Thursday, June 21, 2007

There Goes Rhymin' Simon: Paul Simon to Join Chris Dodd on Iowa Bus Tour

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 578

Well, this will perk things up on the road! From the inbox:

"Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Paul Simon will join presidential candidate Chris Dodd and his family for part of Dodd’s 'River to River' bus tour of Iowa during the week of the Fourth of July. Simon will campaign with Dodd on July 6th and 7th, appearing with him on those days’ tour stops and adding informal performances to Dodd’s events.

'I am thrilled that Paul will be joining Jackie, our daughters, and me in Iowa,” said Senator Dodd. “Paul is a long-time friend and one of the most important voices in American music, and he has been tireless in his service to the greater good of people throughout our country and the world.

'His music and his commitment to bettering our world reflect the leadership and optimism that my campaign is all about.'

Simon will join the Dodd family at stops in Mason City, Fort Dodge, Sioux City, Carroll, and Council Bluffs."

And every stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band...


Obama Publishes Budget Earmark Requests

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 578

In a move aimed at burnishing his good government credentials, Senator Barack Obama today made public his budget earmark requests for the FY2008 appropriations bill.

The requests for funding - often referred to in the media as "pork barrel" projects - consist of 113 separate items totalling more than $300 million dollars. The dollar amounts of the individual earmark requests range from modest to multi-million and run the gamut from education and health care to infrastructure improvements and defense-related R&D. In disclosing his earmark requests, an Obama spokesman issued a challenge to the other presidential candidates to follow suit.

Obama also released his tax returns earlier this year. Chris Dodd has also made his returns public.

Looking at the list, there's nothing that seems too outlandish here, so putting this out there is likely to entail little risk for Obama, and it positions him to put pressure on other candidates to match him on transparency and accountability. This is the kind of day-to-day tactical move that is a hallmark of solid campaign work.

For those who are interested, here's the shopping list. Full details can be found on Obama's Senate website:

- Adler Planetarium, to support replacement of its projector and related equipment, $3,000,000
- AIDSCARE, Inc., for general operating support, $750,000
- AIDSCARE, Inc., for completion of the North Lawndale Campus, $2,000,000
- Aledo, IL, to support its replacement of two aging water towers, $750,000
- American Red Cross of Illinois, for emergency preparedness, $5,000,000
- American Theater Company, for the construction of a new facility in Logan Square, $200,000
- Army Corps of Engineers in the Chicago District of Illinois, to support permanent construction of the Asian Carp Barrier, $7,500,000
- Army Corps of Engineers in the Chicago District of Illinois, to support Operations and Maintenance of the permanent Asian Carp Barrier, $1,000,000
- Army Corps of Engineers in the City of Rock Island, to support construction of Sunset Marina Harbor Entrance Improvements, $500,000
- Army Corps of Engineers in Illinois, to support project UMR-IWW System Navigation Study, IL, IA, MN, MO, & WI, $24,000,000
- Aurora University, to the Center for Latino Leadership and Education, $400,000
- Benedictine University in Lisle, for the First Responder Program – An Education Initiative for Public Safety Officers and Iraqi and Afghanistan Veterans, $1,750,000
- Carpentersville, IL, for the Carpentersville Community Response Team, $500,000
- Carthage, IL, to develop the Illinois 336 Corridor Carthage Exchange, $1,350,000
- Center for Advanced Design, Research, and Exploration (CADRE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for development of rapid wound healing therapies, $4,800,000
- Center for Advanced Design, Research, and Exploration (CADRE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, to develop a hand-held device used in combat, $2,000,000
- Channahon, IL, for road upgrades, $12,000,000
- Chicago Children's Advocacy Center, for Facility Improvements, Renovations, and Expansion of the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center for child abuse support services, $500,000
- Chicago Children's Museum, for the construction of a new Chicago Children's Museum facility, $1,000,000
- Chicago Children's Museum, for its Community Health and Wellness Initiatives, $300,000
- Chicago Park District, for the development of DuSable Park, $3,000,000
- Chicago Public Schools, for their Chicago Reading Initiative: Supported Literacy Programs, $4,000,000
- Chicago State University, for research into unmanned aerial systems, $5,000,000
- Chicago State University, to develop a sustainable and portable power system for military operation, $5,000,000
- Chicago State University, to the HIV/ AIDS Policy and Research Institute, $1,000,000
- Children's Memorial Hospital, for the construction of Children's Memorial Hospital Intensive - Care Unit Facilities, $3,000,000
- Columbia College Department of Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling in Chicago, for its A.I.M. Program in partnership with the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center, $3,000,000
- Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago (ESMC), for its therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research, $1,500,000
- Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities in Springfield, for its Training Health Professionals program, $500,000
- Field Museum, for roof repair and rainwater diversion, $4,900,000
- Field Museum, to support the expansion of the Halls of the Americas, $1,000,000
- Franklin Park, IL, for construction of the Grand Avenue Underpass in Chicago, IL to ease congestion and increase traffic safety, $3,000,000
- Galesburg, IL, to support construction of a new water treatment facility at the Oquawka, Illinois facility along the Mississippi River, $1,500,000
- Governors State University, for the Center of Excellence in Health Professions Education, $1,000,000
- Illinois Central College, for its Central Illinois Collaborative Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiative, $3,000,000
- Illinois Institute of Technology, for research into impact-resistant materials, $1,500,000
- Illinois Institute of Technology, to support its Integrated Advance Energy Systems Research Initiative, $750,000
- Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA), for the Electronic Health Record Project IPHCA, $2,000,000
- Illinois State University, for the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline Programs and Partnerships, $300,000
- Illinois State University, for the Great Lakes Teacher and Preparation Leadership Preparation Consortium, $500,000
- Illinois State University, to improve manufacturing competitiveness with further development of the Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory (IML), $500,000
- Johnsburg, IL, to support construction of additional sewer lines, $2,000,000
- Lake County, for its Integrated Criminal Justice Information System, $1,000,000
- Lee County Highway Department in Amboy, Illinois, for road upgrades, $300,000
- Lewis and Clark Community College, for its mobile health clinic to provide healthcare services to rural areas, $350,000
- Lewis University Airport in Romeoville, for the extension of its primary runway, $3,420,000
- Long Creek, IL, to support construction of new water towers to increase its water capacity, $660,000
- Loretto Hospital, for the Launa Thompson Women's Health Pavilion, $550,000
Loyola University Chicago, to the Center for School District Leadership for distance learning, $1,000,000
- Manteno, IL, to connect existing and proposed parks in Kankakee County as part of the Manteno Greenways Trail System, $860,475
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Rock Island, for the renovation and expansion of the Center, $1,000,0000
- McHenry County, for its Sheriff's Office law enforcement communication system, $1,000,000
- McHenry County, to widen Miller Road, $500,000
- McHenry County, for Flexible and Sustainable Training Solutions Initiative, $600,000
- Memorial Hospital, for necessary equipment upgrades for vascular disease diagnostics and screenings, $1,800,000
- Memorial Medical Center, for Advanced Flatplate Cardiac Catherization/Electrophysiology Laboratory, $1,000,000
- Metra, to expand and improve service, $65,000,000
- MetroLiNK Transit in Rock Island, to build a new state-of-the-art MetroLiNK Maintenance Facility, $5,000,000
- Millikin University School of Nursing, for the expansion and upgrade of their nursing program, $500,000
- Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation in Chicago, for the acquisition and operation of Asthma Vans, $300,000
- Moline, IL, to address congestion in the I-74 Corridor, $8,000,000
- Morrison, IL, for construction of a railroad overpass, $3,812,000
- Mount Carroll, IL, to support reconstruction of its water distribution system, $2,000,000
- Mujeres Latinas en Accion, for the Parent Support Program and Women in Transition Program, $295,000
- National Center for Family Literacy, for its Family Literacy for All Expansion, $250,000
- National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for its cybersecurity initiative, $7,500,000
- National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for its Technology Research, Education and Commercialization Center (TRECC), $5,000,000
- National Myoclonus Center, for the expansion of the National Myoclonus Center, $400,000
- Normal, IL, for the construction of a multimodal transportation center, $10,000,000
- Northeastern Illinois Sewer Consortium, for sanitary and storm sewer system upgrades, $500,000
- Oakwood, IL, to replace its water distribution system, $836,000
- Ogle County Highway Department, for the Southwest Rochelle Truck Loop, $150,000
- Olympia Fields, IL, to make safety upgrades and improvements of the 203rd Street and Crawford Avenue, $1,000,000
- Oregon, IL, for Route 251 & Steward Road Intersection Improvements, $125,000
- Orland Park, IL, to expand U.S. 45, $450,000
- PACE Suburban Bus, to replace the radio system in all of its 672 fixed route buses, $2,500,000
- Patterson, IL, to support replacement of its "Drake Road" water main, $138,000
- Peoria, IL, to support its construction of its combined sewer overflow replacement, $500,000
Poder Learning Center, for workforce training program, $200,000
- Regional Climate Center, for the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC)/Illinois State Water Survey, $6,000,000
- Riverside Healthcare, for a Computerized Physician Order Entry system for Kankakee, IL, $2,000,000
- Rochelle, IL, for phase two of the Jack Dame Road/Union Pacific Railroad Overpass, $1,000,000
- Rock Island Arsenal, to repair the roof on Building 299 for additional manufacturing space, $6,200,000
- Rock Island Arsenal, to support a more robust capability to rapidly produce up-armor vehicle kits, $10,500,000
- Rock Island Arsenal, to renovate and expand Rock Island Arsenal's combined Fire and Police Station facility, $3,500,000
- Rock Island Arsenal, to support the development and enhancement of flexible lightweight metal technology, $1,350,000
- Rockford College, to enhance classrooms, $490,000
- Saint Xavier University, for nursing skills lab equipment, $500,000
- Saint Xavier University, for the expansion of an early childhood professional development center, $900,000
- Shawneetown, IL, to support updates and replacement of its water distribution system, $550,000
- Shedd Aquarium, for its At-Risk Youth Mentoring Initiative, $600,000
- Spark College, for real-time writers and captioning training project, $750,000
- Southern Illinois University, for the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, $2,000,000
- Southern Illinois University, for the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, $1,025,000
- Southern Illinois University, for the School of Medicine Simmons Cooper Cancer Institute, $2,200,000
- Southern Illinois University, Purdue University, and University of Kentucky, for coal research, $5,000,000
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), for the National Education, Science, and Critical Skills Capacity Building Initiative, $2,000,000
- University of Illinois, College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences, for the Center for Advanced Bioenergy Research, $1,000,000
- University of Illinois, College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences, for the Illinois-Missouri Biotechnology Alliance, $3,000,000
- University of Illinois, College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences, for the Illinois Program for Integrated Sustainable Agriculture, $2,500,000
- University of Illinois, College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences, for the Soybean Disease Biotechnology Center , $2,000,000
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Engineering, for Nanomedical Technologies, $3,000,000
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to encourage further education in technical domains that can be cleared by the Defense Security Service, $2,000,000
- University of Illinois, for the Urban Teaching and Leadership Center, $1,000,000
- West Frankfort, IL, to support replacement of its Big Ditch Pumping Station, $550,000
- Wetlands Initiative of Illinois, to support its Illinois River Nutrient Farm Pilot Project, $11,810,000
- Women's Sports Foundation, for its GoGirlGo! Chicago Initiative, $1,000,000
- Center for Civic Education, for its National Council for Economic Education, $33,000,000
- National Writing Project, $30,000,000
- Reach Out and Read, Inc, $10,000,000
- YMCA of the USA, for pioneering for healthy communities, $5,000,000


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