USA Politics

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I am fairly surprised, although this seems like a Nixon situation where he was told by his own party that they have the votes to impeach and remove him and resigning in disgrace is going to be a slightly less painful option for his legacy. In the interim, NY gets its first female governor.

How about some actual political talk? The senate just passed what will be the landmark legislation for this government. Infrastructure legislation has eluded at least two presidents, and became something of a meme for Trump. Not only is it now a reality, but it was also passed with bipartisan support (it got enough GOP votes to clear the filibuster). This is a pretty big win for Biden. Not just because it’s a good bill and America desperately needs infrastructure work, but also because it fulfills a pretty big campaign promise. That is, Biden’s argument that he would be a bipartisan president.

With that being said, the final passage of this bill in the house seems dependent on whether the Senate can also pass the human infrastructure side of the legislation through partisan budget reconciliation. I think a lot of news media is overdramatizing this a bit (they did the same for the bipartisan bill). At this stage, the infrastructure project is too popular and too important not to pass. There will be some headline grabbing from various factions of the Democratic Party, but ultimately I think this is going to be a sure thing.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
So is this the bill that not only will fix the about to collapse bridges, but also revamp passenger trains?
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
So is this the bill that not only will fix the about to collapse bridges, but also revamp passenger trains?
Doubtful, but who knows .. the bill is not really final .. the House said they would not look at it for at least a month
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
The reason I ask, is because, as Mosh pointed out, some of Biden's campaign promises was to invest in American infrastructure, create jobs in the process (those bridges won't fix themselves) AND he wanted to invest in passenger rail. Not sure if they'll be seperate bills/investments, or is this bill the one to tackle both. I'd like to think rail falls under said infrastructure, but one never knows with government.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
The reason I ask, is because, as Mosh pointed out, some of Biden's campaign promises was to invest in American infrastructure, create jobs in the process (those bridges won't fix themselves) AND he wanted to invest in passenger rail. Not sure if they'll be seperate bills/investments, or is this bill the one to tackle both. I'd like to think rail falls under said infrastructure, but one never knows with government.
In theory this bill will address those issues .. how effective it is .. or is not .. and what exactly will be in the final version is unknown at the moment. It even passing is a bit up in the air. Some of the more liberal members of the House said they would not vote for it unless the $3.5Trillion dollar "human infrastructure" bill does not pass .. and it passing or it's final form is up in the air. 2 moderate Senate Dems seem to think the price tag is too high, House members from states with high state taxes said they will not vote for it unless the SALT caps are removed (which the more liberal members say it is a giveaway for the rich), some moderates in the House are iffy on the price tag, plus they are doing that from reconciliation and some provisions might not qualify for that method. Plus rising inflation is a factor some are worried about


We will see what happens .. I think it is all up in the air at the moment.
 

Jer

Love in anger
Outside of the northeast corridor and some very specific high-volume point-to-point routes, I just don’t see high speed rail catching on in the U.S. You have to be able to compete with airlines on travel time and price, and for most longer travel routes a train is just going to be too slow compared to a plane.

That said, if there was high-speed rail connecting Minneapolis to Chicago, I’d go to Chicago a lot more often.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
Look at the California "high speed rail" train for an example of how to spend billions and billions of dollars (already way over budget for what was supposed to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles) and end up with a rail line in the middle of nowhere that parallels an existing Amtrak line, but the high speed one goes all of 20MPH faster
 

Jer

Love in anger
Seems like an L.A. to Vegas line would have made more sense. Shorter route, easier terrain, higher volume. And if they actually hit bullet train speeds (~350mph) and were cost competitive, people would use it for sure. Oh well.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Outside of the northeast corridor and some very specific high-volume point-to-point routes, I just don’t see high speed rail catching on in the U.S. You have to be able to compete with airlines on travel time and price, and for most longer travel routes a train is just going to be too slow compared to a plane.

That said, if there was high-speed rail connecting Minneapolis to Chicago, I’d go to Chicago a lot more often.
This lack of faith in rail is what kills it before it begins. Every mode of transportation in the U.S SUCKS. The existing train takes forever and it was compounded when Obama signed a thingy prioritizing freight over passenger rail, delaying trips further. Buses are ATTROCIOUS! Not just greyhound, every U.S based bus company sucks, not to mention it isn't exactly affordable. Speaking of ridiculously expensive and sucking ass, airplanes. Not only do they charge you out the ass for the flight itself, they charge you for everything and you can't even carry shampoo or water with you.

The most reliable, cost-effective and time saving mode of transport in the U.S is your own car. Don't own one? Then it sucks to be you, buddy.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
This is a pretty good summary of what’s in the package: https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-business-bills-38b84f0e9fcc8e68646eedf6608c4c70

A high speed rail system would be helpful. Not just connecting city to city but also giving greater access to and from rural areas that don’t really have any public transportation. Especially on the west coast where major cities are pretty spread out, going from LA to Vegas to Denver and in between seems like a no brainer.

I am less cynical about whether this all passes. IMO it is too big to fail. All of the democratic infighting isn’t much more than political grandstanding. Nobody is going to want to go on the campaign trail next year and have to explain why they failed to get this done. The 3.5 T number will probably be lowered once everything is hashed out, but Dems can’t afford not to pass something.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
The most reliable, cost-effective and time saving mode of transport in the U.S is your own car. Don't own one? Then it sucks to be you, buddy.

Americans, not all but I guess those from places these issues are exemplified, do not understand "our" form of ownership.

A lot of places in Europe have public transportation issues. Some of them stem from historical build of the cities, weird topologies, etc. But a lot of them are just incompetence of local everyone - citizens, companies and government alike.

Public transport is just a crown issue. The more giving issues are lacks of any pedestrian space or anything that isn't a house or building or lawn, or terrace or a lot or a road in a typical U.S. suburban environment.

When your mindset is a village one you are not going to tackle city communal issues well.

In California though, the mindset is opposite but still wrong. They collectively have the Musk syndrome. They may have the will to provide this communal infrastructure but in a completely wrong way for completely wrong audience for all the wrong reasons.

Edit : +1 for bipartisan approach to the new infrastructure bill. Epic money - I hope it gets channeled well and citizen experiences QoL increase as opposed to more profits for the local governments and lobbies.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
I tend to think the most recent successful pubic transit services are more local.

The San Diego Trolley was designed well .. goes from where people live to where people want/need to go.

Dallas/Ft Worth/Denton County have built out some nice rail systems as well. In fact I think the largest in the country as far as rail miles.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Saw this today: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/si...-settlements-with-distributors-jj-2021-08-23/

Aug 23 (Reuters) - At least six U.S. states, including Georgia, did not fully sign on to a proposed $26 billion settlement with three drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), which have been accused of fueling the nation's opioid epidemic, according to the states' attorneys general.

This is something I've been following for 10 years now, ever since I worked for Walgreens as a Pharmacy Technician in 2011. Back then there were a few articles already talking about the problems with opiods, but back then it was isolated in a few states. In my 5 years working in the pharmacy I saw this thing spread in real time across the country. I guess I should be happy that Big Pharma is having to pay, but they are only part of the problem. They make the products, sure, but they don't prescribe them, they don't run cash only pain clinics that give you a bag of "skittles" just for walking in and saying, "My back hurts." These pain clinics wouldn't exist if health insurance and medical care weren't so expensive, etc., etc., etc. So I guess it's a start, but we'll see where it ultimately ends up.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Read I headline somewhere, that out of it's over 200 year history, the U.S hasn't been involved in some sort of war for only 13 years. This is indeed a special time, let's cherish it until they find oil to liberate somewhere else.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Don't worry, now that the military resources are available again, the US government can kick off a new war wherever it likes.
 
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