This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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Third Time Wouldn’t Be a Charm for Romney Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, January 15 2015
Even Romney’s critics would probably concede that the man’s conduct in public life has been consistently dignified and reserved. Why blow that now?

Time heals all wounds. Unless, of course, you insist on picking the scab. That’s a lesson that Mitt Romney never seems to have learned.

Over the past week, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee has arrived back on the front pages by stoking rumors that he might be pursuing a third consecutive presidential bid in 2016. It’s all a little puzzling: Why ruin a perfectly good divorce by trying to get back together again?

It’s not Romney’s ambition that’s mystifying. Embalming fluid, as they say, is the only cure for presidential fever. What’s genuinely baffling is how he imagines this scenario might play out. Just because you want it doesn’t mean that you can get it. And if Mitt Romney couldn’t jimmy the White House lock in 2012, it’s hard to see how he could do so in 2016.

In analyzing Romney’s standing with Republican voters, it’s essential to remember this: The party’s conservative base turned backflips in 2012 trying to find any other plausible candidate

Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all had brief moments at the front of the presidential pack as the right searched for someone — anyone — who went down smoother than a candidate whose signature public policy achievement was devising a health care reform plan that created the blueprint for ObamaCare. 

Only when each of those contenders had flamed out — only when Romney had effectively fatigued conservatives into accepting him — was he able to secure the party’s nomination.

It’d be difficult to imagine an atmosphere less like the 2012 race than 2016 is likely to be. At present, it looks like Republicans may be choosing from the largest, most accomplished field of presidential aspirants with which they’ve ever been presented. 

The list of potential candidates at this point includes Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Scott Walker — any one of whom on their own could have had a plausible shot at knocking off Romney in 2012. 

Indeed, it’s a sign of just how deep this field is that the announcement earlier this week that 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will be foregoing the race elicited only the mildest of interest. In that highly competitive environment, an unloved Romney doesn’t have a chance.

Suppose for a moment, however, that he somehow pulled the nomination out. Is this the man the GOP wants to rally behind in a general election? Nothing has occurred since 2012 to alleviate the right’s fears that Romney’s conservatism is tepid at best. And it’s not as if he simply drew a bad hand the last time around. Barack Obama’s approval ratings were mired in the 40s for nearly an entire year prior to the 2012 election. He was vulnerable. And Mitt Romney couldn’t close the sale. 

So why is Mitt thinking about taking one more shot? Probably in part because he doesn’t understand quite how dependent public sentiment is on context. Whatever ambivalence conservatives may have felt about Romney during his time as the GOP nominee largely fell away in the aftermath of his defeat. 

That process was only accelerated by the release of the Netflix documentary Mitt, which presented a far more relatable figure than the one who had twice pursued the presidency. For the first time in years, Romney began to receive something like genuine affection from the right.

Maybe Mitt thought that Republicans were suddenly realizing the error of their ways. Maybe he didn’t realize that it’s easy (not to mention humane) to think the best about an ex — but that’s not the same thing as wanting to take one back. 

Most Republicans acknowledge that Romney is a decent, generous, upstanding man — the kind of guy you wouldn’t think twice about having watch your kids. There’s a big gap, however, between that and believing he should be the leader of their party — and conceivably the free world.

Even Romney’s critics would probably concede that the man’s conduct in public life has been consistently dignified and reserved. Why blow that now? Why be the quarterback who can’t accept it’s time to retire?

Mitt Romney has had his moment. The Republican Party has moved on. Now it’s time for him to do the same.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals laid the ‘Golden Spike’ joining the Eastern and Western U.S. railroad lines to create the Transcontinental Railway?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"President Trump's recent executive order laying out his 'America-First Healthcare Plan' makes clear his continued commitment to the long-standing, bipartisan consensus that we should protect people with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, the previous administration's attempt to make good on that consensus -- Obamacare -- has failed to deliver on its promises.Contrary to the prevailing media narrative…[more]
 
 
—Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
— Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe you will be better off over the next four years with Joe Biden as president or with Donald Trump as president?