Thanks Rubes!

Gov.-elect Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Gov.-elect John Kasich in Ohio campaigned on pledges to stop passenger-rail projects in their states. On Thursday, they got their wish.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rescinded nearly $1.2 billion that had been allocated to Wisconsin and Ohio for new train lines. Wisconsin, which received $810 million for a passenger train between Madison and Milwaukee, will have to forfeit the entire amount. Ohio must give up $385 million of the $400 million allocated for a train connecting Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

The funds will be redirected to train projects in 14 states. California and Florida will receive the largest portions, up to $624 million and $342.3 million, respectively.

After that, Washington is third, getting $161 million. And as unemployment continues to rise in Ohio and Wisconsin, I’m sure they’ll nod dutifully at Glenn Beck as he blames us “coastal elites” for electing “socialists” to office rather than make the connection between stimulus spending and jobs. Meanwhile, we’ll be too busy getting to work on building 21st century infrastructure to care.


  1. 1

    jcricket spews:

    No doubt as their unemployment and economies continue to flounder or worsen, those very rubes will say Obama is punishing them for being white conservative christians.

    Nope. There will be nothing in their caterwauling that mentions their very own actual active decision to reject the project.

    A prime example of What’s The Matter With Kansas having metastasized throughout the nation’s body.

  2. 2

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Well, it’s not all bad for the rubes.
    In 10 years when they see they still need to connect with rail they’ll have the opportunity to hire consultants from WA who gained experience early.

  3. 5


    We won! We won! Now Washington state’s taxpayers will be stuck with millions of dollars of operating costs every year!

    Take that, Ohio and Wisconsin. Suckers!

  4. 6

    Lee spews:

    Can you name a single community on the face of the earth where the majority of people think the operating costs of a train system outweigh the benefits of having it?

  5. 7

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    because that light rail system is so damn successful…not.

    the money would have been better spent on expadning the Sounder service instead of wasting hundred of millions on a joke of a light rail system.

  6. 9

    Deathfrogg spews:

    Conservatives, They know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

    As I recall, the esteemed Governor Ray rejected funding for a light rail mass transportation system, and it went to Portland instead. Portland’s system is nice, clean, efficient and well operated.

    And everyone there LIKES it.

  7. 10

    SuperSteve spews:

    Whoever thinks that America can’t afford such bold projects during tough economic times needs to study their history. Some of our greatest public works projects were built during the Great Depression, and generations later we’re still reaping benefits.

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, the Grand Coulee Dam was the cornerstone of economic development during the mid-20th century; it cost $2.5 billion in today’s dollars when it was built in the 1930’s. For a fraction of the cost of the Grand Coulee Dam, we could develop a high-speed rail system that would be an equally powerful economic force.

    A report released by WashPIRG draws lessons from other countries to show that high-speed rail can boost economic growth while also providing a popular alternative to congested roads and airports. The report was endorsed by Glen Bottoms of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation, who noted that the report “reinforces our view that building a high-speed rail network is a prudent and cost effective use of America’s resources over the long-term.”

    If states like Wisconsin and Ohio want to forego their fair share of the pie, so be it; that leaves more in the pan, and Washington’s hungry.

  8. 11

    Randroid spews:

    @5. Ha. ha ha HA! Let’s stop maintaining our road and bridges entirely and get rid of those infrastructure operating costs totally.
    That will show those liberals the value of our conservative values.

  9. 12

    Pete spews:

    Great. This way, the new line will be half-built when governor-elect McKenna suspends funding in late 2012.

    And that’s even before President-elect Palin can assume office and act to kill the whole program, tweeting that “I’m the only model this country needs! We don’t need model trains!”

    Her approval ratings then go up five percent.

    Sigh. We are so fucked.

  10. 14


    This is just the beginning. There’s a lot more bullshit on the way. Now that it’s confirmed that the spineless White House will give in to anything, there’s no end to the crap that they’ll try.

    The Middle class is shrinking upward. Few are leaving to join the Wealthy Class, most are falling into the Poverty Class.

    Face it, Repugs won’t be happy until they’ve created ‘economic distress zones’ in our cities. This is where they can keep all the unemployed, poor, and homeless surrounded by beautiful concrete walls adorned with shiny razor wire to protect these fine folks from the ravages of their plight.

    It’s a kind of reverse gated community.

    Do I see a ‘Fort Sumter’ on the horizon?

  11. 15

    Michael spews:

    Since it’s for HIGH SPEED RAIL I sorta doubt it will be going for light rail. It will probably go for the Seattle to Portland run.

  12. 16


    We already have a rail system that travels the length of the west coast. Why spend hundreds of billions of dollars so that people can get to LA a two hours sooner on a faster train?

    Also, has anyone ever considered that maybe traveling and commuting is part of the problem?

  13. 17

    Zotz sez: The microchip in Klynical's ass was transmitting 6... 6... 6... spews:

    Do I see a ‘Fort Sumter’ on the horizon?

    Nope — more like the FEMA camps Glenn Beckkk gesticulates about. Unfortunately for us, he and his ilk won’t be the ones inside the camps.

  14. 18

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 16

    So, people just shouldn’t travel or commute then? Lets just get to the crux of the problem. Theres just too much traveling going on. People should just stay at home.

    Is this implying that Americans don’t have the “right” to travel?

  15. 19

    Siberian dog spews:

    Where do you trolls get the idea that our light rail system is somehow a failure? I just talked with my son who lives near the line in Columbia City and he tells me it’s a success story, especially for neighborhoods like those along the MLK route and Beacon Hill.

    Who you gonna believe? Trolls who invariably drive cars with one occupant and depend on all the rest of us to subsidize their freeways, or actual light rail users? I’m going with the users. But them I’m reality-based, as opposed to all you ignorant faith-based right-wingers. And by faith I mean eat up whatever kind of crap your lying mouthpieces spew.

  16. 20

    Michael spews:


    MLK and Beacon hill are full of working class folks and minorities, of course the trolls don’t want to see those folks succeed.

  17. 22

    Puddybud identifying useless Moonbat!s since 2005 and identifying rujax as an arschloch and zotz as a fool! spews:

    Face it, Repugs won’t be happy until they’ve created ‘economic distress zones’ in our cities.

    Really David Aquarius? Are you saying they don’t already exist under DUMBOCRAT administrations from many decades ago? Ever been to Rainier Ave and Othello? Or how about Harlem? Or other inner cities run by DUMBOCRATS?

    You’re nuts and still that way!

  18. 23

    Puddybud identifying useless Moonbat!s since 2005 and identifying rujax as an arschloch and zotz as a fool! spews:

    Who you gonna believe? Trolls who invariably drive cars with one occupant and depend on all the rest of us to subsidize their freeways, or actual light rail users?

    How many of those same King County Patty I Love Bankers Murray voters are single car drivers.

    Can you say LOTS?

    BTW Puddy takes the bus or car pools!

    Puddy suggests working from home to reduce congestion. Real work, not what ylb claims to do while cruising the kook-aid sites!

  19. 24

    Puddybud identifying useless Moonbat!s since 2005 and identifying rujax as an arschloch and zotz as a fool! spews:

    Let’s stop maintaining our road and bridges entirely and get rid of those infrastructure operating costs totally.

    What happened to all those shovel ready projects we heard from Odumba regarding the Porkulus bill? rujax claimed each $Billion spent creates 35,000 jobs. So Puddy asks again what happened to the 17,722,500 jobs “created” when half of the Porkulus funds were spent.

    Oh yeah. much of that went to DUMBOCRAT payback for jockstrapping Odumba in 2008.


  20. 25

    Steve spews:

    “Ever been to Rainier Ave and Othello?”

    So what’d you do, drive by with a stupid grin on your face? I grew up there, chump. You defile my ‘hood with cheap talk that you can’t walk. So take that weak shit of yours somewhere else.

  21. 26


    Like talking to a freaking brick wall…

    Listen, dipshit Pudwacker whatever your handle is this week… Those communities suffered because of Conservative (ie: Republican) administrations. Back in the day, it was low wages and long work hours courtesy of Wall Street that created these places. The corporatist bullshit of Reagan and The Bushes created this shit. Thank St. Ronnie for the bulk of the misery laid upon the inner cities today.

    Only when the jackboot of the wealthy class was loosed from their necks were those good folks able to bring some life back into their neighborhoods. Columbia City, Othello, Rainier…I shop up and down the Rail line. I have no problems there. Never did.

    Of course, the ‘economic distress zones’ I was referring to is a prediction of ‘forced’ relocation of the new poor. Rather than gate themselves in, the rich will prefer to keep the po’ folk locked up. That way they’ll have everything.

    Science fiction? Far-fetched outlandish conspiracy theory? Now, perhaps. But with a few years of another Republican Congress and a possible Senate and White House in 2012, who’s to say?

    Damn, that would make the Mayans right!

  22. 27

    spyder spews:

    Atrios has a take on this story:

    Talgo Inc. will shut down its Milwaukee train manufacturing operations in 2012, leaving only a maintenance base, because plans for a high-speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison have been abandoned, the company announced Friday.

    “Governor-elect Walker’s transition team reached out to Talgo in an effort to keep them in Wisconsin,” Walker transition spokesman Cullen Werwie said in an e-mail. “While he is disappointed that the company made the decision to leave, the fact that the Madison-to-Milwaukee train line is dead is in the best interest of Wisconsin taxpayers. By reducing government spending – like Governor-elect Walker was able to do by successfully stopping this boondoggle – he is going to fulfill his campaign promise of ensuring Wisconsin has a business climate that allows the private sector to create 250,000 new jobs.”
    City suit possible….
    The city invested several million dollars in renovating the former Tower Automotive property to accommodate Talgo. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has said city officials may explore legal action if Walker’s stand wipes out that investment.

    Maybe we can lobby Talgo to come here and make highspeed trains in Washington. We could always use the jobs and the highspeed rail.

  23. 29

    Michael spews:

    Teabaggers lose, we win. Works for me.

    Yep! I’m happy we (hopefully) wont be doing the Longview Slowdown for much longer on the Seattle to Portland run.

    Maybe we can lobby Talgo to come here and make highspeed trains in Washington.

    Hell yes! We’ve got shipyards, Boeing, and Paccar here. We know how to build stuff.

  24. 30

    Lee spews:

    I remember back before November, a news outfit (don’t remember which one) was doing a story on how Russ Feingold was trailing, and they interviewed an ‘independent’ blue collar voter who said he was voting Republican because he thought the Republicans would be better at creating jobs in the state.

    That was what inspired me to use the word “rubes” in the title of this post.

  25. 32

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    More Republican insanity, cruelty, hypocrisy: CBO scores the DREAM Act as increasing revenue by $1.4 Billion over 10 years. Republicans block it, because of the deficit, of course.

    Deficit, or hard working brown people must be thwarted?

  26. 34

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    The train builder was going to have their US center in Wisconsin, and are now talking about pulling out once they finish two trainsets that were to be used on the Chicago-Milwaukee HIawatha services. There was an option for two more, but that was canceled. Talgo USA has had some success, right here. They run every day from Vancouver B.C. to Eugene, OR.

  27. 35

    Siberian dog spews:

    Republican teabaggers oppose the Dream Act because they are racist. They are fucking ignorant racist pigs. Ignorant or racist or both.

    If you meet someone who says he or she is a Republican or a teabagger and insists they aren’t racist, they must be either ignorant or a liar.

    No other choice. It’s that simple.

  28. 36

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    Illinois is already trying to woo Talgo USA to their state. Illinois is going ahead with track improvements on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor(the Lincoln Service). A few months ago, a railroad era came to an end, on the same corridor. The last manned interlocking tower on a Class I railroad closed, the armstrong levers ceased operating for the last time.

  29. 37

    Douglass Firz spews:

    The Bush taxcut for the rich was the price Obama had to pay to avoid Repuplicans forcing the middle class Obama taxcuts to expire as well.

    The middle class taxcuts are a backdoor stimulus amounting to $600 Billion, which they will spend IN the economy. The taxcut for the rich is approximately worth $123 billion — which will be a boon to Jamaican yacht builders, but won’t help the country much.

  30. 38

    Skipper's Best Friend spews:

    China builds a high-speed rail that does 217mph.
    Wisconsin was going to build a high-speed rail that does 79mph.
    Someone is getting snookered.
    California is spending at least $4.15 billion, the segment would run from the tiny town of Borden to Corcoran, trains running up to 220 mph.
    Like they say in Kalifornia, the train to and from nowhere.

  31. 39

    Skipper's Best Friend spews:

    A little more about the Kalifornia high speed rail-
    a 65-mile section in the Central Valley that would not carry passengers until more of the system is built.
    $4.15 billion for 65 miles that won’t be used until more of the system is built?
    A project only Arnie & Kalifornia could approve of.

  32. 40

    TJ spews:

    A post from pothead Lee that has nothing to do with his illegal narcotics obsession?


    Someone notify A.P.!!

  33. 41

    aw spews:

    @34, I think the Talgo plant in Milwaukee was going to assemble four trainsets. Two for the Hiawatha line and two for Oregon to run on the Cascades corridor.

  34. 42

    rhp6033 spews:

    SuperSteve @ 10: Yep, the Columbia River projects not only brought agriculture to the eastern Washington, Idaho, Oregon, etc., it also provide abundant, clean, and cheap electricity to the region. Eastern Washington Republicans seem to take it for granted that they can flip a light switch to go to the bathroom at night or turn a knob to cook breakfast in the morning. But it wasn’t that long ago that such operations required lighting a lantern, or building a fire in the stove, etc.

    Sure, private utilities building coal-fired electrical plants COULD have done the same thing. But then there is the cost of transporting the coal (not nearly enough here to do the job), the cost of the coal itself, the environmental cost of coal (I still remember the old coal-fired boiler in my elementary school belching smoke every morning). And without irrigation helping to sustain a agriculture-based jobs in eastern Washington, how many private industries are going to want to put in that type of investment for only a few thousand customers?

    But let’s forget that for a moment. Let’s look at the immediate return on our tax dollar investment in the Columbia River projects just a few years later. As the U.S. ramped up industrial production for WWII, the one thing which was NEVER in short supply was electricity. Huge amounts of electricity. Electricity in amounts which the production planners in Berlin and Tokyo never dreamed of.

    Two things need huge amounts of electricity to produce: aluminum and nuclear fuel. The electricity provided by the Columbia River projects supplied Alcoa and other aluminum manufactures with all they needed to produce the raw materials which eventually became airplanes built by Boeing and other manufacturers around the country. It allowed the U.S. to fill the sky with bombers, with what became known as the “aluminum overcast”, and fighters to protect those bombers and eventually destroy the Luftwaffe interceptors through attrition and attacking their ground bases.

    And the Germans had early on rejected the U.S. model for enriching Uranium and creating weapons-grade Plutonium because it required far more electricity than they could ever imagine having available to them. There scientists confidently predicted that although they couldn’t build a bomb before the mid-1950’s, neither could we. After Germany surrendered those scientists were interned in a camp in Britain which was bugged by the British. Those scientists were astonished by the American claims that they not only had enough fuel for an atomic bomb, but they had enough fuel for several more! Initially, they insisted it must be mere Allied Propoganda.

    So while the Republicans insist on standing upon the tracks of progress and shouting “stop” at somewhere around – well, 1955, other nations are jumping far ahead. Europe and Japan have a half-century of high-speed rail experience, and have been reaping the benefits for years. China is next – last week it tested a high-speed train traveling at a top speed of 300 mph. In the meantime we are stuck in a transportation system which hasn’t changed that reached it’s most efficient high point around 1965, and has been steadily degrading ever since.