“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt” — John Adams 1826
Last week President Obama made one of his political stump speeches with the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Covington, Kentucky with Cincinnati, Ohio as a backdrop. He claimed his jobs bill would create millions of jobs for construction workers, cement and steel manufactures and others connected with the construction industry.
Obama picked this bridge for political reasons as Speaker of the House Boehner’s district is in Cincinnati and Minority Leader McConnell is from Kentucky. He made one on Obamaesque speeches about shovel-ready jobs and how we needed to pass his phony jobs NOW! It appears that while focusing on his reelection and putting down his Republican opponents he or his White House staff picked the wrong bridge. The problem is that the bridge is in fine condition, according to The Los Angeles Times:
“It's the Brent Spence Bridge. It doesn't really need repairs. It's got decades of good life left in its steel spans. It's just overloaded. The bridge was built to handle 85,000 cars and trucks a day, which seemed like a lot back during construction in the Nixon era.
Today, the bridge sort of handles more than 150,000 vehicles a day with frequent jam-ups.
So, plans are not to repair or replace the Brent Spence Bridge. But to build another bridge nearby to ease the loads.
But here's the problem, as John Merline graphically notes here, that could screw up all those envisioned photo op shots of the Democrat and the traffic:
The president's jobs bill is designed for "immediate" highway spending.
And the new $2.3 billion Cincy bridge is not scheduled to even start construction for probably four years, long after Republicans have scheduled the Obama presidency for completion.
And without delays, it wouldn't be finished until 2022, when no one will be counting Obama's rounds of golf.
Politicians hate these kinds of messy distractions when they pick a place to make a symbolic statement. But Brent Spence was so tempting linking, as it does, the home states of GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
“The Brent Spence Bridge is technically not a shovel-ready project,” Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) told Fox News:
"President says the stimulus bill will rebuild 'this bridge.' Someone missed the front page of the (Cincinnati) paper," tweeted McConnell spokesman Don Stewart. He was referring to the front page of The Cincinnati Enquirer, which has several articles suggesting the president's visit and jobs bill would not guarantee repairs to the bridge. One headline called it a "prop."
GOP lawmakers noted the project is at least four years from being shovel-ready. They also questioned why the president was holding his event on the Ohio side since the bridge is owned by Kentucky.
"But I respect his decision in a presidential year to do it on the Cincinnati side of the river considering the Ohio electoral votes," Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., quipped.
Davis and other Republicans acknowledged the importance of the bridge for people traveling between Ohio and Covington, Ky. But they said the stimulus bill won't necessarily help the project along in the near-term.”
The proposed project would need more than $500 million from State and local authorities, on top of the $1.9 billion from the Federal government. Republican leaders have mocked Obama due to the fact that only $90 million has been generated so far, according to the news outlet.
But environmentalists and others are opposed to the bill. Earth Justice said in a statement that the bill would erode Clean Air Act protections against some of the nation's "worst polluters" by stripping restrictions on emissions from cement companies. The group said the bill would encourage the companies "to burn tires, plastics and other wastes without controlling or monitoring the resulting pollution."
“Obama’s stimulus rhetoric fails to span the gap to Realityville,” the Republican National Committee said in a memo concerning the lack of practical planning.
How Obama gets away with these crazy and unfounded statements is beyond me. It seems that the main stream media is just not interested in reporting anything that would make this community organizer look bad. Obama runs about the country making these outrageous claims about jobs, especially green jobs, and it seems as though he gets a one day shot at getting his face on the TV and then moves on to his next mistake. He was wrong about green jobs in Seattle. He was wrong about Solyndra’s solar panels and LightSquared broadband. He is wrong about high speed rail and now he is wrong about bridges and infrastructure. The nest time Obama wants to talk about bridges and roads I suggest he go to his home state of Illinois where the condition of the bridges and infrastructure is deplorable. If you doubt me just take a drive in I-90.
On another note this will probably be my last political blog for a while. Beginning next Saturday my wife and I will be embarking on a 8,000 mile road trip across the United States and Canada. Our trip will begin in Southern California where we will travel north on historic US 395 (the Three Flags Highway) through California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. We will then venture east via the Trans-Canada Highway through Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario where we will swing down to the U.S. border in upstate New York. After a brief stop in Syracuse to visit relatives we will continue south to York, Pennsylvania where we will join with the Historic Lincoln Highway.
From York we will travel west along the Lincoln Highway, our first trans-continental highway, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada to Sacramento, California. From Sacramento we will head for home on I-5 through California’s San Joaquin Valley.
Two years ago we made a westward trip along Historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was quite an adventure along the “Mother Road” where we passed through many historic towns and points of interest.
I plan to post a blog everyday as we travel along. I will focus on the terrain, scenery, culture, and historic significance of the route. My main focus, as a highway junkie, will be on the Lincoln Highway. Of course I will take hundreds of geo-tagged photos that I will eventually post to Google Earth. Once we return home I plan to publish several newsletters, as I did with the Route 66 adventure, about the history, significance, and culture of America along the Lincoln Highway.
If you enjoy reading about travel, especially road trips, keep watching my blog. I hope you will be informed and entertained by the blogs and the photos.