Irony of the Week

posted at 6:00 pm on March 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Whenever people choose to name landmarks and buildings for people living or deceased, they want to associate themselves with that person to send a message or to teach a lesson.  Evidently, the lesson to be learned from Amtrak’s re-dedication of its Wilmington, Delaware train station for its most famous passenger is that if you want to get somewhere on time … don’t take Amtrak:

Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman had an appointment to keep, and he wasn’t going to let the massive power outage that occurred Saturday on his rail line’s Northeast Corridor stop him.

And, neither were Federal Railroad Administration chief Joseph Szabo or Amtrak board member Jeff Moreland.

The three were expected at the gala unveiling of the newly re-named “Joe Biden” train station in Wilmington, Delaware Saturday afternoon but they found themselves among the thousands of other Amtrak passengers who were temporarily stranded on trains along the popular Washington, DC to New York route.

So, Boardman, Szabo and Moreland — who heard just hours before that Vice President Biden was slated to make an unscheduled appearance at Saturday’s event — abandoned a stranded Acela Express train at Baltimore’s Penn Station where an awaiting car ferried them to Wilmington.

Yes, in one of the most obvious suck-ups in federal bureaucratic history, the federally funded Amtrak chose to change the name on its building for the current Vice President.  Biden has spent the last two years talking about high-speed rail as the path to put Americans back to work and usher in another age of economic expansion — a push that benefits the perpetually-broke Amtrak by promising years or decades more of federal “investments” in trains that have trouble getting even the CEO to important appointments. In fact, the station got a face lift from Porkulus money managed by Sheriff Joe himself:

As a thank-you to its most famous customer, Amtrak is renaming the train station in Wilmington, Del., after stimulus “sheriff” Vice President Joseph R. Biden — after the project received $20 million in stimulus money and came in $5.7 million over the initial announced budget.

Spokesmen for Mr. Biden, who said he personally fought for stimulus money for Amtrak, didn’t respond to messages Wednesday or Thursday.

Citizens Against Government Waste says the suck-up is legal, if a bit unseemly, but also may be inadvertently appropriate:

Renaming the station is apparently legal — and is fitting in this case, saidLeslie Paige, spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste.

“It’s an absolutely perfect monument to a guy whose entire history has been overspending and overpromising,” she said. “It would make sense [Mr. Biden‘s] name would be slapped on a bloated, over-budget train station in Wilmington.”

It’s as fitting as having Amtrak’s CEO and staff get rescued from its own stalled train and chauffeured to the Biden event.

Irony of the Week is an occasional feature.  If you have a suggestion for an Irony of the Week, please e-mail it to obamaisms@edmorrissey.com.


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Alternative Headline…

“Someone left the Irony on again…”

Seven Percent Solution on March 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Looks like the train is working just as well as its namesake for that station…..

jus sayin’

ted c on March 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

I still think the push to build a high speed rail in Florida when one wasn’t needed summed up everything you need to Know about this admin and trains.

rob verdi on March 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Ol’ Joe raping the nation again.

SouthernGent on March 20, 2011 at 6:06 PM

The ironing is delicious.

RedNewEnglander on March 20, 2011 at 6:07 PM

More plugs.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Hey, it’s all part of honoring whom ever got them the money.

Too bad it wasn’t his.

Since is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Obama is going to end up as “Worst President Ever’.

Biden’s got to be in the running for the VP slot.

The man is an imbecile.

BigWyo on March 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Irony of the Week is an occasional feature. If you have a suggestion for an Irony of the Week, please e-mail it to obamaisms@edmorrissey.com.

With this administration, it could be an hourly feature (Irony of the Hour?) if anybody had the time to comment on all of the irony dripping off of these corrupt clowns.

AUINSC on March 20, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Iron ButthurtFlies

BL@KBIRD on March 20, 2011 at 6:20 PM

I still think the push to build a high speed rail in Florida when one wasn’t needed summed up everything you need to Know about this admin and trains.

rob verdi on March 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Quashed, not squished.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2011 at 6:22 PM

The man is an imbecile.

BigWyo on March 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM

14 Calendar days.

Key West Reader on March 20, 2011 at 6:23 PM

I still think the push to build a high speed rail in Florida when one wasn’t needed summed up everything you need to Know about this admin and trains.

rob verdi on March 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM

I’m really proud of my new bald governor.

Lanceman on March 20, 2011 at 6:31 PM

The man is an imbecile.

BigWyo on March 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM

52%

pedestrian on March 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Joe Biden “This train is a big FN deal”

William Amos on March 20, 2011 at 6:41 PM

The execs are not at all seasoned Amtrak riders. You plan your trip around your train, or the train(s) ahead of you breaking down; the bewilderment comes from arriving at published scheduled times and wondering what you’re gonna do with all the extra time.

ericdijon on March 20, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Mr. Biden in celebrating the naming of a railway station in his honor paraphrased a part of a 1983 speech he gave based upon an earlier speech by Neil Kinnock:

“Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to have a railway station named after him? Why is it that my wife to this very day has no station named after her? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Probably…Is it because they didn’t work hard? My ancestors who worked in the coal mines of northeast Pennsylvania and would come after 18 hours and play football for four hours then having thrown their newspaper routes and completed their milk deliveries go right back into the mines and do it seven days a week? It’s because they didn’t have high speed rail to facilitate their upward mobility like I do. They also had no hair transplants or big Chicklet looking porcelain teeth caps, that’s why.”

Mason on March 20, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I’m certain that changing out the name of the station did not add one thin dime to the cost overrun, either. Nope. That was done by volunteer labor and the letters were donated.

Plus, cost overruns are good as they create more debt which leads to more jobs doncha know.

GnuBreed on March 20, 2011 at 6:45 PM

SouthernGent on March 20, 2011 at 6:06 PM

She was asking for it. ~J. Robinette

Christien on March 20, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Sarah Palin’s Fault.

Del Dolemonte on March 20, 2011 at 6:47 PM

In fact, the station got a face lift from Porkulus money managed by Sheriff Joe himself

There’s only one Sheriff Joe, and it ain’t Biden.

disa on March 20, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Just remember, folks, it was Herbert Hoover that started this. It was Hoover Dam. Now Boulder Dam. Maybe we can call it Balder Station.

Limerick on March 20, 2011 at 6:54 PM

There’s only one Sheriff Joe, and it ain’t Biden.

disa on March 20, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Joe Biden makes Barney Fife look like Melvin Pervis.

darwin-t on March 20, 2011 at 6:55 PM

One-way ticket to Palookaville.

Naturally Curly on March 20, 2011 at 7:02 PM

I feel as though I’m living in the pages of the novel “Atlas Shrugged.”

Rick9911 on March 20, 2011 at 7:05 PM

The real irony lies in the fact they’re griping about electrical infrastructure and how investment needs to be there, but totally dismiss the millions spent on cosmetic changes to a station.

This is liberalism at it’s finest. Who cares if it works or not? It looks good just lying there.

ButterflyDragon on March 20, 2011 at 7:10 PM

The suspense is killing me. Tell me the CEO showed up in a GM Chevy Volt……..

Robert17 on March 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Constructed by union labor using Chinese tools on an earthquake fault and 25% over budget….ain’t America great?

joe btfsplk on March 20, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Obama has fired more missiles than any previous Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

southsideironworks on March 20, 2011 at 7:21 PM

It is however the first really clean and articulate train.

Bishop on March 20, 2011 at 7:24 PM

The suspense is killing me. Tell me the CEO showed up in a GM Chevy Volt……..

Robert17 on March 20, 2011 at 7:13 PM

It doesn’t have that kind of range.

AUINSC on March 20, 2011 at 7:45 PM

It is however the first really clean and articulate train.

Bishop on March 20, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Storybook, I’m tellin’ ya’ man

darwin-t on March 20, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Smart power, smart people in charge!

dhunter on March 20, 2011 at 7:49 PM

excellent…..

:)

“It’s an absolutely perfect monument to a guy whose entire history has been overspending and overpromising,” she said. “It would make sense [Mr. Biden‘s] name would be slapped on a bloated, over-budget train station in Wilmington.”

heh

cmsinaz on March 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Obama he made the trains run on time.

William Amos on March 20, 2011 at 8:18 PM

So in the end, can we surmise that “cars are better”?

GarandFan on March 20, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Was Jim Belushi on the train – dressed up like a gorilla?

reaganaut on March 20, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Apparently, if you’re taking Amtrak and need to get there on time, rent a car.

jnelchef on March 20, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Didn’t somebody write a book once about socialists and trains?

bitsy on March 20, 2011 at 8:38 PM

That Joe Biden the the Vice President proves conclusively the the majority of American aren’t weren’t paying attention.

Speakup on March 20, 2011 at 8:47 PM

MyPetJawa (http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/) has a bit more in depth coverage of this.

From their material it appears the VP has ridden the train most every day for about 36 years; a 90 min. one way trip of some 200 miles.

Not having much experience with commuting trains, except for one rather enjoyable trip from DC to Baltimore and knowing that there are lots of toll and private roads on the east coast, what’s it like riding one every day in terms of cost and efficiency vs. one’s automobile. I see the upside of having some time to read, gaze at the countryside or get work done. But are the schedules such that you miss one train and your stranded until 10:00 pm?

Bubba Redneck on March 20, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Drivin’ that train
High on cocaine
Casey Jones you better
watch your speed
Trouble ahead
Trouble behind
and you know that notion
just crossed my mind

dddave on March 20, 2011 at 9:06 PM

What do you say to someone waiting for Amtrak? Are you waiting for a train or are you just Biden your time?

duncantwn on March 20, 2011 at 9:37 PM

The Taking of Biden 123.

profitsbeard on March 20, 2011 at 10:50 PM

What do you say to someone waiting for Amtrak? Are you waiting for a train or are you just Biden your time?

duncantwn on March 20, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Love it! If the train is late, it’s Biden Time. If it’s over-budget, it’s on Biden budget. If it breaks down, it’s Biden reliable.

So sad that this man gave the Obama Administration its best version of Foreign Policy gravitas.

rwenger43 on March 20, 2011 at 10:53 PM

ted c on March 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

You mean unpredictable and inefficient. You know who you are talking about? A man heartbeat away from Presidency. Shudders.

antisocial on March 20, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Some GOP member needs to introduce a resolution that projects with Federal funds are to be named only for people who have served in the military starting with those who have died for their country, then those who have been wounded, then in order of medals awarded, then by length of service

Over50 on March 21, 2011 at 12:46 AM

I for one hope that they use Reardon Steel for those new tracks

Paco on March 21, 2011 at 1:08 AM

To shamelessly borrow from another member of the Hotair forum this is nothing but weapons grade STUPID

hamradio on March 21, 2011 at 2:44 AM

And the trains stop working and are left stranded in the middle of the road… One more Atlas Shrugged moment taking place…

ptcamn on March 21, 2011 at 5:10 AM

After the ceremony, Joe took CEO Boardman and Train Chief Szabo over to Katie’s Restaurant for lunch . . .

BigAlSouth on March 21, 2011 at 6:23 AM

The Brits have a novel description of a person like this: Dolt!

kens on March 21, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Gee, wonder if they gave Joe the chance to blow the train whistle.

pilamaye on March 21, 2011 at 8:40 AM

As I noted in a perspective piece posted several days ago, it was both the combined cost-overruns for the Joe Biden train station to the tune of $5.7 million dollars over above the original cost estimates, coupled with the very heavy hand of both Joe’s family members and his political hack friends who literally populate the halls at Amtrak who insisted on naming the Wilmington Station station after him, that illustrates why this was all so thoroughly inappropriate and “obscene.”

The additional irony of the vanguard of those political hacks having to get off the train and actually drive up from Baltimore to make the “opening” party on time, is really icing on the cake!

This entire scenario represents just one more in a long, long series of incidents, supporting the conclusion that Joe Biden is one of the truly comical and indeed pathetic political figures of our time.

One wonders how he has somehow mysteriously managed to even escape the obloguy of the left!

Trochilus on March 21, 2011 at 9:15 AM

It blizzards for Gore and his global warming idiots.

Obama makes deals with the Arab league, and they turn on him.

Now this.

Can God be speaking any louder? Or clearer?

capejasmine on March 21, 2011 at 9:48 AM