Bobby Jindal's Made Up Maglev Train to Disney Land, and Other Ungreen Response Speech Blunders
Photo via Chicagoist
Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana, gave his response to Obama's speech to Congress last night. He focused mainly on the ills of big government and earmarks—and was overwhelmingly panned by Republicans and Democrats alike. I'm not here to heap any more criticism on Jindal, who before this ill-fated speech was considered to be a rising star in the Republican Party and a potential contender for the GOP's 2012 candidate for president. Now, he's considered to be Kenneth from 30 Rock. No, I'm just here to set the record straight on a couple things—like that levitating train from Las Vegas to Disneyland that he said was in the stimulus, and the 'volcanic monitoring' that baffled him so. I'm here to keep him from giving the green in the stimulus a bad name. In the middle of the speech, while listing off the 'pork' stuffed into the stimulus bill, he says there's $8 billion for a "magnetic levitation line from Las Vegas to Disneyland." Not quite, Bob-O.
According to FactCheck.org at Newsweek:
A widely repeated claim that $8 billion is set aside for a "levitating train" to Disneyland is untrue. That total is for unspecified high-speed rail projects, and some of it may or may not end up going to a proposed 300-mph "maglev" train connecting Anaheim, Calif., with Las Vegas.
While there is indeed $8 billion dollars in the bill that will be spent on developing high speed rail, it certainly won't all be going to a train that drops you can ride from an enchanting playground for children to a boozy one for adults. And even if it was, why is Jindal so opposed to it?
As noted over at ZDNet:
He would never make fun of plans to build more airports. When did trains become politically incorrect among certain factions in America? Trains helped make this huge country possible. And to recall ancient history, most of the major train lines were built with heavy government subsidies and support in the 19th Century.
He also rails (pun segue intended) against funds directed towards "something called volcanic monitoring," saying that instead we should instead be monitoring the "eruption of spending in Washington, DC." Nice wordplay, Governor. Except that as the folks over at 538 point out, volcanic monitoring saves thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars by helping those endangered evacuate. And "something called" volcanic monitoring? Is it really that complicated of a concept? Volcano + monitoring? Any guesses what's going on there, Bob?
He also takes the opportunity to reprise a call for offshore drilling–it was really only a matter of time before this one rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the McCain/Palin campaign to attempt to invigorate the Republican base. Too dramatic? Well, we can get used to hearing this again, as an offshore drilling proposal is already being drafted by none other than President Obama.
Well, I'll leave it at that—I won't even bring up the myriad bizarre parables about Hurricane Katrina, and how they prove that less government is better. It's just too weird.
Watch Bobby Jindal's response speech and see for yourself.