Sunday, June 18, 2017

Paglia: Media misses real news while fantasizing about Watergate Redux

The media is agog over anything mentioning Trump, Russia, or FBI.  Camille Paglia slammed the media last week for making a fool out of itself while Trump goes on about his business in a Weekly Standard interview. She said

Last week, that conceptual gap was on prominent display, as the media, consumed with their preposterous Russian fantasies, were fixated on former FBI director James Comey's maudlin testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Comey is an effete charlatan who should have been fired within 48 hours of either Hillary or Trump taking office.) Meanwhile, Trump was going about his business. The following morning, he made remarks at the Department of Transportation about "regulatory relief," excerpts of which I happened to hear on my car radio that afternoon. His words about iron, aluminum, and steel seemed to cut like a knife through the airwaves. I later found the entire text on the White House website.   Rest of interview.

Yes, the President is his own worst enemy.  He sabotages himself on Twitter on a regular basis.  He all too often has to swing at every pitch or respond to every insult.  However, Ms. Paglia makes an interesting point.  This speech shows a sober, more serious side that is all too often ignored by the media.  I wouldn't have learned about it if not for reading her interview.  He is proposing major regulatory reform and it is probably an area where he has stayed close to fulfilling his campaign promises.  Of course, time will tell if he is able to reform the draconian federal permit process that bedevils too many projects.  JJ is merely saying here is a serious speech that is worthy of your time.  Feel free to disagree or agree with it in the comments.

 Here is the text of the speech:

Thank you, Secretary Chao. Thank you, everybody. This is very nice, by the way. Beautiful. I want to really thank you. You have been so amazing as the leader of this department, and the progress is being made so quickly. Leaders and officials gathered here from across the country have all praised the work that the Secretary is doing to create a safe, modern and reliable transportation system for the United States and for its great, great, great people.

I also want to thank Secretary Zinke for the fantastic job he’s doing at the Department of the Interior to clear the way for new infrastructure and economic development.

Both Secretary Chao and Zinke joined us at the White House yesterday for a meeting with state and local leaders to develop plans to replace America’s decaying infrastructure and construct new roads, rails, pipelines, tunnels, and bridges all across our nation.

We are here today to focus on solving one of the biggest obstacles to creating this new and desperately needed infrastructure, and that is the painfully slow, costly, and time-consuming process of getting permits and approvals to build. And I also knew that from the private sector. It is a long, slow, unnecessarily burdensome process.

My administration is committed to ending these terrible delays once and for all. The excruciating wait time for permitting has inflicted enormous financial pain to cities and states all throughout our nation and has blocked many important projects from ever getting off the ground. Many, many projects are long gone because they couldn’t get permits and there was no reason for it.

We’ve already taken historic steps to speed up the approvals, including the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline -- which was very quickly approved. They were sitting there for a long time saying, well, that project is dead. Then I came into office and, all of the sudden, a miracle. And I guarantee you, the consultants went over to the heads of the company and told them what a great job they did. They asked for a lot of money, most likely. But we got it approved. And we got it approved fast.

I’m also very proud to say that the Dakota Access Pipeline is now officially open for business. It was dead 120 days ago, and now it officially just opened for business. Very proud of that. Hi, Bill.

We’re also excited to be joined by representatives from our labor unions, including the North America Building Trades Union, which I know well, and the Laborers International Union of North America. You will play a -- go ahead, fellas, take a little credit. Come on, fellas. You will play a central role in rebuilding America. Very important.

We’re also joined, as well, by many distinguished members of Congress who share our total passion and desire to repair and restore America’s highways, railways, and waterways. In the audience is Chairman Bill Shuster of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Stand up, Bill. Thank you, Bill, great job -- who is working very closely with us, including on our proposal to dramatically reduce airport delays by reforming air traffic control.

We have an obsolete system. And I have to say, before Elaine got here, they had spent close to $7 billion on the system. Boom -- a waste. All wasted. But we’re going to have a great system -- great new system. A top of the line -- it will be the best in the world. Right now, we’re at the lowest part of the pack. It will be the best in the world, for a lot less money than they’ve been wasting for years.

For too long, America has poured trillions and trillions of dollars into rebuilding foreign countries while allowing our own country -- the country that we love -- and its infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair. We have structurally deficient bridges, clogged roads, crumbling dams and locks. Our rivers are in trouble. Our railways are aging. And chronic traffic that slows commerce and diminishes our citizens' quality of life. Other than that, we’re doing very well.

Instead of rebuilding our country, Washington has spent decades building a dense thicket of rules, regulations and red tape. It took only four years to build the Golden Gate Bridge and five years to build the Hoover Dam and less than one year to build the Empire State Building. People don’t believe that. It took less than one year. But today, it can take 10 years and far more than that just to get the approvals and permits needed to build a major infrastructure project.

These charts beside me are actually a simplified version of our highway permitting process. It includes 16 different approvals involving 10 different federal agencies being governed by 26 different statutes.

As one example -- and this happened just 30 minutes ago -- I was sitting with a great group of people responsible for their state’s economic development and roadways. All of you are in the room now. And one gentleman from Maryland was talking about an 18-mile road. And he brought with him some of the approvals that they’ve gotten and paid for. They spent $29 million for an environmental report, weighing 70 pounds and costing $24,000 per page.

And I said, do me a favor. I’m going to make a speech in a little while. Do you mind if I take that and show it? So I’m going to show it. So they spent millions and millions of dollars. When I said, how long has this short roadway been talked about, the gentleman said, well, if you say 20 years, you’re safe. I said, yeah, don’t say anymore because I have to be -- you know, I have to be exactly accurate with these people. I was off by like two months -- it’s a major front-page story. (7:10 in video)

But these binders on the stage could be replaced by just a few simple pages, and it would be just as good. It was actually be much better. Because these binders also make you do unnecessary things that cost billions and billions of dollars and they actually make it worse.

As another example, the 23 -- if you look at it, in Ohio, the Ohio River Bridge -- $2.3 billion. The project amassed a 150,000-page administrative record -- 150,000 pages is a five-story-tall building. Think of it. If you put the paper together, it’s a five-story building.

How can a country prosper under this kind of nonsense? And I know it. I know it so well, being in the private sector. But you know, in the private sector you move, and you wheel, and you deal, and you hope, and you pray. And maybe it goes a little faster, but it’s a horrible thing in the private sector also. And we’re talking about reducing that for the private sector likewise.

Why should we continue to accept what is so clearly unacceptable? Oftentimes, the consultants -- that are making a fortune because you can’t doing anything without hiring them, paying them a tremendous amount of money, having them write up this nonsense -- you can’t get approvals. And they’re in, in the case of New York, Albany -- they go to Albany, the state capital or, here, they go to Washington for federal. And they want to make it really tough because that way, you have to hire them. It's a terrible thing. It's a group of people -- probably nobody has ever heard anybody talk about it because -- I know it because I'm a business guy, I understand that. They work really hard to make it difficult. And some are believers, but most aren't. Most want to make a lot of money. So they make a very, very simple roadway or whatever you want to be building a very complicated subject, and they make it very much more expensive and they make it worse. It's not as good as it would have been.

I was not elected to continue a failed system. I was elected to change it. All of us in government service were elected to solve the problems that have plagued our nation. We are here to think big, to act boldly, and to rise above the petty partisan squabbling of Washington D.C. We are here to take action. It’s time to start building in our country, with American workers and with American iron, and aluminum and steel. It’s time to put up soaring new infrastructure that inspires pride in our people and our towns.

When I approved the Keystone Pipeline I said, where was the pipe made? Unfortunately, they had purchased a lot of it, but I put a little clause at the bottom -- you want to build a pipeline in this country, buy American steel and let it be fabricated here. Very simple little clause written in hand, but it does the trick.

It is time, at last, to put America First. Americans deserve the best infrastructure anywhere in the world. They deserve roads and bridges that are safe to travel, and pipes that deliver clean water into their homes. Not like what happened in Flint, Michigan. They deserve lanes of commerce that get people and products where they need to go on time. Most of all, Americans deserve a system of infrastructure that is looked upon not with pity -- the world, in many cases, is so far advanced that they look at our infrastructure as being sad. We want them to look at us with envy -- a system worthy of our magnificent country.

No longer can we allow these rules and regulations to tie down our economy, chain up our prosperity, and sap our great American spirit. That is why we will lift these restrictions and unleash the full potential of the United States of America.

To all our state and local leaders, I appreciate you being here today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Bill. I want you to know that help is finally -- after many, many decades -- on its way. We are giving control back to the cities and the states. You know best how to plan your communities, analyze your projects, and protect your local environment.

We will get rid of the redundancy and duplication that wastes your time and your money. Our goal is to give you one point of contact to deliver one decision -- yes or no -- for the entire federal government, and to deliver that decision quickly, whether it's a road, whether it's a highway, a bridge, a dam.

To do this, we are setting up a new council to help project managers navigate the bureaucratic maze. This council will also improve transparency by creating a new online dashboard allowing everyone to easily track major projects through every stage of the approval process. This council will make sure that every federal agency that is consistently delaying projects by missing deadlines will face tough, new penalties. I know it won't happen with these two. We don't have to worry about them. We will hold the bureaucracy accountable.

We are also creating a new office in the Council of Environmental Quality to root out inefficiency, clarify lines of authority, and streamline federal and state and local procedures so that communities can modernize their aging infrastructure without fear of outdated federal rules getting in their way.

This massive permit reform -- and that's what it is; it's a permit reform -- doesn’t sound glamorous. They won't write stories about it. They won't even talk about it. But it's so important. But it's only the first step in renewing America’s roads, rails, runways and rivers.

As I discussed in Ohio recently, my new vision for American infrastructure will generate $1 trillion in infrastructure investment -- which we desperately need. We've spent, as of a few months ago, $6 trillion in the Middle East. Think of it -- $6 trillion in the Middle East. And it's worse than it was 15 years ago by a factor of 10. And yet, if you want to build a little road in one of your communities in Pennsylvania or Ohio, or in Iowa, or in North Carolina, or in Florida, you can't get the money.

State and local leaders will have more power to decide which projects get built, when they start and how they are funded. And investors will have a much more predictable environment that encourages them to invest billions of dollars in capital that is currently stuck on the sidelines.

Together, we will build projects to inspire our youth, employ our workers, and create true prosperity for our people. We will pour new concrete, lay new brick, and watch new sparks light our factories as we forge metal from the furnaces of our Rust Belt and our beloved heartland -- which has been forgotten. It's not forgotten anymore.

We will put new American steel into the spine of our country. American workers will construct gleaming new lanes of commerce across our landscape. They will build these monuments from coast to coast, and from city to city. And with these new roads, bridges, airports and seaports, we will embark on a wonderful new journey into a bright and glorious future. We will build again. We will grow again. We will thrive again. And we will Make America Great Again.

Thank you. God bless you. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Thank you.


Heddy-Dale Matthias, MD said...

Camille Paglia is one of the smartest and most interesting writers in the US today.

Anonymous said...

Roger that.

Anonymous said...

I don't always agree with her, but she's honest and has common sense. Never thought one of my favorite writers would be a gay feminist, but it is what it is lol.

Anonymous said...

Camille Paglia may literally be the only honest liberal alive! I love reading her stuff.

Anonymous said...

Russian interference will be exposed for what it was/is.

Who assisted? Who knew?

That's the new craze.

Trump should dump all his info from campaign in muellers lap.

That would end it for sure

Anonymous said...

Lynyrd Skynyrd once wrote "now Watergate it does not bother me." I have the same sentiments toward this issue.

Anonymous said...

What do you know? An honest democrat!

Anonymous said...

Camille Paglia has been playing the Conservatives' Favorite Supposed Liberal for years now. She's also an dingbat, even on pop culture, her original strong point, also supposedly. She used to go on and on about how The Who's "Eminence Front" was pointing the way toward the future of rock 'n' roll and pop, how it could mature. Kept saying over and over in her book-length columns for Salon. Now it's the official anthem of GMC.

This post has nothing to do with Jackson, regardless.

Anonymous said...

If Ms Paglia didn't see or hear the pipeline speech reported, she wasn't paying attention. While it wasn't reported in full, the highlights were and frankly made Trump sound better than this speech.

I'm glad he mentioned a bridge and roads because the Keystone pipelines doesn't address our infrastructure crisis. We can hope delivery is faster and in time, cheaper but we don't have a crisis in delivering fuel. It's the electrical power grids and it's our water and sewer systems and dams and aging power plants. And, yes, it's the roads and bridges.

I've wonder if the President has considered railroad transportation. Those who have been to Europe and ridden the rails know the value and see the speed and ease in transportation.

I'm glad he acknowledged that we need clean water . I wish he'd mentioned clean air. I wish I saw that Perry wasn't just trying to dismantle EPA but had some alternative means to insure we have clean water and air and that the Koch's won't get a chance to increase their status as leading polluters.

As usual, there are no details or how it will be financed. I hope there is care in reducing regulations, because some of those regulations matter when it comes to whether or not a bridge is safe or if it ends up a bridge to nowhere. You don't build a house without blueprints and specifications and you certainly don't build a bridge without the same care! I have to wonder how many pages of paper was involved in building Trump Towers that was JUST the plans and specs! And, if Trump Tower started to lean like The Tower of Pisa, our President would be happy for every sheet of paper on that job!

I'm left , as always wondering " What's the plan , Stan? "

I frankly can't believe someone who exaggerates and lies so often and so unnecessarily. I can't trust someone who gets his information from Info Wars and who can't see that Alex Jones is either crazy or a con man. I want a President who knows fact from fiction.

Like Nixon, Trump could have been a great President. He has moments where that can be seen. He could have united us. But, sadly, they share being their own worst enemy. Nixon at least, knew what he didn't know. Trump doesn't imagine there's anything he doesn't know so he doesn't bother to find out.

Anonymous said...

This post has nothing to do with Jackson, regardless.

You love to complain. How sad.

Honor your ancestors said...

I wish she would run for President!

Anonymous said...

7:30 am You really believe that our national approach to infrastructure has "nothing to do with Jackson"...that Jackson won't be affected by federal funding for infrastructure?

How sad you are!

Anonymous said...

The thing that jumped out to me is this person considered Trump as a game show host. I understand that people under age 30 might think that. Trump has been very successful as a world wide real estate developer. He has gone broke a few times, but real estate investing can be very risky. Think about how someone took a run down Beal Street in Memphis and converted it into a successful venture. And how several people have tried that in Jackson in Ferris Street and failed 'bigly'. Trump started in NYC where the competition is great and mobsters control parts of the construction world. Real Estate development involves vision, and leadership. You often create teams of people who have never worked together and mold them into a productive unit. Projects can take a decade or more and can be very complicated. Certainly he lacks political experience, but his skill sets are quite useful in his new job. The people who lost this election - Dimocrats, Liberal media, RINOs, and liberal members of the deep state appear to be more concerned about causing Trump to fail than about helping America to succeed. They are not winning. They have distracted him but they lack proof that he has done anything wrong. Trump came into this as a closet liberal and wanted to work with both sides of the isle. The Dimocrats are showing him every day why that won't happen. They are fools.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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