Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Pinkos" at Wall Street Journal Correctly Peg Ray LaHood

"Pinkos" as the Peoria Journal Star calls the editors and columnists of the WSJ wrote on February 2 the following, 'Planes, Trains and Bike Paths', about departing Transportation Secretary Peoriaian Ray LaHood:

"Ray LaHood had no particular qualifications  to be President Obama's Transportation Secretary apart from his 14-years as a Republican Congressman who specialized in pork-barrel spending, and it showed. He's the politician who found a way to lose $6.50 selling a $9.50 hamburger to diners with no other options.

Sixteen dollars is how much it costs Amtrack to prepare a burger amid $80 million in annual loses for its subsidized food service operations. Mr. LaHood, who announced this week he is leaving the Cabinet after four years, is likely to be remembered for similar achievements, such as presiding over a transportation policy to be the best 19th century had to offer: railroads and bicycles.

"This is the favorite motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized", Mr. LaHood wrote in 2010 about a funding rule "sea change" meant to promote bike paths instead of highways. He also doled out $8 billion in grants for High-Speed rail projects that were stapled onto the 2009 stimulus because Mr. Obama "was aggravated when he was told that none of the money from the stimulus would be spent on a signature project, a modern-day Hoover Dam or Interstate Highway System," as Ryan Lizza reported in the New Yorker magazine.

The President, according to the New York Times, thought that simply building new futuristic trains....could lift the spirits of a recession-battered nation." Mr. LaHood's political maneuvering ensured one signature boondoggle-the $100 billion San Francisco-to Anaheim bullet train---would be built, despite growing opposition and the fact that California had NO money. The first leg, which Mr. LaHood's department is financing, will connect Merced to Bakersfield in the sparsely populated Central Valley.

"President Obama's legacy will be high-speed rail," Mr. LaHood told Congress in December. As a just reward for his tenure, Mr. LaHood's next job should be managing the books for the California choo-choo."

End of the WSJ article. In Illinois, Mr. LaHood should be be remembered for his futile efforts to build a highway from Peoria to Chicago that was doomed from the beginning by the department he eventually headed. He is one of the"drivers" of a high-speed rail between Peoria and Bloomington, a boondoggle greater than the mainly taxpayer funded new museum, heavily taxpayer funded new Big Al's and taxpayer backed new Marriott Courtyard combined. Now he can continue to throw his weight behind local projects, of which his service in politics leaves him poorly prepared.

I have followed Mr. LaHood's career over many years. As a leading Republican, he, like Republican Illinois politician Dave Leitch,  never saw a tax-payer funded project they didn't like.

I believe a lot of Republicans are beginning to realize that the Democrats alone did not put us in the "pickle" we are in.

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