Laura Bliss is a staff writer at CityLab, covering transportation, infrastructure, and the environment. She also authors MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps that reveal and shape urban spaces (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles, GOOD, L.A. Review of Books, and beyond.
In case you were distracted, here’s what you missed, via Twitter.
Even if former FBI director James Comey hadn’t been scheduled to deliver an explosive testimony to Congress, in which he described apparently deliberate attempts by the American president to halt the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, it’s safe to say Infrastructure Week would have fallen somewhat flat.
That’s because President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure “plan” remains untethered to anything resembling legislation. The most we know is that the White House hopes to “leverage” $200 billion in federal funds to attract another $800 billion in private investment. Nobody who knows anything about infrastructure believes this will work. That didn’t stop the president from five days of speech-ifying and document-signing in the name of “addressing America's crumbling infrastructure,” though.
Meanwhile, Comey’s testimony marked a watershed moment in the biggest political scandal in modern American memory. When the history books close on this chapter, they better not forget to mention: This week was supposed to be Infrastructure Week.
With that, a favorite tweet for each of the last five days:
Trump signs some routine memos accompanied by a military band, sends characteristically off-topic tweets:
People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
About that $1 trillion. Seems like something’s missing?
Useful thing to keep in mind this week: Trump's plan actually CUTS infrastructure funding https://t.co/Su4Wpa4zJY— Brian Deese (@BrianCDeese) June 5, 2017
There's a brazen bait-and-switch on infrastructure in the Trump budget that's gone largely unnoticed - look at this chart 1/ pic.twitter.com/wupXrXUD2D— Jacob Leibenluft (@jleibenluft) May 23, 2017
“Today we will build the dreams that will open new paths to a better tomorrow,” Trump told a members-only audience of a Cincinnati marina. If only the president were capable of this kind of poetry:
Infrastructure Week getting completely overshadowed by other politics is kind of a great metaphor for why transit systems are crumbling https://t.co/AogGUX4jom— Nicole Dungca (@ndungca) June 9, 2017
Vice President Pence gets into the theme with some mayors and governors...
"Folks, it’s already been a banner week for infrastructure."—Vice President Mike Pence today— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) June 8, 2017
… while Comey offers a shocking testimony to Congress:
This hearing is a pathetic and transparent attempt to distract from Infrastructure Week.— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) June 8, 2017
Trump meets with DOT, surely to explain his proposed budget cuts. What won’t we build next?
Infrastructure Week closes on a high note https://t.co/SCUlNTlp9h— Matt Ford (@fordm) June 9, 2017
In Rose Garden, the president of the USA accused the former FBI director of perjury and wouldn't answer if he has a secret taping system.— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) June 9, 2017