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California High-Speed Rail, Immigration Reform, and Malt Beverages

Daily Update


California High-Speed Rail, Immigration Reform, and Malt Beverages

Today in the News

California High Speed Rail

The DOT's plans for a California high speed rail line include a segment of rail that has been dubbed a "train to nowhere" since high speed trains won't be scheduled to run on it until after the route is extended to other areas.

Policy Analyst Marc Scribner says the California plan is a perfect example of the DOT's way of thinking about the future of American transportation.

"Of course DOT believes the segment-to-nowhere is a good place to start. Its head, delusional former Big Porker Congressman Ray LaHood, has made no secret his unwillingness to accept reality. Forcing California to use stimulus money to build a nonsensical, scaled-up toy train set in the rural Central Valley is straight from LaHood’s play book (this latest development is not at all shocking). This administration, thanks to ridiculous appointees such as LaHood, has shown that it is not serious about addressing real transportation problems: rather, they’re obsessed with 'livability' pipe-dreams and spending money like junkies during The End of Days."


Immigration Reform

Jeffrey Lin is a PhD student at CalTech who might not be able to stay in the U.S., because of our current immigration laws.

In The Daily Caller, Policy Analyst Alex Nowrasteh and Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young talk about what can be done to help high-skilled immigrants like Jeffrey Lin stay in this country.

"Jeffrey and hundreds of thousands of foreign students in similar situations will create many start-up firms, create jobs, and improve technology one way or another. They just might not do so in the United States. Our immigration laws may well force Jeffrey, his ideas, and his talent back to Taiwan or to another welcoming country like Canada. Fortunately, reform might be just around the corner. A bill called the STAPLE Act is currently winding its way through Congress. It would remove the numerical cap on H-1B visas. It would also automatically approve employer-sponsored green cards for foreign PhD students who graduate from American universities in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics (what education wonks call the STEM fields)."


Malt Beverages

The New York City Department of Health is calling for a ban on the sale of flavored malt beverages (like Mike's Hard Lemonade) in delis.

Policy Analyst Michelle Minton explains that the city is trying to hide alcoholic products that might attract kids----but that isn't reason enough to severely limit the sale of legal products.

"The reason these drinks attract underage drinkers is because they taste good and, yes, they look fun. But so what? If that is the only standard one applies to whether or not we should ban products then the ultimate conclusion is that products that have 'fun' and colorful advertising must be 100 percent healthy for everyone, like broccoli or apples. It also means that adults should be relegated to living in a world of nothing but bland or harsh tasting alcoholic beverages packaged in clear or brown bottles like we’re living in communist-era Russia."