Ready or not, here comes high speed rail
Definition of a boondoggle: A government program with no chance of succeeding but where huge amounts of money are spent anyway.
Definition of insanity: (See "boondoggle").
Wall Street Journal:
Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a $53 billion plan Tuesday to upgrade and build intercity passenger-rail networks.
Mr. Biden, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, announced the plan at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. The six-year program is designed to give 80% of Americans access to passenger-rail service within 25 years-a goal President Barack Obama set in his State of the Union Address-and to create jobs.
"In a global economy, we can't forget that infrastructure is also the veins and the arteries of commerce," Mr. Biden said. He frequently travels between his home state of Delaware and Washington on Amtrak trains.The administration has already devoted $10.5 billion to passenger-rail programs, with the bulk of the funds going toward California and Florida high-speed rail projects that are currently in the planning stage.Under the new plan, the administration would provide $8 billion for passenger-rail projects in this year's budget, set to be released next week.The plan faces hurdles, including how future funding will be paid for and whether it can gain enough support in Congress. Republicans have criticized rail projects as wasteful spending and have called for canceling rail construction as part of a broader plan to reduce the deficit.
James Courcelles adds:
This high tech White House is the first to tweet and text. Wow.
Look around your house or office: The Xbox Live game from Microsoft offers the chance to play a live video game, on demand, against another player across town or around the world. The iPad II from Apple will offer on demand, 2-way, high-def, completely mobile, face-to-face human communications with a forward facing camera. The umi telepresence from Cisco offers similar instant communications into the corporate boardroom, classroom or home office.
The Democrats just don't get the message.
The authors of the "shovel-ready stimulus" that admittedly didn't work, have left us standing at the station. In the last two days, NY and Philadelphia hosted four Democrats giving press conferences on new "job-creating and ambitious" projects that lead us into the 21st century.
The Democrats sent the VP and Transportation Secretary to an Amtrak station in Philadelphia while 2 US Senators held forth in NY. Democrats in NJ and NY eagerly pledged up to $10 billion to revive a Hudson River rail tunnel project which republican governor Christie recently canceled because borrowing the $3-5 billion in costs could not be justified.
VP Biden echoed the President from his State of the Union address: "a 6-year, $53 billion high-speed intercity passenger rail plan is an enormous step toward...essential high-speed rail projects. It clearly demonstrates the Obama Administration's commitment to putting this program on the fast track to success...we do big things in America...we can't compete in the next century without this transportation project."
We have teenagers in Cairo tweeting the world, begging for support from the free world. Our children have playdates with kids half way around the world in places they will never visit.
James Courcelles, an independent writer, who can be reached at JamesCourcelles@yahoo.com
Lee DeCovnick adds:
My grandfather survived the hellish Meuse-Argonne during the First World War. (The famous 77th Infantry Division, "New York's Own"). He was the epitome of the short-tempered, street tough New Yorker. His gravely voice, corroded from mustard gas, constantly railed at the obscene waste in government spending; his colorful vocabulary was never at a loss to describe his raw anger at the corruption inflicted upon the taxpayers by the politicians.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration is proposing to spend $53 billion over the next six years to help promote the construction of a national high-speed, intercity passenger rail network, Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday.The proposal represents a significant expansion of the $10.5 billion already spent on high-speed rail expansion since Obama entered office, including $8 billion in the 2009 economic stimulus package.