The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Thursday, August 27, 2009 Volume XVIII, Number 49

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... The Pet Photo Contest put on by the Carthage Humane Society is taking place now until the end of the month. They will use 12 entries for their 2010 Calender. Entry fee is $10, no limit on entries. For info, call 417-439-7134.

Did Ya Know?... A Mother’s night out is being held at the New Life United Methodist Church Friday, Aug. 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. One child, $10, two $15. Information or reservations call 793-7841 or 438-2961.

Did Ya Know?...The Carthage VFW will sponsor a dance with the Country Boys Sat. Sept 12 from 8 p.m. until 12.p.m. $4

today's laugh

"Did you hear that someone broke into our local police station and stole the toilet? Right now the cops have nothing to go on....."

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know? " He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That’s why we ask."

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition that I sent to our attorney?

A: No, this is how I usually dress for work.

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.


Horse Ran Wild on the Streets Uptown This Morning.

The horse was so frightened that it broke its strap and dashed straight away down the west side, headed straight at the Peerless saloon on the north side. The wagon struck a rig at the gutter and broke a few springs. This swerved the runaway slightly or it would have gone head first into one of the big plate glass windows of the saloon.

As it was the horse fell on the stone walk and severed his lower lip in two and skinned up his legs. The road wagon went up on one side and the wheels struck the plate glass, but now with sufficient force to crack it. The rig was not slightly damaged and fortunately no one was hurt in the smash up.

  Today's Feature

State Applies for Broadband Funding.

The state of Missouri and Sho-Me Technologies have partnered together to apply for $142.3 million in federal recovery funds to significantly expand the reach of broadband Internet service in Missouri. A critical piece of the five-year MoBroadbandNow Project, this initiative would expand broadband accessibility to 91.5 percent of the total population.

Under the application, which was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Commerce, the state and Sho-Me Technologies will request $142,300,000 in federal recovery funds to help lay 2,500 miles of fiber-optic cable and construct 200 new broadband towers across the state. To make this project feasible, the state of Missouri would provide $25.2 million in matching funds if the application is approved and funded, and Sho-Me Technologies would contribute $8.375 million in fiber lines.

The state matching funds provided for this project would come from a $40 million allocation, from the federal budget stabilization fund, approved by the legislature this year for broadband enhancement projects.

While We’re At It, Your Fridge Is Also a Piece of Junk.

by Christopher Flavelle,

Not content to put you in a new car, the government wants you to think about a new washing machine and fridge, too. BusinessWeek reports that the Department of Energy will use stimulus cash to offer rebates of up to $200 for the purchase of high-efficiency household appliances. (You don’t need to turn in your old one.) The department has up to $300 million to spend on the program, which only covers appliances with an Energy Star seal. According to BusinessWeek, the industry could use the help: Shipments of washers, dryers, refrigerators and ovens fell by 10 percent in 2008.

Stock analysts warn that two stimulus programs are distorting market signals for cars and homes, creating artificial boosts in demand that aren’t sustainable, reports CNN Money. Only when the Cash for Clunkers program ends later today will the true state of the auto industry be apparent again, said one analyst. Similarly, the government’s program providing tax credits for home purchases obscures the fact that "inventories of unsold homes still rose and home prices are still falling," noted another.

The New York Post proves unable to resist a double entendre with its story about stimulus-funded sex research. The article cites stimulus funding for studies that examine "barriers to correct condom use" ($221,000), "hookups among adolescents" ($219,000), and "drug use as a sex enhancer" ($123,000).

This corner usually sticks to American coverage, but news today from across the Atlantic merits an exception. Le Monde reports (via the AP) that France has now spent two-thirds of its stimulus package and plans to have spent three-quarters by year’s end. By contrast, according to ProPublica’s research, the United States has spent less than 15 percent, excluding tax cuts, which are more difficult to track. To be fair, France’s stimulus is considerably smaller: Two-thirds is only $26 billion, while the U.S. has paid out more than $80 billion so far in direct spending alone. However, Francophiles will note that La Belle Pays is no longer in recession.



Fed Loses Suit Over Lending Programs’ Transparency

by Paul Kiel, ProPublica

In general, when it comes to the Federal Reserve’s activities, we know what the Fed wants us to know. As a quasi-governmental, semipublic institution, the Fed has much more autonomy than the Treasury Department—and consequently, much less transparency. When it comes to the billions it lent financial institutions through special programs launched in the midst of the financial crisis, the Fed’s stance has been against giving any information beyond the general size of its programs. (Our bailout database shows only recipients of taxpayer aid via the Treasury.)

Bloomberg News sued the Fed for more details on these loans: which companies had received them and how much they’d received. In a ruling Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Judge Loretta Preska sided with Bloomberg. The Fed’s main argument, that it couldn’t release the names of its borrowers because it would signal a bank’s weakness to the market, didn’t fly with the judge, Bloomberg reports:

The central bank "essentially speculates on how a borrower might enter a downward spiral of financial instability if its participation in the Federal Reserve lending programs were to be disclosed," Preska wrote. "Conjecture, without evidence of imminent harm, simply fails to meet the Board’s burden" of proof.

The judge gave the Fed five days to turn over its documents, but it could appeal the decision. An appeal seems likely, given that last month the Fed won a similar suit brought by Fox News (before a different judge).


Just Jake Talkin'

Carthage has the unique honor of having the first building constructed for the purpose of housing a Laubach literacy center. The local organization that grew into the current Family Literacy Council saw the need for an adult leaning center and through the volunteer efforts of a faithful few, put together a nest egg for a building fund. The enthusiasm eventually attracted the attention and contributions from local businesses and private individuals. These funds, along with help from the Helen S. Boylan foundation resulted in the purchase of property at 706 Orchard and the construction of the Francis A. Jones Neighborhood Center. Jones was an early and consistent force behind the fund raising efforts and the literacy program.

The investment of effort, dollars and service for the Community continue to pay excellent dividends.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Sponsored by Napa Auto Parts Weekly Columns

Dear Tom and Ray:

Please help settle a debate between mi and my boyfriend. We share a 1994 Honda Accord with 212,000 miles. Last summer while driving it from Iowa City, Iowa to Oakland, Calif., we had to stop to replace the muffler. We didn’t have a lot of money, so the mechanic sold us what he said was an "OK" muffler that probably would have to be replaced again in a couple of years. Lo and behold, the muffler now needs to be replaced. My boyfriend wants to wait. I disagree. I think the hole will keep increasing in size and spread into the already old and tired exhaust system. Who’s right? Should we fix it sooner rather than later, or is it fine to let it go? Jennifer.

Tom: So, your theory is that what’s attacking your muffler is like some sort of metallic flesh-eating bacteria that, if not contained will spread to other parts of the exhaust system?

RAY: Hmm. Not that I know of Jennifer. But then again, I’m not entirely up to date on my JAMAs; the Journal of the American Muffler Association.

TOM: The only way a bad muffler can affect adjoining parts of the exhaust system is if it falls off and takes something else with it.

RAY: But there are two other reasons to replace the muffler now. First, on a car with 212,000 miles it easily could be the last muffler you’ll ever need. So why not put it on and enjoy the (relative) peace and quiet for the next year or two, or however long the car lasts?

TOM: And how can you continue these debates if you can’t hear each other?

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