Smart Nations Have Modern, Smart Infrastructure

Job figures coming out on April 2, 2021 “blew away” expectations as the economy added far more jobs than expected. That’s a good thing, even if it’s not clear whether the good news foreshadows a long term trend or is just a misleading blip.

The bad part is that opponents of President Biden’s “Build-Back-Better” infrastructure program are sure to use the good news to claim the Biden infrastructure program isn’t needed.

Whenever good news about “jobs” shows up on the Democrats’ watch, the GOP uses it to claim that public investments and spending aren’t needed. That’s absolutely not the case…


I do think President Biden is doing the "outreach to Republicans" thing as a matter of form. Perhaps at some point some Republicans will sign on. In the meantime it's also clear he's mobilized to operate as if none will join him. And by the way, although we can say things as we wish, there is no need to gratuitously ramp up the temperature in the comments we produce.


Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who holds the record for the longest one-person filibuster, leading opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He spoke for 23 hours, 30 minutes, nonstop. Other opponents of the Act, delayed a vote for 57 days, after which the bill passed. Thurmond, then a Democrat, eventually switched parties, becoming a Republican in 1964. Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/is-the-filibuster-constitutional/

In late 2016, Senate Majority Leader McConnell weaponized a distorted version of a Joe Biden Senate speech as a key part of the Republican excuse to kill President Obama’s Merrick Garland, Supreme Court nomination. Joe Biden delivered his speech on June 25, 1992, noting his disquiet about presidents nominating a Supreme Court justice in the midst of a presidential election campaign. …


Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

For moral and technical reasons comprehensive reform of immigration policy should happen, but much to the frustration of immigration advocates, it hasn’t. It’s not likely to happen during the Biden Presidency either. This is a version of an earlier essay

Well, it’s déjà vu all over again. The Biden Administration is poised to take another shot at comprehensive immigration reform. The Biden Administration is, I believe, sincere about this objective. Yet I am pessimistic that immigration reform will be enacted in anything like the sensible, humane, and sweeping way sought by its advocates.

Nearly eight years ago, in mid-2013, the…


V.P. Pence didn’t obey the Criminal & Looter in Chief’s order to gum up the Electoral College vote certification, which is a good thing, even if Pence owns a morally dubious record in public office.

Trump was right. Vice President Pence, on January 6, 2021, could have “ruled” against accepting the electors submitted by Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Had that hypothetical happened, there would have been a messy overruling of Pence’s decision and eventually the Electoral College results would have been certified. But not without a lot more sound and fury than what has by now transpired. Yes, it could have been worse. Much worse.

However, Vice President Pence dutifully acted out his prescribed role and did not contribute any additional source of conflict and faux “objection” to our recent presidential election…


As a young boy The Great American Family embraced me. I now fear I am again a stranger. Yet, I still hope I can find my American home once more.

Displaced Persons, “DPs” and refugees boarding a troopship in Bremerhaven, West Germany, 1952

American soldiers liberated my parents from the Nazi effort to murder them. Their parents, brothers and sisters, as well as grandparents had already been liquidated by the time they were freed in late April 1945 at Dachau Concentration Camp, not far from Munich, West Germany. At that desperate moment, American soldiers provided food, clothes and housing.

Later, American soldiers were among my parents’ friends and they would sometimes come to our home for dinners when my parents moved from the large displaced persons camp at Feldafing to Munich. My mother and I left West Germany from Bremerhaven in January1952. …


It feels as if the “United” part of the term, United States, is being consumed by an array of fires — the forest and wild fires and the blaze of civic outrage erupting everywhere. In our national government’s response to the infernos across and down the western coast of this nation, there is indifference and even disdain. After all, Washington, Oregon, and California are “blue states”. They don’t count in Donald Trump’s self-interest calculations. They’re just “Democrat” states.

Any visit by President Trump to the West Coast is just an expedient side-trip from his Nevada fund-raising effort, designed to posture…


Police shootings are just another opportunity for Trump to indulge in his penchant for fanning the fires and stoking the anger. And Putin smiles.

We have to say this from the start. We are sickened and frightened by violence. Seriously, though, are we really shocked when riots and violence result after persistent police shootings that seem to our eyes to be unjustified and excessive? Are we really shocked when the double-standard and hypocrisy of the American “justice” system causes paroxysms of violent reaction in the communities most affected?

One cannot even talk about any of this without ritual acknowledgements about…


“Kick them when they’re down” is what you expect from goons collecting for a loan shark. Why should we accept that kind of behavior from Republicans who seem ready to kick those who are already down and devastated by unemployment and higher rates of illness and death due to the jobs they do and their underlying health problems?

Republicans are now expediently blubbering about “too much” spending, despite their unbridled deficit-producing, debt-growing tax cuts and their blank check for military spending. …

Max Neiman

Professor Emeritus, Political Science, Univ. of California (UCR) / Former Assoc. Dir. Research, PPIC / Adjunct Professor USF / neiman.max@gmail.com / #maxneiman

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