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It will be interesting to learn whether funds directed toward war contributed to the apparent lack of maintenance of the Minneapolis bridge. I heard on the news it was deemed "structurally deficient" 2 years ago. Aren't federal funds used to maintain the interstate highway system? There seems to be no money for anything but war and tax cuts for the megarich.

Yea, the US federal budget of nearly $2,900,000,000,000 is only devoted to war...nothing left for anything else. I'm waiting for the first post that claims the Bush administration felled the bridge with secret bombs planted by Neocon Ninjas...you know...like the World Trade Center.

Polynewbie where are you?? (Sung to the theme song for Car 54, Where Are You?)

Well, to quote someone you probably worship, "There you go again." With a budget the size of ours, you'd think a few bucks would be thrown at infrastructure. The last bill was underfunded because His Highness threatened to veto it. Remember when the new regime first took over and they sent everyone a feel-good check for a few hundred bucks? I would have happily given up my check to prevent a tragedy such as the one in Minnesota from happening. This administration has focused on war, tax cuts for the wealthy and welfare packages to big oil and gifts to big pharma. Maybe if we offer to give Halliburton all the contracts they'll fix the bridges.

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Well, to quote someone you probably worship, "There you go again." With a budget the size of ours, you'd think a few bucks would be thrown at infrastructure. The last bill was underfunded because His Highness threatened to veto it.

I have no love for Bush and his co-horts, but honestly this placing the blame, or rather inferring that somehow the White House is responsible , does nothing but muddy things.

Fed funds get sent to the state for many reasons, including for roads and infrastructure. Yes I know they make attachment to these bills (ie-make law that xxx is done or some Fed road money will be withheld) and I always thought that strange.

But the state is responsible for knowing what the repair timeline is . I would think that the duty to inform of repairs lies at state level, and should the state of Minny not made that known, or did not allocate funds from some other less important service/infrastructure project, then who can blame the White House?

Underfunded I can agree on, but that merely means everything will not be fixed right now, but will have to wait. To press the Feds to move quicker before this becomes an everyday occurence, and we know it wont because we have damn fine engineers and inspectors) is a job that needs to be done.

The state will be held liable, vicariously , along with the engineers that signed off on the work (wait didnt I just praise them?) the contractors who were doing the work , and anyone else who touched that bridge.

Now, my assertations may not be de facto as I am not a Minny resident, so correct me if I am wrong.

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Well, to quote someone you probably worship, "There you go again." With a budget the size of ours, you'd think a few bucks would be thrown at infrastructure. The last bill was underfunded because His Highness threatened to veto it. Remember when the new regime first took over and they sent everyone a feel-good check for a few hundred bucks? I would have happily given up my check to prevent a tragedy such as the one in Minnesota from happening. This administration has focused on war, tax cuts for the wealthy and welfare packages to big oil and gifts to big pharma. Maybe if we offer to give Halliburton all the contracts they'll fix the bridges.

Wrong...there was plenty of funding available.....the State of Minnesota and the Feds decided to build a small light rail line (for the tree huggers) between the Mall of America, airport, and downtown Minneapolis instead. Ironically, the $700,000,000 light rail passes very close to the now fallen 35W bridge. Instead of new or overhauled bridges, we got a gold plated choo-choo:

http://www.metrotransit.org/rail/station_detail.asp

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Well, to quote someone you probably worship, "There you go again." With a budget the size of ours, you'd think a few bucks would be thrown at infrastructure. The last bill was underfunded because His Highness threatened to veto it. Remember when the new regime first took over and they sent everyone a feel-good check for a few hundred bucks? I would have happily given up my check to prevent a tragedy such as the one in Minnesota from happening. This administration has focused on war, tax cuts for the wealthy and welfare packages to big oil and gifts to big pharma. Maybe if we offer to give Halliburton all the contracts they'll fix the bridges.

Wrong...there was plenty of funding available.....the State of Minnesota and the Feds decided to build a small light rail line (for the tree huggers) between the Mall of America, airport, and downtown Minneapolis instead. Ironically, the $700,000,000 light rail passes very close to the now fallen 35W bridge. Instead of new or overhauled bridges, we got a gold plated choo-choo:

http://www.metrotransit.org/rail/station_detail.asp

Would that have been for treehuggers or "big bidness?" Mall of America is a travel destination for heaven's sake. (Another topic in itself - shopping to the degree a Mecca must be built for it.) That said, it was stupid to spend money on new infrastructure when old infrastructure is falling down. The priorities in this country are upside down.

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Would that have been for treehuggers or "big bidness?" Mall of America is a travel destination for heaven's sake. (Another topic in itself - shopping to the degree a Mecca must be built for it.) That said, it was stupid to spend money on new infrastructure when old infrastructure is falling down. The priorities in this country are upside down.

No, it was the Portland-tree-hugging-controlled-growth-high-density-anything-but-new-highways-and-more-cars-for-suburbanites crowd that pushed light rail through with Gov. Jesse Ventura's support. Meanwhile, the bridges rotted. The MOA was a resounding success long before light rail, starting with three new highway ramps. The choo-choo train simply replaced buses, which are far cheaper and more flexible to use on existing infrastructure. Choooooo-choooooooo.......

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Guest American Woman

I found this interesting:

From the Ottawa Citizen,March 26, 2003

"Canada's role in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan is indirectly providing more support to the U.S.-led war in Iraq than most of the nations in the coalition fighting Saddam Hussein's regime, U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci said yesterday.

Canada's refusal to join the Iraq campaign without UN support is being offset by Canada's extended contribution of warships in the Persian Gulf and some Canadian military planners working with U.S. and British forces in the Gulf region, Mr. Cellucci said in a Toronto speech to a business audience and in later comments to journalists.

As well, the U.S. has used Newfoundland as a refuelling stop for military flights en route to the Middle East.

"Ironically, the Canadians indirectly provide more support for us in Iraq than most of those" 45 countries in the coalition against Iraq, Mr. Cellucci said.

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Then clearly the bridge collapse in Quebec (2006) was caused by Canadian spending on war in Afghanistan.

In fact, disaster preparedness dollars for homeland security contributed to the well executed response in Minneapolis. But not much fun in that when it comes to Bush bashing.

How about some work on prevention instead? Cannot put a price on those few who lost their lives on this long known problematic bridge. More money clean up the mess, but no money to actually prevent the mess. That might have cost MUCH less. Now on top of the uber responsive Homeland Security (which could have received funds that was to be allocated for that bridge).

Lucky for them there was an emergency to respond to. Imagine if the money was actually spent on fixing the bridge. Problems with that bridge were known back in 2001.

But screw the bridges, at least we have a fast Homeland Security repsonse team that can rush to the sceen to tell us that it definately is not terrorism that caused the bridge collapse. Money well spent.

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But screw the bridges, at least we have a fast Homeland Security repsonse team that can rush to the sceen to tell us that it definately is not terrorism that caused the bridge collapse. Money well spent.

Yes, it was money well spent, because emergency response involves far more than just falling bridges. How many falling bridges would have been prevented? The list is long and the causes many.

So let's pour all the money into bridges or dikes and none into disaster preparedness and response. Then they will have something to whine about when disasters happen anyway but emergency response is poor.

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How about some work on prevention instead? Cannot put a price on those few who lost their lives on this long known problematic bridge. More money clean up the mess, but no money to actually prevent the mess. That might have cost MUCH less. Now on top of the uber responsive Homeland Security (which could have received funds that was to be allocated for that bridge).

Lucky for them there was an emergency to respond to. Imagine if the money was actually spent on fixing the bridge. Problems with that bridge were known back in 2001.

But screw the bridges, at least we have a fast Homeland Security repsonse team that can rush to the sceen to tell us that it definately is not terrorism that caused the bridge collapse. Money well spent.

Of course you can put a price on the lives lost. The civil justice system in the US does so all the time. In fact Judge Learned Hand provided a formula for how one calculates negligence - with one variable (more of a constant back then) being the cost of human life (or the cost of any other damages).

Just as seriously - perfection is economically unfeasable. A corollary - "full" prevention is also economically unfeasible. A certain number of accidents are acceptable.

Edited by Sulaco
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