I’m not here everyday so I missed this thread. So to hit on a few points in this thread.
1. I think Obama is an American citizen, however, as stated a thousand times, I think every applicant for any job should have to prove that they are in fact eligible for that position (this is the point the partisans miss).
2. As a libertarian I’d vote for Ron Paul over any of those other Republican candidates listed. Fairly reluctant, but most of my votes are on a reluctant basis.
3. Scott was absolutely correct denying the funds for rail. Now he should have waited for some of the other studies/proposals to come out, but odds are that nothing would have changed. It is a horribly stupid idea that has very little chance at anything close to profitability. Who the hell would ride it? Rail requires one end of your journey to not require serious ground transportation. That isn’t going to happen in any of the Tampa stops. Nobody from Orlando is going to pay more than it would cost to drive to take a rail to Tampa, just to take a taxi or shuttle to go to where their destination is. Then of course have to take a taxi/shuttle to a new destination or back to the rail. It makes no sense. Someone in Orlando would much rather hop in their car, drive to the beach, and pay for the gas. Then they still have the ability to drive around (to say go shopping or go to a restaurant). Versus driving to a rail station, paying an arm and a leg to pay for your family to get on rail..take rail to tampa…get on a bus/shuttle/taxi to the beach…then pay for a taxi to go shopping/restaurant that you desire…then taxi it back to the rail station…then pay another arm to get your family back on the rail…take rail back to Orlando…drive home….it is so stupid it isn’t even funny. Going to Orlando is a bit more viable as something such as a theme park could be a destination in itself that requires no other ground transportation. However, why take rail when driving could get you there cheaper and quite possibly faster? Also what job seekers in say Lakeland or Plant City will use the rail to come to Tampa? A tiny tiny fraction. Again, it requires that the job is within walking distance of the rail which isn’t prevalent enough to pay for the line.
A Tampa regional mass transportation system is a much more important venture that would be more wildly used. Of course, Tampa/St Pete itself is so widely sprawled that odds are this wouldn’t work either.
This leads to this
4. Our political system is so fucked up that in order to get some benefit back from the thousands you put in, millions your immediate area puts in, and billions your region puts in…that you have to accept some fucked up project that makes no sense? It becomes a battle of bullshit earmarks that causes everyone to lose. For example, if an individual pays 20k in taxes, he at least wants 20k in benefits. Typically a good chunk of that falls onto the local representatives (whether state or federal). He can push for dollars to get the benefit to his/hers citizens, but many times it is for inefficient projects. The initial money would have been spent in a far more efficient manner. What is that representative doesn’t get the money? Then we are all pissed off. If you pay 20, you want 20. Why settle for 10, when that means some joker in a different area pays 20, but gets 30? We’d vote the guy out in a heartbeat. So your rep is essentially forced into fighting for dollars for bullshit inefficient projects in order to keep his job.
Its a fucked up system that created this cycle of shifting dollars around in the most inefficient means possible.