Maybe Federal Authority SHOULD Be Stepped On!

NEWS ITEM: (AP) A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a [New York] state law requiring airlines to give food, water, clean toilets and fresh air to passengers stuck in delayed planes, saying the measure was well-intentioned but stepped on federal authority.

A couple of years ago, my wife was traveling back here to Maui from the East Coast. Her flight out of Chicago was delayed by weather and they sat on the tarmac at O’Hare for five hours before finally being cleared to depart. And every time one of us has occasion to tell that story, the other person invariably says, “You think that’s bad? I was on a flight six months ago … ”

Go ahead, ask around. Everyone has at least one horror story like that. And if you think it’s bad now, just wait. Several of the major airlines have announced reductions in the number of flights they’ll offer because of the high cost of fuel. That means planes will soon be even more crowded.

It’s really astonishing that the Pooh-Bahs in Washington haven’t seen the handwriting on the wall and launched a crash program to expand and improve intercity rail service in this country. Instead, President Bush has submitted a budget that would reduce the federal government’s support of Amtrak by 40 percent.

And if you think that’s short-sighted, you should know that John McCain is on record as wanting to shut Amtrak down completely. That idiotic position, says Mr. Straight-Talk, is “non-negotiable.”

It really makes you wonder how these people manage to get elected, doesn’t it.