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Old 04-30-2019, 02:18 PM
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Trump and Congressional Democrats tentatively agree to $2 trillion infrastructure bill


Tentative agreement - but it is very light on details as to just what the bill would be for and how it would be paid for - and Congressional Republicans would have to support it, too.


https://www.npr.org/2019/04/30/71867...-on-how-to-pay
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:23 PM
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It will be interesting to see how the Mock Turtle is going to respond to this. Mitch wouldn't give the Democratic Party a glass of water at noon on the summer solstice, but with Orange Julius Caesar supposedly on board with this bill, how is he going to block it without looking (more) like an idiot?
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:43 PM
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From the article: "The leaders say they're waiting for Trump to outline his ideas for that in three weeks"

Hahahahahahaha! This will never happen.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:57 PM
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From the article: "The leaders say they're waiting for Trump to outline his ideas for that in three weeks"

Hahahahahahaha! This will never happen.
Once Fox n Friends is through with this, Trump's "ideas" will morph from "2 trillion infrastructure bill" to a "lock up immigrants in camps and blame the Democrats bill"
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:01 PM
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From the article: "The leaders say they're waiting for Trump to outline his ideas for that in three weeks"

Hahahahahahaha! This will never happen.
Yeppers.

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Old 04-30-2019, 03:15 PM
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My first thought upon reading the headline was "$2T? That's a LOT of wall!" On a more serious note though, I hope it doesn't include more failed high-speed-train-to-nowhere projects.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:17 PM
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Man, I don't know about you all, or if it's just me, but this week has seemed to last forever.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:20 PM
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I think it will happen; it's just that it will morph into a battle over how much $$ goes where. The Ds and Rs will want as much of the money shifted towards blue and red states, respectively.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:49 PM
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The devil is obviously going to be in the details.

When infrastructure came up previously it was clear that both sides had very different ideas of what that meant. With Democrats thinking it meant the government directly hiring contractors to build things where they are needed, while the Republicans seemed to favor giving tax breaks to corporations to would build things that they viewed as profitable, with the understanding that anything that doesn't result in a direct profit for corporations isn't worth while.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 04-30-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:07 PM
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It will never happen. We've seen Pelosi and Schumer visit the White House squatter and come away thinking there was a deal, only to find out Donald's handlers make him renege on it. Dipstick will probably throw in a demand for a wall or else no money for roads and bridges.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:13 PM
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I think Trump will support an Infrastructure bill. He campaigned on fixing Infrastructure.

This is the sort of big project that will appeal to Trump's desire for a lasting legacy. He'll have many opportunities to remind everyone what a great job he did. I don't mind stroking his ego, if it means getting our bridges and dams fixed.

It'll employ a lot of people in manufacturing and construction.

I hope stupid political infighting doesn't ruin this opportunity. It's encouraging that the Democratic leadership initiated this proposal.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-30-2019 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:22 PM
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How many barbed-wire surrounded camps can you make for $2 Trillion, anyway?
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:27 PM
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I think Trump will support an Infrastructure bill. He campaigned on fixing Infrastructure.

....
I recall Trump campaigning on, in this order, Wall, Wall, Wall, Wall, Wall, repeal and replace Obamacare, Mexicans are rapist gang members, keeping Muslims out.

Last edited by bobot; 04-30-2019 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:28 PM
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I think Trump will support an Infrastructure bill. He campaigned on fixing Infrastructure.

This is the sort of big project that will appeal to Trump's desire for a lasting legacy. He'll have many opportunities to remind everyone what a great job he did. I don't mind stroking his ego, if it means getting our bridges and dams fixed.

It'll employ a lot of people in manufacturing and construction.

I hope stupid political infighting doesn't ruin this opportunity. It's encouraging that the Democratic leadership initiated this proposal.
This post seems to assume that Trump is a rational and coherent politician. I don't know why you'd make that assumption, but I see absolutely no reason to believe that Trump saying X about a tentative agreement with the Democrats has anything to do with the likelihood of Trump actually doing X in terms of an agreement with the Democrats.

In short, he's an irrational, incompetent, dishonorable, and incoherent toddler, and there's no reason that any of us should believe that he as any ability or likelihood to make and execute a reasonable agreement with the other party.

Maybe this agreement will buck the trend and actually go somewhere, but it's a crapshoot and there's no way to predict the behavior of entirely irrational, incoherent, and dishonorable actors like Trump.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 04-30-2019 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:46 PM
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Trump might want infrastructure, but that's irrelevant to what his handlers want.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:57 PM
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Trump might want infrastructure, but that's irrelevant to what his handlers want.
You misspelled "Fox News" there.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:03 PM
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They were talking with the Tuesday Trump today. Don't be surprised if the Thursday or Friday Trump changes course 180 degrees or so.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:26 PM
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Smapti, not all of his handlers are on Fox News. Don't forget about Putin.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:43 PM
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All joking aside though, what does the nation really need infrastructure-wise?

1. Big push for clean and renewable energy would be in everyone's interest
2. At some point, Republicans will probably try to tuck border-wall funding into it, so there's that
3. I hear many air-traffic control computers and IT systems are multi-decades-old and obsolete
4. Crumbling bridges, etc.
5. Power grid is vulnerable to EMP attack
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:35 PM
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Small earthen dams are a major concern.

Many were built decades ago and had no maintenance. Sometimes they don't even know who built it or have any blueprints.

Some houses in my hometown neighborhood flooded after a earthen dam failed. Most people didn't know it was there.

People have no idea if their land is protected by something built maybe 80 years ago. It might have been a private project, county, or city.

Just finding them all and inspecting is a challenge.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-30-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:32 PM
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The article title speaks volumes - "Trump And Democrats Agree On $2 Trillion For Infrastructure, But Not On How To Pay"

There's big broad, if relatively weak, bipartisan support for upping infrastructure spending for quite a while now. Addressing inadequate spending for already built but aging infrastructure has gotten the highest priority but it's not the only area. It's never gotten anywhere because of the issue of how to pay for it.

Paying for it has been the major hurdle. It continues to be the big hurdle. A tentative agreement that ignore the hardest part of getting something done isn't much of an agreement.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:24 PM
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Matching funds with the states is one option to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Broadband updates certainly needs coordination with the states.

A lot of older and dangerous bridges are on state highways. States can't do much except basic maintenance without federal matching $$$$

They're talking a long 25 year plan for upgrading infrastructure. Funding it is a long term challenge.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-30-2019 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:29 PM
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Even without changing the power generation, and even aside from vulnerability to deliberate attack, our electrical grid could use a lot of improvements (some of which would incidentally also make it easier to change the form of generation and help protect against attacks, but which would also have other benefits).
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:00 PM
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My first thought upon reading the headline was "$2T? That's a LOT of wall!" On a more serious note though, I hope it doesn't include more failed high-speed-train-to-nowhere projects.


I don’t want high speed rail to nowhere and we don’t need a Fairbanks to Barrow high speed rail. But, we do need high speed rail in the USA for the short to medium haul routes that would ordinarily be covered by car or Southwest Airlines.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:14 PM
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My first thought upon reading the headline was "$2T? That's a LOT of wall!" On a more serious note though, I hope it doesn't include more failed high-speed-train-to-nowhere projects.
How about train-to-somewhere projects? The Northeast Corridor (Washington-New York City-Boston) is heavily used and operates at a profit. There's a lot that could be done to improve the routes and make the service even more attractive to passengers.

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The article title speaks volumes - "Trump And Democrats Agree On $2 Trillion For Infrastructure, But Not On How To Pay"

There's big broad, if relatively weak, bipartisan support for upping infrastructure spending for quite a while now. Addressing inadequate spending for already built but aging infrastructure has gotten the highest priority but it's not the only area. It's never gotten anywhere because of the issue of how to pay for it.

Paying for it has been the major hurdle. It continues to be the big hurdle. A tentative agreement that ignore the hardest part of getting something done isn't much of an agreement.
Does Trump know that when the government hires people to build things that it typically does pay them?
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:15 PM
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Trump might want infrastructure, but that's irrelevant to what his handlers want.
I don't think Trump even has the faintest idea what an infrastructure plan would look like. I suspect that Mitch will tell Trump that there's not enough GOP support and he will claim that he was conned by Chuck and Nancy and then back out of it.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:30 PM
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I don't think Trump even has the faintest idea what an infrastructure plan would look like. I suspect that Mitch will tell Trump that there's not enough GOP support and he will claim that he was conned by Chuck and Nancy and then back out of it.
You forgot that he'll add insulting nicknames and finish off with "Sad"
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:07 PM
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I expect money to go towards nuclear missile silos and other military projects, even though the Pentagon already has a healthy budget. I can see the Wall going in there too, but if it is a line in a $2T infrastructure package of which at least half goes towards what in common understanding are public infrastructure projects, funded by taxes which fall 89% on the 1%, over 20+ years, maybe we should take the path that has something for everybody instead of nothing at all?
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:14 PM
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maybe we should take the path that has something for everybody instead of nothing at all?
No. No racist walls, no concentration camps for kids, no looking away from rape, murder, and criminal behavior against people because the GOP doesn't like their religion, race, politics, or gender. There are lines we should not cross, and until Trump and the GOP come back from the other side of that line, we should not make deals like that.

But since Trump hasn't actually managed to make one of these "deals" and actually follow through on it, it doesn't really matter what he's proposing, anyway.

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Old 04-30-2019, 11:29 PM
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Well, the Dems need the Approval from Trump, but the Details have to be negotiated with McConnell. One one hand, McConnell is more likely to relinquish the wall. OTOH, he will hardly look at Dems, let alone make a tax-hiking deal with them. Never know if pressure from the Trumpers could be put to bear for a good purpose though.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:56 PM
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I donít want high speed rail to nowhere and we donít need a Fairbanks to Barrow high speed rail. But, we do need high speed rail in the USA for the short to medium haul routes that would ordinarily be covered by car or Southwest Airlines.
Just curious, why do we "need" high speed rail? What's wrong with the job cars and Southwest Airlines are doing?
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:03 AM
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My favorite part of the linked article

“There was some confusion when talking about infrastructure. According to the aide, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) asked Trump to remember the Great Lakes when addressing the needs of ports. Trump asked “ What’s happening with the fish?”, prompting some confusion.

Hahahahahahaha. Freaking senile dotard. I hope that’s his new answer to every question.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:06 AM
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How about train-to-somewhere projects? ...
That would be an improvement over burning billions of dollars in that money pit known as California.

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... The Northeast Corridor (Washington-New York City-Boston) is heavily used and operates at a profit. ...
I'm not even convinced that that's true, but "operates at a profit" is obviously written to downplay the fact that it doesn't cover its capital costs, so it's really a moot point anyways.

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... There's a lot that could be done to improve the routes and make the service even more attractive to passengers. ...
That's probably true, but there's plenty that could be done to improve highways and air travel with more money too. Why are trains special?
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:53 AM
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Trains along the Northeast Corridor on dedicated long-range routes could actually be faster than air travel or automobile, while allowing for a significant reduction of the CO2 footprint of the entire region, while also providing a reason to upgrade all kinds of adjacent things. It could potentially rejuvenate the region and modernize it to a degree that is "Beyond China". Let's face it: the megalopolis is not going anywhere. Maybe utilizing AI to optimize the planning process could lead to a project that actually benefits the region, and by knock on effect the country and the world, rather than descending into one of an infinite number of possible boondoggles a corrupt and imperfect system can create.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:31 AM
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Re: the fishies: I think Trump was referring to the invasive species problems in the Great Lakes. For him that's a blue-ribbon comment. It's actually relevant.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:12 AM
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I think Trump's comment meant that all he saw the Great lakes for is that lakes have fish.
I also think that he does the opposite of caring about the invasive species issue. Here in my neck of the woods are rivers which allow asian carp access to lake michigan. For years the govt. has funded efforts to eliminate the carp movement here at the river level, before they make it to the lake. Guess what has happened to that funding since Trump won the electoral college?
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:01 AM
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Why are trains special?
They're not. You said you didn't want any more "failed high-speed-train-to-nowhere projects", so I offered a counter-example of a train project that provides a useful service to many people.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:53 AM
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Just curious, why do we "need" high speed rail? What's wrong with the job cars and Southwest Airlines are doing?
In certain places that aren't the sticks, rail is better than those options. It's faster, less costly to the consumer, and reduces traffic. The downside is the major up-front investment. It's sort of like how some people gripe about the need for more nuclear power plants, even though it's probably the smart thing to do -- yet people more generally have a hard time justifying the initial cost.

Oh, but trains don't poop radioactive waste.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:27 AM
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Re: the fishies: I think Trump was referring to the invasive species problems in the Great Lakes. For him that's a blue-ribbon comment. It's actually relevant.
There are a great many relevant and intelligent questions that could have followed up "what's happening with the fish?" - I just can't picture Donald Trump asking any of them, though I'm open to the possibility if given the full context.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:51 AM
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Apparently HurricaneDitka thinks that the most populous state in the nation is "nowhere".
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:10 AM
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Everyone should have seen this coming from a mile away. There is nothing Congress and Trump can agree more on than handing out money to cronies. I’d like to see this blocked in the senate, which seems like a possibility.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:15 AM
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Trains along the Northeast Corridor on dedicated long-range routes could actually be faster than air travel or automobile, while allowing for a significant reduction of the CO2 footprint of the entire region, while also providing a reason to upgrade all kinds of adjacent things. It could potentially rejuvenate the region and modernize it to a degree that is "Beyond China". Let's face it: the megalopolis is not going anywhere. Maybe utilizing AI to optimize the planning process could lead to a project that actually benefits the region, and by knock on effect the country and the world, rather than descending into one of an infinite number of possible boondoggles a corrupt and imperfect system can create.
Yes AI is a buzzword for operations research now, but I doubt that either will be used to optimize a government project that needs Congressional funding. The route will be optimized to maximize cronyism, not utility.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:48 AM
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Everyone should have seen this coming from a mile away. There is nothing Congress and Trump can agree more on than handing out money to cronies. Iíd like to see this blocked in the senate, which seems like a possibility.
It will be blocked by the actual power brokers in the country .... Fox n Friends.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:08 AM
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Re: the fishies: I think Trump was referring to the invasive species problems in the Great Lakes. For him that's a blue-ribbon comment. It's actually relevant.
I realize what Trump was thinking. And I realize that, inside his excuse for a brain, he performed some sort of string of free association that led to the comment. But when you blurt it out without giving anyone else a ticket to the train of thought that got you there, it makes you look like an idiot,
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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It will be blocked by the actual power brokers in the country .... Fox n Friends.
Thatís fine by me.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:12 PM
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Yes AI is a buzzword for operations research now, but I doubt that either will be used to optimize a government project that needs Congressional funding. The route will be optimized to maximize cronyism, not utility.
Ah, but what if it wasn't? What if the plan were written in such a way that the project was optimized to the highest objective standards?

I can't say I know how a project like this would actually play out. I just want you to recognize that the maximally cynical view of government action is a POV you are Choosing. There is nothing inevitable about it, no matter how much an article if faith it may be of Fox.
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:28 PM
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Ah, but what if it wasn't? What if the plan were written in such a way that the project was optimized to the highest objective standards?

I can't say I know how a project like this would actually play out. I just want you to recognize that the maximally cynical view of government action is a POV you are Choosing. There is nothing inevitable about it, no matter how much an article if faith it may be of Fox.
I honestly have no idea how Fox News is in the age of Trump. I lost track of them when I stopped watching The Daily Show many years ago.

As long as you know you are Choosing the maximally naive view of government, and you know there is no way anything like that will take place in a large country with a powerful central government. Maybe a city or town could manage such a project. Not the US govt. it simply has never been done because the US is too large.
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:33 PM
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I honestly have no idea how Fox News is in the age of Trump. I lost track of them when I stopped watching The Daily Show many years ago.

As long as you know you are Choosing the maximally naive view of government, and you know there is no way anything like that will take place in a large country with a powerful central government. Maybe a city or town could manage such a project. Not the US govt. it simply has never been done because the US is too large.
The government did get us to the moon, and defeat the Nazis. Government projects can be utter crap, or they can be successful. Neither is inevitable, no matter how big or ambitious the project is.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:41 PM
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Yeppers.

Charlie Brown. Lucy. Football.
Even if by some miracle, there is general agreement between both houses of Congress, and the whitehouse, and a bill passes the House and gets enough bi-partisan support in the senate to overcome a filibuster, and send to to Trumps desk to sign, you know that he's going to see that as a moment of maximum leverage and refuse to sign it unless some pet project of his (wall, golf course, prison camp, 50 foot statue of himself) is included. And even if they modify the bill to include that he'll just come up with something even more egregious.

Trump doesn't think a deal is good for him unless the other side hates it.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:39 PM
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I honestly have no idea how Fox News is in the age of Trump. I lost track of them when I stopped watching The Daily Show many years ago.
Sorry to pigeonhole you as a Foxhead. Everyone in my world who takes it as an article of faith that the government can only bungle are conservative Fox watchers. I guess I feel like I am arguing with Fox, and not individual thinkers, a lot of the time. But that's not the case with you, and I retract that suggestion.
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As long as you know you are Choosing the maximally naive view of government, and you know there is no way anything like that will take place in a large country with a powerful central government. Maybe a city or town could manage such a project. Not the US govt. it simply has never been done because the US is too large.
To say that the US government simply can't have positive achievements, premised on its size of all things, is demonstrably not maximally naive, and therefore you are totally off-base to say you or I "know" nothing "like that will take place in a large country with a powerful central government." Look at the interstate highway system. We've had that for almost 70 years. It makes sense because the US is so large, and it is so useful in large part because the US is so big.

A (single!) federal interstate high speed rail network along the Northeast Corridor certainly is within the realm of possibility in the technical sense- such things already exist. China is big, arguably bigger than the US, yet they have them. And they are way closer to a powerful, authoritarian central government than the US. Face it, they aren't exactly a democracy over there. So to say the big ol' US can't build it because... Too. Big., well, it sounds like a faith-y pronouncement rather than a reasoned, evidence-based argument.

Are you witnessing? Do you have a strong and specific political identity, like anti-Statist or Libertarian or Rock Ribbed Conservative or something? If you are meh about it, forget it, but if you have a strong conviction in some faith or political philosophy and that is informing this, yanno, belief of yours, tell me what it is so I can understand where you are coming from.

Last edited by Try2B Comprehensive; 05-01-2019 at 07:40 PM.
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