Posted by Curt on 24 February, 2023 at 11:03 am. 13 comments already!


by Monica Showalter

The Biden administration has the East Palestine, Ohio, toxic train wreck all figured out.
Just blame Trump.
No wonder it hasn’t done jack for the battered Ohio community, whose residents had to flee their homes based on toxic fumes from the wreck, and who continue to fear for their safety as officials assure them that all’s safe. After all, there’s no evidence these guys actually care if they get poisoned.
Why should they? If it happens, they will blame Trump.
Here’s how bad it is, according to a splendid editorial from Issues & Insights titled “Amtrak Joe couldn’t be bothered to visit a train wreck”:

Official word from the White House accuses “congressional Republicans and former Trump administration officials” for selling out “to rail industry lobbyists when they dismantled the Obama-Biden rail safety protections as well as EPA powers to rapidly contain spills.” The administration believes Trump, who beat Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (who is utterly useless) to the site, and GOP lawmakers, owe “East Palestine an apology.”
“Congressional Republicans laid the groundwork for the Trump administration to tear up requirements for more effective train brakes,” Andrew Bates, a deputy White House press secretary, ranted on Wednesday, “and last year most House Republicans wanted to defund our ability to protect drinking water.”

The must-read editorial points out that even the press — you read that right — the press, is pointing out what nonsense these claims are, starting with USAToday:

“Jennifer Homendy, who chairs the National Transportation Safety Board, said the brake rule would not have prevented the East Palestine derailment because it was proposed for ‘high-hazard flammable’ trains carrying 20 or more loaded tank cars. The train that derailed did not meet that threshold,” writes USA Today’s Joey Garrison.
Forbes, The Hill and even Newsweek also referred to Homendy’s statement.

Homendy actually blasted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s statements as “misinformation,” citing tripe like this dreary excuse-making Buttigieg tweet claiming: “We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe.”
No, that’s not what’s happening. That’s “narrative,” and from an inattentive administration focused on covering the administration’s backside as its priority. They don’t actually pay attention to what actually happened. Nor do they care.
In a fact-check put out by the Washington Free Beacon, not only would Homendy’s notation have held water, here’s the actual Biden record:

Furthermore, the Biden administration has done little to revive the braking rule, which would have mandated technology that would enable all rail cars on a single train system to apply brakes simultaneously.
Federal officials told the Washington Post that the Biden administration tried to restart the rule, only to drop the effort after a cost-benefit analysis showed the cost-prohibitive regulation would produce little real-world benefits.

Meanwhile, somewhere out there, there are some pros within government who do their jobs, though, and have no stomach for this spin, starting with Homendy.
That’s a substantial warning to the Bidenites that the government’s willingness to blame Trump for every problem out there has limits.
Those officials are charged with finding out what happened, and with Buttigieg making up a blame-Trump narrative out of thin air, it’s pretty obvious that the transportation secretary has absolutely no interest in actually finding out what happened.

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