How Are We Losing to These Clowns?

They’re actually running on the platform of making sure the trains not only don’t run on time, but don’t run:

Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama’s signature initiatives: his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation’s first bullet-train service.

In his State of the Union address this year, the president called for building high-speed rail, and backed up his words with $8 billion in stimulus money, distributed to various states, for rail projects.

But Republican candidates for governor in some of the states that won the biggest stimulus rail awards are reaching for the emergency brake.

In Wisconsin, which got more than $810 million in federal stimulus money to build a train line between Milwaukee and Madison, Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County executive and Republican candidate for governor, has made his opposition to the project central to his campaign.

Mr. Walker, who worries that the state could be required to spend $7 million to $10 million a year to operate the trains once the line is built, started a Web site, www.NoTrain.com, and has run a television advertisement in which he calls the rail project a boondoggle.

“I’m Scott Walker,” he says in the advertisement, “and if I’m elected as your next governor, we’ll stop this train.”

Oh, hell no! We don’t want no efficient high speed transportation around here! We’ll get to work in bumper to bumper traffic in our pick-em-up-trucks with “Jesus is my copilot” and “Palin 2012” bumper stickers, just the way God intended. Turning down a billion dollar train because you will have to pay 8 million a year in maintenance is like giving away a free car because you might have to one day buy windshield wiper fluid.






205 replies
  1. 1

    How Are We Losing to These Clowns?

    SATSQs
    Because the clowns are all white, love baby jeevus, and wear the biggest flag lapel pins.

    All the fixings for a great nation.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    Let me guess. They’ll take the money and start campaigning on claiming that they didn’t. “Thanks but no thanks to the rail line to nowhere” and all that.

    dms

  3. 3
    Napoleon says:

    You supported these clowns for years, not me.

  4. 4
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    We’d be happy to have that money in Minnesota. We’d use it to build light rail rather than high speed anything, but it’s been a winner.

  5. 5
    abo gato says:

    You know, the more this goes on, the more I really, really want to move out of the country. I am hoping to be able to do that. This place will truly be unlivable in 20 years in their hands.

    Course, the jeebus is coming back before then, so that’s why it’s all okay.

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    Oh, and read about how the Spanish Revolution came about.

  7. 7
    ChrisWWW says:

    Real ‘Muricans love cars!

    In all seriousness, I bet trains poll a lot better among young folks (and city dwellers) than the rest of America. This issue is easily contorted into a message about evil liberals trying to take away your right to own a Ford Explorer, smoke cigarettes, or take your concealed weapon to a bar.

  8. 8
    morzer says:

    More to the point, they don’t want the jobs that would come from constructing and maintaining the lines, not to mention running the trains and stations.

    Democrats should be hammering this guy 24/7 for trying to deny hard-working Badger Staters the jobs they need.

    “Scott Walker has no plans to bring jobs to Wisconsin – except for himself and his cronies. Democrats are proposing a modern rail system, with thousands of jobs in construction, system maintenance and running the line. Scott Walker wants to stop those jobs. Make your choice – one Republican extremist governor, or thousands of Wisconsin jobs”.

  9. 9
    morzer says:

    @Napoleon:

    I seem to remember you had quite a bad time in Spain yourself, Nappy. In fact, you developed a rather nasty Spanish Ulcer as I recall.

  10. 10

    Is Walker winning in Wisconsin? Seems the folks in the People’s Republic of Madison would be heavily against him. And I’m sure there are some other progressives around the state who could put whoever his opponent is over the top.

  11. 11
    BerkeleyMom says:

    I honestly think that whatever they think “liberal/progressives” want, the Repubs/Teatards are against even if it makes no sense at all: healthy eating, kids getting exercise, clean water, safe food, unemployment insurance, healthcare, the president telling kids to work hard in school, soccer, public transportation and on and on. And now today, one of these numbskulls is against hugging.

    This are pure toddler tantrums. There is no logic.

  12. 12
    schrodinger's cat says:

    We haven’t lost anything yet. Stop writing premature obituaries and propagating the conventional wisdom of the village.

  13. 13
    morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hmm.. so I am assuming you were alive when you posted, but now I am in a state of uncertainty. Do I write your obituary or not?

  14. 14
    stuckinred says:

    Marta is essentially inside the perimeter in Atlanta so those black folks can’t get out to the burbs!

  15. 15
    r€nato says:

    Soooo… who put the ball-gag on Michael Steele, and tossed him in the basement? He has disappeared like Jimmy Hoffa, didn’t he?

  16. 16
    Suck It Up! says:

    Is there nothing else he could oppose? I’d like to meet the idiots signing his petition.

  17. 17
    Bret says:

    How Are We Losing To These Clowns?

    Two words: Brown people.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Face says:

    Route that bitch thru the Dells, and watch support for that mag-lev skyrocket.

  20. 20
    lamh32 says:

    IMHO, they are all nuts.

    OT, but did ya’ll hear the latest (well 2006) from Witchy Chrissy?

    O’Donnell In 2006: I Know ‘Classified Information’ About Secret Chinese Plot To Take Over U.S.!

    The woman is a nut job! I especially love James Fallows take though:

    Of Course, I Was Going to Vote for Christine O’Donnell Before This

    If I lived in Delaware. And I was seized by a spirit of Theater of the Absurd. And I thought having her in the Senate might make CSPAN live coverage more fun. And if I hadn’t read via Chris Good the latest gem, unearthed by the AP from 2006: …

    It’s not the concern about takeover that’s so far-fetched. Who knows how the world will look in 50 years. It is the “privy to classified information” riff that, to anyone who knows anything about the world of politics, instantly signals, “I am completely insane.”

    “Dabbling” in witchcraft, mice with human brains — yeah yeah, I don’t care. But the idea (a) that there would be a secret document laying it all out, (b) that it would have come into her hands, and (c) that her confidentiality oaths would bind her to protect it — all this instantly connects her with the vast reserve armies of conspiratorialist lunatics that anyone in any branch of public life (media, politics, civil service) encounters over the years. I’m never sure which is worse: the person who says, “If you will just spend six hours with me on the phone discussing my single-space document with handwritten marginalia, you will finally understand the true conspiracy!” Or, the person who says, “I wish I could show you the single-space document that contains the final proof, but They would come to get me if I said another word.” It’s a close call.
    Either way, Ms. O’Donnell, I now have a familiar category into which to fit you. It’s been fun until now.

  21. 21
    IndyLib says:

    @morzer:

    Democrats should be hammering this guy 24/7 for trying to deny hard-working Badger Staters the jobs they need.

    Barret is a little busy running ads like these. He’ll get around to the jobs in a bit.

  22. 22
    stuckinred says:

    @morzer: Marta is the rail system in Atlanta. They have never been able to get it extended into the suburbs and the traffic continues to be among the worst in the nation.

  23. 23
    Turgidson says:

    @r€nato:

    No kidding. He’s months overdue for his regularly scheduled huge gaffe/epic fail.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @r€nato: Last I heard, he was wasting the RNC’s money taking a bus tour of some large number of states; basically wining and dining RNC delegates as a way of trying to keep his own job.

    Business as usual for Steele, in other words.

    dms

  25. 25
    Mark S. says:

    Wouldn’t the more principled conservative position be to take the money, not spend the $10 million in maintenance so everyone can have a $1.50 tax break, have a horrible train accident because you did no maintenance, and then say it just proves the government can’t do anything right?

  26. 26
    Hal says:

    its essentially a race and class issue. In plenty of parts of the country only poor minorities take public transport.

  27. 27
    morzer says:

    @stuckinred:

    Ah. I was trying to integrate your comment with Wisconsin, and finding it hard going.

    Here in good ole Mass we have a pretty darn good system of public transport, so the idea of anyone campaigning against such a thing seems utterly deranged.

  28. 28
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @morzer: Writing my obituary? And I thought this was kitteh friendly site…

  29. 29
    stuckinred says:

    @morzer: I’m always runnin off in the wrong direction! I thought we were talking about knuckle draggin republicans and mass transit so I figured I’d throw in another example.

  30. 30

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Writing my obituary? And I thought this was kitteh friendly site…

    Not only kitteh friendly, but quantum friendly as well!

  31. 31
    Texas Dem says:

    How Are We Losing to These Clowns?

    Very simple: when people are pissed off about the status quo and determined to punish those in power, it doesn’t matter who the other party nominates. Attila the Hun could get elected in this environment. People will regret it later, but that won’t stop them from directing all of their rage against the Dems. GOP wins by default. End of story.

  32. 32
    morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Well, I just couldn’t be sure what state you were in.. and I didn’t want to write a premature obituary…

  33. 33
    RSR says:

    High Speed Fail

  34. 34
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @morzer: I could be both dead and alive. I iz on your internets messing with your perceptions.
    OK I am officially tired of stupid GOP candidates for office. We can haz Tunch now. Plz…

  35. 35
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Mark S.:

    It’s like I’m reading a Heritage Foundation position paper!

  36. 36
    morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hmm, but what state is Tunch in? Let’s not be premature here…

  37. 37
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @morzer: You write an obituary and you don’t write an obituary. Both states are equally valid until you get some more information.

  38. 38
    ronathan richardson says:

    Can someone recommend a new country to move to? I mean if we can’t build high speed trains when the money is committed, we’re not going to do anything useful.

    I require:
    – English or a romance language is spoken
    – Non-humid climate
    – Access to open space/wilderness
    – Economic climate where starting a business is possible
    – People don’t flip out and scream socialism when the government produces something useful for them

    PLEASE

  39. 39
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    John, watch the numbers. Even the liberal Rasmussen is reporting the Democrats closing the gap. We haven’t lost yet.

  40. 40
    Eric U. says:

    this whole “piss off the Dems” approach to politics seems relatively new. Of course, at one point there wasn’t all that much difference between the Republicans and Democrats because they both basically wanted what’s best for the country. Reminds me of the person in the movie that can either keep quiet or get eaten by dinosaurs, except the republicans are yelling “over here!”

    The thing is that in this case, the republicans are going to get us all killed by global warming and we are going to have to be carried to our graves in wheelbarrows because they used up all the oil while defeating any efforts to replace it with something else.

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @morzer: He is in a state of expansion, like the expanding universe.

  42. 42
    Church Lady says:

    @stuckinred: Gee, that’s strange. I caught a Marta train in Alpharetta a couple of weeks ago. Took it downtown and then back again. I guess Alpharetta must not be the burbs.

    /snark/

  43. 43
    Tim in Wisconsin says:

    Walker hasn’t said a word about the existing $8 million a year the state spends to operate the train between Milwaukee and Chicago. That sure makes it seem like he’s really not interested in fiscal savings and instead only cares about opposing an Obama initiative. Of course, he’s also said nothing about the $100 million the state spends on aviation every year.

    To its credit, the state is doing everything it can to get contracts signed and bulldozers moving before the next administration. Conservative estimates place the cost of killing the project at about $100 million, and that can only come from state coffers. If you ask me, Walker knows all of this and has no plans to actually kill the train, but it plays well in Waukesha.

  44. 44
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @morzer: West Virginia!

    Try the veal and remember to tip your waitress.

  45. 45
    IndyLib says:

    @Tim in Wisconsin:

    Well of course in plays well in Waukesha, those real Muricans in that part of the state don’t have any reason to go to Madison – it’s full of DFHs.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @Church Lady: Wow..The train doesn’t go north of Sandy Springs. That was quite a feat.

  47. 47
    morzer says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    Hmm, good eating on Tunch then?

  48. 48
    agrippa says:

    The election is November 2.

    get out and vote.

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    You know, there are days when I wonder if ‘America’ doesn’t mean ‘Land of Retards’ in Italian.

    I’m actually pretty optimistic about my fellow citizen, but there are days…

  50. 50
    stuckinred says:

    @JPL: Thank you, thank you very much. Go Dawgs!

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tim in Wisconsin:

    Walker hasn’t said a word about the existing $8 million a year the state spends to operate the train between Milwaukee and Chicago. That sure makes it seem like he’s really not interested in fiscal savings and instead only cares about opposing an Obama initiative.

    That’s what I was thinking — there’s already a frickin’ regional train, so what’s Walker’s plan, to tear up the existing track so all those damn flatlanders can’t get in?

    Typical cheesehead. ;-)

  52. 52
    Mark S. says:

    @lamh32:

    This just proves she’s in favor of smaller government.

    /Matt Welch

  53. 53
    bkny says:

    this tennessee house fire that the fucking firefighters stood by and watched burn is staggering. unbelievable.

  54. 54
    Perfect Tommy says:

    A new high-speed train linking Chinese cities Shanghai and Hangzhou has set a fresh world record for train speed at 416.6 kilometers an hour on its trial run.

    Chinese high-speed train dramatically cuts down travel time

    Meanwhile the DC Metro is hard at work, regularly trying to disprove the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

  55. 55
    Annie says:

    Jesus didn’t need no stinking bullet-train service. If walking was good enough for our Lord, than walking is good enough for the people of Wisconsin.

  56. 56
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @morzer: Heh. I’m willing to bet that John buys a lot of good cuts of meat that mysteriously vanish only to see Tunch (and to a lesser extent the bitches) suddenly a few pounds fatter.

  57. 57
    Nom de Plume says:

    All of this in a country where the transcontinental railway is usually held up as a great achievement of Manifest Destiny. Now trains are all faggy and socialist. Okay.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Church Lady #42: Please tell me where the MARTA station is in Alpharetta. I could have a much easier commute each day if there were a MARTA within 10 miles of where I live.

  59. 59
    r€nato says:

    Ayn Rand loved railroads; couldn’t there be some way to convince teatards that railroads are the epitome of Randian heroic self-sufficiency?

  60. 60
    efgoldman says:

    @morzer:

    How old are you?
    Ed King, “Reagan’s Favorite Democrat”, won a Dem primary and then the governership by campaigning, among other things, in favor of highways and against the T.

    Too late at night to go into all the history, but during his administration, when the T was about to go under and the unions were about to go out, one or another TV station stuck a camera and microphone in King’s face and asked about it, and he said (sorry don’t remember the exact quotation) “who cares.”

    The legislature met in emergency session over the weekend and crafted a bailout bill that saved the T by ordering changes in the bargaining relationship and the way the T was run.

    1978-ish it was.

  61. 61
    Honus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Really. The dems aren’t going to lose the senate, and probably not the house. They will lose a lot of seats, which happens to every president in the first off-year election.

  62. 62
    El Cid says:

    In Bush Jr’s 2006 proposed budget, the budget for AMTRAK was zero.

    If President Bush was trying to send a message to Amtrak with the budget proposal he sent to Congress this week, he certainly succeeded.
    __
    Bush’s spending blueprint for fiscal 2006 would reduce Amtrak’s federal subsidy to zero from $1.2 billion, probably sending the company into bankruptcy and possibly spelling the end of passenger service in many of the 46 states now served by the rail carrier.

    Zero dollars.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    @Honus: If you are righyt, the Republicans are hurting. They’ve raised expectations to the point that not taking the House would come across as a massive failure.

    I hope you’re right. I think control of the House is about 50/50 at the moment.

  65. 65
    Baroness says:

    Delurking to talk about this because OH THE SHAME of being represented at any level by Scott Walker.

    A main motivator for my working for Barrett’s campaign to keep this guy from becoming governor is what he’s done to mass transit in Milwaukee County. I’ve used mass transit here for 5 years and he’s cut lines left and right in the less affluent parts of town (including where I live), limiting the ability of people who don’t have any other transit options to get to work, while teaming up with affluent counties to bring their affluent constituents into the city. Buses to the suburbs? Every ten minutes. Buses to and from the ghetto? Every 25, and you have to walk a half mile to a stop that is barely maintained.

    Am I shocked he doesn’t want high speed rail? No, because it doesn’t serve his interest. The private small business owners etc whose money will of course trickle down (and the middle class suckers who believe that) *have* cars, so why would mass transit interest him?

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Honus: I’m not so optimistic, even though The Rachel Maddow just had a great segment on how rumors of Dems’ demise is greatly exaggerated. I think the House is in play, pretty much 50/50. The Senate is not.

  67. 67
    some other guy says:

    I live in Wisconsin and will be voting for Walker’s opponent, Tom Barrett, but 800 million dollars for a train that barely moves faster than highway traffic, only goes about 75 miles, and with such a small daily ridership seems, if not a waste of money, then at least a questionable prioritization of funds. Now if they wanted to spend a few billion replicating Chicago’s rail system in Milwaukee, where a large number of people would ride it, I’d be all for that

  68. 68

    @Nom de Plume:

    That’s cause Europe saw the potential and now trains are all Europe-y. Ewwwwww.

    Thanks for the gutlaugh though.

  69. 69
    buckyblue says:

    Ah, Waukesha, where I live, where even the poor people are Republicans. I seriously know two people who are on state health insurance, Badgercare, and would never vote anything but Republican. I know another who was homeless for awhile, on state aid, and has the big old stupid elephant as her picture on facebook. If you live in Bristle Cone Pines (mega rich subdivision), don’t vote for the Dems. If you’re on state aid, what the hell are you doing voting Republican?

  70. 70
    Tim P. says:

    They’re a real bunch of bozos they are.

  71. 71
    buckyblue says:

    Hey, some other guy, I’m with you on that. I’ll vote for Barrett. Walker is just stupid besides being republican. But the train, which will be 50 bucks round trip from Milwaukee-Madison. I would never use it. I thought the light rail I rode in Seattle for $4 was a much better deal. Not all flashy and a hundredmiley, but it sure did work great.

  72. 72
    cat48 says:

    Well, I’m told that we will lose this election and 2012 because “Obama has let Wall Street pull off an Inside Job,” This will be proven in the documentary he & other heroes are opening this weekend. It is entirely Obama’s fault that no one has been punished because he should have prosecuted and did not. He’s doing interviews with everyone to expose Obama:

    This from The Motley Fool:

    For this weekend’s upcoming Motley Fool Money radio show, I interviewed Charles Ferguson, an Academy Award-nominated director, about his new documentary film Inside Job, which details the financial crisis of 2008. What follows is part of our conversation.
    Chris Hill: You interview over 40 people in this film. One of them is Nouriel Roubini, the economics professor at NYU. One of the things you ask him is, “Why don’t you think there isn’t a more systematic investigation being undertaken?” And he says very directly, “Because then you would find the culprits.” That seems to point toward the government protecting the wrongdoers. Do you think that’s the case?
    Charles Ferguson: Yes, I do. There is no question in my mind that that is going on, and while I am not entirely certain what the calculation is in President Obama’s head that has led him to condone such behavior, there is no question that that is what is going on. There has not been a single criminal prosecution, which is quite extraordinary and very different from previous economic crises, financial crises. After the savings and loan scandals of the late 1980s, there were several thousand criminal prosecutions and hundreds of financial executives, perhaps thousands, certainly hundreds, went to prison.
    Even after the dot-com bubble and the collapse of Enron and WorldCom roughly a decade ago, a smaller number, but still substantial number of people, certainly dozens, went to prison. This time, not a single person has even been arrested. There has also been no special prosecutor appointed. There has been no equivalent of the Pecora Commission or other really serious investigative commissions. There have only been a handful even of civil cases filed by the government. It is really extraordinarily shocking.

  73. 73
    PeakVT says:

    @Nom de Plume: Trains are socialist these days because they don’t involve the consigning the ownership of vast tracts of public land to private enterprises. Real capitalism involves looting the commons.

  74. 74
    J.Kevin says:

    @Hal: DING!… Fly-Over country= 1-ton Dually Diesels, straight stacks, chipped, and belching black smoke @ 140 dbs. “BIG-Time”, Hoss! Trains are commie/fascist modems of socialism type transport, BOY!

  75. 75
    morzer says:

    @efgoldman:

    How old are you? 32 years ago is a foreign country, and they do things differently there.

    Anyway, my point was, and remains, that when you live in a state with good public transport and see other states deprived of said transport because of GOP idiocy, it’s hard to feel that it’s anything other than mass stupidity to reject mass transit.

  76. 76

    Isn’t this a great country? We now have a candidate for the US Senate from one the two great parties in this country, who cuts her first GE ad and the first words out of her mouth are.

    “I’m not a witch”

    That is so fucking cool.

    smacks self around some.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    stormhit says:

    Thankfully Rick Snyder, the Republican candidate and probable winner in Michigan, isn’t a bagger and is at least saying that he supports and recognizes the importance of mass transit for the state. It could be lip service, of course, but at least he’s attempting to sound reasonable. That’s a huge step up over the national Republican landscape.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @cat48: Skilling v. United States.

    Whether the federal “honest services” fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1346, requires the government to prove that the defendant’s conduct was intended to achieve “private gain” rather than to advance the employer’s interests.

    Bank executives are allowed to fuck everyone over in the interests of their company. They just can’t do it for personal gain.

    So: “Even after the dot-com bubble and the collapse of Enron”. The Enron conviction they were most interested in was overturned. If I steal a loaf of bread for someone else, I’ll face criminal charges and incarceration of untold duration. If I was a CEO and stole a billion dollars on behalf of my company, I might need to pay a fine some small fraction of my golden parachute.

    The game is rigged so massively in favor of corporations, even the angriest people just can’t grasp it.

  80. 80
    morzer says:

    @General Stuck:

    Can we at least ask whether she floats?

  81. 81
    Ryan says:

    The fascists in Italy at least kept the trains running on time; ours keep them from running at all.

  82. 82

    @morzer: Her head rotating 360 degrees would be a knockout punch.

  83. 83
    Tim in Wisconsin says:

    Don’t think of it as $800 million for Madison to Milwaukee. Instead, think of it as $800 million for Phase II of Chicago to Minneapolis. Phase I is already in place and has hundreds of thousands of riders a year between Milwaukee and Chicago.

    Given that the state rebuilt one interchange in Milwaukee for $820 million and is planning on spending $1 billion to add one lane in each direction between Madison and Illinois, spending on the order of that amount to transform how we can live and work doesn’t seem that bad. We have to start with what’s politically feasible. I’d love 150+ mph greenfield construction. But that’s not going to happen. Start small, get them hooked, and they will clamor for new lines and faster speeds. The state of North Carolina exhibits this beautifully.

  84. 84
    Steve says:

    @some other guy: You’re going to see a lot more commerce between the two cities, a lot more business people riding back and forth. The communities along the rail line will grow and prosper. Sometimes you have to build the infrastructure first as an investment, and let the demand side of the equation catch up.

  85. 85
    Martin says:

    Sweet Jesus. Lawrence O’Donnell has Jane on to suck off Kucinich and explain how Obama has ruined the Democratic Party. And now Adam Green is on backing them up.

    They can’t get past the fact that some of their primary challenges failed and insist that they are powerless to stop shitting on the party because, well, Obama is Chocolate Carter and shit.

    My loyalty to Maddow is waning, stuck in the middle of this asshole sandwich.

  86. 86

    @Martin:

    For all the peeps on this blog whining about why we mock Jane and FDL so often. This is why. She gets herself on teevee claiming, or billed as some spokeswoman for liberals, or democrats, as a group in this country, and that is a lie. Twice now today, she has been on the boob tube, spouting nonsense. When you do this, you are a legit target for scorn and attack. Big girl rules.

  87. 87
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    OT: Tonight Lawrence O’Donnell tells his guest Calamity Jane that her health care arguments were some of the best out there? Now some guest douche is on with Ed Rendell and he is saying that everything would be fine with manic progressives if Obama would just come out and admit that he made wrong choices and in the future he would make the right ones.

    Is Lawrence hosting a comedy show on MSNBC?

  88. 88
    Martin says:

    @Tim in Wisconsin: Shit, we spent $2.3B on a 10 mile long freeway. And that was 1993 dollars.

    $800M? Pocket change.

  89. 89
    jwb says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Some of us have wondered if there ever really was a gap.

  90. 90
    Martin says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Seriously. I generally can’t stand Olbermann. He’s entertaining, but he’s far from news most of the time. Maddow at least has a constant base of facts, analysis, and decent interviews – I learn stuff there. This show is Hippie Hannity.

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Martin: I saw previews of the show, Lady Jane explaining to Joey Scar that Obama could have passed, among other things, the Dream Act in the first hundred days– cuz Jim Webb, Claire McCaskill, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu were just bustin’ to pass “amnesty” in the middle of an economic meltdown (and just to ward off any self-righteous flaming, I know that the Dream Act is not amnesty, but i don’t think the Senators I named, and probably half a dozen others, know that)

  92. 92
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin:
    In 1996 dollars, the Federal Highway Administration has calculated the “weighted rural and urban combined” costs per mile of interstate highway to be $20.6 million.[1]

    $800M would get you less than halfway from Milwaukee to Madison if you were building interstate highway style roads.

  93. 93
    John Cole says:

    @Martin: I’m streaming Season One of Psych via Netflix.

    And I fail to see how having people to the left of Obama on screaming will hurt Democrats. That actually is how you move the conversation to the left, by having lots of people on screaming that we are too conservative. It is what wingers have been doing for the last couple decades and has seemed to work.

    When they start making shit up about what could have passed if they just tried given the make-up of the Senate, I’ll call them on their nonsense. If they are just on screaming from the left, ehh, let
    em rant.

  94. 94
    morzer says:

    @General Stuck:

    Just wait until she’s found under a house with only her red Naughty Monkey pumps showing…

  95. 95
    Eric U. says:

    @bkny: The Tennessee house that firefighters watched burn is simply a perfect demonstration of Republican governance. The firefighters were from a nearby city that offers fire coverage for $75 a year. Cheapskates like the homeowner save $75 a year and assume they are covered anyway. If the freeloader gets the service, then the city residents get stuck with the entire bill starting the next year. One supposes that the county government could work out a deal with the cities to provide this service, but they obviously can’t raise taxes by $75 or they would get voted out. One of the homeowner’s relatives beat up the fire chief and got thrown in jail. The city loses either way, that’s pretty clear at this point. The whole system is unsustainable, that’s why we have public firefighters here in civilization.

  96. 96
    morzer says:

    @John Cole:

    It works for wingers because they have news channels devoted to sympathetic presentation of their howling. Without that sympathetic presentation, they’d be labelled as extremists, and do precisely nothing to move the Overton window – which is where the left wing fringe currently is.

  97. 97

    Regarding Senate races:

    The DSCC says that 15 Senate races are polling within 5 points between Dems and Reps. Does anybody know which ones these are?

    I went to electoral vote dot com and counted all of the tied, the sort-of-tied, and the Republican-light races. And still came up with only 12 races.

    Does anyone know which races the DSCC is talking about?

  98. 98
    Martin says:

    @John Cole: But they aren’t actually screaming about policy. Scream about policy. That’s fine. Tell us how liberal policies would be better. I’ll help.

    No, they’re screaming about politics – about how Obama fucked their primary challengers, shit like that. The only thing that a couple of decades of screaming about politics on the right has accomplished is an insurgent tea party party and the reduction of the GOP to a intense core of insane assholes. Screaming about politics only drives people off.

    We win on policy. We have to stay on policy. Never get off of policy. These political jerk-off sessions are like getting brain cancer straight from the teevee.

  99. 99
    Mogden says:

    Government is too incompetent to develop rail service without flushing 90% of the money down the toilet, so unfortunately it is better to do nothing.

  100. 100
    Binzinerator says:

    How Are We Losing To These Clowns?

    Because mass transit is another Atwater-type dog-whistle. They fear the brown people will use trains to get to the suburbs and bring their crime, rap music and general blackness with them. Therefore supporting train projects for conservatives is now equivalent to supporting affirmative action and welfare combined.

    @bret:

    Two words: Brown people.

    Yup.
    @stuckinred: I lived in Atlanta some years ago and I recall MARTA being repeatedly referred to by suburban crackers as ‘Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta’.

    Turning down a billion dollar train because you will have to pay 8 million a year in maintenance is like giving away a free car because you might have to one day buy windshield wiper fluid.

    To paraphrase Davis X. Machina, a bunch of voters are willing to reduce themselves to cooking sparrows on an old curtain rod as long it guarantees blacks, liberals etc. don’t even have a curtain rod or a sparrow to put on it.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @John Cole:

    That actually is how you move the conversation to the left, by having lots of people on screaming that we are too conservative.

    Heh, that’s pretty much what Barney Frank said

    When they start making shit up about what could have passed if they just tried

    and that, pretty much, based on what little I saw, is what Hamsher was saying

  102. 102

    @John Cole:

    Didn’t see the seg, and if she was just claiming Obama isn’t liberal enough, then you have a point. Every time I’ve seen her on teevee, she has made shit up

  103. 103
    Svensker says:

    Because subsidies for highways are Capitalism, but subsidies for trains are teh Komoonism!

    I despair.

  104. 104
    fucen tarmal says:

    its simple, you can’t stash your gun under your seat on the train. now you can counter this by letting people know, flasks are more or less ok.

  105. 105
    Perfect Tommy says:

    @Martin: I enjoyed watching Olbermann until I found out that he doesn’t vote. That moved him right into the “gasbags I ignore” column.

  106. 106
    PhoenixRising says:

    800 million dollars for a train that barely moves faster than highway traffic, only goes about 75 miles, and with such a small daily ridership

    Yeah, all of those objections are perfectly valid. At 4% inflation and 5% unemployment. In the current circumstance it would be a win to spend the 800 million digging holes and burying rocks in them, then unearthing the rocks. The bonus here is a forward-looking form of transit that will be sexy when gas is $8 a gallon. Plus, also, union welding jobs!

    If you live in WI, it might be a long trip on I-90 for you to see the fabulous results of the WPA’s work on infrastructure…but with the wonderful machine you’re looking at, check out nps.gov. Seriously.

    The last time our economy was this bad for working people, our government paid strapping young lads to create a legacy of public works that we still enjoy today, although my grandfather and the rest of the lads are long gone. We can leave a transit and power infrastructure for our grandchildren to use, but we have to stop the short-term thinking.

  107. 107
    Dee Loralei says:

    I continue to have faith in my fellow citizens. They will look at all the crazies the Reps have nominated and they will vote for the sitting Dems. Sure the Dems will lose a bit in the House and a few in the Senate. But they will not lose either house. Obama will win a second term. We, as a group gave GWB eight years to destroy this country. We will give Obama and the Dems at least the same time to right the ship. Any American who can think knows we were damn wrong to vote for the Republican Revolution in 1994. We know we hadn’t given Clinton and the Dems enough time to clean up the Reagan/Bush mess. And we know that allowing the crazies in the Rep party was mostly harmless during the Clinton years, because we were mostly at peace and the economy was mostly booming. We’ve always voted for Dems when the economy sucked, and often voted for Reps when war was in the offing. But, Bush and a Rep Congress proved that they can’t be trusted on wars. And if you’re honest, Reps can’t be trusted to “protect” the Homeland either.

    So get off your butts, Obama and the Dems have not done everything you wanted or needed, but by God they have done a shitload. Call your local Dem party, call OFA. Make calls on their behalf. Knock on doors. Kiss some babies. Donate money, John has a Blue America tab there on the right to make it easy. DO Something! Your congresscritter may not be good enough for you, but he or she may be good enough to stop a Speaker Boehner.

    So get up, get off your butt, get on your feat! And dance, dance, dance to the polls. Save the piss and vinegar for the Rep candidate, because he or she is diametrically opposed to anything you want.

    Yea, I trust the American people. We may be kinda dumb, and kinda selfish and kinda out of it and kinda ……(anything you want to insert here, yea, Americans are that….)

    So suck it up, vote for the Dems again and work for them, and punch even harder for the outcomes in the next Congress that you desire. And if you have to, primary them in 2012. We can control our own destiny. We can get the outcomes we desire if we primary the blue dogs and win, but it requires boots on the ground hard work. But until 2012 we just have to suck it up and go with the Dem candidates.

    Dee

    PS.
    Anyone know a good dentist in Memphis? I need to fire mine. She doesn’t give pain medicines unless she “does work.” So, it doesn’t matter if she gets an abcess on the film, she didn’t do anything and so no drugs. That was a few weeks ago.

    Today she took an imprint of my teeth and it was really painful. I couldn’t eat and took way too many OTC pain meds and beer. But she still doesn’t prescribe pain medicine.

    So tonight, I am tipsy, 3 beers. And I took 4 Tylenol, 6 aspirin and 4 Ibuprofen. And I still hurt bad. I ache.

    Anyway, anyone who can help me, I would appreciate it. I need a new Dentist.

    D.

  108. 108
    Anya says:

    My loyalty to Maddow is waning, stuck in the middle of this asshole sandwich.

    I feel the same way. Is Lawrence O’donnell positioning himself to be the firebagger cable guy. What the fuck is their point anyway? And who was the whinny asshole? I must say I’ve never heard of him before.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    When Olbermann remembers to breathe and isn’t trying to either be witty or the voice of righteous indignation, he’s still pretty good. O’Donnell… feh, pompous and infatuated with his credentials and expertise, both grossly inflated in his imagination, I think. I’m wondering if he didn’t harbor fantasies about a White House role for himself.

  110. 110
    Svensker says:

    @Dee Loralei:

    So tonight, I am tipsy, 3 beers. And I took 4 Tylenol, 6 aspirin and 4 Ibuprofen. And I still hurt bad. I ache.

    Can’t help you with the dentist, but PLEASE do not double up on Tylenol, especially if you are going to have any alcohol. Tylenol is one of the most dangerous OTC drugs out there. It can cause serious liver damage at low-ish doses, and alcohol just ups the effects. Not kidding, not being a hippie. Do NOT take extra Tylenol, ever.

  111. 111
    mr. whipple says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Did you know O’Donnell was a senate staffer? I don’t think he’s ever mentioned it.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Anya says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I hope O’donnell or Schultz accuse the Jews of controlling the media.

  114. 114
    mikefromArlington says:

    I’m getting really freaked out by the Bachmann adds on this site I’m getting for whatever reason. That stare looks like she’s been possessed by a demon or something.

  115. 115
    sfinny says:

    I waver between optimism and pessimism, but last week had one positive. Understand, all of my co-workers are republicans or independents with an anti-Obama inclination. We mostly keep politics out of any discussion, but last week a co-worker brought me an e-mail attachment about how healthcare premiums will now be included on W-2s. Now she didn’t show me the actual e-mail which I’m sure had some right-wing nutella about how everyone would be taxed on their healthcare costs under Obamacare.

    I was surprised that she even asked me, though, and I explained that she would not be taxed. Over the weekend I found a good Kiplinger article that outlined the tax changes associated with the ACA and gave it to her this morning.

    Now this isn’t to say much about changing her views of Obama or the healthcare reform, but the fact that she even asked me, and then read what I gave her is an improvement over the complete disparagement of both that she has talked about the last two years.

    Oh and a couple months ago, when I was helping my boss with his computer, he seemed embarrassed because he had downloaded the Obama as a witchdoctor photoshop.

    Hey, progress!

  116. 116
    Anya says:

    @Svensker: I thought Ibuprofen caused liver damage. I always thought Tylanol was safer than Advil.

  117. 117
    celticdragonchick says:

    @ronathan richardson:

    I require: – English or a romance language is spoken – Non-humid climate – Access to open space/wilderness – Economic climate where starting a business is possible – People don’t flip out and scream socialism when the government produces something useful for them

    I’m going to Scotland if shit really heads south here in the states.

    You are welcome to join me.

    Rainy and damp weather, but lotsa wilderness though. Better halth care.

  118. 118
    morzer says:

    @Svensker:

    That’s one alarming little cocktail she’s put together. Drug interaction, especially with alcohol can do some very nasty things.

  119. 119
    Ash Can says:

    @Mogden: I like you. You’re silly.

  120. 120
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Binzinerator:

    To paraphrase Davis X. Machina, a bunch of voters are willing to reduce themselves to cooking sparrows on an old curtain rod as long it guarantees blacks, liberals etc. don’t even have a curtain rod or a sparrow to put on it.

    I think you nailed it.

  121. 121
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @bkny: Maybe the homeowner would have had better luck running to the liquor store to get a keg, in hopes the firefighters might actually piss in his house’s direction.

  122. 122
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    The previous 120 comments are why this is the best blog on teh interntetzes.

    Doesn’t make up for the fact that Calamity Jane has somehow managed to weasel herself, regularly now, onto the teevee as some spokesperson for the netroots. There is no fucking justice in this universe.

  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @bkny: What percentage of those firefighters do you think are Church-going folk?
    WHWJLB?

  124. 124

    @Anya:

    Ibuprofen, along with Naproxen (Aleve) if abused will cause bowel and gastrointestinal issues. Tylenol will fuck up your liver in short order if you overdo it.

  125. 125
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    @bkny: Maybe the homeowner would have had better luck running to the liquor store to get a keg, in hopes the firefighters might actually piss in his house’s direction.

    I couldn’t frakking believe that story when I saw it at LGF. Charles held it up as an example of what privatizing all public services would look like if some of the Tea Baggers have their way.

    The home owner is facing felony chargees for cold cocking the fire chief the following day and generally beating the hell out of him until other fire fighters pulled him off.

    I hope the jury laughs that out of court.

  126. 126
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    anyone in Nevada? Is this tape of the Obtuse Angle getting a lot of play?

  127. 127
    geg6 says:

    @Martin:

    THIS.

    And in not a single instance which I actually saw or any for which I’ve read the transcipt did the Firebagger Queen talk about policy in any way except to bash Obama as worse than the Republicans. Never an ounce of credit for the admittedly incremental but still stunningly progressive (for the political climate of this Idiocracy) gains he’s gotten, the first real substantive progressive gains since my childhood. That would be over 40 years. A better way to do it would be to say, yeah, he got us off to a good start and here’s what more we could do to make this better IF IT WASN’T FOR THE GOP, the party whose goals are diametrically opposed to the BEST INTERESTS OF REAL MERKINS! And here are their goals…

    No, Miss Jane is so stupid as to take the advice of Grover Fucking Norquist, who we all know has the progressive cause and REAL MERKINS’ best interests at heart. I don’t use the c-word, but in regard to Miss Jane, I’m willing to make an exception.

  128. 128
    Martin says:

    @Anya: Adam Green, head of PCCC. Basically it’s an organization dedicated to looking at whatever issue Congress is taking up, finding a position well to the left of them, and pulling. Also fielding primary challengers from the left.

    I don’t mind the policy advocacy, but I don’t see that there is any baseline policy position there. It’s all relative. They pushed hard for the public option. If the public option was in hand, I’m sure they’d have pushed hard for single payer. If single payer was in hand, I’m sure they’d have pushed hard for pulling all of the health providers into the public sector. Pick a position, take two steps left, that’s what they advocate for. Not unlike the various conservative groups that do the same – Congress wants to cut taxes 3%, how about 5%? How about 8%? How about 12%? Congress wants a late-term abortion ban, how about a parental notification requirement? How about a full ban? How about banning birth control?

    This shit is why governance is impossible. Nobody gives a fuck whether the policy meets any social or economic goal. They just want to check a box on their liberal/conservative bingo card. I hate these people.

  129. 129
    Brachiator says:

    Oh, hell no! We don’t want no efficient high speed transportation around here!

    We have efficient high speed transportation in this country. It’s called an airplane.

    Most cities can use mass transportation, but inter-city high speed rail seems more like a 19th century solution to 21st century problems. Even the link to the high speed rail line in China indicate some of the significant problems with this supposed solution:

    China, which has currently 7,000-km of high-speed railway lines, the most of its kind in the world, is not appealing to passengers due to prohibitively priced ticket charges and the long journey time for non-direct trains.
    __
    A first-class train ticket to travel between the two cities is estimated to cost more than 100 yuan ($14.90), which is twice the existing fare, Jiefang Daily reported.
    __
    Travellers believe that the high-speed train between Shanghai and Hangzhou make take longer than the two-hour drive on road if the train stops at all the nine stations along the route, seven of which are newly built in suburban districts of Shanghai and some cities of Zhejiang.

    When you look at the fine print and the political necessity to connect cities along the route, high speed becomes not very speedy at all.

  130. 130
    sfinny says:

    The firefighters should have a two tiered plan, whereby if a person hasn’t paid the $75 per year they get charged retroactively, or a flat fee for the actual charge of responding and putting the fire out. Have a scanner to take credit/debit card on site (that might be a problem if the card is in the house). Add maybe a penalty. I’m sure it could be worked out with a little more thought.

  131. 131
    Binzinerator says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    What percentage of those firefighters do you think are Church-going folk?

    I don’t know and it doesn’t matter anyways: The Baby Jesus is coin operated.

  132. 132
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I guess the homeowner isn’t one of those rugged individualists who pulled himself up by his bootstraps thus his home wasn’t worthy of saving.

    Now if he had paid for protection…

  133. 133
    Ash Can says:

    @sfinny:

    I’m sure it could be worked out with a little more thought.

    Sure it can — call it the essential service it is, and pay for it with tax revenue, like every other civilized municipality does. You know, the old-fashioned way.

  134. 134
    geg6 says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Heh. Government by Mafia. Don’t forget to pay the vig!

  135. 135
    J.Kevin says:

    @Brachiator: Dude, its called “Al Gore is fat”, not the “awesome speed”. Unless your racing your co-worker, to the office, for,… a dollar.

  136. 136
    sfinny says:

    @Ash Can: Agreed. But where there are these other systems, I am all for a punative pricing approach. Let’s put a dollar cost on the whole ‘go galt’ approach.

  137. 137
    KG says:

    @Brachiator: I’ve got a hearing in San Diego later this week. I’ll be taking the train from Anaheim. I’ve timed it, and the drive time is pretty much the same. Since I have a truck, the price is a bit better on the train.

    My view is we need three systems: city; county; state. Mass public transportation makes some sense. Not everyone is going to use it, but it should hopefully clear up some traffic. And since building more freeways is much more difficult (and time consuming), it makes some sense.

  138. 138
    MikeJ says:

    @Brachiator:

    We have efficient high speed transportation in this country. It’s called an airplane.

    Efficient? High Speed?

    You’ve never flown DC-LGA. Try commuting on those routes. On Acela I can plug in my laptop, get on the internet and do work. I’ll wind up at Penn Station instead of out in bumfuck somewhere. I can get downtown to the banks in five minutes or uptown to publishers in a little more.

    I also don’t get strip searched, I don’t have to sit around for an hour after standing in a security line for an hour, and I don’t have to use any facility named after Ronald Fucking Reagan. Win. Win. Win. Win.

  139. 139
    KG says:

    @sfinny: and what happens when an electrical fire starts while the non-paying homeowner is at work or on vacation?

    I’m fairly libertarian, but the idea of privatizing things like police, courts, firefighters, and roads seems rather stupid to me.

  140. 140
    Chris says:

    “Wisconsin… got more than $810 million in federal stimulus money to build a train line between Milwaukee and Madison… Walker… worries that the state could be required to spend $7 million to $10 million a year to operate the trains once the line is built”

    I wonder if he’s actually that penny-foolish, pound-brain-dead, or if he’s trying to pull a two-fer: capitalize on anti-stimulus/anti-Obama sentiment *and* play chicken with the feds: “You’ve given us $810 million; we bet you’d rather cough up another $7-10 million a year than have us just waste the first eight hundred million.”

    In that case, his message is: “Vote for me, I’ll con federal taxpayers out of ten million a year instead of you!”

    (Which makes the question: how many Wisconsin voters realize that they are also federal taxpayers?)

  141. 141
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    We have efficient high speed transportation in this country. It’s called an airplane.

    Sure, it’s high speed after the 2 hour front-load of security line, check in, and making sure you didn’t get bumped, and before the 30 minutes of waiting for your luggage. And that assumes that it’s even on time in the first place.

    End to end, LA to Vegas is about even in time whether you drive or fly. Expanding airport capacity is extremely difficult. New airports are virtually impossible and you can’t add a stop between destinations (you don’t have to stop, but you can if you want), unlike with rail which is designed to expand economic benefits at each stop along a corridor. Plus the airline industry is already massively subsidized.

  142. 142
    Ash Can says:

    @Brachiator: As the Northeast Corridor demonstrates, not only does inter-city rail travel make sense, it’s preferable to air travel between cities that are a relatively short distance apart.

    @sfinny: The trouble with penalizing the people using the service is that the penalty doesn’t discriminate between the idiots who voted for a system like that and the poor slobs who know damned well it’s a bad idea but are stuck with it thanks to their idiot neighbors. If the majority of people in a community are stupid enough to opt for a system like this, they’re sure as hell not going to be bright enough to figure out any kind of safety net for it.

  143. 143
    sfinny says:

    @KG: I guess I’m not being clear. Absolutely I agree that a purely public fire protection system is best. I guess the outcome of having a property burn is a lesson, but it is so extreme. I was just posing an alternative that would potentially save the house and yet impose a penalty.

  144. 144
    Martin says:

    @sfinny: Sure, you have the insurance company pay the costs, they get pissed about it, and create their own fire department. Eventually the public service is no longer needed for all the rich people, is disbanded, and all the poor people lose their houses in fires.

    It can’t be worked out. It’s called moral hazard and it’s why libertarianism doesn’t work.

  145. 145
    Karen says:

    It’s quite easy.

    When a Muslim (which of course is not what they really mean) is in the White House, anything goes. I honestly think that if it meant that Obama would fall over dead tomorrow (which wouldn’t have the side effect that an assasination would and make him a martyr) these Republicans would offer their own kids up for blood sacrifice.

    On the one hand, TEP and GOP are boondoggling Obama horribly. But on the other, the fact that he’s still in the Oval Office is tremendous. The Glen Palin Limbagh Teapublicans have not succeeded enough with the two step of inciting the amount of hate and fear necessary for murder yet do so without getting their own hands dirty.

    If the electoral trouncing at the polls next month isn’t enough to get enough votes for Obama’s Impeachment, that’s when they’ll stop using the dog whistles and openly call for a 2nd Amendment solution.

    Even a year ago I believed our country was too civilized for such open and blatant violence. I underestimated the fear of the entitled who would suddenly have to tighten the same belts they expected people who were lower in income to. It’s racial and classist and xenophobic, etc but that’s not the real motivation.

    They’re not scared of people getting what the entitled feel those people don’t deserve. They’re terrifed of becoming one of them.

  146. 146
    Karen says:

    @Chris:

    In that case, his message is: “Vote for me, I’ll con federal taxpayers out of ten million a year instead of you!”

    Isn’t that Sarah Palin’s MO?

  147. 147
    Steve says:

    @Brachiator: Flying from Milwaukee to Madison is everyone’s idea of efficient travel, yeppers.

  148. 148
    Mike in NC says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I’m going to Scotland if shit really heads south here in the states. You are welcome to join me. Rainy and damp weather, but lotsa wilderness though. Better health care.

    Gorgeous country but the food is vile. Stay away from the haggis, sausages, and deep fried pizza. Fish and chips are usually a safe bet.

  149. 149
    dww44 says:

    @stuckinred:

    Yep, I am old enough, quite more so, really, to remember all the brouhaha in the 70’s about not wanting MARTA out in Gwinnett County, a suburb, because they didn’t want blacks. Now, Gwinnett is extraordinarily diverse with quite large Hispanic, Vietnamese, and Indian minorities among others. Blacks are there as well.

    So, all those whites who didn’t want Blacks have moved on out further north to Forsyth and Cherokee counties to escape all those minorities and Gwinnett, while still ruled by white Republicans, has this huge traffic problem and decaying suburbs in the eastern parts that were brand new housing developments 20 years earlier.

  150. 150
    Cacti says:

    @Martin:

    Sure, it’s high speed after the 2 hour front-load of security line, check in, and making sure you didn’t get bumped, and before the 30 minutes of waiting for your luggage.

    And the 20 minutes of catching the shuttle to the rental car lot.

  151. 151
    Brachiator says:

    @KG:

    I’ve got a hearing in San Diego later this week. I’ll be taking the train from Anaheim. I’ve timed it, and the drive time is pretty much the same. Since I have a truck, the price is a bit better on the train.

    I regularly commute using MetroLink. A high speed rail line here would never fly, because no one is going to build a line that just goes between Anaheim and San Diego, or even LA and San Diego. And ridership is declining because MetroLink keeps raising fares and cutting service, making auto travel less expensive and more reliable by comparison. At many stations, there is no reliable public transportation from the train stations to anywhere else people want to go.

    And MetroLink and Amtrak trains have to compete with and must yield to freight service. Some of these issues might be resolved if more transit funds were available. Here, in California, money diverted to fanciful high speed service takes away from more crucial transit projects.

    @MikeJ:

    You’ve never flown DC-LGA.

    True, and high speed service may work in some corridors better than others. But it is not a slam dunk or universal solution.

    And as for no strip searching, searches are getting more intrusive and time consuming in Southern California rail services.

  152. 152
    MikeJ says:

    @Mike in NC: Haggis pizza in the grassmarket in E-Burgh. What do you mean vile food?

  153. 153
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Karen:

    They’re not scared of people getting what the entitled feel those people don’t deserve. They’re terrifed of becoming one of them

    .
    The “undeserving poor”. Is that an Anglo-Saxon Puritan-Protestant thing? Are they haunted by that dark fantasy in other industrialized countries?

  154. 154
    sfinny says:

    @Martin: That is a question that I don’t know. If you don’t pay the firefighter fee, does your insurance pay? Does home or renters insurance require proof of payment? That is interesting because you would think that insurers would take of shortfalls.

  155. 155
    dww44 says:

    @Mark S.:
    LOL and all to true. I hear that argument all the time from my relative, i.e. starve the beast and then claim that when it performs poorly it’s the fault of the beast.

    Then, of course, there’s the case of the poor guy in Tennessee who didn’t pay a $75.00 fee (on top of his taxes) for fire protection, so the firemen came to his neighbor’s house, who did pay the fee, and put out the fire, all while watching the nonpayer’s house burn to the ground. That was a wonderful piece of video on KO tonight, with the crusty Tennesseean homeowner, who, aside from his quite genuine beef with his local government,could otherwise pass as a poster child for a Tea Party supporter.

  156. 156
    dww44 says:

    @r€nato: He’s gonna be on Lawrence O’Donell’s show tomorrow evening, along with Howard Dean.

  157. 157
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:
    RE: We have efficient high speed transportation in this country. It’s called an airplane.

    Sure, it’s high speed after the 2 hour front-load of security line, check in, and making sure you didn’t get bumped, and before the 30 minutes of waiting for your luggage. And that assumes that it’s even on time in the first place.

    And none of these issues would exist with rail? Have you been to Union Station recently and seen the long lines and delays with people waiting for the largely crappy Amtrak train?

    End to end, LA to Vegas is about even in time whether you drive or fly.

    Which is why the Deity invented Indian casinos in California. There have been plans before for high speed rail between Vegas and LA. They’ve all fallen through. I would think that if this were such a great deal, the casinos would be building a line themselves. But this route is kinda like NFL franchises in Los Angeles. Everybody who thinks it would be a great idea wants the government to underwrite it.

    Expanding airport capacity is extremely difficult. New airports are virtually impossible and you can’t add a stop between destinations (you don’t have to stop, but you can if you want), unlike with rail which is designed to expand economic benefits at each stop along a corridor.

    As I noted before, high speed rail with multiple local stops quickly becomes non-high speed rail. And there is a lot of bus service to Vegas, which makes more sense than making people drive to a central terminal like Union Station.

    Plus the airline industry is already massively subsidized.

    Unlike passenger rail service which is … already massively subsidized.

  158. 158
    mcd410x says:

    Cause people are fucking stupid. Next question.

  159. 159
    dww44 says:

    @Church Lady:

    Sorry if someone else has before now answered this. Alpharetta is indeed in the suburbs but it is in Fulton County of which Atlanta is the county seat and which birthed MARTA. Look at a map of the State and look at the county’s configuration. In true Republican fashion, the northern part of Fulton NOW wants to secede from the city and the southern half (majority AA in population) and go back to being Milton County, which it seems it once was or once aspired to be.

  160. 160
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    Yeah. And there is also the huge carbon footprint attached with air travel. And the countless bailouts of the auto industry over the years because except SouthWest the airline industry here has shown to be a money loser time and time again.

    I take megabus to most locations in the midwest. Half hour door to the loop to pick it up and then I have broadband for the entire trip provided by the service. No body scans, I can bring my own soap and as many sodas as I want. I’ve never been detained for three plus hours against my will on a tarmac (that’s happened several times on a plane) and invariably I get dropped off in the downtown of the city I am traveling to which is where I want to stay anyway.

  161. 161
    MattR says:

    The one thing I have not seen mentioned when discussing the Tenessee fire is how pissed off I would be if I was the neighbor who had paid the $75. From what I understand, the fire department knew that there was a fire raging next to the neighbor’s property but did not bother to do anything until it actually reached the neighbor’s property and started to do damage.

  162. 162
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    Here, in California, money diverted to fanciful high speed service takes away from more crucial transit projects.

    In other words, spend $2 on roads rather than $1 on trains in order to move the same number of people. You think those $5000 electric vehicle and $2500 hybrid rebates don’t come from state budgets? What about the cost of expanding HOV lanes to accommodate the 100K additional hybrid vehicles who can travel with single riders? What about the $9B that we’re paying just in Orange County Measure M taxes for road improvements? Another $30B in stimulus funds just over 2 years to the state of California exclusively going to road projects. Rail gets about 1/10th those amounts.

    Metrolinks operating budget for 2010 is $170M. The problem with it is the infrequency of trains. Light rail doesn’t work when the trains only run every 3-4 hours. Shit, I can’t even catch a train to get to an Angels game most of the time – they usually only do the fan trains on Friday and weekends.

    The 73 toll road has been a moderate failure because no sooner did they build it that they expanded the El Toro Y and made the benefit of taking the tollroad irrelevant for most drivers. The state is doing the same thing to mass transit – dumping tons of money to improve freeways and undermining the mass transit.

    SF is finally getting it right. They’re doing congestion rates for parking in the city. At peak times, they’re raising the parking rates to balance out demand, making mass transit attractive. Put the 91 congestion rates on all 5 and 405 lanes except for HOV and Metrolink will need to increase the number of cars 10 fold and they’ll be profitable without state operating support.

  163. 163

    Senate races:

    I now have a list of Senate races that are fairly close but I didn’t find these in a US source. I found them in the Guardian.

  164. 164
    Martin says:

    @MattR: He should sue the city for breach of contract. They knew there was a fire and didn’t respond. Can you imagine what would happen out here in CA if firefighters deliberately ignored wildfires on public land and didn’t arrive until they hit private property?

  165. 165
    joel hanes says:

    @Anya:

    NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) present somewhat more risk for gastric bleeding and kidneys, but they’re nowhere near as bad for the liver as acetaminophen (Tylenol). The problems with acetaminophen are just as Svensker said :

    1. With acetaminophen, the difference between the therapeutic dose and a potentially toxic dose is much smaller than with most other over-the-counter drugs. Doubling up on acetaminophen is a *very* bad idea.

    2. Alcohol makes it much worse. A couple drinks plus even nominal doses of acetaminophen can be toxic to your liver. If ibuprofen takes out your kidney function, it’s possible to get a new kidney; or you can do dialysis; if aspirin gives you an ulcer, you can have your stomach repaired, but if your liver goes, it’s real bad unless you’re Steve Jobs or David Crosby. Do not combine acetaminophen and alcohol. If you drink four or more drinks every day, you should probably take acetaminophen very rarely if ever.

    Every drug has side-effects and risks.
    American Home Products spent years and million$ establishing in the public mind that Tylenol is completely safe. It’s not.

  166. 166
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dee Loralei:

    Back away from the Tylenol — the toxic overdose level is far lower than they tell you. Try an ice pack or frozen peas on that side of your face in addition to the ibuprofen — 20 minutes on, an hour off.

  167. 167
    Nick says:

    @Brachiator:

    But it is not a slam dunk or universal solution.

    No, but it’s a solution in short-haul heavily traffic routes like Miami-Orlando-Tampa, San Diego-Los Angeles-Las Vegas/San Francisco, Dallas-Houston-Austin/San Antonio, St. Louis/Minneapolis-Chicago-Pittsburgh

  168. 168
    KG says:

    @Brachiator: my thought is basically this:

    Three separate, overlapping systems. City sponsored light rail with a central station. The central stations of each city are connected via a county wide rail system, also with a central station (could have cross over). And then a statewide system that runs to each counties central station.

    The problem is, most cities have been built without the thought of this kind of system, so they aren’t really designed accordingly. But I think it could work, maybe.

  169. 169
    Steve says:

    @Brachiator:

    I would think that if this were such a great deal, the casinos would be building a line themselves. But this route is kinda like NFL franchises in Los Angeles. Everybody who thinks it would be a great idea wants the government to underwrite it.

    Would you believe some assholes actually had the same idea regarding the interstate highway system? It’s like these idiots think it’s the government’s job to make long-term investments in transportation infrastructure, or something!

  170. 170
    Kat says:

    @John Cole: How Are We Losing to These Clowns?

    Others have probably said it, but…

    The Koch Bros, Murdoch, et al have more money than god, and in Colorado, at least, Rove’s “American Crossroads” group has been outspending ‘libruls’ seven-to-one on campaign ads.

  171. 171
    FlipYrWhig says:

    That Adam Green is fucking ridiculous. One of those “Bully pulpit!” bleaters. As soon as I heard O’Donnell’s intro I thought, “Fuck, it’s gonna be Jane Hamsher,” and then, sure enough. Click.

    O’Donnell blows, and if he isn’t the Firebag talk-show host, he’s _definitely_ the HuffPo talk-show host. Must-miss TV.

  172. 172
    mclaren says:

    Worship of the Almighty Automobile is deeply engraved in America’s collective lizard brain.

    The kooks and cranks and crackpots on this forum burst into crazed vituperation when I pointed out that I use a bicycle to get around. I was accused of “lowering property values” and called a “hippy.” You wanted to know where I lived so you can move away to avoid damaging the inflated bubble valuation of your precious MacMansion houses. Face it, kooks: you’re addicted to the Happy Motoring car culture. You can’t break away from it any more than a heroin addict can go cold turkey.

    Unfortunately for all of you, you’re going to get a catastrophic education in the cost of your folly when oil hits $200 a barrel and stays there.

    Southern California will disintegrate. Those big box stores 20 miles outside of town will dry up and blow away. All those strips malls filled with fast food franchises and generic storefronts supplied by great big honking 18-wheelers? They’re going to turn into ghost towns.

    And your daily commutes?

    Good luck with that, kooks. In 125-degree global warming heat (downtown HelL.A. just hit a new record of 113 degrees two days ago, while on 23 July 2006 Wooland CA hit a temperature of 119 Fahrenheit) with $7-a-gallon gasoline, you’re not going to get far in those traffic jams.

    The problem with moving away from America’s car-obsessed Happy Motoring culture isn’t the Republicans. It’s you. All of you. You kooks and cranks cannot conceive of a world in which you can’t tool around in your SUVs burning up 1/8 of a gallon per mile to zip down to that big box WalMart store and pick up a bag of pork rinds whenever you feel like it.

    Boy, when Peak Oil really hits, you crackpots are going to get the surprise of a lifetime.

  173. 173

    Not to go all OT and all, but since mclaren’s already brought his special brand of Heavy Duty Gloom ™ down on the house, I wanted to point out my awesome fantasy league results tonight. Here’s what I needed (from the Chuck open thread), and teh football gawds delivered!

    ETA: and as for this, mclaren: “The kooks and cranks and crackpots on this forum burst into crazed vituperation when I pointed out that I use a bicycle to get around.” I’d like a link to that particular charge, especially the part about lowering property values. Unless you’re talking about pancake, makewi, or PaulW or assorted wingnuts, I find it hard to believe there would be a sizable anti-bike bias on this board, nutjob.

  174. 174
    morzer says:

    @mclaren:

    Still living on a can of beef stew and a jug of bile per day, Mc?

  175. 175

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I feel bad for Maddow, having to carry water for the few minutes while she transitions between these two partisan hacks and gasbags, who offer no journalistic integrity, but merely sectarian cheerleading.

  176. 176
    morzer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Well, I suspect Mc’s bike has three wheels, and that people want to move away from him for more obvious reasons than property values.

  177. 177
    Redshift says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You don’t want to get entangled with Tunch…

  178. 178
    Redshift says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You don’t want to get entangled with Tunch…

  179. 179
    Redshift says:

    @Brachiator:

    And MetroLink and Amtrak trains have to compete with and must yield to freight service.

    Well, that sure is a strong argument against building a rail service that doesn’t have to…

  180. 180
    Martin says:

    @mclaren:

    Those big box stores 20 miles outside of town will dry up and blow away.

    20 miles outside of town? 20 miles outside of town is 6 towns away. I have 4 home improvement megastores within 3 miles of me. Hell, I’ve got 4 Apple Stores within 5 miles of me. I ride my bike past a Costco to go to my favorite Costco. I think you seriously underestimate the population density out here. More people live within 20 miles of me than live in ND, SD, Montana, and Wyoming combined.

    No, we’ll do alright in a post-peak oil world. After all, the busiest port in the nation is 20 miles away. Virtually everyone between the Mississippi and the Sierra Nevadas and north of Dallas are the ones that will be fucked because a lot of them need the 18 wheelers to swing by and drop off ¼ truck of food every day. We might struggle with mass transit, but we actually have the demographics to make it work once the shit hits the fan. Water is the hard problem. Transportation is comparatively easy for us.

  181. 181

    I have to give it up for the Dick Whisperer. He knocked an article about Glenn Beck out of the park. Milbank’s placement of the correct Niemoller quote would be a mortal wound to anyone with a conscience. Unfortunately, Daddy Beck got to get paid.

  182. 182
    morzer says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    My God, if the kookocracy has lost Dana Milbank…..

  183. 183
    roshan says:

    __

    19 Mind-Blowing Facts About the Deindustrialization of America

    __
    1) The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.
    __
    2) Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.
    __
    3) Dell has announced it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November. Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.
    __
    4) In 2008, 1.2 billion cellphones were sold worldwide. How many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.
    __
    5) According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
    __
    6) As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.
    __
    7) The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.
    __
    8) According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.
    __
    9) In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.
    __
    10) Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good-paying middle-class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford’s new “global” manufacturing strategy.
    __
    11) As of the end of 2009, fewer than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time fewer than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
    __
    12) In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.
    __
    13) The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
    __
    14) In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.
    __
    15) Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
    __
    16) Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products. Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.
    __
    17) The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.
    __
    18) One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
    __
    19) The U.S. Census Bureau says 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty — the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

  184. 184
    morzer says:

    18) One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

    In the interests of realism and accuracy, the population of China may well be four times, maybe even five times that of the US at that date.

  185. 185
    roshan says:

    @morzer: Well, that explains why China’s economy is already larger than US at present. Oh wait……is it?

  186. 186
    Martin says:

    @roshan:

    Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

    Dell would have to win the every fucking lottery on the planet to come up with $100B over the next decade. Their market cap is $25B. They’ve got $7B in assets and operating cash flow of under $4B. They’ll be lucky if they aren’t a division of Oracle or HP or Lenovo by next year.

    People have no clue why we’ve lost so much manufacturing to China, and they’re too fucking lazy to actually learn why. The problems here won’t be solved by the free market or trade sanctions or anything else. You’ve got a pile of individual companies in competition with each other here in the US up against a pile of companies in China that are being organized and supported by the Chinese government. Rather than allow the US government help even the playing field, half the country is screaming about fucking Marxism. We’re headed in completely the wrong direction.

  187. 187
    morzer says:

    @roshan:

    Historically, China’s economy has been the largest on the planet for a good part of human history. If anything, the last 150 years have been an anomaly – a somewhat impressive one, but an anomaly nonetheless.

    The point is that it sounds very impressive to say that China will have the largest economy – but that doesn’t mean China will be a match for the US in e.g. terms of personal wealth.

    Another point that deserves to be remembered: we really don’t know the size of China’s economy now (just as we don’t really know the size of Italy’s economy, and for similar reasons). We have to depend on official statistics, supplemented by a measure of estimation and sometimes sheer guesswork. Unfortunately, in both cases there is a second “black” economy of concealed work and earnings, coupled with tax evasion. The result is that figures for either economy are simply not reliable.

  188. 188
    roshan says:

    @Martin: I think Chinese gov’t is going to help Dell raise that much money for it’s investment or buy a major shareholders stake in it as return. There are lotteries to be won if you sell out to the highest bidder.

  189. 189
    roshan says:

    @morzer: I really don’t care to estimate the size of Chinese economy as it’s beside the point here which is that the US is not going to be competitive on a global scale within the next ten years. Forget the next 30.

  190. 190
    Martin says:

    @roshan: Ok, then that’s not an investment in China. It’s China investing in China if it’s their $100B at stake. It’s a stimulus plan.

  191. 191
    morzer says:

    @Martin:

    Absolutely. Until the US recognizes that government can be and is a key player in the development of successful companies and industries, the US will be fighting with one hand tied behind its back, and the other clutching a white stick.

  192. 192
    morzer says:

    @roshan:

    The point is that your panic is partly based on a claim which looks much more alarming than it really is. If you don’t care to think through what people are telling you – and why – you are going to live in a state of confused panic for most of the rest of your life. Why do you think this sort of article has suddenly become fashionable again?

  193. 193
    roshan says:

    @morzer: I’m really not up for personal psychology tonight. And there is no need for Bill Frist type diagnosis based on couple anonymous internet postings looking for dialogue. This ain’t a panic and shouldn’t be regarded as one.

  194. 194
    roshan says:

    @Martin: Yes, it’s an investment which our workers need too, from our gov’t or the rich fat fucks who are driving the political economic narratives these days.

  195. 195
    Martin says:

    @roshan: Except that we do the same thing. We invest half a trillion dollars a year in the military complex. We make missiles and then destroy them in Pakistan, needing more missiles to be made.

    The real problem as you note is that the US has outside of manufacturing is that we expanded GDP without needing a corresponding increase in labor. We’ve got a per capita GDP of $43K. – 25% higher than Europe, yet real wages for the bottom 80% of Americans has been flat while the top 20% have taken 100% of the economic growth of the last 20 years.

  196. 196
    roshan says:

    @Martin: Well, that explains it. Why majority of the Army brass and constituents are conservative. Who would want to kill King Midas who roams among our military establishment touching every piece of artillery, armaments, weapons, and turning them into gold? Even the least bit of talk of peace making or dialogue by the democrats makes these wingnut war profiteers shake in their boots. It’s especially enriching that some random nobody’s kid dies for their wars. Now that’s real blood profit.

  197. 197
    morzer says:

    @roshan:

    Using the personal psychology excuse as a way of ducking your own willful ignorance is pretty unimpressive, Roshan. But judging by the uncritical way you parroted the article in question I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

  198. 198
    mclaren says:

    @Martin:

    No, we’ll do alright in a post-peak oil world.

    Yes, we probably will. Life will just be unimaginably different. It will take longer to get around, top speeds of airplanes and land vehicle will be lower than they are today — turboprop engines are much more fuel-efficient than jets. People will have to use mass transit a lot more than they do today, and there will be a lot more small one-person vehicles than today — electric bikes, mopeds, that sort of thing, rather than one-person-per-SUV the way we do it today.

    The folks who will get hit hard are the people used to living in car-centric cultures like Los Angeles CA or extremely hot parts of the country like Las Vegas NV or Phoenix AZ. People in remote rural areas will also have to adjust. Entire small towns may have to be abandoned if they’re 3 hours from the nearest hospital with no viable mass transit.

    Jet travel will become a luxury for the super-wealthy. If there even are jets. Slower turboprop planes will probably take over.

    Agriculture will have to change away from giant agribusiness fertilizer-intensive monoculture farming toward small farms with lower yields.

    But it won’t be catastrophic, except in places where people essentially live in their cars, like Los Angeles.

    As for the above discussion about manufacturing and China, that’s only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that all the high-value high-wage jobs in America are now in so-called “knowledge work,” not manufacturing. Unfortunately, that “knowledge work” mostly produces bits which can be (and are being) copied willy-nilly across borders courtesy of the internet. Movies, books, TV shows, software, CAD/CAM design files, CNC numerical machine tool files, robots designs and programs, DNA sequences (now all digital files), materials science (now all digital files), electronics schematics and design files…all now digital. All getting copied and spewed around the world for nothing.

    America decided to abandon manufacturing in favor of high-value high-end knowledge work. Unfortunately, all that knowledge work has turned into easily copyable bits that wind getting devalued to essentially nothing as soon as they’re produced. If you want the latest CNC machine tools…get ’em in China for pennies on the dollar, courtesy of ripped off reverse engineered copies. Want cheap versions of every high-end tube amplifier manufactured in Britain? Chinese sell ’em dirt cheap. They took the circuit boards of the originals and fed ’em into Eagle circuit board design software and re-engineered ’em. Want copies of the latest Windows software pre-cracked? Eastern Europe has ’em. They sell the stuff in carts for a buck per DVD-R on the street. Disney’s latest movies get sold in Shanghai on pirate DVDs before they even get into American theaters. And so on, and so forth.

    This is not going to go away. As Cory Doctorow has pointed out, bits are not getting harder to copy. They are getting easier to copy as time goes. In fact, if bits ever got harder to copy, that would mean there is something terribly wrong with the world’s infrastructure. Broadband would have slowed down worldwide. Hard drives would have gotten slower and smaller. Flash drives would have stopped working properly. If bits ever got harder to copy, that would be a real global crisis because it would mean our technology was breaking down worldwide.

    Well, broadband and hard drives and flash drives aren’t breaking down worldwide. They’re getting smaller and faster and better and more reliable (solid state drives don’t have heads to crash or bearings to burn out) and they store more bits every day. Bits are getting easier and easier to copy every day. That means that the basis of the current U.S. economy is running down to zero valuation at the same rate your hard drive is getting faster and bigger, and that’s pretty damn fast.

    The elites who run America didn’t think of that one, did they?

  199. 199
    gene108 says:

    Mass transit is socialist and must be opposed. The only countries with functioning mass transit systems, like say France, are socialist hell-holes. We don’t need to follow them!!!

    If God meant for people to commute from point A to point B, He’d make sure they can drive their with their own car, and if your too old to drive or too infirm to drive or just can’t afford a car, tough titties. God clearly doesn’t want you leaving your house, no matter how much you might want to buy groceries.

  200. 200
    bob h says:

    The truculent slob who runs NJ is proposing to axe construction of a new railway tunnel under the Hudson.

  201. 201
    Michael says:

    @morzer:

    Well, I suspect Mc’s bike has three wheels, and that people want to move away from him for more obvious reasons than property values.

    He’s the sort of guy who drinks his own urine so often that he starts liking the taste.

  202. 202
    Josh G. says:

    mclaren: Peak Oil doesn’t mean everyone will have to give up their cars. It means that people will drive smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and that electric cars will become more common. (The Nissan Leaf looks like a very promising commuter vehicle, though the price needs to go down, as it almost certainly will over the next decade.) It also means that nuclear power will probably make a comeback, helping to ease the load on the electrical grid from the new EVs. Solar power can also help. In both cases, government subsidies will be needed.

    I live in Forsyth County and regularly drive on State Road 400. Probably over half the vehicles I see on a daily basis are light trucks, mostly SUVs and pickups. And most of these are completely unnecessary. They usually carry one or two people and little or no cargo – in other words, nothing that an ordinary sedan or hatchback couldn’t do just fine. Rising gas prices will kick these vehicles off the road to be replaced by smaller, more efficient units, most of which will be hybrids or full EVs. And in the long run, almost no one will really miss the bloated trucks. (Of course, pickups and vans will continue to be used by the businesses that actually have a specific need for them.)

  203. 203
    Trueblood says:

    @<a href="#co@morzer: mment-2088476″>morzer:

    I live less than twenty miles west of Boston, and there is no public transportation.

  204. 204
    RobNYNY1957 says:

    “And the 20 minutes of catching the shuttle to the rental car lot. ”

    Plus, when you arrive by train, you arrive at Grand Central, not in Newark.

  205. 205

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