Tag: Infrastructure

Atlas Shirks

 

Just a couple of quick thoughts about our nation’s infrastructure, and about what it takes to keep it healthy and robust.

It’s easy for Americans to believe that the human condition is one of relative security, comfort, and ease. That’s been the story of America during my lifetime, after all: since World War II we have enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and security. I grew up taking those things for granted, as did my own children.

Party of Government Threatens Government Shutdown

 

Things come to a head this week on Capitol Hill as Congress considers hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, reconciliation, the debt ceiling, and the tantalizing prospect of a government shutdown. Speaking of which, how awesome would a government shutdown be when every governing institution in Washington is controlled by the Party of Government™? Naturally Democrats would blame such an outcome on the minority party – would that Republicans were so competent!

At this point I half expect Pelosi to simply wash her hands and advise her coalition to vote their conscience – if any.

Member Post

 

Hugh Hewitt, 65, hosts the second-longest-running radio talk show in the United States. With hundreds of affiliates in nearly every state, Hugh is also a former attorney, law professor, former Reagan Administration official, and perhaps the best interviewer in all media. I especially love how Hugh interviews journalists from the mainstream media and expertly schools […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they dissect the much-needed resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  They also shudder as 19 Republicans in the Senate support the badly bloated infrastructure bill.  And they fume as Oregon addresses its problem of some students of color failing to meet high school proficiency standards by getting rid of the standards altogether.

Is This Any Way to Run a Railroad?

 

For more than 16 years, I managed the government affairs function for a Fortune 250 company from its headquarters in southern New Jersey, across the expansive Delaware River from downtown Philadelphia.

It was a challenge to lobby federal agencies and Congress from someplace other than the Washington, DC area. After all, there are more than 12,000 registered lobbyists in Washington (under the Lobby Disclosure Act, certain “full-time” influencers must file with the House and Senate, including periodic disclosures), and most of them live and work in and around DC’s beltway.

‘Infrastructure’ Distortions

 

The impending multibillion-dollar infrastructure deal between the Biden administration and the Senate Republicans has been hailed as welcome bipartisan cooperation that augurs well for the revitalization of this nation’s aging infrastructure—and for improving the lives of many Americans. This narrative plays so well because the term “infrastructure” now carries a seal of approval. Private expenditures may be suspect as greedy, but not public expenditures.

The great appeal of the term “infrastructure” is that it helps bridge the divide between classical liberal and modern progressive attitudes toward government spending. The most thoughtful students of laissez-faire economics do not limit permissible government actions to the prevention of force and fraud and the enforcement of private agreements. They also believe that government intervention is often needed to provide those collective facilities—such as roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, communications, and pipelines—that cannot be put together solely through coordinated private investment.

Many of these operations are long and skinny and thus presuppose the ability to assemble land from multiple owners, who in the absence of a threat of condemnation could hold out for higher prices that doom all collective projects.

Join Jim and Greg as they credit Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for tapping the brakes on the effort of Senate Dems to ram through $3.5 trillion in lefty spending priorities without any GOP votes. They also shake their heads as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten says she will try to get schools open in the fall while adding the new CDC mask guidelines still make her concerned about teacher safety in the classroom. And they throw up their hands as a lot of Senate Republicans vote to advance an infrastructure bill that spends less than a tenth of the price tag on roads and bridges.

Jim and Greg welcome poll numbers showing the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom gaining serious momentum. They also laugh at West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin for trying to pressure Republicans into supporting the “infrastructure” bill or else Democrats won’t spend trillions on that or on their even more bloated legislation. And they hammer New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for claiming he’s told the truth the entire time during the COVID pandemic.

Alexandra Desanctis Marr is in for Jim today.  Alexandra and Greg cheer Senate Republicans for blocking the Democrats’ very expensive “infrastructure” bill, which doesn’t even exist yet. They also slam House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for further politicizing the committee tasked with investigating the Capitol Hill riot by rejecting two GOP members. And they scratch their heads after President Biden’s latest town hall is filled with false statements and incoherent moments.

Today Jim and guest host Chad Benson celebrate Speaker Pelosi’s further destruction of the infrastructure bill compromise. They also grimace as problems continue to appear in the Democratic mayoral primary race in NYC. Finally, they sigh as LA county health officials recommend masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in light of the new Delta strand.

 

Jim and guest host Chad Benson celebrate the end of federal unemployment benefits in some states which is nudging unemployed Americans to return to work. They also say “I told you so” as Biden threatens to veto a bipartisan infrastructure bill if a far-left bill is not also passed using reconciliation. Lastly, the marvel at an Olympic athlete’s refusal to be reverent during the playing of the national anthem… at an event dedicated to representing your country.

Jim and guest host Chad Benson cheer on the New York Times as they publish a new op-ed detailing the evidence for the lab leak theory in a fair way. They also try to understand why the GOP is willing to make a lose-lose compromise with Senate Democrats on infrastructure spending. Lastly, they marvel at another New York Times op-ed by X-Files creator Chris Carter in which he states why he is skeptical of the Pentagon UFO report.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss Senate Republicans’ refusal to raise taxes to pay for Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill, the results of the Virginia Democratic primary, and a new study showing the unlikeliness of bipartisan friendships.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the news that Senate Democrats are running out of time – and don’t have the votes – to pass major priorities on the left. They also groan at actor John Cena’s nauseating apology to China, for simply referring to Taiwan as a country during an interview promoting his new movie. And they shake their heads as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likens a grocery store chain identifying employees who have been vaccinated to the Nazis forcing Jews to wear yellow stars.

The Fuel Shortage That Is and Is Not

 

Colonial Pipeline InfoColonial Pipeline announced Wednesday, May 12, that they had initiated pipeline restart and that complete service restoration over their entire pipeline network would take several days. This signals the near-term end to the regional fuel distribution disruption triggered May 7, when a ransomware attack was detected and the corporation shut down their multi-fuel pipeline system. However, there will continue to be gas stations with empty storage tanks for the next several days, perhaps for the next week. And. There is no fuel shortage at the system/regional level. There is a real shortage and there is no shortage. Both are true. I explain.

Background

While unstated, Colonial acted to prevent potential catastrophic sabotage, in the form of massive breaks in the pipeline or damage to pump systems along the pipeline. They had dealt last summer with a gasoline spill in Huntersville, NC. Colonial did exactly the right thing.

The American Jobs Plan has been touted by Vice President Kamala Harris as the biggest jobs investment since World War II. But how exactly will we pay for $2 trillion in new spending on infrastructure, green energy, housing, and education reform? Do the benefits of increased spending outweigh the proposal’s impact on deficits and tax rates?

Last week, Avik Roy held a panel discussion to dive in to the details with FREOPP scholars: Energy Scholar Robert Bryce, Health Care Scholar Gregg Girvan, Housing Scholar Roger Valdez, Education Scholar Dan Lips, Education Scholar Preston Cooper, and Financial Services Scholar Jon Hartley.

Member Post

 

Have I got an infrastructure project for you! Let’s shift the Earth’s axis of rotation. Yes, you heard me right: let’s move the poles! The present locations of the north and south poles are sub-optimal. Too much real estate is locked away in the freezers of Siberia, Canada, and Antarctica. We should move the poles […]

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