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Your Stupid Amendments

CongressFebruary 20, 2010 - Memo to Congress. Keep your stupid non-germane amendments off of our transportation bill! One of the most odious tools at a Congressperson's disposal is the ability to attach an amendment onto a bill that has absolutely nothing to do with the bill. Whatever a Congressman's particular issue of the moment, he has the chance to address it at the expense of a larger bill.

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In with a Bang

ISEEbannerFebruary 14, 2012 – Blogging live again today on the third day of the International Society of Explosives Engineers 38th Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique. The event is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. This event has been very well attended, and exhibitors and attendees alike seem to be optimistic about the market right now. One exhibitor told me that quarries in some of the U.S. regions they cover are starting to expand blasting operations, a good sign that a market turnaround isn't far behind.

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Having a Blast

ISEE200x150February 13, 2012 – I am blogging live this week from The International Society of Explosives Engineers 38th Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique. The event is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. 

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Highway Trust Fund Revenues Rise

nssgaFebruary 6, 2012 – According to NSSGA, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook report for the next 10 fiscal years, which includes an updated assessment of the Highway Trust Fund.  In the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30, CBO projects a 20 percent increase (to $36 billion) over last year’s receipts of approximately $29 billion, but only an average annual rate increase of 1 percent for the next 10 years.  Most of the increase in FY’11 is attributable to the expiration of tax credits for ethanol-blended fuels on Dec. 31, 2011.  This snaps a streak of five consecutive years of declining revenue from highway gas receipts into the Highway Trust Fund. And that's good news.

Voters Strong on Manufacturing, Infrastructure

barack_obamaJanuary 30, 2012 – A new nationwide poll shows that most voters want this year’s presidential candidates to take stronger positions on both manufacturing and infrastructure issues. The nonpartisan Clarus Poll found that 70 percent of the national electorate would be more inclined to vote for a presidential candidate with a strong position on America’s manufacturing industries and jobs while a solid 65 percent also said they’d be more inclined to vote for a candidate with a strong position on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. Among all voters, only Mitt Romney is rated more positively than negatively  on the manufacturing issue. Among all voters, only Barack Obama is rated more positively than negatively on the infrastructure issue.