Northeast Corridor

Death Of Senator Frank Lautenberg A Sad Moment: Cared Deeply About Jewish Issues And Middle Class And The Poor

The death of Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey this morning at age 89 is a loss for the Jewish community worldwide, and reminds us that a wealthy person (the person who began ADP, the payroll system), can really care for the middle class and the poor, rather than for his own class!

Lautenberg served nearly five terms, and was a critic of the alcohol and tobacco industries, and worked to support the AMTRAK transportation system that became so important for the Northeast Corridor in particular.

He was a crusader for good ideas, and a man who spoke his mind, and he will be missed.

The question now is who will replace him, and will it be by appointment, or by election, and it opens up the possibility that Newark Mayor Cory Booker might be able to gain a Senate seat sooner than he had planned, which would have been the 2014 elections, when Lautenberg had decided to retire.

Mitt Romney Declares “War” On PBS, NPR, NEH, NEA, And Amtrak

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has declared “war” on knowledge and learning, by his statements that he will, if elected President, move to eliminate funding for PBS, National Public Radio, the National Endowment For The Humanities, and the National Endowment For The Arts.

He also would eliminate Amtrak, a transportation system that benefits the “hated” Northeast part of the country, the most educated part of the nation!

All of this together would save a pittance, just a total of $2 billion, a “drop in the bucket”, with a multiple trillion dollar budget annually, while at the same time wishing to give massive tax cuts to the wealthy, even though that has not created new jobs, as conservatives have said would be the result!

So, Romney is promoting “Know Nothingism”, a war on knowledge and learning, attacking the arts, history, public media, and even public access to a decent transportation system in the crowded Northeast corridor.

It is a mean spirited, ideological attack on what Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, Presidents of different parties, did to promote programs and ideas seen as advancing America to more than just serving the elite classes among us!

But education and knowledge and the Northeast corridor are seen as evil, and this shows just how far Mitt Romney has moved to the far Right, that he is willing to eliminate programs that no earlier Republican President, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, dared to work to end!

The “compassionate” conservatism of George W. Bush and earlier Republican Presidents is gone, and ignorance and narrow mindedness are in!

A Long Range Vision For The Future Of American Transportation: Bullet Trains

As America continues to grow in population and become more congested on the coastlines, in Texas, and in the Midwest around Chicago, there needs to be a long range vision for the future of American transportation.

In the past, we had the transcontinental railroad system, promoted by Abraham Lincoln and others in the 1860s.

We also had the interstate highway system, originally promoted by Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

Now we need other Republicans, which Lincoln and Eisenhower were, to join hands with Democrats, and people of good will, to recognize the need to commit funding to the long range vision of bullet trains in key areas of the nation, highly congested areas, which are already being strangled by traffic jams, no matter how fast road building and expansion go on.

It is also an issue of the automobile never going down in cost, and the gasoline utilized going sky high in price, and unlikely to go down very much in the long term future.

More and more young people are seeing the cost of automobiles, and fewer are buying cars and using cars, preferring to use modern technology and live closer to urban areas, as the great suburban expansion is winding down.

Therefore, for the reason of costs of automobiles and oil, plus the desire to live closer to metropolitan areas, and the traffic congestion which is exasperating to millions, the future is in bullet trains that will travel between major cities all over America.

Florida Governor Rick Scott made a mistake in rejecting the idea of a bullet train between Tampa and Orlando, with connections down to Miami, and Florida will suffer for it in the long term future.

But there are other areas that really need to plan ahead for bullet trains, including:

The Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

The Midwest Corridor, centered around Chicago, but including Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland and St Louis at a minimum.

The Texas Corridor, connecting major cities in this gigantic state, including El Paso, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.

The California Corridor, connecting the state capital of Sacramento with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

If we do not recognize the value of these bullet train projects, and the environmental and transportation advantages, we will pay for it in the long run. We cannot afford to be ostriches with our heads in the sand, but instead need a long range vision, as Lincoln and Eisenhower had!