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New York Times: This high-speed rail thing is kinda’ becoming a disaster for Jerry Brown
Hotair ^ | 01/07/2014 | Erika Johnsen

Posted on 01/07/2014 8:08:37 PM PST by SeekAndFind

California’s ludicrously ambitious plan to build a high-speed railway connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco has been besieged with all kinds of problems from almost the moment of its official conception, but let that not restrain California Democrats from doubling down on what they seem to view as their iliadic quest to make high-speed rail happen. Back in August, a judge declared that the project had already violated the 2008 ballot initiative that first authorized the $10 billion in bonds for the 500-mile train, because the state didn’t actually having funding sources on the books for the $31 billion required to build even just the 290-mile “initial segment” — not to mention that the oh-so-green state had flouted the necessary environmental clearances. Governor Jerry Brown deemed the judge’s ruling a mere “setback,” ho hum, but the project has since encountered still more judicial “setbacks” and the calls for California to just cut its losses are getting louder. The NYT reports:

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is riding into an election year on a wave of popularity and an upturn in the state’s fortunes. But a project that has become a personal crusade for him over the past two years — a 520-mile high-speed train line from Los Angeles to San Francisco — is in trouble, reeling from a court ruling that undermined its financing, and from slipping public support and opponents’ rising calls to shut it down. …

“It’s time for the governor to pull up the tracks,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, who is the majority whip in the House. “Everything he has said has not come to fruition. It’s time to scratch the project.” …

The ruling in November by a Superior Court judge in Sacramento blocked the state from using $8.6 billion in bond money to finance the first part of the train line, saying officials had failed to explain where they would find the remaining funds. That, in turn, jeopardized California’s access to more than $3 billion in federal matching funds, which are contingent on a state contribution. …

“I don’t see them getting any more money from the federal government,” Mr. McCarthy said. “I don’t see $9 billion to build it from California taxpayers, and I don’t see them getting any private investment.”

If Gov. Brown won’t abandon the endeavor himself, suggest opponents, he should at least put the struggling project back before voters, but even that is probably too much to hope for. The initial project outline didn’t even peg the project at completion by 2029, for goodness’ sake, to the tune of a $68 billion estimate that will surely increase even more as it encounters more “setbacks” and delays — and the NYT says that polls suggest putting the issue back before voters is a fight Brown wouldn’t win.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California; US: New York
KEYWORDS: california; highspeedrail; jerrybrown; lasvegas; losangeles; moonbeam; newyork; newyorkcity; newyorkslimes; newyorktimes; sanfrancisco

1 posted on 01/07/2014 8:08:38 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Passenger Rail is 19th Century technology.

Wind power is at least a millennium old.

Neither are the way of the future.

2 posted on 01/07/2014 8:13:19 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: SeekAndFind

“Gov. Jerry Brown of California is riding into an election year on a wave of popularity and an upturn in the state’s fortunes.”

California is doing great now?


3 posted on 01/07/2014 8:13:48 PM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Another Democrat chief executive, driving his administration and his constituents into a “disaster.”


4 posted on 01/07/2014 8:17:03 PM PST by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: SeekAndFind; RichInOC; Prince of Space; JoeFromSidney; TNMountainMan; alphadog; infool7; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

5 posted on 01/07/2014 8:18:25 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: SeekAndFind

One way flights between SFO and LAX every hour for $59 on a Delta. 1 hr and 27 min.

How can you possibly beat that? How cheap does the 5 hour train ride to Victorville (out in the middle of nowhere) have to be to make financial sense for a passenger?


6 posted on 01/07/2014 8:18:41 PM PST by vmivol00 (I won't be reconstructed.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Jerry Brown: Making everything a disaster in California since 1970.


7 posted on 01/07/2014 8:22:11 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: SeekAndFind

Earth to Jerry”MoonBeam”Brown:”This Ain’t Europe”!!!!!!!!!!!


8 posted on 01/07/2014 8:25:25 PM PST by bandleader
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To: Paladin2


9 posted on 01/07/2014 8:29:28 PM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is always good to know that good old jesuit Jer still promotes his socialist vision in the face of facts that would deter a sane and rational man


10 posted on 01/07/2014 8:43:33 PM PST by Nifster
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To: SeekAndFind

First of all, it’s not high speed. Second, it goes from nowhere to nowhere. How can this be bad?


11 posted on 01/07/2014 9:17:55 PM PST by Veggie Todd (I don't always talk to Obama voters, but when I do I ask for Large Fries.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Ah, yes. The "High Speed Rail."

Latest cost estimate I've seen is nearly $100 billion. (By comparison, the entire annual Cali budget is just over $200 billion).

The first segment? Joining the metropolises of Madera (nowhere) and Bakersfield (nowheresville). Driving time between the two towns is less than 2 hours. Even if a train took less than 45 minutes (unlikely), the total trip would be about 2 hours, counting all the parking, ticketing, terminal stuff, etc.

Who wants to ride the Bullet Train? Nobody. I've lived here in the Golden State for decades, I know zillions of liberals, and nobody has ever said to me that they would willingly ride that thing. Nobody!

The train promises to go from S.F. to L.A. in less than 3 hours, is this possible? Nupe. Even if it didn't stop at the 6 or so stops, one seriously suspects that it's not going average anywhere near 200 mph (and that's on a good day. Trains are always late, always).

The Dems think that at least there will be a jobs benefit, which we conservatives know to be nonsense. The opportunity cost of the loss of 100B will cost more jobs (and cause more business emigration) than any temp union jobs to build the thing (which will never be completed, anyway.)

I could go on...

.

12 posted on 01/07/2014 9:33:40 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: SeekAndFind

High speed rail works in Europe and Japan for two reasons: cities are closer in distance, driving cars is very expensive and since the government subsidizes rail fares, its cheaper than flying by plane.

All the opposite is true here: cities are far apart, driving a car is inexpensive even long distance and rail fares will never be competitive with air fares, period.

And its just not suited for California. Light rail does work in the LA metro area but that’s because its very densely populated. That’s not true of the rural hinterland between LA and SF.

Jerry Brown is chasing after the Taj Mahal of trains. Its the ultimate White Elephant. California could more sensibly spend its scarce transportation dollars than on a political prestige project to nowhere. And its one that will never get built.


13 posted on 01/07/2014 9:54:59 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: SeekAndFind

Give Erika Johnsen the Captain Obvious Award for her brilliant work.


14 posted on 01/07/2014 10:02:15 PM PST by MasterGunner01
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, one way or another, I’m sure Pelosi’s hubby will still make a fortune.


15 posted on 01/07/2014 10:05:13 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: SeekAndFind

“The ruling in November by a Superior Court judge in Sacramento blocked the state from using $8.6 billion in bond money to finance the first part of the train line, saying officials had failed to explain where they would find the remaining funds. That, in turn, jeopardized California’s access to more than $3 billion in federal matching funds, which are contingent on a state contribution. …”

the entire funding model is this: Starting with the completed project, work backwards to set a series of exponentially decreasing “intermediate” goals, get promises that each time you achieve one goal you get money for the next. Then, by hook or by crook scrape up sufficient money to get MOST of the way to the first, smallest, goal — close enough so you can say “Look, if we just throw some more money at it, we’ll get funding for the next (larger) stage, with all the jobs that will bring. Then repeat.

In other words, a cascade of “too big to fail” crises, where at each stage you convince the taxpayer that they’ve poured in so much money on that stage that going forward to the next stage makes more sense than going back.


16 posted on 01/07/2014 10:10:27 PM PST by Flash Bazbeaux
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To: SeekAndFind
There is a fairly decent book describing why the Democrats love these projects and not all of the reasons are obvious:

Paradise Lost?: High-Speed Trains Get Waylaid, Shady Politicians Get Billions and Taxpayers Get the Shaft!

It's actually written by a disaffected but unrepentant leftist.

17 posted on 01/07/2014 10:18:09 PM PST by Carry_Okie (0-Care IS Medicaid; they'll pull a sheet over your head and take your home to pay for it.)
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To: Seaplaner
Even if it didn't stop at the 6 or so stops, one seriously suspects that it's not going average anywhere near 200 mph (and that's on a good day. Trains are always late, always).

Most of the substrate along the route is clay. Methinks the passengers will get the heaves.

The whole point of this gambit is for investors to play "pump and dump" with the applicable penny stocks and real estate affected by the project. Richard Blum is one of the biggest players in this game.

18 posted on 01/07/2014 10:24:05 PM PST by Carry_Okie (0-Care IS Medicaid; they'll pull a sheet over your head and take your home to pay for it.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Why not pour the money into a line from LA to Las Vegas? That might make money and you might get the Casinos to pay for it.


19 posted on 01/07/2014 11:16:58 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: SeekAndFind

Didn’t we see this movie? As I recall, Governor Lamar stands to lose a whole bunch of real estate profit if the train tracks don’t run through Rock Ridge...........


20 posted on 01/07/2014 11:21:07 PM PST by 230FMJ (...from my cold, dead, fingers.)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade
Why not pour the money into a line from LA to Las Vegas? That might make money and you might get the Casinos to pay for it.

Because building something is not the primary objective. Asset manipulation is the objective. This is little more than high-stakes racketeering. The water tunnel is the same sort of deal. Trainor's book has the goods on them, which is why he basically lost his career as an investigative reporter, and got beat up a few times to boot.

21 posted on 01/07/2014 11:45:55 PM PST by Carry_Okie (0-Care IS Medicaid; they'll pull a sheet over your head and take your home to pay for it.)
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To: EternalVigilance

“Well, one way or another, I’m sure Pelosi’s hubby will still make a fortune.”

Yeah, Paul Pelosi will make a killing building it and Dicky Blum (Mr. Dianne Fineswine) will be there to make his killing selling the remnants of it ( like he’s doing with all the closed airbases in CA).


22 posted on 01/07/2014 11:53:39 PM PST by vette6387
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To: Forward the Light Brigade
I've always wondered about that. An LA to Vegas train really makes sense, and could even, gasp, turn a profit.

And to sweeten the deal, make sure that Jerry Brown still gives his union bosses the requisite tribute money.

After all, anyone with a brain knows that this is the goal, anyway.

Union payoffs.

23 posted on 01/08/2014 12:06:55 AM PST by boop (Liberal religion. No rules, just right!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nobody out here in the North Bay wants that choo choo, or thinks we need it. The only group happy about this money pit being planned would be the unions and the congressmen. Opposition to this gilded pipe dream continues to grow stronger and louder. No no NO!


24 posted on 01/08/2014 1:30:55 AM PST by lee martell
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To: goldstategop

The Metro in LA doesn’t work because it doesn’t go anywhere anyone would want to be.

The biggest proponents of public transportation don’t want it in their part of town.


25 posted on 01/08/2014 4:28:02 AM PST by vmivol00 (I won't be reconstructed.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Democrats in Wisconsin are still angry that Scott Walker killed the (sort of) high speed rail project between Milwaukee and Madison. Walker turned down a boatload of (free) federal money. They don’t like and won’t read articles like this.


26 posted on 01/08/2014 4:35:51 AM PST by Senator_Blutarski
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To: EternalVigilance

It’s Feinstein’s hubby who is the big investor in this.


27 posted on 01/08/2014 7:10:55 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Willie Green

Choo, choo ping.


28 posted on 01/08/2014 8:00:18 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: 230FMJ

Be still, Taggert.


29 posted on 01/08/2014 8:25:10 AM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: vmivol00

The Metro at least serves a highly populated region - LA County has over 10 million people. So the ridership market is already there.

That’s not the case with High Speed Rail and the rural location in which the initial segment would have been built. It would lose money from Day One.

The money could better be used to expand the Metro light rail network so people can go where they want. They’re already riding it.

In contrast, no one is riding an over expensive train whose construction and operating costs can’t be justified because the math doesn’t add up. And its not needed, period.


30 posted on 01/08/2014 2:39:58 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

That’s right. Sorry. It’s hard to keep the corrupt leftists sorted out sometimes.


31 posted on 01/08/2014 2:43:33 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks SeekAndFind.

BREAK UP: Will California splinter into 6 states? Voters, Congress could soon decide
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3109339/posts

Undocumented Lawyer Says He Would Consider Running For Governor Of California
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3109758/posts


32 posted on 01/08/2014 6:30:41 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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