Archive for December, 2008

A Thing About Me

I never know how best to commingle personal information and the usual blogginess at this site, but I should probably let you know about this one thing, since it will affect blogging for at least the next two weeks. Last Thursday, as I was heading to a friend’s house to play poker, something sort of […]


Matt reads some commentary on America’s trade deficit and wonders what is to be done, saying the question is too hard for him, which I doubt. But let me offer my thoughts. The dynamics creating current global imbalances aren’t that hard to understand — basically, we’re talking Bretton Woods II. Emerging markets have figured out […]

Quote of the Day

Brad DeLong: It is somewhat remarkable how much many of the recipes the foodies are now recommending resemble those eaten in the years of dearth before the coming of the Black Death… That’s the most badass thing ever said about oats.

More on LaHood

Some enterprising folks are digging into his record — see the Wire (I think I prefer this to TOW) for a good rundown. He’s not bad, and I think it’s important to note the role expectations played in this choice. I wrote in an email yesterday that I supposed we could be happy he wasn’t […]

A Hell of a Road

Over at Greater Greater, Dave Murphy takes a nice long look at the wretched stretch of pavement that is New York Avenue, east of downtown. A number of bloggers wrote last week to complain about the freeway signs that hang over the street at the I-395 interchange, and it basically gets worse from there. It’s […]


Adam Doster says there’s confirmation of the LaHood appointment. That’s…disappointing. It’s possible that Obama wants him for GOP outreach, or that the bold moves will come elsewhere — out of another department or a national infrastructure bank. And we don’t yet know who’ll be running the FTA, or what resources they’ll have. But this does […]


People are saying that Ray LaHood, a downstate Illinois Republican representative, may get the nod for DOT. So far, the things mentioned as being in his favor are — friendship with the president-elect and his chief of staff, some pro-Amtrak votes, experience managing big projects as a member of the Appropriations committee (?), and his […]

Early Education

As excited as I am about a potential sea change in transportation funding, this is probably just as important: In the presidential debates, [Barack Obama] twice described early childhood education] as among his highest priorities, and his choice for secretary of education, Arne Duncan, the Chicago schools superintendent, is a strong advocate for it. And […]


Many familiar names appear at the bottom of this letter suggesting how infrastructure spending should go: America 2050 Infrastructure Recommendations: Stimulus-Economic Recovery-Renewal I. FIX: To immediately create jobs and stimulate economic growth we need to “fix it first,” that is, invest in the repair and maintenance of the country’s deteriorated bridges, roads, public transit, passenger […]

Homes on the Cheap

The rather magnificent, ongoing housing price downturn shouldn’t get anyone thinking that we don’t have a rather serious problem with affordable housing in this country. In most metropolitan areas, home prices remain above their 2000 levels. And many households that have been able to keep their housing costs under control have done so by moving […]