They Want Choo-Choos!

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Granite Staters, if you needed a reason to vote against gubernatorial candidate Joyce Craig, Michael Graham gives you a big one: Craig Backs $800M Rail Plan, Says Young Granite Staters 'Don't Even Want' Cars. She wants a new and expensive commuter rail line up to Nashua and Manchester, and in the event she becomes Governor, she's promising to make it happen!

And (indeed) part of her argument (disclosed to a local TV station) is:

“We also know that young people want to be in New Hampshire, and a lot of the young people don’t even want a vehicle,” Craig said. “So, they are getting by with bikes and walking and public transportation that’s really lacking in this state.”

Um. Well. Certainly many "young people want" stuff. Preferably "free", but will grudgingly accept "heavily taxpayer subsidized".

Craig also said there would be provision of "jobs" and "economic development". The usual argument: after government takes your money, spends it on stuff, eventually some of that will trickle back down to you. Maybe. If government thinks you deserve it. (Doesn't that yarn deserve the derisive label of "trickle-down economics"?)

Graham (and GOP gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte) concentrate on Craig's dubious assertion about the "young people" who "don't even want a vehicle." But what really needs to be brought to the discussion is commuter rail's long history of underestimating costs and overestimating benefits.

In addition, the proposed line links up with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Which has its own set of problems. See this Quora response from earlier this year to the query "What are some of the reasons why the MBTA is so expensive and unreliable?" Hey, only four are listed: aging infrastructure, insufficient funding, labor costs, complex governance structure, and inefficient operations. The responder says "Addressing these issues will require a concerted effort by government agencies, private contractors, and other stakeholders to improve the system's overall efficiency and reliability." Maybe (at least) wait until they do that? Don't hold your breath, though.

Also of note:

  • I'll take "Things that won't happen" for 200, Mayim. Mark Hemingway has a demand! Specifically: If The Media Insisted On Calling Trump A Liar, That Standard Must Be Applied To Biden’s Corruption Lies. He provides numerous examples of the MSM drumbeat: Trump lies a lot.

    Which might be overstated in many cases, but very often true, as Hemingway admits. But whatabout:

    Time and again, the default assumption for Trump is corrupt motives, where Biden gets the benefit of the doubt to an absurd degree. The idea that it was necessary to call Trump a liar in no way precludes doing the same to Biden who is a world-class liar in his own right. However, if the press were to take the most obvious reading of Biden’s motives, they would have to conclude that the man is a corrupt and brazen liar. They would have to, according to the new rulebook, “move closer to being oppositional.” But that’s not going to happen because political reporters are not a particularly consistent or principled bunch.

    Of course, the problem with Biden’s lying goes well beyond the issues of foreign corruption; the issue of character and personal flaws was one that was frequently hung around Trump’s neck. Again, I fail to see how Biden faces a different standard. His issues with lying might be the worst of any politician of the modern era. He was caught extensively plagiarizing in law school, and he probably never should have been given a degree, but if you ask Biden, he “went to law school on a full academic scholarship,” he “ended up in the top half” of his law school class, and “graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school.” None of that is true. His first presidential campaign was derailed when he plagiarized a speech from a British politician, and it made him a national laughingstock.

    Typical softsoaping from Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post: Biden loves to retell certain stories. Some aren’t credible.

    "Aren't credible." Gee, ya think?

    Kessler discusses a number of Biden's repeated tall tales. But the only time "lie" appears is:

    Contemporary news reports on the house fire do not match his telling of it, fanning criticism that he had lied to a vulnerable audience.

    "I'm not calling him a liar, but critics said he lied this once."

  • "So, Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb." Yes, that's a Spaceballs quote. But that's what came to mind reading Daniel Henninger's WSJ column: The Stupid Party vs. the Evil Party

    Which would you rather be right now, the stupid party or the evil party? My money says the evil party will find a way out of the Biden-Trump dilemma.

    Put it this way: The party that nominates someone other than these two will win the decisive votes of independents, and the election. The Republicans look locked into their forget-the-independents choice. I don’t think the Democrats are.

    It is difficult to disagree with the assumption that the multiple prosecutions are ensuring Mr. Trump’s nomination. Virtually every event related to the four indictments ratchets up the Republican rage meter another several points for the former president. You knew that Trump mug shot was worth millions the moment you saw it. So too U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision to plop down the Trump trial in Washington on March 4, hours before the Super Tuesday primary. Her explanation: “My primary concern here is the interest of justice and that I’ve balanced the defendant’s right to adequately prepare.” Uh-huh.

    I really have to watch Spaceballs again. "What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz? CHICKEN?"

  • "Democracy" has always meant this, peasant. Matt Taibbi continues his series on words that have journeyed "meaningful to meaningless" This episode looks at "Democracy".

    Whatever we are and Russia is not. Stops at nothing to defend itself, boldly casting norms aside to preserve norms. Contact Aurum Speakers Bureau to hear Anne Applebaum speak on its behalf. Synonymous with the “rules-based international order,” even though the “international order” views attachment to democratic sovereignty as nationalism. Is already “on the ballot,” and a t-shirt, for 2024. Paradoxically those who cast ballots for “democracy” are more inclined to wonder lately if there is too much of it here. Incidentally whether or not there is too much democracy at home may be discussed, but whether there is too little in places like Ukraine may not. The modern term democracy promotion, which even the Brookings Institute says may “rely on cooperation with undemocratic governments” and has connotations of regime change, is a near-perfect antonym of the term it replaced, now in disrepute: self-determination.

    You may not agree with everything Taibbi claims, I don't, but he's got a definite point.

Last Modified 2024-01-11 4:41 AM EDT