Original posting at www.DeskofBrian.com
The current political landscape is the arguably the most intrusive in our history. The President marches into Tampa to announce that a high-speed railway will be built and his $8 billion dollars will help make it happen. Meanwhile, on the other coast, a Federal judge will decide whether to overturn the State court ruling and the will of the people on Proposition 8, a ban on the recognition of gay marriage.
Over the last five years or so, the Florida railway amendments and funding proposals have all failed. The lack of interest coupled with the lack of funding have not been salvaged by the President's reallocation of Federal tax revenue.
There is only $2-3 billion available for the project from Florida taxpayers, so the plan is merely halfway funded. Additionally, critics have been vocal that the plan proposes NO station for Lakeland or downtown Orlando leaving many individuals and business disadvantaged.
By the way, that $25 billion dollar price tag is the same figure used in 2004 -- anyone think that's accurate?
It doesn't matter what voters support, the impact on the Florida Department of Transportation, or the unanswered questions of the remaining billions - Obama rides into town with promises, articulates campaign rhetoric and gives a mandate from up high.
Meanwhile, a couple of thousand miles away in California, a US Supreme court stands to undo the California Supreme Court ruling that maintained the validity of Prop 8 and the people's right to determine the legal recognition of a marriage contract.
See the issue is the State's right to recognize a legal binding contract, however it's defined, but this would require an amendment to the state constitution. There is no prevention of entering into a contract, a homosexual marriage, but the state recognition of that contract is what's disputed.
So now the debate turns to blame as supporters are now blaming the failure in California on the religious right and the bigoted voters.
Yes, in California.
The same California that the LA Times, Pew Research Center and others have all proclaimed to be less religious, lax on religion, etc...(compared to the other states) has orchestrated a smear campaign rooted in hatred, bigotry and discrimination. That includes the 53% of Latino voters and 70% of blacks which were more "intolerant" that the 50% of white voters.
As absurd is it sounds, the Supreme Court ruling would undo the State Court, the entire State Constitutional process, the voting process and the voice of the people.
Government intrusion is "okay" if it's something you support.
The railway supporters are thrilled with the President's assistance, but would they have felt this way had President Bush arrived in Florida to fund offshore oil drilling?
Would the citizens of California support a reversal of 2003's failed Prop 54, Racial Privacy Initiative. Under the same guise of prejudices, the Californians have to acknowledge Prop 54 because of judicial ruling undoing over 5.5 million voters.
Californians spent $83 million on the debate which lasted over six months, but Prop 8 failed. The appropriate response would be to adjust the debate, the presentation, address the concerns etc...and reintroduce the amendment.
Just as the President perceives "he knows what is best for us", so goes the Californians supporting a measure for a judge to overturn our constitutional process.
No Lakeland or Orlando Stations for Fl. Railway: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2009/07/22/the-fatal-flaw-of-florida-high-speed-rail/
2004 Failed amendment for Fl. railway: http://www.siteselection.com/ssinsider/snapshot/sf041108.htm
LA Times: California Less Religious than rest of country: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/24/local/me-faith24