Wiretap: Bureaucracy, budgets, anti-government fear-mongering blamed for Amtrak train wreck

Positive control

Why wasn’t the positive train control system that Congress had ordered in 2008 in place before the deadly Amtrak train wreck? The system, writes The New York Times, was “tantalizingly close” to being operational. Officials blame budget problems and bureaucratic rules for the delay.

Fear mongering

Adam Gopnik writes in The New Yorker that the problems plaguing American infrastructure are not due to the failure of shortsighted politicians who refuse to see the issue for what it is. It’s actually, he says, “part of a coherent ideological project,” in which fear of large government trumps the nation’s rational interests.

Taking stands

David Ignatius quotes Hillary Clinton from her book “Hard Choices” and wonders when she’s going to make the hard choice on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Via The Washington Post.

Strategic impropriety

Some female congressional staffers say their male bosses won’t be alone with them because of fears that it might give the wrong impression. It’s not only a problem for women who work on the Hill; it’s probably also illegal. Via The National Journal.

No disclosure

George Stephanopoulos gave $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation but didn’t disclose the gifts even when he was interviewing Peter Schweitzer about his book “Clinton Cash,” which alleges that donations to the foundation could have influenced Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. Via Politico.

Big changes

It may have taken a while, but the Patriot Act looks like it is finally getting some serious reform in a bipartisan way. Via The Atlantic.

Later man

What we lose from late-night talk shows when David Letterman leaves: A talk-show host who actually values talk. Via Richard Zoglin in The New York Times.

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