• UCLA Flood: A Real Life of Example of What Happens When We Ignore Our Infrastructure

    Posted by elizabethbb on 07/30/2014


    You don’t typically hear about flooding in Los Angeles, especially as the city is in the midst of a serious drought. But on Tuesday afternoon, much of the city’s west side found itself under water — including famed Sunset Boulevard and major portions of the UCLA campus — after a 90-year-old water main burst, spilling 8 million gallons of water onto the streets.

    As a proud graduate of the University of Southern California, I typically don’t have much sympathy for my foes over in Westwood. But college rivalries aside, the UCLA flood is a real world example of what happens — and what will continue to happen — if we don’t seriously invest in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.

    The Los Angeles Times noted that the UCLA flood is just the latest in a series of infrastructure woes for the city’s Department of Water and Power (DWP):

    The failure of the aging, steel-riveted water main was another black eye for the DWP. Five years ago, the city suffered a plague of 101 major breaks in the summer and fall, as water repeatedly burst through the aging network of corroded old cast-iron pipes.

    When the pipe burst on Tuesday, water soared 30 feet into the air, opening up a 15-foot hole on the street. People were left stranded in their cars and on the roofs of parking garages. Many of UCLA’s athletic facilities were flooded, including recently renovated Pauley Pavilion, home to the school’s perennially overrated basketball team (OK, couldn’t help but sneak that joke in).

    Thankfully, no injuries were reported. But 8 million gallons of water were lost at a time when much of the west is in a drought, one so bad that Los Angeles residents face $500 fines for water overuse.

    The city didn’t have a drop of water to spare. It just lost 8 million gallons. Think about that.

    We often talk about infrastructure in a policy-minded fashion, noting that infrastructure investment will create millions of jobs across the country and provide a major boost to our economy.

    But investing in infrastructure also is something we simply can no longer put off, and what happened in the City of Angels Tuesday shows us why. We’ll see many more UCLA floods — and far-worse incidents — if we don’t get serious about rebuilding our water mains, our ports, our railroads, and our 70,000 structurally unsound roads and bridges.

    Things could will get worse if we don’t get to work soon.

Posted by elizabethbb 07/29/2014

Politicians talk a big game about how dedicated they are to supporting American manufacturing workers...  at least during campaign season.

Case in point: Former Michigan Secretary of State turned Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land is out with a new 30-second campaign ad touting her “Michigan First Plan” — and specifically, her “Free and Fair Trade Plan.”

What’s in this plan, exactly? Here’s what she has to say:

Posted by elizabethbb 07/28/2014

Happy Monday — and welcome to

Posted by mmcmullan 07/25/2014

Good afternoon,

And welcome to the Early Shift. We’re back at it after Netroots Nation 2014. Back on the grind. What’s been happening out there this week?

@KeepitMadeinUSA on Twitter

  • MT @ScottPaulAAM Don't cheer 2Q GDP estimate yet: imports rose faster than exports, an unnecessary drag on growth. http://t.co/J7WUhVJxOT 3 hours 32 min ago
  • Missed the news last night? Here's a recap of the status of the legislation to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent: http://t.co/3fNnYwW5KI 4 hours 40 min ago
  • ICYMI: Senate passed its version of Highway Trust Fund bill; shortened length of extension to Dec. instead of May 2015. Heads back to House. 16 hours 59 min ago
  • The Senate is now debating legislation to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund (well, until May 2015). Watch on @cspan: http://t.co/7h65biQlFz 20 hours 51 min ago
  • RT @SteveRattner: Amazing shift in US jobs -- gone from making things to taking care of sick people http://t.co/44ZBilZiCg 21 hours 47 min ago
  • We must be close to election season. Candidates are talking a big game about unfair trade on the campaign trail: http://t.co/vsahfLZSb4 1 day 12 min ago
  • Looks like @amazon is getting into the 3D printing business. http://t.co/dHa0askSK9 1 day 1 hour ago
  • RT @WisconsinOven: MT @KeepitMadeinUSA @ScottPaulAAM shares ideas in @HuffingtonPost on how to restore American manufacturing leadership:ht… 1 day 2 hours ago
  • BTW, ALL the machines at that Indianapolis Adidas plant helped produce LeBron jerseys. http://t.co/InVSaeooRv Plus more in Iowa & Cleveland. 1 day 2 hours ago
  • !!! RT @darrenrovell The LeBron jersey assembly line at Adidas facility in Indianapolis http://t.co/FCcJz76kpa 1 day 2 hours ago