It’s Infrastructure Stupid

Think back to the campaign of 2016….one of the big promises from Trump was to resurrect our dying infrastructure…..and so far we got nothing of the sorts.

But today the party leaders and Trump will meet on how to go about getting the $2 trillion for the plan that has been set forth.

This plan will go NOWHERE….why? The only way to pay for this plan is a rise in taxes on corporations and the wealthy……

With President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders set to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible $2 trillion infrastructure package, a progressive advocacy group on Monday warned that any proposal that doesn’t include significant tax hikes on the rich and corporations “will be meaningless and doomed to failure.”

“If major tax increases are off the table, there is no way to pay for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, it’s that simple,” Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), said in a statement. “Other options, such as raising the gas tax, might be part of the package, but by themselves won’t come close to reaching the $2 trillion that’s needed.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/20/without-tax-hikes-corporations-and-rich-critics-warn-2-trillion-infrastructure-plan

Every body agrees that our infrastructure is in trouble…….ever body agrees that it needs to be updated….the problem is NOBODY wants to pay for it.

I have an idea!

Since we have spent about $6 trillion on wars in the last decade or so…cancelling those abortions would easily pay for the infrastructure they all say they want.

The price tag of the ongoing “war on terror” in the Middle East will likely top $6 trillion next year, and will reach $7 trillion if the conflicts continue into the early 2020s, according to a new report out Wednesday.

The annual Costs of War project report, from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, puts the full taxpayer burden of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria over the last 17 years at several times higher than official Defense Department estimates, because it includes increases in Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs spending, as well as new military equipment and personnel.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/11/14/price-tag-of-the-war-on-terror-will-top-6-trillion-soon/

The Fiscal Times look at out spending on wars as well….

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said in a statement last week, according to The Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2018/11/19/Problem-Our-6-Trillion-War-Tab

I think the easy answer would be the best answer.

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National Service

There seems to be a renewed interests on the policy of national service……it all started with the CCC of the FDR days….and then later with the Kennedy-Hatch Act….

The year is 2008…….

Hatch announced the bill with Caroline Kennedy, Sen. Kennedy’s niece, in New York City at the ServeNation Summit, a gathering of business and government leaders discussing public service at the anniversary of 9/11.

John McCain and Barack Obama appeared at that summit on Thursday, and Hatch said both have agreed to co-sponsor the bill.

Hatch said he and Kennedy had long discussed the bill as a way “to marry two formerly competing visions of service,” the full-time national service programs such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps pushed by Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, and less structured volunteering through charities pushed by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Hatch said it would spend $5 billion over five years seeking to draw 175,000 more people into giving a year of service to address specific national challenges.

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/700258365/Hatch-Kennedy-team-for-voluntarism.html

Obama had signed on to this idea and I wrote about it in 2008…….https://lobotero.com/2008/09/12/national-service-not-lip-service/

Fast forward to the 2019 scramble for the Dem nomination…..one of the “rising stars” Mayor Pete has joined the call for a “national service”……https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

Now The American Conservative has joined in the call for shared experience for Americans…a call for a national service…..but their idea is a “Civilian Militia”…..

I received some fascinating responses and comments regarding my recent column about how the West can save masculinity. One email in particular caught my attention. It was from a friend of mine named Troy, a socially conservative, politically libertarian member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Troy is happily married with three young children and has been working in the IT field on the East Coast. However, he is feeling torn between his desire to serve in the military and his need to continue working a job that supports his family but leaves him feeling bereft of purpose and masculinity.  

Troy recently passed a preliminary screening to beginning the process of applying to  the Green Berets and is weighing his options. Although he badly wants to serve the country, he told me he doesn’t believe that the military will allow him enough time with his young children. He also disagrees with many of America’s current military deployments overseas.

Time to Bring Back Mandatory Citizen Militias?

While I totally agree with the concept of a National Service I have a problem with this idea of a “Civilian Militia”……but I try to give all sides of most ideas…….

Any thoughts on this?

Medal Of Freedom

Closing Thought–20May19

Personally I think this medal has become nothing more than a reward for political support.

This is the highest civilian award possible…..such recipients as Maya, people who have contributed something to this nation and who does this Beloved Supreme Leader pick to give the award to….Tiger Wood.

I realize that this award in the past has been given to friends and the meg donors to campaigns….that is just wrong on so many levels……just what does architecture have with freedom….art or dance for that matter…and especially sports?

The Medal of Freedom should be given not as some reward for donations or other such nonsense but rather to those that have shown that they put their lives above anything else in pursuit…….wait for it……FREEDOM!

I nominate the students in Colorado……

The student killed in Tuesday’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in suburban Denver went out a hero. Kendrick Castillo, 18, along with two of his friends, tackled a shooter—seen pulling a gun out of a guitar case—and was shot in the chest, reports NBC News. The sacrifice “[gave] all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape,” another student says. “We’re going to hear about very heroic things that have taken place at the school,” adds Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, per USA Today. More details emerging:

  • Student suspects: One is identified as Devon Erickson, 18. Spurlock describes a second, initially identified as a male, as a female minor. Denver Channel, however, describes a juvenile suspect in the process of transitioning from female to male. Spurlock says “we originally thought the juvenile was a male by appearance,” but wouldn’t comment on whether the suspect is transgender.
  • The shooting: The pair are accused of firing on two classrooms at the public charter school after passing through an entrance without metal detectors, per the AP. Spurlock says they had a “number of weapons,” including two handguns they weren’t old enough to possess.
  • Capture: Deputies reportedly arrested the suspects within minutes, with no gunfire exchanged, per the AP. Spurlock said one of the suspects was detained by a security guard at the school, attended by more than 1,850 students in kindergarten through grade 12.
    A Columbine link?: Citing multiple sources, Denver Channel reports the motive “went beyond bullying and involved revenge and anger towards others at the school.” Some are questioning whether the shooting was inspired by the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, just seven miles away. Per the AP, “the answer was not immediately clear.”
    The injured: Eight students aged 15 and older were treated at three hospitals, including one student shot three times. Five had been released by Wednesday morning, while three remained in intensive care.
    The terror: A 8-year-old second-grader tells the New York Times of hearing his first ever gunshot. His mother, speaking for most parents, says, “We’re more messed up than they are.”

These students illustrate what it means to protect freedom…..than some sports figure.

Why did Tiger Wood get the medal?  Why not he is a close friend and a carbon copy of a womanizing douche that gave him the medal.

Trump is not the only one that does this…they ALL do it….it is a reward  not for protecting freedom but rather having an open wallet for the president.

The Medal of Freedom should be held for the highest regard as the military Medal of Honor.

Feeding The Lord Of Chaos

For the last two years or so there has been an example of the Chaos theory…….you do not have to be a math geek to realize what is happening……

Chaos or Khaos is the primeval state of existence from which the first gods appeared. In other words, the dark void of space……in the case for this post replace  space with government.

First, just what is the Chaos Theory?

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.

The Trump administration has NO form or reason…whether it is internationally or nationally….the policies are just thrown to the wind to see what plays well in Peoria.

Jeb Bush was the Cassandra of the 2016 presidential race. She was the figure in Greek mythology whose gift was being able to foresee the future — and whose curse was that she would not be believed.

Bush had the most accurate prediction of the campaign, if not of the 21st century. “He’s a chaos candidate,” he said of Donald Trump in a 2015 debate. “And he’d be a chaos president.”

https://www.nationalmemo.com/under-trump-the-chaos-never-ends/

Jeb was very prophetic……since January 2017 chaos has run the White House and the country.

Trump throws the shiny little objects of chaos up into the ir and his supporters flock to the destruction it will bring.

Plus he is proud that he sows chaos with NO actual answers or solutions….

Foreign policy under President Trump can often be wildly unpredictable, with optimistic offers of diplomacy and wild ravings about the “great suffering” he’s going to inflict militarily interspersed, and seemingly nobody in the administration on the same page.

So as the US threats against Iran spiral out of control, many saw it as business as usual, with Trump objecting to any report that there is disagreement within the administration. In comments Friday, President Trump indicated that his dangerously inscrutable foreign policy is by design.

Trump bragged on Twitter that “Iran can have no idea what is actually going on.” Later in the day, he was talking to real estate agents and said it was “probably a good thing” that Iran has no understanding of his policy toward them.

This all seems to verify Iran’s official position that the US is not approaching them in an honest manner. Administration offers of talks and threats of war are all built around a deliberate policy of making sure Iran, and for that matter the American public, have no idea what the president’s real intentions are.

(antiwar.com)

The Chaos that Trump is creating is making problems that will take a generation to repair….if ever……

The consolidation of Republican power in Washington was supposed to create huge dividends for every kind of interest group by eliminating legislative gridlock and brinkmanship and giving a single party power to set policy. By the same telling, this was supposed to be a particular boon for business owners (and, downstream, for workers), who would welcome a climate of lower taxes, laxer regulation, and greater certainty with new investment, and thus more jobs.

The concept of “certainty” was one Republicans in Congress wielded as a brickbat against President Obama for eight years only to abandon it when President Donald Trump, through a mix of incompetence and malevolence, turned uncertainty into a weapon.

In the realms of health, immigration, and foreign policy, Trump has managed to leave stakeholders on all sides of issues—consumers, providers, civilians, enforcers, diplomats, and entire countries—completely befuddled in ways that threaten to cause great harm. The question is whether people around Trump can convince him that the policy environment he has created needs to change, or, more ominously, whether he has convinced himself that chaos gives him the upper hand.

https://newrepublic.com/article/142065/trumps-chaos-causing-lasting-damage

The Chaos can be repaired but if it has 8 years to fester then the damage will be more permanent.

I do not see Trump being asked to teach a course on International Relations anytime soon…..maybe with a resurrected Trump University (God forbid)…..

A couple of closing thoughts…….

I laugh at people who tell me how smart they are……..and I do  not trust a baboon that sits with arms folded in front of his body as he answers questions….a sure fire way to spot a goddamn liar.

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

WTF?

The rain made me look for something on the Tube to occupy my mind……..a sport perhaps….there was Lacrosse, RallyCross, Rugby and then I cam across one that made me take notice……Collegiate Bass Fishing!

Is there a sport called Collegiate Bass Fishing?

I cannot think of anything my boring than fishing…and yet there is a college sport built around it.

Why?

But Wait!

What was that?

I found yet more interesting, for lack of a better word, sport….I came across the Cornhole Championships……..you read that right…CORNHOLE!

I found it because I looked away from the Tellie and heard the announcers saying such stuff as…..the bag could find the hole, the hole can be elusive at times, etc…..you can imagine that I sat up and had to watch to see what I was missing……

They have Mens, Womens and Mixed Doubles all looking for that elusive hole……

At first I thought it was a parody of sports……but the people looked damn serious….so I decided to check for myself……the color commentary is what got my attention originally….such terms as “rim the hole”….”slide past the obstruction”…..”4 bagger”…..”block the hole”…….on and on…..

It is NO joke! They even have a governing body…….

*** HOME ***

There is even a World Championship……seriously.

This is a serious sport apparently……who knew?  I am an old fart and this is just something that caught my attention…..old farts will know what I mean.

My Sunday was more interesting than I thought it would be….

Learn something everyday and you will NEVER be bored!

Can Planet Be Saved?

My Saturday begins…….now the wait for the predicted rain…..This is the South…if you do not like the weather….wait 30 minutes and it will change…….

Today is Armed Forces Day…….so please give our overworked and stretched thin troops a moment of silence and remember their sacrifices…..

MoMo is waiting in ambush for that damn squirrel……

Speaking of the climate…….

The debate on climate change has taken many bizarre twists in the last decade…..we have those that want to protect the planet at all costs and then we have the other end of that spectrum, the climate deniers.

I can understand the “deniers” but they need to purge the idiots from their ranks……those that think melting ice is a good thing…..or those that think CO2 is something new in the atmosphere……you know who these people are……

The question has been asked……

Our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader has shown that he supports the coal industry above all else….he promised to bring back the coal industry…..that was a lie…he is trying but the industry is dying in the 21st century.

One example of the possibilities of renewables…..

Avery Thompson Popular Mechanics reports that in the month of April for the first time in US history, the country produced more electricity with renewables than with coal.

Part of the solution to this puzzle is economic. In much of the US, Thompson notes, you could actually make more money building and running a wind farm than you could just keeping an existing coal plan open.

In April, renewables produced 2,322 thousand megawatt hours per day. Coal only did 1,997 thousand megawatt hours.

Back in 2010, burning coal provided the world 45 % of its power generation.

In 2018, that figure had drooped to 27 percent.

At the same time, the share of renewables in power generation in the US has grown to 18% (including hydro).

(Informed Comment)

I am waiting for the MSM to report this….but instead I get a royal birth or the fashion line by some artists or…….

This is GREAT news! But apparently not for the corporate media to pay attention.

On a side note…..the big environmental news was that the “Holy Grail” of recycling has been found…..

The “Holy Grail” of recycling may finally be here. Scientists at Berkeley Lab say they’ve found a new way to create plastics that are 100% recyclable, meaning they can be used, recycled, and re-used without losing value, Fox News reports. “Most plastics were never made to be recycled,” says lead scientist Peter Christensen in a statement. “But we have discovered a new way to assemble plastics that takes recycling into consideration from a molecular perspective.” Called poly(diketoenamine), or PDK, the new material could help unblock the plastic pileup at recycling plants and ease ocean pollution that could be sucking $2.5 trillion from sectors including fisheries, tourism, and human health, according to one study.

Unlike regular plastic, PDK can apparently be undone by a simple acid bath. “Recovered monomers can be re-manufactured into the same polymer formulation, without loss of performance, as well as other polymer formulations with differentiated properties,” per the study in Nature Chemistry. Most plastics are composed of molecules called polymers that are made up of compounds called monomers; the monomers are bound to chemicals that make them hard to process and recycle. Just 9.1% of US-made plastic was recycled in 2015, a 0.4% drop the year before, according to the EPA’s latest available numbers. But so far PDK is only in the lab, notes Gizmodo. For now the PDK team is trying to improve its invention by mixing in materials made from plants.

How many times have we heard about a “new” plastic that will not be a problem?  I am old so TOO MANY TIMES.

Try HEMP it is truly biodegradable and all natural….how hard is that?

***This is a commercial company that is not paying me in any way……https://hempplastic.com/

Or this one……https://www.cbdforlife.us/blogs/environment/rise-of-biodegradable-hemp-plastic/

Learn Stuff!

Be Smart!

Meanwhile MoMo waits out the rain……

Closing Thought–17May19

We are in a war of words and deeds…a trade war….with China….Our Beloved Supreme Leader went on the Tube and soothed the ruffled feathers on Wall Street and the markets calmed down a bit…..but how about the rest of us unwashed masses that do not depend on Wall Street for our wealth?

Me? I do not shop on 5th Avenue so I want to know how I will fare with Trump’s mash up with China…..

Walmart warned on Thursday that higher tariffs on imports from China will mean higher prices, the AP reports. The comments came after the nation’s largest retailer reported its best sale performance at its established US namesake stores for the fiscal first quarter in nine years. It marked 19 straight quarters of same-store sales gains. “We’re monitoring the tariff discussions and are hopeful that an agreement can be reached,” said Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs. But he told reporters, “Increased tariffs will lead to increased prices for our customers.” Walmart declined to comment on what type of price hikes shoppers could expect and which products would get the biggest increases.

The specter of higher prices was also echoed by Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette. He told investors Wednesday that if a fourth round of tariffs takes effect, that could mean higher retail prices for both store label and national brands. Target, JC Penney, and other major retailers will be reporting results in the next few days and should shed more light on the issue. Walmart, Macy’s and other major retailers have been left largely unscathed by the first several rounds of tariffs since they focused more on industrial and agricultural products. But that changed last week when the Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on imports like furniture. The administration wants to extend the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports not already hit with levies including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers.

While Wall Street smiles the rest of us get raped……well our wallets to be exact……not what I signed on for…..

You?