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Maybe we can blame gay marriage.

Here’s a moment that’s more than a little iconic of what’s gone wrong with politics in your 2015 America: Within a few hours of the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia, House Republicans voted to cut Amtrak’s budget by about 20 percent. While they were at it, they rejected a Democratic attempt to increase funds to put in place a safety system that almost certainly would have prevented the crash.

Just a few hours after the vote, Robert Sumwalt, the National Transportation Safety board member who’s leading the investigation in Philadelphia, said that while the board is still investigating why the train was going over 100 miles per hour on a curve with a speed limit of 50 mph, he was quite certain that the accident could have been prevented if the train and track had been equipped with a safety system called Positive Train Control (PTC), telling reporters, “Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred.”

Not that House Republicans think funding for infrastructure could even remotely be related to the crash, or that it could have been prevented. During the House debate, New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel argued for increased funding to get the system into place. “Last night we failed them,” he said. “We failed to invest in their safety.” This didn’t sit well at all with Idaho congressreptile Mike Simpson, who countered that it was just terrible, HORRIBLE, for Israel to offend Americans at this tragic time by suggesting that seven people would still be alive if positive train control had been in place, because obviously that was just a cheap ploy to spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money:

“You have no idea, no idea what caused the accident, and to use that as a means of supporting the last amendment… don’t use this tragedy in that way, it was beneath you.”

This is nothing new; we’ve gotten really good at letting our roads and bridges fall apart by the simple method of not paying to keep them standing.

And despite the NTSB’s confirmation that PTC would have made it nearly impossible for the Amtrak train to reach the speeds it was going before it went into that curve, the rightwing narrative has already begun to solidify: We don’t need no stinking infrastructure or safety systems, we just need to yell at the engineer who was driving the train too damn fast, and not look at boring questions like why our railroads and bridges and highways are falling apart. Given enough time, we’re sure Fox News will find an overpass somewhere that bought crab legs with food stamps.

On Fox, Megyn Kelly was simply disgusted that anyone would politicize this terrible tragedy, since it was OBVIOUSLY the sole fault of the engineer driving the train, condemning the “predictable but no less despicable rush to turn this crash into a political talking point.” Obviously, if the train was going too fast, then we don’t need systems that would automatically slow trains down; instead, we need to yell at the engineer and probably cut funding to punish Amtrak for hiring bad people. Even though Fox correspondent Trace Gallagher noted that the curve where the train crashed has long been a safety concern, and that it lacked Positive Train Control, Kelly insisted that this was human error, and human error only, asking “Who failed them?… How exactly did the infrastructure fail?” We guess it’s a bit like Republican views on contraception: you shouldn’t fuck unless you’re married and want babies, and therefore you shouldn’t have access to anything that would make it possible to fuck safely. Same with trains: we don’t need infrastructure that would keep people alive, we just need to insist that no one ever screws up, and why would we want to waste money one something that would mitigate such screw-ups?

On a parallel track, human pharmaceutical train Rush Limbaugh went into full conspiracy mode, spinning out a prediction that the Obama administration would coach the engineer to blame poor infrastructure for his own obvious irresponsibility:

So we’ve got to get out in front of this. Train was speeding, engineer not saying anything, somebody at the regime is going to get to him and fix it so that he will not admit speeding because this has got to be the infrastructure […] Here we have a train derailment, and before anyone knows why or what’s the cause, we immediately need more money. And why do we need more money? Because the Republicans have been stingy … The Republicans don’t care about people on trains. Do not laugh. That is the narrative.

We wonder if it’s the narrative because it’s true, just maybe. It’s been seven years since PTC was mandated, and the railroads — with support from Congress — have constantly delayed its implementation. And on the day of a fatal train crash, House Republicans voted against funds to get that system in place. Seems like a pretty accurate narrative.

In other important Wingnut Notes, New Stupidest Man on the Internet Chuck C. Johnson has discovered that the Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, is a “gay activist who previously worked at Target as a cashier,” which pretty much proves he was incompetent or perhaps busy being gay when the train crashed. The American Patriarchy Association’s Sandy Rios fretted that maybe the engineer lost control of the train because he was “going through some confusion that has to do with the very core of who they are,” because all that Gay just makes people mixed up in the head.

One Great Mind on the right, Donald Trump, appeared at first not to have gotten the message that infrastructure had nothing to do with the deaths of seven people; his first reaction to the deadly crash was to brag about what a great job he’d do fixing up everything, because he is a guy who builds yooge classy things:

trump train tweets

So far, apart from his excited announcement that he’s the best Builder — what about Bob? — Trump hasn’t yet gotten on board the Personal Responsibility Express and explained that everything is just fine and we don’t need to fix anything, just make sure that no gay irresponsible people ever sit at the controls of a locomotive.

See, here’s the thing: we don’t know why the train was going over twice the speed it should have been on that section of track. We’re perfectly willing to believe that Brian Bostian was irresponsible, distracted, impaired, being flamingly gay, or maybe even texting, like the engineer of the Metrolink train whose 2008 crash spurred Congress to mandate Positive Train Control in the first place. But if a Positive Train Control system had actually been in place — and it does cost money to upgrade trains and tracks, it just DOES — we would not be having a political argument about the Philadelphia Amtrak crash, because no matter how irresponsible the engineer might have been, there probably would not have been a Philadelphia Amtrak crash for us to be talking about. Infrastructure matters, and continuing to let it rot is not fiscal responsibility, it’s increasingly becoming negligent homicide.

Rachel Maddow got good and pissed about the whole terrible mess last night, and it’s worth watching every angry minute:

She notes that the United States of America used to have the best transportation technology in the world, but that we long ago gave up on trying to even keep it working, much less improve it, as other countries have where, “infrastructure investment” isn’t automatically dismissed as wasteful theft from the overburdened taxpayer.

But let’s talk about personal responsibility instead — let’s let the market take care of infrastructure, when it gets to it, blame the gay train engineer, and give the railroads a few more years to implement Positive Train Control, because it’s hard, and regulations are bad. Besides, wasn’t Obama supposed to have fixed all the infrastructure with the stimulus bill that never should have been passed? Our problems aren’t technological, they’re political, and frankly, we’re not optimistic.

can-we-fix-it

[Reuters / Politico / Mediaite / Media Matters / International Business Times / Mediaite again / GotNews / One More Mediaite / MSNBC]

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  • Tendernob

    Hillary lied, people died! BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!

    • SnarkOff

      Also: THE PRESIDENT IS BLACK!!!!!

    • Nounverb911

      I bet the trains in Libya run on time.

    • riledupone

      Why did I picture cheerleaders waving pompoms while they’re chanting this?

  • SnarkOff

    Alternatively, they could stop placing buff, sweaty shirtless workers along that particular stretch of track. Then the engineer would stop ogling their glistening pecs and keep his eyes on the wheel.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Well, if they had buff, sweaty shirtless workers along that stretch of track, wouldn’t the engineer have slowed down to do the ogling?

  • Callyson

    Attempting to address a safety issue just after it has become very clear that doing so is necessary = a political talking point now?

    You wingnuts have truly shined today. And by “truly shined,” I mean “made your craven lack of basic empathy for other human beings crystal fucking clear” FFS…

  • weejee
  • Virginia Dreaming

    What are the odds we are going to find that Amtrak doesn’t have enough money to hire enough engineers so he was working too many hours and fell asleep at the switch?

    • CalvinianChoice

      Amtrak is incredibly strict about this. They will stop a train in the middle of nowhere and wait for a relief crew before allowing a crew to work more than the allowed duty hours.

      • Virginia Dreaming

        Thanks, that is good to know.

      • Blank Ron

        It’s one of the oldest rules in the rail industry. It was decades before higher speeds made it necessary to allow crews to go more than 100 miles in a DAY.

  • Malmborg Implano

    The Republicans have been trying to starve Amtrak out of existence since it was established. They are against all publicly funded mass transit on principle, unless of course it comes in the form of subsidies for major for-profit companies.

  • AntiDerpomeme

    I know, I know… I keep throwing John Oliver segments at you like some sort of raging fangurl, but this segment on the nation’s old and ignored infrastructure seems especially prescient today.

    • Vecciojohn

      Today, we are all raging fangirls for John Oliver.

      (I’ve always wanted to do that.)

      • Callyson

        Me too:

  • Callyson

    In other important Wingnut Notes, New Stupidest Man on the Internet Chuck C. Johnson has discovered that the Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, is a “gay activist who previously worked at Target as a cashier,” which pretty much proves he was incompetent or perhaps busy being gay when the train crashed.

    I feel like developing a massive headache–what does new SMOTI have for us?

    (opens them)

    The new SMOTI has an awful lot of photos of the engineer on his post. Just sayin’…

  • say wha

    Privatize Amtrak, call it KochTrak, run the damn engines on coal so they won’t be able to go 100 mph anymore and repeal Obamacare. Problem solved.

    • Shibusa

      Deeper tax cuts for billionaires and arming Amtrak passengers will also help.

      • JohnBull

        Mandatory firearm training and Bible Study or the fancy 60 mph train don’t go nowhere!

      • BackDoorMan

        … always the “go to” answer. It’s never the right one, but it’s an answer.

    • Shibusa

      Deeper tax cuts for billionaires and arming Amtrak passengers will also help.

    • Virginia Dreaming

      That would change rolling coal to railing coal.

      • Blank Ron

        Part of me wonders why there hasn’t been a move to replace diesels with steam, what with the people who own Congress so heavily invested in coal.

    • laineypc

      That is pretty much the plan.

    • guppy06

      Funny thing… freight locomotives (and Amtrak’s when they’re not on electrified rail) have been “hybrid” for a long time. Electric drive is cheaper and easier than a ZOMGWTFBBQ mechanical transmission.

      • Blank Ron

        No wonder Rethugs hate them so much.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Donald Trump. The man who bankrupted a casino. By all means, let’s follow his advice!

    • BackDoorMan

      … more than one. And who has more bankruptcies than original thoughts. The man who lectures about the sanctity of marriage from the vantage point of his third, who berates China for destroying America while his Trump product line is produced in China… yeah, by all means let’s follow his advice!

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Donald Trump. The man who bankrupted a casino. By all means, let’s follow his advice!

  • Vecciojohn

    Didn’t i read somewheres on the internets about an overpass that eats food stamps? I betcha Obama is behind this.

  • Callyson

    The American Patriarchy Association’s Sandy Rios fretted that maybe the engineer lost control of the train because he was “going through some confusion that has to do with the very core of who they are,” because all that Gay just makes people mixed up in the head.

    Now what?

    “Now I am not saying, I am not inferring to those of you that are gay rights activists and like to monitor this show, I’m not inferring that this accident happened because he was gay, but I do think it’s an interesting part of the story and you can bet it would be edited out,” Rios said.

    “No, I’m not inferring anything–why on earth would you think otherwise?”

    • Antonin Dvorak

      No she wasn’t inferring anything-

      she was implying it!

    • AntiDerpomeme

      Sure, that makes perfect sense and is completely logical.

    • JVisconti

      just another passive aggressive neurotic ‘just asking questions’, that she already has answers to.

    • nothingisamiss

      Oooh…I love this Bitch Please photo!

  • say wha

    Maybe the Republicans would like to trade in that clown car for a CLOWN TRAIN?

  • Nounverb911

    Too bad republicans don’t ride Amtrak….

    • Shibusa

      Republicans ride Gulfstream G550s, or Ford F-150s.

    • Callyson

      Too bad Rand Paul missed that memo:

      Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) weighed in on the turmoil in Baltimore on Tuesday, standing with police and blaming the violence on a lack of morals in America.

      “I came through the train on Baltimore (sic) last night, I’m glad the train didn’t stop,” he said, laughing, during an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

      Yo, Rand?

      • Nounverb911

        Do RINO’s count?

      • guppy06

        Except that all trains through Baltimore stop in Baltimore, unless he was riding on a Taggart Transcontinental train.

    • guppy06

      Not sure I’d fault them on that. There are more than a few states completely unserved by Amtrak.

      • Zippy

        Amtrack moves more people between DC and NY than cars or planes

        • guppy06

          And in other time zones you can go anywhere you want so long as it’s Chicago.

        • BackDoorMan

          … and that fact alone is the best argument to improve, expand and innovate the railway infrastructure. Without even considering the carbon footprint of cars/planes vs. trains.

    • conlakappa

      I saw Huntsman on the Acela once. Yeah, shocked me too. This was after he’d left the administration.

    • BackDoorMan

      … that would be like asking them to ride steerage on the Titanic. Definitely a case of NOCD*.

      * “not our class, darling”

  • Callyson

    Rachel Maddow got good and pissed about the whole terrible mess last night

    Managed to catch most of this last night. I lurrrve Rachel when she is good and pissed…

    http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–fjLa8bPu–/rw9eewwhfq0pwqzxduar.gif

  • laineypc

    Yes, VIrginia, there is a conspiracy. If we defund government-run entities, the only alternative is privatization.

    • Nounverb911

      This is good news for Taggart Transcontinental.

      • guppy06

        They’ll buy Amtrak’s tracks, cancel all passenger service, and ship Canadian crude along the Northeast Corridor instead (at twice the rated speed limit, through residential areas, because profit margins).

    • Blank Ron

      Which will result in efficient, fast and less-expensive passenger rail service, just like the passenger rail service currently provided by… provided by… quick, someone help me out here.

  • Antonin Dvorak

    Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, is a “gay activist who previously worked at Target as a cashier,”

    I love how this implies he went directly from one job to the next; and without, say, returning to/finishing college, then getting all the requisite matriculation as an engineer, including shadowing veteran engineers and OTJ training, then becoming an AMTRAK engineer.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      “He is a gay activist who graduated from Kindergarten” is just about as relevant.

      • Ian

        WND is saying a “noted” gay activist. Whatever the fuck that means.

        • MrBlobfish

          One pay grade above “Practicing”.

          • Ian

            I would consider myself weapons-grade gay or yellow cake gay.

          • BackDoorMan

            … and one pay grade below well-known.

          • mtn_philosoph

            Where does “notorious” fit into the career ladder?

          • BackDoorMan

            … that’s the Oscar Wilde Special Achievement Award.

          • mtn_philosoph

            Oh, and I forgot to ask about “reputed” gay activist.

        • Virginia Dreaming

          He passed notes in study hall?

        • Steve Zakszewski

          It means someone once pinned “I haz the ghey” to his backside.

        • doktorzoom

          He was quoted in an article, whose author took notes.

    • randomhookup

      So true. He actually worked at Target while he was in college and then went to Amtrak. I think he started as a ticket agent before becoming a conductor & then engineer (I know his parents & remember seeing his earlier LinkedIn profile).

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Ex-Target cashiers are always crashing things into other things. They must be stopped.

      • guppy06

        Do any work at the LHC?

        • Latverian Diplomat

          I think most of the LHC folks are former cashiers from Aldi, Carrefour, or Tesco.

  • Vecciojohn

    Home schoolers’ bonus question: If a gay gets on a train in New York, thereby bringing down the wrath of Jehovah on himself and the other passengers, x of whom are born again . . .

  • Callyson

    Relevant:

    Paul Ryan Went On Fox News To Defend Amtrak Safety Funding. It Didn’t Go Well.

    A day after his Republican colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to cut about one-fifth of Amtrak’s budget, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) incorrectly claimed that Congress had already funded implementing the safety system it mandated in 2008.

    Ryan noted that Congress had already “authorized and mandated the sort of speed control systems to be put in place,” though he noted “it wasn’t put in place here at this time.” Asked by Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade whether Congress had actually funded those systems, Ryan claimed that they had.

    “Yes!” Ryan responded, “Yeah, we already passed an Amtrak funding, an authorization bill earlier this year. And the appropriations process is working its way through right now.”

    Ryan did not note that this appropriation would be well below Amtrak’s request which had included millions for PTC — and below even the past several years’ funding levels. And if Congress had provided the necessary funds to install PTC across the country, there would be no need for a Senate bill filed just weeks ago to delay the implementation deadline from December 2015 to 2020.

    tl;dr: Paul Ryan is full of shit again.

    • Anarchy Pony

      When did he stop?

      • Mehmeisterjr

        He took a half-hour break a couple of days ago.

  • Virginia Dreaming

    So, do we call this trainghazi!!!!!! or amtrakgate?

    • Callyson

      Yes.

  • MrBlobfish

    “So we’ve got to get out in front of this”. A speeding train? Go right ahead, Rush.

    • Me not sure

      Really not well put, was it?

      • BackDoorMan

        … as well put as anything Rush has ever said, which is to say not well put at all.

    • HogeyeGrex

      If only.

    • Metadude

      With votes?

  • Obviously, it the gay rails’ fault. If the RR tracks had been straight there would not have been a problem.

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    Can any of you tech nerds out there rig something so that The Donald gets a severe electrical jolt to his nads every time he tries to post something on Twitter? I’d enjoy it, and it might keep him from breeding again.

  • _Orwell

    Before anything was known about the engineer, that stalwart “journalist” Chuck C Johnson was wondering what his Race was. As if that somehow mattered in the slightest.

    • Reddishrabbit

      You need to know so you can apply the right stereotype.

    • MrBlobfish

      He couldn’t have been Black, since they don’t have jobs. Maybe it was a lazy Mexican taking a siesta under his sombrero?

    • Zippy

      to fox viewers that is the most important question

    • arglebargle

      obviously A illegal alien of some sort, stealing a ‘Murican job. Thus, Obama’s fault.

  • jamsie

    “Chuck C. Johnson has discovered that the Amtrak engineer, Brandon Bostian, is a gay activist….”

    Wait. I thought hunky stud muffin CCJ was a gay activist himself. Could I be thinking of another good looking, power bottom red head?

    • elviouslyqueer

      Oh please. Chucky only wishes he could aspire to being a power bottom.

      • Zippy

        too busy shitting in the hallway

  • Whollyholeyholy

    If this is not politicized to death during the 2016 campaign, I will be very disappointed. I should probably just go straight to very disappointed and stay there.

    • Reddishrabbit

      Honestly I think the default for 2016 should be disappointed/ashamed.

      • HogeyeGrex

        As opposed to 2015, 2014, 2013…

      • BackDoorMan

        … default lies with de voters… at least, those who can’t be bothered to cast a ballot. Sure, you’ll be ashamed at the candidates the political parties field, and yes you will be disappointed when things don’t turn out the way you wished, but at least your complaint will have validity because you participated in the process at least.

    • Ryan Denniston

      Wonder if the Clintons will get the engineer, just like that idiot with the book

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “Tragedies can only be used to justify attacks on other countries. Any other use of tragedy is loathsome manipulation, including how said tragedy might have been ‘prevented’ (a concept too close to contraception to sit well with any right minded conservative).”

  • Steve Zakszewski

    Yes, because Fox “news” would never, say, exploit the deaths of 4 Americans overseas, say in BENGHAZI!!!, nor would the inbred teabilly fucktards in Congress use those deaths to fundraise for their campaign or as a political cudgel against the President or the perceived Democratic fundraiser. Thank the gawds they are kind decent people who would never ever ever double-dog-dare do such a thing and can lodge this “politicization” complaint with a clear conscience.

    • Ryan Denniston

      Good point. We should listen to Jeb and take the perspective of we go forward with embassy security amirite?

      • Steve Zakszewski

        I dunno, did the Jebster clear it with his brother first? #WhatWouldDubyaDo

        • Dudleydidwrong

          WWDD: What Would Dubya DooDoo?

  • MrBlobfish

    So, if Big Gay Brandon wasn’t busy daydreaming about ding dongs this wouldn’t have happened?

    • Reddishrabbit

      Of course. Straight men never think about women during work, obviously. Except for the secret service. And all the stories about porn viewing at work.

      • Ryan Denniston

        And then there’s the jobs like at the DEA that come with hookers and blow! At work!

      • bikerlaureate

        They’re never going through some confusion that has to do with the very core of who they are, obvs.

    • Ryan Denniston

      Dude, he was totally cruising Grinr, duh!

      • Virginia Dreaming

        So he was talking with closeted republicans?

  • aceoaces

    You left out the part where Chuck C Johnson spent the entire morning after the crash implying that the engineer MUST have been black, and that affirmative action was allowing unqualified darkies to drive our trains and that the media was hiding the fact that the crash was all the fault of teh blackity blacks, and when we got the name of the engineer asking if his race had been revealed (’cause ‘Brandon’ is such a popular name among African Americans)…and then when we found out the guy was white, CCJ pivoted immediately to homophobia.

    • Logic of Color

      …and if these questions seem racist to you then it’s be cause YORE the one who’s racist, so THEY”RE!!!1!

  • Randy Riddle

    Has Alex Jones said that the Amtrak crash was a false flag operation to distract us from Jade Helm yet?

    • aceoaces

      Maybe it was the OTHER WAY AROUND!!!!!

  • MrBlobfish

    Tonight on Hannity: Hillary Clinton’s “Scooby Van” seen leaving the area before the crash.

  • georgiaburning

    Whatever Fox spends on their infrastructure is obviously wasted, especially after happy hour

  • Anarchy Pony

    It’s only okay to politicize a tragedy when it can’t be used against republicans.

    • Zippy

      BINGO! Only the GOP is allowed to exploit a tragedy

      • Biff52

        IOKetc

  • guppy06

    don’t use this tragedy in that way, it was beneath you.

    So how’s that pending USA PATRIOT Act renewal looking?

  • guppy06

    we just need to yell at the engineer who was driving the train too damn
    fast, and not look at boring questions like why our railroads and
    bridges and highways are falling apart.

    Or the boring-er question of why 100 mph is “too damn fast” in the US but “a bit slow” in the developed world (in which we clearly do not belong).

  • Kelly Hamilton

    Well, at least I know my gaydar was working.

  • borninatrailer

    Is it possible the train itself was gay. You know, like Toby on Thomas the Tank Engine?

    • Me not sure

      Did it go into a dark tunnel?

      • jqheywood

        Or cause confusion and delay?

        • Me not sure

          Sometimes the track one follows just isn’t straight.

    • Dudleydidwrong

      I remember the book from my misspent early childhood: The Little Engine With a Woodie.

  • hornheat

    “Given enough time, we’re sure Fox News will find an overpass somewhere that bought crab legs with food stamps.Read more at http://wonkette.com/585571/who-caused-that-amtrak-crash-oh-just-the-gays#7HvgwS0WmkwJE60D.99” For some reason, this image is going to give me nightmares tonight. Along with the horror of the crash.

  • Zippy

    Lawrence O’Donnell had on a guest last night- ex railroad guy- who said some very interesting things. Apparently, there already is a dead man’s switch sort of safety system in place- it operates somewhat like a seat belt buzzer in your car, only if you fail to address it, the train automatically stops. trouble is, there is a manual override toggle switch that can be engaged to ignore the warning and prevent the train braking that can be used to essentially speed down the track when someone chooses to do so, like when the train is late and trying to make up time. This particular train was in fact delayed leaving the last stop. Also, the speed limits imposed on tracks are set by the railroad companies and are not mandatory. The last thing this guy mentioned was that freight trains are required by law to have both an engineer and conductor so that there are always two sets of eyes on the train and the tracks, but the RR industry has successfully lobbied to keep that requirement from applying to passenger trains. It’s starting to sound like the invisible hand of the free market was once again cutting corners and ignoring rules in order to increase profits.

    • Razor’s Edge

      Wait….

      The market is always correct.

      Or fuck life.

      I always forget.

      • Me not sure

        What you said.

  • VirginiaLady

    Is the engineer alive? Can we ask him?

    • Zippy

      He says he doesn’t remember. He’s also already submitted to blood tests and surrendered his cell phone

      • VirginiaLady

        Hmmmm, memory loss, gaydom…..GAY ALIENS FROM THE BROADWAY VERSION OF PREDATOR!

      • Razor’s Edge

        More than Tom Brady

  • Unforgotten

    Honestly guys, trains carry human beings and a variety of products from the most hazardous to the most edible ones. The safer (and fastest) they carry, the more wanted their services will be.
    More accidents = more bad fame and less clients = less profit.
    But, no… to put those stuff on the tracks will be so costly that it will kill the whole company?
    What logic is that?

    • Beowoof14

      People and hazardous materials, who gives a shit in congress, not one of the republicans, let the market handle everything. Of course the market is rigged by the guys at the top to never have suffer any costs only profits. Cost are for us peons to bear.

    • kfreed

      Isn’t that the Republican party platform? Ensure no public service works so they can privatize it?

      “Since its inception in 1971, Amtrak has historically received about $1
      billion per year from the government for operations and construction
      projects, but some Republicans have pushed in recent years to privatize
      the company’s most profitable routes in the Northeast U.S.”
      http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/234423-heritage-action-opposing-78b-amtrak-bill

      Sen. Bernie Sanders: “What Do the Koch Brothers Want?”
      http://www.sanders.senate.gov/koch-brothers

  • FauxAntocles

    Fuck these goddamned worthless Rethuglicans.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Nope, sorry, not even with Willow Palin’s generator-powered dildo.

  • Pat_Pending

    Perhaps Amtrak should start carrying tar sands oil. And people can be transported by shooting them through a pipeline.

    • Blank Ron

      Futurama libel!

  • Beowoof14

    Oh good it’s nice to know congress really doesn’t want to spend any money on anything. So I would suggest closing the Congressional Restaurant and the gym, to allow congress people to join a local DC gym to help the economy out.

    • cmb

      Money is for Clinton investigations, anti-Obamacare lawsuits, and tax breaks.

  • Biff52

    FUCK RED NOSE!

    That is all.

  • say wha

    Don the Builder. Worst. Cartoon. Ever.

  • JohnR

    Speaker Boner was already on TV crying about how he’s sick of people crying about how the banana republicans have not been funding AmTrack.

  • Boscoe

    So, by Republican logic, we’re wasting millions of dollars painting lane stripes and putting up speed limit signs on freeways because people should just not crash. Pretty soon they’ll be decrying the requirement for brakes because tyranny against responsible car owners!!!1!

    • JustPixelz

      An article by Malcolm Gladwell describes how reduced funding for highway speed enforcement led to increase in traffic fatalities.

      http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/the-engineers-lament

      A few years ago, the economists Gregory DeAngelo and Benjamin Hansen wrote a paper looking at road deaths and injuries in the state of Oregon, which—in part because of a “tax revolt”—has cut the size of its highway patrol repeatedly since the end of the nineteen-seventies. “We find that Oregon would have experienced 2,302 fewer fatalities from 1979-2005 if the number of state police had been maintained at their 1979 levels,” the two concluded.

    • Whollyholeyholy

      I have county council persons who I am surprised are not saying this. If you see the world through tea colored glasses, this makes perfect sense.

  • YayConspiracy

    it was the invisible hand who derailed the train.

    • Zippy

      you’re probably more right than you realize

      • YayConspiracy

        no, that was intentional!

    • Boscoe

      Sue Storm/Richards Libulz!!1!

    • HogeyeGrex

      It usually is.

  • Belasaurius

    my yard is dying (shakes fist at gays)

  • VandeGraf

    A very annoyed John Boehner (Whaddya mean I gotta work! What I gotta do is drink!) made a statement to the press that the crash had nothing to do with the House continually funding everything to do with Amtrak, including sending its mother flowers on Mothers Day. The train was going too fast, got it?!. It was an accident, dammit! (Now, can I drink?)

  • Angry_Cop

    I stayed in a Trump hotel. I’ll give Donald that. He knows how to hire people, who know how to hire other people that build nice stuff that works well.

    • fratdawgg23

      Don’t the hotels just license the Trump name while being owned and operated by successful hospitality execs?

      • BackDoorMan

        Yes. That is it exactly. For some reason, property owners have been convinced (hoodwinked) into believing the “Trump” name has some cachet financially (it doesn’t), so they pay to have the short-fingered vulgarian’s obscene trademark on buildings he otherwise has nothing to do with. However, this does not stop The Dumbald from using them to inflate his own sense of self-worth.

  • Herasmus B. Lyon

    I’d totally vote for Trump just so I could watch him personally build infrastructure. But then, I still get a little hot remembering a sunburned, shirtless Al Gore digging the trenches and laying the wires for that thing called the internet.

  • Paperless Tiger

    Say what you like about Republicans, they make the trains crash on time.

  • Whollyholeyholy

    Because obviously spending money on safety technology that would safeguard against human error would be a total waste.

    • cessnadriver

      Everybody should just be perfect like Bankruptcy Trumpy and Drug Blimpblob.

  • Poly_Ester

    If Rush Limbaugh is anything, its proof that not all FAT people are poor.

    • Whollyholeyholy

      My goodness, and he has the same decorating taste as Aaron Schock. hmmmmmm…

    • fratdawgg23

      Rush Limbaugh aka Lewis Prothero in the film ‘V for Vendetta.’

  • I guarantee you that when the climate-change deniers are unable to continue denying, perhaps because they can only keep their nose above water by standing on their tippy toes, they are going to blame the gays.

    • Conservative Mark

      Both ice caps are, in fact, growing as is the polar bear population. We have the exact same number of glaciers today as we did 2,000 years ago. Try again.

      • Wow, an unsourced image on the internet. It’s got to be true.

  • Beezelbubbles

    Yet the Japanese have trains that go three times as fast as this train was going, and they don’t crash! Unpossible!

    • Boscoe

      Yeah, but you’d have to spend a billion dollars to build that. Repubs don’t even want to chip in for basic safety measures, much less a full-on magnetic bullet train.

      Though maybe if they emphasize “BULLET” they can get the NRA to lobby for it…

      • Conservative Mark

        A bullet train with ISIS in America and a crazy gay train engineer at the controls… What could go wrong? Can we point the tracks towards the Oval Office?

    • BackDoorMan

      I have some experience with the high speed railways in Germany – they are a model of cutting-edge technology, cleanliness, efficiency and comfort. Absolutely one of the most relaxed modes of transportation. North America should hang its head in shame… once upon a time, those ribbons of steel united a continent, today they are considered outmoded and near-obsolete. The Iron Horse lost to the Horseless Carriage. Pity.

  • Jen_Baker_VA

    Dear Fox,
    On behalf of the people of Philadelphia (both extant and ex-pats like myself) who live (or had lived) with a crappy crumbling infrastructure and see first hand, every day, in every part of their lives, precisely what the problem is (spoiler: It is lack of funding due to horrendously corrupt politics), kindly stop sucking the GOP’s balls for five bleedin seconds, or if you insist on doing so, shove them further into your mouths so we don’t have to listen to you blather about our city like you blathered about Baltimore.
    Thank you for your time.

  • Gleem-McShinez

    Gays lead to train crashes, you know, just because. Not funding things like safety equipment? How can that even be related to a crash? YOU POLITICIZER!!

  • Gleem-McShinez

    Gays lead to train crashes, you know, just because. Not funding things like safety equipment? How can that even be related to a crash? YOU POLITICIZER!!

  • Gleem-McShinez

    You know, at some point I hope people figure out that voting for Republicans literally poses risks to your health and safety.

    These regressive austerity-humping bastards have harmed American progress far more than any foreign enemies could have done. If you really wanted an Exceptional America, you can’t keep letting highly-paid free-market privatizing shitweasels have positions of power.

    Someone (Elizabeth Warren?) should hold hearings where she questions congressional members who are derelict in their sworn constitutional-upholding duties — primarily when they actively work against “providing for the general welfare of the United States” (Article I, Sect 8, US Constitution).

    • Dee Andee

      Too many of them are too ignorant or too lazy to do any more research beyond their ‘pet’ non-issue, be it guns, abortion, gay marriage, etc. to even have a clue WTF else these ass berets are up to.

      • WHAT is an ass beret and WHY do i not have one?

        seriously.

        • Blank Ron

          They’re quite stylish but a bugger to keep in place at just the right angle.

          • BackDoorMan

            … “uhuhuhuuh… you said bugger”….

          • Blank Ron

            I knew someone was gonna pick up on that.

    • Land Shark

      The Constitution begins with “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
      infringed.” What is all this Article I rubbish of which you speak? Traitor!

  • OrdinaryJoe

    Sorry Sandy Rios if my kid’s gay marriage undermines the sanctity of your second or third or whatever serial polygamy relationship you are working on these days.

  • Helena Handbag

    Pile of adipose tissue and ‘he who is made from petrified foreskins and cotton candy’ say what?

    Hey megalomaniac

    You’re no Jesus

    Yeah, you’re no fucking Elvis

  • Metadude

    Mebbe the train was going through a gay tunnel.

    • janecita

      All tunnels are gay:-)

    • Sparkled

      You’re an idiot. People died you stupid waste of a human.

  • Elizabeth

    Regarding the ‘gay issue’: why is your vitriol exclusively directed at those who choose not to participate in your ceremony while nary a word is spoken to address ISIS throwing people off tall buildings for the ‘crime’ of being gay?

    • BoatOfVelociraptors

      EXCLUSIVELY. You are using this word, but I do not think you know what it means.

    • janecita

      Perhaps because we live in the United States and not in the Middle East. And what ceremony are you talking about?

    • Bobby P

      Elizabeth, I expect better behavior from my fellow Americans than I do from a middle eastern county that is so backwards they still have issues with women driving. Silly me for not having any sympathy for a fellow American that whines about having to bake a cake.

  • Conservative Mark

    Planes, Trains and Homosexuals.

  • Conservative Mark

    Planes, Trains and Homosexuals.

  • You know what this reminds me of? That train crash in Atlas Shrugged where the narrator explains how everyone on the train deserved to die for being socialists or insufficiently deferential to alpha white capitalist males. Except in this case it was capitalist austerity that crashed the train.

  • SterWonk

    Rachel Maddow: “I am having a feeling.” == Kaili Joy Gray: “I am mad about a thing!”

  • Celtic_Gnome

    The only sin that is completely intolerable across the country is advocating anything, no matter how necessary, that would require the Koch Brothers to pay more taxes.

  • DahBoner

    Of course, we could just upgrade the tracks to handle 200+MPH speeds, but we can’t do that, because the President is Black….

    http://media3.giphy.com/media/jpwfSo5Xbu55m/200w_d.gif

  • Pablo

    Republicans being blamed for this train accident? Seriously… How stupid do the Democrats think people really are? Lets gloss over the fact that the train was going 106Mph into a 50Mph curve. Na, that has nothing to do with it… I would like to know what the conductor was doing the minutes before. Texting? Typical, turn a tragic situation into a sleazy political one, these pigs just can’t keep their faces out of the money trough. BTW, what happened to the money from the 880 BILLION dollar stimulus bill for infrastructure that Obama and the democrats passed?

    Common sense: Always in short supply when political vultures are hovering overhead.

  • kfreed

    All this complaining about foul Republicans… we had several chances to keep them out of office: 2010, 2012, 2014… and we did what? Complained about how not good enough any of Obama’s policies were and then we went around and told people not to vote… or if we voted at all… to do it for “principled” Ron Paul. Remember that? We are reaping what we’ve sown. And I have every confidence that we’ll do it again. If we can’t win against batshit fundamentaist lunatics, then that’s on us. Needless to say, I’m heart broken for the people involved in this very preventable accident. In fact, all of this lunacy was preventable.

  • kfreed

    deleted (repeat)

  • Fr.Duffy Fighting 69th

    Germanwings on rails…

  • GrantLV

    I agree that not installing PTC is a major factor in the crash. Here is another group to blame for this tragedy – those libs and moderates that did not vote in 2014. If you did not vote in that election, you are guilty of keeping the status quo, a Republican congress that is answerable only to the 1%.

  • OneDemin EOr

    Yes, it is a funding issue. If funding had not been cut in the first place, there would be TWO people in the cab, as is the case with Union Pacific freight trains. Why the hell is only one person in the cab of a frickin’ passenger train, for Christ’s sake? Because it costs $5 million dollars to install PTC on one mile of track, of course it’s a funding issue. Repuglicans: IT’S A FUNDING ISSUE!

    • Pablo

      Funding has never been cut since their inception in 1971. It has always hovered around a billion dollars per year and actually his increased to anywhere from 1.2 to 1.5 billion lately. The pilot of the train was obviously asleep at the wheel, whether he be gay, straight, purple, pink or polka dot, it’s that simple. The real problem is everything the FED touches turns to shit because they don’t manage money well or hire the competent contractors, ever. Excluding the Army Corps of Engineers.

      • Blank Ron

        Unh hunh. And in 1971 dollars Amtrak’s budget for FY 2014 comes to about $335,400,000. Nice try.

        • Pablo

          I believe the actual figure for most of the 70s-80s was around 888 million They are getting 1.15 billion for next year. My point being, it really hasn’t been a lack of money. It’s a lack of competency using the monies.

      • OneDemin EOr

        Well the term is engineer to correct that inaccuracy. Your other statement about no cuts in funding flies in the face of sequester realities. In addition, the mandated installation of a GPS-based safety system at $5 million per track mile does call for additional funding.

  • fratdawgg23

    If the train tracks fall apart, then FEMA trains will not be able to deliver us to the FEMA camps!!1!

  • Badger Fan

    LOL…The national anthem for Amtrak is no longer “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad”, it is not

    Drivin’ that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed! LOL….LOL..
    And BTW you know that conductor was all drugged up because the first thing he did after the wreck was he got all lawyered up!

    • Blank Ron

      Aww, wassamatta, were you frightened by ‘Shining Time Station’ as a small child?

  • Badger Fan

    You Democrats think that the solution to every problem is to throw money at the problem. Now, how does throwing money away on new tracks make trains any safer when the Amtrak engineers are all high on pot or cocaine or molly…

    • tj

      Lol, new tracks. You people are a hoot!

    • Blank Ron

      Do you ever bother to listen to the crap coming out of your mouth?
      Moran.

  • tj

    A brave veteran died in this crash. It’s clear that conservatives and repubs hate our troops.

    • Pablo

      I beg to differ some. You might not be old enough to know this. (No slight) But,,, Since I served oversees back in the 90s’ what I experienced was discrimination from the Democrats (IE: The Clinton Admin) Both elections, most of us never got to vote because the absentee ballots “mysteriously” didn’t get to us on time… I am not going to totally blame the Dems for the shoddy VA conditions but, it always seems worse on their watch. It seems to me it was more about their hiring of medical personnel and the way they went about things. I now have private plan through my wife. Thank Goodness. If I am going to blame, it is the FED government in general. They simply suck at everything they do Dem or Pub…

      • tj

        Numbers are hard for some people :(

        • Pablo

          Interesting… That’s quite the sum, for shoddy service. it’s not like they don’t have the jack…

          • tj

            Even more interesting that it proves you know jack shit about VA funding. I guess the reason it seemed worse under dems is just pure ignorance on your part. :(

          • Pablo

            Igorance, indeed. I never claimed that I was a funding or Amtrak expert for that matter. I was younger and took most everyhing on blind faith back then… I was just giving my viewpoint looking from the outside in. It is what it is. No need to get pissy man.

          • tj

            No, you weren’t talking from your singular experience. You made an incorrect sweeping generalization about dems and va funding and I called you out on it. No need to get pissy bc facts proved your bias.

  • fka_donnie_d

    I volunteer Donald McDuck to personally repair every bridge and highway in the country, first with his bank account and then (when it runs out) with his bare hands, for the next 20 years.

    • Pablo

      He will just reroute all the tracks to end at his casinos and golf courses. 8^)

  • Blank Ron

    This is so far beyond fucked up that it can’t be seen with a good telescope. Fucking Reptards aren’t even bothering to pretend they aren’t vicious and evil any more. These shitstains need to be arrested, charged and convicted of negligent homicide. No other solution will do any more.

  • Meanie-meanie, tickle a person

    we just need to yell at the engineer who
    was driving the train too damn fast, and not look at boring questions
    like why our railroads and bridges and highways are falling apart

    This is where “personal responsibility” shines, for Republicans. Those questions aren’t boring, they’re embarrassing. Politicians may not be able to build anything–King Kombover got that right: they just pay for it–but they can sure as hell *stop* things from getting built, and that’s just what they did here. Personal responsibility for the engineer means no Congressional responsibility…

  • abcdefg98988

    Tell Sir Topham Hatt to solve the problem!

  • Lyle Petersen

    This crash had as much to do with the (over) funding of Amtrak as it did with the engineer’s gayness. Partisans on both sides have been equally reprehensible following this crash. No one side has any right to claim a moral high ground here.

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