Tuesday Morning Blues and News

California for all intents and purposes is in the toilet economically speaking. Things have gone from bad to worse out there, as Governor Schwarzenegger is now preparing to send out 20,000 pink slips. That will leave many more Californians singing the blues.

If there’s any bright news at all coming from the state that’s been hit so hard from the recession, it’s the fact that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a new plan on Monday that is being billed as the “largest effort by a U.S. city to reduce pollution by retrofitting incandescent street lights with more efficient LEDs or light emitting diodes.”

Over a five-year period starting in July, the city will retrofit 140,000 of its residential street lights with  LEDs, officials said during City Hall news conference. The project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 40,500 tons and save $10 million annually.

Bill Clinton was on hand for the announcement of the new project. Clinton said:

“This is the best place in the world — in the U.S. at least — to lead this. This is like taking 6,000 cars off the road. If every major city followed your lead, we could eliminate 2 1/2 coal-fired power plants.”

Last night AP News reported that “close to 3,000 American soldiers who recently arrived in Afghanistan to secure two violent provinces near Kabul have begun operations in the field and already are seeing combat.” AP is also speculating that President Obama will soon make a decision about “sending additional troops to Afghanistan.”

The NY Times editorial board said today it’s time to make the U.S. food supply a priority. We’ve had far too many episodes of “dangerous food,” of late.

President Obama will sign the stimulus bill today in Denver. It’s reported to be just the “beginning” of his economic plan:

Obama will hear from automakers Tuesday on how they’ll restructure to get more taxpayer bailout money. Then he’ll sign a $787 billion stimulus bill in Denver and fly to Phoenix , where on Wednesday he’ll unveil how his administration will spend at least $50 billion of Wall Street rescue money to begin halting mortgage foreclosures nationwide.

And sometime during the hectic week, the Treasury Department is expected to provide more details on a $100 billion -plus plan for the federal government and private investors to team up to rid bank balance sheets of toxic assets. Those are the distressed mortgage securities and other complex financial instruments that investors are shunning, and that are crippling bank balance sheets and restraining lending.

On their own, each of these developments would be dramatic by historical standards. But for any of them to succeed, they’ll need to work in unison with the others. 

Finally, the new Governor of Illinois is purging Blago’s people, while Blago picked Senator Burris, is making his own headlines once again. That’s what I love about politics, the drama.

[Originally published at TaylorMarsh.com]

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