Patterico's Pontifications

3/9/2017

WELCOME TO TRUMPRAIL! Trump Signals Interest in High-Speed Rail

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am



If you liked TrumpCare, you’re gonna love TrumpRail:

President Donald Trump pushed his White House team on Wednesday to craft a plan for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending that would pressure states to streamline local permitting, favor renovation of existing roads and highways over new construction and prioritize projects that can quickly begin construction.

. . . .

Mr. Trump said he would was inclined to give states 90 days to start projects, and asked Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to provide a recommendation. He expressed interest in building new high-speed railroads, inquired about the possibility of auctioning the broadcast spectrum to wireless carriers, and asked for more details about the Hyperloop, a project envisioned by Tesla founder Elon Musk that would rapidly transport passengers in pods through low-pressure tubes.

“America has always been a nation of great promise, because we dream big,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to really dream big now.”

Our national debt today is just shy of $20 trillion. Debt per citizen is $61,496. Debt per taxpayer is $166,570. The national debt doubled under George W. Bush, and doubled again under Barack Obama. Is it going to double again under President Dream Big?

Something that can’t go on forever, won’t. But somehow I expect that Trumpers will start telling us that This Is Different. Yesterday I saw someone who claims to be on the right literally justify TrumpCare by saying health care is a “national security issue.” Today, “conservatives” like that will justify reaching deep into our pockets at a time of record-breaking historical debt to build . . . high-speed rail.

As for that, Trump should look at the disastrous high-speed rail effort in California before he pursues this idea further. The first segment of California’s implausible scheme, the “train to nowhere” in the Central Valley, is several years behind schedule. As of June 2016, the original $33 billion cost estimate had “more than doubled to $68 billion,” and according to this recent analysis, “likely budget overruns projected out over the remainder of the route, from dense urban areas at the north and south termini to the soggy soils of the San Joaquin River region to the rugged mountains of Southern California, will likely be in the range of another $30 billion, pushing the project’s total cost past $100 billion.”

Yeah, let’s replicate this throughout the country. Great idea, Trump.

Dream big, America!

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

102 Responses to “WELCOME TO TRUMPRAIL! Trump Signals Interest in High-Speed Rail”

  1. The time for railroading is over.

    Hyperloop.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  2. But somehow I expect that Trumpers will start telling us that This Is Different. Yesterday I saw someone who claims to be on the right literally justify TrumpCare by saying health care is a “national security issue.” Today, “conservatives” like that will justify reaching deep into our pockets at a time of record-breaking historical debt to build . . . high-speed rail.

    Trump promised to eliminate the entire $20T national debt in eight years, without raising taxes or reforming entitlements. Why don’t any of the RINOs who worship him ever talk about keeping that promise?

    Dave (711345)

  3. It would be a better use of funds to pay people to dig ditches and fill them back in with dirt.

    When these projects fail, half-way completed, or god forbid actually get completed and we have to run them, they will cost more than they add to our economy.

    Even if we could push a button and the train tracks would magically blink into existence, we would probably lose money as a result of operating the trains.

    Nothing good is going to come out of this. Hopefully, nothing at all will come out of this.

    Daryl Herbert (7be116)

  4. Leave the debt issue aside for a moment.

    that would pressure states to streamline local permitting, favor renovation of existing roads and highways over new construction and prioritize projects that can quickly begin construction.

    Which means supporting this as proposed is supporting that idea that federal bureaucrats get to decide what roads get fixed and when, instead of leaving it to local politicians. I mean, the same idea that supposedly is wrong with Obamacare is now going to be inflicted on our roads and highways? [And that’s without reference to the corruption possibilities.)

    I don’t know if it was directly related to the Obama stimulus, but locally highway construction and repair has been ongoing and seemingly never ending since about the time that Porculus was passed. We have signs cheerfully advising us that a project is scheduled to be finished in “winter 2018″. Some of them probably are not only necessary, but overdue. But they are traffic nightmares, hurt businesses on the affected roads, and at least in some cases the only need for them was apparently the discovery by local political types that they had a bunch of money to spend. I’d like less of them, not more.

    kishnevi (94a358)

  5. Why don’t any of the RINOs who worship him ever talk about keeping that promise?

    Does this mean Democrats?

    JP (f1742c)

  6. And–it could be made by CH-CH-CH–YNA!!

    Rae Sremmurd (2fd998)

  7. High Speed Rail–for the Big Blue Cities–baby!1

    Winning!!

    Rae Sremmurd (2fd998)

  8. sounds like he’s trying to get a handle on the options and he’s having his team put together some recommendations

    we’ll have to wait and see what the proposal is before we can make any judgments about it I think

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  9. Holy cripes could we save some face here–and at least get the Japanese or the Germans to build it?

    Axis Uber Alles!!

    Rae Sremmurd (2fd998)

  10. Rae @9. South Koreans. But I don’t know if Trump would like that. He wants everyone to hire American. Of course, this is Davis Bacon on steroids.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  11. The LG4 is a boot-looping POS of a smartphone (the one that died on me NYE), so I dont know about that ocean, maybe he’s beckoning the good Germans to throw in the towel and help with these high-speed rails.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  12. Ima worry when Mr President Trump starts having a parade and fireworks show every night at sundown in the greatest nation on earth.

    BTW-anyone know how much we subsidize air travel?

    If this does, er, get off the ground, the airlines will be screaming the loudest. Although there will be plenty of Indian burial grounds to go around. You know what I mean.

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  13. BTW-anyone know how much we subsidize air travel?

    ***************************

    Well it’s a lot easier to protect access to air travel. Keeping miles and miles of high speed rail tracks secure–is another matter.

    I suspect brand new high speed rail would be tempting as a target.

    Security points in China at various high speed rail stations can be very strident, and they aren’t even fighting the same war on terror that we are.

    Rae Sremmurd (2fd998)

  14. Rae @9. South Koreans. But I don’t know if Trump would like that. He wants everyone to hire American. Of course, this is Davis Bacon on steroids.
    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc) — 3/9/2017 @ 10:46 am

    ***********

    Thanks Sammy–I didn’t know that. Embarrassing actually now that you mention it.

    Rae Sremmurd (2fd998)

  15. asked for more details about the Hyperloop

    OMG!

    *set hair on fire and starts running around pointlessly in circles while screaming this is the end times*

    That Trump sure is awful, isn’t he?

    Anon Y. Mous (9e4c83)

  16. kishnevi (94a358) — 3/9/2017 @ 10:15 am

    . We have signs cheerfully advising us that a project is scheduled to be finished in “winter 2018″. Some of them probably are not only necessary, but overdue. But they are traffic nightmares, hurt businesses on the affected roads, and at least in some cases the only need for them was apparently the discovery by local political types that they had a bunch of money to spend. I’d like less of them, not more.

    the same thing goes on with mass transit.

    Right now, the “N” train in Brooklyn, (or Sea Beach subway) has six stations (Fort Hamilton Parkway, New Utrecht Avenue, 18th Avenue, Bay Parkway, Kings Highway, and Avenue U) with one of its two enrances closes since the middle of 2015 (some stations, like 20th Avenue, have only one entrance, and the entrance to 8th Avenue near 7th Avenue has been closed for decades) as well as seven stations (86 St, Avenue U, Kings Highway, 20th Avenue, 18th Avenue, New Utrecht Avenue, Ft. Hamilton Parkway) having the the side of the station with trains going to Manattan closed and destroyed (with a special temporary platform built on one of the middle tracks at Bay Parkway and 8th Avenue for new express stops for trains going to Manhattan – they did the same thing at Avenue J when this was going on with the Brighton line. Also New Utrecht Avenue is a transfer station so people can use the elevated “D” or West End line instead.

    That’s been going on since January, 2016, with no ccpletion date in sight, and then they are going do it to the other side. The whole thing is scheduled for completion in 2019, I think.

    And the oompletion date for the entrances was originally promised as being January 2016 and then October 2016 – they built by the way a passage to the temporary new platform for the Manhattan trains at the other entrance of the Bay Parkway station, but they are not using it because the entrance is still closed. I am not sure they are going to re-open the 17th Avenue entance.

    And also, after that they closed and destroyed the Coney Island bound platform and the west side of McDonald Avenue street entrances of 6 stations on the “F” train, or Culver line (Avenue I, Bay Parkway, Avenue N, Avenue P, Avenue U, and Avenue X – all the way to Neptune Avenue) Kings Highway is an express stop (as is 18th Avenue) And whenever they finish, they’re going to do it to the other side.

    I think they started with the direction where there would be the least inconvenience.

    They never build anything new, because that woud probably require an environmental impact statement.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  17. South Florida has only a minimal mass transit service
    http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/metrorail-stations.asp
    The map is schematic, but it means anyone living on Miami Beach and associated communities, anyone living in the northern third (more or less) of MiamiDade County, and anyone living in Broward or Palm Beach, has to rely on buses if they have no car. TriRail runs strictly north south between Palm Beach and downtown Miami, on the regular Amtrak passenger line, so it’s useless if one needs to go to any place not in downtown Miami or close to the Metrorail link.

    kishnevi (94a358)

  18. If this is about what the feds pay to build, you’re right. If this is about what the feds do to stop what needs to be built then it’s about d_mn time, right?

    crazy (d3b449)

  19. http://www.governing.com/columns/urban-notebook/When-Will-the-US-Build-Another-Subway.html

    They can manage, sometimes, at great, great expense, to build a few more stations, or an extension.

    Ths article says the last new subway system built in the United states wa sthat of Washington, D.C. with all the originally planned sections completed by 2001. But Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Dallas coud use subways.

    The system in Seoul is now the second most heavy in passenger volume in the world, after Tokyo and only had its first line open in 1974.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  20. Terrible! Just found out that the “Trump Train” is a metaphor. Literary device (not a real train) is not what we voted for. Unacceptable!

    @realdonaldtrump

    Daryl Herbert (7be116)

  21. In New York actually it’s about the fact that they can borrow money for capital expenses but not operating expenses. Saving money on capital expenses provides no practical benefit to anybody.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  22. They built 3 new elaborate stations on Second avenue. They could make money by renting space, but they used it all for art. The stations have only two tracks. The stations may be too far aoart – I mean there’s a 72 St station and the next one is 86 St with an entrance on 83rd St.

    Stations seem to cost money while they didn’t cost so much out of proportion 100 years ago, . They gave up the idea of a station at 41 st and 10th Avenue on the #7 line extension.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  23. 19
    Given all the engineering and other planning and work that would be need to be done, a subway probably just too big a deal. Even before you throw in the funding, environmental planning and litigation, land purchasing/condemnation, and just plain politics. And no helpful football team to push the project along.

    That’s if a city is located in a place that allows for a subway: Miami’s small system is an elevated railroad. There’s no option for an underground system when you’re located in an area that is essentially filled in swampland. (I suppose one could have an underwater system.)

    kishnevi (94a358)

  24. “Hope tempered by realism strikes me as a much healthier attitude than the wide-eyed rapture received by President Obama during his early days in office.”

    — Stephen Green

    Colonel Haiku (f0e797)

  25. Everybody do loves them some trains… https://youtu.be/h62zKFMoPPM

    Colonel Haiku (f0e797)

  26. An elevated is just as good as a subway. It doesn’t really need to be underground. There’s also open cut, where the train and the tracks are below ground.

    Some trains run over, or under streets. Two train lines in southern Brooklyn run in the middle of blocks. The Sea Beach subway or “N” train is actually open cut (with streets crossing it used as bridges and few short tunnels. The Brighton line (or “Q” now) starts from the north as open cut, is level or almost level, blocking an avenue or two, for a short time around Glenwood Road and then in elevated. It runs over streets in Brighton Beach near the end.

    Chicago, I think, is mostly elevated, and runs over alleys. Chicago has a lot of alleys that run in the middle of streets that were built or used for deliveries. People from Chicago can clarify this for me.

    They could also buld a monorail, or a tram. De Blasio wants to build a streetcar near the waterfron in Brooklyn and Queens. And then there are ferries.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  27. Deficits don’t matter under Republican administrations. Anyone want to speculate about how the upcoming debt limit vote will go?

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/09/mnuchin-calls-on-congress-to-raise-debt-limit-as-deadline-approaches-reuters.html

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  28. Good that you remind me, kish, the metrorail is effectively a track to nowhere. Designed by the transport baron William lehman.

    Achilles (61a5f0)

  29. #27… sure they do Dave teh Squid. In fact, that’s the ONLY time they matter, IYNWIMAITTYD.

    Colonel Haiku (f0e797)

  30. It runs from downtown West to Hialeah, the daleyesque exurbs and South to kendall.

    narciso (61a5f0)

  31. which is why it’s useless to those like me that live north and east of Miami.
    Fortunately, I have little need to go into Miami.

    kishnevi (94a358)

  32. I guess it would downtown almost to San Pedro and

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. I’d say east la, but that’s not quite it.

    narciso (a92e79)

  34. Yeah, this trillion dollar infrastructure thing is the most distasteful of Trumps ideas IMO. And oh how I wish he wouldn’t encourage California’s fast train boondoggle. It’s like encouraging a welfare family to go buy a Bentley.

    I’m hoping it’s just an Art of the Deal tactic, dangling a trillion in front of a bunch of greedy politicians to get some leverage, and goodness knows they have long neglected our infrastructure, but for crying out loud, we are a broke dick nation. Show us you can balance the budget for a change, THEN we can talk about this stuff.

    Leon (3ad005)

  35. Rae

    Here’s where my brain went:

    Most of us here probably pay state and federal gas taxes.

    A lot of the road tax is siphoned off for bike lanes, walking paths and light rail.

    I can get road tax free diesel for my tractor, so is the diesel RR’s pay for taxed the same way and where does that money go? I know interstate truckers have to fool around with apportionment-which is a pain.

    How is avgas taxed, and where does that money go?

    Could we have super awesome infrastructure if we just charged an entry fee like Disneyland?

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  36. Kishnevi

    Maybe Miami needs a chunnel.

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  37. Dave,

    To be fair, Trump also discussed defaulting on the national debt, so it’s a binary choice (LOL).

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  38. We have one, from the port to Miami beach, guess which firm was involved there?

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. OH God, please no.

    Just no, no, no.

    Steven Malynn (d29fc3)

  40. @34. High speed trains and subways in a state/region highly prone to earthquakes and long overdue for ‘the big one’ does seem astonishingly short-sighted. The Northeast and Midwest is where the wear and tear from weathering and age has hit the hardest.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. @1. ‘Hyperloop’ has a very Musky stink to it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. I can’t wait until we start to implement high speed rail and the people of the Northeastern seaboard and Coastal California are told that there will be trains traveling overland through their cities at speeds starting at 120 mph. Let’s see how many sweet progressives soccer moms who worship Hillary are willing to put up with that.

    JVW (dadb0c)

  43. You know, Trump could easily move up into the top half of Presidents overall on the merits just by endorsing every kind of idiotic boondoggle that liberals love throwing money at so that they’ll swear off said boondoggles forever, even if he accomplishes literally nothing else.

    M Scott Eiland (1edade)

  44. @38 narciso

    The Dubai Ports Inc.

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  45. Narciso

    Miami might have better luck funding light rail if they didn’t invite lawsuits from the likes of Carlos Miller and Photography Isn’t a Crime.

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  46. I had the same idea M Scott Eiland. When the Dems pushed for $15 hr minimum wage, I said the Repubs should push $25 hr. Let’s see the dems tell everybody why that’s a bad idea.

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  47. So, where does Amtrak fit into all this?

    Bill H (383c5d)

  48. I guess one question to ask is how much govt minted monopolies and untenable or unnecessary projects are preventing private entities from entering the market?

    Just think of a world where hotel shuttles were banned.

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  49. Amtrak should be as much Am as FedEx and the Federal Reserve are Federal, no?

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  50. JVW

    I’ve always thought the worst part of trains is waiting for them to creep on by at 15 mph.

    Pinandpuller (72c2eb)

  51. It was a French firm Bouygues, the firm odebrecht (yes that one) built the legion of doom headquarters opera house, (which flooded on the first day)

    narciso (d1f714)

  52. Trump railroading America?!

    Pshaw!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  53. Remember that swindler, Jim hunt

    dailycaller.com/2017/03/08/house-staffers-in-security-probe-allegedly-kept-stepmom-in-captivity-to-access-offshore-cash/?utm_campaign=thedcmainpage&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    narciso (d1f714)

  54. Chicago, I think, is mostly elevated, and runs over alleys. Chicago has a lot of alleys that run in the middle of streets that were built or used for deliveries.

    That’s the old lines from when McKinley was President, and they also go over streets when they need to, most noticeably in the Loop. The newer “L” lines and extensions are underground or in the expressway medians.

    But you’re right about the alleys. There’s an alley for just about every street, with lots of rear setback to the houses and buildings too. I suspect it’s because of the fire codes enacted after the Great Chicago Fire.

    nk (dbc370)

  55. Good one, Col.

    mg (9c8d18)

  56. Bought a new computer desk.

    NJRob (43d957)

  57. I’m not terribly worried that very much federal money will get spent, which is the same as saying “wasted,” on high-speed rail projects.

    In this respect, the festering fiscal sore that is California will do a service for the rest of the nation, because whatever federal efforts might get started now will by definition be many years behind their ridiculous [not-really-]San Francisco to [not-really-] Los Angeles project.

    Texas took a few steps down the path toward a Houston-Dallas-San Antonio/Austin high speed rail triangle some years ago. Costs here would have been a fraction of the ones in California. But it’s an answer in need of a problem, and under even the best of case scenarios, a hugely expensive answer when there are cheaper, alternative answers aplenty. Linked, regional toll-road authorities have instead emerged as an attractive user-financed alternative; Southwest Airlines continues to provide an efficient if never luxurious air shuttle alternative used by all but the lowest socio-economic classes; and there are private bus shuttles and charters to supplement the old standby, Greyhound (in whose continued survival into this century I claim a tiny bit of credit).

    Only a partisan hack or a concrete or earth-moving manufacturer can ignore the current ever-delayed, ever-more-expensive fiscal sinkhole of the California project. Outside California, I don’t think you can sell this stuff to quite enough congress-critters, even in flush times, which we ain’t in.

    TL/DR: Federal support for high-speed rail is a horrible idea, so much and so obviously so that I don’t worry about it ever actually happening.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  58. Pardon me, boy… is that teh catthatateyernewshoes?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. dailycaller.com/2017/03/09/suspect-in-house-it-security-probe-also-had-access-to-dnc-emails

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. Fried asparagus, tuna tartare and fresh jumbo shrimp taquitos all with amazing herbs and seasonig at Nicks in San Clemente.The food I have experienced in the last week as well as the service by the wait and kitchen staffs here in O C has been phenominal.

    mg (9c8d18)

  61. CA High Speed Rail is kicking off by linking a farm field north of Shafter, CA to Merced, CA.
    How to get from nowhere to nowhere fast.

    Air travel is cheap and fast already. Why go backwards a couple centuries to trains.. I like trains and have ridden them around the west. But when I need to get from point A to point B in CA I can drive to Sacramento faster than high speed rail and have my truck when I get there, so no car rental.
    Or I can fly and rent a car, giving me speed and flexibility

    steveg (5508fb)

  62. Trains are great
    At moving freight

    mg (9c8d18)

  63. Actually, Greyhound has made a sort of commeback, due to missteps (accidents) and shortcomings (no stations, no network of relief/substitute drivers and redundant fleet) of its upstart competolitors.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  64. Trains are great, if you’re a NY liberal who likes to travel out of the city. But, for the rest of the country they’re inconvenient, overly expensive, and unless the Government decides to take land by force it’s impossible to find property on which to build tracks. I’m just glad we got all the big things Trump promised so he can now focus on these important issues.

    Sean (41ed1e)

  65. Why do so many politicians have a railroad fetish?

    C. S. P. Schofield (99bd37)

  66. The broadcast frequencies that are left (60-220MHz VHF, 470-700MHz UHF) are not very useful for cellular, except maybe at the high end, for several reasons.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  67. The places that rail is really useful is in major cities, so long as whatever form it takes doesn’t interact with roadways. If CA spend Moonbeam’s choo-choo money on light rail and subways for Los Angeles, there would be a direct economic benefit. Even more so by a network effect as LA’s rail system became widespread enough to be of more use.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  68. Air travel is cheap and fast already. Why go backwards a couple centuries to trains.

    But air uses jets which pollute, unlike electric trains which don’t.

    **ducks**

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  69. I heard from Prager just now that the SCOTUS made a terrible decision yesterday that will play havoc with trial by jury in the US,
    that by saying, “I think juror #3 was racist”
    you can get the verdict challenged.

    Sounds nasty,
    unless one is a lawyer for the ACLU or NAACP or something.

    MD in Philly (20438e)

  70. A juror reported that one other juror had said that 90% of all Mexicans will (something like take a woman by force, because they’re all so macho.)

    But this juror voted guilty, too. There’s 11 people who weren’t biased.

    Jurors complaints till now are taken only before a verdict is reached.

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  71. It increases the power of the courts, taking away some the juries’ centuries-old immunity, and so the “Kennedy balance” tilted that way. Really, the courts in this country need to be brought back into line (stomped down hard would be better) and not just on relatively small potatoes like this but on other things from separation powers to tort law.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. separation *of* powers

    nk (dbc370)

  73. In three years and 7 trips to see my daughter in San Clemente, where did the 17 conservatives move?

    mg (33e9df)

  74. I haven’t seen this level of pants dampening hysteria, since I read mccarry’s better angels, in the 80s. in that a populist businessman president, is undermined (in his attempt to be grover Cleveland, in part by officials in the successor to the cia, the nis,

    narciso (d1f714)

  75. My limited experience in Philadelphia says that between some sort of racial preference and some sort of pro- or anti-police preference,

    50% of juries are unreliable.

    MD in Philly (20438e)

  76. Yes its very problematic

    Well, unless you are a defense attorney, in which case it’s a whole new round of appeal$ on everything.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  77. So, the OJ verdict can be appealed if a couple jurors talk about how other jurors were voting on the basis of race?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  78. Only Guilty verdicts can be appealed in the United States. Prosecutors cannot appeal Not Guilty verdicts. (5th amendment – “life and limb” is not taken as a limitation. Or literally. It apparently was an old legal phrase with a well established meaning in common law in 1789.)

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  79. It’s Kennedy’s country. We just live in it. It would be nice if he would just stop changing it so arbitrarily.

    crazy (d3b449)

  80. A few years ago the wife and I rode took Amtrak in a sleeper car from Sacramento to Chicago to Louisiana. Took 2 1/2 days and $2000, but we loved it. Had a dining car that serves 3 excellent meals a day plus a snack bar open all the time, and an observation car we never used because it was awesome just relaxing in our own room watching the world go by. There was no restrictions on luggage, so we brought booze and tasty treats (bought six packs of beer from the snack bar). The porter would bring coffee and the paper in the morning, and turn down the bed at night.

    Funny thing though was the countryside was beautiful, uncluttered by highway junk like telephone poles, signs, billboards or traffic, but the tracks unfailingly went through the ugliest part of every town and city.

    Anyway, if you got the time and money, I highly recommend it for your bucket list.

    Leon (3ad005)

  81. Strike “took”.

    Or “rode”. One or the other.

    Leon (3ad005)

  82. Twenty years ago it was Souter and Greenspan’s. You might add Comey to Kennedy.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  83. Oh my sweet Lord, no! Remember, Hitler made the high speed rail run on time! Why don’t you just post you’re Why I Left the Right manifesto and get it over with? You realize you have a fetish now, right? Dude’s been in office for how long? What if he successful? I can only imagine what you’ll be writing then.

    I wonder, if Reagan ran today, would you be a #NeverReagan? God knows, I don’t compare the two, but the same overheated rhetoric was used when describing each man. Reagan was a radical in many peoples’ eyes – a crazed cowboy sure to start WWIII. Time will tell about Trump, but your constant keening and wailing, along with the disdain of half your readership, is literally so over the top as to be comical. Sweet fancy Moses.

    Estarcarus (cd97e1)

  84. Or, what if he *is* successful. I should proofread.

    Estarcarus (cd97e1)

  85. Leon (3ad005) — 3/10/2017 @ 12:46 pm

    the tracks unfailingly went through the ugliest part of every town and city.

    You might have that backward: The ugliest part of every town and city grew up around the railroad tracks, or maybe remained – nothing new was built there after passenger travel declined. Perhaps also people wanted to avoid railroad crossings. Housing is more valuable near trains, but maybe that only applies to commuter trains (provided that the trains don’t connect to high crime areas)

    Sammy Finkelman (4a6ffc)

  86. In three years and 7 trips to see my daughter in San Clemente, where did the 17 conservatives move?

    mg (33e9df) — 3/10/2017 @ 9:37 am

    Yes, life behind the Orange Curtain ain’t what it used to be, mg. If you haven’t read “the Shadow Party” by David Horowitz, you should. It lays out the plans the left made decades back to grab control of everything that matters, from city councils to the culture, from the courts to our childrens’ minds.

    That they’ve been able to make their imprint on what was once solidly conservative OC is chilling.

    It happened there, Texas is toast.

    Colonel Haiku (f0e797)

  87. All aboard the Crazy Train.

    AZ Bob (bcfd04)

  88. Col.
    Ashamed to admit I have not read it. Will pick it up. Thanks.

    mg (a86025)

  89. Leon,

    The tracks go through the ugliest part of town because it BECAME the ugliest part of town because of the noise of freight trains.

    The only way to make a slum faster is to build an ELEVATED rail network.

    C. S. P. Schofield (99bd37)

  90. In three years and 7 trips to see my daughter in San Clemente, where did the 17 conservatives move?

    mg (33e9df) — 3/10/2017 @ 9:37 am

    The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner? The one that takes 4 hours to get from the Santa Fe depot in downtown San Diego to the station in Van Nuys? My 2 cyl, 32 HP Citroen Dyane was faster than that.

    We don’t need high-speed rail. We need to stuff a rocket up Brown’s as*.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  91. 93… yes, on my way to Toyota dealer for an oil chg on trusty old ’01 Highlander and hear CalTrans person talking about crumbling roads and lack of funding and perhaps we need to replace the gas tax with a miles driven tax. Replace? Sure….

    Colonel Haiku (a5ef55)

  92. Pull the other one…

    Colonel Haiku (a5ef55)

  93. You know, I woudnt hold it against it against the CA ppl who just cashed the HSR money, stiffed the rail consultants and just started paying for the potholes and bridge repairs. Kind of like Mitch Daniels selling the IN Toll Road (2006) and paying for a lot of mid-range fixes throughout the state.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  94. Imagine, Urbanleftbehind, if Mitch Daniels were president. And to think he stayed out because of his wife’s thing.

    If we’ve learned one thing from Trump, it’s that scandal means nothing.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  95. @95 Colonel Haiku

    Like the man said, there can be only one…

    Pinandpuller (31a3f6)

  96. @92 CSP

    Ergo The Blues Brothers.

    Pinandpuller (31a3f6)

  97. 93… yes, on my way to Toyota dealer for an oil chg on trusty old ’01 Highlander and hear CalTrans person talking about crumbling roads and lack of funding and perhaps we need to replace the gas tax with a miles driven tax. Replace? Sure….

    Colonel Haiku (a5ef55) — 3/11/2017 @ 7:16 am

    You bet. Wait until the first tax bills for people who, out of necessity drive long distances show up. Prediction: cars with mechanical speedometers will become really popular again.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  98. High-speed rail? Bad idea. We’re too big as a country. A better idea is to cut Amtrak to the bone, eliminate its requirements for nationwide service, and only allow it to operate in areas where it can easily turn a profit. A better idea still is to support self-driving cars.

    Hyperloop? What is this, Futurama?

    Auction off the broadcast spectrum? Well, that’s not bad. Or, you know, you could end the federal government’s monopoly over control of the airwaves…

    Demosthenes (09f714)


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