American Elephants

A Bargain On Subways: 1.7 Miles for Only $1.6 Billion. by The Elephant's Child
August 24, 2011, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy | Tags: , ,

Whenever I get completely exasperated by the actions of my government, or my city council or county council, I always think — it could be worse, and look to see what they’ve been up to in San Francisco.

In 2003, then Mayor Willie Brown sold a half-cent sales tax hike to the voters in order to pay for a 1.7 mile subway line which he claimed would ease congestion on the crowded buses in Chinatown.  He was more interested in getting the political support of the power brokers in Chinatown.   In 2003, the city estimated that the line would cost about $647 million.  Unsurprisingly, or should I say “unexpectedly,” the latest cost projection is $1.6 billion, or almost $100 million for each tenth of a mile.

Transportation experts say that improving existing bus and light rail service would make more sense and the subway design is seriously flawed.  Commuters will have to descend eight stories underground to get on, the subway misses connections with most of the light rail and bus lines that it crosses and there’s no direct connection to either the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) or to the ferry.  After riders go only a half mile, they would have to walk another quarter of a mile to connect to the Market Street light rail lines. Taking the bus would be five to 10 minutes faster.

The Obama administration likes the plan.

Other than those minor problems, the city’s metro system is already running a $150 million deficit.  But San Francisco has applied for a multiyear $942 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.  The administration likes anything that gets people out of cars.

Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood said that people tell him they want to get out of their cars and enjoy clean, green green neighborhoods.  Uh huh. Everywhere I go, the people are babbling about clean green something or other.  Don’t you find everyone you know is repeating Obama’s buzz words?

Senator Marco Rubio and the American Free Enterprise System. by The Elephant's Child
August 24, 2011, 4:58 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Politics, The United States

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke yesterday at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.  Senator Rubio has thought long and deeply about the free enterprise system and what it means to be an American.  It is a moving speech, and shows why this young man is held in such high esteem.

Do take the time to listen to his speech if you can, it will do wonders for a flagging sense of enthusiasm, and rekindle hope for the future.   And here is the question and answer session following the speech.

I loved his spirited defense of the free enterprise system, but I liked the answer to a question about how we should go about helping  our kids to understand what it means to be an American.  He said:

Schools are a tool for parents and communities to use in raising their kids — not a place where you send your kids to be raised.

The Donkey Whisperer by American Elephant
August 24, 2011, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2012, Humor, News, Politics | Tags: , ,

Clever. I love it!

Roger Williams was Secretary of State in Texas under Rick Perry and now running for Congress in one of the new districts created by census reapportionment.

He’s off to a great start.

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