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2 hours ago, deicer said:

Folks may find the following of interest (at least if you live or are concerned with the US).

America's Infrastructure Report Card 2021 | GPA: C-

But for those of us more interested in "close to home" the following should be of interest:

The 2019 Canada Infrastructure Report Card (canadianinfrastructure.ca)

Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

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Thanks for posting that.

As your links also show, we are falling way behind in Canada, like the U.S. on maintaining our infrastructure.

With the increased heavy traffic on our roads, the old way of financing maintenance and rebuilding isn't keeping up.

Where do we go from here?

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15 hours ago, deicer said:

Thanks for posting that.

As your links also show, we are falling way behind in Canada, like the U.S. on maintaining our infrastructure.

With the increased heavy traffic on our roads, the old way of financing maintenance and rebuilding isn't keeping up.

Where do we go from here?

Charge electric vehicles by the mile as they do not pay badly needed gasoline taxes. Plus, subsidies for electric cars could be eliminated. Let the market rule. Lower business taxes to attract businesses to this country. Capital gains taxes should be steadily lowered as well, combined with much reduced government spending.

Incentives to significantly increase investments in natural resources including oil and even coal for export (until such time that it is eventually phased out) which will reduce the debt.

A parallel, privatized health care system would be a great start. We could have it set up to attract patients from around the world bringing in new money while line-ups are decreased over here.

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Trump was tougher on Russia than Biden

Had the current president maintained Trump’s deterrence, the Ukraine fiasco might have never happened

 

Vladimir Putin’s new year is off to quite a start. The Russian autocrat isn’t just massing troops on the Ukraine border, kicking off a diplomatic panic in European capitals and in Washington. In recent days he’s also backed a refugee stand-off with Poland, helped Kazakhstan’s strongman squelch pro-democracy protests, maintained a presence in Assad’s Syria, established new footholds in Mali and Central African Republic, cozied up to communist China, and, in a nod to Khrushchev, hinted he might build military infrastructure in Cuba and Venezuela.

What’s remarkable about this geographically expansive, chaos-inducing, dangerous spectacle is that it was entirely avoidable

Mr. Putin is no cipher. He is a son of the former Soviet Union, a system that was steeped in lies and sustained by violence, an experience that shaped his leadership style. Any threat to his power at home, by a political opponent or too-inquisitive journalist, is put down immediately. Abroad, any democratic movement on Russia’s periphery, be it in Georgia, Ukraine, or elsewhere, is rapidly undermined by Russian military power or proxies like the Wagner Group. This is not a man who responds to diplomatic niceties or craves adoration from Davos Man. Mr. Putin is more accurately understood as a corrupt thug with a nuclear arsenal and oil rigs.

These commonsense insights were internalized during the Donald Trump era, to great effect. When the 45th president met Putin in Helsinki in July 2018, many critics (full disclosure: myself included) panned the display as a too-friendly rapprochement with the Russian. What they (and I) failed to understand was the bigger picture: President Trump and his national security team had constructed a larger strategic framework to constrain Putin’s worst instincts while bolstering American national security.

American deterrence laid the foundation. From the very beginning of his administration, President Trump made clear that the use of force was never off the table. Recall the threat of “fire and fury” against North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un? Or the “mother of all bombs” that the Trump Pentagon dropped on militants in Afghanistan? Or the remarkably effective “maximum pressure” campaign on the Islamic Republic of Iran? All were of a piece with a larger strategy of rebuilding a military deterrent, which Barack Obama had dangerously eroded in almost every major theater.

Then there was the economic lever. Republican administrations are generally friendlier to risk-taking and capital investment than their Democrat counterparts, but Trump was especially so. His four years of regulatory pruning and pro-exploration policies facilitated an explosion in energy production and job creation, resulting in two remarkable feats: transforming the US into the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer, and making the US a net energy exporter for the first time in 70 years. The cost of energy, which impacts every manufactured good’s price, tumbled and American economic growth surged.

The Trump energy boom reduced the OPEC cartel’s pricing power, reducing the flow of rubles into Mr. Putin’s coffers and allowing the administration to credibly increase political pressure on nations like Germany to wean themselves off of Russian energy supplies. American diplomats fanned out across Europe to encourage the Three Seas Initiative and the East-West natural gas pipeline across the Mediterranean, a joint project between Greece, Israel, and Cyprus.

I personally witnessed former secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s meetings with his Croatian and Slovenian counterparts, where energy security was a major topic of discussion. Our goal was to develop multiple alternatives for our European friends to diversify their energy sources and build relationships with more reliable (read: non-Russian) suppliers — preferably American. Can you imagine such a discussion happening today?

Of course not. And that’s the strategic 180-degree lurch upon which Putin has seized. Joe Biden hasn’t just been anti-fossil fuel production, shuttering American pipelines and walling off swathes of Alaska to oil exploration and production, giving Mr. Putin a much-needed cash infusion. In his first year, President Biden and his team have also accommodated many key Russian demands, from renewing the New START treaty, to withdrawing American opposition to the Nordstream II pipeline, to engaging in multiple rounds of diplomatic talks with Messrs. Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov without anything to show for it.

Layer on top of that the broader destruction, once again, of US military deterrence, thanks to the administration’s disastrous, hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan, its reduction in military support for Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi terrorists, its slide back into “dialogue” with communist China, its laconic support (if you can call it that) of pro-democracy Cuban and Venezuelan dissidents, and its abandonment of efforts to engage Pyongyang in talks. Mr. Putin isn’t living in an isolation cell in Matrosskaya Tishina. He knows weakness when he sees it.

Like his Soviet forebears, Vladimir Putin will press his advantage until forced to withdraw. If the Biden team maintains its current course, the rapidly unfolding Ukraine crisis may only just be the beginning.

 

https://spectatorworld.com/topic/trump-was-tougher-on-russia-than-biden/

 

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Seeing as de-icer keeps bringing up somebody’s handle, I took a look at that person’s old posts and discovered that this Woxof person is super smart. 
 

look at what he said on his 5 or 6 posts on the subject over a decade ago on this forum.

 

 

 

You might want to listen to this woxof fellow over the silly left wing arguments claiming hatred.

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That woxof guy truly is a genius. Read his posts on the above thread. 
 

But guess what, the fools in Germany didn’t listen to me and are so stupid, they are decommissioning perfectly good nuclear reactors as we speak. 
 

Remember: intelligence and common sense are not guaranteed to come together. That is why we have so many stupid policies. Intelligent people that know their art history and types of wine and think that it makes them qualified for jobs they shouldn’t be doing.

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Majority wants Biden to consider 'all possible nominees' for SCOTUS: POLL

1 hour ago
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A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that a plurality of Americans view the Supreme Court as motivated by partisanship, while President Joe Biden's campaign trail vow to select a Black woman to fill a high-court vacancy without reviewing all potential candidates evokes a sharply negative reaction from voters.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel, comes days after the most senior member of the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, announced his retirement at the end of the current term. Breyer's announcement provides Biden the opportunity to change the demographic makeup of the conservative-leaning bench.
During the spring 2020 presidential primaries, days before his set of big wins on Super Tuesday, Biden pledged to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, if elected. Now, with the chance to do so, just over three-quarters of Americans (76%) want Biden to consider "all possible nominees." Just 23% want him to automatically follow through on his history-making commitment that the White House seems keen on seeing through. At a ceremony honoring the retiring justice, Biden told reporters he is able to honor his promise without compromising on quality.
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14 hours ago, Junior said:

That woxof guy truly is a genius. Read his posts on the above thread. 
 

But guess what, the fools in Germany didn’t listen to me and are so stupid, they are decommissioning perfectly good nuclear reactors as we speak. 
 

Remember: intelligence and common sense are not guaranteed to come together. That is why we have so many stupid policies. Intelligent people that know their art history and types of wine and think that it makes them qualified for jobs they shouldn’t be doing.

Looks like the NATO leadership agrees with this Woxof genius. 

 

NATO concerned over Europe's energy security amid standoff with Russia (msn.com)

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The moderate left decided to embrace the malevolent left socialists as an opportunistic way to power. This has led to totalitarian-like policies like cancel culture and now is morphing into mass illegal immigration in an attempt to get votes, policies that encourage huge increases of violence(for whatever twisted reason that could ever be but perhaps a belief of increasing votes in certain communities), and now health care by race.

Even the moderate left may be starting to see what a massive mistake this was. One can only hope that it leads to them being out of power for a generation(at least in the US as enough people are bribed in Canada to keep them in power) and after losing cherished things such as ObamaCare and abortion rights(which I support by the way), they will realize to never embrace the malevolent socialists again. For me, I hate to see abortion rights disappear but it could be a necessary evil to rid us of an even worse evil.

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Russia masses more troops near Ukraine, U.S. says

MOSCOW/ADELAIDE, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Russia is now massing yet more troops near Ukraine and an invasion could come at any time, perhaps before the end of this month's Winter Olympics, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.

Commercial satellite images published by a private U.S. company showed new Russian military deployments at several locations near Ukraine.

In his starkest warning yet to Americans in Ukraine to get out now, President Joe Biden said he would not send troops to rescue U.S. citizens in the event of a Russian assault.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/us-says-russia-masses-more-troops-near-ukraine-invasion-could-come-any-time-2022-02-11/

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8 hours ago, Jaydee said:

“We Are Screwed”

As an aside to a good video, I find it noteworthy that ridicule is now the weapon of choice and has become front and centre in public debate.

Look at the absolutely chilling effect that it had on serious discussion about covid treatment. I think we will soon see that politics and narrative killed more people than covid could ever have done on its own.

Today's headlines in the form of "breaking news" are usually yesterday's  observations and questions that were previously banned and ridiculed. The worst part of it is that the questions now being asked are the same ones grade 13 biology students would have been asking in class. The answers are more complicated than the questions but when questions are banned answers suffer too.

It seems that ridicule and total absurdity is the only thing that people notice and react to now. The downside is that It causes gross swings in a pendulum that now drives narrative instead of clock works... we are all the poorer for it IMO.

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AOC is exactly right here IMO. 

Republicans smugly congratulated themselves when droves of Democrats left other jurisdictions, never seeming to grasp that (for good or ill) demographic trends have consequences. 

And like those who move to the country only to complain about the smell of horses, democrats filled their U-Haul trailers with all of the baggage that they were trying to escape by moving in the first place.  

If you've ever lived on a lake with a seasonal population you can identify... it doesn't take long for there to be weeds growing in the centre of the lake (from fertilizers) and people sitting on top of each other, in haze of BBQ smoke with the drone of jet skis, loud music and barking dogs in the back ground, reminiscing about the deer who used to graze in their back yard and the loons who kept them awake at night.

 

AOC says Texas turning blue is inevitable during campaign stop

Trump carried the state in 2020

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The hard-left politics of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and the so-called "Squad," once a dominant theme for vast numbers of elected Democrats, is backfiring big-time on the party in power, top Democrats tell us.

  • Why it matters: The push to defund the police, rename schools and tear down statues has created a significant obstacle to Democrats keeping control of the House, the Senate and the party's overall image. 

"It's what we've been screaming about for a year," said Matt Bennett, c0-founder of center-left Third Way, which launched Shield PAC to defend moderate Democrats.

  • "It's a huge problem."

The latest sign of the backlash was the landslide (70%+) recall this week of three San Francisco school board members, who were criticized for prioritizing issues like the renaming of 44 public schools — including oneshonoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln — over a return to in-person classes.

  • Other factors like an abrupt admissions change to a prestigious high school were at play (all politics is local). 
  • But the most liberal city in the most liberal state decided that liberal activists had gone too far. 

It's part of a barrage of evidence that the progressive activism of the Squad pushed the party's image way left of where most voters are — even most Democratic voters. 

This is a seismic shift from just a year ago. The signs have built steadily throughout President Biden's 13 months in office that Squad politics are problematic when you control everything: 

  • 30 House Democrats — the most in decades — have announced they'll retire instead of running in November's midterms. They see little hope of keeping the majority in this environment. 
  • Democrats lose poll after poll of generic House matchups, which ask voters if they'd prefer an R or a D if the election were held today. 

Republicans' decisive sweep of statewide offices in Virginia was powered in part by Democrats' failure to appreciate parents' skepticism about public schools' mask mandates, policies on transgender rights and approach to teaching about race. 

  • Also in November, voters in liberal Minneapolis rejected a proposal designed to radically constrain police.

Zoom out: House Democrats' own polling and focus groups show many swing voters think the party is too "preachy," "judgmental" and "focused on culture wars," according to documents obtained by Politico.

  • An Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll found crime and gun violence are leading worries for Hispanics, whose once-reliable support for Democrats has cooled in part because of "fears of Democrats embracing socialist policies," The New York Times reported.
  • Already in midterm races, Democrats in swing districts are scrambling to distance themselves from far-left movements to "defund the police" and "abolish ICE," The Washington Post found. 

Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota says her fellow Democrats are hurting themselves by not speaking out more forcefully against liberal positions that alienate rural America.

  • Heitkamp — who heads the One Country Project, dedicated to energizing rural voters — told AP: "Now, the brand is so toxic that people who are Democrats, the ones left, aren't fighting for the party."
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The Left is desperately trying to wake up the Left.

 

Michael Bloomberg, former New York mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, today has an apocalyptic warning for his party:

  • "[A]bsent an immediate course correction, the party is headed for a wipeout in November, up and down the ballot."

Bloomberg, in an editorial for Bloomberg Opinion, cites Democratic research that "voters perceive the party as being too 'focused on the culture wars' — from renaming schools to defunding the police":

But the advice that party leaders are giving members of Congress — to "correct the record" when Republicans criticize them on schools and culture — isn't going to cut it. Voters need to hear from Democrats that schools remained closed for too long, and that improving schools means closing achievement gaps, not eliminating standards. 

Pointing to last week's school-board recall, Bloomberg concluded: "The earthquake that shook San Francisco needs to shake up our party, before voters do it themselves in November."

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51 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

The Left is desperately trying to wake up the Left.

Pretty incredible eh?

I sometimes wonder who their CAOC Battle Commander is and what he might be thinking. Does the inability of democrats to read a calendar drive him mad or is he the January pinup boy?

Frankly, I'm a bit of a sucker for this... when smart people do manifestly foolish things I always assume that I'm missing something.

I reconcile it with the notion that narrative is a bit like that old CRM (remember when we called it that?) concept of "strength of an idea."

If ever the psychology of self defeating tactics gets put under a microscope and encapsulated in print, strength of an idea will have it's own chapter.

 

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On 1/30/2022 at 1:32 AM, Junior said:

That woxof guy truly is a genius. Read his posts on the above thread. 
 

But guess what, the fools in Germany didn’t listen to me and are so stupid, they are decommissioning perfectly good nuclear reactors as we speak. 
 

Remember: intelligence and common sense are not guaranteed to come together. That is why we have so many stupid policies. Intelligent people that know their art history and types of wine and think that it makes them qualified for jobs they shouldn’t be doing.

Even CNN is admitting that the Democrats naïve beliefs that Russia was not long a threat was foolish. That Woxof guy knew what he was talking about back in 2008 and should be believed when he gives an opinion now. I believed China was a threat 25 years ago with Tianenmen Square but foolish people wanted to coddle them for a long time. 

Now I say that the socialists(and Liberals who have decided to accommodate their ideas) right here are huge internal threat. Believe me.

CNN

It's time to admit it: Mitt Romney was right about Russia

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large  
 
A decade ago, Mitt Romney went on CNN and made a statement that was widely perceived as a major mistake.
 
"Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe," Romney, who would be the Republican presidential nominee in the 2012 race against President Barack Obama, told Wolf Blitzer in March of that year. "They — they fight every cause for the world's worst actors."
 

Obama and his team pounced on the comment, insisting that it showed Romney was hopelessly out of touch when it came to the threats facing the US.

In the third presidential debate between the two candidates in October 2012, Obama went directly after Romney for that remark. "When you were asked, 'What's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America,' you said 'Russia.' Not al Qaeda; you said Russia," Obama said. "And, the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War's been over for 20 years."

At the time, the attack worked. Obama cast himself as the candidate who understood the current threats -- led by al Qaeda. Romney was the candidate still stuck in the Cold War age, a black-and-white figure in a colorful -- and complex -- world.

But today, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, Romney's comments look very, very different. And by "different," I mean "right," as even some Democrats are now acknowledging.

"This action by Putin further confirms that Mitt Romney was right when he called Russia the number one geopolitical foe," California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu said on CNN Monday night.

Given that, it's worth revisiting the context around what Romney said and why.

He was reacting to a hot-mic moment between Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in 2012. In that exchange, Obama told Medvedev: "This is my last election. And after my election, I have more flexibility."

Republicans were up in arms, insisting that Obama was taking a hard line with Russia publicly while, apparently, making clear to the country's leader that he was open to compromise.

In his original interview, Blitzer was asking Romney about Russia in the context of that Obama hot-mic moment. And while his comment about Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe" is what drew the most attention and derision, it was far from the only comment Romney made about that subject in his interview with Blitzer.

"Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage," Romney said at one point. "And for this President to be looking for greater flexibility, where he doesn't have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia, is very, very troubling, very alarming."

Pressed by Blitzer on his assertion about the threat posed by Russia, Romney added this:

"Well, I'm saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world's worst actors. Of course, the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran. A nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough.

"But when these -- these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when -- when Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go -- we go to the United Nations, and who is it that always stands up for the world's worst actors?

"It is always Russia, typically with China alongside."

What looked like a major flub during the 2012 campaign -- and was used as a political cudgel by Obama -- now looks very, very different. It should serve as a reminder that history is not written in the moment -- and that what something looks like in that moment is not a guarantee of what it will always look like.

 

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