When is a railroad like a punching bag?
I like 'Bob Schieffer and think he's doing a fine job as anchor of the "CBS Evening News." But one recent "Evening News" report on Amtrak troubled me. It used a quote from Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) to attack Amtrak that actually had been intended to defend it. The quote was, "What a terrible way to run a railroad." He wasn't talking about Amtrak's management, as CBS clearly implied, but about the way Congress and Successive administrations have mishandled the agency. Amtrak's management has made mistakes--lots of them with Acela--but the agency's main problem has been the product of congressional and presidential decisions. Amtrak is a victim of underfunding, rarely having enough money even for basic upgrades like track improvement, and of the insane expectation that it make a profit even though no other national rail system does.