Are Americans Ready to Appropriate More Tax to Public Transportation?

My favorite thing about CNN.com is the polls on the right side of the home page. I’ve referenced them several times on this blog.

A poll this weekend definitely signaled a sign-of-the-times sea change in public opinion of your average CNN.com visitor. Clearly influenced by the seemingly endless rise in prices at the pump, two-thirds of the 130,000 or so who answered the survey selected yes when asked if they’d support using more tax money to improve the public transit system. Note: it did say using more tax, not paying more tax, however, I believe that most people see the phrase “more tax” and think “outta my pockets.”

cnn poll public transportation tax

Here’s to hoping that this is a glimpse of a real sea change revealing a clear path for government to finally improve, build, and subsidize public transportation systems that could be critical to such vital assets as: our infrastructure; our expenses; our environment; our oil dependency; our local economies…

If the federal bias continues to be pro-war anti-infrastructure, there are several ways this can be dealt with on the state and local level.

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An Impromptu FriendFeed Experiment (*includes narcissism)

I got home from work at 10 tonight, heated up some soup and cracked open a bottle of Shirazкомпютри втора употреба intending to prepare some e-mails for the morning. But after making my daily check of Friendfeed, I was suddenly inclined to procrastinate, or shall I say, experiment, with FriendFeed. Having been in on the Friendfeed frenzy since its early days (joined February 4 according to the welcome e-mail) I felt a twinge of frustration that my items in my Friendfeed were never (OK, barely) “liked” or commented on. I even instinctively changed my profile photo thinking that maybe I just looked scary or unfriendly. Then, before hitting the soup I half-assedly posted a vanity shout-out, just to see if I was really invisible, or if Friendfeed was fostering a good-spirited, web 2.0 early-adopter-centric community in its nascent pre-Alpha test phase.

friendfeed screenshot

The result: despite my admittedly lame and value-subtracted content/link, I received a half-dozen “likes” and comments in the 15 minutes it took me to finish my soup. It didn’t hurt that early adopter man-and/or-machine Robert Scoble jumped in on the parade, as the Friendfeed stream is weighted on the users side based on who their friends are *and* who their friends’ friends are. While Friendfeed’s popularity is still ramping up among the already-hip-to-microblogging set, early adopters like Louis Gray and Scoble (whose enthusiasm for the product hasn’t waned since I discussed it with him briefly in March) have only bolstered its stature and reputation by remaining Active (with a capital ‘A’).

Friendfeed is perfect for the ADD media junkie in many ways. It brings the conversation to you and the most recent / popular discussions in your circle cycle to the top of the feed when appropriate. It makes for a good replacement for blogging — the discussion is very organic and viral, however, it can be incredibly mind-numbing trying to keep up with comments and feedback not only on your posts but also on the comments you make tangentially. Fun and utilitarian but also a total productivity killer.

I have a feeling that I will continue to attract minimal attention / discussion on Friendfeed. But I am glad that I set the bar incredibly low. It proved to me that Friendfeed is an exciting place to be while it is in Beta and many Twitterers are just starting to bite and get the bug. As Julian Baldwin remarked on the above thread: “This could only happen on FF.”

McClellan: Bush DID Authorize NIE Leak, Plamegate

The Scott McClellan story implicates the president with such red hands, it almost seems like the White House will be set on fire by it’s two-term disaster of a tenant solely to incinerate all of the evidence. I exaggerate, of course. But on several talk shows today, one day after Politico.com leaked the juiciest bits from his upcoming autobiography, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” McLellan said what he never had a chance to explain to the press or even Patrick Fitzgerald: Bush personally and explicitly authorized Cheney and Libby to anonymously leak the bogus 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on WMD in Iraq to select members of the media such as Judith Miller, Matt Cooper, and Robert Novak:

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