Saturday, May 13, 2023

Here We Go Again

CNN just had Donald Trump on for an hour in front of a hand-picked audience of his fans. He was rude to the moderator, lied his head off, and then just for fun he defamed the woman who had just the day before won a multimillion-dollar defamation suit against him. The jury found that he had raped her and then lied about her, and now she is thinking about suing him again for lying about her on CNN. Everybody -- I mean everybody -- is hoping she does.

Why did CNN put him on? They can pretend this is normal. He is going to be a candidate for the Republican nomination and the country needs to hear blah blah blah. In previous elections all the networks, including CNN, gave him billions of dollars' worth of free air time, and guess what -- here we go again.

Of course the problem is, at root, the fact that a modern corporation like CNN only cares about its investors. It doesn't care about its customers, except insofar as the investors use audience share to decide whether to invest. It doesn't care about its employees, making them go through with these awful things. And the corporation does not, in particular, care about the future of the USA. They had hoped to get good ratings with this show, and they were pretty good for that time slot, but Trump's audience was significantly smaller than Biden's last town hall. This one didn't really pay off for them.

Here's what makes sense to me. What about we elect somebody who KNOWS HOW TO RUN A COUNTRY? Sorry to shout, not sorry. There are things that need to be done, and maybe I'm weird about this but we need somebody who knows how to run things, even if it is just a mumbling old man and not an orange reality-TV actor. Like -- remember? -- back in June, 2017, Trump announced his infrastructure plan. A trillion dollars, he said. Then Comey testified in Congress, some terrorists attacked London, the so-called "travel ban" became consumed in controversy and the infrastructure train ran off the tracks. Trump declared the week of June 5, 2017 to be "infrastructure week." Also the week of August 14, 2017. Also October 9, same year. Also the week of February 12, 2018. Oh and don't forget March 26, 2018. Followed by infrastructure week on April 29, 2019.

The result was, literally colorful firebrand that he is, he could not do this straightforward thing that everybody in both parties knew needed to be done. He could not negotiate a bill through Congress and sign it. There was no infrastructure bill, even though it was an extremely high priority and Trump's party had majorities in both houses of Congress.

In contrast, in his second year in office Joe Biden signed a $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill in April 2022 that included (quoting from Forbes here:

  • Roads and bridges: Headlining the 2,702-page bill’s spending, roughly $110 billion of new funds would go toward improving the nation's roads and bridges, and investments in other major transportation programs.
  • Public transit: The package also includes the largest-ever federal investment in public transit, allotting $39 billion to modernize systems, improve access for the elderly and people with disabilities, and repair more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 railcars and thousands of miles of train tracks.
  • Amtrak: The legislation marks the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago, with $66 billion earmarked for high-speed rail, safety improvements, Amtrak grants and modernization of the rail route connecting Washington, D.C., to Boston.
  • Broadband internet: Tacking on to billions authorized by last year’s American Rescue Plan, the infrastructure bill includes $65 billion to bolster the country's broadband infrastructure and help ensure that every American has access to high-speed internet, with one in four households expected to be eligible for a $30-per-month subsidy to pay for internet access.
  • Electric grid and energy: Though many clean-energy measures were cut from the bill to satisfy spending-weary lawmakers, a $108 billion investment will help upgrade the nation’s electricity grid, with thousands of miles of new transmission lines and funds for environmentally friendly smart-grid technology.
  • Electric cars, buses and ferries: In addition to $7.5 billion for the nation’s first network of electric-vehicle chargers along highway corridors, lawmakers have shored up $5 billion for zero-emission buses (including thousands of electric school buses) and $2.5 billion for ferries.
  • Clean drinking water: Following high-profile water-supply crises plaguing cities like Flint, Michigan, the legislation includes a provision for $55 billion to replace all the nation's lead pipes and service lines, representing the largest investment in clean drinking water ever.
  • Great rivers and lakes: Among the bill's more than $50 billion for water infrastructure improvements, about $1 billion is slated to go toward the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a sweeping clean-up measure targeting toxic hot spots—or areas of heavy industrial pollution—around the Great Lakes region, and $17 billion will be allocated to ports and waterways.
  • Airports: More than $25 billion has been allocated to help modernize America's airports—funds the Airports Council International says will help tackle more than $115 billion worth of project backlogs.
  • Road safety: The deal invests $11 billion in transportation safety programs, including a new program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in their communities, particularly among cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Normal funding: In addition to the $550 billion in new investments, the package also includes roughly $650 billion in previously authorized funding for roads and other infrastructure, including nearly $300 billion for the Highway Trust Fund and $90 billion for public transit over the next five years.

And that's just one bill of many.

So, you see what I'm saying. Why would you vote for a guy who is not only an indicted criminal with many more charges coming including probably espionage, a serial and unapologetic rapist ("unfortunately or fortunately"), a liar, and who does not have the skills to put together a White House staff and get any legislation passed and signed? Why would you vote for that? Is it because he says mean things about liberals? Is that what you're looking for in a CEO for the United States of America?

Hang on to your horses, people. Our billionaires -- and why don't we call them oligarchs? -- want Trump in the White House because they know how to get him to do what they want: give him money, easy. Our oligarchs can spend the money on the media to get people to believe anything. So the sensible people of this country are going to have to grip the arms of their chairs, grit their teeth, and hold on until we go to the polls, and hopefully they haven't had the sense bled out of them by then.