Inflation since QE has not been outside historical levels. QE started around late 2008.
A lot of that "consistency" is due to tweaks in the CPI in 1980 and 1990... Adjusting for those calculation tweaks we see that inflation is actually quite high, nearing 9% on the historical record, not the claimed 2%.
I fly business class a fair amount - and when they serve lunch/dinner I get nice, metal forks, butter knives, and serrated steak knives. All served with a smile and an "enjoy your meal sir!"
Why worry about smuggling a knife onto a plane? Just book business/first class, enjoy yourself one last time, and then do your worst with the tools the airline graciously provided for you.
The bigger issue is that the pipeline is being built by a private corporation (TransCanada) which will be using it to confiscate U.S. land (part of immenent domain) at the expense of the U.S. in economic development, and if something were to fail in the pipeline or be targeted, it would hurt the U.S. and the onus would be on us to repair the environmental damage.
TransCanada will NOT confiscate US land, and has ZERO ability to implement eminent domain. The localities/States that work together to implement the utility of the pipeline do have the power of eminent domain, and can use it to clear the way for the pipeline (a utility). And that does not leave TransCanada off the hook for any environmental damage from the pipeline. Ask any pipeline owner about eminent domain and their legal obligations to maintaining the pipeline and the land it uses.
The sensible thing, of course, would be to run Linux, so in the event of another amazing display of incompetence like that (which is probably already in the pipeline), they could support an older version in-house for a tiny, tiny fraction of that cost.
This is the Federal Government we're talking about. Not only is "sensible" a negative thing, but the costs of internal maintenance of any IT project would most likely be multiples of just paying someone else for a proprietary solution. Consider the IRS is "only" paying $12 million for a year's support for its computers; doing that in-house would undoubtedly cost 4-5 times that amount and result in slower service as all requests need to be filed in triplicate with 3 different agencies, and cross-referenced with non-sequential numbers...