American Elephants


Irresistible Morning Cuteness, But We’re Prejudiced! by The Elephant's Child

Go ahead, enlarge the window. You may want to turn down the sound. The banjo music is a little loud.



The Skagit River Bridge Collapsed, Not Very Spectacularly. by The Elephant's Child

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Oooops! Just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend, one section of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 near Mt. Vernon in Washington State collapsed. This is north of Seattle, on the way to Vancouver B.C.  It’s not a spectacular bridge. The Skagit is a pretty ordinary river, but very cold this time of year.

It is not on President Obama’s pet list of “crumbling roads and bridges.” A trucker with a too-wide load smacked into the bridge span and sent the truck and a couple of cars into the river. The news staff, always anxious to dramatize, waited breathlessly to speak to “the survivors”, but nobody was badly hurt., just cuts and bruises. People will be using a detour for quite a while, inconveniencing many. This is the main North/South highway, between Canada and Mexico.

Interestingly, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) just proposed an amendment to a transportation bill that would prohibit funds that were appropriated under title 1 from being used for earmarks until all structurally deficient and obsolete bridges had been repaired, with limited exceptions.

What? Deny our earmarking ability? Use transportation money to repair Obama’s crumbling and obsolete bridges? Fie! Our very own two Senators, Murray and Cantwell , voted, with the majority, to table the amendment. We’ll think about it later.

And as the Skagit River Bridge sinks slowly in the West… I’m with senator Coburn. Spend the money on fixing that which needs fixing, and belay the bike paths and squirrel crossings.




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