Posts Tagged ‘speed

10
May
11

‘the rejected windfall’

NYT Editorial: After Gov. Rick Scott of Florida thoughtlessly rejected $2.4 billion in federal aid for a high-speed rail line, he claimed last month that he was doing a huge favor for the national Treasury, which he expected would give away the money in tax cuts. That was nonsense, of course; Mr. Scott was really doing a favor for train passengers in the Northeast, Midwest and California, which were given $2 billion of his money on Monday for better service.

Florida voters might want to think about that decision as they sit in traffic jams, burning up $4-a-gallon gasoline. In fact, some of them clearly have thought about it because Mr. Scott now has some of the worst approval ratings of a Florida official in the last decade.

He has joined other newly elected Republican governors so rigidly opposed to the Obama administration that they are willing to harm their states to score points. The result is a crazy quilt of state relationships with Washington, stitched more with ideology than reason.

None of the money in Monday’s announcement will be going to Wisconsin, for example, where Gov. Scott Walker has also decided that his strapped state could do without rail improvements and the construction jobs that go with them. Nor will it go to Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich preferred rejectionism to the improvement of rail service among the state’s largest cities, which could have produced 16,000 jobs.

Instead, it will go to 15 states that have more farsighted leadership, who understand the important role federal dollars can play in stimulating the economy, moving people quickly from place to place and reducing tailpipe emissions. Some of those states are led by Republicans…

….Refusenik Republicans glorify shopworn principles like smaller government and states’ rights. They will have to defend them to their voters when the public hears the passenger trains whistling from the next state over.

Full editorial here

09
May
11

blue ray!

Halo, thanks so much for telling us about Ray LaHood’s interview on Hardball, will try to find the video – this will do for now!

One question: What is on John Mica’s head in that video? 😯

Mention of LaHood reminds me of this gem:

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders before speaking to their issues conference at the Renaissance Baltimore Harbor Place Hotel in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

31
Mar
11

‘obama moved at warp speed on libya’

Steve Clemons (The Washington Note): ….President Obama has been criticized by many on the political left and right for moving too slowly in reacting to Libya – and while I have been one constantly urging caution – there is simply no truth to the notion that Obama dragged his heels in orchestrating action there.

Obama and his team … moved at warp speed compared to other potential and real humanitarian disasters to with the US and international community needed to respond.

Consider these cases (see here)

….Thus, by any standard … the decisions made by the Obama White House – whether one liked or disliked those decisions – happened at an incredible rate.

…. there is a tsunami of change happening now and the US needs to be careful about getting drawn in too deeply into any particular part of this transition … all that said, Obama and his team are moving at a comparatively lightning rate of speed on Libya – and simultaneously managing many other issues and crises at the same time…

I don’t agree with everything this White House does – but I have tremendous respect for the fact that Obama and his team have changed the dynamics of response to potential and real mass human tragedy.

Full article here

05
Mar
11

by george!

Freedom-crushing automobile-hating authoritarian

Conservative columnist George Will wrote a piece for right-wing comic Newsweek recently attacking President Obama’s support for high-speed rail.

Now, if Georgie’s main concern was cost, then you might say, ‘okay, that’s an argument’.

But no, as Steve Benen (Washington Monthly) put it, the column, which “featured a variety of errors of fact and judgment”, suggested that “liberals support high-speed rail (as) part of some elaborate, freedom-crushing, Ayn-Rand-inspired conspiracy.”

Seriously.

Okay, deep breath, here are a couple of extracts:

George Will: High Speed to Insolvency – Why liberals love trains.

“Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind…..

… Only an administration blinkered by ideology would persist … the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends …. automobiles encourage people to think they – unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted – are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make…….”

I know, I know.

Paul Krugman, who described the column as “truly bizarre”, made a similar point to Benen: “….it’s amazing to see Will – who is not a stupid man – embracing the sinister progressives-hate-your-freedom line, more or less right out of Atlas Shrugged; with the extra irony, of course, that John Galt’s significant other ran, well, a railroad.”

So, you’d imagine Georgie would disagree with this columnist who, in 2001 (after 9/11), wrote:

” ….Americans are impatient problem-solvers, so here are three things that should be done, the doing of which will assuage any sense the nation is having trouble gaining traction in the tasks at hand.

…..Third, build high-speed rail service.

…..A government study concludes that for trips of 500 miles or less – a majority of flights; 40 percent are of 300 miles or less – automotive travel is as fast or faster than air travel, door to door. Columnist Robert Kuttner sensibly says that fact strengthens the case for high-speed trains. If such trains replaced air shuttles in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, Kuttner says that would free about 60 takeoff and landing slots per hour.”

Who wrote this? A liberal trying to take away your automobile freedom? Eh, no. Ready for this? Those are Georgie’s very own words, as reported by Sarah Goodyear (Grist).

Benen: “I don’t care that Will changed his mind; I care that he casually dismissed the substance of the debate in order to make the truly stupid case that high-speed rail is part of a liberal crusade to “diminish Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.”

On the merits, he was right the first time. To agree with Will circa 2001 is not to be a freedom-crushing authoritarian.”

****

So, Georgie was an enthusiastic supporter of high-speed rail….until he found himself on the same side of the issue as President Obama??

The amazing part is that this guy displays sense, occasionally – as Krugman said, “he is not a stupid man”, he has supported the President at times and has attacked the extremes of the GOP/Tea Party.

So what’s this nonsense and hypocrisy all about??

23
Apr
10

west wing week (“…the Old-Fashioned Way” April 23, 2010)

White House YouTube Channel: This installment takes you step-by-step with the President as he hosts the Great Outdoors Conference, holds a meeting of the Presidents Economic Recovery Advisory Board, meets with his Special Envoy to the Sudan, discusses Supreme Court nominations with congressional leadership, travels to New York City to talk Wall Street Reform, and celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in the White House Rose Garden.
We also pulled out a clip from a Martin Luther King Jr. Day discussion that President Obama held in the Roosevelt Room. One of those present was Dr. Dorothy Height who passed away last week at the age of 98, a hero of the civil rights movement and an inspiration to all Americans

06
Mar
10

speedster

First Lady Michelle Obama runs in a race as she promotes the “Let’s Move” program during an event with local kids and the U.S. Soccer Foundation at City Center in Washington, D.C., March 5, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@MichelleObama

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Officer Fanone: Law enforcement has lessons to learn from failures of January 6
  • Police seize three revolvers, ammunition, nine spent casings from Baldwin film set
  • 'I am still processing the trauma of my experience'
  • Former Seattle Police chief: We have to work together to make public safety better
  • As workers trickle back into office, some hope to make the home office more permanent

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 43,126,672 hits
October 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031