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February 26th, 2021|

February 25th, 2021|

From Ezra Klein’s “Texas Is a Rich State in a Rich Country, and Look What Happened” piece in the NYT:

Texas will not prove unique, or even all that bad, in terms of how fragile the assumptions beneath its critical infrastructure really were. Most of its mistakes are familiar to anyone who has ever covered the politics of infrastructure and disaster preparation. Shalini Vajjhala, who worked on climate resilience in the Obama administration and is now the chief executive of re:focus partners, a firm that helps cities prepare for climate change, put it sharply to me. “When I am successful, that means something hasn’t happened. That’s good policy, but it’s lousy politics. The first year, you’re applauded. The second year, your budget is cut. The third year, your staff goes away.”

Yes, indeed, the US approach to preventative maintenance encapsulated.  Respond to a crisis, decide whew, this is expensive, stick head in sand, underfund, eliminate, repeat.  Witness public health before the pandemic.  We’re not always particularly smart.

Recommended:

• David Leonhardt and Yaryna Serkez do an excellent job of laying out how much better economic gains have been historically under Democratic administrations, writing “Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?” in the NY Times.  Some excepts:

“Since 1933, the economy has grown at an annual average rate of 4.6 percent under Democratic presidents and 2.4 percent under Republicans, according to a Times analysis. In more concrete terms: The average income of Americans would be more than double its current level if the economy had somehow grown at the Democratic rate for all of the past nine decades.”

and:

Annual Growth Rate Under Different Presidents

• Jennifer Senior delivers an excellent read in her NYT opinion essay Good Riddance Leader McConnell.  One delightful and fitting except re. McConnell:

“So if hitching his wagon to a sub-literate mob boss with a fondness for white supremacists and a penchant for conspiracy theories and a sociopath’s smirking disregard for the truth meant getting those tax cuts and those conservative judges … hey, that’s the cost of doing business, right?”

We should not forget these 6 senators, who on January 6, 2010 chose to act in their own self interest rather than in the interest of the country by continuing to support the lie that there was some serious voting irregularity in the November 2020 elections; this despite evidence of the harm they are causing that could not have been plainer.

Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

And a special negative shout out goes to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and minority whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who cynically encouraged Republican house members to oppose certification of the election with no basis in law or fact (138 went on to do so), this vote after the insurrectionists’ occupation of the Capitol.