Jeff Denham Appointed Chair of House Railroad Committee, Vows to Continue War on California HSR

Jan 16th, 2013 | Posted by

Congressman Jeff Denham, who barely survived his first bid for re-election in November, has been appointed to chair the House Transportation Committee’s Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials subcommittee. Denham has been a leader in the fight to stop the California high speed rail project, despite the numerous benefits it would bring to his district, and he vows to continue the fight to block new federal funding from his new perch:

“I’ve obviously taken a very storing position about California high-speed rail and I’m going to continue do so,” Denham said. “We’ll have the ability to hold hearings, we’ll have the rail reauthorization bill and different transportation funding measures. I don’t want to see one more penny [go to the California high-speed rail] until they disclose who their private partners are.”…

Despite his state’s Democratic leaders’ enthusiasm, Denham sponsored an amendment to the $105 billion transportation bill that was approved by Congress last year to bar any of the money from going to the proposed California railway.

He told The Hill on Wednesday that he would seek to continue the ban in future transportation authorizations.

“I don’t believe gas tax money should be going to rail,” Denham said.

Given the high levels of air pollution in his district and the need for short-term and long-term job creation, Denham is crazy to take this approach. High speed rail would be a boon to his district and its constituents, one reason why local newspapers have been urging him to drop his opposition to the project.

Interestingly, in comments to the Modesto Bee, Denham tried to strike a slightly less hostile tone:

“I’m opposed to it, but I’m going to work with the California High-Speed Rail Authority on going forward,” Denham said Wednesday. “I want to work together with them, though I still have doubts about their funding and ridership numbers.”

The irony of course is that Denham himself is fighting to prevent the project from getting more funding, which makes it rather circular for him to express doubts about the funding. And if he’s worried about ridership, he can take a trip on any passenger train in the state and see huge ridership numbers, whether it’s BART, Caltrain, or his local San Joaquins.

But this isn’t about common sense. It’s about ideology. As a second term member of Congress in a district he barely won last year, Denham is a marked man in 2014. Democrats targeted 20 Republican legislative and Congressional seats in California in 2012, and won 19 of them. The one they lost was Denham’s seat. Democrats are likely going to come after him again, and that means Denham will need to raise big money from the far-right wackjobs who currently bankroll the Republican Party. To keep them happy, Denham has to sell out his district in order to maintain favor with those wingnut backers.

Democrats have a 4.7% advantage in registration numbers in the 10th Congressional district, which suggests that Denham has his work cut out for him to win re-election. An ideological stand against a major project in his district – especially a project that by 2014 will be under construction – is not going to play well. Denham may please his right-wing masters by taking a hard stance against high speed rail, but his voters are less likely to go along.

  1. Ted Judah
    Jan 16th, 2013 at 20:40

    My guess is that Denham received this post precisely because he will be tilting at windmills.

    Current Transportation Committee Chair Bill Shuster just vacated the the Railroads/Pipelines/Hazardous Materials Subcommittee and is a bigger supporter of Amtrak and traditional funding than Mica was. The Subcommittee slot is worthless, unless you are looking for a post where you can scrutinize CAHSR with every waking moment thus giving no time for oversight of Amtrak and giving you street cred with conservative Republican donors who are going to have to pay big money to help you defend your seat in 18 months.

    joe Reply:

    He’s willing to play the fool but Dehnam was very well funded in 2012. Not that more to gain in 2014 by going full-metal-jack-ass on HSR.

    Denham has much more to lose opposing a project that has state and federal support and should be producing local jobs in 2014.

    His opponent, Jose Hernandez, should try a second time. He grew up in area and was competitive in 2012. Demographics are in his favor and there is this
    On-line voter registration.

    VBobier Reply:

    I agree Jose Hernandez should do as you said, Time is slowly going against Denham and I suspect in 2014 He could lose His Seat, it may only take a nudge to send Him over the proverbial cliff, just like the mountain climber on the Price is Right TV show…

    CA needs to get as many Repubs as it can out of the CA delegation in 2014 and with Demographics sliding towards the Blue end of the political scale, hopefully in 2014 there will be less CA Terrorist Repubs going back to Congress….

    We need to deny CA Repubs as much entry into the CA delegation in 2014 as possible, Ideally that would be all of them, but realistically I don’t know if that is possible yet, but I can dream of total Victory in CA, as it’s still a Free Country….

    John Burrows Reply:

    A real challenge would be to dream up a way to send Kevin Mc Carthy to the unemployment line in 2014.

  2. Jim
    Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:30

    I don’t know that Denham matters to California HSR. As long as the Republicans hold the House, there won’t be any HSR money, whoever runs the railroad subcommittee. HAC is thoroughly against it; the rescission came out of HAC. Once the Democrats retake the House, Denham becomes irrelevant.

    He might matter to Amtrak. The Amtrak reauthorization — Son of PRIIA? Bride of PRIIA? — has to come out of T&I this year and will originate in his subcommittee. Boardman might need some backup plans.

    Eric Reply:

    The republicans shouldn’t hold the House now…I’ve run the numbers of the 2012 general election from every state and nationally, there were about two million more votes for democratic Representatives than republicans in 2012…only a serious amount of gerrymandering has allowed them to maintain the advantage. Heck, just going by the numbers, we should also have around 24 third-party representatives in congress.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you have 2 things wrong.

    1. This is not Europe, we dont do proportional voting here, it is first to post. Thank god because as bad as it is we dont end up like Greece where you can’t even form a government.

    2. Just because there were 2 million more votes for dems does not mean it was gerrymandered…unless you consider state boundries gerrymandered. That is mostly a function of the fact that the coasts vote democrat and the interior of the country (with far fewer people) vote republican. Example, the US house rep in Wyoming got about 166,500 votes and her opposition got 57,500) for a difference of 109,000. That is a huge percentage but a very small number compared to a state like CA which will dwarf that voting difference if you count up all the districts. So it is not gerrymandered, those are state boundrys.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    1. Not all European countries with proportional voting ‘end up like Greece’.

    2. Gerrymandering does account for most the representational disproportion. The interior-exterior difference you speak of affects the senate, not the house (or only to a small degree). House districts are allocated to a far greater extent by population (so California gets roughly 56 reps vs 3 for Wyoming).

    Eric Reply:

    California has 53 representatives. Wyoming has 1. You may be thinking electoral votes.

    And California is slightly gerrymandered according to the numbers. 38 of 53 (71%) of the seats are republican, and democrats got 60.6% of the vote (for an imbalance of 5 too many democrats). However, california is a weird case as the “top two” vote method went into effect this year, and so in a few districts both general election candidates were of the same party. This may have affected voter turnout in california to some degree…
    Districts 8 and 31 had two republicans; while Districts 15, 30, 35, 40, 43, and 44, had two democrats. The average district in california had roughly 230,000 congressional votes cast, while these 8 districts average to roughly 182,000 votes cast.

    Eric Reply:

    Something else of interest is that Puerto Rico has come closer to wanting statehood with the last election. If they did become a state, they would become the 29th most populous state with around 12 representatives, temporarily increasing the size of the house of representatives to 447 until the 2022 election with the 2020 census redistricting.

    John Burrows Reply:

    I think that you may have added House seats and electors to come up with 12. Puerto Rico would probably get 5 house seats. I am not sure though whether Republicans or Democrats would benefit the most from Puerto Rican Statehood.

    joe Reply:

    Nit to pick.

    gerrymandering is an attempt to favor a party – the existence of an imbalance between popular vote and representation is a consequence of our winner take all voting. It does not prove intention to bias for Dems. It happens to disfavor a minority party.

    CA’s district system is neutral. It is by definition, not gerrymandered.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Notably, Germany has proportional representation. Are you afraid that we’ll “end up like Germany”?

    Or perhaps we’ll “end up like Scotland”. Or “end up like Iceland”.

    Proportional representation is the only way to go. If you can’t form a government under a proportional representation system, it’s a sign that there’s some serious conflicts in society which need to be resolved. In a crap electoral system like ours, those conflicts are resolved with civil wars, usually.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You could not even pick good examples. In Germany at the moment the governing coalition may fall because the junior partner is losing votes even though the top party is popular and gaining votes. Scotland is not a country, it is a state. Iceland had an even worse collapse of the financial system than Greece and the standard of living has plummeted. Not a ringing endorsement of the political system.

    You want other examples of disfunction, the Netherlands haven’t been able to form a government in more than a year. Israel has so many minor parties the government breaks up every 6 months. Don’t even get me started on Italy, Just because his party is the biggest the worst prime minister since Mousallini may get back in power.

    The truth is that every system has drawbacks, but one of the nice things about the US system is you elect people…not parties, and that means you can have a democratic president and a republican house which does not happen in the proportional systems because they always use prime ministers who are from the majority party.

    Steven Harrell Reply:

    Eh, I’m not sure I would use Wyoming as an example in this case. Generally states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia are better examples. I mean, I think we’re all comfortable with the notion that Wyoming is only going to be represented by one, indivisable person. The gerrymandering in large swing states is a more serious issue, far more evident, and is significantly more purposeful than a state line.

    I’m sure there are lots of great arguments for and against gerrymandering, lots of examples that both parties engage in it, and lots of reasons why natural voter distribution may be mistaken for gerrymandering– I’m not addressing any of those things– but no one in their right mind can argue that it doesn’t happen, and that gerrymandering, in and of itself, has not significantly distorted our representation in Congress. Maybe that distortion is for the better, maybe it’s for the worse, but it certainly exists, and it is not the accidental doing of long-dead mapmakers.

    Eric Reply:

    Wyoming is a bad example, as it has only 1 representative – so that state is literally impossible to gerrymander. There are states that are heavily gerrymandered however.
    Florida – 17 of 27 (63%) representatives are republican despite having gotten only 36% of the vote. In Florida, 40.5% of the vote was for democrats, and a massive 23.5% was for third party candidates. Most third party votes in Florida went for “No Party Affiliation”.
    Michigan – 9 of 14 (64%) republicans – they only got 45.6% of the vote. Democrats got 50.9%
    North Carolina – 9 of 13 (69%) republicans – they only got 48.4% of the vote. Democrats got 50.3%
    Ohio – 12 of 16 (75%) republicans – they only got 50% of the vote, democrats got 46%
    Pennsylvania – 13 of 18 (72%) republicans – they only got 48.5% of the vote, democrats got 50%.
    Virginia – 8 of 11 (72%) republicans – they only got 49.4% of the vote, democrats got 47.5%
    Wisconsin – 5 of 8 republicans despite having only gotten 48.7% of the vote.

    These are all states where Republicans got more than half the seats but less than half the votes. This case also exists in Colorado, but Colorado is more or less accurate (4 of 7, with 2% more republican votes, and 9.2% third party votes.

    Those states alone represent a margin of 25 too many seats for republicans. 6 of them in Florida should be third party candidates.

    Even if you break it up into state by state, without individual district lines, you’d have slightly more democrats than republicans, and about 14 third party representatives.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    Off topic, but too funny not to share–a Fox News weather map that came on my Facebook page. Note where West Virginia now is.

    Could be a way to pick up more electoral votes. . .

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Actually, it is always possible to set up some executive government. Greece is a very bad example, because of all their historical problems, and because that one party and clans were in power for too long. You can’t compare it to other countries with proportional voting. In fact, there are many European countries which do not have proportional voting, such as France (which has single-representative disctricts).

    However, the problem with single-representative districts is that fewer people are actually represented than with proportional voting. On the other hand, counting the votes with proportional voting may get a bit complex (ever heard of the “doppelter Pukelsheim”? (Prof. Pukelsheim developed a model which ensures maximum representation)). Proportional voting would mean. for example for Florida that 27 seats are allocated, and the distribution would be (interpreting the numbers mentioned above) 11 democrats, 10 republicans, and 7 “others” (it depends on how big those “other” parties would have become; if all of those parties would not have reached a minimum percentage of votes to justify a seat, and only Democrats and Republican parties got enough, the distribution would be 15 or 14 democrats and 12 or 13 republicans.

    Multi-representative districts with proportional voting would make gerrymandering useless. It would actually force the parties to prove their work’s worth … which woudn’t be so bad, would it?

  3. Jo
    Jan 17th, 2013 at 08:23

    Denham still has not figured out the reasons why the republican’s registration numbers have fallen below 30% in California, or at least he does not want to act on them yet. Demographics and registration numbers for republicans are clearly going against Denham.

    I may be just hoping, but as he realizes that his reelection chances may be numbered, I am hoping he begins to moderate his views. But to stay as chair of the transportation committee, he would need to walk a fine line. Still I predict that someday, he may be a late convert to high speed rail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Brown and Pelosi will simply buy him off with some earmark.

    StevieB Reply:

    Jeff Denham defeated former astronaut Jose Hernandez 110,265 (52.7%) to 98,934 (47.3%). Denham has proven a big fundraiser by raising twice as much as his opponent. Outside interests also provided large amounts to his election.

  4. Reality Check
    Jan 17th, 2013 at 10:46

    Amtrak and California join forces on high speed fleet procurement

    The partnership agreement is intended to help advance both the rebuilding of the Boston – New York – Washington, DC Northeast Corridor and the development of an 800 km Californian network by establishing ‘a US standard’ for high speed passenger rolling stock which could be ‘manufactured and supplied domestically and produced for the rest of the world’.

    Amtrak Joins California to Help Buy High-Speed Rail Gear

    New trains might cost $35 million to $55 million each, Boardman said in Washington, declining to estimate the value of a contract. Amtrak and California, which plans to begin fast- train rail operations in 2022, will seek bids from companies by September, Boardman said.

    “If everyone’s out issuing their own orders, everyone’s subject to what the industry can provide,” said Jeff Morales, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. “We can drive the market in a way we can’t if we purchase separately.”


    Congress has effectively cut off using federal money to fund California’s rail project. Representative Jeff Denham, a California Republican and critic of the state project, was named this week as vice chairman of the rail subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

    Boardman said the plan for Amtrak and California to order equipment jointly is “about doing the right thing for the United States” and not a new way to get U.S. money to the California project.

    Amtrak, California cooperating on new fast trains

    “We want to develop a high-speed rail industry here in the United States,” Morales said Thursday. “We want this to be the next aerospace industry.”

    The “request for information” issued Thursday seeks manufacturers’ proposals on how to replace all the Acelas gradually with entirely new, faster trains. By September, Amtrak will seek bids for such trains, with plans to place an order in 2014.

    The first of the new trains isn’t likely to arrive until at least 2017.

    Amtrak envisions buying 12 new train sets to add to its existing fleet and to replace the 20 current Acela train sets in the early 2020s.

    California is seeking initially to buy 27 train sets capable of carrying 450 to 500 passengers per train.

    The trains likely would cost $35 million to $55 million each, Boardman said.

    Because of the different requirements for operating on the brand-new California line and the existing Northeast Corridor, there would have to be some differences in the trains.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “We can drive the market”

    “‘manufactured and supplied domestically and produced for the rest of the world’.”

    “there would have to be some differences in the trains.”

    fools rush in…

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yeah, the rest of the world will be clamoring to buy those first-ever made-in-USA HS trains.

    Look how much trouble Boeing has had, and is continuing to have, with the 787 … and they’ve been in the plane-building business for 97 years.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    I detect a small iota of negativism — I know the best thing would of course to be to purchases trains and other stuff from Japan, Europe et al, but Morales’s sentiment has a big political plus side: once Americans see that there is gold them there hills, hell, boy, their attitudes might change.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A recipe for disaster. There is no reason of any substance favoring this move and many, many reasons against it. A chimera morphing Acela and Boeing-Vertol.

    This is the biggest CHSRA story since the firing of Van Ark. Where are all the cheerleaders and foamers? Essentially Amtrak-NEC is appropriating the CHSRA. Moonbeam realizes he and his merry men are not up to it and wants to nationalize the whole project, especially the certain to be whopping operating deficit.

    This reconfirms what was always suspected – those now in charge of the CHSRA are hopelessly in over their head. I doubt even Kopp is as stupid as this.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why don’t they turn the project over to the Department of Defense?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Does PB get to design the NEC-bahnwagon?

    Nathanael Reply:

    You goofballs are over-reading this announcement.

    All this means is that Amtrak and the CHSRA decided to combine their order because you can get better bids on on an order of 59 trainsets than an order of 32 or 27. Which is just a fact. If there were a third >125mph project in the US, it would undoubtedly join in too.

    Small orders incur extra costs in factory setup. 59 is still smaller than desirable; Amtrak’s latest fleet strategy plan states that they expect that to get good bids for conventional railcars they will have to order lots of 100 at a time.

    Derek Reply:

    Maybe XpressWest would be interesting in joining the group buy. And maybe the manufacturer would be able to use some of the same tooling for conventional trains and therefore accept bids for them.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    You’re delusional.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    100 railcars is significantly smaller than 59 train sets. This purchase would be closer to an order for a thousand railcars than a hundred.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Good point, Paul. The principle of bulk purchasing still applies, though; the NYC Subway gets by far the best rates of any passenger rail provider in the US because it purchases cars in extremely large quantities.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    maybe but as usual your attitude is that of a 21 year old (or a teapartier!): no political realism! My way (as in I-5!) or the highway! On the other hand, I’m with you in spirit.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am very far from perfect or omniscient but in the case of Tejon vs Tehachapi it was strictly “my way or the highway” on PB’s part from the get-go. Tejon stood before a kangaroo court.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    What do you think PB’s motive was in making that choice, ie
    the real one?

    synonymouse Reply:

    It may have been largely a conceit of their own making. PB is so politicized they may have been excessively proactive. In other words they way underestimated the chance of selling Tejon, perhaps because they did not adequately examine the pros and cons from the start.

    I suggest the opposition can be overcome and buying off opponents with favors is worth it because you will have a much more viable project with Tejon. In a somewhat bassackward way I think the CHSRA knows they have a routing problem – namely the SNCF may have failed to sell their scheme but they did get the message thru to PB-CHSRA that the DeTour will lose money, lots of it.

    It revolves around the worst case scenario that I open with the question: “Where’s the NdeM?” My point is that the tides of opinion can and do change against state-run rr’s. California will have great difficulty continuing to own and operate an hsr that generates perpetual and substantial red ink. They will forced to privatize and ultimately it will not be a pretty picture. A great embarrassment even for the all-powerful patronage machine. So the need to find some deep pockets to foist it on. And thus is born the Amtrak-NEC connection which over time becomes direct take-over. Especially of the losses.

    flowmotion Reply:

    syn — I lean towards your previous theorizing that “deep politics” mandated the Tehachapi route and PB is just carrying the water.

    PB enabled this thorough sloppy early planning that simply found an existing railroad and drew HSR next to it on imaginary ROW. This made the route look logical to the rail-foamers, who were about the only people who cared.

    Then, HSRA promised every city a hightek 21st century “TOD”-friendly downtown station, based on their flimsy maps. Only afterward did PB bother to check how many viaducts and tunnels would be required to deliver on this. And, lucky for them, they also discovered a few new fault lines on the Tehachapi route.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Your description is quite sensible and pretty much how my thinking started out. I too favored the 99 corridor and Pacheco at the time I voted for Prop 1A. It seemed logical but reconsidered again and again and came around to the more humdrum Altamont as the best fit for the overall Bay Area and then I-5 had all the indications of a bargain in the rough that was being totally ignored.

    But I always considered Tejon manifest. But is a witches’ brew of interests and plots afoot here. The Tejon Ranch is inscrutable – their opposition seems so simplistic and superficial something has to be missing. They are developers and they know full well that I-5, path 15 and the aqueduct are not going away. There is no way the Grapevine, as close as it is to LA, will be wilderness or pristine or probably anything close to that. It is going to be suburban at the very least.

    Maybe they want a lot more money than eminent domain would deliver. And then again does the highway lobby have possibly conflicting longterm expansion plans for I-5 at the Grapevine? Could be that PB is burnt out massaging outsized egos in Santa Clarita and Palmdale, etc. and is now just drifting along default lines, looking for direction. Meanwhile just spend whatever money comes along.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I think I mixed a metaphor there; try witches brew boiling over, and so forth.

    flowmotion Reply:

    syn — I too voted for voted for 1A, but from the beginning it was obvious their planning maps were obvious bullshit, if anyone had bothered to look.

    HSRA claimed they could build mostly “at grade” through downtown Fresno and Bakersfield, as if these were tiny little farm towns. Well, ruse worked, the rail-foamers thought they were getting Amtrak++ and bought it all-the-way. Oh what a “total surprise” it was when the costs ballooned 10x! You know, because nobody had ever been to Fresno, and thought it looked like Bodie.

    Well, I drank the Kool-Aid offered by the transit-advocates. I thought there was no way that HSRA would turn this into a state-wide BART, and eventually rationality would prevail, just due to the huge $$$$ required. Boy was I wrong.

    In any case, you’re the only poster here who decoded the “deep politics” behind the route selection and I’ve reluctantly concluded you’re right on most accounts. Even mega-cynics like Mlynarik didn’t figure this out. Keep on keeping on.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thanx for the encouragement. I just wish I could get closer to the bottom of this. It seems there are missing parts to the puzzle, we are not privy to and may not find out about for years.

    The knee-jerk hostility of the Tejon Ranch Co. needs to be examined by someone more familiar with their operation. They are developers and speculators who have been holding onto the vast property for many years, obviously counting on its enormously increasing in value in the near future. I think they want a lot more money, to put it simply. They see hsr as not adding any value and stealing their property. Jerry Brown will have to make them an offer they cannot refuse – like Don Corleone give them what they consider a fair price(probably what it will be worth in 50 years)backed up by a genuine threat of eminent domain. It is worth the payola and the Tejon Co. can be brought around to seeing hsr at Bear Trap Canyon as something they can live with.

    Funny thing I agree with Villa that most of the CHSRA money should be spent in the LA basin. Even if it comes to $100bil. OPB on the Altamont site suggested a base tunnel in the San Fernando Valley as a full solution. Both Palmdale and Santa Clarita have to be assuaged. But it is money well invested, unlike gratuitous BART elevateds in the San Joaquin Valley. I suggest that a lot of money be saved returning to Tejon and I-5 and plough it back into LA wherein reside a great part of the population, the smog, and the social problems.

    joe Reply:

    The idea that trains will be built in Europe or Japan and shipped to the nascent US market has no basis in any other industry. I don’t know of a better industrial analogy than the auto industry.

    European and Asian car manufacturing is moving to the US. Suzuki was desperate for on-shore manufacturing to cut costs – Post-Ford, Mazda finally has a plant in Mexico. Toyota’s NUMNI plant in Fremont produced some of their most reliable vehicles. VW, BMW, Toyota, NISSAN, Subaru.

    So building here for use in this market is what’s best. The more content here, the less costly and more robust they are to currency fluctuations.

    Europeans can’t even ship their over cars here without meeting US market preferences.FIAT’s 500 took a few years to adapt to the US market.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    The idea that trains will be built in Europe or Japan and shipped to the nascent US market has no basis in any other industry.

    Except for the whole “routinely happens” bit.

    joe Reply:

    Yeah so Jeff Morales is also wrong. You bloggers sure haz the truth.

    There’s a new rail manufacturing facility in Rochelle IL which will build CA’s Amtrak cars.
    Siemens in Sacramento is a Potemkin front.

    HSR is new. The US market is just beginning and in this global recession a critical place to grow a HSR business. There is not one corporation on this planet that would not will gladly setup manufacturing facilities on shore.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    ALP-46, ALP-45DP.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Also Silverliner V and Rotem Guardian cars.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Joe, you are exactly right. US industrial labor at $15/hour, you can ‘contract’ workers with no long-term commitment, unions either don’t exist or have been whipsawed, heavy state & local subsides. They’d have to be nuts to build in Europe if its feasible to build them here.

    joe Reply:

    Or in Japan – Japanese auto either brings manufacturing here or get priced out and die – like Suzuki which Lost access to GM and mistakenly thought VW would share facilities here. Mazada lost access to FORD plants and just opened one in Mexico.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Joe– I don’t know how old you are, I’m old enough to remember Reagan’s speech where he told the Japanese that they either build their cars here or they were kaput.

    When the financial crisis happened in 2008, one of Hillary’s first jobs was heading to Japan to tell them the special Yen deal was off. 0% at the FED and ~Mysteriously~, Government Motors rebounded almost immediately.

    Anyway, we’ve got cheap currency, cheap labor, mystery-meat healthcare, and no stinkin unions. Bring it on home, boys.

    And, Mazda is like the weak sister in that crowd (jeez, sharing a Ford union plant). Your examples are pretty lousy. Look at Toyota or Nissan, they have huge US manufacturing footprints, all down South..

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Those US-made Airbus planes sure are awesome, “joe”.

    joe Reply:

    Oh noes!

    Maybe you tell me how many Airbus refueling tankers the USAF ordered?

    We have a strong, well protected aerospace industry so I do like that example. HSR will be like the airline industry – we are a net exporter.

    joe Reply:

    Boeing’s problems are rooted in sociopathic profiteering.

    Boeing decided to maximize profits by cutting costs and putting the complex product at risk They outscored and move manufacturing to union hostile, low salary NC. It took away a key advantge – a skilled workforce capable of building complex aircraft.

    Outscoring also outsources the profitable, long term business of selling parts to airlines. Those parts no long Boeing made will produce profit for the subcontractors.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What you are describing has been SOP for American manufacturers since the 1950’s.

    Sure the NEC-Moonbahnwagon will get built by someone, but it will prove inferior, perhaps very much so in operation, than ones each would have obtained separately.

    By your line of reasoning, BART should be compelled to share-bid for its equipment with NYC, DC, Atlanta, LA, etc.

    Of course Imperial BART would never stoop so low. It is used to writing its own ticket.

    Nathanael Reply:

    And BART’s equipment costs several times more than anyone else’s.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Precisely as SP-Bechtel intended.

    Back in the Saddle Reply:

    Boeing built a plant in South Carolina not North Carolina.

  5. Jo
    Jan 17th, 2013 at 13:29

    I can not wait to learn which companies will be submitting proposals.

  6. Jo
    Jan 17th, 2013 at 14:08

    GE previously entered into an agreement with China to license their HSR technology. Is the Amtrak/CAHSRA agreement what they have been waiting for? EMD is now aligned with Caterpillar; might they align with Talgo or the Japanese and make a bib too?

  7. Paul Dyson
    Jan 17th, 2013 at 16:11

    Let’s just build Siemens products at Sacramento. There, decision made, back to talking about Tejon. Of course someone never stopped…..

    BrianR Reply:

    yes, could someone please remind me what synonymouse’s position is on Tejon vs. Tehachapi? I keep forgetting what it is and it is such a rarity to see it discussed here. Please discuss it some more or better yet maybe synonymouse could remind us of what he thinks. I’ll use the working assumption right now that synonymouse is 100% in favor of Tehachapi and couldn’t imagine a better planned route.

    VBobier Reply:

    Syno thinks He can get support for Tejon here, He’s delusional as Tejon will never happen, not even if He became GOD….

    flowmotion Reply:

    Well, the Altamont Pass people all got demoralized and left, and someone needs to pick up the slack.

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