New York Times columnist John Tierney, May 14, 2005:
Don't be discouraged by this week's report that traffic congestion is worse than ever across America. Relief is on the way from Congress, thanks to one of the designated 3,800 "high-priority projects" in the new highway bill. It's a new transit system guaranteed to free you from bumper-to-bumper traffic, as long as you have a horse.I don't think Boucher even recognized the biting and scornful sarcasm that dripped from Tierney's words.
This addition to the nation's transportation infrastructure is the brainchild of Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat from the southwestern Virginia mountains that Daniel Boone traversed on the way to Kentucky. Mr. Boucher secured $750,000 of highway money for the "construction of horse trails and assorted facilities" in Jefferson National Forest.
When I expressed doubts to Mr. Boucher that these new horse trails would ease traffic on the roads, he replied, "That's fair to say." (link) (my emphasis)
And, of course, with the mention of "southwestern" Virginia, we got sucked into the humiliating circumstance as well. Overnight we became the laughingstock of the entire western world. Again.
So you'd think the shame and embarrassment that were showered down upon our hapless congressman after this bit of effrontery had been exposed for all the world to see would have made the then-proposed, now-infamous Scott County horseback riding trail, funded by scarce tax dollars that could have been used to repair that bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis resulting in the deaths of seven innocent Americans, quietly disappear.
But you'd be wrong.
Guess what's beginning construction:
Groundbreaking held for High Knob horse trailsHell, it's not just a trail anymore. Now it's a freaking network of trails. For horses.
Kingsport Times News staff
Dungannon — Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are anticipated in September for a network of horse trails and associated facilities on High Knob in the Jefferson National Forest.
U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-9th District, was the honored guest during Monday’s ceremonial groundbreaking at the Scott County Horse Park for what JNF Clinch Ranger District and local officials hope will blossom into a choice tourist attraction in the years to come.
In 2005, Congress approved Boucher’s appropriation request of $600,000 to fund a network of trails and facilities in the High Knob area of Scott and Wise counties.
Construction is to begin next month. (link)
Oh, and here's the tired old Yeah, gas is soon to be four dollars a gallon, curtailing a good bit of vacation travel for the average American, but ...
“It is my goal that High Knob become a major tourist destination for visitors who are seeking a premier outdoor experience, and today’s event is a significant step in advancing this goal,” Boucher said.Let me translate. Here's what ol' Rick really means: "It is my goal to get reelected. If you schlemiels keep buying into this silly crap, I'll keep offering it up."
Expect the headline in tomorrow's New York Times:
Here's What 600,000 of Your Hard-Earned Tax Dollars Bought You In SW Virginia: Horse Turds & Chutzpah
For the love of God.
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Carl Kilo has his take on this never-ending torment here.