The other day NBC’s Lisa Meyers had a report on the pork in the stimulus bill. The first item was a magnetic levitation high speed train from Disneyland to Las Vegas, something Harry Reid was allegedly pushing for.
I thought this was curious as:
Some of the terrain between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is not suitable for MagLev rail.
President Obama said there were no earmarks in the bill, and this certainly would qualify as an earmark.
So I downloaded the H.R. 1 PDF and did a keyword search for the section of the bill that addressed this. Nowhere could I find anything about high-speed rail between Los Angeles and Los Vegas. What the bill says is:
“For an additional amount for ‘‘Capital Assistance for Intercity Passenger Rail Service’’ to enable the Secretary of Transportation to make grants for capital costs as authorized by chapter 244 of title 49 United States Code,”
So the Secretary of Transportation, former Representative Ray LaHood (R-IL), will make the call on how this money is spent. Not Harry Reid, nor any other member of congress. I don’t know who fabricated this little chestnut, but clearly they knew what they were doing.
I don’t mean to single out Ms. Meyers, as others have reported this too. As Mark Twain said: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is getting its boots on.”
My point is that it took me all of five minutes to fact-check this; I’m amazed that people in the national media didn’t have the time to do the same.
And they wonder why they’re losing market share to blogs…