Friday, December 02, 2011

Road Trip with Tim and the kids

The Bay Guardian's Tim Redmond drove to L.A. for Thanksgiving:

I want to take a few Republicans on a road trip. A few days after the GOP-led Congress cut off funding for high-speed rail in California, I drove to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I wish the critics of the project were with me in the car, with two kids fighting in the back seat, constant traffic delays, and about as unpleasant an automobile excursion as you can imagine.

It sounds like a set-up for one of those National Lampoon "vacation" movies: a progressive goes on the road with his out-of-control kids, his ponytail quivering with indignation at the shortcomings of our transportation system. Why isn't there a deux ex machina like high-speed rail to make the trip easy for him?

It's typical that Redmond's editorial is completely fact-free. Like Mayor Lee, SPUR, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feintein, the Democratic Party, and President Obama, he's apparently unaware of the extensive criticism of the California high-speed rail project. With this poorly-conceived, wasteful project, Democrats and progressives provide Republicans with a perfect example of liberal fecklessness on spending. Of course they're going to cut off funding for this dumb project. That's what they should do, based on the facts. And I say that as a Democrat who likes President Obama. And of course they especially enjoy doing that because it's President Obama's project. Democrats---and progs like Redmond---are saying, Never mind how much it will cost or even that there literally isn't any money---federal, state, local---available to build high-speed rail, we want it anyhow!

I bet 90 percent of the people on that wretched roadway Thanksgiving week would have been thrilled to take a train directly from downtown San Francisco (or Sacramento) to Union Station in L.A.---particularly if the ride took half the time of the drive and cost about the same.

Since he's clearly not familiar with the literature, Redmond doesn't know that projected ticket prices and ridership numbers are among the many issues that are being debated, with the official numbers earning widespread scorn.

And how would Redmond get to Grandma's house once he arrived at Union Station via high-speed rail? He would have to rent a car or Grandma would have to pick him and the kids up at the station, which would have also been the case with plane tickets.

skeptical presentation by the Legislative Analyst's Office on the CHSR's latest business plan.

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