Trump Is No Friend of HSR

Jul 27th, 2016 | Posted by

George Skelton wonders this week if Donald Trump might be the best hope for California high speed rail:

Clinton — endorsed by Brown before the California primary — also supports high-speed rail. But as president, she would have virtually no chance of persuading a Republican-controlled House to spend money on a blue state bullet train. Trump plausibly might.

That’s not how a Trump presidency would work. Trump would come into office with a few policy objectives, like a border wall and a new alliance with Russia. But beyond that he will likely sign whatever a Republican Congress puts on his desk. And he’s not likely to pick a lot of policy level fights with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. They won’t fund high speed rail and Trump isn’t going to care about that.

Today’s Republicans are ideologically committed to austerity and to whatever the oil industry does or does not want. Donald Trump is a typical Republican and he will follow that lead.

On the other hand, if Hillary Clinton rides a Democratic wave into the White House, bringing Democratic control of Congress with her, then federal funding for HSR would become a stronger possibility.

There’s one other point that Skelton included in his column as an aside, but it’s important to debunk:

High-speed rail fans such as Trump and Brown bemoan China, France and other nations operating high-speed rail while we can’t seem to. But California is not a nation. No state has ever built a bullet train. States can’t print money.

States technically cannot print money. But they can come pretty close. They can float bonds and raise taxes on the rich to pay the bonds back over the course of several decades. Or they float bonds and just pay them back out of naturally increasing revenues, especially given the economic benefits that HSR will produce.

California can build HSR all by itself if it wants to. There’s no need to hope against hope that somehow Trump might care enough about this to force a solution in Congress. The answer lies beneath the dome of the California State Capitol.

  1. Jerry
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 10:51
    #1

    It’s also about clean air. And the Republicans have said that coal is clean.

    Zorro Reply:

    And we all know that Coal is anything but clean… Of course anti-HSR types might say otherwise.

  2. Faber Castell
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 11:04
    #2

    He’s a friend of Putin.

    agb5 Reply:

    Putin is building a high speed rail line from Moscow to China, so maybe Putin can educate his new “friend” on the wisdom of such things.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Its really no laughing matter. Fascismo Trump and his Ukrainian dictator (Putin backed) loving campaign manager are teetering on the edge of treason. Its hard to accept that this is where we are now. And were sitting here talking about whether he’d be good for trains. WTF?

    EJ Reply:

    Oh calm down. Even if the DNC hack was a) done by Russians, and B) done at the behest of Putin, both of which are purely speculative at this point, there’s nothing to actually tie them to the Trump campaign.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Paul Manafort & Viktor Yanukovych

    The man running Trumps campaign previously in the employment of a authoritarian dictator aligned with Putin and likely payed for directly by Putin’s Russia. This is the man helping the GOP nominee win the Oval Office. This is not just another election.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    just so I understand. When Obama and Clinton work to improve Russian Relations its good

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_reset

    but when Trump says he will do it, it is bad.

    Now personally, before you ask, I thought it was bad in all cases. We should have never (and should never) work to improve relations with a tinpot crazy like Putin. But the hypocrisy of calling out Trump when Obama was given a Nobel Prize for doing the same thing is ridiculous.

    Trump is a crackpot and its a damn shame that Clinton is such a poor candidate he has a real chance of getting elected. But calling him a plant by the Russians is 1 “black helicopter” too far. All this talk about turning America in to a fascist dictatorship overnight is just laughable. Do you think there will be a “Night of the Long Knives” 2 and the military and police will turn on the country and poof, no more Constitution.

    The truth is the US has had worse presidents than Trump and survived. We don’t need to test the theory, but the breathless predictions of emanate doom are as worthless and trite as the ones from 8 years ago when Obama was elected of Bush before him.

    Grow up.

    Joe Reply:

    “Grow up” – Rich.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office issued a tough statement on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that warmed him to stay out of the U.S. presidential election.

    The strong language was notable following earlier comments from GOP nominee Donald Trump in which he said he hoped Russia had stolen emails from the private server that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton used during her time as secretary of State.

    It’s worse than imagined and people already thought it would be worse than they could imagine.

    And it’s only July.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    same as the “warning” issued to Obama for the Brexit comment.

    These things happen all the time. Stop trying to make it “unprecedented”

    Trump is bad enough without having to guild the lillie

    Joe Reply:

    “These things happen all the time..”

    Of course theAe things donot.

    Either the world, including his own party and conservatives are collectively nuts or you’re wrong.

    scdennis Reply:

    “guild the lillie” Surely, sir, you are not this uneducated? Do I somehow not get the joke?

    Edward Reply:

    I’ve seen many get the quote wrong… but never *this* wrong.

    “Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
    To guard a title that was rich before,
    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.”

    The Life and Death of King John – Act 4, Scene 2
    William Shakespeare

    Reality Check Reply:

    How about “escape goat”? Heard that goody from a PAMPA NIMBY at a Caltrain meeting.

    All of this reminds me of this old poetic pean (or ode?) to the computer spelling checker:

    Candidate for a Pullet Surprise

    Jerrold H. Zar
    Northern Illinois University

    I have a spelling checker,
    It came with my PC.
    It plane lee marks four my revue
    Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

    Eye ran this poem threw it,
    Your sure reel glad two no.
    Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
    My checker tolled me sew.

    A checker is a bless sing,
    It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
    It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
    And aides me when eye rime.

    Each frays come posed up on my screen
    Eye trussed too bee a joule.
    The checker pours o’er every word
    To cheque sum spelling rule.

    Bee fore a veiling checker’s
    Hour spelling mite decline,
    And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
    We wood bee maid too wine.

    Butt now bee cause my spelling
    Is checked with such grate flare,
    Their are know fault’s with in my cite,
    Of nun eye am a wear.

    Now spelling does knot phase me,
    It does knot bring a tier.
    My pay purrs awl due glad den
    With wrapped word’s fare as hear.

    To rite with care is quite a feet
    Of witch won should bee proud,
    And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
    Sew flaw’s are knot aloud.

    Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
    Such soft wear four pea seas,
    And why eye brake in two averse
    Buy righting want too pleas.

    EJ Reply:

    No but seriously, what’s the play here? Trump declares himself Dictator for Life and Congress and the rest of the government just… let him?

    Joe Reply:

    Goofy question.

    EJ Reply:

    Non-answer.

    Joe Reply:

    Irratic behavior itself is destabilizing – probable Ruasian aggression with Baltic states and NATO triggers action.
    Access to NSA and large security apparatus. Blackmail corruption and state of emergency.

    Just goofy to think exceptionalism protects us.

    EJ Reply:

    Sentence fragments. Probable beginning of Tom Clancy novel.

    Joe Reply:

    Still goofy.

    EJ Reply:

    Spews vague paranoid mutterings. Calls other people goofy.

    Joe Reply:

    I didn’t call you goofy.
    I wrote “goofy question”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Every country can become a dictatorship. Even the US.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    That’s what they said Obama would do.
    The short answer is no, thee is no workable scenario that allows a president i America to seize full control, and if he tried the Congress would impeach him as a threat to their own jealously held power. Our political structure is too diffuse and divided to be collected by one person.

    Joe Reply:

    Well impeachment doesn’t remove.
    Impeachment means they hold a trial in the GOP dominated Senate.
    The guys who let him get his far ain’t going to stop him as president under a national crisis.

    Then you and which force removes if they did? A divided government is weak thus it has less power to oppose.

    Woody Reply:

    Activists from Black Lives Matter will be apprehended after the [Reichstag] Capitol Building is burned. Sent to Guantanamo, they will never heard from again. In the State of Emergency, the President will be given sweeping powers to restore Law and Order. Then the country will go to hell.
    —————————–

    Bahnfreund:
    July 27th, 2016
    Every country can become a dictatorship. Even the US.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Let me be clear. Im not suggesting Trump is a “plant” or some kind of Manchurian candidate like much of the conservatives have suggested out standing president is for the last 7 years. What I am saying is Trump is a no nothing fool that Putin knows he can manipulate. It shows an incredible lack of judgement to hire a campaign manager who was involved in propping up a strongman authoritarian strongly backed by Putin and Russia to thwart the Ukrainian shift to Europe. This is the Republican party of 2016. This is a goddamn shame and Trump is an international embarrassment who is quite easy to imagine selling out the US to line his pockets.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    know nothing

    EJ Reply:

    And Trump just said he hopes the Russians find Hillary’s “missing” emails. Pretty sure even he’s not dumb enough to conspire with Putin and then openly brag about it.

    Aarond Reply:

    As I noted below, legally Trump can ask Putin for help as Russia and the US is bound to a mutal legal assistance treaty. Which means that Trump, in effect, is only asking Russia to uphold US law.

    Yeah, it’s nuts.

    Joe Reply:

    Trump cannot as he is not a government office or acting in a government sanctioned official capacity.
    It’s illegal for private citizens to negotiate with foreign governments.
    Illegal to do as you suggest.

    Hillary derangement syndrome stage 2.

    Aarond Reply:

    As if that stopped Reagan. Remember the Iran-Contra affair?

    Joe Reply:

    Derangement had set in. You suggested this as a legal act. Now you assert he can conspire to break the law.

    Aarond Reply:

    Hilary certainly can, without the FBI indicting her. At least right now.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The IranContra was typical Republican. Nobody could remember nothin’. Until documents were discovered. They were all just following orders. And if the President gives an order it’s legal because he’s the President* . ( * only applies if the President is a Republican. If he or she is a Democrat anything they do beyond smiling is illegal and a threat to the Nation. )

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Even smiling is illegal if done the wrong way…

    Remember when the GOP made a “scandal” out of Obama bowing?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump is a megalomaniac. Those people have difficulty seeing their own limitations.

    Once upon a time a certain Christoph Daum was about to become Headcoach of the German national soccer team. However, there were accusations he was doing cocaine (a drug known to cause megalomania). He did a drug test with the (now infamous) words “I am doing this because I have an absolutely clear conscious”. Needless to say the drug test came back positive and while he still went on to coach a couple of important soccer teams, he never became Headcoach of the German national team.

    EJ Reply:

    We once had a guy called Gary Hart that many people were touting as the next Democratic president. But he was dogged by rumors that he was cheating on his wife. He then challenged the press to follow him around and see how squeaky clean he was, and in very short order they had photos of him canoodling with a woman not his wife on a boat. It was really more his totally reckless and arrogant behavior than the affair that destroyed his political career.

    Oh and the boat was called “Monkey Business.” You really couldn’t make that up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Pretty much everybody in the press knew that Willy Brandt was a lady’s man of Kennedyan proportions. Few people were truly surprised when Helmut Schmidt wrote in his autobiography that he had cheated on his wife. The same goes for Helmut Kohl. Gerhard Schröder was married four times (or maybe once more or less) and his last divorce was very public and happened during his rise to political fame. Angela Merkel does not have any stories of this type – that we know of. However, what politicians do with women, men or whatever is treated as a non-issue. In fact a media outlet breaking this unspoken rule can still get into big trouble with a “we don’t talk about this” consensus…

    But on the other hand we miss out on stories like the one you just mentioned. Which is funny to an incredible degree. Though probably not for those involved.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Real Americans ™ are obsessed with other people’s sex lives because Real Americans ™ don’t indulge in pornography.
    ….most of their fascination with Bill and Monica was that they wouldn’t go look at actual porn. . Preoccupation comes from lack of occupation,

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Americans care about politicians that cheat on their wives because of you are willing to break your marriage vow and lie about it that shows your overall character. You will break your oath of office and lie.

    And no, I don’t believe all politicians are liers anyway so yes character matters.

    EJ Reply:

    Well in Gary Hart’s case it wasn’t even so much that he cheated on his wife, but that he had the arrogance and poor judgement to challenge the press to find any dirt on him, and then barely even tried to hide the affair at all.

    joe Reply:

    Upstanding John Edwards having an affair while running for President and when his wife was fighting a losing battle with cancer.
    Moral Compass and Speaker Newt Gingrich having an affair while pursuing Clinton for his weak morality.
    The honorable Bob Livingston having an affair but nevertheless thinking he could replace Newt as Speaker.
    Child molester and blackmailed Dennis Hastert replacing Livingstone as Speaker and eventually going to jail for lying to the FBI about his payments to victims.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How could you possibly leave off Bill and the blue dress?

    Joe Reply:

    I was looking at recklessness and hypocrisy – Bill had a consentual affair in his second term. It took a special prosecutor to find out.

    The three house speakers played the moral outrage card which was hypocritical of them as two had to step down. The third went to jail.

    I don’t think divorce or cheating is disqualifying- Reagan would be disqualified.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It took a special prosecutor on his umpteenth fishing expedition.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So he outright lied

    “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”

    And you are made the special prosecutor worked hard to find it?
    If he had just been honest from the start it would have blown over. Cheating on your wife is not a crime. But lying under oath is a crime.

    Lesson: it’s always the coverup and not the crime. Hillary makes the same mistakes because she can’t admit when she is wrong

    Joe Reply:

    No crime.

    The civil paul jones lawsuit questioned the president. Her lawyers defined sex in the questioning as intercourse and excluded oral sex in their definition. Look it up. Under hostile questioning with their definitions the answer he gave was not perjury. No by thier standards. Bad lawyering.

    That’s why the president wasn’t charged with perjury and why he was not removed from office and why have to use the word “lie” and not perjury.

    Lesson it’s always exaggerated bullshit that ends up backfiring. Birther, whitewater, Benghazi bullshit that you can’t let go. Popular president and Cilnton is the nominee.

    Trump is the product of hypocritical standards. All morality is relative to political loyality thus in the primary Trump cannot be called out.
    .

    Joe Reply:

    Monica was consentual sex between two adults. Not criminal.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ok joe, we will use your standard. “Not illegal”

    So Regan was cleared in Iran/Contra so not criminal
    Bush was charged with nothing in Iraq war so not criminal
    Nixon was never charged with a crime or convicted, so not a criminal

    You sure you want to use this standard. I am pretty sure you don’t like any on those things but per your standard since they were never charged or convicted they are not criminal and therefore “just exaggerated bullshit”

    PS, 3 of the 4 examples you gave were consensual also

    joe Reply:

    Iran/Contra had convictions. illegal and convictions.
    Bush transgressions are a systematic failure however congress was consulted and voted. He had authorization.
    nixon was pardoned which by definition is an acknowedgement a crime or crimes were comitted.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Reagan sold weapons to someone every Republican would call an enemy to finance the closest thing to actual fascists the 1980s knew. All while Congress explicitly told him not to do either of those things (there was an embargo against Iran and Congress had voted to not get involved in another military adventure in a country rife with jungle and mountains i.e. Nicaragua).

    Bush is guilty of the crime of stupidity. The worst of them all for an elected leader.

    Nixon was so crooked he was obsessed with saying “I am not a crook” every (expletive deleted) time.

    Bill Clinton got a (consensual!) Blowjob.

    The sex live of anybody should be an issue to those involved in it and nobody else. This includes actors, actresses, business people and – yes – politicians.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump’s admiration of autocrats is troubling to say the least…

    agb5 Reply:

    Are you sure?
    Here is the leaked recording of senior US officials deciding between themselves who they are going to “install” as their puppet president and prime minister of Ukraine (Yanukovyck and Yaz).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV9J6sxCs5k

    And you are outraged are foreign interference in US elections?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    gee, the US using foreign policy to further the US interests. Who would have thought? That is what they are paid to do. If they were not having this conversation they would not be doing their jobs.

    You are aware that the CIA is only sanctioned to work outside the US right? What do you think they do? They are doing just that. You think the NSA is a non-profit that builds schools?

    The world is a nasty place, full of nasty people. Those people have to be minimized and eliminated to keep the peace. Sorry to burst your Utopian bubble.

    They also work to protect the US from interference by foreign nations. This is like boxing, protect yourself at all times. I am not “outraged” by foreign interference, I expect our government to prevent it. The fact that other governments would want to influence the US government should be expected.

    Its been this way since the Romans and even before that and will be this way as long as there are governments. Get used to the idea.

    Jerry Reply:

    And Israel attacked the US Navy ship the Liberty, with a direct hit on the communications room to prevent eavesdropping. Killed US sailors. Hey. It happens all the time. We expect them all to just do their job.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

    Nathanael Reply:

    The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty is VERY well documented. Not questioned amongst historicians.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Those nasty people you refer to are being protected by the US government because some rich people and corps are making a lot of money dealing with them.

    There is not an autocrat that Foggy Bottom does not like, especially if there involves a concordat with the Vatican. Except when the end is near and obvious, say Farouk, Khadafy, etc. Time to find a new dictator, as in more contemporary Egypt. Cannot have the Brotherhood even tho they won the election.

    Foggy Bottom loves Iran and the Ayatollah. Hillary as Prez should go visit him dressed in one of those black tents.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Clearly, Syno is not intelligent enough to recognize Khadafy is actually named Gaddafi, and the USA overthrew him.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I dunno what is the preferred transliteration of the Arabic name but “kh” is usually meant to indicate a sound that is not regularly found in English. The same sound as in “chutzpah”.

    Sure I am dumb but no dumber than Hillary and no more senile than Jerry.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He is not pronounced with a Spanish j / German ch sound…

    The first sound is much more similar to a K sound…

    Nathanael Reply:

    I just want to know what the heck a “Jamahirya” is.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Try spelling it with another ‘i’ :

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamahiriya_(disambiguation)

    For those who don’t care to link walk it is comparable to the phrase “People’s Republic”. There are parallels between them and “Direct Democracy” but with the proviso that the terms are more nominal or figurative than actual.

    P.S. The U.S. is categorized as a “Democratic Republic”. The technology exists for a “Direct Democracy” but the legal structures needed for preventing a “tyranny of the masses / majority” would have to be replicated from our present system. Try searching on [ constitution equal protection ] (part of the Fourteenth Amendment) for more info.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority

    EJ Reply:

    Its been this way since the Romans and even before that and will be this way as long as there are governments. Get used to the idea.

    Ooh, that’s the strong, wise conservative daddy we need! You guys had a good run after 9/11, but you’ve got to be a bit frustrated that your act is wearing a little thin now, right?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    my act?

    So just for the record, are you stating that you belive there are no governments hostile to the US?

    Because I think I can name some off the top of my head.

    Russia
    China
    North Korea
    Iran
    Venezuela

    The CIA and NSA work against those governments just like those governments have agencies that work against us. They have varying amounts of power, but they work against us none the less.

    And if you think international intrigue is “so last century” then I suggest you look up the current owner of the Crimea Peninsula. Our president allowed a foreign power to take it, with force, from the people who owned it by treaty.

    The only thing keeping them from doing the same to the Balkans is NATO.

    There are actually evil people in the world who actually do evil things and have to be stopped. Sorry to burst the bubble, they dont just exist in Tom Clancy novels.

    Jerry Reply:

    Iran? See the CIA 1953 overthrow of Democracy in Iran. All over, guess what? – OIL.
    Unintended consequences — called “blowback.” A CIA invented term.
    Read all about it — Blowback, by Chalmers Johnson.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And your point. Because if it is mistakes get made in imperfect situations I am not impressed. This is not a video game. They do the best they can to,predict outcomes, they are not omnipotent.

    EJ Reply:

    Mistakes didn’t “get made.” A bunch of reckless, bloodthirsty ghouls in the employ of the CIA and British Intelligence helped overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran and didn’t care about the long-term consequences. And then we congratulated ourselves with a lot of vapid tough talk.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The CIA recruits year round. Feel free to join and change them. I a sure the reality is easy and in fact it’s just a concentration of “ghouls” who want to mess up the world for no particular reason

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “The West” had the chance to oust the Mullahs. Or at least accelerate their demise. When the “green movement” was protesting in the streets, the Mullahs quietly asked what would happen if there were a crackdown. Nobody in “the West” came to their help, so the Mullahs got out the big guns. The real opposition in Iran hasn’t been heard from since.

    I see this as a very dangerous betrayal that should not have been made. Way more important than whatever Kermit Roosevelt (a name too funny to make up) did or did not do.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The CIA is a bunch of clowns who didn’t even notice when the Soviet Union collapsed; Clinton had to watch CNN to get intel.

    If they weren’t acting blatantly contrary to the US national interest by doing things like overthrowing the elected government of Iran, they’d simply be a waste of money. As it is, the CIA should be liquidated with extreme prejudice.

    Eric Reply:

    “There are actually evil people in the world who actually do evil things and have to be stopped.”

    And somehow Trump is best friends with most of them…

    Neil Shea Reply:

    John I think you didn’t get the memo. Putin and the PRK’s Kim are now top allies and exemplars of leadership of the GOP. Crimea will be officially recognized as Russian territory by president Trump. It seems your party has rejected the good old days of Iran-Contra, PNAC and the military industrial complex, and left you stranded. International adventurism is out, to Mestic investments are in.

  3. Trentbridge
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 11:48
    #3

    When President Trump sends the trucks in the night to round up the trouble-makers, the first persons on the list will be those that oppose him…followed by those that didn’t salute him..followed by those who elected him but began a sentence with the word: “But, Donald..”. You have been warned. Your vote on November 8 may be your last vote ever.

    The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting. Charles Bukowski

    StevieB Reply:

    “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
    ― Charles Bukowski

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Which is why HRC is tentative and Trump overconfident?

  4. morris brown
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 11:50
    #4

    Federal Hearing: Lagging Behind: The State of High Speed Rail in the United States

    This hearing was held on July 14th. The embedded video is about 2 hours in length. I still haven’t looked at all of it yet.

    The introductory remarks by Chair Mica give a pretty good overview of what has taken place on HSR in the US since Obama took office.

    Appearing is the FRA by Feinberg.
    Feigenbaum from the Reason Foundation
    Rep Costa
    Rep DeSaulnier

    Pretty sad that in over 8 years, $10 billion has been obligated, with well over 1/2 spent, and not a single mile of High Speed Rail (defined even by at least 100 MPH) is currently functional. Mentioned by MIca is a hearing that is apparently going to be held by Rep Denham, specifically on the California High Speed Rail project.

    If Trump somehow manages to get elected, high speed rail will be the least of Americas problems.
    The Washington post has this exactly right.

    Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy

    Aarond Reply:

    Funny that the WaPo thinks Trump is a threat to the Constitution, when Hilary’s emailgate could entangle the sitting President (see the last three paragraphs):

    http://observer.com/2016/06/the-coming-constitutional-crisis-over-hillary-clintons-emailgate/

    If Putin’s next leak actually does prove Hilary committed perjury, Congress will make it into a show. And we haven’t even gotten to the debates (starting Sept 26th) yet.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The article is well over a month old.
    Bill Clinton was first elected in 1976. She has 40 years of experience avoiding deranged Republicans and their fantasies of revenge.

    Aarond Reply:

    The content in it still applies.

    Congress has the ability to summon Hilary to testify before them. One lie is paydirt (regardless if she’s actually convicted). Obama has to play ball, or else he gets roped into it and has to testify too. The GOP impeached Bill over less, and they own both chambers.

    Outside of sworn testimony, she can ignore it all she wants (like how she ignored the convention and showed a prerecorded video). A lot of people will be upset though.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Clap harder.
    The prosecutors have decided there is nothing to prosecute. She was stupid not criminal.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    true

    It was so nice of Bill to meet personally with the Attorney General to explain that to her so she didn’t get it wrong.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    and chemtrails…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I though it was all laid out in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion…

    Together with the subway thing…

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    The Cincinnati Subway?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That as well…

    No supposedly (I never read this dreck) the Protocols mention subways as a Zionist Jewish plot to blow up cities…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sequence of events:
    Loretta Lynch Promises to do what Coney says.
    Bill meets with Loretta Lynch
    Coney clears Hillary
    Loretta Lynch clears Hillary

    Bill didn’t talk to Coney, and Coney was really the deciding factor. Stop grasping at straws to continue the crooked Hillary smear.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    actually you have that in the wrong order.

    She publicly promised to follow Coney AFTER the kerfuffle.

    And I am not grasping at straws. There is not a single person who thinks it was appropriate she met with him. You can argue all you want it had no influence, I actually agree it probably did not, but it tainted the investigation and her honor. It was inappropriate in the highest order and they both should know that.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Who the hell is “Coney”?

    Meanwhile:
    Comey: Decision to forgo charges against Hillary Clinton ‘Wasn’t that hard’ to make

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Appropriate no. Horrible stupid optics yes. Secret orders from Prez 42 to let Hill go after discussing grandkids and the weather… I doubt it.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Autocorrect Comey to Coney–sorry. Doesn’t change the fact that Comey cleared Clinton, and Lynch took her cues from that.

    scdennis Reply:

    A rabbit is in charge?

    Edward Reply:

    That thought struck me too. Just not enough people reading old novels.

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes, that is the situation presently. But if the next round of leaks are what Assange says they are, then Congress won’t let it pass. My point is that, should evidence of perjury be made public, there is no way out as Congress has the votes to take both her and the President down. As the Constitution allows them to do.

    She’s on thin ice. Her career depends entirely on what emails Assange has.

    Jerry Reply:

    And they could even produce phony emails.
    The plot thickens.

    Aarond Reply:

    Totally true. But who would know? Russia has had over a century of forging correspondences for the purpose of ruining political enemies. It was a Russian that wrote The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Plagiarized it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah. They combined wholesale paragraphs from a handful of unrelated books.

    But I’m not fond of conspiracy theories.

    Something coming from Russia may well be genuine even if a forgery were in their stated interest (i.e. bring Trump to the throne)

    Aarond Reply:

    My entire point here is that the evidence can be totally fake, but if it looks good enough Congress and the FBI will eat it. Even if it doesn’t lead to a full conviction, all Congress needs is to bring Hilary to testify under oath again. That’s where a small slip up or technicality can have huge implications.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you know there is not 1 piece of evidence that ties Russia to any of this…it is all just talk. You know that right?

    Jerry Reply:

    …it is all just talk. Yada, yada, yada….
    It was really Melania’s speech writer…

    Jerry Reply:

    Where’s Dan Rather when you need him?

    Jerry Reply:

     “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” 

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The evidence doesn’t have to look good for the bat shit insane Republicans in the House to hold hearings.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait you have to add “bat shit insane” when talking about Republicans in the House?

    I thought that’s self-evident.

    Joe Reply:

    FWIW All congressional members have security clearances and are allowed to use private servers and portable drives for all Gov business.

    Executive branch use official servers, not for security concerns, but for record keeping requirements congress levels on senior executive branch members to retain correspondence.

    Aarond Reply:

    @ Joe

    People are allowed to view confidential data, but not have it sent to a personal sever. In a similar manner, the TPP is locked up in a secure room in the Capitol building as legislators are not allowed to view it in an unsecure context:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/14/406675625/a-trade-deal-read-in-secret-by-only-few-or-maybe-none

    joe Reply:

    What you wrote doesn’t parse clearly.
    1) People is too vague – do you mean public, Mil, congress, executive branch, Fed agencies?
    I’m referring to Congress.

    2) What do you mean “confidential data” because that’s the lowest classification level and yet you refer to TPP which requires non congress people to have high-level security clearances.

    FBI summarized her emails:

    ” eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification”
    Violations of that type are corrected with a reprimand.

    “Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.”

    Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails [three] containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information.

    joe Reply:

    This explains the congressional privilage. Congress does not have to archive email for FOIA or congressional oversight.
    https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/icymi-congressman-lieu-questions-fbi-director-comey-during-house

    joe Reply:

    https://lieu.house.gov/sites/lieu.house.gov/files/Lieu%20Statement%20OGR.pdfCongressman Ted Lieu:

    So let me now just conclude by stating what some of my colleagues have, which is, there is just
    the strongest whiff of hypocrisy g
    oing on here.

    The American public might be interested in knowing that Members of Congress receive security
    clearances just for being Members of Congress. We get to have private email servers. We get to
    have private email accounts. We can use multiple devices. We can take devices overseas.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    that would not be a problem if her lawyer had not destroyed the 30,000 emails they said were not relevant, after not showing them to any independent source.

    Hillary just brings this stuff down on herself. These are self inflicted wounds.

    joe Reply:

    These emails were not destroyed. They were deleted, not wiped, and were easily recovered by the FBI experts per the state department’s request for help with the FOIA act request.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ..Oliver North thought deleting emails made them disappear. They don’t.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So your defense is that her lawyers tried to delete them but failed? See it is this kind of thing that fires up Trump supporters. Try this

    Clinton has conducted herself poorly from start to finish with the email issue. She should not have used a private server, she should not have instructed her lawyers to delete emails, and she should not have lied about it. All that said what she did was stupid, not criminal, and given the current choices for president she is far and away the better option

    joe Reply:

    https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

    She didn’t lie according to the FBI. Lying to Congress would be actionable.

    Karl Rove deleted 22 million emails on a GOP server used for WH business and needed in a criminal trail of outing of a CIA agent.

    You lack proportion and sadly De-legitimizing her with the out-of-proportion reactions is going to make compromise impossible. Same as it was for the Foreign-Born Muslim Obama.

    8 more years of nut case behavior.
    US Conservatism is dead.

    Aarond Reply:

    Too add another fun layer of this, back in 1999 Bill signed the “Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters” Treaty with the newly formed Russian Federation:

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/123676.pdf
    https://www.congress.gov/treaty-document/106th-congress/22/document-text

    In other words, even if all the emails come from the FSB (which is very likely), it’s still actionable legal evidence.

    Aarond Reply:

    (specifically, see Article 2.2: Legal assistance under this Treaty shall include: providing documents, records, and other items;)

    Alan Reply:

    And if anyone seriously believes that evidence obtained through criminal activity, which cannot be absolutely proven to be unaltered, would be admissible in a criminal trial–well, I’l happily sell that person the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Aarond Reply:

    you’ll like this morris:

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Leaked-emails-reveal-Atherton-s-bill-for-Obama-8425535.php?t=99061afd8b3aa214ae&cmpid=twitter-premium

    >Leaked emails reveal Atherton’s bill for Obama fundraiser
    >By Matier & Ross July 27, 2016

    Former state Controller Steve Westly picked up the tab, not the party. We should send him a fruit basket.

    joe Reply:

    Westly held a fundraiser at his Atherton home and, following the new city ordinance, paid the city bill for the event he hosted,

    How much do you charge your guests?

    Alan Reply:

    Pretty sad that in over 8 years, $10 billion has been obligated, with well over 1/2 spent, and not a single mile of High Speed Rail (defined even by at least 100 MPH) is currently functional. Mentioned by MIca is a hearing that is apparently going to be held by Rep Denham, specifically on the California High Speed Rail project.

    And why is that? Years of delay, due largely to meritless and ultimately unsuccessful lawsuits from Laurel and Hardy (California’s Most Incompetent Lawyers), and Morris and his friends crow about the lack of progress? Bullshit. Without the efforts of a few whining, self-important clowns in PAMPA, the ICS would most likely be finished by now.

    Hypocrisy at its finest.

    Joe Reply:

    There has never been a hearing that’s worked out as the critics intended. To date each has strengthened the project.

    Recall Jeff Denham is responsible for STB Federalizing the project. That gives CHSR an opportunity to not follow CEQA. That alone has helped. It’s why Bakersfield settled and didn’t sue the EIR.

    Building north to Merced, maybe Jeff will be expected to help fund the system for his district’s benefit.

    Roland Reply:

    Come to think of it, Merced and Altamont is an even better Gilroy by-pass than east of the outlets.

    Joe Reply:

    Write a Memo. No ones thought of it before.

    Roland Reply:

    @Alan: History has a habit of repeating itself, so how about learning from the past, figuring out what the common denominator is and doing something about it? http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9B05E1D9103AE733A25752C3A96E9C946497D6CF

    Joe Reply:

    Riddle me this batman.
    What’s at my link?

    Roland Reply:

    It’s OK. You would not understand.

    Joe Reply:

    I know a Frank Gorshin act. You ask a riddle and we have to figure it out in time or a crime gets committed.

    When is the time of a clock like the whistle of a train?

    Alan Reply:

    @Roland: How about coming up with a coherent response to my comment? Some article about a construction project that happened over 100 years ago, when politics in China were very different, has no bearing on HSR today.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: Who is the author of the NY Times article?
    A: ?

    Alan Reply:

    I don’t have time to play games. Either make your point or quit wasting our time.

    Roland Reply:

    In 1898, the Chinese Government awarded two 99-year railway concessions totaling 1,500 miles constituting the “Great Interior line of China” (China’s railway backbone to this day).

    The southern concession (700 miles) was awarded to the American China Development Company headed by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Barclay_Parsons (the founder of Parsons Brinckerhoff) who, after 7 years of “surveying”, had managed to build 30 miles of track. The Chinese Government paid him $6M to go away in 1905.

    The northern concession (800 miles) was awarded to the Société d’études des chemins de fer en Chine headed by https://history.bnpparibas/document/jean-jadot-the-engineer-banker/ (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Jadot_(ing%C3%A9nieur)
    The line was funded entirely with 2.5 times oversubscribed French and Belgian Capital as follows:
    – $250,000 surveying and preliminary engineering (6 months).
    – $22,500,000 construction over 7 years including what was then the world’s longest railway bridge (2 miles) over the Yellow River and an 18-month interruption caused by the Boxer revolt who ripped 150 miles of track and killed over 10,000 workers (10% of the 120,000 workforce engaged in the construction of the line).
    – $2,500,000 for rolling stock.

    The end result was the least expensive ($30K/mile) line ever built in China and the most profitable of all railway lines ever with 2.5 million passengers and 2.5 million tons of freight carried during the first year of operations. The line was so profitable (300% EBITDA, 100% AITDA) that the Chinese Government exercised their option to purchase the franchise two years later for $120 million, resulting in 500% return for the early investors. The refinancing was secured entirely by revenues from operations.

    Any questions?

    joe Reply:

    Is any of this going to be on the test?

    Roland Reply:

    Did you read (let alone understand) any of it or do you just type random crap all day long?

    Joe Reply:

    How do you propose we extrapolate unique pre-industrial Chinese conditions and ROI to CA?

    I don’t see it and you don’t explain as if there is some obvious lesson and you’re Mr. Miyagi.

    Jerry Reply:

    on a test?
    No.
    Just write an essay on how Parsons made more money building just 30 miles of track in 7 years than the French made. Plus, he received a Golden Parachute of $6 million when left.
    Extra credit for how it may, or may not, apply today.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh so over 100 years ago some guy in China …. Ego today … Is that right Roland?

    Mr. Parsons is dead buried and dust.
    No one named Parsons is Building a HSR segment.

    Joe Reply:

    Mr. Parsons apparently was the surveyor. Jesus this is dumb.

    I think we understand why he didn’t build anything.
    He surveyed the 1,000 miles including some hostile territories and returned safely.

    Another Waste of time and Roland is too chicken to actually make a substantive comment. WTF are you trying to say Roland?

    Roland Reply:

    This was a test to prove once and for all what a dickhead Joece is. The test was successful. End of test.

    Joe Reply:

    So you bothered everyone with a test. And I thought you are too chicken to make a direct comment.

    Mr. Parsons, according to the link you posted, was the surveyor.

    You complained how little was built but as surveyor he had no responsibility. He surveys 1,000 miles of route in difficult conditions and returned safely.

    Of course you’d call someone clarifying your implied nonsense a dick. Maybe I misunderstood but in the absence of any clarification, I think not.

    Roland Reply:

    “En 1904 les travaux n ’avaient guère avancé et l’ingénieur en chef ne semblait pas assumer ses fonctions avec la correction souhaitable en pareil cas. Jadot fut consulté sur la situation de la ligne, et lorsqu’il avisa Bruxelles du gaspillage considérable et de l’emploi d’un personnel pléthorique à la construction, les administrateurs belges du Hankow-Canton intervinrent afin d ’obtenir la révocation du responsable des travaux” http://tinyurl.com/jurv79q (page 72).

    Ted K. Reply:

    Ruff x-lay-shun :

    In 1904 the work n ‘ had made ​​little progress and the chief engineer did not seem his duties with the desirable adjustment in such cases. Jadot was consulted on the situation of the line, and when he caught sight of Brussels considerable waste and the use of overstaffing in the construction , the Belgian administrators of the Hankow – Canton intervened to obtain the dismissal of the head of works

    Joe Reply:

    Thank you for the translation. It’s still nonsense.

  5. Aarond
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 13:14
    #5

    staying on topic, this slipped by last week:

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20160719/hear-that-train-a-comin-metrolink-debuts-first-of-cleaner-quieter-trains

    http://www.railway-technology.com/news/newsmetrolink-launches-first-tier-iv-locomotive-los-angeles-us-4954077

    Metrolink has taken possession of 40 new F125s, which will be in service by the end of the year.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Actually Aarond they have taken delivery of one, which has not yet been out in service. The class have not yet completed testing at Pueblo. Some may be in service next year. I’m looking forward to my first 125mph ride behind this highly inappropriate piece of equipment.

    Aarond Reply:

    More inappropriate than a train being led by a freight unit? Metrolink’s website claims they’re still doing that.

    Roland Reply:

    125 MPH maybe but what about the most-important-of-all A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-T-I-O-N ????

    Joe Reply:

    High priority but not exclusively.

    System level perpdmsnce matters. Models can help understand system capacity. Clem used one.

    morris brown Reply:

    Paul Dyson wrote:

    I’m looking forward to my first 125mph ride behind this highly inappropriate piece of equipment.

    Why is the F125 inappropriate? What would be better?

    Peter Reply:

    It’s just not the best locomotive for Metrolink. It was designed for long distance and corridor Amtrak trains to haul long consists at high speeds, not for commuter operations of sometimes only three cars. It’s like buying a V10 pickup to pull a tiny Uhaul trailer at 55 mph.

    A more appropriate choice would have been the Siemens Charger (which is what everyone other than Metrolink seemed to decide to go with), if you’re buying new equipment, or rebuilding, hell, even better, maintaining the existing fleet to begin with. Or maybe realizing they could run a much better service if they electrified.

    Clem Reply:

    Someone will have to explain to me the difference between an EMD F125 and a Siemens Charger, because from where I sit they are no more different than a Chevy Silverado and a Dodge Ram.

    Peter Reply:

    Charger is 16,000 pounds lighter, has a V16 instead of a V20, and (I believe) has better fuel consumption.

  6. scdennis
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 13:52
    #6

    You don’t even get what you pay for if you believe whatever smoky garbage Trump is billowing today, because his history is to belch out a different set of malarkey tomorrow.

    The man has cheated creditors in bankruptcy multiple times, has been sued THOUSANDS ( please note how large a number that is) of times by small business creditors he has stiffed, and is only now afloat because of large loans and property purchases from Russian oligarchs beholding to Putin. If you are a Republican, you should be TERRIFIED of the possibility that this man might be elected president, whatever today’s rant might have been apropos HSR.

    This is clearly one of those circumstances where states – including left-wing stalwarts like Texas and Florida – should be testtubes for new ideas.

    Duh.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Trump is remarkably adept at denying what he said five minutes ago, yes.

  7. synonymouse
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 17:32
    #7

    “California can build HSR all by itself if it wants to. ”

    Yeah, build your base tunnel direction nowhere uber-BART to Palmdale but tax Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg et al to pay for it, not the lumpen who live far away from Tejon Ranch’s LA of the Future.

    Edward Reply:

    Future the of LA Ranch’s Tejon from away far live who lumpen the not, it for pay to al et Zuckerberg Mark and Cook Tim tax but Palmdale to BART-uber nowhere direction tunnel base your build, Yeah.

    There you go. Cleared up the syntax for you.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    Don’t all the Tejon conspirators commute by Black Helicopter(tm)?
    The choppers are kept under the pyramid marked with a single eye.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I do not want to pay for LA’s piece of shit train to Palmdale and I am sure there are many who agree. Let LA pay for it and shake down any phony liberal billionaires you can find.

    Easy enough for you to grasp?

    Zorro Reply:

    Well guess what Cyno? HSR in CA is not only being built, but it’s not going away either. :p

    synonymouse Reply:

    Let’s split the State so LA can pursue its singular and manifest destiny.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Awesome. Then we don’t have to deal with people like you.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Isn’t it +1?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Its not a train that goes to Palmdale—its a train that goes via Palmdale to other places, because that makes sense. Using that logic, lets just skip every station except LAUS and TBT, because they don’t follow a direct line between SF and LA.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Cheerleaders are such sore winners.

    JerryRail is a commute train to Palmdale. You wanted it.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I wish there was an account you could be told to delete

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, you don’t really get how economics works, and that without L.A. you’d be poorer. Is that what you really want @synonymouse?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I want LA to wake up and bitch slap the Tejon Ranch Co. Buy it up and turn it into a park, since LA is so rich.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The point of Tejon Ranch is control of the Kern Valley Water Bank. If you put houses there, Southern California can usurp more water from the North than they could otherwise.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry & California Establishment plan to put plenty of houses and strip malls there. Same with the Angeles Forest in time.

    200 million souls in California in 50 years save unpredictable upheaval in the interim.

  8. Paul Dyson
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 20:30
    #8

    Robert’s post raises an interesting question in my mind; just who are HSR’s friends, and more specifically, California HSR friends? I don’t think that they would need a very large room for a meeting, at least not those that have any influence.

    Aarond Reply:

    Thousands will show up if Trump is there, and swallow anything he supports. In seriousness, Brown should be ready to sell Republicans in Sacramento HSR through Trump. Give them a wall in return.

    Also, as noted in the cap-and-trade discussion a lifting of the fracking ban in return for a larger petrol/diesel (not CNG) tax could work too.

    les Reply:

    Brown should offer to build a wall made of coal. Then he would have friends.

  9. car(e)-free LA
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 22:00
    #9

    When has Trump ever told the truth, followed through with a promise, got anything done, or created a realistic political plan? I am confident that Trump, if elected, will do absolutely nothing to benefit CAHSR. That aside, everything else Trump has ever done disqualifies his presidency, CAHSR notwithstanding.

  10. J. Wong
    Jul 27th, 2016 at 23:00
    #10

    O.T. Yesterday I saw a northbound Caltrain consist with five of the Metrolink cars.

    Roland Reply:

    Was it a 5 or a 6-car consist (did it have a red car as well?)

    J. Wong Reply:

    It was 6 (so yes, the other car was one of the Caltrain bi-levels).

  11. agb5
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 01:49
    #11

    Trump could import hundreds of these machines to build his wall with Mexico, then donate the machines to CA to help it construct HSR.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq0A1JU77Es

    Zorro Reply:

    Exposed brick work can’t be done by robot, according to the video, plus it could take jobs from humans, of course building an unreinforced brick building in California is not safe, so that’s a non-starter here.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Who needs brick anyway?

  12. morris brown
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 08:22
    #12

    Robert wrote:

    California can build HSR all by itself if it wants to. There’s no need to hope against hope that somehow Trump might care enough about this to force a solution in Congress. The answer lies beneath the dome of the California State Capitol.

    Robert: The problem is that except for Gov. Brown, practically nobody wants to build HSR. Certainly the voters don’t.

    The POLL (page 9) had the pubic saying that continuing HSR was 20th on the list of 20 with only 16 percent favoring the project.

    Certainly in congress, as just admitted by the FRA in a hearing on July 14th, there are no plans for the FRA to seek more funds for California HSR.

    The currently plans of the Authority seem to be exhaust the ARRA funds, and pray for gold coins falling from the sky. Cap and Trade funding looks futile.

    Alan Reply:

    Oh, goody. Morris desperatly relies on yet another push poll from the partisan Hoover institute to try to undermine the support for HSR.

    Get this straight: The only poll that means a damn thing was the one taken in November, 2008. The one with ballots and everything. All the right-wing polls that Morris can find mean nothing in the real world.

    Ted K. Reply:

    We’ve been here before :

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/01/parsing-the-hoover-institution-hsr-poll/

    Jerry Reply:

    The Hoover Institute poll is almost TWO years old.

    Danny Reply:

    like they say, nothing sucks like a Hoover!
    honestly these Powell-Memo pay-for-play phony intellectuals have derailed the whole planet with their gabbling nonsense

  13. JimInPollockPines
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 10:51
    #13

    This morning a republican friend of mine said don’t worry Hillary is going to win and “I think you may have convinced me to switch sides” So that made my day. He’s a don’t take my guns republican. Its all about guns above all else but had previously explained the bigger picture to him about how the gems are more likely to help improve the basics of your life that matter. Still Im not relaxing until all the votes are counted.

    I think its very embarrassing for anyone who falls for trumps rhetoric. You can’t be intelligent and not see him for what he is. Sure I see Hillary for what she is but in the end I know the democratic platform is the one that matters.

    You only need to listen to trump speak. He’s a total bullshitter and huckster. come on people.
    I can’t wait to move to guatemala and leave this whole mess behind.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah, cuz Guatemala sure is corruption free and has strong democratic institutions.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    my husband owns land there and since Its not my country I don’t have to worry about their politics, Just by the lake

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    relax by

    EJ Reply:

    Your link is borked. I googled “San Marcos Lake Atitlan” and it looks pretty nice though.

    bixnix Reply:

    Just add a “g” at the end of his URL as it’s a jpg file. Looks like paradise.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In Central America thugs just come in and decapitate people they don’t like.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    REally? because some friends of mine, a gay couple, just returned from their Guatemalan vacation and not only did they love it but they returned with their heads completely attached. The contractor I recently hired also spent time there recently and he still has his head too! Several central American countries are now high on the best places to retire for ex pats lists too. Those lists don’t generally rate highly for decapitation.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Central America has gigantic variations in crime and murder rates.

    And as they so often say, those gang wars tend to mostly affect gang members. Which does not make them any better, but still.

    By the way, many early members of El Salvadoran gangs were inmates at US prisons before they came to El Salvador…

    Aarond Reply:

    Here in California most of our Republicans are blue blooded, so of course they’re turned off by Trump. They really don’t want him to win, because that’s game over for Cruz and Romney. And Hilary is a known variable.

    That said, Trump has a base of support here with rural Republicans in the typical areas (inland empire, central valley, jefferson), and I’m willing to bet that his brand/chutzpah will shave off some low-information voters in urban areas. Whether or not the state flips will be determined by Dem turnout.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Stop with the CA flipping GOP nonsense. its one of the bluest states in the nation, and has a 0 percent chance of going GOP (http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/ shows all possible results for each state, and http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-swing-the-election/ shows results with different demographic groups turning out.)

    Aarond Reply:

    My point is that if Democrats don’t vote, then the GOP wins. If only half of Democrats turn out (a scenario that is plausible), they are at parity with the GOP.

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/blogs/frameshift/How-Bad-is-Voter-Turnout-in-California-281716151.html

    Anything can happen. Remember Arnold?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That scenario isn’t plausible

    Aarond Reply:

    50% Dem turnout is absolutely possible. Hilary ’16 is not Obama ’08. Moderates aren’t jumping for her, while both BLM and Bernouts will make preventing her Presidency their cause.

    Though I’ll admit that it’s a long shot and the election is a dice roll. But every once in a while everyone gets snake eyes.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A meteor crashing into the Moon raining debris down onto Earth is possible too.

    Joe Reply:

    More likely.

    BLM working against Hillary … Earlier he complained BLM had stolen Bernie’s Microphone. Now they’re anti Hilary. And he thinks over half the voters, women, haven’t an incentive to vote.

    Aarond Reply:

    You didn’t understand my original comment: Sanders let BLM speak. Hilary built a wall to keep them out. Sanders accommodated them, Hilary locked them out. All four nights we’ve had BLM activists rant against her outside the convention. It ain’t going to get better. And you’re the one bringing “women” (as if they are a homogenous group that agrees on everything) into this discussion.

    My entire point is that the party’s fringes will be *against* the party this year. Combine this with potential poaching of moderates and there’s a plausible path for Trump here.

    Joe Reply:

    No need to prognosticate. Ignore the convention speakers and black leadership endorsements.

    We have the voting demographics from primaries that show Sanders did very poorly with minorities losing badly to Hillary.

    BLM “stole” Bernie’s mic and the stubborn candidate never adjusted his message.

    Joe Reply:

    And you’re the one bringing “women” (as if they are a homogenous group that agrees on everything) into this discussion.

    Fail.

    Aarond Reply:

    “black leadership” ….as if a single person can represent an entire ethnic group. That’s partially why the convention was such a joke, and why BLM types don’t feel included.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh so you will now stop using BLM as if a single moniker describes an entire group ? Apparently no.

    Clinton out performed Sanders in predominately minority districts. Maybe you don’t know BLM. The mothers of the dead got to speak.

    I don’t think any stood outside with tape on their mouths [silenced].

    Aarond Reply:

    I never claimed that BLM represented anyone other than a minority of idiots that want to break things. My point is that under normal circumstances getting BLM to *not* protest the DNC would be rather easy. This year, despite the token speeches they did protest and did for all four days.

    They stood outside, with fairly large crowds, dropping F-bombs on Hilary every five minutes. And they’re going to continue to do so through November. This is a stain on the Democrat brand, as even though BLM is a small minority they don’t normally bother with protesting the “liberal” party. They certainly did not do so in 2008 or 2012 (at least to this extent).

    Joe Reply:

    I saw BLM on stage. I saw BLM leadership speaking and participating. Mothers of the dead on stage.

    If the you say BLM is few and protestors are a few then your saying they’re irrelevant. You Cant argue contradicrions — BLM are Dems and an embarrassment to Dems and then say they’re outsiders protesting because Hillary built a wall around her.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Most of CA voted for HRC, not Bernie. Most of Bernie supporters say they will vote for HRC. Shut up.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Also, I am confident that Never Trump republicans in places like OC outnumber the Bernie or Busters in Mendocino and Santa Cruz.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who cares? Hillary and the Donald are pure Wall Street. For the average person life under either one of them will be the same. No substantive difference.

    Hillary won’t do swat about student loans. And blame it on the black hats, the Repubs.

    Aarond Reply:

    Your confidence is misplaced, OC republicans want the handgun roster gone and the only way that happens is through the Supreme Court. They’ll bite their pride and vote Trump. Same for every other cruzmissile across the country.

    Joe Reply:

    Bernie busters will not vote. They’ll stand outside poll station with signs and tape on thier mouths [Silenced].

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well five percent for Jill Stein will not change the outcome in California, will they?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I love when that happens. I just convinced my Kasich-supporting-grandma to back Clinton, and that made me so happy.

  14. Reality Check
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 12:13
    #14

    O/T: BART aims to bribe riders to ride off-peak instead; eyes adding platform doors

    Faced with trains packed beyond capacity during peak commute hours, BART will soon start offering small cash rewards to riders who shift their commute away from the weekday rush hour.

    […]

    “We needed to try something because (overcrowding) is such a problem,” she said. “And we have to use every tool to do it because we need to get the new train control system and the new train cars, but that won’t happen instantly.”

    BART is in the midst of testing the first of its “Fleet of the Future,” a $2.6 billion effort to replace its 669 aging train cars with 775 new ones. The new cars will allow the agency to run longer trains, but it also needs to upgrade its 1970s-era train control system so the trains can run more closely together in order to significantly increase capacity, Trost said.

    Those new, longer and more frequent trains will need additional traction power, another large infrastructure investment, she said. BART is hoping taxpayers will support its $3.5 billion bond measure, set to go before voters in November, which would help reduce projected capital funding shortfalls.

    Until then, Trost said the agency is looking at other ways to manage overcrowding, including adding sliding doors to the edges of platforms at Embarcadero station so people can stand on the yellow ribbed line, taking out bulky furniture, and improving its escalators and elevators to move people out of the station more quickly.

    Edward Reply:

    Because the Embarcadero station was an afterthought its platform is narrow. When it gets crowded it gets dangerous, especially if there has been a delay. Eventually the plan is to put platforms on both sides of the tracks so that exiting passengers won’t get in the way of entering ones. That won’t be anytime soon.

    Roland Reply:

    The real solution to congestion @ Montgomery and Embarcadero is a new Transbay tube. Half of the BART ridership will shift to he Transbay Transit Center within a week of opening.

    Ben in SF Reply:

    True. Though to me (a user since 1974) the Embarcadero platform feels wider than Powell or Montgomery because the escalators and stairs are narrower and don’t narrow the platform for 1-2 car lengths with a solid enclosure. On the other hand, that means less capacity for entry/exit (hence the stairs added at either end just to bring the station somewhat up to code). Embarcadero and Civic Center stations sensibly put the BART entrances at the ends, so as not to interrupt the middle-level MUNI platforms. (At Civic Center two caged BART stairways pass through the MUNI platforms, originally intended for free transfer, but at least visually transparent).

  15. Bill
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 13:00
    #15

    Not sure if the Repubs care about austerity so much as they just don’t want to spend money on programs/projects/policies that benefit anyone except coal, oil, and the military, no?

    synonymouse Reply:

    ergo, a big part of the US economy.

  16. car(e)-free LA
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 13:10
    #16

    CA just received 3 TIGER grants for transit:

    $15 million to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to separate the roadway and rail tracks at the intersection of Rosecrans and Marquardt Avenues in Santa Fe Springs, which sees more than 45,000 vehicles and 130 train crossings daily.
    $8.7 million to San Bernardino County to construct the Redlands Passenger Rail Project from Redlands through Loma Linda to San Bernardino.
    $6.3 million to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to refurbish the 19th Street Oakland BART station, including better bicycle and pedestrian access.

  17. Reality Check
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 13:19
    #17

    O/T: SF Muni to increase reverse-engineering unavailable Breda LRV parts

    […] the agency needs to outsource some of the acquisition of its train parts because most of the 149 light rail vehicles in Muni’s fleet were manufactured by AnsaldoBreda, which no longer exists. That posed a challenge for the SFMTA, as manufacturers of Breda train parts also are now defunct.

    That required Muni to make its own replacement parts.

    This unique position — a vendor manager — works hand in hand with Muni engineers to reverse-engineer old parts and seek out firms nationwide that can manufacture them, like a part for a brake or an “air compressor” that helps open train doors.

    SFMTA records show 26 unique parts have been designed so far, and manufactured en masse.

    “We have a fleet engineer who three quarters of his time is reverse engineering the parts,” Haley said.

    The vendor also aids in keeping track of parts inventory, which has helped increase availability of trains.

    Before this plan, 110 trains out of the fleet were available on a daily basis, according to the SFMTA. After the plan was implemented, 120 cars became available each day.

    The mean distance before trains broke down used to be 2,964 miles, but after the vendor mangement program was instituted, that distance hit 5,150 miles.

    […]

    synonymouse Reply:

    Something about this seems strange as Breda must have outsourced at least some of its components to manufacturers still around.

    Lesson: Go with a big guy like Siemens or the Japanese.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Ok, so let’s say your speculation that Breda outsourced “at least some” components happens to be right. That still doesn’t necessarily mean they’re readily available today … and it also doesn’t help Muni get replacements for the components that never were outsourced.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Makes one think there was some rational to the PCC concept. The Boeing-Vertol attempt was conceived roughly along those lines. But failed due to no followup debugging.

    If anything these types of procurement issues reinforce the need for standardization and for not doing Bechtelian wheel reinvention. Standard gauge, standard voltages. Most importantly getting enough electric rail systems up and running to create the demand for equipment.

    Like streetcars on Katella and on SMART. And dual gauge BART’s livestock carrier system.

    synonymouse Reply:

    rationale

    Jerry Reply:

    Wasn’t there a law somewhere/sometime requiring car companies to have parts available for their cars for around 7 years?
    Wouldn’t it be wise to have similar requirements for public transit vehicles?
    Written into the procurement contract?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    So what, AnsaldoBreda is now Hitachi.

    It is possible that “non-standard” components were used. OTOH, those components do have a certain age, and it is possible that the documentation never got to the customer, and/or got lost in the takeover

    @Jerry: Nowadays contracts for rolling stock very often includes spares and (heavy) maintenance for a given number of years. Spares and maintenance can make up a substantial part of the overall price.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The article is actually quite interesting, as it implies that Hitachi is abandoning the Breda designs. Given how awful Breda’s reputation is, I’m not surprised.

  18. Eric M
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 14:04
    #18

    For Robert and all the Democratic lemmings (or Republicans or anyone else for that matter) who blindly follow a specific party:

    Trump’s stance on high-speed rail clashes with House Republicans’

    Trump, meanwhile, has called for greater federal effort on high-speed rail.

    Zorro Reply:

    Trump lies, changes His speeches daily to please the party and different audiences…

    Carl Bernstein: Trump Is “A Pathological Liar” And “A Sham Businessman” Link and quote is from MediaMatters…

    CARL BERNSTEIN: First of all, Mayor Giuliani is wrong. Donald Trump has shown himself to be a pathological liar through this campaign. And last night, [former New York City Mayor] Mike Bloomberg, who knows him well, set things up when he said, “We need a sane president.” I think we now have in the mix the question of Donald Trump’s stability. Beyond the fact that he’s reckless, beyond the fact that he’s a sham businessman. And those are the negative issues that this convention has developed. And Hillary Clinton, happily for her, has had the greatest surrogates in the world to finally give a picture of the whole woman. That’s why I did this biography. She’s the most famous — somebody else said it, the most famous woman in the world. She’s not really known as a whole person. She has to carry herself now. She’s had [President] Obama. She’s had Michelle Obama. She’s had her husband do it. She’s had [Sen.] Cory Booker [(D-NJ)]. They have been fabulous in defining her and she has been unable to do herself.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “How can you tell when a politician is lying?…”

    Eric M Reply:

    He’s a lemming. More hot air from the left.

    Eric M Reply:

    Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Unfortunately, Trump speaks out of both sides of his mouth. Name an issue, he’s been on both sides of it. What does he think of David Duke?

    Bill Reply:

    He also called the wars we’re currently involved in a “bad business idea” last year sometime. Heard it myself.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The first thing you do in a war is understand your enemy and what he wants. Hillary is incapable of that as she cannot grasp anyone in the 3rd world not loving liberals.

    Rome provides an example of a decadent society based on a few luxuriating on the backs of the wretched masses facing a pernicious, malignant software virus known as revealed messianic religion.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The same woman who voted for the Iraq War?

    J. Wong Reply:

    So Hillary believes ISIL loves her? Really?

    And Rome was brought down by Christianity? And here I always thought it was the Goths and Huns.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah Christianity was the Levant’s passive aggressive vengeance for Roman conquest. A poisonous ideological epidemic.

    By 200 80% of the Legions were Germans. But Rome had to send them back home since there was no money to pay them.

    Arminius had a good historical reason to want to get even at the Teutoberg Forest – recently they were digging up the remains at Kessel of apparently many, many thousands of Germanic tribesmen Caesar had ordered massacred during his Gallic campaigns.

    If there were ever an argument against hereditary rule it would be the Julian Emperors. Germanicus was appalled at how rotten to the core his son had turned out. I think Camus was right; Hitler must have been using Caligula as a role model.

    Joe Reply:

    Christian Rome ended in 1453 AD.

    Christianity as you know it is Hellenistic, not the Levant but rooted in Greek with a scripture written in Greek.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Don’t confuse him with facts.

    Edward Reply:

    I hate to differ with anyone educating the mouse, but…

    While the new testament was written in Greek (there is some argument about Matthew), you must remember that it was the lingua franca of the educated of the eastern part of the empire. That does not make it Helenic in outlook.

    Even in the west of the empire Greek was classy. You weren’t really educated unless you could switch in and out of it. Seutonius wrote, “some have said that Caesar said, “”Kai su, teknon.” to Brutus when he was assassinated.

    Of course nobody knows what he actually said.

    joe Reply:

    Law and Governance was in Latin until 600AD in the eastern empire. Scholarship was and remained in Greek.

    Clearly Christianity was not the Levant taking on Rome.
    I can see arguments that it’s not Hellenist, some Islamic scholars have used that term, but early teaching that evolved into orthodox came from the Hellenistic parts of the Empire.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Hellenistic_philosophy

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Greek was the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean, and the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire, but most of the population in the Levant did not speak it. The main language of the Levant at the time was Aramaic; most likely that’s what Jesus would’ve spoken with his followers.

    Christianity isn’t quite Hellenistic, because usually “Hellenistic” means “the fusion of Classical Greek and Egyptian cultures brought about by Alexander’s conquests,” predating Christianity. More accurately, Western culture is a fusion of Hellenistic culture and Western (Latin) Christianity.

    Joe Reply:

    Reading “Belesarius Last Roman General”. He and emperor Justinian are native Latin speakers. Of coal language was Latin although Greek in court.
    Pretty sure Emperor Heraclius, (Armenian by way of North Africa) made Greek the official language.

    Finally, under the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Empire’s military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin.

    Wilipedia

    Did the “Levant” create Christianity to hurt / infect/ revenge on the conquering Rome? No

    Hellenism is not Greek/Egyptian but more eastern including the dominate Persian culture.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Educated Jews (like Flavius Josephus) of the era were more likely to speak Greek than Latin. Now we know little about Jesus’ formal (or informal) schooling, but it is safe to assume that he spoke Aramaic and at least understood some Hebrew. Whether or not he spoke Greek is an interesting question, though it is less relevant than the question whether Paul of Tarsus did. Paul of Tarsus was a Hellenistic Jew. And he made Christianity.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What am I to make of this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltjH6HPs7vg

    EJ Reply:

    Fine, dude, vote for Trump if you want. If you live in California, it won’t matter, since the odds that CA will swing for Trump are approximately 0.000%

    Eric M Reply:

    Ignorant much?

    EJ Reply:

    No, I’m just a grown-up, responsible adult.

    Joe Reply:

    Odds are >99% according to polling data.
    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-california-presidential-general-election-trump-vs-clinton

    “This chart combines the latest opinion polls into trendlines using a poll-tracking model and is updated whenever a new poll is released”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If California turns red, the election is lost for the Dems anyway…

    Bill Reply:

    Was the “fine dude” directed at me? I’m a pot-smoking, train-loving tree hugger from Santa Cruz. I’d be drawn and quartered a la William Wallace if I supported Trump. I just remember him saying the war in the Middle East was a bad idea, which he doesn’t believe anymore anyways.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You remember him claiming he didn’t support the war.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2016/02/donald-trump-and-the-iraq-war/

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Remember how in 2009, Newt Gingrich complained that the stimulus HSR funding wasn’t good enough, because it should go to better-faster-newer maglev? Occasionally, Republicans talk about shiny infrastructure projects. They never deliver. Trump is exceptionally unlikely to deliver, because for one he’s even less likely than your average conservative to want to learn anything from people who have already built such projects. Expect a Trump-designed train to use 3-meter track gauge because standard gauge is for losers, or something.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Three meter gauge you say?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breitspurbahn

    Coincidence?

    Not with Trump.

  19. JimInPollockPines
    Jul 28th, 2016 at 23:52
    #19

    Hillary wants to do a huge infrastructure bill right away to put people to work. I don’t know if hsr is on her radar but the senate republicans know that if they don’t start helping produce jobs, they will be voted out in the next midterm and replaced with dems. The house is going to be a pain no matter what but with Ryans leadership, they are not going to pull another shut down the government stunt.

    Zorro Reply:

    Ryan has problems with the nuts in the Freedumb caucus, but then I don’t trust Ryan any farther than I can throw Him, and I can’t throw anyone, He also still won’t stop using the Hastert rule(named for a convict who used to be Speaker of the House), for those who don’t know that rule means Ryan has to get the Majority of the GOP/Republican Parties approval before a bill can be voted on, that’s why Boehner left, cause Boehner was forced to quit as speaker of the House by the Freedumb caucus.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Would it help if the Dems had an equally crazy but diametrically opposed group?

    Nathanael Reply:

    I don’t know whether it would help but it’s not actually possible, I’m afraid. Even PETA and ELF are less crazy than the *average* Republican in Congress.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Honestly, unreconstructed Trotskyists are saner than the average Republican in Congress.

    Really it’s impossible to find a left-wing group in the US which is as crazy as the Republicans in Congress.

    Joe Reply:

    Their is one reference to building more passenger rail in the Party Platform.

    It’s probably up to CA to put a package together. For NorCal a top priority is connectivity between BART, VTA and HSR in Santa Clara Co.

  20. Domayv
    Jul 29th, 2016 at 08:27
    #20
Comments are closed.