Jerry Brown Vetoes Unnecessary HSR-Related Bill

Sep 29th, 2016 | Posted by

Governor Jerry Brown vetoed AB 2847 yesterday, arguing that the high speed rail oversight bill is unnecessary:

I believe this bill is unnecessary, particularly in view of the passage of AB 1813, which adds two legislative members to the Authority. As with other projects of this magnitude, state law requires strict standards of accountability and transparency. I have every expectation that the Authority will meet these high standards.

Unsurprisingly, HSR critics were not pleased:

“This is not just a veto of a bill. It is a veto of Governor Brown’s responsibility to the people and to the Legislature,” said Patterson in a statement. “Governor Brown is failing on a fundamental level on a project of huge significance, by giving a pass to an authority that thumbs its nose at the people of California with every change order and request for millions in extra cash.”

This quote, from Republican Assemblymember Jim Patterson of Fresno, is just ridiculous and over the top. The HSR project has plenty of oversight and is doing a good job given the difficult restrictions on its operations imposed by the Legislature and Congress, both of which have starved the project of funds and then blamed the Authority for resulting challenges.

It’s too bad Jerry Brown is now covered by the Prop 140 term limits and can’t run for a fifth term in 2018.

  1. Joe
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 21:23
    #1

    “The bill is symbolic of any restraints or limits being put on the project,” says Elizabeth Alexis, co-founder of Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design, which supported the bill. “This session has been really different from the previous session, where there really weren’t substantive hearings, there wasn’t any real legislation. The California Legislature is changing its view on this project, it’s changing what it sees as its role in oversight.”

    Not quite true:
    Blended HSR was proposed by Pennisula Legislature members and have HSR access to Caltrain
    ROW.
    The 2016 business plan was responsive to CV Leglislature members wanting HSR building north to their districts.
    Leglislature now has two seats on the HSR board.
    Leglislature clarified they approved prop1a money for Caltrain electrification.

    There was and will continue to be substantial Leglislature involvement so this ill advised oversight bill Brown vetoed signaled nothing novel or different.

    CARRD hasn’t changed either.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What has also changed is Jerry is much closer to exiting.

  2. Paul Dyson
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 22:35
    #2

    The next Brexit

    Roland Reply:

    Jerrexit?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Jexit

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Please stop.

    Roland Reply:

    Krautexit?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Please!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Exiting from where and to where?

    From my plate?

    EJ Reply:

    Oh good! This blog is where I come for all the latest cabbage recipes and news about toilets!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That literally made me laugh…

    Will there be cabbage dishes in the restaurant car? Will there be a restaurant car at all?

    EJ Reply:

    How many toilets will the restaurant car have? If they serve cabbage will it cause the patrons to become more regular and require more toilets?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The effects of cabbage on digestion are totally under-discussed on this blog. ;-)

    Roland Reply:

    The other Brexit is beginning to take shape: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/brexit-process-to-begin-by-march-2017

    Aarond Reply:

    BBC link:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37532364

    May has put a date on Article 50: 31/3/17

  3. John Nachtigall
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 22:40
    #3

    its interesting that you keep leaving out it had passed both houses unanimously. The houses that are 2/3rds democrat. Unanimous.

    So if the project is doing such a great job, why didnt a single legislator vote against the bill?

    Joe Reply:

    Politics.

    It’s common for Leglislature to vote for a bill for political safety even if they don’t agree.

    For example:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2016/09/29/politics/obama-911-veto-congressional-concerns/index.html?client=safari

    Top congressional leaders from each party expressed buyer’s remorse Thursday about a controversial new law that was enacted over President Barack Obama’s objections that allows 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia.

    Just one day after these lawmakers led the first override of a veto during Obama’s presidency they publicly called for making changes to the law. But even as they admitted they agreed with some of the White House’s concerns, GOP leaders quickly blamed the President for “dropping the ball” for failing to engage with Congress on the legislation before it passed.

    It’s common for Leglislature to vote for a bill knowing it will fail or be vetoed. Common for a bill to pass with only the needed votes and no more.

    Your question should be “why does the world work differently then my imaginary world where voter suppression is unproven– citation please ?”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow. I learn so much on this blog. Now something else I didn’t know. It is “common” for the legislature to vote the opposite of how they feel. I am going to file that away with the other thing I have learned on this board like “the USA was a sideshow in WWII” and “putting people in prison does not prevent crime”

    Let’s examine your assertion for a moment. You said it was “politics”. I assume you mean that it was popular to vote for the oversight because their constituents wanted it. Otherwise politics would say vote the other way.

    – So per your logic, every single legislator in the state found it more popular to vote for oversight of HSR than against it.
    – But, you also claim that HSR is popular and it’s just a vocal minority of GOP NIMBYs that are against it.

    Those statements contradict. Add in that there were 2 bills to increase oversight, and the other one passed also and it’s a pretty confusing explanation.

    Here is a non- contradictory explanation. The people that the legislature represents and therefore the legislators thinks the project needs more oversight. Simple as that.

    2nd point. The basis of your repeated claims about the legality of the project with respect to prop1a is that the legislature has approved the spending and plan. You might want to consider that the approval is constantly ongoing and if 100% of the legislature thinks it needs more oversight

    PS, I said being denied the vote (in the last 50 years) is unproven. Even at its worst, the Voter suppression you are referring to is social engineering. People are not denied a vote, they put obstacles in the way and human laziness takes over.

    Even that is not true, The actual truth is that it is easier to vote now that 50 years ago by a whole bunch. 50 years ago there were limited voting area, 1 day, only during work hours. Now there is absentee and early voting, extended hours and extended polling places. In any state in the US voting has been made easier. But that does not fit your narrative of GOP (or more broadly the USA) is bad, so you ignore it.

    Joe Reply:

    Wow. I learn so much on this blog. Now something else I didn’t know. It is “common” for the legislature to vote the opposite of how they feel.

    No irony here. You’re an idiot pretending to be an idiot. It’s not ironic, it’s faceplam after facepalm

    Meanwhile a perfect example …

    White House: Congress has ‘buyer’s remorse’ after overriding Obama veto
    Even as they voted to override the veto, 28 senators asked the sponsors of the bill to mitigate the “unintended consequences of the bill.”

    McConnell suggested that Obama didn’t make his concerns known early enough. “I hate to blame everything on him. And I don’t,” he said. “But it would have been helpful had we had a discussion about this much earlier than last week.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Or…..they actually think they should be able to sue Saudi Arabia and are now lying to please the president. Regardless, it is in no way common

    Joe Reply:

    So common the job of the “Whip” was created which is to count votes before leglislation is brought forward.

    It is very, very common to use legislation as a political tool and very very common to allow members to vote contrary to party intentions IF the whip knows the leglislation will (or will not pass) or pass or be vetoed.

    Also very common to whip votes only to pass leglislation, in particular when a member is up for reelection.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “Voting yes and hoping no” (or the reverse) is actually quite common on Capitol Hill. Some people say it is one of many things wrong with the current state of Congress.

    Joe Reply:

    Those statements contradict. Add in that there were 2 bills to increase oversight, and the other one passed also and it’s a pretty confusing explanation

    Let Ralph help you out — an inintentioanl slip up in his HSR bashing article.

    The Patterson bill was adopted by both the Assembly and Senate, facing no opposition. It may have presented the authority with a task that was impossible to meet, since its own business plan shows it does not have the funding for each segment of the project.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-oversight-veto-20160928-snap-story.html

    This bill was not intended to provide oversight and was superficially difficult to argue so close to an election.

    Brown vetoed it and all indications are no override.

    Problem solved.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Unanimously passed. Not a single person supported HSR

    Joe Reply:

    You don’t believe this comment.

    They voted for oversight just prior to an election. Brown vetoed the Bill.

    Game over.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Citation for,what, that it was unanimous? Read any of the news articles

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where does it say that?

    Also, is unanimous the same as a vote that goes xyz to zero? Or is it just: Nobody bothered to openly raise objection? Those two are different things…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    first, since you are apparently so lazy you cant type it into google yourself

    https://legiscan.com/CA/rollcall/AB2847/id/545421

    and yes, a vote of xyz to 0 is unanimous. They actively voted for the project, not abstained.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, people who are smarter than I am have explained the reasoning behind that “unanimous” vote.

    Are you willing to be real money on Brown’s veto being overridden?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Crickets…

    Or rather, no Nachtigall chirping…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Oh you wanted a reply…ok what did you have in mind. I think it will be overridden. I assume you don’t.

    What qualifies as “real money” to you.?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Anything that can be expressed in paper currency in a major real mode of interchange (e.g. Swiss Francs or Euros)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Certainly. How many Swiss Francs would you like to bet. I dont want to bet Euros because when Deutsche Bank and the Italian banks go under we may not have a Euro anymore. The Swiss on the other hand they will definitely be around laundering money for the worst of the worst in the world.

    So how much?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It would be ten Francs as that is the smallest bill. And there would have to be some cutoff point at which point failure to override the veto would have to be considered permanent (neither of us wants to wait around until 2525), so as governor Brown leaves office in 2018, maybe we should make it 10 Swiss Francs payable upon the last day in office of governor Brown or the override of the veto, whichever occurs first.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m not going to go parse the California Constitution. It has an expiration date.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    10 Francs…3 months after the start of the next legislative session.

    Deal?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The next legislative session starts in… January 2017?

    Also, we would have to find some way for the money to be handed over to the winner. After all, I can hardly mail a physical 10 Franc note to your postal address, can I?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I think so, so it would be over by April. Why, are you opposed to the USPS?

    Would you prefer bitcoins, so you dont have to deal in dollars and can remain anonymous. I have never used them but I am told it is pretty easy

    OR

    Whoever loses has to post on this board in a thread supporting the others position on HSR. a reasonable 2-3 paragraphs. Much more painful and valuable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Well for one thing, check your bank’s minimum service charge to exchange it. Unless you are intending to frame it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I for one have the greatest faith in the US Postal service, though my faith in the German postal service (which is partially privatized) is much lower. And sending a physical note by post is one of the more expensive ways to transfer money. I am not all that partial to bitcoins, as they have a lot of associated quackery…

    My opinion on the other hand cannot be bought, not even through a bet. This whole thing would be a bit easier if you did not have an irrational hatred of the Euro. My (hidden) jab at the Dollar was more related to its ridiculously small notes rather than any real defect of the currency as such. It has been proven over and over again that the US would gain a lot by getting rid of both pennies (okay, the Euro still has that, thanks to Germany) and one Dollar notes. Notes wear down faster and people are less likely to spend them, as notes are perceived to be of greater value than coins… Hence the US minting “toonies” (the Canadian term for two dollar coins) and ramping up the President’s dollars while withdrawing the One Dollar Note (and the somewhat obscure two dollar note) would be one of those things that are so self evidentially low risk high benefit that they cannot ever be passed by Congress…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, I consider the bet on and this only to be haggling over details to be worked out.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They just wanted to assure it was done right.

    EJ Reply:

    But that does not fit your narrative of GOP (or more broadly the USA) is bad

    There it is. The poison just oozes out of creepy little fucks like you, doesn’t it? Republicans are the only real Americans, if you criticize the US you must hate it, etc., etc. Listen, fucko, I’m just as American as you.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I can only assume you are (just as American as me). What’s your point. You are allowed to be American hate some if not all of the Government (or country as a whole). That’s freedom.

    I never said anything to the countrary. I said the facts don’t support the belief that the GOP or USA is evil. You just read something in my statement I never said or implied. There is no loyalty test in this country, just anthoer thing that makes it great

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nobody here ever said the USA is evil. In fact, several people have said stuff to the contrary.

    Jerry Reply:

    Part of John N’s bait and switch.
    You are correct, Bahnfreund, “Nobody here ever said the USA is evil.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    First, lets not gloss over the fact that I never said anyone was not a “Real American”. I was accused of something I didnt say.

    2nd. So when we were discussion mass incarceration, you are saying no one said the policy was racist (an therefore evil)

    or

    When we were discussing the invation of Iraq no one said the government at that time was a lier. and no one said that killing so many Iraq civilians was wrong (evil)

    or the best example, not on on this board has ever said that the GOP congress is evil. NOBODY on this board?

    so NOBODY in the board has EVER said the USA is evil. I just want it on record before I take 10 minutes and go find the specific quote.

    or the best example, not on on this board has ever said that the GOP congress is evil. NOBODY on this board?

    Despite your protestation, I just repeat back what you say with evidence you are wrong. There are countless examples were the members of this board have said the GOP and/or the government is evil or wrong.

    You can just admit that many of your theories revolve around the GOP (and the government when the GOP is in

    Jerry Reply:

    Bait and switch.
    The word ‘you’ can be singular and plural. Who are YOU John N. addressing??
    I hope to God you are not addressing me you obnoxious troll.

    Jerry Reply:

    You are not the one to tell anyone what they should or should not gloss over.

    Jerry Reply:

    Your (John N.) 2:56 pm post is just another example of you always going off on a long rant and diatribe to prove your own pedantic writings.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nobody on this board has ever said the US is evil.

    Some may have said in words or in sentiment what you now distort as the US being evil, but if we cannot say that the Iraq war was conducted the wrong way and the US has done some extremely stupid or even criminal things in the past without being un-American traitors, I think democracy is dead. Because democracy lives off of open discourse. And yes, flag burning is and should be part of that discourse. Maybe not a particularly eloquent or helpful part, but a part nonetheless. Just like we let you unload your verbal waste here.

    Jerry Reply:

    Try and answer the troll on any one of the subjects HE raises and he will go off ad infinitum ad nauseum to try and show once again that he is, “so smart”. And everyone else is so dumb.

    Jerry Reply:

    That troll is pathetic.

    Jerry Reply:

    Pedant.
    A person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules.
    And constantly trying to display academic learning. (As in his statement that he is “So smart”.)

    Jerry Reply:

    He deserves to be censured.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    censured, censored or both?

    Jerry Reply:

    Have you no shame?
    Have you no decency?
    We’re questions Joseph N. Welch asked to US Senator Joseph McCarthy on June 9. 1994.
    On December 2, 1954 the US Senate voted to censure Joe McCarthy.

    Jerry Reply:

    June 9, 1954

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqQD4dzVkwk

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you can totally criticize the government and not be dis-loyal, a traitor, or even un-american. I 100% agree.

    Now roll back up to the top of the thread.

    I said “It does not fit your narrative that the GOP (and the US) is evil” that is an attack on the criticism, not anyone patriotism

    Then you and Jerry both said NOBODY has accused the US of being evil.

    Then EJ accused me of calling then un-american (and added some personal attacks)

    I responded with the same sentiment you did Bahnfreund, that everyone is allowed and opinion and I never said anyone was “un-american”

    Then you and Jerry both said NOBODY has ever accused the USA of being evil

    Which I responded with several instances where you and others have. WHere you have considered the US policies evil.

    Then the normal bashing and calls for censorship, which is particularly ironic in this case because you want me to be censured for “attacking” the freedom everyone has to free speech. Let that sink in for a second. You want to remove my free speech to protect free speech.

    Simply put, I agree everyone is free to have an opinon. I agree that no opinion makes anyone “un-american” You are born with those rights and they cant be stripped without due process and some rights cant be stripped ever like free speech.

    I am not the one calling for censorship.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You seem to have a rather limited view where saying “The US should not have done this or that” equals “The US is evil”. There are many good people who do evil. Which seems to be something that can’t enter your brain. Maybe religion has something to do with that, I don’t know. Humans are complex, complicated things. As are the various forms or organization groups of humans have given themselves.

    Jerry Reply:

    Part of John N’s always going of on something he brings up and then ascribes it to someone else. Enabling him to present another of his diatribes.

    Jerry Reply:

    going off

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Very true.

    Unfortunately we all (me included) take the bait way too often

    Jerry Reply:

    He, John N., does it with complete impunity.
    The larger question is:
    Should trolls be taken to task or ignored?

    Jerry Reply:

    If such action is ignored it soon turns everything into a “reality show” of hell.

    Jerry Reply:

    All to the delight of the perpetrators. (And their sponsors.)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So what should we do?

    Jerry Reply:

    Call him out for what he is.
    An obnoxious troll.
    A pendant. A person with an unsatiated desire to prove that everything he says is correct. And everyone else is wrong. Regardless as to the subject.
    He makes up his own definitions.

    Jerry Reply:

    He should be censured.

    Jerry Reply:

    Make him start his own blog.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What would that blog be about?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    am I a person with an unsaited desire to prove what I think (say) is correct. Yes

    So are you Jerry, Joe, Bahnfreund, Adirondacker, etc. That is why the debate is fun. if we didnt have passion for the issues it would just be like reading a book.

    Its not personal, its just a political discussion. A fun academic exercise. None of us (I assume) have the political power to actually set policy. That is what a blog is, discussing issues.

    Richard has been clear this blog is not an echo chamber (to his great credit). Opposing opinions are allowed.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    “– So per your logic, every single legislator in the state found it more popular to vote for oversight of HSR than against it.
    – But, you also claim that HSR is popular and it’s just a vocal minority of GOP NIMBYs that are against it. ”
    This is the problem of perception vs reality.
    The reality is that the general population wants the train built and doesn’t care about the details. The only ones yelling for more oversight over the already most accountable infrastructure project in America are the anti-rail rightist extremists. (How do you really feel about them?)
    But it’s also an election year, and the candidates have to face the perception of waste and fraud blaring from their opponent’s campaign ads if they vote against it. A yes vote here is as dangerous and politically courageous as a vote for Mom and Apple Pie, and just as symbolic. The governor will veto it and they can let it die on the floor without having to take the heat for voting “for waste and corruption,” as the ads would declare.
    And nobody would notice if the legislature doesn’t try to over-ride the veto because nobody cared in the first place.
    Except the activists who just want to overturn the Prop 1-A election without the bother of letting voters have a say.

    Jerry Reply:

    Why?
    Who knows?
    Speculate forever.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So the proof will be in the pudding as they say.

    Yes, a majority of legislators voted for it, but the question is whether that same majority (assuming it is sufficient) would vote to override the governor’s veto. It often happens that legislators vote for a bill, but then won’t vote to override a veto of the same bill. Then they can claim the were for it before they were against it, or something like that.

    Jerry Reply:

    True.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Not a majority….all of them. Ringing endorsement

    Jerry Reply:

    So will they override the veto??

    Joe Reply:

    No.
    The unanimous vote indicates this was coordinated. The issue is off the table. Game over man.

    The Dems protected all members from a cheap political ad during a major election cycle while Brown used a veto to kill leglislation. The minority GOP probably can’t get a veto override on the floor for vote.

    We’ll see if Trump drags a few republicans down with him this November.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The primaries are over, right? So there are already some districts where it is Democrat vs. Democrat or Republican vs. Republican. How many seats are there where a Democrat runs against a Republican in California?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

  4. morris brown
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 23:10
    #4

    Robert wrote:

    This quote, from Republican Assemblymember Jim Patterson of Fresno, is just ridiculous and over the top. The HSR project has plenty of oversight and is doing a good job given the difficult restrictions on its operations imposed by the Legislature and Congress, both of which have starved the project of funds and then blamed the Authority for resulting challenges.

    Please explain to me what possible effect of adding two, non-voting, legislative members to the Authority’s board will have? The Authority’s board rubber stamps everything which comes to a vote. Only Lynn Schenk has shown any resistance to the present plan.

    AB-2847 passed both houses of the legislature with no opposition. All votes in committees were unanimous, yet the Governor vetoes with his lame veto message. The Authority has from the beginning, tried its best to have as little oversight as possible. The oversight represented in in AB-2847, was recommended by the LAO.

    If ever there was a veto that should be over-ridden, it is this veto of AB-2847. There is NO chance of this happening. There has not been a veto overturned since 1980. In addition the legislature would have to return before Nov 30th, to start the process, and there is no support for that to take place. So the Governor wins. The public loses.

    Expect a re-introduction next year.

    Going forward, please explain how even the IOS north will be completed? t Fed funds will be exhausted shortly. The proposed funding from Cap and Trade has dried up. The new plan seems to be to extract as much funding from the $8 billlons of Prop 1A construction funds, and divert to local regional projects, such as Caltrain electrification of grade separations in So. California.

    Legislative oversight not needed!

    Jerry Reply:

    “Legislative oversight not needed ! “

    Joe Reply:

    Going forward, please explain how even the IOS north will be completed? t Fed funds will be exhausted shortly. The proposed funding from Cap and Trade has dried up. The new plan seems to be to extract as much funding from the $8 billlons of Prop 1A construction funds, and divert to local regional projects, such as Caltrain electrification of grade separations in So. California.
    Legislative oversight not needed!

    The Legislature voted to begin the project and the Leglislature controls Project funding.
    Leglislature mandates bi-annual business plans.

    Leglislature sits on HSR board and has power to hold hearings and investigate.

    That’s oversight.

    This bill was intended to present HSR with an impossible task. Brown vetoed it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Because Brown was not born yesterday…

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    By a considerable margin…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are you making an ageist argument there?

    StevieB Reply:

    The Legislature, in the same way as the vast majority of the public, has little knowledge of California High-Speed Rail and little interest in researching the project. The placement of two legislators on the Authority board will allow those members to gain knowledge of the project by listening and questioning at board meetings. The hope is that knowledge of California High-Speed Rail is passed back to the Legislature by these board members.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Maybe that’s because the “present plan” is a good one?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Say whaaaat?

    synonymouse Reply:

    A “present” plan all right – a present to PB-Tutor and Palmdale.

  5. morris brown
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 23:24
    #5

    Jerry Brown Vetoes Bill to Improve High-Speed Rail Oversight

    Jerry Reply:

    From Breit BART?
    Syno will love that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seriously can’t we just ban certain websites?

    Breitbart, Fox, Hounds, Fox and Hounds…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Censorship….that always works.

    I though one of the fundamental bedrocks of liberal philosophy was to respect everyone’s point of view?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

    And do remember that this here is a private blog that could in theory block any of us without any reason given at any moment. Nobody thinks this is going to happen, but if it does, there is nothing we can do. The first amendment does not apply to private businesses. You can bemoan that, but it is a fact.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    all true, but it has nothing to do with your original statement.

    You wanted to ban the conservative news sites. They are the press. And the only entity that can “ban” a private website is the government (as the China government does so often).

    so when you say “ban” them I assumed you meant the government. But perhaps I jumped the gun. Who do you think should “ban” them?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I was – as I had previously stated – insinuating to technologically inhibit linking to that page on this site here. Nothing more, nothing less.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    ok, i will take you at your word. you did not call for government censure of the conservative press. you called for Robert to censure them off this site (and me)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’d probably end up missing you anyway… You and syno are entertaining in some weird way…

  6. Jerry
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 01:24
    #6

    Previously Jos Callinet and Eric made reference to Robert’s good work regarding this blog. And that it is being archived. I then came across a reference to Uzbekistan having HSR. Uzbekistan?

    I wondered how Uzbekistan and all of the other countries in the world with HSR managed to build theirs? And what kind of oversight they may have had?
    I also wondered why our country (USA USA USA) is so far behind. With not even one single small HSR line? Anywhere.

    For those who like to take a trip down memory lane, the Uzbekistan blog is here:
    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2011/07/even-uzbekistan-is-building-high-speed-rail/
    From over five years ago.

    Aarond Reply:

    I know that this is a rhetorical question, but most HSR projects are led by central governments who actively push and support such a thing. Here in the US, the Obama administration has been more or less indifferent to major infrastructure projects. While the PRIIA is all well and good, there was no follow up. A glaring example of this is the ARC tunnels, in 20/20 hindsight Obama should have fought for funding in Congress when NJ backed down. He did not.

    Going even further, Obama is also indifferent to road tolling/privatization; a thing which many Republicans support and would help promote greener land use. Another missed opportunity.

    Eric Reply:

    any Obama supported infrastructure project would be nearly impossible to get out of committee with the recent congress, let alone get a vote on the House Floor. Where would the funding come from? how many late budgets has the opposition House had? how much money has congress had to inject into the state highway fund because they won’t raise the gas tax?

    Aarond Reply:

    Everything is impossible until it is tried.

    Again, see ARC: if Obama considered HSR a priority he would have worked harder to find a means of Federal money in place of NJ money. That’s not to say he would or could have been successful, but he did not consider it a priority and did not fight for it.

    Bona Fide HSR requires an active central force pushing it, especially someone with vision that is willing to cut deals. See Brown’s Cap-and-Trade, while it’s not a final solution he’s at least looking to keep money flowing in.

    Peter Reply:

    ARC was for NJT only. Gateway is Amtrak, but would also be used by NJT.

    Aarond Reply:

    What NJT does under the Hudson directly affects the performance of Amtrak. Which is why Amtrak had to step in with Gateway to ensure that something would end up getting built.

    But, that’s also Amtrak taking the initiative and not Obama. Infrastructure needs a champion, Obama did not want to lead here. That’s alright, there’s other things the President can concern himself with, but of the options Obama did choose HSR was not a priority.

    Which is why CAHSR is referred to as Brown’s “legacy project” and not Obama’s.

    Danny Reply:

    in this sense Obama’s got the same configuration as LBJ: the Dems thought their trouncing of Goldwater meant that they could have guns and butter indefinitely, that it was 1932 all over again; instead they forced through a party heir and expected everyone to fall in line: but after the Long Hot Summers and suburban nuclear families seeing piles of dead peasants in their groovy ranch houses over their TV dinners every night by nominating Humphrey they elected Nixon
    they never put together a coherent defense of their policies, so the Great Society was torn apart by Vietnam’s mounting human and financial costs, vulnerable to both the bigmouth Wallace and the law-n-order Nixon
    Obama’s real job was to put himself between the bankers and the pitchforks, as he put it: the incompetent Emanuel was only replaced with the godawful Wasserman-Schultz; they didn’t even fight Christie, as Barbara Buono noted: over and over they failed to offer anything other than “we’re better than the GOP, even if we regularly adopt their worldviews and policies”
    it’s not like the Teabaggers were so convincing in 2010 that the Dems couldn’t even fight back against their alt-right assumptions; nor in fact is a bunch of populists hijacking the GOP establishment gonna be adverse to infrastructure spending, if the rhetoric’s keyed right; the anti-infrastructure/HSR governors have all debunked themselves and tanked their states—Scott, Walker, Brownback, Kasich, Rauner, Snyder, and to lesser degrees Pence and Abbott
    always remember the GOP *loves* Amtrak at the same time that it *loves* to damn it as the epitome of Big Gubmint waste: Amtrak foots the bill, the Senators get the credit, and the Senators get to damn Washington as never able to do anything right
    they can only do this because (almost) nobody calls them out on the trick—any Amtrak expansion should come with an affidavit to the effect that “I [state] have long been dependent on Washington, and as a little perpetual teatbiter promise not to cry about government programs and ‘welfare states’ while getting all my money and services from them, nor pretend I am a lone range-riding cowboy from the movies, or treat Phil Robertson as a political or economic expert”

    Jerry Reply:

    Danny. I really like your summary.

    Aarond Reply:

    same for myself

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately the Democrats are slowly but surely losing their base in the states. Back in the 1980s the Dems actually controlled much more state legislatures…

    So it would be hard to force the Senators to admit what they are actually doing.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    So many Dems just won’t turn out.

    Zorro Reply:

    We won’t know that for sure until Nov 9th.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem is turnout for Midterms and off-year elections.

    And of course voter suppression, which mostly happens at the state and local level and which the Feds can do increasingly little about, thanks to assholes like Scalia.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m referring to non presidential races.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah. All races that don’t coincide with the Presidential election have awful turnout and are hampered by gerrymandering and voter suppression. And thanks to the gutting of the voting rights act the Feds – even if they want to – can do little to fix those issues, let alone other underlying issues.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Don’t worry about that in California. Only Democrats allowed on the ballot.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Maybe someone convince some the electable Republicans to come out of retirement.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Zombie Reagan?

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    I want Ashley Swearengin for governor.
    She was close enough that she might have won if the Tea Party extremists hadn’t torpedoed her.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Does that name have to ring a bell?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    God no!!!! Villaraigosa 2018!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When do candidates realistically have to announce their candidacy for California governor?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Mid-2017, probably.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are there already announced candidates?

    EJ Reply:

    They’re on every ballot. They just don’t get elected. Ask yourself why that is. What does the Republican party have to offer the average Californian, other than a lot of complaining and a vague wish that it were magically 1955 again?

    Aarond Reply:

    Not every ballot. Thanks to the top two system there are many cities where only Democrats can run. A return to the status quo.

    This is all well and good for a place like Los Angeles, which at least takes it’s governance semi-seriously. But SF will find itself getting screwed out of competent politicians.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Republicans can run in the primary just the same. And if enough Democrats split the vote, they can even get to the second round…

    If the US had a nationwide top two primary system, we might even end up with more than two parties…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hillary vs. Mini-me Hillary

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And who is Mini-me Hillary?

    synonymouse Reply:

    TBD by the apparatchicks

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    *sigh*

    Why did I even ask?

    Danny Reply:

    Clinton’s running mate and campaign head together oversaw the loss of 13 Senators, 69 Representatives, and 913 state seats, and that doesn’t include all the “sheep-dipped” candidates who were literally Republicans that they ran to make sure payday loans stayed legal or whatever
    they might lose 2-8 seats in 2018 as well, especially since Al Giordano will be sucking up the DNC money trying to punish Sanders for the unforgivable sin of polling better against Trump than Her
    they’ve ended up with a party that can only defeat other Democrats, and gets as much money when it loses as when it wins, so there’s no motive to even win

    Jerry Reply:

    Both parties suck.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, tough luck.

    The political system of the US breeds a two party system. But the Nachtigall is whistling that ever wishing for any other political system or constitution is treason and wishing for violent civil war, so there you have it.

    Danny Reply:

    I’ve seen better-run death cults

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Which one?

    Danny Reply:

    the guy behind the MV Sewol’s sinking

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That was a death cult?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    what I actually said was that the government suggested, proportional representation, has had several examples where it has failed, both in the distant past and in modern times including at this very moment.

    Examples, by the way, that were not refuted.

    But feel free to amend the Constitution. It has been done before. It can actually be done with a minority of voters. You just need 51% in 3/4 of the states and you are good to go. pick the smaller states and you can do it with fewer people than you would think.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where has “proportional representation” failed?

    You’d be surprised how often a country’s democracy has gone under because of a power grab by the President. Most presidential systems are modeled on the US. Think about that for a second.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How about Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and now Italy

    The problem with proportional governments is that in times of crisis they can’t get formed.

    I am not saying the US system does not have drawbacks also, just that the proportional system is not better

    Nathanael Reply:

    The problem with non-proportional governments is that in times of crisis you usually get CIVIL WAR. There is very strong historical evidence for this!

    I’ll take “government can’t get formed” over that ANY DAY. Proportional systems are totally better.

    Aarond Reply:

    The US has had many crises since it’s inception, and only one (bleeding kansas) spiraled into civil war.

    Having a government is more important than having a perpetually non-functional government. The longer a Parliament goes without being able to elect a leader, the easier it will be for a Junta to occur.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Oh, I should correct myself. In times of crisis a non-proportional system typically gives you *either* a coup leading to a dictatorship, *or* a civil war, *or both*.

    England had its big coup back in the time of Cromwell, and after that managed to establish some social standards which made democracy more stable, but they still had to have the Glorious Revolution, and then the country nearly fell apart again in the 1830s and democracy was barely saved. Some suggest it might have gone to civil war again if Labour hadn’t won in 1945.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A President very easily can seize power. That is – in essence – what happened in 1933. Only that the President gave that power over to Hitler for the most part and died himself in 1934 (he could have expected that being well into his eighties). Mussolini happened during a time when the King of Italy was still a strong figure, yet Berlusconi’s Mussolini ambitions have somehow never gotten off the ground. Somoza (all three of them) were “elected” President of Nicaragua more than once and Daniel Ortega (remember him? He’s back) owes his position in power to holding the Presidency. Look at the dictatorships of the world. What title does the dictator usually hold? “President”? or “Prime Minister”? Sure, there are some where they are “generallissimo” or “Dear Leader”, but those have – thankfully – become increasingly rare and were mostly a product of the Cold War, being brought to power by coups and propped up by the US the USSR and “red” China. Nowadays when there is a coup in Honduras the US is the first out the gate… to denounce the coup.

    Jerry Reply:

    I liked your reference in your prior post regarding guns/butter.
    Both parties are guilty regarding the downhill spiral associated with g/b.
    Guns OR butter. Korean War.
    Guns AND butter. Vietnam War.
    Guns AND butter AND Tax Cuts. Iraq War.
    Don’t know if that’s hubris or not. But it is associated with our economic problems of today. Clear across the board.

    Jerry Reply:

    Which means of course that it is associated with some of the problems with paying for HSR and highways and airports.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem is not guns or butter.

    The problem is all too often guns that are sold as butter. Take the immense investment in airports. Surely at least in part a military investment, they were often sold as a civilian investment. Even though the US already had a perfectly functional civilian transportation infrastructure: Railroads.

    Even Senator Sanders (god bless his name and grant him a long life) voted for a bunch of needless military projects because they happened to be built in the state of Vermont, which Senator Sanders (god bless his name and grant him a long life) happened to represent.

    Jerry Reply:

    At Bahnfreund.
    Interstate Highways had military support.
    After USSR launched Sputnik federal aid to education increased through NDEA. Nation Defense Education Act.

    Danny Reply:

    it’s common in megaprojects: they only came up with civilian reactors to prove that the atom wasn’t just usable for the A-Bomb; it was so much of a white elephant that they sank $1 billion into the atomic plane (the bigger the plane the bigger the reactor the bigger the shielding the bigger the plane …); small wonder they only profit when the costs are safely hidden
    dams are the same story: they had to tear down the ones on the Columbia because they couldn’t sell the electricity anywhere
    beyond LEO space is a huge money sink and NASA has to fraudulently lay claim to a lot of “space spinoffs,” and even that’s just feeding the sparrow through the horse
    even penicillin was slapped into anything that moved because they’d manufactured so much of it for human casualties in WWII
    so the double-use airports and interstates are just another megaproject, built in a boomtime and then degrading heavily in the 70s, a bill that came due just as the money ran out

    Jerry Reply:

    Project Mohole always intrigued me. They wanted to drill a hole to the center of the earth.
    But overseas projects did not always require competitive bidding.
    So warfare was a way to reward your friends.
    LBJ said when Kennedy was elected that the pope could build the tunnel to the White House just so long as Brown and Root got the contract.
    They got many more in Vietnam.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I will never get how Interstate Highways were ever justified as a military expense.

    It’s just easier to waltz in on commandeered highways. Try to invade via sea and then somehow use the railways. Plus, railways are vastly better at hauling huge bulks of cargo. Of course, if Canada or Mexico invade we have to subtract the ocean factor.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Bill Clinton cut spending on guns, cut spending on butter, and raised taxes. So there’s that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yet people say https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoOeTBD1iEQ Clinton was largely forgettable. Like Grover Cleveland (on two non-consecutive occasions) or Franklin Pierce

    Danny Reply:

    @Nathanael Clintons aside, I do know that the early 90s saw a “rightsizing” massacre of middle-aged guys at prototypical big-tech corporations like GE, Lockheed, Boeing, Martin Marietta; the “peace divided” actually didn’t go that far–contractors are used to shedding jobs and pocketing the difference
    but for various reasons this situation alarmed both the workers and the execs enough that they decided to start looking for new ventures besides heavy bombers; Raytheon dipped into PRT; and (like the Zumwalt or F-35) their bullet trains were basically kludged disasters made to pad the budget
    @Bahnfreund the Clintons are the outsourcer type of neoliberal, not the technocratic infrastructure-builder type of neolib: Europe doesn’t have this sort of post-Fordist market-anarchist thinking that he ensconced in the Democratic party via Al From or Will Marshall

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh Europe has market radical neoliberals. In Germany they are mostly found in the FDP, once the essential party that was able to form a coalition with both social democrats and conservatives and were thus able to sway he political climate, they were thrown out of parliament in the 2013 elections and are currently not represented in most state parliaments, both due to polling below 5% of the valid votes cast.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They carry 500 people (257 each way), 214 miles at top speed of 160 MPH once a day in 2 hours.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tashkent–Samarkand_high-speed_rail_line

    There is nothing impressive about that.

    And is Acela HSR or not. Because you said the USA does not have a single HSR line, but Acela is HSR according to…you and all the other supporters on this board. Speaking of which, it carries way more people at the same top speed (150 MPH) over a longer distance.

    So good news, you can have pride in the USA again, we have equivalent technology

    isgota Reply:

    The problem Amtrak Acela has is that only hit those 150mph in very short sections. On average the Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line is probably faster.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But between Tashkent and Samarkand there really is “a whole lot of nothing”. Which cannot be said for the NEC.

    And the line in Uzbekistan was probably purpose built at least in part, whereas the NEC is mostly upgraded (curvy) legacy track.

    Jerry Reply:

    Good news.
    We have technology equivalent to Uzbekistan.
    USA USA USA

    Jerry Reply:

    But more good news:
    “There is nothing impressive about that.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    First, thanks for admitting you were wrong. Because you were saying we had technology worse than Uzbekistan

    Now the bad news, you are still wrong. Really “equivalent”? I wished their space program, airplane program, computing network, etc.

    Try to process this. HSR does not equal technology. The US has an advanced transportation system and a very large (geophraphy) country. I can travel anywhere in the US in less than a day and cheaper than 30 years ago. That’s real technology

    Jerry Reply:

    You are weird. I never said/wrote that anyone had technology worse than Uzbekistan

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So when you said.

    “I also wondered why our country (USA USA USA) is so far behind.”.

    You meant goat heading technology?

    Jerry Reply:

    Again John N. you are the one who brought up the word “technology”.
    I never, repeat NEVER, brought up the subject or word “technology”.

    Jerry Reply:

    So since I never brought up the subject of “technology” please don’t try and tell ME, or ask me, about a subject I never ever brought up.

    Jerry Reply:

    Play your games with other people.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well it is an undisputed fact that the US lacks behind about a half dozen countries (probably closer to a dozen by now) in High Speed Rail technology.

    Being on par with Uzbekistan should not be a point of pride for the greatest country on earth ™

    Jerry Reply:

    You John N. wrote:
    “So good news, you can have pride in the USA again, we have equivalent technology.”

    Jerry Reply:

    A lot of people in Uzbekistan can travel anywhere in Uzbekistan in less than a day.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    A lot of people..or all people?

    And how big are they compared to the US?

    Nathanael Reply:

    They’re damn huge. Go get a globe.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But my Mercator projection map with the US the only country to have sub-national divisions shown is perfectly adequate to confirm my pre-conceived notions.

    Jerry Reply:

    Gee John N.
    I quote YOU, and then YOU tell me that I am wrong.
    You are really messed up.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wrong? the past tense of wring?

    Jerry Reply:

    Wrang or wrung. One of them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’m for wraght (pronounced rang)

    Jerry Reply:

    John N. wrote:
    “I can travel anywhere in the US in less than a day.”
    That’s part of your narrow minded, parochial, myopic outlook.
    Just because YOU can do something, YOU believe that everyone can do the same thing.
    It costs money to do what you said you can do.
    We know that you are so smart. How do we know? You told us.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So transportation is free in Uzbekistan?

    Jerry Reply:

    Stupid question John N.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also, more competition leads to lower prices.

    If you have the choice between flying and flying, prices will be higher than if HSR enters the picture. (ceteris paribus of course, but that goes without saying, really)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You want to talk cost then.

    Bus tickets from LA to NY are about $150. For 2800 miles. 5 cents a mile

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    According to Busliniensuche.de you can get a one way ticket from Cologne to London (the one in England, in case you were wondering) for the price of 25€ (Flixbus, Bus) 29€ (Eurolines, Bus) 69,90€ (DB, train) or 39€ (DB, train then bus). Those prices are all for a search I did just now for Mid to late October dates. There is also a price quote of Thalys (train) for 58€ but I could not verify that on their own website. I am too lazy right now to look up the furlong distance between London and Cologne, but I’d wager it’s not exactly gold plated expensive… Of course, evil Europe has more evil taxes on gas and also some evil road tolls in France and the evil money making state owns the evil Euro tunnel that covers evil track access charges that – as the Nachtigall sings us – don’t cover the costs, so it’s probably all a stupid example anyways…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    great. so we all agree. In todays world long distance travel is inexpensive in both the USA and Europe using buses and roads.

    I am glad we could come together on this thought.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the 150 cross country fare on the bus is for the especially frugal or especially masochistic. Greyhound is quoting me 258 round trip for dates in early November. A really quick surf through Google’s flight information are 300-ish for coast to coast non stops.
    When you have to build extra highway lanes and enormous bus terminals to handle the traffic, rail makes more sense.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Buses pay next to no part of the upkeep or construction of the infrastructure they use.

    Buses are uncomfortable and slow.

    Trains pay for both the capital cost and the upkeep of the infrastructure they use. Often they pay even more. Trains are faster, more comfortable and have a realistic chance of competing with air travel (and often do so successfully).

    Buses suck. We should bet big on public transport on rails instead of becoming yet another Greyhound Republic. Of course if you want a job painting bible verses on old school buses, you would not like a strong rail system or any rail system, really.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    We don’t have to build anything. The infastructure already exists. And 150 one way is 250-300 round trip. We were both using 1-way numbers.

    Buses are cheap, I didn’t bring up cost, Jerry did. It’s the cheapest option beside hitchhiking. A cost to coast train system costs trillions. Even HSR advocates don’t claim HSR benefits over about 500 miles.

    Joe Reply:

    Highways cross the county but as a user I’m not going end to end
    On I-90. I’ve ridden it in Chicago as a commuter and vacations and in Washington / Idaho / Montana too.

    500 miles is a good day trip so just like HSR, a cross county trip is many days.

    Highways don’t and HSR doesn’t have to carry people end to end
    On a coast to coast system. Some people hate / fear flying so a system should induce demand from this population.

    I’m not advocat Ng end or end but think the arguments comparing a coast to coast trip miss the point.
    It’s better to see HSR as a set of connected city segments.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Eventually there will be one through shot HSR line of 250+ km/h v(max) from Berlin to Lisbon. Will many people ride it from Berlin to Lisbon? No. But that’s not the point. Same thing applies for the US. And if you think there is not the population to justify building rail lines through the Rockies, there is also not the population to justify highways through the Rockies. Of course neither is likely to pencil out as private investment…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or you can fly for distances over 500 miles like a normal person.

    Looking 8 weeks out, the 590 mile flight from LAX to SLC is $68.
    That is less than 12 cents per mile.

    On the same day, the 2475 mile flight from LAX to JFK is $144.
    That is less than 6 cents per mile.

    The point being that using ground transportation for distances over 500 miles is crazy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Crazy?

    Or tourists? https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Trans-Siberian_Railway

    Not all travel is absolutely time critical. A lot of it is, but if I can safe a hundred bucks by taking a longer layover on my transatlantic flight, I say fuck it and take the less comfortable, longer flight…

    But yes, the economies of scale work in favor of aviation over longer routes and against it over shorter routes. The consequence of this should be self-evident from a policy standpoint.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the bus fare and the airfare are more or less the same it’s not the frugal on the bus. It’s just the masochists. You don’t have to build anything if you think the population is going to stop growing and incomes remain flat forever.
    By 2030 the bus will be getting stuck in traffic in Pennsylvania because everything inside I-287 around New York is gridlocked. We can spend billions carving out new roads or we can spend less to shift some of the people out of cars buses and airplanes and onto trains. It’s the same thing in California. You can build more roads and airports so people can travel to places a train can take them. That’s cheaper to build.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus trains are more space and energy efficient than cars or buses.

    And people actually like traveling by train. As opposed to the usual “Just let this over as soon as possible” reaction towards the usual travel by plane or bus…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I actually like plane travel (long-haul, that is). I just like train travel more.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To me the best part about long haul air travel is getting there. Because most of the time the “there” is a place I really wanna be.

    And yeah, flying transatlantically is not that bad. Though it’s a bit cold and I never can quite sleep as well as I’d like to.

    Jerry Reply:

    YOU, John N. bring up the word technology.
    I then repeat YOUR quote about technology.
    Then YOU have the complete stupidity (Or ignorance – take your pick) to say that I am wrong.
    But it was a quote of what YOU said.
    You have the evil ability to be wrong and then accuse someone else of being wrong. Even when they quote YOU.
    So sad.
    Yes, you should be censured.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And you can wait in a longer traffic jam than ever before!

    Progress!

    Seriously though, the average speed of the Acela is not exactly world class. Why? Because Congress has not funded enough infrastructure improvements along that corridor.

    Jerry Reply:

    Hey John N.
    I never, repeat NEVER, said the word “technology”.
    I never, repeat NEVER, brought up the subject of “technology “.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Remember when saying “Usbeki-sbeki-beki-stan-stan” could derail presidential ambitions?

    Aarond Reply:

    what is a leppo?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Something to remind you of world leaders?

    It’s so funny, how easy it would have been to evade that question: “There are many world leaders, but quite frankly, currently, I do not admire any of them”. There. Done. No need to Fox around.

    EJ Reply:

    Or just say “Justin Trudeau.” Safest answer ever. Americans don’t know a thing about him other than that he’s young, good looking, and Canadian, so we all like him.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You could say…

    He’s the true dough.

    SCNR

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Sunny Daze……

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The who with the what now?

    Nathanael Reply:

    I know a lot more about Trudeau than that. He’s… a great relief after Harper. That is all.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srSJdRsA1Ew this guy compares him to Obama. So Harper would be Dubya.

    EJ Reply:

    Americans just don’t take Canadian politics seriously. I have family there and I still barely pay attention. We probably should, but then we probably wouldn’t like Canada as much.

    Now, Americans make fun of Canada, but don’t be fooled, we kid out of love.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And almost all Canadians live so close to the US border that whatever affects the US is likely to also afect them, eh?

    Canada is kind of like the higher appendage of the US, eh?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Don’t tell that to a Canadian, eh.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What are they going to do? Burn down Washington? (Which by the way, only happened because the Americans had previously burned down the Canadian capital)

    No seriously, I think Canadians have a bit more humor than most Germans. Which is easy, though.

    EJ Reply:

    In all seriousness, small, authoritarian countries can be really good at banging out infrastructure. It’s a lot easier when you don’t have all that pesky “democracy” in the way and the Big Cheese can just say “Build it! Now!” and it gets done. I don’t think it’s a tradeoff though that most Americans would go for.

    Joe Reply:

    Latveria or Wakanda for example.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The who with the what now?

  7. Roland
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 04:09
    #7

    OT: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/leo-express-orders-chinese-emus.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The CEO of Leo Express is a damn stupid libertarian douchebag.

    I don’t like him.

    MarkB Reply:

    Silly CEO, you don’t get emus from China, you get them from Australia!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I always wanted to have a pet emu. But you shouldn’t give a leo an emu or it will get eaten.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are wild Nandus (also known as rheas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhea_(bird) ) in Mecklenburg (a part of the state Angela Merkels represents as an MP). They are obviously not native to the region, but they are protected (even in Germany) by international agreements, so they cannot currently hunt them. They try to control their numbers by replacing eggs with replicas.

    I am sorry, but we were on the subject of flightless birds…

    EJ Reply:

    Wait, you can’t hunt a feral, non-native species? That’s odd. Even in rule-crazy California nobody cares how many feral pigs you shoot.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well feral pigs are not protected by CITES (or whatever that agreement is called)

    Though there are people that argue they can be hunted…

    Right now the population is up to almost 200… But some people still argue they could be wiped out by a particularly harsh winter – if something like that is even possible those days ;-)

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah but feral pigs are native, to Germany, are they not? Here in California pigs (and boars, they crossbreed somewhat so it’s hard to exactly define the difference) are an introduced species and they’re considered an invasive pest. They’re a popular game animal because there’s considerably less red tape involved in hunting them than, say, deer.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If I read the multiple articles (most of them in German, sorry) correctly, the problem is also that the rhea is not yet officially considered “invasive” and that it was able to breed more than one generation, which somehow makes it “native”.

    Look, I am no hunting expert, but apparently you can’t just go out and shoot them due to a bunch of international and national law. But thus far they seem to not have done much damage.

    Funnily insurances that cover damage done by wild boars do not cover rhea damage. Maybe I found my own rhea insurance company one day :-D

    MarkB Reply:

    No, no, no: flightless birds are just an intermezzo. We were really discussing far more important things: sauerkraut and toilets.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe the Sauerkraut can accompany the bird meat. I have heard they taste a lot like red meat.

    Also, this one discussion about Kraut seems to have left more of a mark than I thought.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    We need to start selling kraut covered ostrich burgers. On trains with lots of toilets.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Definitely. But I would use German rheas instead of ostriches.

    Okay this is slowly but surely getting too absurd and obscure for anybody to understand who has not been following the comment section…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    But Rhea-Kraut burgers are definitely related to Jerry Brown vetoing a HSR related bill, so it is all relevant.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Probably.

    I am sorry for ever having brought any of this up…

  8. Joe
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 08:54
    #8

    When the LATimes Ralph Vartabedian unintentionally slips up and tells the truth.

    The Patterson bill was adopted by both the Assembly and Senate, facing no opposition. It may have presented the authority with a task that was impossible to meet, since its own business plan shows it does not have the funding for each segment of the project.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-oversight-veto-20160928-snap-story.html

    This would be the only State project held to an impossible standard of acquiring 30 years of committed funding up front.

    Of course CARRD supports the bill.

    Jerry Reply:

    Committed funding upfront? Wow! Thirty (30) years? Wow!

    Jerry Reply:

    Does this same standard apply to highways?

    joe Reply:

    No.

    https://calmatters.org/articles/long-neglected-road-maintenance-is-now-urgent-and-

    Transportation officials have identified about $57 billion in repairs needed for state roads in the coming decade in addition to about $78 billion needed for local roads, which are partly funded with state money.

    Lawmakers in the special session, which was convened by the governor in June, are hoping to introduce a plan early next year that would fund at least a quarter of the total need. But reaching agreement has proved difficult.

    There are many reasons why the state’s transportation hole has grown over approximately the last 13 years. One is that the state hasn’t increased the gas tax since 1994, reflecting the political difficulty of tax hikes. Part of the state gas tax is also calculated as a percentage of the gas price, so when gas prices fall, so does the state’s revenue.

    Jerry Reply:

    As the Church Lady would, “We’ll isn’t that special? ”
    Sounds to me like they could use, what shall we say, a little bit of, maybe,
    OVERSIGHT!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Highways very close to never pay for themselves.

    HSR will be able to cover at the very least a huge part of its running costs. Most likely it will be able to pay back construction costs and make a handsome profit, property values not even figured in.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    If any of that were true they why would a private company do it? Do you think the US lacks people who want a “handsome profit?”

    Joe Reply:

    Sadly a Major political party opposes HSR and one of its fanboys who comments here doesn’t admit to this obstructionism.

    Jerry Reply:

    In the meantime two of the California High Speed Rail projects in the Central Valley are almost finished.

    Joe Reply:

    As they complete, contract performance metrics improve. CP1 is behind schedule but the schedule metric is improving month over month.

    Jerry Reply:

    “fanboys”?
    Or do u you mean troll?
    A larger, ongoing, question is:
    Should trolls be taken to task or ignored? ? ?

    Jerry Reply:

    Is it worthwhile to expend so much energy on such a loathsome troll?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well on the other hand if the troll is allowed to load off its garbage unopposed they “win”…

    Jerry Reply:

    He delights in unloading his garbage. He then try to make mincemeat out of anyone who opposes his garbage.
    He is a pendant.
    He will lie to try and prove whatever garbage point he brings up.

    Jerry Reply:

    tries

    Jerry Reply:

    A liar should be censured.

    Roland Reply:

    Is the wooden picnic table one of the two “almost finished” projects?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wooden picnic table?

    Jerry Reply:

    Part of your stupid bait and switch John N.
    Ask a stupid question or make a stupid comment to get someone off the topic so you can proceed to rant and rave and write your 5,000 word diatribe. It’s about ‘oversight’ remember.
    And maybe highways need more ‘oversight’. Just maybe.
    If the extra ‘oversight’ is good for HSR (we’ll see if the veto is overridden) then the highway problem perhaps (just perhaps) could use a little more oversight just as well.

    Jerry Reply:

    As far as “handsome profit”?
    You define it.

    Jerry Reply:

    People at Wells Fargo and Volkswagen are waiting for YOUR answer because you said you are ‘so smart’.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    10% ROI adjusted for time and inflation. That would be pretty handsome.

    but tell you what, I will settle for any example of a private company that pays for the capital costs and operation of an HSR line and makes money.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Eurostar.

    Pays track access charges (that if anything are set too high) and makes money.

    Your move, Nachtigall.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    not even close.

    1. They didnt pay for the inital line.

    2. They have not made money yet anyway

    http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/149476/Eurostar-driven-to-2-6bn-losses

    2.6 billion in losses up to 2010.
    in 2016 they made an “operational profit” of 54 million.

    The website does not give the actual accounting profit (loss) per GAAP because I am sure once you subtract depreciation they are not at a profit.

    but set that aside for a moment. If they made 50 million for the last 6 years that is .3 billion

    So they have lost 2.3 billion.

    So thanks for proving my point. Only a government can sustain these kinds of losses, which is fine. All transportationis subsidized including trains. I have no idea why you keep trying to say HSR “makes” money when all evidence is to the contrary.

    No private company can afford to build a line, operate the train, and actually make money. It is purely subsidized. The closest is the Japanese and as we have already discussed they were given billion in forgiven loans to get them to “even”

    So your original statement is just not true

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @John Nachtigall: You might have a look at the date of that “article”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You gotta spend some money to make money. Currently Eurostar is in the black. And a major pension fund rom Canada (who are not under the suspicion of having an interest in European train travel besides making money off of it) has just bought into Eurostar. Eurostar is also in the process of expanding its service to several destinations. Whether or not the Eurotunnel makes money has already been discussed, with you, Mr. Nachtigall demanding ever more absurd things. As has been done in previous iterations of the “profitability” debate on HSR in general.

    Also, the debt the JRs were forgiven was mostly previous operating losses when they were state run and thus subject to political pricing and other factors.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Spend money to make money?

    Eurostar has not “made money” overall. That is 2.3 billion in operating losses not counting the capital. Private businesses can’t just “throw out” the first 2-3 billion in losses plus capital costs.

    it barely breaks even (900 million in revenue with 50-55 million operating profit). If you throw in depreciation and taxes they make nothing.

    How is this “absurd”? It’s clearly not a money maker

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It is profitable over a long period off time. Which is why it is perfect for pension funds.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus they are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eurostar_market_shares.svg established on their core market now and can easily expand and withdraw those expansions that did not pencil out. Remember, that the last couple of years have been “crisis” years in both France and Britain, yet they still managed to make money. If I were a bank, I’d give a credit to Eurostar in a heartbeat. They are obviously a very safe investment with a good long term perspective. You can’t say that about e.g. car companies.

    Roland Reply:

    @BF “A major pension fund from Canada (who are not under the suspicion of having an interest in European train travel besides making money off of it) has just bought into Eurostar.” Citation needed.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    According to the first paragraph in the Wikipedia article on Eurostar (towards the end) when http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31721334 this purchase goes through, it will be 30% owned by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caisse_de_d%C3%A9p%C3%B4t_et_placement_du_Qu%C3%A9bec with another 10% held by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermes_Investment_Management The other 60% will continue to be helt by SNCF (55%) and SNCB (5%) who could indeed be accused of being “political investors”.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Over what period of time will it be profitable. Let’s exclude capital costs for a moment. They are 2 billon in the hole at the moment. Making 55 million and growing 2-4 percent. They are never going to make money. When you include inflation they will never dig out of the hole and that’s just operational costs.

    When the U.K. Sold it to make up what little money they could it was like bankruptcy. Even Radio Shack is “profitable” now that the debt has been eliminated. What you advocate was the opposite of this. You specifically said they would make money overall on building HSR. It’s just flat out untrue

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Now there’s a math problem… Assume an average growth of 3% over fifty years on an initial profit of 55 million. How long does it take until the sum of all this equals two billion?

    Of course that is based on the assumption that the current “crisis” numbers (remember, Britain just voted to leave the EU and France is not exactly spring chicken financially either) will continue even as Eurostar expands its network to more cities.

    Also if your assumption that Britain selling off their part (after a government change towards the right and a pro-privatization government) signifies “bankruptcy”, why did neither France nor Belgium sell?

    If and when this blog still exists in five years, we can look at Eurostar again and see its profit figures. It will certainly be interesting.

    Of course SNCF as an investor is very willing to play the long game, as evidenced by the Italo

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It takes 120 years at 3% growth rate, or 55 years at 6.75% growth rate.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    your forgot the time value of money. Inflation eats most of that 3%. and what is left is taken by risk free investment.

    so even in 120 years you wont make it because if you had just invested in US bonds you would have gotten 1.5% with no risk and if you invest in TIPS you beat the inflation rate also. And before you say it, if the US government goes broke then everyones investment is gone so yes, it is a fact that US bonds are considered the bottom of the risk profile. They cant default, because the US can print the dollars they have to pay.

    Plus, the lines wear out. In 120 years you will have had to replace everything on the line at least 2-4 times. So add back in the capital investment.

    They are currently a small cash machine, after you take out all the costs up to this point. They are an excelent example of why you cant make money building HSR.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Eurostar does not own the line. They pay track access charges (which show up in the “cost” column, you know) which more than pay for upkeep and paying down principal .

    Your statement of US bonds being “no risk” is cute given that Trump openly dog whistles about federal US bankruptcy. So it’s not a theoretical risk as it may have once been, it is now a very real risk.

    If Eurostar really is such a terrible business, why did the mentioned pension fund buy into it?

    Also, I doubt the 120 year figure. According to my calculations, 1.03^50 =4.3839060187071 which would make the profit at fifty years (assuming constant growth) roughly 241 million, at which point it takes roughly a decade to get to two billion in cumulative profits from that point on, ignoring the previous fifty years. Either my math is false or someone else’s is.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    first, the US government can’t go bankrupt. We owe all our money in dollars and we can print as many as we like. The US government could (theoretically) trigger a worldwide inflationary crisis, but it cant go bankrupt by definition. And you are smart enough to know this so to say it is a “real risk” is just childish.

    Second, you are also smart enough to know about inflation and time adjusted ROI.

    Third, Pension funds make bad investments all the time. You think every investment is a winner.

    I didnt run the numbers myself, but I dont have to . With inflation at 2% and risk free returns at 1.5% and a growth rate of 2-4% with a deficit of 2.3 billion, you are never going to zero that out.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If Trump says “we don’t pay our debts any more” what would you call that? And Trump has indeed said he wants to – tremendous – negotiate the debt – bigly – like he did with his business when he – bigly – made use of the existing laws to get – tremendous – rid of his debt.

    So saying US debt is a sure thing is at the very least naive.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh sorry, I forgot that Texas Central Railways was a figment of my imagination….

    Republicans are creating an environment that really hampers business in the rail sector. And they are doing it for ideological reasons.

    Jerry Reply:

    So true.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    they have not gotten financing yet. Remember when XpressWest was going to build a private HSR?

    If they pull it off then good for them. So far they have a dream and some really pretty press releases.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Xpresswest was also hampered by government regulations.

    Which the GOP always rails against.

    So tell me, why do regulations that hamper private companies in the rail sector exist?

    Also, All Aboard Florida (which is not HSR, I know) will begin service shortly…

    Aarond Reply:

    XPW got derailed because (likely) their main investor wanted to build a casino and upset the balance of power in Vegas.

    TXC is getting screwed not because of government regulation, but a lack of it. The feds didn’t give them ED rights. It remains to be seen if JRE will back out or find a way around it.

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    It remains to be seen if JRE will back out or find a way around it.

    JR Central and Japanese government still want to do the Texas Central HSR because they have nowhere else to go with their Shinkansen technology.

    Other markets do not have ideal market conditions, ie two large metropolis cities separated by a vast empty plot of land. The other market with a similar condition was LA-Las Vegas which Chinese tried to built but was essentially kicked out.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Washington D.C. to Boston. Shave a few inches off the width of a Shinkansen and it would be able to go anywhere an Amfleet could.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    Shave a few inches off the width of a Shinkansen and it would be able to go anywhere an Amfleet could.

    You would wish if that’s the only thing needed to make the Shinkansen FRA Tier III compliant.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    South of New Haven the ROW is grade separated. They are putting the finishing touches on PTC. Grade separated trains with PTC don’t crash into things very often.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    XpressWest was only subject to those government regulations because they applied for a government loan. If they had used private money (like they claimed) they could have build whatever they like. As the Texas line is trying to due, those trains will not be built in the USA, they are using Japan tech.

    AAF has yet to prove they will make a profit, and they are not HSR, and there was already a line built. We will see if they succeed.

    Texas will run into the same problem that everyone else does, and it is not ED. It will be getting someone to front the money. Because there is no example of anyone making money on HSR, people will not front the money. So then they need a government loan and…cue XpressWest issues.

    Think about this. Musk has gotten a bunch of suckers to invest billion in a car company that losses money at an astounding rate in an industry that operates on razor margins. So he finds people to make that horrendous investment, but HSR still cant find private money. So if you can find people to finance that POS company and not HSR, how bad is HSR as an investment.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Shipping parts from Japan and wherever else the commodity parts come from to a plant in the U.S. would be cheaper. Might even be cheaper to make some of the parts in the U.S.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How many charismatic salespeople in the rail business do you know?

    Musk is uniquely talented in selling stuff (and himself).

    You can make money off of rail travel, and several private investors have seen rail as a worthwhile investment. However, most of them are in it for the long haul. Ten, twenty, thirty years with the potential to be losing a lot of money for a few years if need be. Few small scale investors are willing or able to do that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem on the NEC is much more on the infrastructure side rather than the rolling stock side…

    Nathanael Reply:

    John N, I really do think you should be banned from the blog now. You’re wrong about Tesla too, but it’s off topic to explain to you why the car company with *the highest gross margin in the industry*, *400,000 pre-orders for a car which hasn’t come out yet*, and *no plausible competition* is a good investment.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nachtigall always seems to be skeptical of the “spend money to make money” maxim. If you start a company, you have to be prepared to be burning through a bit of money in the beginning. Especially if it is in a field with high capital costs.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you pump your money into Tesla. just a few facts for you

    1. Annual new car sales in the US are 10-16 million depending on the economy. .4 million in pre-sales is a fraction of that
    2. Every car company in the world is coming out with there version of the “affordable” electric car, I think the idea there is “no competition” is interesting
    3. Tesla has a high gross margin…and a negative net margin, because they have never made money. They make an awesome car, and sell it for less than it costs to make it. How long do you think they will be able to do that.
    4. I would study the Prius in the US as a case study of the ability of a high technology, innovative, 1st of its kind, but expensive compared to its peers, car and its ability to penetrate the market. Its owns about 2% of the US market

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_electric_vehicles_in_the_United_States#/media/File:US_HEV_market_share_1999_2014.png

    Telsa is an awesome car, it is not a great car company

    http://qz.com/769170/elon-musk-made-tesla-a-sexy-car-company-but-can-he-make-it-a-viable-one/

    You go ahead and make your millions getting in on the ground floor. Yout can lord it over me once you hit the top.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and to the contrary, I very much belive you have to spend money to make it. Study the Chicago Parking deal. Spent 1 billion, will make 10 billion or more. Now that is making money

  9. Eric M
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 08:56
    #9

    OT:
    SEPTA Recalls “Fixed” Train Cars for Another Fix

    SEPTA has temporarily sidelined 18 of its recently “fixed” Silverliner V Regional Rail cars after discovering a design error during a joint inspection by the transit agency and manufacturer Hyundai Rotem on Saturday, September 10th.

    Talk about deja vu. This is Hyundai Rotems’ high speed train-set KTX-Sancheon all over again. CA High Speed Rail Authority really needs to exclude that company during the bidding process.

    Joey Reply:

    Useless was unavailable for comment.

    Peter Reply:

    Not to mention the cab cars delivered to Metrolink that tip over in a collision with a pickup truck and strew rail cars like jelly beans.

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot the LTK-designed derailer that drops under the wheels on impact.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    Not to mention the cab cars delivered to Metrolink that tip over in a collision with a pickup truck and strew rail cars like jelly beans.

    Duh, it happened at 90 mph and Metrolink cars are inherently high center of gravity cars.

    Forgot what happened to Bombardier Metrolink cars back in 2008 crash? At least no one died riding inside Rotem cars, save for the train driver who died at the hospital a week later due to complications.

    Roland Reply:

    LTK strikes again…

    Looking at the video that shows the dual sets of single doors, single doors will definitely be in the CalFranKISSentraintrain’s future once the FRA point out “unexpected structural integrity challenges” caused by the additional sets of doors but switching from double to single doors will have absolutely no impact on dwell times because of uh, duh “level boarding” and “A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N” (and Clem’s spreadsheet), so there.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are they worse than Ansaldo Breda?

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    Generally custom-made designs have worse reliability than mass produced off-the-shelf models, and this is true of all brands.

    This is why I am concerned for the reliability of the Alstom Frankentrain, one of a kind project combining parts from three trains.

    CHSRA needs to buy service proven trains with least amount of modifications as possible to ensure smooth launch service.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought the meme was that European manufacturers could turn out anything anyone wanted.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I can’t resist with my French pun… he has no nail…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Care to explain the pun?

    Roland Reply:

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

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That explains nothing.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    On CAHSR blog, Kraut seems to explain everything. Right now, just for fun, I’m going to look at the post where the whole kraut thing started.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do tell us what the archeological expedition yields.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The Krautbahn phenomenon (can I call it that?) started June 3rd in a post entitled HSR Videos to Air at your Local DMV. It all started when Roland implied that either you or Napoleon had a kraut overdose. You then brought up your girlfriend’s liking for kraut and how she wasn’t German. Father Castell then called it a Wunderfood. Several comments later, I asked how to make kraut, and you told me, along with mentioning a guy who likes it reheated. I was then told to go to wurstkucher resturaunt in LA, which I have yet to do. Kimchi was briefly mentioned, and you then mentioned “drei Weggla” to “sechs auf Graud”, and how the best bratwurst comes from Franconia and not Thuringia. Father Castell then mentioned how “drei Weggla” to “sechs auf Graud” sound pornographic, and the talk transitioned to dirty high-schoolers. Following this, good places to get German food in California were mentioned, and it all concluded when you mentioned how “Drei im Weggla and a nice Glühwein probably is the only way to survive the shopping sprees female companions seem to be inevitably drawn to at the Christkindlesmarkt…”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The correct way to say it is indeed “drei im Weggla”. And for some reason re-reading this summary made me laugh uncontrollably.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Translate the sentence to French…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I speak no French and google translate gave me “il n’a pas l’ongle” which did not help matters.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Try from German “er hat keinen Nagel” (and make sure that the oversetting software does not think we are talking about Fingernägel)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    il ne cloue pas

    He’s got no clue?

    Nathanael Reply:

    I don’t think any carmaker in recent years is worse than Breda. Ansaldo was a good signalling company. It’s all Hitachi Rail now though, so we’ll see what happens next.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Note that more or less all AnsaldoBreda (the rolling stock manufacturer, based in Napoli) and Ansaldo STS (the signalling equipment maker, based in Genova) had in common, was their owner (Finmeccanica S.p.A.) who mixed their acquisitions together. Hitachi bought Finmeccanica’s rail business (AnsaldoBreda and about 40% of Ansaldo STS).

    The former AnsaldoBreda business unit now runs as Hitachi Italy S.p.A (whereas the UK operation runs as Hitachi Europe Ltd., and Ansaldo STS kept the name.

    As stated, AnsaldoBreda knew how to play the bidding game, but had problems delivering. We will see how the new ownership changes them; it is possible that they retract to the Italian market, and/or become supplier within the Hitachi group.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if I know anything about marketing (which I don’t) they should just get rid of the AnsaldoBreda name entirely.

    It will always be associated with Fyra. And Fyra is synonymous with ignoble and humiliating failure.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    This is Hyundai Rotems’ high speed train-set KTX-Sancheon all over again.

    Huh, what are you talking about? The KTX-II’s bug is fully ironed out and is now more reliable than TGV-K rolling stocks they run alongside it.

    http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/news_In_detail.htm?lang=e&id=In&No=121411

    Ontime departure rate according to a Swedish study.

    1. Japan Shinkansen. 99%
    2. Spain AVE. 98%
    3. Korea KTX. 94%
    4. France TGV. 92%
    5. EU Eurostar. 91%
    6. Italy ETR. 87%
    7. Germany ICE. 79%

    The KTX’s on time departure-arrival rate is very impressive considering this is a blended system with an extremely dense traffic, with trains departing on as little as 5 minute interval during commute rush hours, much more dense than Spain’s AVE.

    CA High Speed Rail Authority really needs to exclude that company during the bidding process.

    It is the other way around, CHSRA gets the most service proven blended traffic high-density HSR system in the world with the KTX.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How does the study define “on time”?

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    How does the study define “on time”?

    Departure and Arrival within 5 minutes of schedule.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why is the ICE worse in that study than DB’s own numbers that use the same definition for “on time”?

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    Well this is an objective third party study.

    The KTX is the best performing high traffic density blended traffic network like the one built in California.
    The Shinkansen is the best performing network in the world, but is not applicable for California.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The website you are citing has a Korean TLD. Korea comes out on top. Am I insane to consider bias possible?

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    Am I insane to consider bias possible?

    It would be your insanity to consider a possible bias since the KBS news is simply quoting from a Swedish news article reporting on its own analysis on performance of various HSR networks around the globe.

    Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported that the finding is based on an analysis of travel records between 2008 and 2015 from nine countries that operate high speed rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are a bunch of studies every year. Only a small minority make their way into non-scientific media outlets. And the fact that a Korean newspaper cites a study that makes Korea look good is not surprising on its face.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Bahnfreund: That mini-articlet also refers to something nowehere is used as a measure for punctuality: departure delays. Punctuality is normaly measured by arrival delays.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    True, I did not even focus on that, thus far…

    Might explain (part of) the result, who knows…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The article doesn’t say anything about California. Or the specifications of the trains.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    The article doesn’t say anything about California. Or the specifications of the trains.

    Except for Japan’s Shinkansen, everybody else is using UIC rolling stocks + ERTMS traffic control.

    So the numbers are directly comparable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you want to read so deeply between the lines that you are reading something in a different room.
    It’s about how late the trains are. Not about California or how great Korean trains are or how different or the same they are.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    It’s about how late the trains are.

    And the finding of the Swedish study is that the KTX is the best performing high traffic-density blended traffic network using UIC rolling stocks and ETRMS in the world.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are those networks really comparable?

    Looking at the immense difference between ICE Eurostar and AVE which both use pretty much the exact same train in the newest generation of rolling stock makes me assume that something that isn’t the rolling stock is a much bigger factor.

    For Germany, that factor clearly is congestion and lack of purpose built lines.

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    Are those networks really comparable?

    Considering how different vendors from different countries bid on Eurostar replacement trains, yes.

    For Germany, that factor clearly is congestion and lack of purpose built lines.

    All nations running UIC HSR train sets on ETRMS system have blended traffic.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Having a spine of the network with next to no local traffic and no slow and heavy freight trains is very different from having a network like the German one. Plus, in Spain, Taiwan and Japan HSR has a different track gauge from legacy lines, making it very hard for legacy trains to run on HSR lines.

    Joey Reply:

    Well, Spain is kind of a weird case because they have gauge-changing trains and a little bit of dual-gage track.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, but unless I am misinformed it is used for faster trains running over legacy tracks rather than the other way around.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Bahnfreund… another pack of nails is on the way…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do they have anything to do with Sauerkraut?

    And how can we assume anybody to understand this conversation when it consists of obscure allusions half the time?

    Eric M Reply:

    It turns out that Hyundai Rotem is infamous for building trains which have made headlines for all the wrong reasons

    In California
    In Philadelphia
    In Boston
    In Korea
    And in the Ukraine

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Unfortunately, that article is full of incorrectnesses. And, being an union’s outlet, it is essentially “furriners bad, aussies good” article. Besides that, one should expect a little bit more competence showing in the article…).

    One thing may be interesting, that Hyundai Rotem did not really make it in the European market.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, you have to remember those damn foreigners ruined Australia. Ever since the 18th century… Before they arrived, Australia had hardly anybody in jail and no foreign trade deficit. Look at Australia now… Damn ferrinah’s, I’m tellin’ yah!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    In Australia’s case, Britain really was sending their rapists, murderers, and drug-dealers.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And they were bringing crime.

    While I do assume, some were good people. After all, there is this song… “Low lie, the fields of Athenry…” When I want to watch videos of it, Youtube says the Copyright belongs to UEFA… Fucking UEFA…

  10. isgota
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 10:05
    #10

    I wonder if this veto could serve as a bargaining chip regarding more funds, that is “you want more oversight about CAHSR project? Then, include in the law funding to the project.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Depends.

    Can the veto be overridden given current composition of the legislature?

    Zorro Reply:

    No, the Election is in November, an override vote would be in December, the nearness to the election caused this bill to pass the way the bill did, afterwards the pressure will be off and legislators will be able to read about the bill, the bill is dead.

    StevieB Reply:

    Therefore there was no downside to voting in favor of the bill. The legislators can point to their vote for more oversight and the bill is not law so no extra cost of construction.

  11. Jerry
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 13:10
    #11

    ‘Oversight’ ?
    Gee. We all know how good of a job the legislature did with ‘oversight’ of CalPERS.

  12. Roland
    Sep 30th, 2016 at 21:08
    #12

    http://transbaycenter.org/calendar-items/board-meeting-october-7-2016-special

    Jerry Reply:

    Existing litigation and also anticipated litigation.
    Gee. I guess they didn’t have enough ‘oversight’ on that project.

  13. Joe
    Oct 1st, 2016 at 12:06
    #13

    Hopefully CARRD hasn’t opened a chapter in Morgan Hill.

    http://www.thrivemorganhill.org/high-speed-rail.php

    There are legitimate issues and mitigations but CARRD’s nuclear approach to HSR essentially mislead and stopped Palo Alto from planning for the inevitable.

    http://morganhilllife.com/high-speed-rail-track-impact-morgan-hills-quality-life/

    Concerns and criticism as well as support for the project were brought up by citizens at a community meeting held at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center Sept. 23. Among the critics was Yvonne Sheets-Saucedo, an advocate for the Palo Alto-based Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design. Although the group is not opposed to high-speed rail itself, it does not favor the current design of the system presented by the California High-Speed Rail Authority which is constructing the project, she said.

    Joe Reply:

    “Just the footprint and the sheer magnitude of this project for this valley, this will be a singular transformational event,” she said. “It changes everything. I’ve not heard, and I’m certainly not convinced on any level that it translates into a betterment for this community. It provides many more burdens than benefits.”

    CARRD’s poison.

    Highway 101 leading from San Jose into Morgan Hill doubled to 8 lanes over ten years ago.
    Caltrans proposes building a 4 lane toll road between I-5 and 101 Gilroy to accommodate more traffic tunneling in Morgan’s hill as Waze routes cars on Monterey HW and other Morgan hill streets.

    CARRD would cripple HSR and allow massive increase to traffic just to preserve their Palo Alto property values.

    Roland Reply:

    Video of the chief PB clown in action. You won’t believe half of this crap until you see it with your own eyes: http://morgan-hill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=641&meta_id=98463.

    Video of the community meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3u7m5VQ4ms

    Joe Reply:

    Morgan Hill already has a problem and CARRD doesn’t care.

    HW 580 and 152 are the only roads that connect the bay area to I-5 LA. Caltrans wants to expand a 2 lane road between 152 and 101 into a toll/highway and route increasing SF/SJ/LA traffic through Morgan Hill.

    CARRD’s lie is that somehow it’s HSR that will impact the area. The alternative planned impact now is 100% car centric and growing. Opposition to HSR accelerates automobile modes and degrades life more than a train.

    NIMBYs in Palo Alto also opposed housing which pushes growth out to Morgan hill.

    Roland Reply:

    Video of the chief PB clown in action. You won’t believe half of this crap until you see it with your own eyes: http://morgan-hill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=641&meta_id=98463.

    Video of the community meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3u7m5VQ4ms

  14. Wells
    Oct 1st, 2016 at 18:49
    #14

    http://mynorthwest.com/406751/system-to-prevent-train-accidents-not-turned-on-yet-in-seattle/
    This conservative paper from the environmentally conscientious arm-pit Seattlers on how to get PTC going sooner rather than later. Really a perfect subject at this time, somewhere else being considered. How’s about it here? PLus TALgO. couldn’t resist.

    Wells Reply:

    Now we may know why this year’s crap “The Good Guys” got that title. The environmentalist was found in the wrong place at the wrong time. A local Greenpeace office was found opposing a river restoration project, the unintended outcome, a veiled misdirection intentional backfire mess to clean up. Sort of like the recent Dakota homelands desecration of ceremonial burial grounds,
    but the river was saved, not bulldozed.

  15. Robert
    Oct 2nd, 2016 at 10:31
    #15

    It’s pretty clear what is going to happen now. The following conversation is going to take place in the White House in late January 2017…

    Jerry: “Hillary, I want to get the bullet train issue resolved. We need to get this ironed down before I leave office”.

    Hillary: “Don’t worry Jerry, the infrastructure plan thats coming has the bullet train as one of the center pieces”.

    And with those two simple sentences, the President of the Unites States and the Governor of California will cement the financial underpinning of the first bullet train to be built in the United States.

    All 2,874,809,900 words of bloviating on this blog by all the Naysayers since 2008 will disappear as fast as the former Republican Party of Donald Trump.

    RT

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So it’s clear what all American citizens on this blog have to do: Vote for Hillary and a strong democratic majority in both chambers of Congress.

    Also, Brown did endorse Clinton ahead of the California primary despite the “history” between those two families. There might be something coming due in January. Let’s hope it’s money for Brown’s signature accomplishment.

    Danny Reply:

    or the Dems just string Brown along in exchange for concessions to the national party; a Clinton had the WH and both houses 1993-5 as well, remember
    the Clintons remind me of the Newsoms, and Gavin boy’s no HSR champion
    and most of us here are Californians, so sending a bluer delegation to Washington in January than we already have is a bit of a tall task

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Bill Clinton tried to get a HSR system built in exactly that two year window. Unfortunately he also tried to get health care at the same time and in the end he had very little to show for either of it. Maybe Hillary remembers those things and tries to push forward a bit. I do think she would like to one-up her husband and he would be able to take it in good sport. If there is one thing Bill obviously respects and admires, it’s political savvy.

    Aarond Reply:

    Congress will say No. There is only one person capable of corralling the Republicans, and he is also running for President. Also given that Hilary would have to fight tooth-and-nail to get *anything* funded, CAHSR will quickly become a causality.

    Infrastructure only happens when there is consensus, and this is not a thing that Hilary is capable of.

    joe Reply:

    Anyone would have to fight tooth and nail for Dem CA. One would try the other can’t focus or exercise self control.

    The House will stay Republican with a smaller majority.
    As of today, there is an 86% chance Hillary/Kaine. There is a 60% chance of Dems controlling the Senate. Controlling the Senate would be enough to negotiate substantial HSR funding.

    There is no GOP Senate candidate and four GOP CA House seats are in somewhat competitive races, including Issa. None of the Dems are at risk. If wealthy Issa loses in 2016, Kevin McCarthy will have a come to god moment and support $ to build HSR to Bakersfield.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No chance in hell of a Dem House? Even in a landslide? Even with “wild card” Trump?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    There is a slim chance, if democrats perform VERY well by getting huge turnout among traditionall democrats as well as flipping some the Jeb!, Rubio, and Kasich voters. The most likely win would take all safe Dem or leaning Dem seats, along with TX-23, CA-7, CA-25, FL-7 (which happily gets rid of John Mica), FL-18, FL-26, IA-3, IL-10, ME-2, MI-1, MI-7, MN-3, NJ-5, NV-3, NV-4, NY-1, NY-19, NY-22, NY-24, PA-8, UT-4, VA-10, and WI-08. These are all the districts that are either toss-up or are narrowly favoring the GOP. After this, the Dems would have to take 2 more GOP seats to have a one seat majority in the house. It seems very unlikely, but this is the one election it could happen in. Many of these seats are in swing-state suburbs, and those voters seem to be favoring Clinton over Trump, so it could happen, but don’t bet on it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Okay, interesting.

    How would a realistic popular vote have to look like for that to occur?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Clinton would definitely need over 50% of the vote, and likely would need to be 10 points ahead of Trump.

    Aarond Reply:

    I don’t believe the “chances” at all, after all it’s pure superstition.

    But let’s assume Hilary does win, with the Senate (only two years, though). My point is that she would be unable to actually govern. Besides the fact that the House can continue to say No, there’s an active oversight committee investigation into her which could spiral into Impeachment proceedings.

    Then onto Hilary’s Presidency which will be fixing all the foreign policy that has burned down under Obama. Her most immediate goal will be repairing relations with Duterte, to ensure that the Philippines does not flip to the Chinese. Then it will be bombing Iraq and cutting a deal with Iran to destroy ISIS, then assisting the EU with the migrants. For this, the military will demand from her funding for the V-280 and the B-52 replacement, which she will provide. CAHSR’s $35 billion will be completely forgotten.

    Points being: (a) she’s not going to be able to govern effectively and (b) her agenda does not concern itself with domestic problems

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No one would be able to govern effectively as long as the bat shit insane Republicans in the House say no to everything.

    Aarond Reply:

    I completely agree.

    And, sadly, there is only ONE person capable of bringing them to heel.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Saint Ronnie is dead. But he’d only be able to corral them for few weeks. He raised taxes, he reformed immigration. He talked to Democrats.

    Aarond Reply:

    Trump would do something Reagan couldn’t: destroy the GOP’s brand and give the Democrats a means to rebuild their base.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    If Nixon didnt destroy the GOP “brand” I dont think Trump has much of a shot

    Trump is a joke, but the strength of the GOP is showing. Even with a bat shit insane guy at the top of the ticket they are going to hold both Houses and the states.

    When Obama took office the Dems had the presidency and both houses with 2/3rd majorities. In the last 8 years the GOP has come storming back. It is unfortunate they could not run anyone likable at the top of the ticket, it would have been a cakewalk. Hilary cant even put Trump away and he is doing 1/2 the work for her. Against someone with even a modicum of charisma it would be the GOP running away.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump and Hillary are – for better or for worse – the only people who could win against each other. Or rather, Donald is the only opponent Hillary could win against and vice versa. The GOP House majority is due to gerrymandering and the Senate majority is a statistical artifact due to low 2014 midterm turnout. The state level results are much more troubling to the Democrats.

    However, on the Duterte thing, I think it is more likely for the US to invade the Philippines (I know, boo hiss, former colonizer and all) or support his ouster than the US trying for good relations with him. That guy has openly stated his intention to kill three million people. If intervention in favor of regime change is ever justified, Duterte is a case where it is.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Clinton could beat Cruz or Carson or maybe Bush. Rubio and Kasich could be harder, but in the debates it might come out that Rubio is a moron who happens to be a latino with good hair.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think JEB versus Hillary would have led to a lot of third party interest and/or lower turnout as well… It would have been just too much of those two families…

    I do think however that Rubio could have made impressive gains in a debate held in Spanish, because his Spanish really is quite good (as opposed to Cruz’s which is atrocious)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Its shocking how much trouble Hilary is having closing out this election. She is running against a stupid, racist, flip-flop, blowhard narcissist who has zero governing experience and an 80% negative rating. and he is not supported by a large minority of his own party

    And the latest poll has her up +5 points, and the 3rd parties are pulling close to 10%. That is how much people hate her. They just hate Trump more.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

    thats ridiculousness, if she was anything other than awful she would be up by 50.

    Literally any other GOP candidate would be mopping the floor with her.

    Aarond Reply:

    It goes to show: either she looses narrowly this year or get crushed by Cruz in 2020. I reckon the latter is worse.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Cruz could have parleyed his “principled stand” against Trump into a 2020 run. The fact that he flip-flopped means he loses no matter whether Trump wins.

    And Hillary Clinton actually has a weird phenomenon in her favor: People like her more the longer she is in office. She was quite popular during her tenure in the Senate and later during her time as secretary of state. Had she run for President out of the state department, she would probably have a much easier time winning the election. But doing so is not exactly responsible behavior.

    If you think 2020 is a done deal if Hillary wins 2016, I don’t think the evidence supports that position.

    Plus, Hillary could simply decide not to run for reelection or – god forbid – some harm befall her keeping her from running. Taking 2020 as an argument for 2016 is not a convincing case in my opinion…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    also, Cruz doesn’t seem like the most likely 2020 GOP nominee.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s either Cruz or Rubio, likely both pairing up. But this assumes that Trump looses this year.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Don’t count out Kasich, Ryan, Haley, and Sasse, and maybe even Jeb! In 2020, the GOP might realize they need some sane establishment politics to remain relevant. Or am I overestimating their primary voters?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Naah. The GOP is done for. The Donald was their last shot.

    Henceforth a Demo uniparty patronage machine based on the California reich doling out gifts to pet voter blocs and single interest pressure groups. Corrupt as hell.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In 2008 the rational people in the Republican party pointed out that it’s not 1955 anymore. So the rest of the Republicans went into an orgy of trying to out “Conservative” each other. ( They aren’t conservative, they are radical right. ) Rinse, repeat in 2012. It just got more explicit in 2016. It’s going to be even less appealing in 2020.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about the Whig Party, though?

    At this point in time we might need a strong party based on ill-defined opposition to Andrew Jackson…

    joe Reply:

    I don’t believe the “chances” at all, after all it’s pure superstition.

    Clarke’s third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Magic predicted Trump would win the GOP nomination and Magic says he’s going to lose the general election.

    .. an active oversight committee investigation into her which could spiral into Impeachment proceedings.

    And? Impeachment doesn’t remove from office nor does it weaken the President as you already saw with Bill Clinton.

    SO you understand, Bernie gets impeached for being a jewish socialist, it’s no difference, any Dem is illegitimate. Any Dem. for any reason.

    So get over it.

    Aarond Reply:

    Please don’t rewrite history; magic said he would loose. Grand Wizard Nate Silver said so himself six months ago.

    As for Impeachment: I didn’t claim it would or could be successful, it would in effect be a vote of no confidence and completely destroy Hilary’s ability to operate with Congress. I also strongly doubt Sanders could get Impeached, as he is not subject to an oversight committee investigation at the moment and did not have a private server that held confidential material.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    As for your ability to analyze what will and won’t happen in a Clinton presidency: nobody ever thought it is or can be successful.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Sanders could mobilize a large contingent of public opinion (and more importantly, people showing up) in his favor. That would have killed any impeachment attempt in its infancy. However, the media does not particularly like the Jewish socialist from Brooklyn who went to Vermont. They love Hillary in equal amounts as they hate her. Her scandals are good television, but any media personality who personally knows her enough (and there are many) has to admire her intellectual capabilities, which is something all journalists have a high degree of respect for even if they hide it behind a folksy attitude.

    Joe Reply:

    Poll data showed Trump winning the nomination.
    Here’s the 2015 primary data.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html

    Joe Reply:

    A Bernie Bro meltdown in October?! Get over it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Remember the “don’t blame me I’m from Massachusetts” bumper stickers after Watergate?

    Well, there will be “don’t blame me, I voted for Bernie” bumper stickers after Trump nukes a country near you.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or don’t blame me, I wasn’t part of Bernie or Bust stickers.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Can’t we just give a yuuuuuge number of literal busts (maybe of FDR) to all self-declared Bernie or Bust people? Thus they get their bust and all will be happy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Busts of the Donald for the ones that stay home. Giuliani, in drag, like in the video he made with the Donald, for the ones that vote Stein. The ones that vote Johnson, Alfred E. Neuman

    It still makes me shudder, Rudy in drag.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IrE6FMpai8

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why did he do that?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Which “he”?
    They thought it would be funny?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Rudy. Drag.

    Danny Reply:

    the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe of Truman.
    The bust stops here.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If the buck stops here and the bust stops here…

    Where does the bus stop?

    Jerry Reply:

    e i e i o

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    4 blocks from my home.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A short unpaved trail from mine…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ve been screeching about evil Hillary since Whitewater. They think she’s omnipotent and omniscient. She’s a smart women. Something Republican men find difficult to cope with.

    Aarond Reply:

    She’s certainly very smart, but one smart person is no match against a gang of very dumb but committed people. Even Obama, who championed a landslide victory over the GOP, was unable to sell his policy after 2008. Hilary would have no better, especially when voters would turn on her much sooner than they did against Obama.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ve been yapping at her heels for more than 20 years.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Obama in 2008 was a bit naive. Hillary is one thing not: Naive.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Not clear what Ryan will do as Speaker if Clinton is President and Schumer is the majority leader in the Senate (for the next 2 years at least). It will pretty much depend on how many hard right Republicans are left and whether they’ll cut Ryan any slack in negotiating.

    The House as to vote on sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, and I believe they have to be tied to something she’s done in office. If the Senate is in Democratic hands, why would the Republicans do that since the Senate would not vote to remove her from office.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s the same people who vote twice a month to repeal Obamacare.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah but repealing Obamacare actually riles up the base.

    At least it did some fifty thousand attempts ago…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Obama was very pro-HSR and had a 2/3 majority in both houses and look how that turned out.

    Your conversation is interesting, how do they get the actual funding bill passed in your world.

    Hilary will have much bigger problems than HSR. She has to try and pass $15 min wage, free college, and fix the ACA. HSR is not even on her radar

    Nathanael Reply:

    Obama got a crapload of HSR funding. There turned out to be a lot of paperwork and stupid Republican governors and lawsuits which delayed stuff, but we’re getting great results.

    Sanders was the one who promised free college. Hillary promised to do nothing.

    $15 minimum wage is going to be really really easy to pass.

    Hillary promised not to fix the ACA, too. Though it’s easy to fix by simply expanding Medicaid, or expanding Medicare. The Medicaid expansion worked. The “exchanges” didn’t. It’s as simple as that.

    Nathanael Reply:

    So what I’m saying is, she’s left herself a free hand to fund HSR; she really promised very little.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But the chances of Hillary doing all that are higher when the pressure is higher.

    Imagine a dozen ballot measures in favor of a 15 buck minimum wage in several jurisdictions. Even the GOP would get pondersome (those things increase turnout among young, poor and minority people and they are often on the ballot in off year elections). And Hillary is very adept at getting shit done. Even with people who spew so much vitriol at her it actually starts to smoke (look it up, vitriol in high concentrations really does emit “smoke”)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The exchanges are working fine in states where the Republicans didn’t decide to hold their breath until they turned blue. And stamp their feet. And wail that no one was paying attention to the rich straight white guys.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To be fair, rich straight white guys are having a tough time in today’s political system…

    They can’t lord it over everybody else quite as much anymore…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Obama got a few billion to get things started. He did not get “a crapload” And then it ended and now no one has enough to finish a line.

    Check out Hilary’s latest platform. To pander to the Bernie supporters she has promised free college
    And if you think a $15 min wage will “pass real easy” at the federal level then you have not been paying attention. The GOP is going to hold both houses this election in spite of Trump (80% dislike rating) because the he is the only person who the American voters dislike more than Hilary (75+% dislike rating)

    Hilary cant avoid fixing the ACA, it is about to collapse now that the risk corridors have run out. How long do you think Blue cross will carry the load along now that the others have bailed?

    The exchanges are working fine in CA…everywhere else they are not doing fine by any stretch. Hawaii, Mass, Oregon, Washington. These are very liberal states that are having a very bad time.

    HSR is not even on the radar

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    As someone with college debt, I don’t think Hillary should have promised a thing to do with college for the Bernie supporters. She certainly shouldn’t prioritize it. What she should have done was go after universal health care.

    EJ Reply:

    “It’s important to me that young people don’t have it any better than I did.”

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’m a millennial. I’m a young person, but I don’t pity myself for getting a college education, having to work to pay for it, and ending up with more money than I would otherwise have. Universal health care, however, is a basic public service that consumers, employers, the rich, the poor, everyone benefits from. It is ubiquitous in other countries, and the US would only have to increase its federal healthcare budget from 8% to 9% of GDP to fund healthcare for every single American, using the NHS as an example. Universal healthcare is more important than free college and I would benefit more from free college than universal healthcare anyway. I’m just not selfish.

    Joe Reply:

    Government isn’t MS-DOS. It can multi-task.
    Policies are not limited to three wishes with the monkey’s paw.

    We can have healthcare and free college education.

    I’m old economy Steve and make too much to have my son qualify for Clinton’s policy (125k and less) but I support it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, government isn’t MS-DOS? The last time I had to do some government related stuff it was all running on DOS, though…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Obama also got a lot of incremental improvements rolling. True, they are not as sexy as full blown HSR and their effect isn’t as great, but crucially they help built a rail constituency. For instance in the Pacific Northwest service can be improved and travel times reduced thanks to Obama’s HSR money. From there a small but growing rail constituency will keep lobbying for more and better service.

    Bill Clinton also did not get “nothing” done in terms of HSR, his initiative ultimately led to the creation of the Acela. Obama certainly did not get the quantum leap done he hoped for, but it was an important step in the right direction nonetheless. And we will probably only be able to appreciate it in hindsight.

  16. Jerry
    Oct 2nd, 2016 at 10:50
    #16

    Wow! Real American and True Conservative Donald Trump is shown to be not just a ‘smart’ businessman, but a ‘genius’. (HIS office says so.) He avoids paying taxes for 20 years!
    Donald, Donald, he’s our man,
    If he can do it, everyone can!

    Jerry Reply:

    Sorry, I forgot.
    How are we going to pay for HSR again???

    Eric M Reply:

    Then have someone change the tax code, because what he did was not against the law. But apparently you have no problem with the 45% of Americans that pay no federal income tax???

    Jerry Reply:

    Apparently.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sorry Eric M.
    I left out the part that says Donald Trump is the only one that knows the tax code well enough to fix it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Bigly.

    Jerry Reply:

    I forgot Eric M.
    is that good news or bad news that Donald Trump is part of the 45% that doesn’t pay taxes???

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Apparently he did not vote for Mitt Romney anyway…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s just awful the way people who are too young, too old, too sick or a combination of young and sick or old and sick, don’t go out and get jobs. Or the people who make the sacrifices to take care of them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s almost as if some people cared more about things in life that are not money than they care about money.

    Disgusting, really.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m always amused by people who whine about how much tax they pay. I should have such problems. It would be awful, just awful, to be in the top tax bracket.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trust me, I’d love to pay capital gains tax. Which would mean I have capital gains. And I would love having to worry about estate taxes. I won’t inherit anything worth calling an estate and none of my descendants will. And if I do happen to get rich, my descendants should rather work of their own lazy asses rather than live off of the wealth of their forebears.

    But I am a pinko commie who hates apple pie, so there you have it.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    What about apple pie with kraut? Or has the joke cone on too long?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Apple pie with Sauerkruat? Now that is disgusting.

    Though some types of Sauerkruat do add a small quantity of apple. Don’t ask me why. Probably in order to be able to label it “iKraut”

    Jerry Reply:

    @Bahnfreund.
    “iKraut” Is there an app for that? :-)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No, only a tray (the German word for tray is “Tablett” which is very similar to “tablet”)

    Sorry for the lame joke.

    But I will get someone to write the app ;-)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry is going to pay for PBCAHSR to Palmdale by slapping on taxes and fees on the lumpen.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The total turnover of rags (the German word “Lumpen” means rag(s) ) is too low for taxes on it to matter.

    Jerry Reply:

    “fees on the lumpen” Wells Fargo just loved that idea. Eight is Great.
    But another point is that God must have loved the lumpen because he made so many of them.
    And God forbid that any of the lumpen use birth control.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Fun fact: In human populations the average birth rate actually goes down as the average wealth of a population increases. Or in more pedestrian terms: Richer people, fewer kids.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Higher cost of living, fewer kids. Unless you subsidize kids.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s simply not what we observe in the real world.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He doesn’t live in the real world. He lives in what he imagines 1955 was like.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Even in 1955 there were enough examples of economic well-being negatively correlating with birth rates. In the real 1955 that is.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In the U.S. you might have to go to 1960 before the peak of baby boom was definite.
    Peak year for babies was 1957 until a few years ago. When the population was twice what it was in 1957. Partly because the baby echo generation’s kids were old enough to give boomers grandchildren.

    synonymouse Reply:

    -Adi

    France has a high birth rate as it subsidizes kids. Especially from low income families.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    I would attribute high French birthrate to Muslim migration.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The French government encourages a high birth rate – they talk it up on French tv.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Google says it’s 2.01. Replacement rate is 2.1.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    France was one of the first countries in the world to go through demographic transition. Incidentally France also had the first and most radical full scale revolution of society away from feudalism in the world (The US revolution was about many things, but not about feudalism). It is possible, that France is simply in the next phase of demographic transition where birth rates bounce back up towards replacement fertility. But thus far the data is too sparse for us to assume anything.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Many other countries are below replacement rate.
    …. Bangladesh is down to 2.2….

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nicaragua went from over 5 in the 1950s (when “our son of a bitch” Tacho Somoza sr. lorded it over the country) to just above replacement nowadays…

    Jerry Reply:

    Gov. Christie added:
    “There is no one who has shown more genius. ..to maneuver around the tax code.”
    “The early 1990s was a difficult time for lots of folks…Donald Trump…fought and clawed back to build another fortune.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Gee.
    I just love those Horatio Alger stories.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Horatio Alger?

    EJ Reply:

    Is google banned in Germany?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Google it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What happened to the old courtesy of explaining stuff upon request?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think Hillary Clinton would be stupid not to exploit those gifts from god for political purposes. Just hit him repeatedly and hard with the fact that he “maneuvered around the tax code” while America’s infrastructure was crumbling.

    Aarond Reply:

    If you actually look at his taxes, he’s taking advantages of property tax reductions supported and signed into law by Bill Clinton (Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997).

    EJ Reply:

    The taxpayer relief act had nothing to do with property taxes (it would have been weird if it did, since there is no federal property tax). It did provide some capital gains exemptions on the sale of a primary residence.

  17. Danny
    Oct 2nd, 2016 at 12:51
    #17

    aright, enough White House glamorama, let’s talk Prop 53
    it’s commonly billed as the “anti-bullet train” proposition; it’s one of Dean Cortopassi’s bêtes noires
    the voter-guide description is extremely bland: “statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for certain projects if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. Fiscal impact: state and local fiscal effects are unknown and depend on which projects are affected by the measure and what actions government agencies and voters take in response to the measure’s voting requirement.” It’s hilariously obscure gobbledygook and voters will probably prefer the status quo (or just figure that CA’s future bond issues will all be exactly $1,999,999,999.99)
    the Secretary of State official website breaks it down further: the yea side mentions “megaprojects … like the bullet train” and the peppy slogan “If taxpayers have to pay, they should have a say!” (that’s now how bonds work!)
    the nay side is much sharper: “Empowers voters in faraway regions to reject your community’s needs. Prop. 53 jeopardizes water supply, bridge safety, other repairs. No exemption for emergencies/disasters”
    the nay website also points out it’s one rich Kochite’s $4M pet project–so the optics are that he’s a Resnick redux

    Jerry Reply:

    So does that mean a $2 Billion Dollar bond to pay for more revenue producing toll lanes or revenue toll bridges have to get voter approval?
    Based upon a simple majority vote or a super majority vote?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Can you create by ballot measure a state owned private company with the authority to take on loans of any level they care to?

    Because that would be a nice way to circumvent this ballot measure for things that can (at least in theory) take out loans that are backed by (future) revenue.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I think it is a stupid measure, but why are you so quick to dismiss the will of the people? If it passes it should be followed not looking for loopholes

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The United States of America would have collapsed by now had the leaders on the federal level not known how to make use of the “interstate commerce” loophole. If loopholes are so bad that they are harmful, the legislative process can always close them. Almost all loopholes are either deliberate or retroactively deliberate.

    And a private company (whose sole owner happens to be a County or the state of California) taking out a loan surely cannot violate any law, can it?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The supremecy of Federal law (and the commerce clause) are both are not loopholes, they are purposeful decisions. The Articles of Confederation failed in part because of the lack of Federal Supremacy, they learned from the mistake.

    And there is no such thing as a state owned private company, it is just a made-up construct to get around being called a socialist. It is either private or public.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Of course there is. A company can be subject to private law and be owned by any entity, including the Feds or the state of California.

    And do you really think Jefferson, Madison, and people whose name does not end in “-son” like Adams or Franklin really thought the things later done under the commerce clause were things that should concern the federal government? Heck, many of them considered freeing slaves “government overreach” talk about civil rights.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    fine, explain how the post office (a state owned private company) is different than the Social Security Administration.

    EJ Reply:

    The USPS is an independent govt agency, not a private company. An example you’re looking for would be Amtrak, which is a (mostly) govt. owned private company.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also, what would you consider a company which is held by anything from 0.0001% to 99.9999% by a state entity?

    How is a company with that fraction of a percent more of state ownership different?

    Jerry Reply:

    Danny brought up Prop 53 which calls for voter approval of CA revenue bonds over $2 Billion. Is it a simple majority to pass the amendment and then two-thirds approval to sell bonds??
    I will vote against it.

    Danny Reply:

    like Prop 13! it certainly didn’t get 66.67%
    J failed with 66.11%

    Jerry Reply:

    Loopholes pop up soon after a lot of laws are passed. It keeps attorneys busy. That seems to be part of their job.
    Interstate Commerce covers most everything anymore. It even came up a lot with Obamacare. A national sales tax will probably come up sometime based on Interstate Commerce. (I bought a TV on the internet from a company in NYC with its warehouse in New Jersey and had it shipped to a relative in Florida as a gift. I would be happy to pay sales tax on the transaction, but who should get it? It was when the internet sold everything tax free. And you can assume I made the transaction from a vessel beyond the three mile limit.)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Florida.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    US sales taxes are a mess…

    Jerry Reply:

    Ownership/operation of entities by government also keeps attorneys and politicians busy and employed. (A lot of politicians are attorneys.)
    Governments set up sewer and water authorities to provide necessary services. On the Federal level the controversial mortgage company Fannie Mae was created by US Congress in 1938 and shares are presently traded over the counter (OTC). People, including me, probably understand the CIA more than they understand Fannie Mae.
    The controversial Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was established by Congress in 1933 to help economic development in the entire Tennessee Valley. (As an aside, Ronald Reagan was allegedly fired as a spokesman for GE when he said TVA was an example of “Big Bad Government”. GE sold turbines to TVA.)
    I do know that a lot of Republicans feel the US Postal Service and Social Security Administration should be privatized. And they feel a lot of other government activity should be privatized as well.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think we should privatize the military. Let the private market invade Iraq.

  18. J. Wong
    Oct 2nd, 2016 at 21:56
    #18

    O.T. Next Big Tech Corridor? Between Seattle and Vancouver, Planners Hope

    One proposal to deal with traffic between Vancouver and Seattle was for a high-speed rail line that would whisk travelers at more than 200 miles an hour between the cities in 57 minutes (it can take four hours or more by car). The details on financing the project — which could cost an estimated $30 billion or more — have not been worked out.

    les Reply:

    The way the Chinese keep buying up Seattle and Vancouver properties I can see CRH# running through Bellingham sooner than later. However I’m surprised Portland is not in the conversation. Portland is also booming and there are a significant number of flights between Seattle and Portland. With 2 more Amtrak-Cascades runs starting next year there will be 7 Amtrak runs vs only 2 for Seattle-Vancouver.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sounds good.
    In nice round numbers. there’s as many people in Ohio as Washington and Oregon combined.
    It’s 120 miles from Seattle to the border. It’s 60 miles from Toledo Ohio to Windsor Ontario. Detroit is along the way. With as many people in Metro Detroit as there are in British Columbia.
    Pittsburgh is closer to Cleveland than Seattle is to Portland. Buffalo is a bit farther. Greater greater Toronto is just across the river. With twice as many people as there are in B.C.
    Vancouver B.C. to Portland OR. sounds good. So do other places.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The nice thing about the cascades corridor is that nearly all of the population of Oregon and Washington live along it, whereas Ohio has multiple population centers sprinkled around.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus Ohio is a swing state governed by an anti-rail Republican whereas Oregon and Washington – especially their coastal areas – are solidly blue.

    les Reply:

    Chinese aren’t investing in the dwindling population centers of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit. But they do love West Coast cities and their continuing strong economic and population growth. I think Texan cities are the only US cities doing as good or better.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I very much doubt that the decline of the “rust belt” is either terminal or inevitable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it’s greatly overstated. Things were rough. There are some places where things are rough today. That happens in a dynamic society. It’s imminent demise has been imminent for decades. It’s not going anywhere.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I also think that the trend away from cities is coming to an end. People are increasingly sick and tired of the suburbs and the old dog whistles of “crime” and “good schools” sound more and more hollow by the day.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It already ended.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, that is something you can only really judge in hindsight, but yeah, census data indicates that it did end, maybe even a decade or two ago…

    Now if only politics stopped catering to the “suburban swing voter”…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It may not be, but there aren’t many reasons to move there over somewhere like NY, LA, SF or DC.
    Just look at the breakdown:
    Government: DC
    Finance: NY
    Tech: SF
    Entertainment: LA
    Education: SF, LA, NY, DC
    Weather: SF, LA
    Diversity: LA, NY, SF, DC
    Quality of life: LA, NY, DC, SF

    Declining factories: Rust Belt
    Is there any reason not to choose the coasts?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Who ever wrote https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Chicago this and https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Buffalo this seems to disagree with your assessment.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Chicago is great, but it is sort of stagnant, and it definitely is not rustbelt. Rustbelt is Northern Ohio, Northern Indiana, Southeast Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, and Western New York. Buffalo is a sort of nice city that has lost half its population and is uninhabitably cold and snowy. I’m not saying the rustbelt is terrible, but I can’t think of a reason to move there from outside.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If Ruhr managed to “reinvent” itself (and it has, just look at the European capital of culture celebrations a few years back) I see no reason why the equivalent region of the US can’t. You’d be surprised to hear that not all people on earth prefer air conditioning over heating (because, if you are honest, Phoenix and the likes would not be fit for human habitation without a/c)…

    However, I shouldn’t do the talking, if I were free to chose, I’d be head of the Nicaraguan National Railroad (a company which does not exist any more or yet, take your pick)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Tesla offered you a job in their factory in Buffalo? Global Foundries wants you to work in one of their fabs in the Hudson Valley? Your dream job is supermarketing and Kroger is the best offer you have? You work for JP Morgan Chase and they want you to get some experience in their back offices?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well in Germany it is entirely conceivable that a company leading in its branch has its global headquarters in some place you never heard of.

    There is Zuffenhausen, Herzogenaurach, Solingen, Essen, Lübeck, Ingolstadt, Wolfsburg… There are probably more German companies in obscure places than there are in the major cities everybody wants to live in…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I suppose. I’m just one of the many who chose to leave places like that for the city, so I’m biased.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes, Portland station is actually the busiest on the Cascades line, but that could be because Seattle has more suburban stations.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think the Chinese are for now weary of US investment given how Xpresswest penned out…

    EJ Reply:

    Wasn’t their first investment in the US, won’t be the last.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, but it was the first big ticket HSR investment…

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    I think the Chinese are for now weary of US investment given how Xpresswest penned out…

    It is more of an issue with a tightening loan market in China than any lack of desires on Chinese part.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That might be a factor, but even with the best loan market, they will probably not try and build a new rail line after the way the last one ended…

    Useless Reply:

    les

    I can see CRH# running through Bellingham sooner than later.

    You won’t. Chinese too do not have any sort of crash standard like Japanese, so they require totally new grade separated tracks from beginning to end. This requires eminent domain on hundreds of thousands of properties.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or a simple change in federal regulations.

    All you need to through run trains is an electrified line along that route.

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    Or a simple change in federal regulations.

    Since when was a change in federal regulations quick and simple.

    Additionally High speed rail require straight tracks with minimum curvature radius of 7 km or greater. Electrification will not turn a slow rail into a high speed rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I know that running the trains at high speeds requires gentle curves and a few other things, but the thing we talked about wasn’t high speed trains, but through running. And to through run the trains CaHSR will be using, technically the only thing needed is electrified track. And of course the legal right to run those trains over these tracks.

    Roland Reply:

    “Electrification will not turn a slow rail into a high speed rail”
    But, but, but, what about “Caltrain’s” $800M in Prop1A Bonds (and Clem’s spreadsheet)???

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Electrification allows better acceleration and more efficient braking. Which is exactly what you’d want in a commuter railroad like Caltrain. It also enables higher top speeds up to a certain point (limited by track geometry) as you can accelerate and brake faster than a Diesel train could. It also improves the power to weight ratio of trains, which is a hallmark of HSR…

  19. morris brown
    Oct 2nd, 2016 at 23:23
    #19

    WSJ: Jerry Brown’s Train Wreck

    Although Robert writes AB-2847 not needed and unnecessary, the Wall Street Journal, and 120 California legislators disagree. Although there will be no attempt to override, it will come back next year. Perhaps then there will be a different result.

    The last 2 sentences of the article are particularly illuminating.

    Roland Reply:

    Especially the last sentence. How about introducing legislation that would prohibit a Governor veto of legislation passed unanimously by both Houses?

    J. Wong Reply:

    They can always override the veto. The fact that they didn’t means something. And what you propose is not a law but an amendment to the State constitution.

    Joe Reply:

    If WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch doesn’t like HSR, then he should buy a California newspaper and tell us.

    EJ Reply:

    I’m tried to make sense out of this comment and I think I hurt my brain.

    Joe Reply:

    I liked it. Still do.

    The Fox News media mogul should buy a newspaper in this state and use that paper’s editorial page to criticize the state project.

    Jerry Reply:

    Do you mean similar to Sheldon Adelson?

    EJ Reply:

    Even for you, Joe, that’s a bizarre notion.

    les Reply:

    Wouldn’t this be a violation of Prop 1? Morris you are always quick to point out how any legislation is a violation of Prop 1 except when it is in your favor. Wasn’t there something in Prop 1 that said only 10% funds can go toward oversight and wasn’t the oversight format restricted and already determined by Prop 1? What about the rights of the voters, don’t they matter?

    Zorro Reply:

    I don’t think so, but if you can find a section on that 10%, please post it les.

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris: Why won’t there be an attempt to override the veto?

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris: I do hope that the WSJ writes a good article about the New Jersey train wreck.
    Would the headline read: Chris Christie’s Train Wreck??

    Danny Reply:

    or “Scott openly lied: FLHSR would’ve made a profit and he knew it!”
    or “Walker and Snyder fail”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, the Republican party has long since entered the realm of the post-factual

  20. Jerry
    Oct 3rd, 2016 at 13:05
    #20

    For those who are interested, the October 11th meeting agenda for the CAHSRA is available on its Web site:
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/

  21. morris brown
    Oct 3rd, 2016 at 15:33
    #21

    Nice video interview with Assemblyman Jim Patterson, rebutting pretty much all Robert wrote in his theme.

    High Speed Rail Accountability Bill Vetoed By Governor Brown

    For Republican Assemblymember Jim Patterson, it was looking like a slam dunk with a High Speed Rail-related bill. His High Speed Rail Accountability bill passed the State Assembly and the State Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.

    The bill, however, was stopped in its tracks by Governor Jerry Brown, and Patterson said this one should have been a no-brainer.

    “It was a bill that required the High Speed Rail Authority to demonstrate that it had the money to complete the project, to produce a really quality business plan so the people knew what the High Speed Rail Authority was doing,” said Patterson.

    In Sacramento, however, things are rarely that easy.

    “And it really was a veto that was a slap in the face of the taxpaying public who have to pay for this,” said Patterson, after Governor Brown struck down the bill on Wednesday.

    Governor Brown said that all the needed Checks and Balances are already in place, and that the High Speed Rail Authority can essentially police itself.

    In his veto message, Governor Brown wrote:

    As with other projects of this magnitude, state law requires strict standards of accountability and transparency, and I have every expectation that the authority will meet these high standards.

    Patterson said he is not buying it.

    “I think that the Governor’s veto message was a lot of excuse making,” said Patterson. “Everybody knows that the High Speed Rail Authority is over spending, that they’re over borrowing. That they’re building a high speed rail that isn’t high speed.”

    Patterson said a veto override is possible, but unlikely. He believes, however, the message to the Governor is clear.

    “I think that the fact that every single member of the Legislature voted for this bill tells you that everybody up in Sacramento are now having Buyer’s Remorse, second thoughts about the viability of this project, and yet they just don’t seem to have the backbone to override what is I believe a reckless veto,” said Patterson

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They are under budget. They haven’t issued any bonds yet so they haven’t borrowed anything yet. And by common definitions of high speed rail it’s on the higher end of average speeds.
    …. to paraphrase the joke, you can tell a Republican is lying because his lips are moving….

    Jerry Reply:

    Patterson said:
    “they’re building a high speed rail that isn’t high speed.”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    At 2:40 between San Francisco and Los Angeles he’s lying. Or he doesn’t understand what high speed rail is.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To quote that stupid commercial…

    Por qué no los dos?

    Joe Reply:

    He’s lying. US considers speeds over 125 as high speed rail and CA is designed for 250 mph.

    Roland Reply:

    Yep: 250 MPH right through downtown Gilroy. So there.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Montabaur got over 300 km/h trains…

    Gilroy will be fine.

    Roland Reply:

    How about looking up the actual location of the Gilroy Caltrain station before posting uninformed comments?

    Montabaur: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Montabaur/@50.4446994,7.8252403,2011m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x1f78978b0bd6c80d!8m2!3d50.4446994!4d7.8252403

    Gilroy: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gilroy+Station/@37.0044537,-121.5843727,5041m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x8091e3bbdddea10b:0xa6c8b993032eed22!8m2!3d37.0044552!4d-121.5668671

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t quite see your point. Both are close to major highways and both have housing next to them. (In fact, that was kind of the point of the Montabaur station). And while we know trains will be running at 300 km/h at Montabaur because they currently do, where is the evidence for trains running through Gilroy at 250 mph in day to day operation?

  22. Jerry
    Oct 3rd, 2016 at 16:31
    #22

    For all supporters of trains into the SF Transbay Transit Center please keep in mind that San Francisco is a sanctuary city. And Donald Trump and the Republican Party have said that they will stop all federal aid to sanctuary cities.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s a sanctuary city?

    Jerry Reply:

    https://www.google.com/#q=sanctuary+city+definition

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Interesting.

    Doe the US also have the concept of “church asylum”? In Germany it is no law of any kind (not even some previous now repealed law) but a “gentlemen’s agreement” that local churches sometimes take in refugees or other people threatened with deportation which often leads to a standoff with local authorities that surprisingly often is resolved in favor of the migrant and hardly ever (actually never) is anybody in the church hierarchy charged with anything, even though they are – in theory – braking the law…

    Aarond Reply:

    Essentially yes. Sheriffs aren’t going to second-guess a church homeless shelter as, lo and behold, the church will then instruct all their members to vote against said Sheriff in the next election. The police have total authority. But the police are also elected and churchgoers vote.

    Also, at least in my experience, most church shelters tend to be catholic and most of their members tend to be central americans. This isn’t so much of a problem out west it is back east, where racial divisions are more prevalent.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Makes sense.

    EJ Reply:

    The US doesn’t have that as a formal concept, though it has been invoked. Police are generally reluctant to serve warrants at a church for all but the most serious crimes – souinds similar to the situation you describe in Germany.

    Aarond Reply:

    Typically, city whose police force is not instructed to inquire about the residency status of people within it. As a result, illegal aliens are able to more or less live freely without fear of being arrested during a traffic stop and deported.

    It has it’s ups and downs. I’ll say this: SF is damn lucky not to have a Walmart (Walmarts here in the US allow homeless people, often undocumented laborers, to sleep in their parking lots inside their vehicles).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Thanks for the background.

    Aarond Reply:

    Not like it would matter, the SFMTA would have a convenient excuse to turn the TTC into a “BRT” terminal. The city would save money and Lee would applaud such a move. Also, the city administration does not care about addressing the ongoing homeless crisis either so they’d be in lockstep with the feds.

    Meanwhile Los Angeles is funding it’s transit through local sales taxes, and is (comparatively) self-sufficient in that regard.

    Jerry Reply:

    Donald said cities. I don’t know if he would include counties as well. If so, look out San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. (Both sanctuary counties) And goodbye to all federal aid to CalTrain.
    Ah, the intrigue continues.

    Aarond Reply:

    Good point. Though I don’t consider him to be that smart (Caltrain itself is the Peninsula JPB, and is not itself an apparatus of any individual county unlike Muni, SamTrans, or VTA).

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I suppose the county of San Francisco would count as well with some clever administrative maneuvering.

  23. Jerry
    Oct 3rd, 2016 at 16:41
    #23

    Will the garbage of this national election ever end?
    I’m sure the Trump Foundation and the Clinton Foundation both did some good. But they sure raise a lot of questions. Now Trump’s has been ordered to stop raising money in New York State.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-foundation-ordered-to-stop-fundraising-by-ny-attorney-generals-office/2016/10/03/1d4d295a-8987-11e6-bff0-d53f592f176e_story.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To be quite honest, the Clinton foundation seems to be a genuine big ticket charity. Yes, they have more overhead cost than you’d probably like, but they do genuine good in the world. The only problem is that Clinton being an active politician, her “professional” contacts in her role as an active politician and her “charitable” contacts in her role as foundation person overlapped too much and that never looks good, regardless of the actual facts.

    Trump’s charity on the other hand looks a lot fishier. Including that he seems to be a less generous giver than he himself claims.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The Clinton Foundation actually has remarkably low overhead costs, and by some metrics has helped over half billion people. Which is somehow a bad thing.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well overhead costs are inherent in charities of a certain size. Only a small scale operation can be run entirely by volunteers in their free time. And for some things you need the big guns.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    of course, but 12.8 of Clinton Foundation expenditures go towards fundraising and overhead, which is remarkably low four a charity of its size.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s probably right.

    Jerry Reply:

    Private Foundations are big Non Government Organizations (NGO). Maybe Institutes as well?
    With many pros and cons. Maybe CAHSRA could apply for a grant to one of them. :-)
    The private foundations are not subject to any public voters. Some are used for their donors benefit.
    A lot lack any “oversight” at all. I know. I know. HSR oversight and Foundation oversight are two different things.

    Bdawe Reply:

    that’s a really clever piece of both-sides-ism you’ve perpetrated there–conflating an organization which distributes half the world’s AIDS medication with a potentially illegal slush fund

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Balance_fallacy

  24. synonymouse
    Oct 4th, 2016 at 09:52
    #24

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6156644-181/smart-prevents-more-deliveries-of

    At least we know now who is running the show. A rich and exquisitely connected good ol’ boy and running the means of propaganda. SMART will remain dysfunctional for decades.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sounds to me that they all could use a little more, “Oversight”.

    Aarond Reply:

    What a stupid pissing match to start. Does SMART really think the feds will side with them? STB don’t care about passenger ops and NCRA has been moving hazmat goods through the area for decades now.

    Hopefully it’s just growing pains. Maybe after they get slapped by the STB, SMART will get smart and opt to work with NCRA and not against them.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A laff-riot.

  25. Jerry
    Oct 4th, 2016 at 13:38
    #25

    Rail-Volution
    Hope you all are aware of it.
    There will be a Rail-Volution National Conference in San Francisco starting Sunday, Oct. 9th.
    The 2016 Rail-Volution Conference has a most interesting schedule, filled with a lot of workshops.
    The 2016 Rail-Volution Conference schedule is at the following:
    http://railvolution.org/the-conference/conference-information/2016-conference-schedule/

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