November 3, 2010

No! We voted no on the high-speed rail!

Outrage!
Transportation officials have confirmed that Wisconsin and federal administrators have signed a deal to commit the state to spending all $810 million of its federal stimulus cash on a proposed Milwaukee-to-Madison high-speed rail line.
Intensely undemocratic underhandedness on the day we voted for the candidate, Scott Walker, who promised to shut down this project.
But Cari Anne Renlund, executive assistant to state Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi, said Gov. Jim Doyle's administration was only following its original plan....

Renlund said state and federal staffers worked out the deal over the weekend because they were busy with other duties and that was the only time they could meet. She said the agreement was not publicly announced because it had just been reached, but it could be announced later.

145 comments:

Marshal said...

Walker should fire every policy level employee in the DOT his first day on the job.

Kevin said...

Still glad you voted for Obama, Ann?

How did you think they were going to behave?

Your fault, your responsibility.

Drew said...

Yeah, I heard about this yesterday and was pissed. Both Walker and Barrett spoke out against the underhandedness of Doyle's actions here. (That's the kind of bipartisanship I can support.)

I'm sure there's something we can still do to stop it, though.

One of you radicals could lay down on the tracks, okay?

Scott M said...

She said the agreement was not publicly announced because it had just been reached, but it could be announced later.

LOL on many levels.

Walker should fire every policy level employee in the DOT his first day on the job.

HOWARD JOHNSON IS RIGHT!!!

edutcher said...

Welcome to the New Order!

The consent of the governed was rendered obsolete with the ascension of The Zero. You will be told what to do and do as you are told.

This is why a two party system only works when people vote for the other party occasionally.

edutcher said...

OLSEN JOHNSON IS RIGHT!

TRO said...

"Walker should fire every policy level employee in the DOT his first day on the job."

To quote something someone said recently - corrupt bastards!

And if he wasn't going to fire them before, I'm sure he will now.

I'm thinking he can also get them out of this deal. Hope so anyway.

Lincolntf said...

There's got to be a way to put the kibosh on this after January. Don't give up, look for all possible legal/technical remedies.
Anyone feel like discovering an "endangered" salamander/beetle/weed in the area of the track bed? That'll buy a good five years of delays.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obviously they don't give a rat's patooty about what you ignorant voters want. They know better than you. Shut up and pay your taxes.

garage mahal said...

I'm sure you'll be holding Scott Walker accountable for stopping the train, as he promised Wisconsin voters. Kind of like Obama ending DADT.

Dark Eden said...

Don't worry you're just too stupid to understand how much you'll love this boondoggle once its stuffed down your throat.

Drew said...

Under federal rules, shutting down the project would require the state to repay the federal government for money already spent on the project.

Let's see . . . spend a little, or spend a lot. I vote for a little.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Doyle and Busalacchi say that money would go to other states' rail projects, not to Wisconsin roads.

That's a mindset that absolutely has to change. This whole idea that Wisconsin has to take the money or some other state's gonna get it! (Which, I believe, is Herb Kohl's general view.)

It's nothing but bribery from the Federal government. But bribery takes two parties: one to offer and one to accept. All states need to stop taking the Federal bribes as a way to show the Fed we're serious about cutting spending. But there are too many states willing to accept the bribes.

Are we all in competition with each other for a portion of the ever-shrinking Federal pie? Or is this a time for states to form a sort of recovery support group, helping each other stay sober, and start saying no to the pushers in Washington?

kate said...

Garage, I was thinking along the same lines: You think Scott Walker will cancel this because of his campaign pledge? You must be new to campaign promises...

virgil xenophon said...

I believe their explanation just like I believe in the tooth-fairy, vampires, were-wolves, Santa-Claus, ghosts, UFOs, virgins and all other like fictional creatures..

Fred4Pres said...

This is a way to endear you to the voters. Completely ignore them, stick them with an $800 billion bill, then give them the finger.

Mattman26 said...

What an outrage. This is "descend on the capital with pitchforks"-worthy. (But don't hurt Ann.)

Sofa King said...

You must be new to campaign promises...

Walker has an impressive record of delivering on his promises.

Shanna said...

Obviously they don't give a rat's patooty about what you ignorant voters want. They know better than you. Shut up and pay your taxes.

Seriously. This whole story is awful, from start to finish *(well, maybe they can stop it we'll see).

I don't know how anybody can call the tea party "radicals" when this is what we've already got. God.

Drew said...

This is a way to endear you to the voters. Completely ignore them, stick them with an $800 billion bill, then give them the finger.

Hey, it's not like Doyle had to worry about re-election. This sort of lame duck shit was expected.

I just didn't think it would be so brazen.

MadisonMan said...

Should an elected official stop acting on Election Day, or on the day power is transferred?

former law student said...

Too bad. California could have used some of that "high speed" rail money. Instead it will go to supply paychecks to Wisconsinites. Some of that Federal money will be extorted by the state to supply paychecks to Meadhouse.

Are either of those really the best use of the American citizens' hard earned dough? Especially because the professor eschews the fine beers and cheeses of Wisconsin, stocking her larder with Whole Paycheck's costly imports.

kent said...

They don't give a rat's ass about "elections" or "what the people actually want," for pity's sake. Not when there's cold, hard, actual graft to be had, and plenty of it.

They're DEMOCRATS, Ann.

rhhardin said...

You can buy the rolling stock cheap and put it in the backyard as a playhouse for your grandchildren, like this guy did.

I told him that if he'd bought one of the locomotives, he could have had a playhouse for himself too.

shoutingthomas said...

Too bad. California could have used some of that "high speed" rail money. Instead it will go to supply paychecks to Wisconsinites. Some of that Federal money will be extorted by the state to supply paychecks to Meadhouse.

Are either of those really the best use of the American citizens' hard earned dough? Especially because the professor eschews the fine beers and cheeses of Wisconsin, stocking her larder with Whole Paycheck's costly imports.

Jesus Christ, I agree with fls! It's the Apocalypse, I tell you.

Seriously, reining in the salaries and perks of public employees like Ann is one of the most important issues facing us.

What's the likelihood we'll succeed there?

I say... well... zero.

TRO said...

"Should an elected official stop acting on Election Day, or on the day power is transferred?"

I'm thinking that an elected official might want to hold off on those big-ass decisions like obligating $810 million on a unneccessary train he knows is unpopular with the residents of his state.

If he or she wants to cut some ceremonial ribbons at the state fair, however, by all means have to it.

AJ Lynch said...

They.Still. Don't. Get it.

k*thy said...

Should an elected official stop acting on Election Day, or on the day power is transferred?

And what about the weekend, prior?

t-man said...

It fits the pattern. On the morning that Gov. Christie was to be sworn in, Corzine emptied $500 million from the N.J. Treasury by wiring it to city governments.

I can't wait to see what Pelosi and Reid try to ram through in the lame duck session.

Lincolntf said...

"Should an elected official stop acting on Election Day, or on the day power is transferred?"

The day power is transferred. And his character should be judged every single day until then. Nobody is arguing his authority to do it. The people spoke, he flipped them the bird, spit in their eye and stomped them on the foot. He should be hectored to distraction from now until the day his term ends. He's just proven that he intends to govern against the people of his State.

Original Mike said...

Bastards. And some people wonder why the electorate is pissed off.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS is obviously a very unhappy guy today and that is a bit unusual.

garage mahal said...

Garage, I was thinking along the same lines: You think Scott Walker will cancel this because of his campaign pledge? You must be new to campaign promises...

Walker was pretty adamant about stopping it, adamant that he would stop it. If he cannot that would make him look pretty ridiculous.

MadisonMan said...

I can't wait to see what Pelosi and Reid try to ram through in the lame duck session.

I don't see how they can do much. Won't the Republicans in the Senate just filibuster?

It will be interesting to see what's in what will have to be a spending omnibus bill in December. I think the Govt is only funded 'til the 2nd?

Triangle Man said...

I don't understand the headline quote. When you say we voted no on high-speed rail, do you mean the election of Scott Walker was meant to stop this? Aren't we past believing things people say in campaign ads?

kate said...

Garage, this isn't a high priority issue either way with me, but we'll see.

My guess is that they held the announcement until yesterday because any vote changing on account of the announcement would have little effect the race outcome (Walker already far enough ahead in the polls). Had Barrett been the one ahead, I don't think this signing would have happened.

Bruce Hayden said...

Too bad. California could have used some of that "high speed" rail money. Instead it will go to supply paychecks to Wisconsinites. Some of that Federal money will be extorted by the state to supply paychecks to Meadhouse.

Are either of those really the best use of the American citizens' hard earned dough? Especially because the professor eschews the fine beers and cheeses of Wisconsin, stocking her larder with Whole Paycheck's costly imports
.

I guess that "Meadhouse" is better than "Altmeade". But, it still is humorous.

In any case, Wisconsin can afford to waste all that money more than California can. Their finances are some of the worst in the nation, and the last thing that they need to be doing right now is building a train that no one is going to use. Much better that they concentrate on reining in their out-of-control government employee pensions, and maybe figure out a way to cut their prison population (now that they have turned down legalization of mary jane.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

kate, my understanding is that the story was leaked to the Journal Sentinel. It was not intended to be released yesterday. I can't imagine that Doyle wanted it reported on election day.

Original Mike said...

Should an elected official stop acting on Election Day, or on the day power is transferred?

Can you say "disingenuous", kids?

I knew you could.

SFC B said...

"Walker was pretty adamant about stopping it, adamant that he would stop it. If he cannot that would make him look pretty ridiculous."

Assuming that Gov-elect Walker can do nothing about this actually happening, his would be able to hold those who did it accountable by firing them. Which means he at least gets a partial "win" by being able to say "I couldn't stop the previous administration from conducting this dirty trick, but I was able to hold them accountable for their under-handed actions by showing them the door so they can't screw the people of Wisconsin again."

tim maguire said...

Time once again or one of my favorite quotes (Oliver Cromwell Speech - Dissolution of the Long Parliament):

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

Original Mike said...

Walker was pretty adamant about stopping it, adamant that he would stop it. If he cannot that would make him look pretty ridiculous.

Actually, if it really is hard to undo, Doyle just handed him a way out. Not that I think he wants to take it.

MadisonMan said...

"...but I was able to hold them accountable for their under-handed actions by showing them the door so they can't screw the people of Wisconsin again."

So if he's asked in 4 years why he didn't stop the train, THE issue he really ran on, he can reply I fired some people instead. That'll work.

tim maguire said...

MadisonMan said...

Should an elected official stop acting on Election Day, or on the day power is transferred?


He should respect the will of the voters when it is so clearly expressed, no? Perhaps you were under the impression that, once elected and for the time in office, a politician becomes The Sun King?

Matt said...

This is a serious if possibly dumb constitutional question: Can Wisconsin take the money, say "thank you," and then just not honor its "agreement" to spend it on high-speed rail? On the ground that "we're a State and so no, you won't see us in court, because we won't show up, thanks again"?

traditionalguy said...

This is eriely similar to how Obama grabbed the Banks. He insisted that they take money from the government or else whether they needed it or not. Obama has now grabbed the Wisconsin DOT. The Obama Regime really is at war with the USA, very much like the sneaky Al Qaeda guys.

Original Mike said...

So if he's asked in 4 years why he didn't stop the train, THE issue he really ran on, he can reply I fired some people instead. That'll work.

Yeah, it probably will if it's truely undoable (e.g. the Feds would sue our ass). Whether or not that's the case, I have no idea.

And what's the Dem challenger going to say in 4 years.? "Scott Walker didn't stop the train that I wouldn't have stopped if I had been in office." THAT doesn't work.

Not to mention calling it THE issue he ran on is quite an exageration.

halojones-fan said...

@Matt: Because they money doesn't exist yet. It's not like the Feds are going to give Wisconsin a big check for $810 million dollars; what they're doing is agreeing to reimburse Wisconsin for up to $810 million of money spent on approved stimulus-related projects. If Wisconsin decides to spend money on non-approved projects, then they don't get reimbursed for them.

Comrade X said...

what's with dems and the turd in the punchbowl gambit? reminds me of arsenic in the water in 2000. Clinton had 8 years to do it, but didn't have the courage to deal with ramifications on his watch.

shoutingthomas said...

I don't mean to pick on Ann. You can't expect her to roll back her own salary and benefits.

But, I will point once again to her salary and benefits, and those of other public employees. That's a large part of the problem.

How do you roll back those luxurious salaries and platinum benefits?

We private employees can't afford to pay them, and the public employees have the political clout to refuse concessions.

This stuff is not as easily solved as it would seem.

Original Mike said...

@halojones-fan: If that's the case, that sounds easy to get out of. I wonder if they inserted any booby traps in the deal.

former law student said...

Can Wisconsin take the money, say "thank you," and then just not honor its "agreement" to spend it on high-speed rail?

The purpose of the money is to add to the infrastructure of the state of Wisconsin, and to employ workers whose spending will ripple through the economy.

In ancient Egypt, the same purposes were fulfilled by the building of pyramids.

So, I'm going to suggest that the state use the money to build a replica of Cheops somewhere in Dane County. In the fullness of time, it could become the tomb of the great ruler Tommy Thompson.

Original Mike said...

So, I'm going to suggest that the state use the money to build a replica of Cheops somewhere in Dane County.

We could put it right next to the replica of the Statue of Liberty.

lemondog said...

They're DEMOCRATS, Ann.

They're POLITICIANS, Kent.

When it comes to money and power, there is no discernible different between critters of either party.

ALL should be turned out of office after 2 terms or less.

In the name of God, go!

Excellent!

former law student said...

ALL should be turned out of office after 2 terms or less.

Term limits haven't helped in California -- the legislature is dominated by special interests and lobbyists.

Delayna said...

"Intensely undemocratic underhandedness"

Wow, I didn't expect a straight line like that out of Althouse. Ummm, intense underhandedness has been the driving characteristic of the Democrat Party ever since forever.

wv: aerwhaz were you thinking??

Michael said...

Why don't you smart people in Wisconsin figure out something you can build that you can sell to make money? You can hire people to make the product and pay the people. Think up something that people need or think they need. Go on. Fucking try. Please.

I don't want to contribute ten fucking cents to your goddamn choochoo train.

Scott M said...

I don't want to contribute ten fucking cents to your goddamn choochoo train.

Thread winner and the first actual laugh out loud moment of the blogday.

former law student said...

figure out something you can build that you can sell to make money?

Cheese, beer, Harley Davidsons, and Modine electric heaters.

Used to be Suburbans and supercomputers, but those are long gone.

Original Mike said...

Thread winner and the first actual laugh out loud moment of the blogday.

Actually, I don't think much of Michael's reading comprehension.

Scott M said...

@OM

Humor doesn't require accuracy.

PatCA said...

This is the new normal: shove it down our throats by hook or by crook, by law or by fiat.

AWFUL!

Original Mike said...

Scott: Point taken.

MadisonMan said...

Not to mention calling it THE issue he ran on is quite an exageration.

I think it's the only real concrete thing he said. The others (Create jobs, Cut Government waste, Shrink the size of the State Government) are run on, but no word on how exactly he will do that -- that is, what he will cut or repeal.

Freeman Hunt said...

Just don't build it.

Freeman Hunt said...

You can buy the rolling stock cheap and put it in the backyard as a playhouse for your grandchildren, like this guy did.

Amazing. A guy around here did the exact same thing. A caboose like that too.

David said...

Memo to Obama:

This is why the "stimulus" did not work.

Wisconsin has just agreed to spend "all of its stimulus cash" on a future project that may or may not happen.

The economy needed stimulus NOW and Obama pursued his Euroliberal pipe dream of nicey-nice trains.

Memo to Obama: The USA already has a much more efficient rail system than Europe. That's because of FREIGHT. We send huge amounts offreight by rail. The Euros truck their freight.

Freeman Hunt said...

You fire every person involved in this deal. You tell the federal government that you're not building it, full stop.

That's all.

What are they going to do about it? Send troops into Wisconsin to force you to build it? They certainly aren't going to want to use too many strong arm measures regarding funding; that would only shine more light on the situation, thus enraging the public.

Just don't build it.

Freeman Hunt said...

They're pushing high-speed rail here in Northwest Arkansas. They think it will make us live more densely. Surprising that is hasn't occurred to them that perhaps people live in Arkansas because they like their space.

MadisonMan said...

Just don't build it.

Well, the State might (I doubt it) be able to slow up the permitting process, but I don't think private contractors are going to shy away from taking work if it is offered.

Original Mike said...

Frankly, I can not imagine how the project could proceed without the willing cooperation of the State. The real question, I think, is what bullying tactics could/would the Feds employ to get the State to cooperate.

traditionalguy said...

What an evil thing to do to Wisconsin after they knew that the people opposed them.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

It's a question of philosophy: do you think you're elected to do "what the people want", or "what's best for them" (a.k.a. "what you want")?

If you're in office to do what the people want, you still have to exercise a lot of judgment. The people don't have one voice and one set of wants, after all, and their wants aren't always clear. You have to do your best to get their feedback, and then do your best to follow it, and then see how they respond via the mail box and the ballot box. But on those occasions where they make their wants clear -- especially at the ballot box -- then you do your best to follow their wishes.

If you're in office to do what you want, then when the people vote you out (or term limit you), you're liberated: you don't have to even pretend to listen. And more, you only have a limited time left to push through what you want, so you'd better make it count!

Youngblood said...

Freeman wrote:

"Surprising that is hasn't occurred to them that perhaps people live in Arkansas because they like their space."

It's only surprising if you've never met an urban planning zealot!

Methadras said...

You people got fucked, but hey, at least cookie and Garage McShitball are happy now that your money was redistributed to their pleasure rail cruises.

ndspinelli said...

Doyle is your classic corrupt attorney/pol. Even his staff hate him..he's smug, and half as smart as he thinks he is. At least he has a beautiful wife!!!

This guys old man was a class act and good Federal judge. Lord knows what happened to his son. Of course, that's probably what a lot of people say about my old man and me!

Freeman Hunt said...

Frankly, I can not imagine how the project could proceed without the willing cooperation of the State. The real question, I think, is what bullying tactics could/would the Feds employ to get the State to cooperate.

Exactly. No way are they building it without Wisconsin's say so. And no way are they wanted to thrust a giant anti-democratic boondoggle into the spotlight right now.

So just don't build it.

Freeman Hunt said...

wanting

As in my typing accuracy was wanting just then.

Drew said...

Why do urban lefties worship trains so much? It's something phallic, isn't it?

Scott M said...

Why do urban lefties worship trains so much? It's something phallic, isn't it?

Yes. The self-hate and guilt is so high that they wish they had never been born. Riding on a train is the closest they can come to the sperm they were before they were conceived.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why do urban lefties worship trains so much? It's something phallic, isn't it?

It's something about control.

Were it about public transit, they would support the fully adaptable and much cheaper bus.

Gordon said...

The funny thing about lefties is that they won't ride buses if they can avoid it. They'd rather not associate with the unwashed masses, you see. But if someone spends a billion on a train that replaces a bus route, they'll ride the train.

I know a guy who expressed exactly that thought. He's too good to ride the bus, but light rail is like, cool.

chuckR said...

They're pushing high-speed rail here in Northwest Arkansas. They think it will make us live more densely.

Freeman - you folks gave us Orville Faubus, Bill Clinton and Blanche Lincoln. You are dense enough already.

ps - I sure it wasn't your fault.

former law student said...

they won't ride buses if they can avoid it.

Leftists would ride a 90 mph bus in a dedicated bus lane. Riding a bus in heavy traffic is the worst of both the motoring world and the public transit world.

Michael said...

Most major cities have hov lanes in which buses swoosh along. Not complicated.

I think the whole country should go on strike until railroads are built and rail stops are placed within 500 yards, sorry meters, of their dwellings.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Gordon said...

I know a guy who expressed exactly that thought. He's too good to ride the bus, but light rail is like, cool.

Do you have light rail in the area? And does he actually ride it? Or is this a promise of what he will do "some day"? I've heard lots of people promise to do things that somehow they never manage to do when it becomes real.

Our local transit authority has a nice rule. I applauded when I heard it: every employee at the transit authority is required as part of their job to use mass transit to come in to work one day every two weeks. I thought that was a great way to let them see how the system really works (or fails).

Then the radio host pressed: every employee? "Well, no, the executive staff is exempt, because their busy schedules don't fit the schedule. But at least twice a year, they try to ride the bus."

Then the radio host pressed again: why only one day every two weeks? "Well, you know, these people have busy lives: kids to pick up from school, shopping, things like that. You can't expect them to do all that around the bus schedule."

Ding! Ding! Ding! My word, I think I just heard a hidden truth: the mass transit system doesn't fit the real life schedule of typical working people!

The ironic thing is, the radio host seemed to be a supporter of the program. Somehow, though, he felt compelled to ask the revealing questions. I give him points for honesty.

Michael said...

I pass the light rail every day, zipping along in my 1988 Land Cruiser with J.S. Bach blasting away. I sometimes wave. I always smile.

AJ Lynch said...

Yesterday's WAPO had a good OPED by Robert Samuelson.

He wrote that Hi-speed rail will be inefficient in America and even "using 4th grade math, it is easy to see" that sound, reasonable, fundamental economic returns are not supported by any analysis no matter how much the projections are fudged.

Michael said...

AJL: But note the 4th grade math qualification.

Almost Ali said...

Has the Corleone family expanded to Madison?

Which explains why Obama is now banging Wisconsin like China...

(jump to 3:51)

Gabriel Hanna said...

I don't care who wants light rail or why, it's a stupid idea for the vast majority of this country.

From Samuelson's article:

High-speed inter-city trains (not commuter lines) travel at up to 250 miles per hour and are most competitive with planes and cars over distances of fewer than 500 miles. In a report on high-speed rail, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service examined the 12 corridors of 500 miles or fewer with the most daily air traffic in 2007. Los Angeles to San Francisco led the list with 13,838 passengers; altogether, daily air passengers in these 12 corridors totaled 52,934. If all of them switched to trains, the total number of daily airline passengers, about 2 million, would drop only 2.5 percent. Any fuel savings would be less than that; even trains need energy.

Indeed, inter-city trains - at whatever speed - target such a small part of total travel that the changes in oil use, congestion or greenhouse gases must be microscopic. Every day, about 140 million Americans go to work, with about 85 percent driving an average of 25 minutes (three-quarters drive alone; 10 percent carpool). Even assuming 250,000 high-speed rail passengers, there would be no visible effect on routine commuting, let alone personal driving. In the Northeast Corridor, with about 45 million people, Amtrak's daily ridership is 28,500. If its trains shut down tomorrow, no one except the affected passengers would notice.

We are prisoners of economic geography. Suburbanization after World War II made most rail travel impractical. From 1950 to 2000, the share of the metropolitan population living in central cities fell from 56 percent to 32 percent, report UCLA economists Leah Platt Boustan and Allison Shertzer. Jobs moved, too. Trip origins and destinations are too dispersed to support most rail service.


I don't understand the fascination; it makes the wind farm boondoggles look reasonable. Is it to be more like Europe? Is it because they are city people? I have no clue.

But Robert Cook the other day expressed his incredulity that anyone could drive a hundred miles in a day for any reason--it seemed as though he had simply never imagined that there could be people who needed to do that. Which tells you that he has never been and never known anyone who lives in the country, or anyone who is a plumber, an electrician, a painter, an elevator repairman.

former law student said...

[Samuelson] wrote that Hi-speed rail will be inefficient in America and even "using 4th grade math, it is easy to see" that sound, reasonable, fundamental economic returns are not supported by any analysis no matter how much the projections are fudged.


Well, Samuelson should know about fudging data. He said the rail distance from San Francisco to Anaheim will be 800 miles -- it is actually 465 miles. Which makes the route part of the "most competitive with planes and cars" group he mentions in the next paragraph. Unless he was thinking kilometers -- but that's less than 750 km.

Gee, maybe Samuelson can't do 4th grade math.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

You accuse someone of "fudging" and meanwhile distort the meaning of what you quote? Nice job.

Do I have to call you up and read his editorial to you?

How is any of this

altogether, daily air passengers in these 12 corridors totaled 52,934. If all of them switched to trains, the total number of daily airline passengers, about 2 million, would drop only 2.5 percent. Any fuel savings would be less than that; even trains need energy.

or this

Every day, about 140 million Americans go to work, with about 85 percent driving an average of 25 minutes (three-quarters drive alone; 10 percent carpool). Even assuming 250,000 high-speed rail passengers, there would be no visible effect on routine commuting, let alone personal driving. In the Northeast Corridor, with about 45 million people, Amtrak's daily ridership is 28,500. If its trains shut down tomorrow, no one except the affected passengers would notice.

affected by whether one proposed rail line is under 500 miles?

I can never tell when you are stupid or dishonest.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think the whole country should go on strike until railroads are built and rail stops are placed within 500 yards, sorry meters, of their dwellings

Good luck with that. The whole country doesn't live in areas that are urban or even sub urban. Bus stops would be a giant leap forward for our area. There is a rail stop nearby, however.....about 85 miles away. Really convenient.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Which makes the route part of the "most competitive with planes and cars" group he mentions in the next paragraph.

"most competitive" doesn't mean "good idea", so what the hell is the point?

You are trying to pretend because of his mistake with the length of the line his conclusion about the stupidity of light rail is wrong. But the one has nothing to do with the other. Even for the 500-mile distances NOBODY RIDES THE GODDAMN TRAIN. NOT ENOUGH TO MATTER.

See, you're playing stupid gotcha games instead of using facts to make an argument, and this is why you look like such an idiot right now.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

And of course it's not like his finger or an editor's finger could have slipped-no, you HAVE to accuse him of fraud.

Look at the numeric keypad some time. What's immediately next to 5? 8.

Oh, but it's FUDGING and that ONE error invalidates every possible case against that rail line!

former law student said...

Other ways Samuelson has cooked the data to make it come out the way he wants:

Assumes only air passengers will take high speed rail, ignoring many motorists will want to cut their travel time by 2/3, and not taking into account their fuel savings.

Comparing intercity travel to daily commuting -- apples and bananas.

Using low speed rail ridership as a proxy for high speed rail ridership.

Arguing, that suburban sprawl makes central intercity terminals impractical. Samuelson must live next to an airport. Every intercity trip I take starts with a trip to a central terminal, whether air, rail, or even bus.

Conflating capital investment with operating expenses -- isn't Samuelson supposed to know something about business?

I note that the amount of fuel Samuelson calculates will be saved by high-speed rail is a measly 2.5%. I hope he applies the same argument against medical malpractice reform, because even eliminating malpractice claims completely would save only 2% of our health care bill.

If the anti-HSR case is so strong, why does Samuelson have to resort to these shoddy tricks to make his case?

former law student said...

Look at the numeric keypad some time. What's immediately next to 5? 8.

Oh, but it's FUDGING and that ONE error invalidates every possible case against that rail line!


I'd check my facts before submitting an essay to the Washington Post, but I'm no journalist.

former law student said...

dbq -- do you live near Orland perchance? I noticed that it has its own Superfund site, the Orland Dry Cleaners.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

I'd check my facts before submitting an essay to the Washington Post, but I'm no journalist.

typo = failure to fact check, noted.

I am going to have so much fun with your posts.

Assumes only air passengers will take high speed rail, ignoring many motorists will want to cut their travel time by 2/3, and not taking into account their fuel savings.


FLS, this is really stupid. I quoted Samuelson's article. People are going to read what YOU said he said, and are going to read what he ACTUALLY said, and conclude that you are a liar.

Both posts are there for everyone to see.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Here's Samuelson:

Every day, about 140 million Americans go to work, with about 85 percent driving an average of 25 minutes (three-quarters drive alone; 10 percent carpool). Even assuming 250,000 high-speed rail passengers, there would be no visible effect on routine commuting, let alone personal driving.

Can't you read? Or are you counting on no one else being able to read, and so they will just believe that Samuelson's argument is what you claimed it was?

I see your trying to be dishonest and going about it stupidly. This is why I can't tell teh difference with you.

OH I SPELLED "THE" "TEH" I CAN'T COMPREHEND 1st GRADE ENGLISH NO ONE BELIEVE ME ABOUT LIGHT RAIL

former law student said...

his conclusion about the stupidity of light rail is wrong

I see Samuelson's comparison of commuters to intercity travelers has confused even GH

DaveW said...

Intensely undemocratic underhandedness on the day we voted for the candidate, Scott Walker, who promised to shut down this project.

Pretty much, yeah. But it isn't really surprising is it? They did the same thing nationally with the health care bill.

Democrats don't care what you or anyone else want them to do or what you think.

former law student said...

I see your trying to be dishonest and going about it stupidly. This is why I can't tell teh difference with you.

What does high speed rail have to do with commuting in the US Northeast?

Mark said...

I'm sure you'll be holding Scott Walker accountable for stopping the train, as he promised Wisconsin voters. Kind of like Obama ending DADT.

And when Walker keeps his promise, I'm sure you'll remember to publicly eat crow, too.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:

More Samuelson:

inter-city trains - at whatever speed - target such a small part of total travel that the changes in oil use, congestion or greenhouse gases must be microscopic.

Do you have ANY evidence that can refute that?

His point, genius, is that the vast majority of people who are flying or driving are NOT driving to or flying to places about 500 miles away; rather, they are going farther or less far. The rail cannot help the congestion in a given city, because all but a tiny fraction of that traffic is intracity. Likewise, 98% of the airline passengers aren't going to a place a rail line would take them.

Are you saying that high speed rail is so awesome that people will decide to make 500 mile trips they don't need, and that so many rail lines will be built that the trains can get within an order of magnitude of the freeway ridership? (I'll be glad to explain "order of magnitude" if it wasn't included in your Ph.D. math class.)

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

What does high speed rail have to do with commuting in the US Northeast?

You are REALLY SLOW, aren't you?

Let's try Samuelson's argument ONE MORE TIME:

There are X people on the roads and in the air. They are all trying to go places, and in doing so they cause congestion, they emit greenhouse gases and they burn oil.

Only a tiny fraction of those people, at any given time, want to travel between places that are connected by the proposed rail lines. Let's call the number of people Y.

Suppose that every single one of these Y people ride the high-speed rails.

Effect on congestion: Not measurable

Effect on GHG emission: not measurable

Effect on oil usage: not measurable

Because the vast majority of the people responsible for those three things will not be riding the train--because they are commuters or long-distance travelers--the proposed trains will not address these problems.

DO YOU GET IT NOW? Everyone else reading this thread does, I assure you, and are greatly enjoying your inability to comprehend while claiming everyone else is confused. This is why it is not irrelevant to talk about commuting and long-distance travel when you are talking about high-speed rail.

former law student said...

His point, genius, is that the vast majority of people who are flying or driving are NOT driving to or flying to places about 500 miles away

Then HSR will not help them. It will only help those people going from point A to point B.

AJ Lynch said...

Let's take Samuelson's daily ridership total at his word.

28,500 riders a day = 10,402,500 riders a year.

The annual taxpayer subsidy to Amtrak is about $2.2 Billion.

That is a subsidy per rider of $211 each. Jeez I wish we would print that on their train ticket:

"The cost of your ride has been reduced by a taxpayer subsidy of $211. Don't forget to express your appreciation to the next taxpayer you see!"

AJ Lynch said...

Better yet , let's give each rider a 1099 for the $211 subsidy and make them pay income taxes on it!

GH:
FLS is a true believer in huge righteous govt so you are wasting your breath. Very good try though.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Then HSR will not help them. It will only help those people going from point A to point B.

FINALLY! YES, YOU GET IT!

Okay, high-speed rail is BEING SOLD as a measure which will reduce congestion, reduce dependence on foreign oil, etc. It is NOT being sold as a very expensive way to get a few people to destinations they don't go to very often.

NOW do you see why people like me use the word "boondoggle".

OF COURSE HSR benefits the FEW PEOPLE WHO WILL USE IT. But EVERYONE gets to pay for it. I wish the taxpayers would install a ballistic rocket for my trips to China with my wife, but it wouldn't make any economic sense. I would sure as hell benefit though.

Here is California's web page on it. Note the 800 MILES OF TRACK it describes, as well as all the claimed benefits:

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/project_vision.aspx

It claims it will reduce oil dependency, congestion, GHG emissions, provide jobs, and go really really fast.

former law student said...

Suppose that every single one of these Y people ride the high-speed rails.

Effect on congestion: Not measurable


If you're driving from Point A to Point B, the amount of congestion on the AB freeway is measurable. But go ahead, embrace the apple-banana argument.

Effect on GHG emission: not measurable


Neglecting that planes emit their greenhouse gases at 30K feet or so, making them a much larger percentage of the atmosphere.

And neglecting that true highspeed rail will be electric powered, which could come from wind or solar or hydropower or nuclear power, and not from burning fossil fuels.

In fact, imagine the right of way flanked with solar panels.

But a less bad comparison.

Effect on oil consumption Not measurable

Well, not if your denominator is large enough. But instead of comparing it to all fuel used for transportation everywhere in the US, why not compare it to the amount of fuel expended getting from Point A to Point B? And realize that over time, more people will be going from Point A to Point B, i.e. by the time HSR gets built.

former law student said...

Samuelson's playing with numerators and denominators has sucked AJ in, too.

28,500 riders a day = 10,402,500 riders a year.

The annual taxpayer subsidy to Amtrak is about $2.2 Billion.

That is a subsidy per rider of $211 each.


No, because the 28,500 number is for the Northeast corridor, only.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Let's look at some of California's claims:

•Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: 12 billion pounds less per year

Suppose we grant that. Total US emissions in 2006 were about 6000 million metric tons--the "12 billion pounds" is presented in isolation so that you won't know that it is 0.009% of the total US emissions.

•Reduced dependence on foreign oil: 12.7 million barrels less per year

Okay, let's grant that one too. US oil consumption is 21 million barrels PER DAY.

Note, again, that the number is presented in isolation, so that you do not know that is 0.17% of the US total.

And the government wants to build like 13 of these. Why can't it take the money and build nuclear plants, if we want to reduce emissions? Even that might not be the best use of the money.

former law student said...

Here is California's web page on it. Note the 800 MILES OF TRACK it describes,

Samuelson said "an 800 mile track from Anaheim to San Francisoo." That was wrong, as a glance at the map should have shown him.

The distance between Anaheim and SF remains 465 miles. But branches are planned to Sacramento on the north end, and to San Diego on the south end. The total system trackage would then be 800 miles.

as well as all the claimed benefits:

http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/project_vision.aspx

It claims it will reduce


oil dependency,
- 12.7 million barrels a year.

congestion,
- on freeways, at airports

GHG emissions,
- 12 billion pounds a year

provide jobs,
- 100K construction related, up to 450K jobs enabled by the resulting development.

and go really really fast.
- 220 mph

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:

If you're driving from Point A to Point B, the amount of congestion on the AB freeway is measurable. But go ahead, embrace the apple-banana argument.

hand-waving bullshit. Math or GTFO.

Neglecting that planes emit their greenhouse gases at 30K feet or so, making them a much larger percentage of the atmosphere.


hand-waving bullshit. Math or GTFO.

And neglecting that true highspeed rail will be electric powered, which could come from wind or solar or hydropower or nuclear power, and not from burning fossil fuels.

hand-waving bullshit. Math or GTFO.

I presented math accepting ALL of these assumptions and showing that the effect is insignificant.

Where's your math?

In fact, imagine the right of way flanked with solar panels.

Imaginary solar panels with costs and benefits you do not specify is not math, it's handwaving bullshit.

Well, not if your denominator is large enough. But instead of comparing it to all fuel used for transportation everywhere in the US, why not compare it to the amount of fuel expended getting from Point A to Point B?

Because the high speed rail is being paid for by EVERYONE and not just the people using the rail. But once again, hand-waving bullshit. Math or GTFO.

And realize that over time, more people will be going from Point A to Point B, i.e. by the time HSR gets built.

BUT SO WILL PEOPLE GOING OTHER PLACES. More people will be commuting and more people will be flying! You still have the problem of allocating collective money totally out of proportion to the collective benefit.

Once again, math ot GTFO. I presented math, why can't you?

Because you got nuthin', that's why.

former law student said...

Why can't it take the money and build nuclear plants, if we want to reduce emissions?

And you guys scoffed at Obama when he mentioned electric cars.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

I knew you would present those numbers without any context, so see my 7:04 post.

If you are going to continue to argue, you need to do some math or GTFO. I'm tired of your hand-waving arguments and bullshit.

AJ Lynch said...

OK FLS- it has 28.7 Million annual trips and if I assume each is a rider taking a round trip, the subsidy per rider is only $153! What a bargain for the taxpayers!

It's still an exorbitant amount.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

And you guys scoffed at Obama when he mentioned electric cars.

reduce emissions != electric cars

You are an idiot. You can't read and you can't present numbers in any kind of context.

Math or GTFO.

Michael said...

FLS: You seem to think that Samuelson has played a trick on us to make otherwise economical rail travel seem unaffordable. If the 211 per passenger subsidy is too high because the numerator is too high or the denominator too low perhaps you will do us the courtesy of unraveling the math on a nation wide basis using the Amtrak subsidy unless you challenge that number. Would you think he is wrong by half leaving an acceptable, to you, subsidy of 105 per passenger? Etc.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@FLS:

Remember it's not ME you are arguing with. People who are reading and not commenting can judge between what you have posted and what I have posted.

My case is: no significant effect on congestion, GHG emission, oil consumption. I offered math to back that up.

Your case is: imaginary solar panels, and restrict the discussion to focus on individual benefits while ignoring collective costs, and refusing to put numbers in context or do any math, meanwhile failing to comprehend what you read.

AJ Lynch said...

A Calif govt website claims it will help save the polar bears? I am shocked.

And Amtrak's website claims more and more people want to ride their trains. Could that be just another shocking claim from a wasteful, inefficient govt bureacracy.

Michael said...

FLS: The jobs created by rail building are temporary unlike the subsidized factory jobs of auto builders in the south which you scoff at. You need to read a bit more deeply into the "Good Jobs First" lexicon of economic stupidity. The subsidy of rail continues on forever, unabated. Ticket takers and conductors with elaborate feather bedding contracts and officious sneering are what you get in the national rail system.

PS: Have you ever ridden a high speed train?

Michael said...

AJ Lynch: If Amtrak thinks more people want to ride their fucking trains they do not have to build a new goddamn roadbed they only have to hook on a new car. Why, oh why, do we have these people running a railroad when that is no way to run a railroad!!!

Michael said...

DBQ: I was trying to be ironic, which is difficult on a blog with lefty commenters who are so fucking stupid they think that high speed rail is a great idea. They are innumerate in a way that is so goddamn stunning and annoying that I sometimes think my head is going to explode if I try and rebut another post by FLS whose grasp of business is tenuous in the best of his moments. Of course rail won't work in rural areas because it doesn't fucking work in thickly populated areas. It doesn't make any goddamn difference whether the trains go two miles an hour or two million miles an hour, they do not work.

Michael said...

Gabriel Hanna: When using percentages with FLS like 0.009% it is best to also spell out that that equals nine thousandths of one percent. It is quite horrible trying to have a discussion about a problem requiring mathematics with someone whose source of knowledge is wikipedia.

Michael Haz said...

The train is not going to be a "high speed" train. It will share tracks owned by freight-hauling railroads; tracks that will be completely rebuilt courtesy of the taxpayers. The passenger trains will slot in between slower freight-haulers, and will therefore be quite slow - perhaps a 50 mph average.

Many of the municipalities along the route had referendum questions about paying for local train stations on yesterday's ballots. Every one of them was voted down, without exception.

If constructed and placed into operation, the continuing losses will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $10 million annually, and that is after hyper aggressive predictions of the number of riders who will pay $66 one-way. Fuel to drive costs $10, and cars will get there faster.

The rail care bodies were built in Spain by a company named Talgo. Talgo was awarded a no-bid contract shortly after making a donation to Gov. Doyle's campaign funds, even though Gov Doyle wasn't eligible to run for another term.

Another rail-car building company, located in Milwaukee didn't get the contract, even though it's cars cost less. It has had to close its doors.

The rail car bodies have been delivered to Talgo's assembly plant recently opened in Milwaukee for the purpose of finishing the cars.

One of Talgo's management team (it's in-house attorney) has resigned and gone public with documents demonstrating the Talgo will not hire black people has a matter of corporate policy dictated from its HQ in Spain. All employment applications are required to include a company-taken photo of the face of the applicant. The story has been on Milwaukee radio, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has refused to report it out of concern that it would harm Tom Barrett's run for Governor.

Governor-Elect Scott Walker has pledged that the project will not go forward even though Gov Jim Doyle has secretly signed all of the contracts necessary to complete the project.

In radio interviews this morning Walker said that this situation is similar to one that Chris Christie encountered because John Corzine committed $5 billion to a tunnel construction project. Christie was able to stop that project and get refunds of some of the monies Corzine spent. Walker said that he has had several conversations with Christie in which Christie described the steps he took to stop the tunnel project.

Additionally Walker said that he has been contacted by several large law firms that have offered to provide legal services pro bono for this work.

Gov Jim Doyle is as corrupt a politician as walks American soil. he deserves to be imprisoned for this and other things he has done while governor.

pst314 said...

If a "high" speed rail line is not a boondoggle, then why doesn't anybody want to invest their own money in building it? I'm really tired of assholes who want to rob me to pay for their childish utopian fantasies.

Methadras said...

former law student said...

Riding a bus in heavy traffic is the worst of both the motoring world and the public transit world.


And yet, the obviousness of being against that very thing is missed, but light rail is cool because it gives the impression of being the perfect urbanite.

Methadras said...

AJ Lynch said...

Let's take Samuelson's daily ridership total at his word.

28,500 riders a day = 10,402,500 riders a year.

The annual taxpayer subsidy to Amtrak is about $2.2 Billion.

That is a subsidy per rider of $211 each. Jeez I wish we would print that on their train ticket:

"The cost of your ride has been reduced by a taxpayer subsidy of $211. Don't forget to express your appreciation to the next taxpayer you see!"


It costs me roughly $200 every week to fly back and forth from the bay area to san diego. It's cheaper than driving at current fuel costs, it's faster than driving given that it's roughly an 8 to 10 hour drive because you have to go through LA at the shortest point and I get home in 1.5 hours. I spend 1 hour total on BART (bay area rapid transit - light rail) to get from the station near my house in the bay area to the airport (SFO or OAK), and another 10 minutes to go through security at the airport. So that's 3 hours in the air, 2 hours BART travel, 20 or so minutes through security. Plus a little wait time for deplaning and boarding. So that's roughly 5.5 hours total for a round trip that last me a weekend at a little over $200. I've saved my cost in fuel. I've gotten to spend even more time with my family, and I haven't destroyed my back or had the stress of driving on me (not that flying is less stressful, but it's better than driving that much).

Also, those flights are packed solid on SWA daily. It's a win win for a 500 mile flight all the way around for me and I wasn't stuck on a train that never runs in a straight line. FLS is a clueless jackoff and has been proven wrong on many things on hear before.

One wonders what he is really trying to be a proponent of or trying to defend. The mind boggles at the leftard thought process.

AJ Lynch said...

Michael Haz pointed out:

"Many of the municipalities along the route had referendum questions about paying for local train stations on yesterday's ballots. Every one of them was voted down, without exception."

Heh only in Obama's America will the president spend money on a rail line that won't have any stations where the passengers can get off and on. What a great country you are transforming Mr. Presdient!

AJ Lynch said...

"Clueless Jackoff" FLS? I agree!

former law student said...

AJL: thanks for your reasonableness. I don't see much point in low speed rail either. Maybe it could be marketed to German tourists.

reduce emissions != electric cars


For the people scoring at home: Nuclear power plants can reduce vehicle emissions only if cars -- trucks, trains, etc. -- run on electricity.

My case is: no significant effect on congestion, GHG emission, oil consumption. I offered math to back that up.

Yes, my 200mph journey to LA will not affect your trip to the Canton, OH WalMart. I kinda don't think it was ever intended to. The effect on greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption were exactly specified.

And the math is Samuelson's math -- I really don't see why GH is preening here. He didn't offer any math to support his DADT argument -- maybe he'd like to go back and fix that up.

But I have the impression that GH is about to explain how the same sum of money could be used for a greater reduction in greenhouse gases and oil consumption, e.g. nuclear power plants. If it could get me from LA to SF at 200 mph I would be interested.

and refusing to put numbers in context or do any math

I'm not writing an article for the Washington Post. I can point out its flaws without being responsible to fix them. Roger Ebert has never had to reshoot and cut a movie he gave a single star to, that I know of.

The bottom line: crap arguments are crap even if they support a conclusion you like. Someday, maybe Hanna will understand that.

Maguro said...

If it could get me from LA to SF at 200 mph I would be interested.

You probably would. But how many others will ride with you, considering you can get from LA to SF at 400 mph right now?

What's the point of spending hundreds of billions on dedicated HSR track just to get from point A to point B half as fast?

Are we planning on banning air travel as part of Al Gore's anti-CO2 crusade?

kimsch said...

The more stops there are on the "high speed" rail between Madison and Milwaukee, the slower the trip. There is a perfectly good interstate highway that runs between Madison and Milwaukee. That is a limited access road with no stops. To use rail between Madison and Milwaukee, one must get to the station at one end and then get to one's destination at the other. If the end points are not convenient to where one wants to go, it's just not worth it when one can make the trip via the interstate at one's own convenience and be able to get wherever one wants to go at the destination.

If someone wanted to build rail between cities, perhaps between Waukegan, IL and Rockford, IL where there is no limited access highway between the two. OR between Rockford and the quad-cities. But not between Rockford and Madison, there's a perfectly good interstate highway between those cities as well. And between Waukegan and Milwaukee.

wv: drowd

former law student said...

But how many others will ride with you, considering you can get from LA to SF at 400 mph right now?

Dang. I got sucked into this only because Samuelson's essay sucked so bad. I am not particularly passionate about HSR. Would I ride HSR? Probably. More likely to if they let me take my dog, which I can't do on Amtrak. Should you pay for the infrastructure? Only if you get your fair share of infrastructure in return.

But to answer the question: If I have to get to the airport an hour early to take a one hour flight(at 400mph), then the time spent terminal to terminal is two hours, the same as if I took high speed rail (at 200mph).

And I can't be the only one who wants to be able to carry a full size tube of toothpaste in my bag. The only one not looking forward to having to undergo a full body scan and an anal probe before being admitted to the waiting area.

Down the road, only long trips will be made by air -- trains will be used for connecting "flights." And solar power will continue to get cheaper while fossil fuels should get ever more expensive -- don't ask me when the breakeven point will be.

Maguro said...

Oh, I can see how a true high speed train could be marginally more convenient than air travel at moderate distances. I used to live in Japan, so I'm familiar with how that type of consumer decisions is made.

It's just that I can't believe that the value provided would be worth the cost of building a dedicated HSR network. It would be ruinously expensive.

former law student said...

dedicated HSR network... would be ruinously expensive

Let's use Japan as a basis for comparison, because the surface area of Japan and California are practically the same. When Japan built its first Shinkasen, in 1964, its population was 97 million people. In 2009, California's population was 37 million, up some 10% from 2000, suggesting in 30 years there will be 50 million people in California. And they will need to get around the state somehow.

Michael said...

FLS: At some point after a train is blown to smithereens it will occur to the TSA that trains are transportation. When the currently lame inspections done at Amtrak are
"enhanced" you will see a new era of rules as to what can or cannot be brought on board. As you know, you have to be at Amtrak early.

Michael Haz said...

BREAKING THURSDAY MORNING

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation issued orders this morning to all outside vendors working on the HSR (high Speed Rail) project to immediately cease working on that project.

Confirmed on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee at 10:53 AM

Michael Haz said...

Spoke with a neighbor who is employed by an engineering company that has one of the contracts for HSR work that Gov Doyle rammed through.

The message his employer received from a representative of the incoming Walker administration was essentially this:

"Yes, you have a large contract to do business with the State of Wisconsin. And yes, we have telephones. And if you ever again want our telephones to be used to call your company regarding future business with the State of Wisconsin, you will agree to voiding all contracts related to the HSR project without protest or penalty. Your choice."

AJ Lynch said...

Michael Haz:
That is pretty funny! Of course libs will take it as a sign of the coming conservative apolalypse.

former law student said...

The Milwaukee Road's Hiawatha's ran up to 100mph -- back in 1935. So this proposed "hsr" does not impress. Trains made the 85 mile trip between Chicago and Milwaukee in 75 minutes, 75 years ago

But direct rail service between Madison and Milwaukee eded sometime in the first third of the 20th Century. The best you could do was go Milwaukee-Portage, and get a ride from there.

lumiere said...

Source: High-Speed Rail Plan Scrapped
DOT Officials Haven't Confirmed Information

http://www.channel3000.com/news/25601036/detail.html

CrustyBill said...

Actually, Wisconsin did not vote no on the rail... there was no checkboxes on the ballot so you could mark why you were voting for a candidate, my opinion is that people wanted a party change.