The always-excellent Sam Smith, a keen observer of politics and society as a journalist for over 50 years, introduces an outstanding long piece on the high-speed rail money in the stimulus:

There’s nothing wrong with high speed rail except that when your country is really hurting, when your rail system largely falls behind other countries’ because of lack of tracks rather than lack of velocity, and when high speed rail appeals more to bankers than to folks scared of foreclosing homes, it’s a strange transit program to feature in something called a stimulus bill.

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations matched!

One might even call it an $8 billion earmark.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.