third rail


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third rail

Something that is dangerous to tamper with, as in Anything concerning veterans is a political third rail. This term alludes to the rail that supplies the high voltage powering an electric train, so called since 1918. On the other hand, grab hold of the third rail means "become energized." Both shifts from the original meaning date from the late 1900s.
See also: rail, third
References in periodicals archive ?
Maintaining the illusion of "anything goes" inside a tightly controlled environment is a tricky balancing act, but Third Rail Projects has managed to walk the tightrope while creating fully realized fictional worlds that explore profound questions about life and love.
said at the site of the collision earlier Friday, was how pieces of the third rail had torn off the tracks.
But the ultimate third rail issue, at least for as long as I've been covering this business, has been universal health care, otherwise known by its House Un-American Activities Committee-sanctioned moniker, "socialized medicine.
A third rail system may not be the best available in the light of modern technology, but to replace it would involve phenomenal cost and unacceptable disruption.
Frederick Brewing, owned by Cleveland-based Snyder International Brewing Group, is shipping about 1,000 cases of Third Rail a month, Rodakis said.
All these topics and others were bandied about as quickly as images in a movie preview as the president took hold of what's commonly called the third rail of American politics.
steel tube third rail that maintains rigidity to assure this predicable quality.
Abortion "Rights" Likened to Social Security "We are going to make women's rights, and especially reproductive rights, another third rail of American politics, just like social security.
every Wednesday at the Third Rail Lounge at Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts (617-354-2685; admission: $3).
Mosaic also co-owns Third Rail Records with Disney's Hollywood Records.
Rationalizing environmental law is a political third rail.
By way of comparison to traditional train tracks, two of these Metro rails are reserved for use by the subway car wheels and the third rail provides electricity which propels the Metro train.
Suddently, the juice seems to have gone out of the so-called third rail of American politics.
As National Center for Policy Analysis President John Goodman points out, "The Republicans touched the third rail with [their Medicare reforms].
com customers, the Third Rail System for iPhone 4 provides optional power and a protective case