by Kevin Allman
Let's talk stimulus. No, not the "Stimulus" promised by the Krewe du Vieux parade last weekend -- but the stimulus breakdown of "shovel-ready projects" (and ain't "shovel-ready" already your least favorite cliché of '09?) proposed by the nation's mayors to President Barack Obama.
Now you can check, track, rate and vote on the proposed stimuli on a new Web site, Stimulus Watch, which
"breaks down all 'shovel-ready' projects for which this city has requested federal stimulus funding. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not."
Here's the New Orleans page, with a total of $304,269,644 in various stimulating categories, many of which have to do with repairing the airport ("Expansion of Concourse D - 6 additional gates and reconfiguration of taxiway" -- $42,451,800.00; 1053 jobs) and various streets and drainage projects ("New Sludge Line to the River - provide separate, redundant discharge line to the Mississippi River" - $6,200,000.00 - 36 jobs).
There are also some weird little tuck-ins there that seem tailor-made for talk-radio outrage (do the Feds really need to be kicking in $2000 for a paint shaker?), and others that are a little bit too large to be so vague ("Preventive Maintenance - fuel, parts, etc." - $10,000,000.00 - 0 jobs). Lots of reading there to chew over, whatever your political persuasion or feelings about being stimulated or not-stimulated.