Sunday, March 25, 2018

Guns and Trains

Two things America does not handle well.
The marches against school gun violence in the schools in Washington and elsewhere drew hundreds of thousands of high school students and adults yesterday, and I'm certain many people across the country were impressed. Except the people who run Washington.  None of them were in town anyway; they'd gone home after approving a dismayingly bipartisan spending bill that gives lots of money to the military to buy . . . destructive weapons.  Because Milk Mustache Man needs his toys.
The spending bill that was passed gives money for the Gateway passenger-rail tunnel under the Hudson River, between New York and New Jersey, but it doesn't specifically mention it; it just makes sure that there's money there, but, as House Speaker Paul Ryan explained that it gives the White House the decision on Gateway. Trump wants to cut off funding for the tunnel and make both states pay more for it, which political analysts explain as part of a grudge match between Trump and Chuck Schumer and a way for Trump to punish states that went Democratic in the 2016 presidential election.  Apart from that, no one can give a reason why Trump would oppose an infrastructure project.  News flash: Republicans hate passenger trains. (Well, except for Tri-State Republicans, and one of those exceptions is retiring House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, who has made Gateway a priority.)  If this were a third automobile tunnel that New York and New Jersey wanted to build under the Hudson, it would have been built already.
Those of us who live in the Greater New York City area should get used to finding alternatives to rail travel to cross the Hudson, like, say, the ferry.  Me, I'm ready to take a boat that crosses something a little wider than the Hudson . . . and I want to buy a one-way ticket for it. >:-(             

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