Quote of the Day: What Mysterious Force is Preventing Passage of a Roads Bill?

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From Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, at a meeting of the Business Roundtable with President Obama:

Why not, before the Congress goes home for December, just pass a bill that takes the two bipartisan bills that I just mentioned, up, and solves the problem?

Smith is referring to a couple of bills that would restore the gasoline tax to its old level and increase funding for transportation projects. He raises a good question. I suppose there could be several reasons it’s hard to pass either of these bills:

  • Democrats are in thrall to labor unions, who are opposed to funding more infrastructure projects.
  • All our roads and bridges are in pretty good shape and we don’t really need more money for them.
  • As a socialist, President Obama opposes these bills because they would increase the profits of billionaire construction company CEOs.
  • Vladimir Putin has threatened to invade Nova Scotia if we pass these bills.
  • Santa Claus is coming to town and we’re all hoping we’ve been good enough to get the bridge repairs we asked him for.

Or, of course, it could be because Republicans are less afraid of letting our roads crumble into dust than they are of Grover Norquist saying mean things about them if they were to maintain the gasoline tax at historical levels. Because, you know, taxes.

Nah. That’s ridiculous. It’s probably the Putin thing.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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