Gilbert B Norman wrote: the taxpayer in Lander, WY must wonder why he must pay for that "way out there". We must also not lose sight that this taxpayer is likely part of the incumbent POTUS' "base".
The ideological attendees of CPAC are not his actual 'base". At least, the Republican party's primary voters didn't seem to be opposed to the idea when Ted Cruz criticized him for proposing a trillion dollar infrastructure plan and endorsing the need for eminent domain.
The problem is that Trump takes everything personally and the Northeastern senators, representatives, governors, and AGs are deliberately antagonizing him and aren't offering him anything. Trump's actually doing pretty well on delivering promises to his base: decreased regulation, conservative judges, travel bans, NAFTA renegotiation, tax cuts (which, unfortunately, had disproportionate impact on NY and NJ), etc. The one thing he hasn't delivered to his base is The Wall.
That's what the Trump 2020 reelection committee would like to have you believe. They might be "promises made, promises kept", but I wouldn't attribute them to his leadership.
- conservative judges - That's been entirely driven by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Remember, he was the one that blocked Obama from replacing Scalia while the 2016 primaries were still being fought out
- NAFTA renegotiation - Still yet to be ratified by Congress
- tax cuts - That was Paul Ryan's personal project for his entire congressional career. He wanted to punish "profligate" states like NY and NJ, and he very well got what he wanted, thus why he left. Trump's main contribution was his pressure to have a legislative "victory" before the end of 2017.
The idea of him being a "master deal maker" playing n-dimensional chess just does not square with his record or descriptions from his closest advisors.
ex Chief of Staff John Kelly, ex National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, wrote:an idiot
ex Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote:understanding of a fifth or sixth grader
ex White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon wrote:He’s like an 11-year-old child
ex chief economic advisor Gary Cohn wrote:It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing
55th Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie wrote:revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons
If anything, for all of the hullabaloo over Trump being an outsider, it seems he is an outsider in his own administration. An administration that mostly acts as a warmed over Bush Administration that pays lip service to the themes of his 2016 campaign while Trump obsesses over his portrayal in the media ignoring thousands of details of governance.
I certainly don't believe he is aware or capable of wielding the procedural and bureaucratic methods that have been used to impede Gateway. Who would have that command and grasp of government agencies? Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (Bush admin cabinet secretary) and all of her Heritage Foundation lackeys. Did anyone really believe that she would give a fair assessment of the merits of the Gateway Project when she was senior leadership in an organization ideologically opposed to Amtrak and public transport? The Bush Admin and the Heritage foundation didn't like Amtrak in 2005 when they tried to privatize it. Fourteen years have passed and it appears they still don't like Amtrak.
Let's not forget we are dealing with Bush admin people that think it was a good move to fire David Gunn (he organized the rehabilitation of the Harrisburg Line into the success it is today at a low cost) because it damaged the case for privatization.
If it's in the national interest maybe a "Finding of No Significant Impact" can be replaced by a "Finding of Minimal Impact" or "acceptable" impact.
It's actually a good thing for a project to receive that result. Adding more categories would probably give radical environmentalists and NIMBYs more room to challenge projects.
a functional barricade second if at all
I find it odd that Democrat politicians would make the criticism that a wall/barrier/obstruction would be something that only works in other countries, too difficult to construct, too expensive and ineffectual once built. These are all criticisms that have been made by Republicans about infrastructure projects. How can they believe that the effectiveness of HSR/robust commuter systems in Germany and Japan is something to be learned from but the effectiveness of a wall in Israel and a fence in Hungary is something to be ignored? Or that constructing a wall is fiscally irresponsible but a "Green New Deal" as proposed by Ocasio-Cortez featuring vactrains across the oceans is fiscally responsible.
It all ties together. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome have shot themselves in the foot
Trump Derangement aside, why didn't Trump make "The Wall" a priority when he had a congressional majority? Why did Trump let Paul Ryan and McConnell prioritize their agendas and leave the wall as low priority?
The tunnels were built with private money, they can find local or private money to build new ones. 99% of riders are Jersey commuters. 80%+ of Amtrak passengers turn over at NYP. It's a completely local issue. Let the Jersey commuters and southern NEC folks hop off at Hoboken or Newark and ride path.
The thing about those hundreds of thousands of Jersey commuters, they offset a great deal traffic that would be on interstate highways that cross the Hudson. PATH will not absorb them as PATH doesn't have all that much excess capacity (it's at 96% capacity and that's counting the implementation of CBTC moving block signals)
Any malarkey about it being "critical to the national economy" is a crock. I could make that argument about corridor and commuter trains going into Boston, Philly, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, and Seattle. It's a tired line of logic that doesn't hold water.
I don't think you're familiar with the type and volume of traffic that crosses the George Washington Bridge (there used to be a live cam of the traffic). Every single day will be a replay of the severity of BridgeGate's traffic conditions. It will create a festering open wound that will ensnare all freight truck traffic traveling through NYC to destinations north and south on the Eastern Seaboard.
As for the cities listed, while they might not offset 1 million passengers a day as commuter rail in the NYC region does, they still provide a similar benefit. Although in the case of Seattle, I would say their system doesn't provide much benefit because it was built in the paradigm of infrequent slow diesel hauled bilevels giving it anemic numbers.