Once again, I’m happy to present a few happy stories from the agencies. These stories have a real impact on real people, but they are seldom picked up by the msm. They provide an important perspective, however, on the priorities and ongoing work being done by our current administration.

Weedy Species
DAVIS, Calif. Jan. 21, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is awarding $4.6 million to 13 universities for research to develop ecologically and economically rational strategies for management, control or elimination of weedy or invasive species.

Food Stamp Collection
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 — At a special presentation, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History acquired Food Stamp Program coupons and other related materials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the cornerstone of U.S. food assistance programs designed to ensure that low income citizens can obtain a nutritious diet.

Smart Grid Standards
GAITHERSBURG, Md.—The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued today an initial list of standards, a preliminary cyber security strategy, and other elements of a framework to support transforming the nation’s aging electric power system into an interoperable Smart Grid, a key component of the Obama administration’s energy plan and its strategy for American innovation.

Watching how the world works
January 25, 2010. NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and Google have signed a cooperative research and development agreement outlining how they will work together to create state-of-the-art visualizations of scientific data to illustrate how our planet works.

Conference Boosts International Afghanistan Support
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2010 – Defense Department officials are hailing yesterday’s International Conference on Afghanistan in London as a major step toward integrating the governance and developmental goals they say must go hand in hand with security efforts being advanced through the troop surge.

40 States, D.C., Submit Applications to Race to the Top Competition
January 19, 2010. Today the Department of Education announced that 40 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications to be considered for Phase 1 of the Race to the Top competition. Race to the Top is the department’s $4.35 billion fund to dramatically re-shape America’s educational system to better engage and prepare our students for success in a competitive 21st century economy and workplace.

Here comes the sun
Washington, DC – U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will invest up to $12 million in total funding – $10 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – in four companies to support the development of early stage solar energy technologies and help them advance to full commercial scale. The goal of this effort is to help further expand a clean energy economy and make solar energy more cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity.

Paul Wellstone, Pete Domenici Parity Act Prohibits Discrimination
Friday, January 29, 2010. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury today jointly issued new rules providing parity for consumers enrolled in group health plans who need treatment for mental health or substance use disorders. “The rules we are issuing today will, for the first time, help assure that those diagnosed with these debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disorders will not suffer needless or arbitrary limits on their care,” said Secretary Sebelius. “I applaud the long-standing and bipartisan effort that made these important new protections possible.”

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MightywoofQuestiniaHopeingtonboomer1949kesmarn Recent comment authors
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This is a great series. Personally, I really respond to positive news as it inspires me.

For instance, the weedy species piece got me involved in contacting my local conservation and preservation organization to try and get funding to eradicate the alien invasives that are infiltrating our woodlands and wetlands. I have been doing a lot of the work on my own on a tract of preservation land that is over 100 acres. I have been LOSING!

But it is fun taking an acetylene torch to the suckers and I was planning to invest in a flame thrower. Believe it or not, a flame-thrower IS one of the methods recommended to get rid of garlic mustard in the Northeast.

I’m a Rambotanista!


Garlic mustard is the bane of my existence Questinia!! I made the mistake of ignoring it in my garden one year – YIKES!!

If you ever visit Canada – drop by my place with your flame-thrower – pleeeeeease 🙂


They are truly EVIL!

1) Their seeds are viable for a decade.
2) Even plants two inches tall can set seed.
3) Even when pulled out in flower they can still set seed. There is nothing creepier than seeing pulled out garlic mustard with their flowers rising to the sky in Terminator II defiance determined to set seed.
4) They have taproots, and if you don’t get the majority of the taproot out… well you know…. more EVIL

I have spent days, weeks and months trying to eradicate them. I even tried just eating them.

I didn’t last summer, I had to take a break. Now I know my property will again appear syphilitic with garlic mustard!!


LOL – I learned all about their evilness the following summer 🙂 . I didn’t know their seeds were viable for a decade – now I’m depressed 🙁 …. I’ll never win this war!


Excellent things I never would have found myself!
I like it that they are getting to work on a smart grid. will that put things under ground? I better go back and read more thoroughly.
I’m going to throw out this link before I moesy out of here. I hadn’t seen this reported anywhere.
Not really surprising, but you’d think someone might have picked this up.
Night all.


Absolutely horrendous but not surprising and neither is the fact that it hasn’t made the news rounds.

My solution for guys like this is, chop the darned thing off.


Okey dokey friends,

Someone has undoubtedly posted this, I’ve signed it, yet in my Saturday night fog, have forgotten whether I did or didn’t. 🙁

However, Tim Tebow and his mother Pam are in a commercial that is likely to air during Super Bowl XLIV, but may be rife with inaccuracies, according to power lawyer Gloria Allred.

The ad,

which is expected to promote an anti-choice message, will be based on the theme “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” The Christian conservative group Focus on the Family has paid for the spot. James Dobson, the group’s founder, has a history of inflammatory statements and once said that gay marriage will “destroy the earth.”

Nevertheless, it’s important, and in this community, regardless of ones personal opinion or philosophy, the topic does not qualify as a “commercial/corporate” advertisement during a freakin’Super Bowl Game.

First of all, this topic is extremely personal in nature, often religiously motivated, and pretty much NOBODIES business. So, why, other than MONEY, is this commercial being aired somewhere between, tires, soft drinks, beer, pizza, and whatever the Hell else some company has walked off the pier for?

If CBS runs this “anti-choice commercial” (commercial, an anti-choice commercial, now how silly does that sound?); one cannot compare having or not having an abortion to buying or not buying 4 radial tires.

Unbelievable…could I do it…I doubt it. Would I unload my decision on another woman…not. My decision is mine. Mine, I own it. What another woman chooses to do is entirely up to her and none of my business.


Thanks for posting the good–but overlooked–news items, nellie.

I was interested in the “Race to the Top” item: 40 States and DC applied to the program.

Wonder what the rationale is for the non-applicants!? Just glancing down the list quickly, I think that would include: Texas (no surprise there), Maine, Washington, North Dakota, Maryland, Alaska, Montana, Vermont and Mississippi. (Oops, must have missed one…can’t think of it offhand 😳 ) Have to wonder why they wouldn’t want to participate in a plan to help improve education…


While I am glad to see this story and the awards given out for R&D in solar technology~~Here comes the sun~~ I am sorry that AZ did not get an award. My Rep worked hard on getting a bill passed on this very subject. She is a member of the Blue Dog Caucus (in name only?) and is getting the wrath of the RW on this bill for “wasting money.”

Tucson has a solar film manufacturing and research company. Funny thing when they expanded, they built the factory in Germany. What no sun in AZ?

KQµårk 死神

That’s they we need a real climate and energy bill because while the stimulus investment was a start it’s not nearly enough. Until dirty industries like coal start paying what they really cost the environment new energy technologies will not be cost effective.


The mind surely boggles when a conference represented by 70 countries aims to support Afghanistan is it’s construction and not destruction and yet is not newsworthy enough to hit your main news media. The ballyhoo about the time it took for your President to decide what action to take in this country, was almost non-stop, they even allowed Cheney to run off his mouth on the TeeVee about how dangerous it was to delay. Now that there is reinforced support for Afghanistan, their security and the country’s reconstruction, where are these loud mouthed oafs when the President is shoveling aside their failures which allowed the Taliban to regain a foothold in important regions of the country again, come on Mr. Cheney, what, nothing to say now?

KQµårk 死神

One of my contentions all along with Afghanistan versus Iraq was that while European elements of NATO have balked at increasing troop levels it’s not like we are going it along in Afghanistan like we did for the most part in Iraq. Before we added troop more troops NATO had as many troops over there as we did. About 40% of the casualties have been NATO troops as well. Like you said NATO and even many non NATO countries are committed to help rebuild Afghanistan. We have never ever failed to contain a security threat when our allies are with us, especially as part of the nation building process. Serbia, Kosovo and even the first war in Iraq are smaller examples but both had been successful efforts.


I’ve missed these stories, Nellie, and glad to see them back on the Planet!


PS: Where do you find these beautiful paintings?


Great list of stories, Nellie. These are good examples of how actual “progress” doesn’t merit any attention from the MSM.

KQµårk 死神

Cheers nellie great compilation. It’s good to get the news with no spin and on topics that are important and nobody discusses.

We are feeling the positive effects of the stimulus with the 4.7% growth in GDP and we will feel the long term effects of the stimulus with the technologies that are created years down the road. I’m so glad the president spanked the GOP on the stimulus because the money that was put toward spending was well spent.

I would also like to mention the DOT is going ahead with the high speed rail project that is so important to the nation as well. If we can just cut short and medium distance air travel down by 10% we can save so much money and emissions burning fossil fuels. It’s really a huge waste when you think about how many people each day travel on jets within the NE corridor to go relatively short distances like from NY to Washington when high speed rail is so much more efficient. Not to mention cutting down on car traffic as well.