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Coming Soon: A National Charging Network for Electric Vehicles
Plus, Mona Charen on why phonics works.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Is This The Santos Tipping Point?
SHIELD OF THE REPUBLIC 🎧: Superpowered Arms.
WILL SALETAN: A Better Way to Fight Abortion
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PAUL ALEXANDER: Coming Soon: A National Charging Network for Electric Vehicles.
Last fall, the Biden administration announced a $900-million disbursement of funds to states as part of a previously announced five-year, five-billion-dollar plan to help construct a nationwide charging-station network to accommodate travel by electric vehicle (EV). The funds are from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The forthcoming construction will augment the comparatively modest existing EV infrastructure that has been built by a coalition of like-minded electricity-based companies.
To highlight the importance of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the press has focused on projects like the reconstruction of the ramshackle Brent Spence Bridge connecting Covington, Kentucky with Cincinnati, Ohio, mostly because Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell provided a rare joint media appearance there to announce the project. However, the funds from the infrastructure law that can be truly transformative are those earmarked for the charging-station network. That’s because the creation of such an electric infrastructure, with 500,000 stations in rural and urban locations from coast to coast, will likely usher in nothing short of a revolution in transportation in America.
Before John Kelly became chief of staff, he thought the chaos at the White House was due to the people around Trump. Instead, each day was about getting through the day without Trump doing something illegal, immoral, or damaging to himself or the country. Mike Schmidt joins Charlie Sykes today.
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JOE PERTICONE: Investigators Will Likely Want to Talk to House Republicans Who Might Have Known About George Santos
On to today’s edition. I spoke this week with Tim Stretton, director of the Congressional Oversight Initiative at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a centrist nonprofit group.
Drawing on his experience as an alumnus of the Senate—he worked for Maine Republican Susan Collins—Tim now trains congressional staff on how to conduct investigations and oversight, making him the perfect person to ask about the famous (infamous, even) new congressman from the Empire State, George Santos.
MONA CHAREN: Why Johnny Might Finally Learn to Read.
If you’re a parent with kids in public school, you are doubtless aware of the roiling controversies about the teaching of critical race theory and about policies governing the participation of trans athletes in sports. Those things are not trivial, but you’re probably not hearing much about a far more consequential matter: how schools are failing to teach kids to read.
That’s right—failing badly. Even before the dramatic learning loss caused by COVID, only one third of American fourth and eighth graders were reading at grade level. How is that not a massive scandal? If only one-third of traffic lights were working properly, or one-third of army tanks could fulfill their mission, or one-third of firefighters knew how to use a firehose, we’d properly call that a government failure. And yet the failure to teach kids the basics of reading—despite widespread scientific and scholarly consensus about the best way—has dragged on year after year and decade after decade.
BEN RADERSTORF AND BEAU TREMITIERE: Americans Deserve a House of Representatives That Better Represents Them.
This month, the world was treated to the spectacle of the U.S. House of Representatives paralyzed for four days as Kevin McCarthy failed, ballot after ballot, to win the speaker’s gavel. He reportedly secured his victory by striking a Faustian bargain with the right wing of his conference, giving it a remarkable degree of power—to block and advance legislation, to sow chaos by pushing for a debt default, to run extremist candidates without opposition, and even to remove McCarthy from power on a snap vote. These concessions all but ensure the 118th Congress will be a microcosm of our political era. Expect bitter rifts, both within and between two dominant parties, one of which has been captured and held hostage by an authoritarian faction hostile to democracy itself; government divided on slim margins; and farcical political theater.
Yet away from Washington, something very different has happened. In Ohio, Alaska, and Pennsylvania, state legislative chambers all faced similar potential leadership impasses because of narrow margins, extremist factions, or both. But in all three states, groups within both parties united behind a consensus candidate or coalition.
Have fun tonight! Wish I could be joining you in LA tonight, but know that all who go will have a fun time. Which reminds me: no TNB this week. For those in Seattle? Same! Sad to miss you, but enjoy yourselves.
The Gambler 500… At the library yesterday, I spotted a car that from a distance looked like it was an “InfoWarrior” car. But it wasn’t. It was from The Gambler 500, which I had no idea existed. Check it out if you love keeping public lands clean.
“The most recent obsession… is categorically false.” Except it’s not. Our friend Molly Jong-Fast writes on “the not particularly talented” Mr. Santos:
This sense of grievance lies at the heart of MAGA—the feeling that one has been wronged and is thus entitled to lie or cheat to get what’s rightfully theirs. Republican leaders may try to portray Santos as an anomaly, an unfortunate accident. But the new representative from New York is actually quite representative of his party.
Picking fights with kooks… Does not a moderate make. But MTG and her friends are trying to appear reasonable by comparison. Nobody’s falling for it.
Who leaked the Dobbs decision? The Marshal of the Supreme Court has no answers… yet.
How to save your smart phone’s battery… A useful guide.
Three active duty Marines in Intel… Arrested for their actions on January 6.
Trump gets confused… In a deposition, he thought one of his accusers was his ex-wife.
Monica Lewinsky…. On the 25th anniversary of the Bill Clinton calamity.
‘I see things now that I’ve never seen before…’ An interview with Tom Liddy, the Maricopa county attorney who fought the election truthers.
How not to say no to $50 million… The only winners here are the spectators, but the public catfight between Canadian-American vlogger Stephen Crowder and Jeremy “The God King” Boreing of Jeremy’s Razors / the Daily Wire is a sight to behold.
Tough act to follow? Karine Jean-Pierre is getting low marks from the WH press corps.
LIV Golf got a TV deal… But it’s with The CW. And on their app.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.