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Trump 'entirely correct' to blame both sides for Charlottesville violence, White House says

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 20:33
The White House is pushing President Trump’s remarks at Trump Tower on Tuesday as “entirely correct” in a talking points memo that has been circulating to allies of the Trump administration.

Curtis wins GOP primary in Utah for House seat

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:59
John Curtis, the Provo mayor, won the GOP primary special election Tuesday night and will face off against Democrat Kathie Allen, and third-party candidate Jim Bennett, son of the late GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah, to determine who will fill the House seat vacated by Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Gold Coin Sales Soar as War Tensions Rise

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
The crisis over North Koreas nuclear capabilities sent gold up and stocks down.

Workers Benefit from Business Tax Cuts

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
Left-wing political groups are staging street protests and running television ads to defeat President Trump's proposed corporate tax cut.

Trump-Backed Immigration Bill Has Many Critics, But Voters Like It

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
Some Democrats and their advocates in the press have been quick to denounce the RAISE Act, the new immigration reform bill proposed by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue and endorsed by President Trump.

The Greatest Football Coach

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
If you are going to be a student athlete, the coach said, there are only two things you can do: Be a student and an athlete.

Google Women

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
Why aren't there more women criminals?!

The Group That Got Ignored in Charlottesville

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
The "alt-right" is evil.

Practicing Coercive Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
The fact sheet included a warning reminiscent of late 1950s Cold War "duck and cover" advice American citizens were to follow during a nuclear attack: "Do not look at the flash or fireball...it can blind you."

The Press Is Not Trusted or Popular

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
CNN delighted in reporting the results of a recent poll question that asked: "How much do you trust the things you hear in official communications from the White House?

Congress Can Fix Unfair System of Tax Incentives

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
Its no secret President Trump is working to create thousands more American energy jobs, reduce regulations on energy producers and restore parity to the tax code.

Where Is the Corporate Disavowal of Black Lives Matter?

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
Liberal business executives are leaping like lemmings from President Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council. Good riddance.

Trump Is Right: Bigotry, Violence 'on Many Sides'

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:01
British writer and theologian G.K. Chesterton observed, "It is hatred that unites people -- while love is always individual."

Moore, Strange head to Alabama Senate runoff

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:00
Republican and Democratic primary voters in Alabama are choosing nominees for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Alabama Senate primary: Polls close

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:00
Republican and Democratic primary voters in Alabama are choosing nominees for the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Ann Coulter cheers Trump: 'Today we got our leader back'

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 19:00
Conservative author Ann Coulter praised Trump on Tuesday after he publicly denounced the "alt-left" for contributing to violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. this weekend.

Democratic congressman arrested outside White House during rally for illegal immigrants

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 18:16
Rep. Luis Gutierrez was arrested outside the White House on Tuesday during a rally demonstrating support for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Lawmakers, national figures react to Trump's Charlottesville comments

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 18:00
Lawmakers, advocacy groups and national figures all reacted to President Donald Trump’s comments on Tuesday surrounding the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka resigns from Trump's manufacturing council

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 17:13
Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, announced Tuesday he is following others in resigning from President Trump’s manufacturing council in protest over the president’s response to the deadly Charlottesville violence over the weekend.

Don’t Build the Purple Line

Cato Recent Op Eds - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 16:17

Randal O'Toole

Maryland wants to spend $5.6 billion building and operating the Purple Line light rail at a time when transit ridership is declining, and that decline appears poised to accelerate. This is an especially foolish decision when the state’s own analysis says that the light-rail line will increase traffic congestion.

Nationwide transit ridership has been declining since 2014. A recent survey of Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing users found that one-third of them would have taken public transit were it not for these on-demand ride services. Considering the growth of such services, they alone seem responsible for more than half the decline in transit ridership.

Meanwhile, Ford has promised to have completely driverless cars - meaning no steering wheel or control pedals - in production for ride-sharing services by 2021. More than three dozen other companies, including Apple, Google, Mercedes, Nissan, Uber, Volkswagen and Volvo, are working furiously to see who can have the first shared, driverless cars on the streets of American cities. Without the driver, such services will cost far less than public transit.

This means it makes no sense for Maryland or anyone else to build new light-rail lines. Construction of the Purple Line would barely be completed before most of its potential customers are taken away by shared driverless cars.

In the end, the Purple Line is simply a make-work project that will provide enormous profits for a few contractors at everyone else’s expense.

Although the Purple Line has been presented as a solution to congestion, the state’s own traffic analysis shows it will make congestion worse. According to the state, if the Purple Line is not built, the average speed of traffic in the D.C. region will be 24.5 miles per hour in 2030. If it is built, the average speed will decline to 24.4 miles per hour.

The state’s analysis also found that the Purple Line’s goals could be accomplished at a far lower cost using buses.

The big argument used to support the Purple Line is that it will increase economic development. In fact, no light-rail line has ever stimulated the economic development of any region. Instead, Portland, Denver, and many other cities that have built light rail had to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to persuade developers to build along the lines.

Some rail lines, such as our Metro, have led to development near rail stations that otherwise would have taken place somewhere else in the region. But even if the Purple Line could do this, why should taxpayers pay billions of dollars to shift development from one set of property owners to another?

One thing the $5.6 billion price tag doesn’t include is the cost of rehabilitating the rail line when it wears out in 25 to 30 years. If you believe large numbers of people will actually ride the Purple Line, which I don’t, then you better add another $3 billion to the cost for maintenance and rehabilitation when the Purple Line is as worn out as the Washington Metro system is today.

In the end, the Purple Line is simply a make-work project that will provide enormous profits for a few contractors at everyone else’s expense. Maryland could accomplish the same thing by digging holes and filling them up, but such holes wouldn’t increase traffic congestion or impose billions of dollars in future operating and maintenance costs on state taxpayers.

The final decision of whether to build the Purple Line falls to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. By rejecting the Purple Line, she can send a signal to transit agencies across the nation that the current administration will no longer tolerate wasting money on expensive rail transit systems when buses and, eventually, driverless cars can do the same work at a far lower cost.

Randal O’Toole is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and author of a “Review of the Purple Line” published by the Maryland Public Policy.

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