Neel Kashkari Fights the Future

May 5th, 2014 | Posted by

Badly trailing in the polls, Republican candidate for governor Neel Kashkari is trying to get traction with his party’s right-wing base. He’s rolled out endorsements from prominent Republicans like Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and Pete Wilson (all of which will make him radioactive in the general election this fall). Yet he is still trailing far right extremist Tim Donnelly for the second spot in the June election.

In a desperate move, Kashkari is now spending $500,000 of his own money on the following TV ad that touts his desire to slash public spending. In the ad, Kashkari chops wood – an activity alien to about 95% of California residents – to symbolize his desire to cut everything. And near the end of the ad, he aims his ax at passenger rail:

Kashkari is doubling down on his opposition to high speed rail, despite the thousands of jobs it will create for Republican voters in the Central Valley, despite the fact that it will cover its own operating costs, and despite the fact that it is utterly essential to the state’s ability to reduce CO2 emissions. Perhaps most importantly, he does so despite the fact that a majority of Californians still support high speed rail.

Even if Kashkari succeeds in making it through to the November election, he will be lucky to break 40% in the final vote against the popular incumbent, Governor Jerry Brown. Brown, of course, is a strong backer of high speed rail and enjoys favorable polling and re-elect numbers. Kashkari is going to be very disappointed to learn that California voters don’t share his hostility to a project essential to California’s future.

  1. Richard Mlynarik
    May 5th, 2014 at 11:32

    Neel Kashkari Fights the Future!

    Only reclusive genius inventor (of all manner of things) Robert Cruickshank was able to perceive the growing threat of Skynet and genetically engineer KashkariBot, the ultimate fighting cyborg, to travel forward through time to battle the doubling down on the re-elect numbers of the essential, securing the past against the future rise of the radioactive actively alien.

    therealist Reply:

    are u channelling the mouse ??

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    If NEEL gets enough KASH from his Republican supporters this summer and fall, he’ll win over enough on-the-fence California voters with his compellingly superb idea of how to run this state and easily KARI the election in November.

    His first act, after being sworn in as Governor, will be to fulfill his brilliant promise to chop Governor Brown’s KRAZY TRAIN into smithereens.

    EJ Reply:

    Neel isn’t even going to win the Republican primary. I’m not sure why Robert is so focused on him.

    joe Reply:

    Neel’s the GOP’s institutionally endorsed candidate.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, no! It’s not Robert who is the real Kyle Reese. It’s Ron Paul. Think about it: he is trying to wreck the financial system and defund the US military, clearly in order to prevent either a financial or a military SkyNet from forming; but he’s also a Second Amendment nut, clearly trying to put guns in the hands of humans in case he fails in his primary mission.

    (I once played a conspiracy theory LARP that operated based on this assumption.)

  2. morris brown
    May 5th, 2014 at 12:02

    The poll Robert cites says:

    “Likely voters are less supportive, (45% favor, 50% oppose); hardly backing up Robert’s statement.

    The LA Times poll says:

    52% want bullet train stopped, poll finds see:

    Also from that poll:

    The poll found 70% of respondents want the project to be placed back on the ballot — up from the 55% measured in last year’s USC Dornsife/L.A. Times poll.

    My my, this is HSR gaining in popularity!!

    The only way the Authority can claim operating expenses will be covered is by saying they can run the train for about $.10 / passenger mile, which is ridiculous. ACELA says costs for its train are about $.40 / passenger mile.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Acela is realllllllllly realllly slow. The staff gets paid by the hour and the train depreciates by the hour not by the mile.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry does not care and the other party bosses are in denial save Newsom. By the time the orphan ARRA segment turns a wheel and immediately proves a fiscal bomb Jerry will be history.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Proper logo for the DogLeg:

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Does the Golden State need a Golden Wipe?

    Alan Reply:

    You’re still ignoring the reality of the only poll that matters–the one where everybody had a voice, and where the pro-HSR governor was reelected, defeating the anti-HSR challenger.

    morris brown Reply:


    You write:

    You’re still ignoring the reality of the only poll that matters–the one where everybody had a voice, and where the pro-HSR governor was reelected, defeating the anti-HSR challenger.

    So Alan you don’t care and don’t understand why the public has turned away in it support. Prop 1A was promoted as costing $33 billion, not today’s understated $68 billion, which doesn’t even include LA to Anaheim. It was promoted time and time again as saying this $9.95 billion bond measure will be all the funding that California voters will have to pay.

    Prop 1A, said a business plan would be presented to the voters by Oct 1 2008, in time for them to examine; it was not produced until after the Nov 2008 election.

    Private funding and federal funding were to provide 2/3 of the costs of the system. Today no private funding present; today only $3.2 billion in federal funds have come forth, with no more on the horizon.

    Clear and simple, this is a sham, pure fraud on the voters of California and is the reason why 70% of the voters want a re-vote.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Global warming.

    Save the Planet.

    Save Tejon Mountain Village.

    Alan Reply:

    Morris, you cling to hope that these notoriously unreliable polls, so easily manipulated by the group which pays for it, have any meaning whatsoever.

    You’re deluding yourself by believing that 70% of the voters want HSR back on the ballot. The voters spoke loud and clear when they reelected a governor who strongly backs HSR, and by electing a legislative majority which also is supportive.

    The public has not turned away from support of HSR. As far as your claims on funding–you’ve obviously consumed too much of the CCHSR and Laurel & Hardy Kool-Aid to have any credibility.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Volk hate Obamacare. They love that the people they know, if not themselves, are able to get health insurance. If there is so much momentum to put it back on the ballot, go collect some signatures.

    Eric Reply:

    it is inflation. those values were arrived at back around 2004 or so, based on studies done around 2000 probably. the bond measure was put off two election cycles by Schwarzenegger as well.
    well now its 2014.
    Based on some data I’ve found on the BoR website, just land values alone have increased from an index of about 367.5 (average of year 2000 california) to 954 in 2014. meaning land acquisition costs have gone up about 260%
    Turner construction has cost indexes increasing from 595 in year 2000 to 885 in first quarter 2014, an increase of 48% (probably a nationwide average though)

  3. Jos Callinet
    May 5th, 2014 at 12:15

    We really need to clear up all the confusion surrounding the various polls purporting to show what percentage of California voters want CA’s HSR project canceled.

    Help, anyone?

    wdobner Reply:

    What makes you think that Gordian knot can be cut? The outcome of so many of the polls are more likely to reflect the standpoint of those asking the question than the opinion of the state’s body politic. There was a poll, in 2008. Those results are the ones that count.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    What makes you think that Gordian knot can be cut?

    Knots are nothing to KashkariBot in its War against the Future!

    KashkariBot power naps on your Procrustean Beds!

    KashkariBot is BFF with both Scylla and Charybdis!

    Minotaur flees in terror from the radioactivity KashkariBot!

    KashKariBot makes aristanal organic in-house proscuitto from Crommyonian Sow!

    Cerberus plays fetch with KashKariBot.

    In The War Against The Future, only Kashkari, chopping wood, is the only things that stands between civilization and a grim meathook future of carrying water.

    Jonathan Reply:

    KashkariBot is BFF with both Scylla and Charybdis!

    aaah, so he’s between Scylla and Charybdis?
    Nothing to worry about, then :) At least not for long enough to matter.

    Alan Reply:

    Simple. Jerry Brown defeated Meg Whitman.

    nslander Reply:

    That election was skewed.

  4. morris brown
    May 5th, 2014 at 12:26

    Robert and his supporters are not going to be happy with this:

    Washington Post:

    82% chance the REpublicans take control of Senate in November

    This forecast predicts senate will end up: 53 republicans and 47 democrats.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    If the Republicans take back the United States Senate in November, then the only persons remaining at the Federal level who can be counted upon to veto zero funding for Amtrak will be President Obama and V.P. Joe Biden, should he be called upon to break a tie vote.

    A Republican take-over of the Senate won’t change the dismal prospect for High Speed Rail in our country. There is zero support for it at the Federal level aside from Obama’s and Biden’s.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A lot depends on who they run. Ask Senator O’Donnell from Delaware how that works. Or Senator Akin from Missouri. Or Senator Mourdock from Indiana. I’m sure I-should-have-been-Senator-for-life Lugar might have some insights.

    trentbridge Reply:

    Well we all know – based on past history (methodology for this “Senate forecast” that the following will NEVER happen

    CALIFORNIA CHROME will NOT win the KENTUCKY DERBY. My statistical analysis shows the following FACTS:

    No California-bred horse had won the Derby since Decidedly in 1962.
    There was no way an $8,000 mare (Love the Chase) and a $2,500 heretofore undistinguished stallion (Lucky Pulpit) could have produced a horse swift and gritty enough to hold off a blue-blooded herd for the entire length of the track’s foreboding stretch.
    The trainer, Art Sherman, is 77 years-old – which everyone knows is too old since NOONE that old has trained a Derby winner.

    Only a fool would bet on this horse – history is against it!

    Alan Reply:

    Nate Silver, who actually knows what he’s doing, has it as a statistical dead heat.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Neither side has had much to say and not a lot of people are paying attention yet.
    ..I’m waiting for the Republican running for Congress up here to say something stunningly offense. I’m almost sure she has it in her.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    “…. stunningly offensive”, did you mean to say?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you translate it from Teapartiese

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The real reason to be worried about 2014 as a Democrat is that most ofte vulnerable seats have incumbents running for reelection, not new people as in 2012 that can pick and choose what to support.

    The Democrats will lose only if they run from ObamaCare. If Don Beebe, Ben Chandler, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter hit the stump for the ACA in the South, it will free up the Northern candidates to run on local issues.

    A GOP controlled Congress does give a boost to Democratic candidates in 2016, since building concensus between the Tea Party and Establishment will be just as impossible as it was in 2006.

    Eric Reply:

    “GOP Is Slight Favorite in Race for Senate Control”

    John Burrows Reply:

    Try Googling “Obama likely to lose in 2012”.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    McCain was going to win a landslide too.

    Joe Reply:

    Or search the lose the Senate in 2012.

    “Republicans Will Win the Majority Back in the Senate in the 2012 Elections”

  5. John Burrows
    May 5th, 2014 at 16:45

    As an old carpenter my main interest was in that log as it was being struck by Kashkari’s axe. Did he really split that log in one blow or was the log prepped beforehand?—I couldn’t tell.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they do 167 takes one of them will split… I don’t know if his technique is particularly good.

    If I was gonna be splitting wood for more than one evening’s campfire I’d consider renting a log splitter. But then if I was splitting wood for one evening’s campfire I’d probably use a wedge and a hammer. Much harder to slice off a finger with hammer. And better control. Easier still to go down to the guy who cuts firewood and get 5 bucks worth. Goggles are cheap, a pair of those too. There are all those loving shots of the plastic shattering into myriad shards….

    JB in PA Reply:

    Some wood is weak along the grain direction. Then there is live oak where I could drive the wedge like a nail. Then another. Finally the third would start a split so I could take one out and use it to go back and rescue the other wedges. You quickly learn which way to orient the wedge and be careful with a log that has a branch out the side. It may never split. Better to cut it with the chainsaw.

    Green wood might resist splitting and old dry wood might be hard. Douglas fir splits easy but burns fast and leaves creosote.

    We bought an old house and after lighting a few fires made one too big. I thought an 18-wheel truck was running outside. Went out to find a tongue of flame like a torch roaring from the pipe. We had to use the wet blanket to settle it back down. Fortunately the pipe was run inside bricks so it did not catch the structure on fire.

    If you choose a weak species of fir or pine it will split easy for a photo op. Unless you want to show someone struggle or the hammer bounce off the log.

    Also the handle does not last long if it hits the wedge. And the old beat-up wedge gets burrs that can break off and shoot at you. Yea, wood splitting is loads of fun. Sometimes feels like it is not worth the money. Even a splitter can get wound up on an oak log and be a mess to break free. At least I still have all 10 fingers.

    Joe Reply:

    All I saw were ear lobes.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    If Neel’s a Log Cabin Republican, I’m sure he regularly hones his axe and chops his wood to feed his Franklin cook stove, and is most likely in top physical condition from his exertions.

    If elected governor, he’ll widen his simple lifestyle as a humble woodsman to include hacking away at budgets.

    Happy chopping, Neel!

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    If Neel’s a Log Cabin Republican, I’m sure he regularly hones his axe and chops his wood …

    Looking just FABULOUS in those flannel shirts, Carhartt’s, suspenders and steel toed boots. Work it! And the epic beard? Almost too too, but with the whole ensemble and the wood-chopping physique he can pull it off, even if it would be a positive train-wreck on anybody else. Wouldn’t hurt to lose the shirt altogether, though.

    John Burrows Reply:

    Reminds me of a train-wreck back in 1988 when Dukakis did that photo-op on an Abrams tank. That helmet says it all.

    EJ Reply:

    Wouldn’t hurt to lose the shirt altogether, though.

    Putin style! Maybe he can go fight a bear.

    Zorro Reply:

    Neel will never get elected Governor, nor will Donnelly, baggers can take that to the bank.

    joe Reply:

    He split it. All were soft pine.

    The bark on the latter was clearly Ponderosa Pine. First probably Pinus contorta. Probably all second growth and dried sapwood.

  6. Donk
    May 5th, 2014 at 23:04

    I hate it when they say that a politician spent their own money. What percent of that will be recouped by the taxpayers or donors? When Meg Whitman spent like $20 gazillion on the campaign, I heard she was able to write off almost all of it. And then when Hillary was too stubborn to quit in the primary against Obama, I remember hearing that Obama’s campaign was going to pay back all of her debt.

    If they are going to go down in flames, let them go down in flames and don’t bail them out. Especially if the taxpayers have to foot part of the bill.

  7. Loren Petrich
    May 5th, 2014 at 23:28

    Any chance that the CHSRA will get a funding plan acceptable to Judge Kenny anytime soon? I ask that because it ought to start building something soon, because it has been all talk and no action.

    trentbridge Reply:


    Alan Reply:

    The two aren’t really tied together. Yes, for the moment (pending appeal) the Authority is required to redo the funding plan, but the judge did not enjoin construction. So the Authority is free to proceed, and is doing so.

    joe Reply:

    The authority will continually need to update a set plans and submit new funding plans (required for new appropriations). The peer review will write reports within 60 days and submit them to the legislature. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da‎ life goes on.

    Kenny’s request they rework the 2011 plan is an idle act. It enforces an abstract right of Plaintiffs with no purpose. The Authority needs to show funding in their upcoming and future plans to whatever they define on paper to be the useable segment.

  8. Keith Saggers
    May 6th, 2014 at 12:39
  9. morris brown
    May 6th, 2014 at 14:53

    Balfour Beatty, parent company which owns Parsons Brinckerhoff is gonig go sell off PB.


    Who knows what this means…. maybe our Governor will decide to buy PB; it should not be a whole lot of money, since PB must not be providing expected profits and was bought for about $650 million about 5 years ago.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Balfour Beatty said this morning that although Parsons Brinckerhoff had “continued to be a highly successful business and has grown significantly under Balfour Beatty’s ownership…

    joe Reply:

    The UK construction market continues to underperform. Clearly the UK needs to cut government spending to further boost confidence in their economy.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “tainted by the failure of the acquisition.”

    I guess they could peddle it to Tutor, Bombardier, Richard Blum or the Tejon Ranch Co.

  10. Jesse Dunn
    May 8th, 2014 at 14:37

    “I’m not a politician!”

    So what the hell are you doing in the political arena, Neel?

    Jesse Dunn Reply:

    I just saw the whole deal.

    Endorsed by Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney? Why not just say you hate the Jews and burn a cross while you’re at it? It’ll get you better poll numbers, Mr. Kashkari! Those endorsements aren’t things you want to tout, they’re things you really want to hide!

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Can we maybe not Godwin Bush and Romney, who are not particularly racist as far as Republicans go?

    jonathan Reply:

    … uh, so Alon, you;re drawing a distinction between um.. um.. a Washington, and a Jefferson?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I don’t understand the Washington and Jefferson reference. I can’t even tell which of Romney and Jeb Bush is more like Washington and which is more like Jefferson. Can you explain?

    Jesse Dunn Reply:

    Jeb Bush is running despite his own mother asking him not to and Mitt Romney spoke ill about his own constituents. I fail to see what your problem is with the way I have portrayed them.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    My problem is that neither is a Klansman.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Klan doesn’t appreciate Mormons or Yankees.

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