Michael Hudson aptly describes "Trump's Infrastructure Plan" as "Developer Welfare." He describes how the Wall Street-financed construction of the 2nd Avenue line in New York City benefits the landlords along the line -- who are already raising rents on the people who were supposed to benefit from the line! And of course the MTA financed 2nd Avenue by borrowing from banksters, and now will be paying banksters interest in perpetuity. And that's the kind of "infrastructure" you'll see from Mr. Trump -- infrastructure that doesn't actually help ordinary Americans, but helps banksters and landlords, who seem to be his real constituency.
Spencer Woodman at The Intercept now finds eight U.S. states contemplating laws criminalizing peaceful protest in some way. What do they have to be afraid of? Well, North Dakota is mulling whether to make it OK to run over a protestor "accidentally," and supporters of that initiative actually have the cojones to tell you that the momentarily-successful Standing Rock protests make such legislation necessary! You know what else might make Standing Rock-style protests go away? Committing to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Of course, big fossil fuel corporations think there's no money in that, but they're wrong.
Fox News poll shows the Affordable Care Act is actually more popular than Donald Trump right now. And finding that 50% approvals for the ACA is fairly unprecedented -- during that interminable debate over the matter in 2009 and 2010, you couldn't find even 40% approval for the thing (though, as the "liberal" media usually ignored, a lot of folks, and not all of them liberals, disapproved of it because it wasn't single-payer). Could it be that folks like something better as soon as they fear they're going to lose it? Or that Republicans have failed so badly at convincing people they can do better? It's probably both.
Lost in the brouhaha over "grizzly bears" at Betsy DeVos's last confirmation hearing was her apparent conviction that disabled students shouldn't get equal access to public education under the law, which conviction not only runs afoul of over 40-year-old federal law, but also of basic human decency. Privatize the whole system, as Mr. DeVos is eager to do, and you're likely to have a crapload of corrupt charter schools taking public money to break public laws. Anyone else think we ought to just commit to making our public services be the best they can be, instead of giving in to the promises of snake oil salesfolk?
Surprise, surprise, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama has found the state guilty of "unconstitutional racial gerrymandering" in 12 state legislature districts (three Senate, nine House). Alabama will have to redraw those 12 districts before 2018, if they don't appeal, which they may do, even though the plaintiffs alleged that 36 districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. Still, it's something that the state drew a dozen districts so badly that even Judge William Pryor (lately mooted as Mr. Trump's next choice for the U.S. Supreme Court) wasn't willing to explain them away.
Finally, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich lights into President Trump in a radio rant. You may not have known the five-time NBA champion head coach was also a champion of civilization, but he is, declaring that "respect has to be earned," that "if our children would've said (what Mr. Trump said when he mocked a disabled reporter)" he'd have "grounded" them, that "the people around (Mr. Trump)...have the cynical approach and disingenuous attitude to really defend him and try to make it look like he didn't say what he said," and that Mr. Trump can't reach out to people he's hurt or offended because "bullies don't do that." And I haven't heard this anywhere else: "Instead of honoring the 117 people behind him (who died in the line of duty) where he was speaking (at the CIA offices), he talked about the size of the (inauguration) crowd." So what's Mr. Trump gonna do? Call Pop a loser?