial rights. From 1969, however, D.C. forced open allowing Marvel to develop its own independent comic-lines giving us Spider Man, Hulk, FF and many others in circulation still.
I ask the fellow if he has read Michael Chabon's "The Adventures of Kavalier And Clay" - which I now read thanks to Christian - the story about a couple of Jewish kids in New York during WWII and the Golden Age of the comics industry.
I end up buying him a copy and lucky for us because we find Eitan's whoopy-cushion, left on the counter, upon our return. Needless to say, its loss would have been everybody's loss.
We spend the day in Canterbury, where I have not been since our first year in London. The first and only stop is the cathedral, which looms large over the village and indeed all of England: this is the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. I hear him from time-to-tim on Radio 4's daily "Thought For The Day" which reaches six-million Brits. But the Cathedral: origins from 597AD when archbishop St. Augustine of Canterbury, previously an abbot Rome, sent by Pope Gregory as a missionary to the Anglo-Saxons; Augustine founded the cathedral in 602 (archaeological investigations in 1993 revealed the the original Saxon cathedral, which was built across a Roman Road)(The kids could care less - in fact, Eitan downright hung-dog and refuses to listen to my brochure) The history palpable - for instance martyrdom, when Tomas Becket murdered by King Henry II ("Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?"); Becket now entombed in the downstairs crypt - creepy. Henry IV and Navine also on display with The Black Prince or Edward of Woodstock and the oldest son of King Edward III and father of Richard the II; Edward an exceptional military leader and popular during his life but died one year before his father and never took the thrown. The cathedral's inside a remarkable, inspiring 90.5 meters high by 90.5 wide and I beg Eitan and Madeleine to consider the effort, if not the history. I may never be able to regard stained glass again - pictured is one of the many, and perhaps oldest in England dating to the 12 century. It is a picture of a pilgrimage to Canterbury.
Madeleine buys a "buddy" at the toy shop but changes her mind 30 seconds later; I get into an arguement with the store clerk who informs me "returns are not our policy." Eitan, unperturbed, begs me to buy him a remote-control-farter.
Yesterday afternoon ends up at the hotel lounge doing homework instead of bowling, which makes the Shakespeares grouchy. We share a table with an otherwise silent older gentlemen who, after his tea, remarks: "well, this certainly looks like homework to me" as he doffs his cap and cracks a knowing smile at me. Education belongs to everyone, you see. Bent feelings soon straightened by Manchester United vs. Blackburn Rangers, which broadcasts live on the tele. We order burgers and watch entranced - Eitan and I anyway - and Rinaldo scores the winner on a screaming penalty from 30 meters out. Eitan in ecstasy. Madeleine meanwhile stifles her yawns and plays on the coach or thumb-wrestles with me; we engage a game of 'pinch' where the objective to see who suffers longest; instructions self-evident). Before the afternoon action, we dip in the sea, only ones crazy enough to do so, at Madeleine's suggestion - ever the Dare Devil she. It freezes the feet, oh dear. I tell the kids they can have £10 if they submerge and after howls and squeels - they do. Great joy. This morning is back to routine, that is, 6AM. I am relaxed when it comes to their eating and any breakfast buffet sends them into an apoplexy - the stomach switches off the brain. After the third helping I take notice - Eitan dumps sugar on his Coco Pops and I ask the question: "do you think food effects your mood?" Both look at me like I am nuts, so I analgise: "think of burning a piece of paper... now consider burning wood..." they could care less and stuff their happy little faces.
Madeleine weighs in with a specific request for today: "I just want to go to that shop with my ten-quid and buy that gravity thing"
And Eitan, in one word: "Bowling."
Saturday, February 21
As recommended by the NYT, we lunch at Wheelers which has been serving since 1857. The restaurant has a small fish-bar that seats six and we are lucky to arrive early and get three stools together. Before us behind the counter: jellied eels, octopus chunks, salted haddock, lobster, crab, smoked and raw salmon, cockles, lemons, sea snails, giant and miniature shrimps, crayfish and various salads,+oysters, which are divine. The only condiment vinegar, of course. We really pig out - I should say I really pig out because most of the dishes a bit too fishy for the kids. After our many multiple appetisers we have crab and salmon cakes which are simple and magical - served with a small plum sauce and lite herbs. Seated next to us first are a young couple drinking own-wine and smooching between bites (Eitan turns his head) then a grubby set who, I overhear, visiting from Harvard. Meanwhile locals pass through order Styrofoam cups of whatever and I revel in their accents: "gimme a few of them, luv" and of course our grouchie female server simply won't tolerate the kids loudness or my friendly overtures - she serves us what we want and refuses to make a recommendation: "them is all good" she assures me with a sullen look. Wheelers is similar to The Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco which I know Stan loves - unlike Swans, Wheelers is cozier nor offers a seafood salad with blue-cheese, which I think an American classic. Wheelers also does not serve fish 'n chips and an elderly couple told to pitch their tent down the block at another serving restaurant. In a word: sublime.
Eitan: "Can we go bowling until midnight?"
We stroll the historic high-street which is charming and feels removed from modern Britain. Local shops include the cheesery, butchers, fruit and veg and nick-nacks - this the way it is in Paris but never here. There are plenty of tourists mingling with "old-age pensioners" (a derogatory expression if ever there was one) and I catch a couple somewhat confused that I take their picture. By far my favorite is the model-train shop. Inside, hundreds and hundreds of box-cars, cabooses and front-engines line the wall, all of similar scale and meant for the same track. I chat with the proprietor who is in his late 50s I would guess, and owns a maticulous white goatee as I would expect. He has a twinkle in his eye and essoteric knowledge - we move from trains to kit-rockets, which I once built with older neighbor Todd then blasted off at the Berkeley Arena. Today, my friend strokes his white chin and laments that hobbiest have a hard time - "model rockets can no longer be found locally," he informs me though I fail to ask if there were plenty such shops 50 years ago, as it seems like there would be. In honesty, I cannot remember the last cool specialty store - our high streets all the same combo of Boots, WH Smith, Waitrose and Starbucks or Cafe Nero. In Whitstable there is not one chain, to my relief. The kids have their allowance of £3 to blow, which they do - Madeleine two more buddies and Eitan an arrow-ship sling shot. He gloats about his deal, which leaves him with £1.50 and a power-play at the candy-store. Poor Madeleine, but I give in and buy her a bag.
Everybody in a good mood and happy to have a change from the routine - or at least football camp for Madeleine. Sonnet stays in London to catch-up on work and have some time to herself boy do I know that need. She starts with a body massage and I note that her text messages seem a bit, er, giddy. I think this the first time Sonnet has been alone since, like, ever. Or at least our marriage. Sort of an interesting thought.
The tide range at Whitstable harbour varies from about eight feet on neap tides and 15 feet on spring tides. The incoming (flow) tide flows from east to west towards the river Swale, while the outgoing (ebb) tide from west to east or towards Herne Bay. At mid-tide, the water can be flowing at close to three knots. To prevent flooding, wood jetties separate the beach divided into 20 meter squares which I assume prevent a tidal sweep onto the city front. I've seen something similar on the Long Island shoreline but never so close together.
We split London yesterday afternoon for Whitstable in Northeast Kent or Southeast England. The drive should take less than 2 hours but since we are on the M25 there is traffic and so forever. We are in Whitstabel because last Sunday's NYT's Travel Section did a profile on the town and so I thought - why not? The town is known as the "Pearl of Kent" and famous for its oysters, which have been collected since at least the Romans. The town itself dates back to before the writing of the Doomsday Book, which is pretty cool and connects us to Chichester. I am told after a decline, the oyster fishery industry now thrives. And on to oysters: last night Eitan and Madeleine try their first. Says Eitan: "a bit awkward but I guess OK." He does not venture a second. Madeleine seems to love them - "it tastes like the sea, dad!" We stay at the Hotel Continental which overlooks the water and indeed the oysters are some of the best I have ever had. A nice warm up for sure. Feeling very Bri-tu-ish.
This morning kids up 6AM - pow! -and we are beach-combing by seven. Both fill a pale-full with white shells which are later deposited at the front desk. The receptionist smiles at her own childhood memories, I imagine - she enjoys the kids enthusiasm anyways. We then stroll a few hundred years to the local pool - nice and clean, thankfully - where Eitan swims 32 laps of the 25 meters. His crawl is coming along and the easier he goes the faster, which is the big secret of swimming and most things in life. Madeleine and I play "jaws of death" and then guess-the-fish, a game she invents where I have to guess the... fish. Or crustacean. This allows for a fun goof as I toss every under-water sea creature I can think of in her direction, to her frustration. But sometimes it works: Madeleine's interpretation of a jelly-fish with feet and arms dangling I guess first try. Brils. I remember vaguely doing this with my mom at Strawberry Canyon or some other place. We discover a nearby bowling rink and believe you me we are are going back.
Friday, February 20
Friday. Britain's national debt, I read, could be reach £2 trillion or £33,000 per man, woman and child. Who can forget the National Debt Clock in Times Square from Reagan? I don't recall the per household liability peak, but the clock removed following Clinton's balanced federal budget. The swings are mind-boggling, really - these numbers should take a generation to shift but here we are again at the bottom of the barrel. No wonder nobody really seems to care or if they do - so what? The stim-u-lator will lower taxes to the middle class, which is at least better than only the top 1%. Many economist so hope we buy ourselves out of this ticket but unlikely: with no savings whatsoever Americans are likely to ... save. En masse. Or at least pay their utility bills. Remember Bush's one-off cash-cheque last year? Neither do I. In fact, I can't even say the amount - six hundred bucks maybe? - and cost the government billions. Straight to the utilities. Or gas. Or the mortgage. The cash-back plan like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic. Bush being the ship's captain. I do think the US recession will turn for the better sometime next year as it has always done since I have been alive. The lingering perception, however, will last perhaps years beyond like 1989-92 when housing prices bottomed in 1995 and some cities like LA, even later. At least we can look forward to spring and happily, daffodils poking themselves into the sun. Life isn't all bad. In fact, it is pretty good.
New York Fashion Week ends today following a week of summer displays - like pictured, forcing my lament: I'm going to the wrong beaches.
The Big Show takes place in Bryant Park where it moved in 1993 having before that begun in 1943 as the world's first organized fashion week to attract attention away from the French during World War II, when industry insiders unable to travel to Paris.
The circus moves to London next week, which has Sonnet in a flutter - the museum and her colleagues are also buzzy about hats, whose display opens around the same time. Sonnet informs me that it is "all about the fantasy" (I think: gay) which is well anticipated in this environment, escapism and all that. It is easy to be dismissive - hats? - until seeing the beauty behind something so simple and every-day. It is not only the garment, you see, but the full expression - the model's oiled hair, bared shoulder and sparkling smile+the accompanying outfit netting a sensation. Fun.
Sonnet's colleague Oriel has been working (running?) non-stop in preparation these past few months and the pre-marketing seems everywhere. But back to the runways: having been to several many of the catwalks with Sonnet and even back-stage on occassion with the models, the thing that strikes me is: how bored the girls are. And young, generally under 19. The bam! they are on display in front of the most critical eye under a bright spotlight being simply revered, loved. Whom am I to wonder if the affection is for all the wrong reasons? Did you know there is a fashion-week in Columbus, Ohio? Snort!
Madeleine sings: "Here comes the bride, a thousand meters wide!"
(she repeats over and over and over until I scream at her to stop)
Eitan has the giggles so badly right now he cannot speak. And for no apparent reason. I look at him blankly but it is hard not to join his fun. Does one ever feel this good again?
Photo from the web, uncredited.
Thursday, February 19
Here is Ray with a Kalashnikov rifle in Gilgit in August '97. I met him in graduate school when I was a student in his modern political economy class. When Ray detailed his plans to return to Central Asia I was hooked. Munir, who guided us through our trip, notes today: "things are worrisome in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan that is called NWFP. However Gilgit and Baltistan are safe as they were at the time of your visit. " Here is Ray's bio below. Me, I am just grateful we got to spend a month together exploring the Roof of the World.
"A lawyer and political scientist, Professor Horton teaches the course Modern Political Economy. A member of the Columbia Business School faculty since 1970, he served two years while on leave from the School as Executive Director of the Temporary Commission on City Finances during the New York City fiscal crisis, and later served 15 years as Director of Research and President of the Citizens Budget Commission. His publications on municipal finance and management include 14 books, numerous journal articles and policy studies. In 1983, he founded the Public and Nonprofit Management Program at the School. In 1998, that program morphed into the Social Enterprise Program, which Horton directed until 2009. In 2009, he was named Faculty Director of Social Enterprise programs in the School’s Executive Education division. As part of his executive education responsibilities, Professor Horton directs custom programs for the Center for Curatorial Leadership and the King Khalid Foundation."
Here is a selection of of what California will get under the stim-u-lator focused on infrastructure and education; there are other areas too like tax-cuts, but the below items mission-critical (in my opinion):
- $2.6 billion in highway funding that could also be used rail and port infrastructure
- $1.1 billion for investments in mass transit
- $444.8 million to address the backlog of drinking water and clean water infrastructure needs
- $4.6 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities
- $82.7 million for Head Start to prepare children to succeed in school
- $1.2 billion for Special Education Part B State Grants to help improve educational outcomes for individuals with disabilities
- $74.2 million in education technology funds to purchase up-to-date computers and software and provide professional development to ensure the technology is used effectively in the classroom
- $1.6 billion for Title I Education for the Disadvantaged to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential
Go-bama! What do we say about these conservative Governors who threaten not to take funds from the stimulus plan? Imagine their middle-class contituents, worried about a job or family, and told that the rest of the country to benefit from Federal tax-dollars accept you. Hmm... this does not seem like a particularly astute vote-getting strategy. In fact, it sounds plane stupid which, I might suggest, consistent with Republican rich-tax-cut-and-spend-blah-blah-blah agenda these last eight years (note that I say "Republican agenda" and not "Republicans" since I have been warned by several family Republicans whom I respect to curtail any direct attacks. Fair enough.)
1950s post-card from the State of California.