30 thoughts on “Infrastructure Week – deja vu all over again and again and again …”

  1. TMI probably, but here’s pbs newshour’s take on what’s in the bill climate-wise as of last week

    The current infrastructure bill includes $150 billion for clean energy and climate change protections. Tens of billions would also be utilized to fight extreme weather like drought, wildfire, flooding and erosion, with a host of smaller programs like low-emission busses, cleaner ports and even more trees. Rebecca Leber, who covers climate change for Vox, joins Lisa Desjardins to discuss.

  2. and from CBS:

    The Senate on Sunday night voted to move forward on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, a key part of President Biden‘s domestic agenda. The Senate voted 68 to 29 to end debate on the final infrastructure product, and the final vote could happen late Monday or early Tuesday morning unless the opponents yield back some of their time. 
    The legislation includes $550 billion in new spending for the nation’s physical infrastructure. The agency said that from 2021 to 2031, the legislation would decrease direct spending by $110 billion, boost revenues by $50 billion and increase discretionary spending by $415 billion.
    The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the first of Mr. Biden’s infrastructure bills, primarily addresses surface transportation and “traditional” infrastructure priorities, as well as some climate-related provisions on electric vehicles. After the final vote, 50 hours of budget debate and an unlimited vote-a-rama, what the amendment process is known as, will immediately follow.

  3. Why Mitch McConnell is the big winner on the infrastructure bill | The Week

    Preserving the filibuster is a high priority for McConnell, NBC News reported last month — so high that it was worth it to him to give up his usual tactics of obstructing Democratic governance just this once. Otherwise, moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) might have been tempted to succumb to progressive pressure and vote to end the rules that allow a minority party to obstruct the majority.  “It becomes a very clear demonstration that blowing up the filibuster is not necessary to get big things done,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) explained last month.
    In other words, passing the infrastructure bill might have strengthened McConnell’s hand in fighting against new voting rights legislation and other liberal priorities. He gets that benefit at virtually no cost to himself or his party, using $1 trillion in taxpayer money. And he doesn’t really lose anything in the process — most of the stuff that’s in the bipartisan infrastructure bill could’ve been passed in a majority-only reconciliation package, if simply passing stuff had been all Democrats wanted to do.
    The headlines over the next few days will tell you that Biden is the big winner in this process, that his obsession with passing a bipartisan bill has paid off and proven that American government isn’t irretrievably broken. In the short term, that might even be true. But McConnell might be the long-term victor here, ending up with a result that will benefit Republicans for years to come.

  4. Republicans don’t want to help the American people. Republicans don’t want to create jobs.  Republicans don’t care about crumbling roads and deteriorating bridges. Republicans.

    Well, that’s how it looks and it’s going to work well in campaign ads. You know, that and not allowing schools to mandate masks for unvaccinated children.

  5. Judge rules Florida can’t ban Norwegian Cruise Line ‘vaccine passport’ | TheHill

    A judge ruled on Sunday that Norwegian Cruise Line is permitted to ask customers to show proof of vaccination before boarding a ship, dealing a blow to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-Fla.) law that prevented “vaccine passports” from being utilized in the state.

    The nearly 60-page preliminary ruling from U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams in the Southern District of Florida said that the state law barring the use of vaccine passports is likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment and jeopardizes public health.


  6. Interesting opinion by Judge Williams, and perfectly predictable since DeInSanity’s order is a mess.  My first response to Mrs. P when his order was announced in April was, “What about the Commerce Clause?”  I absolutely don’t understand how he thought he could possibly get around that issue and the First Amendment issue.  

    But opinion in Floriduh is shifting and DeInSanity is facing growing opposition from the two groups he can least afford to have oppose his anti-intelligence prohibitions – teachers and parents of students.  As WaPo reports:

    The battle waged by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) against mask and vaccine mandates is facing challenges on multiple fronts.

    His ban on vaccine passports was temporarily blocked by a federal judge late Sunday: Norwegian Cruise Line was cleared to require coronavirus vaccines for guests and crew members after U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams granted the company a preliminary injunction, blocking a Florida law championed by DeSantis that would have fined the cruise company for requiring vaccines.

    Coronavirus protocols in schools are also in the spotlight as the head of the country’s second-largest teachers union on Sunday shifted course to signal support for vaccine mandates for teachers to protect students, especially those under 12 who are not old enough to be inoculated.

    And a group of parents of disabled children in Florida sued Friday to block the state’s ban on mask mandates in schools. Florida education officials moved the same day to give students access to a state voucher program that helps pay for private tuitionif their public schools require masks — an acknowledgment that some schools in the state are moving ahead with mask mandates despite the law.

    DeSantis has rejected coronavirus restrictions or mandates as a greater threat than rising infections fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant. Florida is the epicenter of a summer coronavirus spike in the United States, recently reporting a fifth of all new U.S. infections and current hospitalizations.

    A representative for DeSantis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    No, I’m sure his representative didn’t immediately respond  Five bucks says his representatives are asking him something like, “Just what the fuck do you want us to tell them – that you want kids and teachers to be exposed to Covid?”

  7. And on the Covid front for the past week (courtesy WaPo):

    New daily reported cases rose 42.1% 

    New daily reported deaths rose 43.8% 

    Covid-related hospitalizations rose 34.3% 

    Among reported tests, the positivity rate was 9.9%.

    The number of tests reported fell 23.3%  from the previous week.

    In the last week, an average of 706.3k doses per day were administered, a 5% increase over the week before.

    I’m looking for something positive in those numbers but am coming up kinda empty with the exception of the vaccination rate being up 5% over the previous week, which isn’t nothing but isn’t terrific either..

  8. patd, a similar ruling was issued about the Arkansas law that Asa Hutchinson wants to have reversed.  Goes to show that Asa is not as stupid as DeInSanity.

  9. I’m home for a few days.  Geez… when other craftspeople who did other fairs said they were making record sales… they weren’t kidding.  Some crafts people who didn’t heed the warning of “make lots of stuff,” are running out of inventory with 7 days still to go.
    I’ll catch up on politics sometime with what’s left of summer.  I do want an infrastructure bill.  We’ve had record rains up here in the northeast.  Our roads are in terrible shape from flooding.  Although…  I’ll take that anyday to those fires out west.

  10. So, Renee, are you one of those craftspeople who “didn’t heed the warning of “make lots of stuff,” [and] are running out of inventory with 7 days still to go”?

  11. Pogo….  nope.  
    That’s one of the reasons I haven’t been around too much on social media lately.

  12. If the GQP is working on campaign ads, A Child In Every ICU Bed won’t play as well as A Chicken In Every Pot.

  13. Too bad Diogenes didn’t live long enough to see this.  (WaPo – Jennifer Rubin).

    The number of pro-democratic, pro-vaccine and pro-truth Republicans willing to denounce anti-democratic, anti-vaccine, anti-truth elements in the GOP is tiny. In most cases, Republicans are too timid to rebut demagogic objections to mask and vaccine requirements as an infringement on “freedom.” (Shirts and shoes may be required in private and public venues, but not cloth masks, apparently.) Bucking the trend, a tiny band of Republicans who actually favor preservation of life are beginning to pipe up.

    Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson denounced the anti-vaccine leaders:

    He also admitted error, a rare occurrence in GOP circles. “I realized that we needed to have more options for our local school districts to protect those children.” Hutchinson said. “… It was an error to sign that [ban on mask mandates].”

  14. And continuing in the Rubin article:

    Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, was more candid when asked about DeSantis and Abbott:

    CASSIDY: I’m a conservative. I think you govern best when you govern closest to the people being governed.
    And if a local community is having a — their ICU is full, and the people at the local schools see that they have got to make sure they stay open, because, otherwise, children miss out for another year of school, and they put in policy, then the local officials should be listened to. That is a conservative principle.
    BASH: So you disagree with Governor DeSantis?
    CASSIDY: I do disagree with Governor DeSantis.
    The local officials should have control here. I don’t want top down from Washington, D.C. I don’t want top-down from a governor’s office, sometimes, yes, okay national defense and such like that.
    But when it comes to local conditions, if my hospital is full, and my vaccination rate is low, and infection rate is going crazy, we should allow local officials to make those decisions best for their community.
    BASH: Is he playing politics with this?
    CASSIDY: I don’t know if he’s playing politics. I try not to guess other people’s motives.
    I will say, politicians should not kind of carte blanche accept what the public health doctor says, but they shouldn’t — they shouldn’t just gratuitously ignore it either. There has to be a balance there. And whenever politicians mess with public health, usually, it doesn’t work out well for public health, and, ultimately, it doesn’t work out for the politician, because public health suffers. And the American people want public health.

    Diogenes only missed his chance to find an honest man among Republicans (an extremely fleeting occurrence, limited to a very brief moment in 2021) by 2370 years, more or less.

  15. While I hate to use any honorific when speaking of Dumbass the Former, I must admit the term Jennifer Rubin uses to refer to him – the disgraced former president – has a fairly nice ring to it.

  16. Trick question right?  The answer of course is never. I believe she is using it in the sense of having fallen from a position of power.

  17. RED ALERT!!! RED ALERT!!! as they say on star trek

    ‘Nobody is safe’: UN warns climate crisis poses immediate threat – video | Environment | The Guardian

    Inger Andersen of the UN Environment Programme has said the climate crisis poses an ‘immediate threat’, adding that ‘every citizen needs to play their part’. Only drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions this decade can prevent global temperatures from rising to disastrous levels, according to the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  18. Of interest are a few bills in the Congress and the individual States regarding bad things being done in countries to the world.  No import of products which harm the Earth.  No state purchases of products which harm the Earth.  These are serious bills and will have a lot of yelling, screaming and heart grabbing by a lot of gqp as these are introduced and debated.  I am sure there will be a few killed by Dems who are concerned about something, but I think a handful will be passed into law.  Hopefully the Congress will pass the national bills. 2021 Deforestation Bill is one.

  19. https://reasonstobecheerful.world/what-its-like-to-vote-from-jail/

    “Twenty-one states, including Illinois, reinstate voting rights for people with felony convictions after they leave prison. But people with felony convictions lose their voting rights indefinitely in 11 states, while in 16 other states their voting rights are restored only after they complete parole, probation or all fines are paid. People never lose their voting rights in D.C., Maine and Vermont.”

    “While national pressure grows to restore voting rights for people with previous felony convictions after their release from prison, less attention has been given to people sitting in local jails who are awaiting trial or have been convicted of misdemeanors that don’t affect their right to vote.“

  20. https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/09/texas-hospitals-elective-procedures-covid-greg-abbott/

    “Two big-city school districts, Dallas and Houston, are defying Abbott’s order keeping them from issuing mask requirements, and a nonprofit education group sued him over it Sunday in Travis County. Also on Monday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins sued Abbott, saying his ban on local mask mandates “threatens lives.”

    I would love to see Clay Jenkins in Greg’s job. Common sense, no discernible personality, just strictly business.

  21. CDC study disputes Rand Paul, Thomas Massie COVID-19 immunity claims (courier-journal.com)

    Two Republican members of Congress from Kentucky — Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Thomas Massie — have steadfastly refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying they have natural immunity because they had the viral infection.
    But a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data from people in Kentucky who contracted COVID-19 a second time, says the vaccine boosts immunity in people who have had the virus.
    Unvaccinated people who contracted COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to catch it again than those who got vaccinated after contracting the virus, it said.
    The study shows “COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfection,” the CDC said in a news release announcing the results.
    Paul, a Bowling Green physician, has been especially outspoken on the subject. In a May opinion piece in The Courier Journal, he blasted “petty tyrants in government” for pushing vaccines and arguing there are no studies showing “any benefit at all” to vaccination for those who have had COVID-19.
    Massie on Monday denounced the CDC study as “chock full of faulty assumptions,”  according to a statement provided by a spokesman….


    sen. rant on twitter yesterday:

  22. The Republican Party is about to run into a buzz saw when the schools open up.
    Dead school children don’t make good planks in a party platform. 

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