Archive for the ‘Infrastructure’ Category

When Joe Biden signed the executive order ending construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, Biden’s message couldn’t have been clearer. The Democrats’ message to the construction unions was ‘Drop dead.’ This is a difficult decision for the Biden administration to defend. When Sen. Ted Cruz questioned Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg about the pipeline decision, Buttigieg tried spinning the decision by saying “The answer is we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones.”

It’s painfully obvious that construction unions have gotten hurt by the Biden Administration. Over 1,000 of the people building the Keystone XL Pipeline were laid off Friday, their jobs immediately vaporized by the Biden executive order. Nothing says forgotten like a pink slip with your paycheck on Friday. While Democrats said that they hope those workers find a job, it isn’t likely that’ll happen, at least at the same wage.

Biden campaigned as the union-loving everyman. It took less than a week in office to obliterate that image. Couple that with the outrage of National Guard troops getting exiled to sleeping in a DC parking garage:

Shame on the Biden administration for putting these patriots on a cold floor in a parking garage. Further, there were 25,000+ National Guard troops in DC. That’s far more than were needed by Democrats.

When then-Candidate Trump delivered his acceptance speech at the RNC in 2016, he focused on the people that the Obama-Biden administration ignored:

Joe Biden is a phony. He didn’t fight for Pennsylvania coal miners during the Obama administration. He isn’t fighting for the unions building the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s pretty apparent that he’s fighting for AOC’s Green New Deal, meaning that he’s forgetting, again, about the men who built this country. Biden often says that “the middle class built this nation” and that “the unions built the middle class.”

That’s a snappy-sounding soundbite. I just wish he meant it.

When Joe Biden ran as a moderate, informed people knew that was a façade. One of Biden’s first EOs was to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline. Montana Sen. Steve Daines has put together other western senators in an effort to stop that executive order from killing jobs, increase reliance on Middle East oil and raising gas prices.

Biden’s executive order reads, in part, “The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest. The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory. Our domestic efforts must go hand in hand with U.S. diplomatic engagement… The United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership in order to achieve a significant increase in global climate action and put the world on a sustainable climate pathway. Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

Climate change isn’t a crisis. It’s a challenge at best. It’s a crisis only to idiots like Joe Biden, Al Gore, John Kerry and Tom Steyer. Of course, it wasn’t a crisis for Steyer when Steyer made his fortune as a hedge fund manager financing coal projects. John Kerry and Al Gore fly private jets to climate change events where they rant about the climate change crisis. Spare me!

Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord with another executive order. John Kerry negotiated that document, which explains why China is classified as a “developing nation” but the US is classified as an industrialized nation. Thanks to negotiations like that, China will have the biggest economy in the world within 4 years.

Climate change is just the Democrats’ shiny object to distract from their socialist agenda and the Democrats’ LGBTQ agenda. Democrats have created the achievement gap thanks to their social engineering activism over the years.

The United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters condemned the move, saying “In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1. Let me be very clear: When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world.”

Democrats have decided that they’re choosing environmental activists over private sector unions. That’s why President Trump won in 2016. That’s why the next GOP presidential nominee needs to be a Trump Republican. If traditional Republicans or country club Republicans ignore private sector unions, the GOP will wander in the political wilderness a long time.

Anyone who doesn’t think that we’re living in transformative times hasn’t read this post on Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit blog. If you’re depressed after a difficult day, read this post. If the coronavirus has you feeling the blues, read this post. After it revives you, which it will, pay it forward. Here’s just a little portion of the post:

Restaurants and schools have said, “we’ve got kitchens and staff; we can feed the poor kids who used have school lunch.”
NBA basketball players have said, “Hold our basketballs while we write checks to pay the arena staff.”
Construction companies are saying, “Here are some high-end masks for medical staff and doctors”.
Distilleries are making sanitizer out of distilling “heads and tails” which are normally discarded. Nasty shit to drink, but effective sanitizer.
People are tipping grocery check-out clerks and thanking them for taking the risk.
Local, state, and county governments are taking control of everything the feds cannot do. Some are doing it wrong, but for the first time in decades … they’re doing it. Federalism is re-emerging, and the smallest unit of government is the individual and the family. This, too, is re-emerging after decades of dormancy.

Have we defeated COVID-19? Nope. Am I confident we will? Yup. Should we still listen to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx? If you know what’s wise, we will.

Back when I worked at Fingerhut, a friend of mine had a great sign in his office. It read “The difficult, we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.” Exactly right. We’re Americans. We won the ‘War to end All Wars.’ Then we won the war after that. We conquered the moon. We built the interstate highway system. Before that, we built the Transcontinental Railroad without GPS. I’m not certain that they had maps back then.

This is part of what I call the American DNA. It starts with my friend’s sign in his office. If we can dream it, we can build it. If we can build it, we can perfect it. President Obama didn’t understand the underlying principle behind American exceptionalism. President Trump does. He came from the generation that was taught by the greatest generation. Thank God for that minor miracle.

Just once, I’d love to see Democrats put public safety ahead of partisan gain. That won’t happen with the Coronavirus, aka Covid-19. Sen. Schumer hasn’t been interested in bipartisanship. Based on this article, he’s mostly been interested in partisanship.

Schumer said “Trump’s move to repurpose funding previously appropriated for the prevention and treatment of Ebola [is] ‘indicative of his towering incompetence and further proof that he and his administration aren’t taking the coronavirus crisis as seriously as they need to be. We’ve seen no sign that President Trump has any plan or urgency to deal with the spread of the coronavirus — we need real leadership and we need it fast.'”

During this afternoon’s news conference, President Trump said that the annual average number of deaths from influenza in the United States is “between 26,000 and 69,000.” At the time of the news conference, there have been reports of 81,000 cases of coronavirus and fewer than 2,800 deaths worldwide.

Please explain to me why I should panic over a virus that has as many reported cases worldwide than we have deaths from the influenza virus each year in the United States. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take this seriously. We’re already doing that. Our medical infrastructure, something Bernie never talks about, has already issued statements on what symptoms to watch out for. They’ve instructed people to stay home from work if they experience these symptoms. We’re told to wash our hands with soap and water frequently.

These mundane-sounding steps don’t sound like life-saving advice. When Memorial Weekend rolls around, I wonder if we’ll find out that following the CDC’s instructions will have prevented the spread of this virus. Something tells me we’ll be just fine.

There’s 3 important things to implement:

  1. Put in place a management team to monitor conditions on the ground and communicate with state and local levels of government.
  2. Instruct scientists at the CDC and NIH to do the research and experimentation to finding a vaccine that will stop this virus in its tracks.
  3. Instruct the medical manufacturers to manufacture this vaccine.

As I’d expected, the first 2 points are already in place:

President Trump has assigned the responsibility of coordinating with state and local governments to Vice President Pence, formerly known as Gov. Pence. This is right in VP Pence’s wheelhouse. I can’t think of a better person for this important responsibility.

Dr. Anne Schuchat reported that “As you know, this has been a difficult and challenging time and our hearts go out to the individuals who have been directly affected by the virus and to all those who have been working tirelessly in responding to it. Our aggressive containment strategy here in the United States has been working and is responsible for the low levels of cases that we have so far. However, we do expect more cases and this is a good time to prepare.”

There’s a management component to this effort. There’s a scientific component to the effort, too. The final piece to this puzzle is the manufacturing piece. I’d expect this solution to be well underway within 6 months, perhaps less. No other nation on earth can do that.

This is what putting a solution together looks like. The task force will continue meeting each day until the virus is eliminate. That means finding a timely solution instead of just working on something. In light of these productive steps, Sen. Schumer’s statements sound more partisan than productive.

I expect President Trump’s State of the Union Address, aka SOTU, to focus mostly on his accomplishments. That part should take up an hour of his speech. Further, I expect him to highlight the results of his criminal justice reform. Last year, he highlighted Alice Johnson from the First Lady’s box:

This year, Alice was featured in this Super Bowl ad:

It’s inevitable that President Trump’s SOTU Address will include a lengthy conversation about how his economic policies are leading a blue collar boom. That will let him talk about blue collar workers’ rising wages. It’ll start with him touting the lowest unemployment rates amongst minorities and women. Consider that portion of the speech to be the meat-and-potatoes section of the speech. Consider the Alice Johnson-criminal justice reform part of the speech the heart-and-soul section of the speech.

An election year SOTU isn’t complete without the President laying out his vision for his second term. That portion of the speech will talk about infrastructure, finishing the wall, cleaning up the antiquated immigration laws and additional middle class tax cuts, including making these tax cuts permanent.

I hope President Trump spends some time criticizing House Democrats for their hyperpartisan impeachment inquiry. I hope he scolds House Democrats for impeaching him for exercising his constitutional right to executive privilege. I hope he scolds them for not giving him the right to call witnesses during the House impeachment hearings. I hope he finishes that section by lecturing House Democrats for spending 3+ years on impeaching him rather than working with him on the people’s business.

Finally, I hope he finishes the SOTU by talking directly to the American people, essentially saying ‘You sent me here to drain the swamp, fix the economy, build the wall and make America great again. We’ve accomplished a lot but we’ve still got work to do. To finish that task, I need a congress that will work with me, not a congress that will fight me and investigate me.’

That won’t sit well with the nattering nabobs of negativism found throughout the Swamp. That’s ok. The Swamp isn’t his constituency. The American people are his constituents. That’s who this SOTU Address should address.

Newt Gingrich is one of the best election analysts in modern history. When he starts talking about the potential for wave elections, I listen. That’s what he’s talking about in this article.

One of the first things he mentions is “The liberal media likes to focus on how many House Republicans are retiring. Somehow this is supposed to make Republicans feel defeated and hopeless. In this context, I was startled recently to hear Congresswoman Elise Stefanik say 2020 was going to be the year of the House Republican woman. She went on to assert that there was a historic record being set for Republican women filing to run for the House.”

Speaker Gingrich then gets into candidate recruitment, online fundraising and a host of other things that give Republicans a distinct advantage. Here’s what he said about candidate recruitment:

I checked in with Chairman Tom Emmer at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and found that, if anything, Stefanik had understated the momentum of new recruits. With House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and the leadership team going all out, the House Republicans are setting a remarkably encouraging series of records.

Consider these numbers: The total number of Republicans filed for House seats so far is 928, according to Federal Elections Commission (FEC) figures – or 188 more than the total at the same time in 2010 (740). The year 2010 matters because it was the last time Nancy Pelosi was kicked out of the majority and Speaker John Boehner led the House GOP to its biggest gain in modern times – with his “where are the jobs” slogan.

Right now, the only accomplishment that the House Democrats can point to is the ratification of President Trump’s USMCA trade agreement. Compared with the things that Republicans can point to during their 2 years in office, the Democrats don’t have much to highlight during the campaign. Then there’s the fundraising portion of this equation:

In the 2018 cycle, this system raised $1.8 billion over the two-year period. When this scale of small-donor involvement was combined with massive donors like Michael Bloomberg (who spent $5 million on ads in the last two weeks in some elections) the Democrats’ money advantage was enormous. This helps explain the Republican House defeats.

The threat posed by the ActBlue system was reinforced in 2019 when it raised more than $1 billion for the Democrats. Republican leaders realized they had to match or exceed the small-dollar system the Democrats had invented. They developed a competitive model called WinRed. The intensity of support for President Trump, combined with growing anger over the Democrats’ investigation and impeachment strategy, has made WinRed a success much faster than anyone expected.

In its first two quarters, WinRed raised $101 million. Its effectiveness is growing rapidly. It raised $31 million in its first quarter of existence and more than doubled that in the second quarter with $70 million (fourth quarter of 2019). In fact, WinRed raised more in its first 190 days than ActBlue raised in its first five years.

The other factor that people haven’t talked about is the fact that most of the competitive seats that Republicans need to flip to return to the majority are seats that President Trump has done well in. It isn’t like Republicans have to flip tons of seats where Democrats traditionally do well in. That, in turn, means that they won’t need to raise as much money as Democrats raise.

House Democrats have to defend why they didn’t get important things done during this Congress. They promised to lower prescription drug prices, fix health care, work on infrastructure and strengthen the economy. They didn’t get any of those things done. They don’t have a list of accomplishments. Democrats have an accomplishment — USMCA. The rest of their time was wasted on impeachment, sour grapes and other waste-of-time investigations. If I were running the NRCC’s messaging, I’d have a single message, which would be “What have you done for me lately?”

It’s time to call Pelosi’s Democrats out. They’re essentially worthless. Democrats spent more time telling us that Iranians really loved Soleimani than they spent in court to compel witnesses that House Democrats said weren’t needed but that Senate Democrats insist are essential. Now Pelosi insists that not calling witnesses that House Democrats didn’t call amounts to a cover-up:

I’d love hearing Pelosi sell that BS to the American people.

During a week in which House Democrats impeached President Trump, Democrats also all-but-officially signed the political death certificates for their members who represent Trump districts. House Democrats then passed President Trump’s USMCA trade agreement, then passed the bill funding government for FY2020. Included in that bill was funding for President Trump’s wall and a 3.1% pay raise for the military.

After impeaching President Trump but before passing USMCA, Nancy Pelosi decided that she’d make Democrats look utterly unserious. She did that by telling reporters that she wouldn’t send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. She said that despite telling We The People that President Trump had to be impeached and convicted immediately to protect national security and preserve our elections.

While Pelosi impeached President Trump, President Trump held a rally in Michigan. These rallies have been turned into entertainment/pep rallies as well as voter registration drive headquarters. At this week’s rally, 27% of the people who filled out voter registration forms switched from being Democrats. On the subject of voter registration drives, the rally in Sunrise, FL, was a huge success, registering 31,000 people, 30% of which used to be Democrats and 27% are Hispanics.

President Trump’s great week continued when Democrats held a presidential debate in LA. At the debate, the Democrats’ frontrunner was asked a question about energy policy. Here’s Mr. Biden’s reply:

MODERATOR: Would you be willing to sacrifice [economic growth in the energy sector] knowing potentially that it could displace maybe hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers in the interest of a greener economy?
JOE: The answer is yes.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were the only Democrats with a shot at winning Pennsylvania and Michigan. That opportunity disappeared when they said that they’d worship at the altar of Climate Change. Climate change and mining fit together like oil and water. If Democrats can’t flip Michigan and Pennsylvania back into the blue column, Democrats can’t win in 2020.

During the impeachment debate and vote, the Trump campaign raised $5,000,000:

President Trump’s re-election campaign raked in $5 million in donations Wednesday, the day the House of Representatives voted to impeach him, his campaign manager said.

“Incredible fundraising numbers!” manager Brad Parscale tweeted. “[Trump] has raised over [$5 million] (still growing) today as Americans use their wallet to show support against Pelosi’s impeachment hoax!” he added.

This isn’t just people supporting a candidate they like. This impeachment has fired up Trump supporters. To them, this is personal now. When independents saw the railroad job being pushed onto President Trump, they reacted.

Next November, the Republicans’ fantastic week will come to fruition.

This article asks an important question for the Democrat presidential nominee and the DFL Senator. It’s an article about the Line 3 Pipeline project.

It starts by saying “MINNEAPOLIS — A divisive fight over the future of a crude-oil pipeline across Minnesota is pinning presidential candidates between environmentalists and trade unions in a 2020 battleground state, testing their campaign promises to ease away from fossil fuels.” Then it states something controversial, saying “Progressive candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have condemned a Canadian company’s plan to replace its old and deteriorating Line 3 pipeline, which carries Canadian crude across the forests and wetlands of northern Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin. They’ve sided with environmental and tribal groups that have been trying to stop the project for years, arguing that the oil should stay in the ground. Other candidates, including home-state Sen. Amy Klobuchar and front-runner Joe Biden, have remained largely silent, mindful that such projects are viewed as job creators for some of the working-class voters they may need to win the state next year.”

I must take issue with this statement:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and front-runner Joe Biden, have remained largely silent, mindful that such projects are viewed as job creators for some of the working-class voters they may need to win the state next year.

Oh really, Joe? Then what did you mean at this campaign event?

Ending fossil fuels necessarily requires being opposed to the Line 3 Pipeline project because the Line 3 Pipeline project carries fossil fuels. Democrats don’t want to admit that because Democrats want to appease both construction workers and environmental activists simultaneously. That’s impossible because those organizations fit together like oil and water. (Pardon the metaphor but I couldn’t resist.)

I’d also reject the notion that Sen. Klobuchar has stayed neutral, as this suggests:

Klobuchar has also avoided taking a position. She has said she wants to ensure a thorough environmental and scientific review to determine if the Line 3 project should move forward. Minnesota regulators signed off on the main environmental review last year, although an appeals court has ordered additional study on the potential impacts to the Lake Superior watershed. But she recently returned $5,600 in donations from an Enbridge project manager after a liberal watchdog group, the Public Accountability Initiative, revealed them.

Sen. Klobuchar knows that that’s BS. The Line 3 has already gone through the entire permitting process, including getting the approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The only step left is for the lawsuits to get settled. Enbridge played by the rules laid out by the legislature and signed by the governor.

Jason Lewis put things beautifully when he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate:

When Republican Jason Lewis launched his U.S. Senate campaign at the Minnesota State Fair, the former congressman said he would focus on greater Minnesota — the mostly rural part outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area — to make up for Democratic strength in the cities. He highlighted the 8th Congressional District, which covers northeastern Minnesota and has swung from blue to red. Lewis said Trump’s campaign is “dead serious about Minnesota,” and that he expects it to follow the same strategy.

“Greater Minnesota is turning red, deep red. I don’t know how a Democrat’s going to win the 8th District promising to give pink slips to every trade union member on the Iron Range, promising to stop Enbridge, to stop copper mining, to stop logging, to stop people from having jobs on the Iron Range,” Lewis said.

The DFL is almost ceding rural Minnesota legislative districts while becoming more and more metrocentric. If the DFL continues siding with environmental activists and against the construction unions, they won’t win many elections in rural Minnesota. The truth is that the DFL isn’t interested in farmers or laborers, aka the F-L in DFL.

If President Trump highlights the differences between the DFL’s broken promises to farmers and laborers vs. President Trump’s promises made and promises kept on the issue of slapping tariffs on China to prevent steel dumping, he’ll make Minnesota competitive again.

Democrats love saying that budgets are moral documents. Democrats then say that budgets reflect our priorities. If that’s true, which I think it kinda is, then Tina Smith’s budget priorities are disgusting. As Minnesota’s junior senator, she’s opposed all projects that would’ve helped the people of northern Minnesota. That isn’t opinion. It’s fact. She’s fought the Line 3 Pipeline. She’s opposed the PolyMet and Twin Metals mining projects.

Just those projects alone would’ve had the opportunity to transform the Iron Range from a region with sky-high poverty rates and a virtually nonexistent middle class into a prospering region of the state. The median household income in Virginia, MN is $36,327, compared with the statewide average of $65,699. The percentage of people living below the Federal Poverty Level in Minnesota is 10.5%, compared with 24% living below the FPL in Virginia, MN.

While visiting southern Minnesota, Sen. Smith said “I think at the end of the day, I’m just thinking about what Minnesotans are thinking about, which is prescription drug costs being too high, how can they get the kind of amazing workforce training that they need to get great jobs like they can get here at Red Wing Shoes, and that’s where I’m going to stay focused as long as I can.”

If Smith was honest, which she isn’t, she’d admit that she’s thinking about what Minnesotans are thinking about as long as they aren’t living in rural Minnesota. That isn’t just true now that she’s a US senator. It was true in her time as Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor. It was true when she was Gov. Dayton’s chief of staff.

Writing off a huge geographical part of the state, including the part that feeds the rest of the state, is disgusting. Still, that’s what Tina Smith is doing. That’s been a staple of her political life for years.

If Smith won’t pay attention to rural Minnesota, she should get fired next November. Tina Smith isn’t about doing the right thing for the entire state. Tina Smith and the DFL is only interested in doing what’s best for the metro DFL. That’s why the DFL has lost the farm vote and the laborer vote. When the Metro DFL unanimously opposes the Line 3 Pipeline, which provides the vast majority of jet fuel for Minneapolis International Airport, they’re saying that serving their special interest masters is more important than doing right by the biggest airport in Minnesota.

How foolish is that? Does that like the decision that a person who is “just thinking about what Minnesotans are thinking?” I’m betting that a significant majority of Minnesotans would disagree with Tina Smith and the Democrats on that issue.

It’s time to fire the DFL, Tina Smith included. The DFL’s priorities, like Tina Smith’s priorities, increasingly aren’t Minnesota’s priorities.

Contrary to the Democrats’ paid spinmeisters statements, Democrats favor open borders as their immigration policy. Right after Democrats took control of the House, Democrat spinmeisters told the American people that everyone was for securing the US border with Mexico.

That spin was a total lie. There’s no way to hide the fact that Democrats aren’t interested in securing the border. There’s an old economic principle that’s applicable to this. The principle says that if you want less of something, you tax it. If you want more of something, you incentivize it. Apply that principle to immigration, if you want lots of illegal immigration, change the risk/reward ratio to make the risk of getting caught minimal. Similarly, if you want to reduce illegal immigration, make it so that the cost of illegally crossing the border is extraordinarily high. Also, make the task extraordinarily difficult.

Put in practical terms, build a wall that’s difficult to climb to make the traffickers’ jobs difficult. (Also, it’s worth highlighting that building barriers forces those traffickers and cartels into chokepoints. That helps fewer agents protect more miles of border. That means the border patrol’s activities are significantly more efficient. I’d think increasing the CBP’s efficiency would be DHS’s highest priority.

At this point, it’s clear that this isn’t the Democrats’ highest priority. I’d argue that it isn’t a priority whatsoever. Katie Pavlich’s article offers proof that substantiates my hypothesis:

“Immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil, not a criminal, issue,” Democratic presidential candidate and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro wrote in an April op-ed on Medium.

Right. If you want fewer migrants to cross the US-Mexico border, tell the traffickers that the people will have to pay a tiny fine instead of getting deported. That should put the fear of God in those traffickers. Not.

“I agree with Secretary Castro. We should not be criminalizing mamas and babies trying to flee violence at home or trying to build a better future. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that is in line with our values, creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants including our Dreamers, and protects our borders,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) told HuffPost.

Notice Pocahontas’ wording:

We should not be criminalizing mamas and babies trying to flee violence at home…

Sen. Warren, should we criminalize traffickers using purchased babies to get into the US? That’s happening with increasing frequency. Read this website if you want your stomach turning in a split-second. When Democrats vote against legitimate border security measures, they’re voting for continuing the status quo. What type of sick person would vote to continue such a disgusting industry? That’s what happens when Democrats vote against the Republicans’ border security proposals.

Right. Let’s make it easier for illegal aliens to reach the United States. Let’s make it inexpensive for cartels to put these children’s lives at risk during the trip. That’s what Castro’s plan would do.

The next time a Democrat tells you that they’re for securing the border, ask them what they’re doing to increase the risk to traffickers. Then ask those Democrats to tell you what they’re doing to shrink the incentives for attempting to illegally enter the United States. If their plans don’t include creating chokepoints and increasing the efficiency for border patrol agents, then tell them to contact you when they put together a serious plan.