Riding on that mag lev train to Vegas

The stimulus package includes $8 billion for high speed rail, thanks in part to the Senator from Nevada, Harry Reid

Topics: Globalization, How the World Works, High speed rail,

Some of the very best blogs are those that focus obsessively on just one topic — and so it is with one of the newest additions to my blogroll, Yonah Freemark’s “The Transport Politic.” As you might guess — it’s all about the politics of mass transit, and while the rest of us have been watching the progress of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through various ideological or political or economic prisms, Freemark has cared only about what its passage might mean for mass transit funding.

And in something of a surprise, the very latest word is that the version of the bill currently agreed to by House and Senate negotiators includes $8 billion for high-speed railway construction, which is more than four times what was originally in the Senate version of the bill. There was no funding at all for high speed rail in the original House stimulus proposal.

To what do we owe this? The Associated Press reports that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, pushed hard for the funding in “late stage talks.”

You Might Also Like

We have a pretty good idea of why Obama wanted it: On Tuesday he told an audience in Florida that the days of building “sprawl” were over, and the he would like to “see high speed rail where it can be constructed.” High speed rail serves multiple Obama energy and environmental agendas.

But what about Reid, the senior senator from Nevada? Again, from the AP:

Reid’s office issued a statement noting that a proposed Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas rail might get a big chunk of the money.

So, we can decrease our usage of fossil fuel-burning, greenhouse gas-belching automobiles, and cut the commute time for Southern Californian gamblers at the same time. Talk about hitting the jackpot!

Andrew Leonard
Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>