Prosecute the torture.

February 19, 2009

Jack Kelly Follow-up

There are a few more corrections to Jack Kelly's recent column.

At one point in his myth-laden column, Jack points to all the "pork" projects that the Democrats have slipped into President Obama's stimulus package - including the now debunked story of Speaker Pelosi's mouse.

Here's another. From Jack:
Or the $8 billion for a light-rail line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas sought by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.?
Turns out there's nothing in the bill steering $8 Billion for a rail line from LA to Vegas. Nothing.

From Mediamatters.org:
In recent days, Fox News hosts and contributors Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Newt Gingrich, Trace Gallagher, and Charles Krauthammer have advanced the false claim -- pushed by Republican lawmakers -- that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) included a provision in the economic recovery law directing that $8 billion in funds be spent on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas. In fact, the bill does not direct high-speed rail funds to any specific project, and any funding would be allocated by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman.
Ah, the Republican noise machine - never lets facts get in the way of a good smear.

By the way, here's the law's text regarding "Capital Assistance for High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service." You can find the text of the law here.
For an additional amount for section 501 of Public Law 110-432 and discretionary grants to States to pay for the cost of projects described in paragraphs (2)(A) and (2)(B) of section 24401 of title 49, United States Code, subsection (b) of section 24105 of such title, $8,000,000,000, to remain available through September 30, 2012: Provided, That the Secretary of Transportation shall give priority to projects that support the development of intercity high speed rail service: Provided further, That within 60 days of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a strategic plan that describes how the Secretary will use the funding provided under this heading to improve and deploy high speed passenger rail systems: Provided further, That within 120 days of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue interim guidance to applicants covering grant terms, conditions, and procedures until final regulations are issued: Provided further, That such interim guidance shall provide separate instructions for the high speed rail corridor program, capital assistance for intercity passenger rail service grants, and congestion grants: Provided further, That the Secretary shall waive the requirement that a project conducted using funds provided under this heading be in a State rail plan developed under chapter 227 of title 49, United States Code: Provided further, That the Federal share payable of the costs for which a grant is made under this heading shall be, at the option of the recipient, up to 100 percent: Provided further, That projects conducted using funds provided under this heading must comply with the requirements of subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code: Provided further, That section 24405 of title 49, United States Code, shall apply to funds provided under this heading: Provided further, That the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration may retain up to one-quarter of 1 percent of the funds provided under this heading to fund the award and oversight by the Administrator of grants made under this heading, and funds retained for said purposes shall remain available through September 30, 2014.
Notice anything missing? Like the words "Las Vegas"? Here's Mediamatters.org's summary:
The bill states that $8 billion shall remain available for the "Secretary of Transportation" for "projects that support the development of intercity high speed rail service" and that the secretary shall "submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a strategic plan that describes how the Secretary will use the funding provided under this heading to improve and deploy high speed passenger rail systems." The Joint Explanatory Statement of the Conference Report on H.R. 1 further states of the high-speed rail program: "The conferees have provided the Secretary flexibility in allocating resources between the programs to advance the goal of deploying intercity high speed rail systems in the United States."
I'll ask once again. Doesn't ANYONE at the P-G fact-check Jack Kelly? I know times are tough on the Boulevard of the Allies and the paper has had to jettison some valued employees but you'd think that a paper would be invested in having even its columnists sticking to, you know, THE TRUTH.

2 comments:

Clyde Wynant said...

I had to be out on a business call with a fellow employee the other day, and she was all about this stuff; "I can't believe that bullet train to Las Vegas and that mouse thing..." At the moment, while I did know that the mouse meme had been debunked (and told her so) I didn't know about the train. But I should have, because, in so many ways, it's a perfect GOP lie. It touched both LA and Las Vegas, both of which they can use as proxies for evil and excess.

What's scary about people like her is how receptive she is to these lies. She's not stupid, but she clearly just waiting around for Fox to tell her what to do and say next.

Clyde

Tek said...

Would someone like to explain Sections 24401 and 24105 of 49 USC mentioned in the bill? They are strangely absent from the Government Printing Office's web site! Those seem to be the key to what this $8,000,000,000 is to be spent on and I have yet to be able to verify it!