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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"Conservative" George Will Prostrates Himself to Joe Biden Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, July 30 2020
[A] President Biden would contravene almost every single conservative principle that Will has professed to cherish throughout his career.

On July 5, 1987, columnist George Will excoriated aspiring presidential candidate Joe Biden as unfit for the job of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, let alone the presidency:  

If Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., had a reputation for seriousness, he forfeited it in the 24 hours after Justice Lewis Powell announced his departure from the Supreme Court.  Biden did much to achieve the opposite of his two goals:  He strengthened the president’s case for nominating Judge Robert Bork and strengthened the Democrats’ case for not nominating Biden as president.  

Six months ago, Biden, whose mood swings carry him from Hamlet to hysteria, was given chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, an example of history handing a man sufficient rope with which to hang himself.  Now Biden, the incredible shrinking presidential candidate, has somersaulted over his flamboyantly advertised principles.  

Yet here was the same George Will last week in a video interview with USA Today’s Susan Page:  

Page:  “Who do you plan to vote for in November?”  

Will:  “Biden.”  

Talk about someone who “has somersaulted over his flamboyantly advertised principles.”  

Will’s bizarre somersault, to employ his own terminology, might maintain some trace element of legitimacy had the intervening three decades seen Biden metamorphosize from what Will himself described as an unserious figure to a respectable one.  But the opposite is true.  In the 33 years since Will rhetorically fileted him, Biden has only proven himself less equipped temperamentally and intellectually for the presidency.  

As evidence, look no further than Robert Gates, a moderate who served as Secretary of Defense for both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, and who described Biden as “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades”:  

The Vice President, when he was a Senator, a very new Senator, voted against the aid package for South Vietnam, and that was part of the deal when we pulled out of South Vietnam to try and help them survive.  He said that when the Shah fell in Iran in 1979 that that was a step forward for progress toward human rights in Iran.  He opposed virtually every element of President Reagan’s defense buildup.  He voted against the B-1, the B-2, the MX and so on.  He voted against the First Gulf War.  So, on a number of these major issues, I just frankly over a long period of time felt that he had been wrong.  

Biden is simply not a figure who has improved with age or political experience.  

Keep in mind that Will’s caustic 1987 rejection of Biden as a serious figure occurred several months before Biden was exposed as a repeat plagiarist and withdrew from the 1988 presidential race in humiliation.  

But since Will presumably prides himself as a man of conservative principle, conduct the following thought exercise.  Take a blank sheet of paper, and divide it in half by a vertical line.  On the left side of the page, list the conservative principles Will has championed during his half century of punditry that a President Biden would advance.  Then on the right side of the page, list the conservative principles that President Trump has already advanced during his tenure.  

Tax cuts?  Check.  Conservative judicial and Supreme Court nominations?  Check.  Deregulation?  Check.  Stronger national defense?  Check.  Steadfast support of Israel?  Check.  Rollback of the federal administrative leviathan?  Check.  

In contrast, a President Biden would contravene almost every single conservative principle that Will has professed to cherish throughout his career.  There’s simply no manner in which Will can claim that his sudden reversal springs from any sort of ideological fidelity.  

Unable to justify Will’s implausible epiphany on substantive policy grounds, some might rationalize it as a matter of character.  That might maintain credibility if Biden were some sort of paragon of courtesy, etiquette and uplifting civil discourse.  Beyond such personal misdeeds as repeat plagiarism, however, Biden is a man who as Vice President infamously told an African-American audience that Mitt Romney and Republicans “want to put y’all back in chains.”  

So if Will’s somersault cannoti rest on ideologcal or character grounds, what does explain it?  Are we to assume that his lifelong conservatism has been more of a personal vanity endeavor than anything rooted in sound philosophy or conservative doctrine?  Is it mere fit of personal pique?  

What else can we expect from Will?  Will this lifelong Chicago Cubs fan announce that he henceforth supports the rival St. Louis Cardinals?  

As a college student, one of the most politically influential books I read was Will’s “Suddenly,” a compilation of his commentaries from 1986 through 1990.  Given his recent behavior, an appropriate title for any upcoming coda might be “Nevermind.”  

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   
"Joe Biden's tax proposals have gone through a variety of iterations over the course of his campaign, but lately, he's settled on a pledge not to raise taxes on those earning under $400,000.This pledge is not consistent with his current proposals, but he's even less likely to be constrained if he's elected president.Even if Biden claims he would not directly raise income tax rates on those earning…[more]
—The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
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?