Truth to Power

Everyone paying attention remembers Obama promising that the stimulus money would go to shovel ready jobs. It was a good image for the gullible. Americans could look around and see that the country needed repair work on its roads, bridges, infrastructures, power grids. With the money flowing, eager workers could go pick up a shovel at their pop up stimulus outlets and start making some Benjamins. They’re happy and Mr. and Mrs. America are happy to get a few things fixed.

Except, of course, it didn’t happen. The president admitted it himself. “Shovel ready wasn’t as shovel ready as we expected,” he famously said. It was never meant to be. It was always planned to be a money laundering project for donors and voting constituencies.

Had President Obama taken the lead and put money into repair of our energy infrastructures, he’d have found cooperation on the Left and the Right. That would have required leadership, however, something he obviously doesn’t have in his makeup.

This issue surfaced last night when Memphis experienced a “stormette.” A few gusts of wind associated with it managed to knock out power to 11,000 residences. It’s the fourth or fifth time this year that loss of power has happened in my home.

It’s not just a problem here, though. The entire nation’s power grid is so old, so frail and overwhelmed that it doesn’t take much to knock it down. Yet, more and more is piled up on the grids making disaster just a matter of time. They also are not secure from cyber attack. What could confuse and upset the country more than for an enemy to paralyze us by knocking sections out? In New York a few years ago five hours without power sent citizens into panic mode. Try coping for ten days, which happened to Memphis in 2003. Ten days for me, but twenty plus for many others in July with temperatures in the 90s.

Some Republican office holder needs to take on this issue and crusade (can I say that?) with it. Our own 9th Congressional District representative Steve Cohen hasn’t. He’s too deeply concerned with the issue of horse health and welfare or with joining the Congressional Black Caucus to stoop to something as piddly as energy.

But it would be a win for someone. Inevitably they would be vindicated by Mother Nature or an enemy’s cyber attack. One of our the main jobs of government, as the Constitution says, is to protect and defend the nation. This would certainly fall into that category.

Wouldn’t it be empowering?

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