Infrastructure Funding

Much has been made about the deteriorating state of our nation’s infrastructure, from past todos that worked out to be just political chit-chat with nothing done to today’s efforts and commentary.

The commentary, as far as it goes, isn’t far wrong: our infrastructure, our roads, bridges, railroads, airports, even our communications infrastructure are in terrible shape.  But the commentary continues to be largely chit-chat, and the NLMSM isn’t helping.

Take this opening from a piece on President Donald Trump’s latest budget proposal from Fox News, for instance.

Private Moves and Regulations

The Trump administration’s Bureau of Land Management is moving to rescind and replace an Obama administration regulation that would drastically limit methane gas emissions by companies drilling for hydrocarbons on Federal land.

While the move is salutary—the Obama regulation would have imposed too much cost, would have stunted energy innovation, and would have limited energy supply with resulting higher prices to us consumers—there’s one tidbit in the Wall Street Journal article carrying that news that needs emphasis.

Environmentalists rejected that claim [of impeding energy development] and decried the decision, pointing out that several companies had already moved on their own to start cutting methane emissions.

Diplomacy and Northern Korea

The Wall Street Journal‘s Gerald Seib had a piece extolling the virtues of the Republic of Korea’s willingness to engage in formal, summit-level diplomacy with northern Korea coupled with President Donald Trump’s sub rosa willingness to talk.

There were, though, some serious misunderstandings in the article.  Here are a couple:

[T]here is no way to know for sure what the North Koreans are willing to give up without testing their intentions.

Apparently Seib has been doing a Rip van Winkle impression. For the last 25 years, the northern Korean government has said they’ll never give up their nuclear weapons goals.  We know for sure that what northern Korea is willing to give up is nothing.

Bigger Budgets and Spending Cuts

Last week, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed, a budget covering the next two years that has significantly larger spending caps than the last several budgets have had, including in particular a large increase in domestic spending.  Of course, that means spending must rise, right?  Every dollar budgeted must be spent; the budget is a spending floor, not a cap?

Not at all, as the budget proposal Trump has sent over to Congress for FY2019 demonstrates.

The Trump budget is proposing to reduce nondefense discretionary spending caps by 41% over the coming decade.

Costs, and Costs

The fight to drive the Daesh out of Iraq (while killing too few of them IMNSHO) has caused more than $45 billion in infrastructure damage to Iraq.

That’s roughly half the cost of the damage a couple of hurricanes did in Texas and Florida last year, an even smaller ratio when Puerto Rico is figured in.  But it’s a lot of damage for a nation like Iraq.

What might that imply, besides the relative wealth of the two nations?

One is the relative dependence we have on our more highly developed, and so expensive, infrastructure compared to Iraq.  Iraq is scraping by with that level of damage and already beginning to recover.

Against Their Own Interest

Fast food workers began protesting yesterday, demanding higher wages and the right to join a union.  Ashley Cathey, a 29-year-old Memphis fast food person, had this:

Fast-food cooks and cashiers like me are fighting for higher pay and union rights, the same things striking sanitation workers fought for 50 years ago.  We’re not striking and marching just to commemorate what they did—we’re carrying their fight forward. And we won’t stop until everyone in this country can be paid $15 an hour and has the right to join a union.

A Sandbag Attempt

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D, CA), in response to the Committee’s Republican members’ four-page memo—the Nunes Memo—regarding the FBI’s abuse of FISA court-approved surveillance of Americans, produced a ten-page Progressive-Democrat member response, which the committee voted unanimously to release to the House with an eye to getting the memo released to the public via the White House’s security vetting.  The House approved the release and sent it to President Donald Trump, who had five days to disapprove the document, or it would be released.

Progressive-Democrats and Free Speech

The DoJ and several States are moving to protect free speech on college campuses, with three States moving to pass legislation explicitly for the purpose, and ten others with legislation already pending.

Liberals and their Progressive-Democrats object.

Many Democrats say the Constitution already protects free speech, and that states have no need to micromanage how colleges handle student demonstrations and speakers.

This is just cynical, though.  Or, 8th-grade Civics wasn’t a safe space for them, and they were triggered into not listening.  These Progressive-Democrats are ignoring the fact that the mere existence of our Constitution is no protection at all; it must be actively enforced.

The Secretary of State for Defense Is Correct

Two Daesh terrorists who grew up in Great Britain have been captured.

Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told the Sun newspaper on Saturday: “I don’t think they should ever set foot in this country again.”

Williamson is absolutely correct.  Barbarians like this, who think terrorism is the way to go, should be allowed freely to leave to join their barbaric gangs.

And then they should be barred from returning.  Forever.

The Budget Deal

…was just passed in the small hours of Friday morning.  The high points of what it does is provide funding for the Federal government into late March, provide a budget good for two years, raise the debt ceiling a smidge, and increase spending authorization for defense by $165 billion over the next two years and for domestic items by $131 billion over those two years.  It does not include anything regarding immigration, particularly DACA, despite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA) 8-hour speech Thursday, nor does it include anything regarding welfare reform.